Issue Position: HIV / AIDS
The spread of AIDS is the greatest global health threat of our times. It's a terrible disease that destroys lives, denies hope to individuals and families, and threatens the well-being of entire countries.
Americans know of the pain and loss that AIDS cruelly inflicts, as millions of fellow citizens - men, women, and children - are infected, and far too many have lost their lives. But AIDS is a disease that knows no boundaries. It travels across borders to infect innocent people in every continent across the globe.
While we still seek a cure to AIDS, we have learned to help those infected by the virus to lead long and productive lives through the miracle of prescription drugs. In 1990, the federal government demonstrated its commitment to the care and treatment of Americans living with AIDS by passing the Ryan White CARE Act. Since that time, community-based care has become more available, drug treatments have improved that nearly double the life expectancy of HIV positive individuals, and public campaigns have increased awareness of the disease. Yet, advances such as these remain largely the privilege of wealthy nations.
We have an obligation to continue the fight against this disease at home. But we should also share what we have learned to help those in other countries in this life-and-death battle. And we must do all we can to provide new resources to help those who cannot afford today's therapies.
These challenges are not insurmountable. If governments have the resources to adequately protect and treat their citizens, they can make a huge difference in the battle against this epidemic.