NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Donald Payne was elected to Congress when the AIDS epidemic was at its worst, life saving medications were unavailable, and little was known about the science of HIV treatment. He witnessed first hand the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in the communities he was elected to represent. In response, Congressman Payne worked to increase awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS. He was a tireless supporter of research, treatment development, housing services and increased testing initiatives. During his tenure as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, he contributed significantly to the creation and implementation of the Ryan White Care Act, the federal funding initiative passed in response to the national AIDS epidemic. He was instrumental in obtaining additional federal funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative which seeks to address the disproportionate effects of HIV/AIDS on communities of color, and he was one of the first supporters of increased funding for the Global AIDS Initiative.
People living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey will always remember his desire to listen to their concerns, his warmth, constant encouragement and his diligent work on their behalf. "Our clients, staff and board of trustees, offer our thoughts and prayers to Congressman Payne's family during this difficult time," said Kathy Ahearn-O'Brien, Hyacinth's executive director. "He was our longtime champion and friend."
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation is New Jersey's first and largest AIDS service organization with eight offices located throughout the State, serving over 15,000 people annually with direct care, treatment education and prevention. Hyacinth is the only organization in New Jersey with a dedicated public policy and community organizing staff dedicated to protect the rights and benefits of people living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey.
CONTACT: Axel Torres Marrero
SOURCE Hyacinth AIDS Foundation