July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011
What Has the President Done About AIDS?

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a great and safe week so far. It is another busy day for Dab the AIDS Bear and me as we get ready to hit the road for another city and another event.

From reading my blog, you know the bear and I were recently in Washington, DC for the ADAP Summit. But what has our President done about AIDS? After all, he did bring up HIV and AIDS during his presidential campaign.

Throughout July, new AHF ads challenging Obama’s inaction on the domestic and global AIDS crises will appear on Politico.com, CNN and on 10 bus shelters surrounding the White House as part of a national multimedia campaign

Goal: spur administration to end US’ AIDS drug waiting lists and honor our commitment on global AIDS

As part of ongoing advocacy efforts to spur President Obama and his administration to do more on AIDS, AHF is rolling out a new national ad campaign headlined ‘What has the President done about AIDS?’

The first leg of the campaign, a series of pointed online text and banner ads on Politico.com’s Playbook website started running Monday July 4th and will run through Friday July 15th. A ‘What has the President done about AIDS?’ television ad will follow on CNN in several markets nationwide, starting Monday July 11th in Washington, DC and on Monday July 18th in Florida (Miami-Dade market)—the state with the most severe AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting list crisis with over 3,500 AIDS patients currently on its waiting list—and in Columbus, Ohio, a state with another significant ADAP crisis. To round out the campaign, AHF will also run a ‘What has the President done about AIDS?’ outdoor transit ad in ten bus shelters in Washington surrounding the White House.

“After two-and-a-half years in office, President Obama has little to show on AIDS domestically or globally. US AIDS programs have been starved. Today, more than 8,600 Americans in thirteen states are on waiting lists, denied access to lifesaving AIDS drugs from hard-hit state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. Additional thousands are being disenrolled entirely as states change their patient eligibility criteria for these programs,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “As wait lists grew to the highest numbers ever seen, instead of addressing the crisis at hand, President Obama squandered fifteen months drafting a national AIDS strategy. And by not honoring the US’ commitment to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President has also slowed remarkable progress made on global AIDS. All this at a time of the greatest hope on AIDS in years: new studies show that AIDS treatment can reduce the transmission of new HIV infections by as much as 96%.”

When campaigning for President, then-Senator Obama promised to “provide at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS . . . in order to at least double the number of HIV-positive people on treatment and continue to provide treatments to one- third of all those who desperately need them.”

As President, Obama has not honored that promise, refusing to fully-fund PEPFAR, the landmark U.S. global AIDS response created by President George W. Bush in 2003.

“Not only is the administration’s failure to lead on AIDS threatening the lives of thousands of Americans and countless others worldwide, it also hurts efforts to prevent the spread of the disease,” added AHF’s Weinstein. “This President has done little on AIDS so far. Now the question is, what will President Obama do on AIDS?”

To view AHF’s ‘What has the President done about AIDS?’ campaign, please visit the following website: www.changeaidsobama.org

TAKE ACTION YOURSELF! Join Dab the AIDS Bear and send an e-letter to the White House to ask President Obama, ‘What will you do on AIDS?’

To take action, go to: https://secure2.convio.net/ahf/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=183

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab