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
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
Call / Fax These Demands to Clinton & Dole
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