U.S. representative Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) announced this week that she plans to lobby for additional federal spending for domestic HIV treatment, prevention, and awareness when Congress reconvenes in September, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Berkley said that while it is commendable that President Bush has pledged $15 billion over five years to fight AIDS overseas, not enough is being done to fight HIV in the United States. She said she would push for more funding for such programs as comprehensive sex education for youth and programs that urge sexually active people to practice safer sex.
Berkley's announcement came after a meeting with AIDS advocates and HIV-positive people at the Las Vegas-based organization Sista to Sista, which focuses on HIV's impact on minority women. Berkley said she attended the meeting to learn more about the funding problems still facing HIV/AIDS organizations, particularly those that target such at-risk groups as gays and minorities. "I'm trying to educate myself so I can do a better job educating my colleagues," she told the Sun.