American Friends Service Committee
Sara Burke, Managing Editor
Sam Diener, Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Stop AIDS: A Presidential Platform for 2004
Paul Davis is a spokesperson for a coalition of groups led by Health GAP (Global Access Project), www.healthgap.org. Health GAP urges concerned organizations to endorse this platform.
In the face of a pandemic that threatens global security while devastating economies and destroying the social fabric of nations, the leader of the most powerful country must have a comprehensive plan to stop global AIDS. With more than three million deaths expected this year, and an accelerating pandemic in its infancy, AIDS must be recognized by presidential contenders as one of the very highest priority foreign policy issues.
President Bush has offered strong -rhetoric on AIDS, promising by 2008 "nearly $10 billion in new money to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean" in his State of the Union address in January 2003.
Unfortunately, that rhetoric has yet to translate into effective action. The
Bush Administration continues to under-fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund, launched in 2001, should be the
premier financing vehicle to deliver comprehensive treatment, prevention,
and care for the scourge of these three diseases. Yet the Fund is cash-strapped,
and has been forced to turn away high quality funding applications from impoverished
countries, due to the failure of the United States to contribute a fair share
of what is needed.
If elected President of the United States, I pledge to:
2. Treat the people in immediate -clinical need. The United States must support anti-retroviral treatment for people with HIV in clinical need, and commit the resources and personnel required to reach the WHO goal of at least three million people with HIV on anti-retroviral treatments by 2005, -seven million by 2007, and universal -treatment for all people with HIV/AIDS by 2012.
3. Support trade policies that ensure access to affordable generic drugs. The US must remove and cease inserting provisions in bilateral and regional trade agreements that limit countries' ability to take appropriate measures to address HIV/AIDS and other public health problems. The US must no longer prevent countries from exporting generic medicines to developing countries that have issued a compulsory license to meet public health needs, or to countries where no patent is in effect. US trade policy must promote access to affordable medicine for all impoverished nations.
4. Drop the Debt. Candidates must pledge to use the power of the US Treasury, as the largest donor to the IMF and the World Bank, to fully cancel the debts of the world's poorest countries, and put an end to the imposition of structural adjustment policies such as user fees and privatization of health care, education, and water.
5. Implement disease prevention policies guided by science, not politics. The US must support effective, science-based prevention strategies, rather than politicized and unscientific approaches such as abstinence-only interventions. The US must commit adequate resources to ensure access to a global supply of HIV prevention information, programs, and commodities to avert 29 million of the most preventable new adult HIV infections projected between now and 2010.
6. Stop the crisis amongst orphans and vulnerable children. The US should commit billions of dollars in additional funds to address the needs of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. The US, working with other nations, should ensure the implementation of policies that provide total support to orphans and children in developing countries infected and affected by AIDS, through enrollment in school, housing, and access to health and social services.
7. Invest in the empowerment of women and girls. The US must support policies that reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to infection and needless death, including greater access to female condoms; the development of vaginal microbicides to prevent sexual transmission of HIV by 2008; greatly expanded access to HIV, STD and reproductive health services; and programs preventing mother-to-child transmission while ensuring treatment for mothers and -family members.
8. Fight tuberculosis and malaria as part of a comprehensive plan to combat HIV/AIDS. The US must uphold the targets set out with leaders of other wealthy nations in the G8 Okinawa 2000 agreement to reduce tuberculosis deaths and prevalence of the disease by 50% and reduce the burden of disease associated with malaria by 50% by 2010. For successful treatment of malaria, the US should help finance the implementation of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in areas of high resistance to first-line treatments.
9. Ramp up research and development. The United States should commit considerable new resources towards developing effective vaccines and microbicides as well as simplified antiretroviral treatment and monitoring tools adapted for use in resource-poor settings along with novel and adaptive treatments for tuberculosis and malaria.