New York City-based Gay Men's Health Crisis on Wednesday issued a press released expressing its "deep sense of disappointment" over the reelection of President George W. Bush because of his administration's inadequate AIDS policies. "Over the past four years, the Bush administration's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been notable for ideologically driven attacks on HIV prevention programs and research efforts and a virtual neglect of the funding needed by domestic and global programs of treatment and care," the release reads. "In this 24th year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, GMHC stands firm in the belief that our president must make the United States the unquestioned global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS at home and abroad."
GMHC says the Bush administration needs to focus on several key issues in the coming four years:
(1) reducing dramatically the annual cases of new HIV infection by supporting sound, science-based prevention programs;
(2) establishing a nationwide health-care system that ensures access to affordable treatment for all HIV-positive individuals;
(3) investing in objective research that will lead to the development of a safe, effective HIV vaccine; safe, effective microbicides; and more drug treatment options;
(4) implementing national policies to eliminate HIV stigma and discrimination;
(5) and providing adequate funding for the global fight against AIDS.
"Sadly, there is little in Mr. Bush's record for the past four years or in his campaign agenda for 'a more hopeful America' that allows for much hope among the Americans living with or affected by AIDS that he or his administration will provide such leadership," the GMHC statement reads. "We know that the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS transcends religious and political ideologies and partisan approaches. It is critical that President Bush, in his second term, lead our country to a higher ground in the fight against AIDS."