Kerry Would Increase HIV/AIDS Program Funding if Elected, Daughter Says at NAPWA Conference
Vanessa Kerry, daughter of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), on Friday while speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of People with AIDS in Atlanta said that as president her father would double U.S. funds for domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs, expand research on medications and vaccines for the disease and "always use science and not ideology" to make decisions about HIV/AIDS policies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Kerry said that her father has supported HIV/AIDS programs as a senator and would continue to support them as president. She added that her father would help fund expanded HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and research efforts with the repeal of tax cuts implemented by President Bush for families whose annual incomes exceed $200,000. Vanessa Kerry also said that Bush administration officials have allowed religious and conservative views to affect the fight against HIV/AIDS. She cited the HHS decision to cancel presentations by 28 CDC researchers at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in July and statements by a senior HHS official that abstinence should be the only strategy used to fight HIV/AIDS. Vanessa Kerry said, "We cannot fight an epidemic if we are shackled by ideology" (Wahlberg, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/11). NAPWA Executive Director Terje Anderson said that Vanessa Kerry's speech and roundtable meeting with NAPWA members were "important for all people living with HIV and those who care about us." Anderson said that NAPWA asked both Bush and Kerry to send a representative to the conference, but the Bush campaign did not respond to the invitation (NAPWA release, 9/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.