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Appendix: The Black AIDS Institute Candidates Survey

December 2007


A National Strategy to End AIDS in America

The United States wisely insists that any country seeking our support for its AIDS program first develop an overarching strategy to guide how the resources will be used. More than 26 years into the epidemic, however, the U.S. government still has no national strategy of its own. If elected, will you create a national AIDS strategy to guide the federal government's domestic AIDS initiatives?

No national strategy can work without meaningful leadership. Previous administrations have appointed AIDS czars with varying levels of authority and influence. If elected, will you appoint an AIDS czar and give that office authority to coordinate federal AIDS programs across agencies and departments and to collaborate with Congress on legislative initiatives?

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African American organizations ranging from the NAACP to Bishop T.D. Jakes' The Potter's House church are building their own strategies for ending AIDS and finding ways to coordinate action with one another. If elected, how would you support these community-based campaigns?


Reducing Infections Among African Americans

A congressionally mandated Department of Health and Human Services study found in 1998 that syringe exchange programs reduce HIV infections without increasing drug use. If elected, will you lift the ban on federal funding of syringe exchange programs?

Research shows African Americans and Latinos are more likely to trust health information that comes from sources within their community. If elected, will you target resources to African American community-based organizations and media outlets to conduct HIV prevention and education?

From sex education in schools to HIV/AIDS research, throughout the epidemic political and ideological disputes have too often trumped measured science in guiding our nation's response. If elected, how will you ensure that science drives federal AIDS policy?


Encouraging More African Americans to Learn Their HIV Status

A wide range of African American community leaders, from churches to entertainers, have come together in recent years to develop innovative HIV testing initiatives. If elected, will you commit resources to these African American community-based testing campaigns?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as much as a third of HIV-positive Americans are undiagnosed. If elected, how will you use the Office of the President to promote HIV testing, particularly among African Americans?


Ensuring Access to Appropriate Care for Those Living With HIV/AIDS

The key to successful HIV/AIDS treatment is getting into care before the virus cripples the immune system. If elected, will you encourage Congress to pass and then sign into law the Early Treatment for HIV Act, or a similar bill expanding Medicaid eligibility to include people living with HIV but not diagnosed with AIDS?

Every year states across the country develop hundreds-deep waiting lists for their AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). In 2006, at least four people died while lingering on South Carolina's waiting list. If elected, will you ensure that every state ADAP is adequately funded so that there are no treatment waiting lists in America?

Despite an estimated 40,000 new infections every year, the federal AIDS budget has remained largely flat since 2001. Local health departments and AIDS service organizations across the country are capping enrollment and limiting services to make ends meet. If elected, how will you make sure we continue to have enough resources to handle a growing epidemic?


Eradicating Stigma Surrounding HIV/AIDS

African American faith leaders have long been criticized for inaction on AIDS. But in recent years the Black Church has taken a leadership role in fighting the epidemic, particularly in tackling the range of stigmas that fuel infections and deter treatment. If elected, will you target resources at stigma-eradication campaigns led by African American faith leaders?

How would you use your bully pulpit as president to combat stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS?




  
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This article was provided by Black AIDS Institute. It is a part of the publication We Demand Accountability. Visit Black AIDS Institute's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
 

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