On to more important matters.
Today is World AIDS Day—a great time for those who aspire to be the Leader of the Free World to take a stand on the pandemic killer. (Yes, I know the WHO recently adjusted their prevalence statistics downward, but the remaining numbers are still staggering.)
Recently a coalition of concerned organizations in Iowa (including such bastions of liberalism as the American Red Cross Central Iowa Chapter and the Lutheran Services in Iowa Refugee Cooperative) sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates.
- Do you support the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), which expands Medicaid for HIV-positive people who would otherwise need to become completely disabled in order to qualify for Medicaid-covered services?
- Do you support the replacement of funding for international and domestic “abstinence only” HIV prevention programs with scientifically based, comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education programs?
- Do you support access to sterile syringes, as a means of protecting public health, by lifting the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange? (Survey text, 11/28).
Democrats Biden, Richardson, Edwards, Obama, and Clinton all answered “yes” to all three questions. The remaining Democrats did not respond.
Republicans Giuliani and Romney both declined to answer the questions. The other Republicans did not respond.
A quick survey of the web sites of the top contenders finds World AIDS Day prominently on the front page at BarackObama.com and at JohnEdwards.com.
Clinton speechified about AIDS a couple of days ago.
Huckabee is the only Republican candidate that has addressed AIDS directly.
If you want more info on where all of the candidates stand on AIDS-related issues, here’s a quick reference guide.
Put on your red ribbons. It’s not over yet.