CBS News Examines Presidential Candidates’ Domestic HIV/AIDS Plans
CBS' "Evening News" on Tuesday examined what presidential candidates Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) would do to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. if elected president.
According to the "Evening News," both McCain and Obama support the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief but have said the country needs a domestic plan, which currently does not exist. Obama's plan calls for a national HIV/AIDS strategy involving all federal agencies, and his plan also begins with a pledge to enact universal health care legislation by the end of his first term, according to the "Evening News." In addition, Obama has said he would work to prevent HIV transmission through sex education and testing in minority communities.
McCain has said his administration would seek to prevent HIV by emphasizing abstinence-only sex education. McCain wants to establish Guaranteed Access Plans, in which states would offer coverage to individuals unable to obtain private coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, and create greater competition among drug companies to curb rising drug prices. The centerpiece of McCain's health care plan would be a $2,500 tax credit for individuals to purchase health care coverage of their choice, the "Evening News" reports.
According to Phil Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, "There's tremendous irony that while" the U.S. is "showing leadership on the global epidemic, we're showing complete neglect on the domestic epidemic." In addition, CDC Director Julie Gerberding said there are several reasons why blacks in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. "One of them is shame," she said, adding, "People are ashamed to have the infection. The other is stigma. They're punished if someone else finds out they have it. And then the third is ignorance" (Gupta, "Evening News," CBS, 10/14).
VOA News Examines Candidates' Plans for Global Health Initiatives
In related news, VOA News on Wednesday examined pledges McCain and Obama have made to improve global health, including funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria efforts.
According to VOA News, the Democratic Party platform says that Obama's administration would work to help achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In addition, Obama has detailed proposals that include a global effort called Health Infrastructure 2020 -- which would enlist the help of the world's top industrial nations to strengthen global health care -- as well as a plan to help reverse the migration of physicians and nurses from developing countries by training new health care workers. The Democratic Party also has called for doubling foreign assistance to $50 billion to help in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases, VOA News reports.
McCain has said that he would work to improve global health by continuing the efforts of PEPFAR and calling on U.S. billionaires and investors to continue to support global health programs. According to VOA News, McCain also has said he would encourage greater market competition to lower the cost of antiretroviral drugs, as well as other drugs that fight diseases such as malaria. According to McCain, he has made it a goal and a policy issue to eliminate malaria worldwide (Eagle, VOA News, 10/14).