Policy & Politics
VP Candidates Cheney, Edwards Move Debate to Foreign AIDS Policy When Asked About HIV Prevalence Among Black U.S. Women
October 6, 2004
Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on Tuesday during their only campaign debate shifted the conversation to foreign HIV/AIDS policy and general health care policy when asked what the U.S. government should do to curb HIV/AIDS prevalence among black women in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports (La Ganga, Los Angeles Times, 10/6). PBS news correspondent Gwen Ifill, who moderated the debate, said to Cheney, "I want to talk to you about AIDS, and not about AIDS in China or Africa, but AIDS right here in this country, where black women between the ages of 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of the disease than their [white] counterparts. What should the government's role be in helping to end the growth of this epidemic?" Cheney said he had "not heard those numbers with respect to African-American women" and was "not aware" there was an "epidemic" of HIV/AIDS among that population. He said that the United States has "made significant progress ... in terms of the overall rate of AIDS infection" through "a combination of education and public awareness, as well as the development, as a result of research, of drugs that allow people to live longer lives even though they are infected -- obviously we need to do more of that." Edwards said HIV/AIDS prevention in the United States is part of the "bigger question" on the future of health care in the country. He said that "if kids and adults don't have access to preventative care, if they're not getting the health care that they need day after day after day, the possibility of not only developing AIDS ... but the problem of developing other life-threatening diseases is there every day of their lives."
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.