Presidential Campaign'96

Stop the Quilt from Growing

In the last four years, AIDS has killed over 200,000 Americans--as many as during the entire Reagan-Bush Administrations.

Despite posing as the defender of PWAs and presiding over paltry increases, Bill Clinton has broken most of his 1992 promises on AIDS (made only under AIDS activist pressure). Rather than offer the "loud, clear and consistent leadership" that he had pledged, Clinton has done just what he condemned Bush for: allowing the AIDS Commission recommendations, with few exceptions to "collect dust." Even Clinton's own AIDS Council rebuked his policies particularly on prevention.

Dole's AIDS record is worse: As a Senate leader throughout the crisis, he led the charge to destroy the social safety net that barely protects PWAs and voted for the most hateful of Jesse Helms' discriminatory amendments. And neither candidate is even talking about AIDS. After 15 years of genocide, willful ignorance and, under this President, "caring" without action, we demand real Presidential leadership from whoever occupies the White House.

Demand Presidential Leadership on AIDS

Guarantee Access to Lifesaving Drugs

We must have access to lifesaving (and obscenely expensive) protease inhibitors and other treatments. Even Clinton's increases to the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) fall far short of meeting this need. Access to AIDS drugs must become a RIGHT. And the feds must use their bargaining clout to require larger bulk discounts from the huge drug companies. The president must demand a Congressional investigation of price-gouging,and press for funds to make AIDS drugs available to hard-hit developing countries.

Protect Medicaid, Medicare & Welfare

These federal programs pay for health care, food and housing for 80% of PWAs. Despite Clinton's posturing, he signed a welfare bill which throws thousands of PWAs off Medicaid and other life-sustaining benefits. Many will die homeless. Clinton has also proposed future Medicaid cuts only a little smaller than the Republicans'.

Focus Research towards a Cure

Despite all the good treatment news, we're far from a cure. The rigid National Institutes of Health are still unwilling to investigate many promising directions in basic science and treatment. Candidate Clinton promised to support a "Manhattan Project" on AIDS, but President Clinton (and Senator Dole) refuse to support the AIDS Cure Act, a detailed plan to implement such an all-out effort, designed by ACT UP and now sponsored by 20 members of Congress.

Lift the Ban on Needle Exchange

Over two thirds of new HIV infections are now in IV drug users, their sex partners and children. In 1992, Congress allowed the President to lift the Dole-supported ban on federal funds for needle exchange if the science supports it. Four federal studies have shown that needle exchange greatly lowers HIV transmission and save thousands of lives while not increasing drug use. Even the Centers for Disease Control now endorses this life-saver. They had enough proof a year ago, but Clinton refuses to act and his officials lie about the evidence.

Expand Prevention Efforts

Two million Americans have become HIV positive, yet most people believe they can't get AIDS or have poor information about how they could. The political right wants to ignore AIDS or teach about it without discussing sex, drugs or condoms. Both parties refuse to support a broad national program of sexually explicit safer sex education, condom distribution and harm reduction for drug users and Clinton fires Joycelyn Elders for advocating these policies.

Stop Immigrant Bashing

Many PWAs are also immigrants. In 1993, Clinton signed a Republican bill to ban immigration by HIV positive people. The result: fear of deportation keeps many PWAs from seeing a doctor. For a year Clinton kept HIV+ Haitian refugees in a U.S. military concentration camp. This year, Clinton signed Republican bills which cut off many immigrants-both "legal" and undocumented-from getting health care. The President must insist on ending discrimination and preserving medical care for all.

We Know What Works! Fifteen years of Presidential Commissions and conferences have listed all the tools to end AIDS. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WITH THE WILL TO ACT.

Call / Fax These Demands to Clinton & Dole

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