Clinton to Address International HIV/AIDS Issues at Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference
Former President Clinton next Monday will speak about HIV/AIDS issues in Chicago at the annual conference of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a not-for-profit, multi-racial membership organization, the Chicago Tribune reports. The group's founder, Rev. Jesse Jackson, asked Clinton to address the topic of AIDS for the second year in a row. "Poverty, illiteracy, famine, lack of drinkable water, lack of education, lack of publicity are all factors in the HIV epidemic. The poorest people have it. The least able to get tests and medical treatment once it's detected have it," Jackson said. Clinton's remarks are expected to be more globally focused this year following his participation at last week's XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain (McCormick, Chicago Tribune, 7/15). Last year, Clinton called for increased HIV testing of prison inmates, referring to American prisons as "incubators" for the disease and the drug addictions that help spread it (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/10/01). Jackson has also invited leaders from "hard-hit" nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Nigeria and Swaziland to attend the conference and appear on a panel with Clinton.
Conference to Urge Testing
At the conference, which begins on Saturday and runs through July 24, Jackson said that he will encourage one million men worldwide to be tested for HIV this fall. "We want ministers to take [an HIV test] before their congregations. We want disc jockeys to take it. We want high-profile athletes to take it. We want heads of state to take it publicly," he said (McCormick, Chicago Tribune, 7/15).