Clinton Signs Pledge To Commit To Fight Against HIV/AIDS

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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).

TheGlobal AIDS Alliance Fund and other groups have called on U.S.presidential candidates to sign the pledge, which asks candidates tocommit $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 nextU.S. president to "create, support and fund a comprehensive plan toaddress the HIV/AIDS pandemic" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/22).

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According to the Times, ACT UP,an HIV/AIDS advocacy coalition, had been planning a demonstration onTuesday in Philadelphia -- where the Democratic candidates arescheduled to participate in a debate -- to protest Clinton because shehad not signed the pledge. Clinton signed the pledge shortly afterbeing contacted by the Times. According to a statementfrom Clinton's campaign, she has "been working on a formal AIDS policythat she will be unveiling in the near future." The statement addedthat Clinton "already supports investing $50 billion over the next fiveyears to fight global AIDS and advocates a comprehensive approach tofighting 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 presidentialnomination, have not signed the pledge. Kaytee Riek -- a member of ACTUP and Health GAP,which is co-sponsoring the Tuesday demonstration -- said thedemonstration originally had been directed toward Clinton rather thanthe other candidates because "she's the front-runner," even though shehas had a "spectacular" record on HIV/AIDS policy. Riek added thatbecause Clinton has signed the pledge, the focus of the demonstrationlikely will shift to encouraging all candidates to discuss HIV/AIDSduring 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 increasedtreatment access for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Obama in his"millennium development goals" said he would "dedicate as much fundingto HIV/AIDS as possible ... to ensure a comprehensive fight againstthis global pandemic" ("The Caucus," New York Times, 10/26).

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 . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report ispublished for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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