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Press Release

C2EA Activists Caravaning to S.C. to Demand Presidential Leadership on HIV/AIDS at Candidate Debates

"Rally to End AIDS" Will Urge Democratic Contenders to Amplify Their Plans to End HIV/AIDS Domestically and Globally

January 10, 2008

Dozens of people living with HIV/AIDS from around the country will arrive in car caravans at the January 21 Democratic presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a "Rally to End AIDS" organized by the Campaign to End AIDS ( The rally will begin at 5 pm outside the Palace Theatre, the site of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute's Democratic Primary Debate. The debate begins at 7 pm.

C2EA members from more than a dozen states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and New York, as well as the District of Columbia, plan to attend the Myrtle Beach rally.

"All these folks are coming to South Carolina to remind the Democratic candidates that if they are elected president of the United States, they will possess the tools to end AIDS. The Campaign to End AIDS wants the candidates to recommit to eradicating this epidemic, at home and abroad," says C2EA-SC co-chair Karen Bates.

Prior to the 5 pm "Rally to End AIDS", C2EA caravaners will meet for an organizing breakfast and attend debate-related campaign events. The rally will include speakers from Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia and bring C2EA's four demands to the presidential candidates. Those demands are:

  • Global access to quality healthcare and supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Ramped up HIV prevention at home and abroad, based on science and not political ideology
  • Expanded research to find a cure, more effective treatments and better overall prevention tools
  • A commitment to fighting AIDS stigma and to protections guaranteeing the civil rights of all people living with HIV/AIDS

The Campaign to End AIDS -- a national network of people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies who believe that the tools exist to end the AIDS epidemic if only leaders will exert the political will to do so -- has organized numerous groundbreaking advocacy efforts since it launched in 2005.

C2EA-SC led a successful movement to persuade South Carolina's legislature to contribute millions of dollars to help poor South Carolinians living with HIV/AIDS get access to treatment. Four South Carolinians died while on a waiting list to enroll in the South Carolina's underfunded AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP). (To learn more, visit

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This article was provided by Housing Works. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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Election 2008