All Candidates Must Make their Stance on AIDS Clear, Says Group
MANCHESTER, N.H., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today New Hampshire Fights AIDS rejected presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's explanation for a statement he made in 1992, in which he advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public and opposed increased federal funding for AIDS research.
New Hampshire Fights AIDS, a non-partisan group, also criticized all the Republican candidates for issuing vague statements about HIV/AIDS, in contrast to the leading Democratic candidates, who have each published detailed plans on the issue and made clear their position on stigma and discrimination.
"The fact is that in 1992 it had already been known for about ten years that HIV/AIDS could not be transmitted through casual contact," said Christina D'Allesandro, board member of New Hampshire Fights AIDS. "So, Huckabee's excuse that much was still unknown about HIV transmission in 1992 simply does not hold water."
On June 14, 1983 President Reagan's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Margaret Heckler, gave a speech in which she informed the public that HIV/AIDS could not be transmitted via casual contact.
Huckabee has affirmed his support for spending $30 billion to fight HIV/AIDS globally, but this would mean freezing spending at or below the current level. Congress is already on course to provide $6.34 billion for global AIDS programs in 2008, which multiplied over five years would be $31.7 billion.
"We call on all candidates for the Presidency to specify how they will increase funding, base their policies on scientific evidence, and combat the discrimination and stigma that fuels the epidemic globally," said D'Allesandro. "The statements issued by the Republicans, including Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain, are terribly vague and they dodge key concerns related to today's epidemic."
"The issue in 2007 is whether Huckabee a
|SOURCE New Hampshire Fights AIDS|
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