Africa Action Issues Statement Demanding U.S. Funding To Fight AIDS Rather Than War
Africa Action yesterday issued a statement signed by 73 groups and organizations worldwide demanding that the U.S. government make fighting international HIV/AIDS a priority and appropriate funds to HIV/AIDS programs instead of to wars, such as the current conflict in Iraq. Africa Action Executive Director Salih Booker said, "Today, Africa Action is joining with friends across the country and around the world to make this simple statement -- Money for AIDS, not for war. It is both a rejection of U.S. aggression in the Persian Gulf and an affirmation of the real priority that we should be addressing -- the global AIDS crisis." The statement says that the United States should be spending "tens of billions" of dollars to fight HIV/AIDS instead of on the war in Iraq. HIV/AIDS is "the greatest global threat to human security that exists today. It is more deadly than terrorism or the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," the statement continues. The statement concludes, "The U.S. is the most powerful country on earth, and it has a clear choice to make. It can choose to provide leadership for a global effort to defeat the AIDS pandemic and save millions of lives. ... Or it can choose to act arrogantly and unilaterally, dictating regime changes and re-drawing maps to serve its own narrowly defined interests." Signatories of the statement include: ActionAIDS, ACT UP Philadelphia, AIDS Empowerment & Treatment International, Global AIDS Alliance, Group Against Poverty & AIDS, Massive Effort Campaign and Title II Community AIDS National Network (Africa Action release, 4/14).
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