June 8, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Metro TeenAIDS honors Pelosi for efforts to combat HIV/AIDS
Gay News, Washington Blade, Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Metro TeenAIDS on Thursday honored House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS service organization presented the California Democrat with the inaugural Pelosi Leadership Award during its 19th annual auction at the Italian Embassy in Northwest D.C. Metro TeenAIDS also presented Pelosi with a crystal gavel to commemorate her 25th anniversary in Congress.

“For us, she really represents the tenacity and passion around the HIV and AIDS epidemic that we don’t see enough from our government leaders,” executive director Adam Tenner told the Blade. “She’s an amazing person committed to HIV and AIDS.”

Pelosi referenced in her speech an earlier interview during which she said the only thing that has surprised her since she arrived on Capitol Hill in 1987 is that the epidemic has not ended.

“I would never have believed 25 years ago, projecting out that number of years, that we still would not have a cure for AIDS or a vaccine to fight against this disease,” she said. “And so that makes prevention, testing, all of that so much more important. Certainly, we have halted its progress in people. We have improved the quality of life. We’re here and ready for an intervention that may come along and we’re relentless in our pursuit of what that intervention, that cure, or that vaccine, can be.”

Pelosi’s 13-year-old granddaughter Madeleine was among the estimated 450 people who attended the event.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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