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AIDS Action Council Commends Senator Edwards for Endorsing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Calls on every candidate from every Party to commit to creating a National

HIV/AIDS Strategy

WASHINGTON, Sep. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards today released a policy paper calling for a "comprehensive strategy to combat HIV/AIDS." Among the details, Senator Edwards called for ensuring that every person living with HIV/AIDS has access to quality care and treatment, ensuring that the U.S. focuses resources on fighting the disease in African-American and Latino communities where the harm is now the greatest and calling for universal access to treatment throughout the entire world.

Senator Edwards becomes the first candidate to respond to the HIV/AIDS "Call to Action" calling on every Presidential candidate to commit to developing a results-oriented national AIDS strategy to reduce HIV infection rates, ensure access to care and treatment and eliminate racial disparities. The Call to Action was issued by more than 120 HIV/AIDS organizations last week. Details about the Call to Action can be found at

"We welcome Senator Edwards call for a national strategy," said Rebecca Haag, Executive Director of AIDS Action, "He is definitely listening to the hundreds of organizations, groups and individuals that understand the need for a committed public health approach to HIV. She continued, "Forty thousand people are newly infected with HIV each year and the HIV infection rate has not fallen in 15 years. In 2004, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among black women ages 25-34. Although ensuring access to universal healthcare is an important step, the lack of a clear, results-oriented, national, public health strategy to hold all of us accountable for reducing HIV (and other diseases) is past due. Such a strategy will focus resources where they are needed, ensure that funding is found, help people reduce their vulnerability to infection and promote access to lifesaving care. To stop HIV/AIDS we urge every candidate running for President from all political parties to commit to the creation of a national strategy."

AIDS Action Council is a Washington non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS and that helped to create and ensure passage of the original Ryan White CARE Act in 1990 and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 last December.

CONTACT: Diego M. Sanchez of AIDS Action, +1-617-450-1524, +1-617-835-1455 mobile,

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