Sean Kosofsky

HIV positions of Presidential contenders?

Filed By Sean Kosofsky | January 11, 2008 7:35 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: election campaigns, GMHC, HIV/AIDS, president

Recently the Gay Men’s Health Crisis unveiled a new report analyzing the positions on HIV/AIDS of all the presidential candidates. Here is a brief summary written by my awesome intern Alex Boskovich. I think you will find it interesting.

Where Do They Stand?
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis Report on the 2008 Presidential Candidates and HIV/AIDS


The goal of The Gay Men’s Health Crisis Report on the 2008 Presidential Candidates and HIV/AIDS is to inform voters about 2008 presidential candidates’ positions regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Given the pervasiveness and impact of this 25 year old disease, we need to evaluate past and present approaches to take the best step towards ensuring a better future, free of HIV/AIDS. With 2008 representing a key election year, it is important to uncover and understand presidential candidates’ positions and plans for addressing critical issues related to HIV/AIDS in terms of prevention, treatment and care, as well as finding a cure.

In order to gauge candidates’ stance concerning HIV AIDS, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis developed a candidate and voter education project. The project was two-fold. First, a questionnaire about domestic and global HIV/AIDS policies was given to both Democrat and Republican candidates to complete and return. As a result, 6 out of 14 candidates completed and returned the questionnaire, all of them Democrats. Additionally, an analysis of records and publications of candidates’ position regarding HIV/AIDS was conducted.

A major finding of the project was a clear divide between Democrat and Republican candidate of this project. Democrat candidates addressed the HIV/AIDS epidemic and possible strategies with greater frequency and similarity than their Republic counterparts. Research conducted for this project found that Republican candidates appeared less clear and committed to emerging issues regarding HIV/AIDS. The importance of these outcomes is heightened when placed in context of the broader climate for GLBT Americans and their unequal status in this country.

HIV/AIDS is still a threat to both the United States and abroad. Yet America’s approach to this epidemic has been rather flawed given the emphasis placed on ideology over science-based strategies and tactics. From disproportionate care and treatment to inadequate prevention programs like abstinence only initiatives, HIV/AIDS needs to be regarded as an urgent priority. It is important to note that this report is not an endorsement of any presidential candidate. But in order to answer this call to action for the developing a comprehensive national strategy to address HIV/AIDS, candidates must come armed with the courage and conviction to support evidence-based and appropriately funded policies.

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Sean, thanks for sharing this. I thought that the quick chart that summarized all of the candidates' policy positions was really helpful.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 12, 2008 1:11 PM

I am surprised that AIDS has not been a bigger issue in the campaign so far. Hopefully activists will step up their game and force the candidates to address the issue in more depth.

I remember traveling with Bill Clinton's bus tour when he ran the 1st time. I was with ACT UP as we forced Clinton/Gore to actually talk about HIV/AIDS.

I wish more of us were doing the same today.