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Activists Criticize President Obama for Not Confirming Attendance at AIDS 2012 Conference

July 10, 2012

"Activists are reigniting their attacks against President Obama's record on battling AIDS ahead of the International AIDS Conference in Washington later this month," The Hill's "Global Affairs" blog reports. "Two weeks before the conference of 20,000 leading researchers, patients and advocates, the administration has yet to confirm Obama's attendance," the blog writes, noting "the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in a teleconference with reporters on Monday said Obama shouldn't bother showing up unless he's going to pledge a renewed commitment to the international fight against AIDS." In 2009, Obama lifted a ban that prevented people living with HIV to enter the U.S., allowing the conference to be held in the country for the first time in 22 years, the blog notes.

"The foundation is particularly upset about the 2,000 people on the waiting list for the domestic AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) that provides drugs to low-income Americans, and the $214 million cut ... in the administration's proposed FY 2013 budget" for PEPFAR, according to the blog. "The [proposed] cuts come as the administration has been struggling to rein in the federal deficit while proposing a[n] ... increase in FY 2013 for the public-private Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," the blog writes, adding, "The proposed $1.65 billion [for the Global Fund] would help the United States meet its pledge of $4 billion over three years" (Pecquet, 7/9).

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