Edwards Statement In Commemoration Of World Aids Day
Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement in commemoration of World AIDS Day:
"On this day we are reminded of the terrible loss from HIV/AIDS, a loss that is almost beyond understanding. HIV is a preventable disease - but an estimated 40,000 new HIV cases were reported in the U.S. last year - and many more may not have been counted, and 2.5 million were reported around the world. What's more, HIV/AIDS is a treatable disease - yet 17,000 Americans and 2 million people globally died from it in 2005. This is a fight for people's lives. We have a moral imperative to do much more and do it much better.
"The cause of World AIDS Day has always been to break the silence - because as with any moral issue, silence is betrayal. The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is 'leadership,' and I couldn't agree more that strong leadership is key to combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I believe the United States must be a leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
"If we stand up and rise to the challenge together, I have faith we can end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I look forward to the day when World AIDS Day is an occasion only to remember those we have lost in years past, not to fear the epidemic that is still in front of us."
As president, Edwards will invest $50 billion over five years to ensure universal global access to HIV/AIDS medicine, and will end policies that protect the profits of big drug corporations at the expense of people dying of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. He will also strengthen America's scientific research agenda, which has suffered drastic funding cuts under the Bush Administration. To address HIV/AIDS in the United States, Edwards will guarantee health insurance to every American so they can receive the care they need when they need it, and will expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive individuals before they reach later stages of AIDS. Edwards supports science-based prevention strategies to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, including comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education and harm-reduction programs that provide high-risk individuals with access to clean syringes. He will increase resources for fighting the epidemic in African-American and Latino communities, where infection rates have dramatically risen, as well as in the LGBT community.