This Monday, as the nation commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Barack Obama will also be sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. The historic significance of this event cannot be overstated, and for those of us who have dedicated our lives to realizing Dr. King's vision of not just racial equality, but social justice, Monday will mark the culmination of decades of struggle. But with each success, we are reminded that our nation's march toward equality is never complete. It is a constant evolution of hearts and minds, policy and tradition. Thanks to the work of Dr. King and so many others, our nation's made incredible progress, but substantial work remains.
Tomorrow, December 1, is the 25th annual World AIDS Day, a day for remembrance, reflection and action. The theme this year, "Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation," perfectly reflects the moment in which our movement finds itself.
For several months now, a key benchmark in creating an AIDS-free generation, implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been stalled in political gridlock. The recently released Health Care Engagement Cascade by race/ethnicity and age at AIDS 2012 highlighted the significant barriers to accessing quality and affordable health care and reducing HIV incidence facing African Americans and Latinos, the two communities most disproportionately burdened by HIV. With President Obama's re-election eliminating any possibility for a repeal of the ACA, we must reinvigorate our efforts to ensure the significant changes that will occur to our service delivery systems, including how the private and public sectors will work together to address the health disparities illustrated in the cascade.
First, let me say that the thoughts and prayers of everyone here at NMAC are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our own offices suffered some fairly significant water damage from the storm, but we were extremely lucky that our area was not more heavily impacted. We wish everyone a safe and speedy recovery.