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Domestic AIDS Epidemic Ignored at Republican National Convention
Date:9/5/2008

Advocates call on John McCain to commit to develop a National AIDS Strategy for the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., Sep. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republican National Convention concluded last night with no mention of the domestic AIDS epidemic in the United States and only passing reference to the epidemic overseas. Neither Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain nor Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin mentioned AIDS in their remarks to Convention delegates.

The Republican Convention was held one month 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, more than 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.

"The complete failure of the Republican leadership to even acknowledge AIDS is deeply troubling," said Phill Wilson, Founder and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. "At a time when the AIDS epidemic is worse in our nation's capital than in many parts of Sub Saharan Africa, how can AIDS not be a featured as a priority by the Republican Presidential nominee?"

First Lady Laura Bush did make reference to AIDS in her address on Tuesday night when she noted the number of Africans receiving AIDS treatment through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program spearheaded by President George Bush. No speakers addressed the AIDS epidemic in the United States and the Republican platform offered no plan to address the issue.

"John McCain must commit to developing a National AIDS Strategy for the U.S. designed to reduce the HIV infection rate and increase access to AIDS treatment," said David Munar, President of the National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWA). "AIDS remains a serious threat in this country and every new infection adds significa
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SOURCE AIDS Action
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