Bush Administration Not Making the Grade in the War on AIDS
March 13, 2002
Washington, D.C. -- The polls may show that President Bush is getting good grades for his war on terrorism, but he is not making the grade in the war on HIV/AIDS, according to a national coalition of AIDS organizations from throughout the United States. As the AIDS pandemic enters its third decade, the coalition, in a letter to the President, states that there are few other issues that need the Administration's immediate attention more than ending the toll of HIV/AIDS. There are an estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 950,000 HIV infected people in the U.S.
The coalition released its assessment of the Bush Administration today, on the eve of the first meeting of the newly appointed Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). The coalition grades the Bush Administration on funding and leadership in the following areas:
In the letter to the President, the coalition members spell out their concerns, ranging from a lack of leadership in the fight against AIDS at home and abroad, to funding for AIDS prevention, research, and treatment programs, and filling key government healthcare positions that are vacant or will soon become vacant. The most notable positions are at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration.
In its assessment, the coalition commends the Administration for retaining the PACHA. However, the coalition expresses its concern about some of the individuals appointed to PACHA. These members have public track records of supporting HIV/AIDS policies that are at odds with science, public health experts, people living with HIV/AIDS, and community-based providers. They have also made statements viewed as homophobic and discredited sound, proven HIV prevention strategies.
The coalition calls on the President to exert his leadership to help end the suffering caused by AIDS. The coalition expresses its desire to work with the Administration and asks for a meeting with Mr. Bush and key officials to discuss the issues related to AIDS.
Coalition Press Contacts
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