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 (www.C2EA.org). 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:
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 www.thebody.com/content/art42183.html.)