[AIDS2008activism] Fwd: Corrected Press Release: Presidential Candidates to Face Scrutiny During Int'l AIDS Conference As CDC Releases Figures Showing Higher HIV Rates

jdavids at champnetwork.org jdavids at champnetwork.org
Wed Jul 23 09:46:29 EDT 2008

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Julie Davids <jdavids at champnetwork.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 22:53:55 -0400
Subject: Corrected Press Release: Presidential Candidates to Face
Scrutiny During Int'l AIDS Conference As CDC Releases Figures Showing
Higher HIV Rates
<fed_aids_pol at listserv.critpath.org>, Strategy Lab
<strategylab at lists.mayfirst.org>, ACT UP Discussion List
<actuplist at critpath.org>

Please read/distribute this version with corrected links. JD

*See Attachment for Formatted Press Release with Embedded Links and

*Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 22*

Julie Davids, jdavids at champnetwork.org, 646-431-7525
Walt Senterfitt, wsenterfit at aol.com, 323-683-0490
Kenyon Farrow, kenyon at q4ej.org, 917.627.0853

 U.S Presidential Candidates to Face Scrutiny During International AIDS
Conference As CDC Releases Figures Showing Higher HIV Rates

 AIDS community activists demand that McCain, Obama denounce Bush failures,
including lack of a national AIDS strategy; cuts in HIV spending; and
promotion of ineffective, biased policies like abstinence-only programs

*Tuesday, July 29, 2008: 1 – 2 pm EST
Phone Number: 1-866-740-1260    Passcode 8220715#*

On August 3 at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City, the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will finally release
long-awaited revised incidence
that the number of new cases in 2006 was not 40,000, but as high
as 55,000.  *This troubling news strengthens the resolve of AIDS activists
who are demanding that Senators McCain and Obama speak out against
regressive HIV prevention policies. *

The IAC, the largest conference on HIV/AIDS in the world, will happen in the
absence of key CDC researchers, NIH scientists and government public health
officials, due to a travel ban instigated by Senator Tom Coburn (R,
has replaced the late Jesse Helms as a leading force of anti-gay and
wrongheaded HIV/AIDS policies in the Senate. *Sen. McCain has referred to
Coburn as the person whose advice he seeks on HIV/AIDS
person whose advice he seeks on HIV/AIDS
Sen. Obama has cited his work with Coburn as an
example of cross-party collaboration.
Sen. Coburn also seeks to put warning labels on condoms, is a leading force
in the gag rule blocking international U.S.-funded programs from effective
prevention efforts with sex workers, and is responsible for ensuring that
the recently reauthorized global AIDS bill (PEPFAR) includes ideological
barriers to effective HIV
limitations that will reduce the number of people with HIV accessing
lifesaving treatment <http://pepfar2.org/pepfartreatment.html%20>.

Shortly after the conference, the candidates will both present at Rick
Warren's Saddleback Church
<http://www.rickwarrennews.com/080721_forum.htm>in their first
post-primary co-appearance. Rev. Warren and his wife Kay have
encouraged churches to get involved with HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment,
but have embraced anti-gay clergy (for example, the steering committee chair
of their massive Rwandan project is Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, the Anglican
leader who has called on churches in the East African region to fight
against homosexuality for the "good of the
have been largely disengaged from the U.S epidemic, in which most
are in gay men, with the highest rates in Black gay men.

 "Those at the front line of HIV/AIDS in the United States include people of
faith of all sexual orientations who oppose the inaccurate abstinence-only
programs that have persisted even in a Democratic-led Congress, and who
understand the need for honest, accurate HIV prevention for all people,
including gay men, sex workers and youth," said Julie Davids, Executive
Director of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP).

"Now that we are confirming what we've long suspected – HIV rates in the US
are higher than previous government statistics indicated -- we look to the
presidential candidates to use the International AIDS Conference and the
Saddleback Church platform to repudiate the policies of President Bush and
Senator Coburn, and to show the political leadership we need for a strong
national AIDS strategy in which science and justice will trump ideology and

*Press teleconference to feature prominent advocates living with HIV and
other policy experts; speakers available for interviews in advance. Issues
to be covered include:*

*New Numbers on HIV in the US Are Neither Pretty nor Petty:* Understanding
the Implications of the Incidence Estimate: For years, there has been data
showing the rise of HIV infection rates in key communities, most
dramatically in Black gay men. Now, CDC is releasing data verifying that the
long-held estimate of 40,000 new infections a year is not accurate,
according to a sophisticated sampling procedure with thousands of HIV test
results from more than 20 states. How much can we glean from one year of the
new estimate? What are the other data to be discussed in Mexico City that
will shed light on HIV/AIDS incidence in the United States? And how could
structural interventions confront incidence by tackling underlying causes of
racial disparities and high rates in gay men, such as poverty, mass
imprisonment, and overlapping epidemics of violence and marginalization in
gay men's lives?

*A Look at the Candidates on HIV/AIDS: * What do the statements, candidate
poll responses and congressional actions
<http://www.gmhc.org/policy/federal/pres_report.pdf> indicate about how
McCain or Obama would view his mandate as leader of the nation that is both
the largest investor in HIV/AIDS global programs and home to one of the
world's most pervasive AIDS epidemics in our gay, Black and Latino/a
communities? Among other AIDS promises, Obama has pledged to institute a
National AIDS Strategy to mirror what we require from PEPFAR recipients, but
has remained largely mute on domestic AIDS in the news, on the stump and the
web. McCain has not released an HIV/AIDS platform and has publicly deferred
to Sen. Coburn on AIDS issues.

*Who Won't Be at the International AIDS Conference – and Why it
Matters:*Next week's conference will lack high-ranking U.S.
politicians as well as
hundreds of NIH, CDC and HHS scientist and policy-makers whose work is
integral to the struggle against HIV/AIDS. What are the implications of this
intellectual ban, how does it reflect larger Bush-era restrictions on
objectivity and science, and what should the next President do about it?

*Why the Candidates Must Speak Against Sen. Coburn's Bush-Era Crusade
Against Effective HIV/AIDS Policies:* Senator Coburn's shock-fest "Revenge
of the STDs" slide show inflicted on Congressional staff and interns would
be laughable if it were not for his undue influence on real-world public
health policies. His recent actions to restrict PEPFAR will lead to more
infections and less people on treatment, and his intellectual ban on the
International AIDS Conference hampers key dialogue to move forward
collaboration against the epidemic. What are the concerns of AIDS advocates
who see our presidential candidates referring to this man as an expert on
HIV/AIDS or as an example of cross-the-aisle congressional deal-making?

 # # #

Julie Davids

Executive Director, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)

New York, NY / Providence, RI

!!!! AIDS2008.com !!!!


(401) 427-2302 x 10
(646) 431-7525 mobile
(401) 633-7793 FAX

Julie Davids

Executive Director, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)

New York, NY / Providence, RI

!!!! AIDS2008.com !!!!


(401) 427-2302 x 10
(646) 431-7525 mobile
(401) 633-7793 FAX
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