Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Monday at a health care forum in Washington, D.C., unveiled a plan for combating HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and worldwide, the Washington Post reports.
The forum, sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals, over the next few months will host presidential candidates from both parties individually in one-hour webcast forums in which a media panel will ask the candidates questions about their health care proposals.
Edwards on Monday called for spending $50 billion over five years on HIV/AIDS treatment and re-assessing whether to use World Health Organization standards, rather than FDA standards, to speed the availability of new antiretroviral drugs. According to Edwards' campaign Web site, the funding would be used to provide preventive and treatment drugs for HIV/AIDS, as well as malaria and tuberculosis.
Edwards also said that as president, he would expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive people before they progress to AIDS or are otherwise disabled; increase resources to combat the spread of the virus among blacks and Hispanics; ensure "age-appropriate" sex education; and lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange initiatives. He also called for a Cabinet-level post on global poverty.
Edwards also discussed his plan for universal health care. "We can't talk seriously about ending HIV/AIDS without guaranteeing health for every single man, woman and child in America," Edwards said, adding, "If you don't have health insurance -- good health insurance -- you are substantially more likely to die from this disease"
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation