July 13, 2010
Washington, D.C. -- Paul Kawata, Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) responds to the release today of President Obama's National AIDS Strategy:
"This is a historic time on many fronts. On the one hand, President Obama has made history today by being the first President ever to create a truly national strategy to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The ideas contained in this plan are aggressive and would certainly go a long way toward combating what continues to be one of our nation's most troubling public health emergencies.
"I use the word 'plan' purposefully, however, because without the funds to carry out the President's ambitious agenda, this falls significantly short of a strategy. The blueprint is most certainly there ... but now our collective attention must shift to resources.
"And while the President can rightly lay claim to a historic and much-needed moment in the HIV/AIDS movement, history continues to be made each and every day as more people living with HIV/AIDS continue to join the ranks of those waiting to receive life-saving medicines. Tragically, this has become an issue of resources as well?an issue that has become an all-too familiar refrain in the battle against this disease.
"We must look at this plan as a solid first step in achieving our ultimate goal: eradicating HIV/AIDS. Now the conversation must turn to implementation?and how we fund such an audacious goal. To ignore the difficult topic of HIV/AIDS funding would be tantamount to placing the President's strategy in a shredder."