Groups Calling on U.S. Presidential Candidates To Commit to Fight Against HIV/AIDS
The Global AIDS Alliance Fund and other groups are calling on U.S. presidential candidates to sign a pledge to commit to the fight against HIV/AIDS domestically and worldwide, the Keene Sentinel reports. The pledge also calls on candidates to commit $50 billion to such efforts. According to the Sentinel, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is the only candidate who has signed the pledge. GAAF also has created an online citizen's pledge that calls on voters to urge the next U.S. president to "create, support and fund a comprehensive plan to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic."
The organization New Hampshire Fights AIDS, which works with GAAF, ahead of the state's presidential primary invited Beatrice Were -- co-founder of the National Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS in Uganda -- to speak last week at Keene State College in an effort to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS issues. "Given what is happening now, New Hampshire is a strategic state to influence (the) election," David Bryden of GAAF said, adding that voters should ensure presidential candidates make fighting HIV/AIDS a priority. "We feel this is a moment when candidates are open to these kinds of issues," Bryden said.
Were said that she aims to encourage voters to "look at AIDS as a global issue." She added that the U.S. has been a "leader" in global HIV/AIDS efforts and that it is "important" the country does not "stall." She also called on New Hampshire residents to "vote for a leader that makes sure [HIV/AIDS] issues are sustained" (Haigh, Keene Sentinel, 10/18).