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Bill Clinton and Other Leaders Call For 'Renewal of Battle Against AIDS' in the United States at Democratic Convention
Date:8/29/2008

Advocates disappointed that Obama failed to address the issue

DENVER, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaking at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, Former President Bill Clinton called for a reinvigorated response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. In praising Presidential nominee Barack Obama, Clinton said, "He will continue and enhance our nation's commendable global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved: the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, including -- and this is very important -- a renewal of the battle against HIV and AIDS here at home."

Clinton's comments came three weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new estimates indicating that the HIV infection rate in the United States is 40% higher than previously thought. Every year, over 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV, a rate that has not fallen in eight years and is higher than it was for most of the 1990s, according to CDC.

Several other speakers at related Convention events called for the development of a National AIDS Strategy for the United States, including Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama, and actor and activist Danny Glover. The Democratic Party Platform includes a call for a National AIDS Strategy and Senator Obama during the primary season pledged to develop a National AIDS Strategy if elected.

However, AIDS advocates were disappointed that although Senator Obama demonstrated leadership during the primary season he did not address the issue in his speech. Nor was there visibility of those living with HIV; for the first time since 1992 there was not an HIV+ speaker at the Democratic Convention.

"It was disappointing that on the occasion of this historic nomination, that one of the greatest health threats facing America today was not more front and center during this year's Convention," said Phill Wilson, Founder and CEO of the
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SOURCE AIDS Action
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