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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Richardson Unveils HIV/AIDS Policy on World AIDS Day

December 01, 2007

Richardson promises to implement comprehensive national strategy and fight epidemic worldwide

DES MOINES, IA-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today unveiled his policy on HIV/AIDS. As President, Richardson is committed to tackling this epidemic, both in the United States and around the world. He will do so by focusing on evidence-based prevention, providing quality and affordable treatment, and renewing our commitment to research.

"The United States must lead the world in dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic," Richardson said. "On the home front, it is shameful that we do not have a comprehensive national strategy to address the HIV/AIDS crisis. 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS, including more than 400,000 who have full-blown AIDS. This must be addressed now.

"To resolve the HIV/AIDS crisis in the developing world, we need a multi-faceted approach. First, we must fund prevention, treatment, and care worldwide. Second, we must reduce the number of people living with AIDS who die from a tuberculosis infection. Third, to allow impoverished nations to implement specific AIDS programs, I will urge the International Monetary Fund to cancel 100% of the debt that they owe. Most importantly, we must protect the rights of women and children to reduce the risk that they will become infected."

Governor Richardson has received praise for his policy from experts in the field.

"AIDS Action welcomes Governor Richardson's detailed and well thought-out platform on HIV/AIDS, including recognizing the need for a strong, accountable National AIDS Strategy and making its leader part of the Cabinet," said Rebecca Haag, Executive Director of AIDS Action. "There is simply no reason why we cannot significantly reduce the number of new HIV infections in this country and ensure access to care and treatment for all those infected. We are pleased that the Governor is using his political leadership to raise the awareness of all Americans on World AIDS Day."

"Richardson's plan focuses not only on prevention and reducing the cost of treatment, but also on giving researchers like me the tools we need to put an end to this terrible disease," said Dr. Jerry Cade of Las Vegas, Nevada, an internationally renowned HIV/AIDS physician, researcher, and activist and a member of President Clinton's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. "Given his depth of experience and his record of accomplishment, I believe that he can successfully implement this plan, which would save countless lives in America and around the world."

Richardson also remembered the life of a prominent HIV/AIDS activist, Dr. Scott Hitt.

"Today is World AIDS Day, and while we remember the millions of victims of this disease, we also should take the time to celebrate the life and work of one of the great champions in the fight against HIV/AIDS," Richardson said. "Dr. Scott Hitt will be laid to rest today in Los Angeles, California, taken at the young age of 49 not by AIDS, but by that other great challenge, cancer. The world will miss Scott's leadership. I mourn his death and send my condolences to his family, friends, and partner Alex."

Dr. Hitt served as the Chair of President Clinton's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and as National Chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. He also founded the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Governor Richardson addressed Dr. Hitt's advocacy organization, ANGLE, in June of this year.

To read Governor Richardson's HIV/AIDS policy, click here.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Richardson Unveils HIV/AIDS Policy on World AIDS Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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