Edwards Unveils Strategy For Combating HIV/AIDS In US

Armen Hareyan's picture

Former Sen. John Edwards(N.C.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, onMonday at a health care forum in Washington, D.C., unveiled a plan forcombating HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and worldwide, the Washington Post reports (Bacon, Washington Post, 9/25). The forum, sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals,over the next few months will host presidential candidates from bothparties individually in one-hour webcast forums in which a media panelwill ask the candidates questions about their health care proposals (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 9/20).

Edwards on Monday called for spending $50 billion over five years on HIV/AIDS treatment and using World Health Organization standards, rather than FDA standards, to speed the availability of new antiretroviral drugs (Lowy, AP/Google.com, 9/24). According to Edwards' campaign web site,the funding would be used to provide preventive and treatment drugs forHIV/AIDS, as well as malaria and tuberculosis (Edwards Web site, 9/25).

Edwards also said that as president, he would expand Medicaidto cover HIV-positive people before they progress to AIDS or areotherwise disabled; increase resources to combat the spread of thevirus among blacks and Hispanics; ensure "age-appropriate" sexeducation; and lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchangeinitiatives (Leys, Des Moines Register, 9/25). He also called for a Cabinet-level post on global poverty (Washington Post, 9/25).

Edwardsalso discussed his plan for universal health care. "We can't talkseriously about ending HIV/AIDS without guaranteeing health for everysingle man, woman and child in America," Edwards said, adding, "If youdon't have health insurance -- good health insurance -- you aresubstantially more likely to die from this disease" (Leys, Des Moines Register, 9/25).


Forum Schedule

According to the current schedule for the forums, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) will appear on Oct. 25; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will appear on Oct. 31; Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will appear on Nov. 1; and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) will appear on Nov. 7. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) also have agreed to participate in the forums. The sponsors of the forums have invited all of the presidential candidates to participate.

Susan Dentzer of PBS' "The News Hour With Jim Lehrer" will moderate the forums, and additional panelists will include Julie Rovner of NPR, Laurie McGinley of the Wall Street Journal and Timothy Johnson of ABC News.

The Kaiser Family Foundation will host the forums in its Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Kaiser will webcast the forums live through kaisernetwork.org,its health policy news and information service. Live and archivedwebcasts, as well as additional information about the forums, areavailable on a dedicated Web site, presidentialforums.health08.org. The forums are being funded by The California Endowment and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 9/20).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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