POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

Clinton Signs Pledge To Commit To Fight Against HIV

Posted by pozlife on October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, recently signed a pledge to commit to investing $50 billion by 2013 to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and worldwide, the New York Times reports. Clinton also plans to issue a formal policy on the disease, according to the Times (Seelye, "The Caucus," New York Times, 10/26).

The Global AIDS Alliance Fund and other groups have called on U.S. presidential candidates to sign the pledge, which asks candidates to commit $50 billion to HIV/AIDS efforts. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) was the first candidate to sign the pledge. On the groups’ Web site — 08stopaids.org — there is a citizen’s pledge that calls on voters to urge the next U.S. president to "create, support and fund a comprehensive plan to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/22).

According to the Times, ACT UP, an HIV/AIDS advocacy coalition, had been planning a demonstration on Tuesday in Philadelphia — where the Democratic candidates are scheduled to participate in a debate — to protest Clinton because she had not signed the pledge. Clinton signed the pledge shortly after being contacted by the Times. According to a statement from Clinton’s campaign, she has "been working on a formal AIDS policy that she will be unveiling in the near future." The statement added that Clinton "already supports investing $50 billion over the next five years to fight global AIDS and advocates a comprehensive approach to fighting AIDS both here and abroad."

According to the Times, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), both of whom are running for the Democratic presidential nomination, have not signed the pledge. Kaytee Riek — a member of ACT UP and Health GAP, which is co-sponsoring the Tuesday demonstration — said the demonstration originally had been directed toward Clinton rather than the other candidates because "she’s the front-runner," even though she has had a "spectacular" record on HIV/AIDS policy. Riek added that because Clinton has signed the pledge, the focus of the demonstration likely will shift to encouraging all candidates to discuss HIV/AIDS during their campaigns.

Edwards was the first candidate to issue a comprehensive, $50 billion HIV/AIDS plan, the Times reports. Obama has said that if elected, he would increase foreign spending to $50 billion annually for several projects, including increased treatment access for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Obama in his "millennium development goals" said he would "dedicate as much funding to HIV/AIDS as possible … to ensure a comprehensive fight against this global pandemic" ("The Caucus," New York Times, 10/26).

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