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National News

Former President Clinton Prods United States on AIDS

July 25, 2002

The amount of money needed to successfully fight the global spread of AIDS is a fraction of what the United States is spending to fight terrorism, former President Bill Clinton told an overflow crowd of more than 1,600 at the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition conference in Chicago Tuesday.

"I'm all for fighting and staying in Afghanistan and getting Bin Laden and being tough about that -- that's fine. But nobody believes that we can build a safe world just by preventing and punishing bad things. We have to make some good things happen too," said Clinton. Wealthy nations like the United States can halt the surge of AIDS cases, which could number 100 million globally by the end of the decade, Clinton said.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said an estimated $10 billion a year is needed to effectively handle the global AIDS crisis, with the United States responsible for about $2.5 billion, Clinton said. "We're already spending somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion. So our share would be another $1.5 billion. That sounds like a lot of money, but it's less than two months of the Afghan war," he said. "It's less than 2 percent of the requested increases for defense in America. We will spend a ton more than that if we go to 100 million cases." At the recent Barcelona AIDS conference, Clinton was named co-chair of an international AIDS trust with former South African President Nelson Mandela.

This year's Rainbow/PUSH conference placed a special emphasis on AIDS, particularly as it affects women worldwide. Jackson kicked off a campaign for 1 million people worldwide to get tested for HIV, hoping that at least 1,000 would take HIV tests at a convention hall booth set up where oral tests were administered. Clinton did not take the test, Jackson said, because the former president did not want to create a media spectacle. Jackson himself reported having taken several HIV tests, all with negative results.

Back to other CDC news for July 25, 2002

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Adapted from:
Chicago Tribune
07.24.02; Sabrina L. Miller



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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