Richardson Releases HIV/AIDS Plan
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Saturday released a plan to address HIV/AIDS issues domestically and abroad. According to a release, Richardson's plan would focus on "evidence-based prevention, providing quality and affordable treatment" and "renewing" the U.S. "commitment to research." To address HIV/AIDS worldwide, Richardson's plan would commit funding for prevention, treatment and care programs, as well as efforts to reduce the number of HIV-positive people who die from tuberculosis. Richardson also would call on the International Monetary Fund to cancel 100% of the debt owed by developing countries. In addition, the plan would aim to "protect the rights of women and children to reduce the risk that they will become infected," Richardson said (Richardson release, 12/1).
According to Richardson's Web site, the plan would commit $1 billion annually to CDC for the "development and implementation of evidence-based, culturally appropriate prevention strategies that address the changing face of HIV/AIDS" in the U.S. In addition, the plan would call for NIH's budget to be doubled over 10 years and would support efforts to increase HIV testing in the U.S. The plan also would allow states to expand Medicaid to cover HIV treatment at earlier stages and fully fund the Ryan White Program (Richardson Web site, 12/4). Richardson earlier this year signed a pledge to commit to investing $50 billion by 2013 to fight HIV/AIDS domestically and worldwide (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/30).