Clinton To Release HIV/AIDS Policy
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Tuesday while campaigning in South Carolina is expected to announce a plan to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and abroad, the New York Times reports. Clinton's "two main rivals" for the Democratic nomination -- Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) -- already have released HIV/AIDS plans, the Times reports. The three plans are "similar in terms of spending, goals and differences with President Bush's AIDS policy," according to the Times.
Clinton's plan, like Edwards' and Obama's, will propose spending at least $50 billion by 2013 on initiatives to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide. The Bush administration has allocated $30 billion for the same time period. Clinton's plan also will propose doubling funding for HIV/AIDS research at NIH to $5.2 billion annually. Edwards' plan, which was released in September, pledges to "strengthen" spending for such research, while Obama, who released parts of his plan at different times throughout the year, said he would "expand" research funding.
According to the Times, the three plans would not focus HIV prevention strategies on abstinence-only education. A paper provided by Clinton's campaign that outlines her plan says that she supports providing young people with "age-appropriate information about HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves against it." Clinton, Edwards and Obama also all support federal funding for needle-exchange programs.
In addition, the paper outlining Clinton's plan says that she would work to "significantly" reduce the number of new HIV cases in the U.S. each year, as well as to establish measureable targets and timelines for expanding prevention and treatment services. Obama's plan for reducing new cases is "almost identical to what [Clinton] proposes," the Times reports. Edwards has said that his plan for reducing new cases includes holding his HHS secretary "accountable" for releasing an annual HIV/AIDS report that demonstrates progress toward Edwards' targets. Edwards also has said that he would appoint a "strong" director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
Clinton, Edwards and Obama all pledge to provide HIV-positive people with improved medical care, primarily through health insurance programs that the three candidates have proposed this year. According to Clinton campaign advisers, she thinks that the current federal plan to combat HIV/AIDS is "diffuse and uncoordinated," according to the Times.
Although HIV/AIDS plans have not been a primary topic among the leading Republican presidential candidates, some have spoken about how increased efforts are needed, according to the Times. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has said that he would increase funding for Bush's HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. He added that he would provide aid to fight malaria in Africa, as well as aim to bolster trade between the U.S. and the continent (Healy/Altman, New York Times, 11/27).