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Edwards' Plan on AIDS Unveiled Today

Plan is 'Bold and Visionary,' says Global AIDS Alliance Fund

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today in Washington, presidential candidate Senator John Edwards is announcing a new proposal for what the US needs to do next to stop HIV/AIDS in the US and abroad.

To address the crisis outside the US, Senator Edwards' plan promises $50 billion in resources to reach universal access to prevention and treatment. He provides a strong emphasis on channeling money through the Global Fund. His plan also addresses related issues such as TB and malaria, access to basic education, violence against women, reproductive health, poor country debt, and trade-related pharmaceutical issues.

"This plan is both bold and achievable, and we are thrilled to see Senator Edwards' tremendous leadership on this issue," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance FUND. "It's exciting to see such a realistic, science-based approach to the epidemic in the US and globally."

"Senator Edwards has recognized this is what we need to do to save lives -- now every candidate in both parties should recognize it, too. We look forward to seeing what they propose so we can compare their plans," Zeitz stated.

The need for bold action is clear. In the US half the people who need HIV treatment are not receiving it, and the number of new HIV infections in the U.S has not decreased in over a decade. Globally, basic prevention services reach only a fraction of those at risk, and in Africa treatment is available to only about a third of those who need it to survive. According to the UN, the world still faces a massive shortfall in funding for basic services, including for children.

A coalition called 08 Stop AIDS has also proposed $50 billion in spending to fight AIDS, about a third of which would go to the prevention of disease. The group's 10 point plan has been endorsed by over 100 organizations and health experts, as well as by community leaders and state elected officials across New Hampshire and Iowa. A detailed plan has also been developed on AIDS in the US.

Expansion, not flat-funding, of the US response is vital in order to keep pace with the expansion of the epidemic, to reach key goals that have been set on AIDS, TB and malaria, and to do more to expand services to children.

The $50 billion proposed by the coalition would have broad impact, if spent according to the 10 point plan. A significant portion ($8 billion over five years) would help countries improve their health care systems so that US assistance can be fully and effectively absorbed and put to good use.

Besides increased AIDS spending, the groups are also calling on candidates to propose an increase in poverty-focused development assistance equal to one percent of the US federal budget.

Contact: David Bryden, for the Global AIDS Alliance Fund, 1-202-549-3664

SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance Fund
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