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Old 12-08-2003, 03:00 PM   #1
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Dick Gephardt E-Mail Re AIDS

I got this e-mail from him..(Ok I know it's not really from him, just a form letter ) because he is one of the people I e-mailed about it.

I admit I haven't gone to his site to read more, but I will. I need to know the position of all the candidates on this issue, w/ SPECIFICS.

Anyway, if anyone's interested, here's the e-mail

Dear Friend,

I applaud your commitment to stopping the global spread of AIDS, and I share your dedication to slowing its deadly march.

As president, I will put the full support of the United States government behind all possible efforts to stop the scourge of AIDS at home and abroad. I am proud to have been the first presidential candidate to support the "Presidential Pledge to Action on Global AIDS," which includes a commitment to provide $30 billion by 2008 to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria; additional funds for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children; support for HIV/AIDS prevention programs; and expanded research toward an AIDS vaccine. Additionally, the pledge supports deeper and broader debt cancellation for all impoverished nations engaged in the fight against AIDS, and it promotes developing nations' access to essential medicines, including low-cost, quality medicine.

The scourge of AIDS must be recognized for what it is: a global problem affecting every country, including the United States. In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush pledged to fund AIDS programs in Africa as a moral imperative. Since then, congressional Republicans have chosen to underfund these HIV/AIDS programs, and President Bush has done nothing to persuade them to change course. And while we continue to see a disturbing increase in the number of Americans diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, the Bush administration has failed to take steps to improve our nation's health care system and treatment and prevention of this disease. I am the only candidate in this race with a health care plan to get everyone in America covered with quality health insurance that can never be taken away, and my plan will make a critical difference in our domestic fight against HIV/AIDS.

The time for empty promises and rhetoric has passed. We need a domestic health care plan that will reduce the spread of AIDS in the United States, a foreign aid plan that will fund international efforts, and a trade policy that will make essential medicines more accessible to developing countries.

On a trip to Africa in 1999, I saw firsthand both the devastating effects of AIDS and the difference US assistance can make in fighting the disease. I visited a neonatal ward in Soweto, South Africa and assisted in the opening of an education and counseling center in rural Zimbabwe. I was inspired by the work being done to fight the disease and the hope that I saw in the eyes of so many who were the beneficiaries of that great work. What I saw reaffirmed my commitment to make a difference and be a president who will lead the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

For more information on my plan to provide quality health care coverage to every American, as well my record of fighting HIV/AIDS, please visit my website at:

www.dickgephardt2004.com.


I believe Howard Dean also has info on his site regarding his position.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:07 PM   #2
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Dean has had stuff on his site, as has Wesley Clark. I saw this on World AIDS Day last week. I need to get more information about this from the candidates as well.
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:19 PM   #3
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The problem here is this. If President bush can not get a Republican controlled congress to support his own AIDS package for Africa....how is a Democrat going to get more money for it?

I hate to think that they would play partisan politics....but.....
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:29 PM   #4
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Dreadsox, then the solution is rather simple....

Out with the Republican Congress!
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Old 12-08-2003, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The problem here is this. If President bush can not get a Republican controlled congress to support his own AIDS package for Africa....how is a Democrat going to get more money for it?

I hate to think that they would play partisan politics....but.....
This is very true and one of my main concerns right now. Personally I don't think Bush tried all that hard, but that's just my opinion. But some of these Republican congressmen even went and visited Africa and still voted against. It just blows my mind.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Dreadsox, then the solution is rather simple....

Out with the Republican Congress!
That is not that simple.....the tide has been moving in this country exactly in the opposite direction....

the economy is turning around.....

and....watch out......next year it could be even stronger majorities...

86 Billion Iraq....2 and change for a continent...hmmmmmm

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Old 12-08-2003, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
86 Billion Iraq....2 and change for a continent...hmmmmmm

That just goes to show you how the current Congress lacks foresight. I don't care what justification they use, there is no way to convince anybody with any reason in their head that we are doing the right thing here by spending 86 billion on a single country while we can't find the extra 1 billion for a continent that dies a little every day. It's preposterous and it's immoral.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The problem here is this. If President bush can not get a Republican controlled congress to support his own AIDS package for Africa....how is a Democrat going to get more money for it?

I hate to think that they would play partisan politics....but.....
Good question.
Damn.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


That just goes to show you how the current Congress lacks foresight. I don't care what justification they use, there is no way to convince anybody with any reason in their head that we are doing the right thing here by spending 86 billion on a single country while we can't find the extra 1 billion for a continent that dies a little every day. It's preposterous and it's immoral.
Absolutely. We were just saying in another thread how the rise of terrorism and hate towards America can probably be attributed to our foreign policy of the last 15-20 years. Bono's said it before, the ignoring of this continent's problems can have catostrauphic effects on the future of this planet. They just don't get it.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:55 PM   #10
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I have my concerns about how AIDS is tackled, really, and, in some ways, I don't think any amount of money is going to solve the problems. And, really, if it the opportunistic infections don't kill you, the drugs will first.

I think we need to reevaluate the prevailing Western attitude that throwing money at something solves the problem.

Melon
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Old 12-08-2003, 11:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon

I think we need to reevaluate the prevailing Western attitude that throwing money at something solves the problem.

Melon
Another republican coming out of the closet?
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
That just goes to show you how the current Congress lacks foresight. I don't care what justification they use, there is no way to convince anybody with any reason in their head that we are doing the right thing here by spending 86 billion on a single country while we can't find the extra 1 billion for a continent that dies a little every day. It's preposterous and it's immoral.
Yep. And ditto BVS's post, too.

Interesting e-mail from Gephardt. I'll check out Dean and Clark's sites in regards to this issue, too, and see what they have to say.

As for Dreadsox's question...maybe one of the Democratic candidates will have a better way of getting both sides to support this. After all, a lot of people have said that there's not much difference between Democrats and Republicans for the most part anymore anyway, so would there really be a problem with partisanship?

Angela
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:08 AM   #13
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It was not really a question....A democratic President is NOT going to get more money out of a Republican controlled congress.

EDIT.....

They approved 86 Billion for Iraq

another Billion for Africa would have been chump change at this point.
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Old 12-09-2003, 06:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I have my concerns about how AIDS is tackled, really, and, in some ways, I don't think any amount of money is going to solve the problems. And, really, if it the opportunistic infections don't kill you, the drugs will first.

I think we need to reevaluate the prevailing Western attitude that throwing money at something solves the problem.

Melon
What do you think will solve the problem then? Money is needed for almost any conceivable solution to the crisis, whether it's providing drugs to treat those already suffering from HIV/AIDS, education to prevent more people becoming infected or any of the other proposed solutions.

Even if the West refuses to send aid to help those countries most severely affected by HIV/AIDS it should at least stop sucking millions of dollars every week out of those countries in repayments on loans which have already been repaid ten times over.

And finally, could you clarify what you mean by "if the opportunistic infections don't kill you, the drugs will first" - do you think it's not worth trying to treat HIV/AIDS?

I'm so full of questions today.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:36 AM   #15
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Here's one I received today from Wesley Clark

Dear Friends,

I have received countless emails over the past week related to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, and I want to thank you for your continued activism and commitment.

I share your urgency and am running for president to restore America’s leadership in this fight.

I need your help.

In this email – and on my website – are further details on my proposed strategy and plans announced this past Monday during Global AIDS Day -- The Global AIDS Security Policy and Plan to Fight AIDS in America. My plans are more aggressive and holistic than any presented by my fellow Democratic candidates, and they include provisions to double the financial resources initially promised (and yet to be delivered) by the Bush Administration.

Your email said you would be “watching to find out if I adopt a comprehensive plan to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” Friends, I have a plan and the commitment, and I need you to do more than “watch.” I need you join me and help make put the plan to work.


Please take time to visit my website, learn more about these plans, sign up to get involved with my campaign, and continue to fight the global battle against AIDS with your insight, your activism, and your money.


In his State of the Union address, President Bush called for $15 billion over 5 years for global AIDS relief. Along with leaders of both parties, I applauded his words. Unfortunately, as with so many of this Administration’s policy announcements, his pledge was more about politics then compassion. President Bush’s most recent budget request cut nearly 30% of the pledge for 2004. Funds are being re-allocated from other essential programs, and not a single penny of the pledged funds has reached Africa. AIDS simply can’t wait. AIDS can’t be cured with political promises, and it certainly can’t be fought with four more years of the Bush Administration.

Three million people died of AIDS last year; 5 million more became infected. These numbers are heartbreaking and terrifying. This crisis is about the very future of our global community and about our children’s future. Our country will be judged on whether we face this challenge with commitment, humanity, humility, and compassion.


My Global AIDS Security Strategy will:

Double the U.S. commitment to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide – to $30 billion by 2008.

Dedicate a large majority of U.S. funding to multilateral approaches like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria while demanding results and additional commitments from our allies.

Ground our prevention and research efforts in the most current scientific knowledge available – and overturn the global gag rule to enable the free exchange of information.

Unleash the power of the market to develop cost-effective vaccines for AIDS and other infectious diseases.

My Plan to fight AIDS in America focuses on medical care, aggressive prevention services, and an increased commitment to research, so that we can develop and share better treatments, vaccines, and drugs to contain the epidemic at home. Only half of the estimated 900,000 people living with HIV are under expert medical care; and too many of those face waiting lists for life-saving drugs. This is inexcusable. We must do better.

Please take a few minutes to read my plans and their reception in the press.

I’m running to replace George Bush as your President. But this is not about politics. Our country needs your continued dedication to this and the many other issues we face in the upcoming election. I’m asking for your support.

With great respect and appreciation for your advocacy and consideration,

Wesley K. Clark
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
What do you think will solve the problem then? Money is needed for almost any conceivable solution to the crisis, whether it's providing drugs to treat those already suffering from HIV/AIDS, education to prevent more people becoming infected or any of the other proposed solutions.
I'm full of questions myself. The first question I have, though, is whether the statistics on HIV infection are even accurate to begin with. They are probably more accurate in the West than in Africa, where the latter is an estimate. That's right...that "44% infection rate" in South Africa is the official UN estimate. But I believe that these "estimates" are scapegoats for what is really killing Africa: poor sanitation and otherwise curable diseases like malaria. The advantage of blaming all of Africa's woes on AIDS versus poor sanitation and malaria is a matter of blame. To say the latter is killing Africans is to make the West appear guilty for neglecting the continent for so long. To say the former is killing Africans is to put the blame squarely on them. After all, we've heard about all the theories as to where HIV emanated: anywhere from Africans eating monkeys to their sexual practices--exotic reasons from an ethnocentric West.

Quote:
And finally, could you clarify what you mean by "if the opportunistic infections don't kill you, the drugs will first" - do you think it's not worth trying to treat HIV/AIDS?
HIV drugs are poisons in themselves, pure and simple. The anti-retrovirals will cause liver failure, and drugs like AZT were originally chemotherapy drugs. The irony about chemotherapy, if anyone has ever picked this up, is that it destroys your immune system in itself. So was it the virus or the drug that killed people? Because once start people dying after being on these drugs for a long time, it isn't the drugs that are blamed necessarily; they'll just say that the virus mutated and rendered the drugs useless. But is that true? I'm forced to ask more questions when I read statements like this (this one written by a forum member here the last time I created an AIDS thread):

"All of my friends/acquaintances who were treated with AZT died. Every last one of them. My closest friend now has been living with HIV for 15 years, refused AZT, and is doing great, despite a history of some pretty heavy abuse to his body. Working with our friend the nutritionist, his T-cells went up 300% in 3 months which took him out of the danger zone. Now that he's clean and sober, we hope to see continued good results."

Even then, I have even more questions. When AIDS came out of the middle of nowhere in 1981, what decade were we just coming out of? The 1970s, which was known for its fairly hedonist behavior, anywhere from wild sex to substance abuse. It's the latter that's been more ignored in the debate, because it isn't just chemotherapy drugs that destroy your immune system. Before AIDS and HIV were coined, the disease was ambiguously labelled GRID--"Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disorder." If you only knew the amount of drinking, late-night parties, and drug abuse that was rampant in this community at the time (and even now), it would certainly make you ask questions.

Kaposi's Sarcoma, the AIDS associated skin cancer, is illogical. If AIDS attacks only the immune system, then why aren't there more cases of Kaposi's Sarcoma in other immunosuppressant diseases? On the contrary, with no fanfare in 1994, it was announced that Kaposi's Sarcoma was the result of the toxicity of amyl nitrate or "poppers," a legal drug used as a muscle relaxant, used primarily by pockets of the gay community for (to put it more delicately) "recipient sex." But I emphasize the "no fanfare." Kaposi's Sarcoma is still attributed to being AIDS related.

But that leads me to my next question. What do people do when they are diagnosed with HIV and go on HIV drugs? Two scenarios: they either clean up their high-risk behavior or they just continue on with the endless party. The former will boost your immune system (at least until the drugs can set in to destroy it again), while the latter will just turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I will admit that I have turned skeptical about Western medicine after I felt that the entire field of psychiatry was an overpaid guessing game, and, after going the non-traditional route, I solved my mental issues faster than anyone anticipated--including some of my friends who are still bouncing up and down and hopping from drug-to-drug once Prozac stops working and Wellbutrin gives them nervous twitches. It has made me ask the question as to how much we truly know and how much we just put blind faith in. The pharmaceuticals, after all, are not out there for our well-being. They are out there to make a profit.

Questions, questions...and if only I had answers...

Melon
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Another republican coming out of the closet?
I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.

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Old 12-09-2003, 12:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.

Melon
That's classic melon. Can I steal it??
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Old 12-09-2003, 04:49 PM   #19
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I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.

Melon
Awesome!
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Old 12-09-2003, 06:40 PM   #20
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The republicans that are blocking this bill are the same republicans who signed the Medicare prescription bill. Not only partisan, but money talks. And more money is being spent by drug companies on ads than research. So they spend a little to bribe a politician instead of losing alot with AIDS in Africa programs.
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