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Kerry calls for doubling of U.S. international AIDS funding

Kerry calls for doubling of U.S. international AIDS funding

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry on Tuesday said that if he is elected, he would double U.S. spending on international AIDS programs and would work to lift a ban on HIV-positive immigrants to the United States, Agence France-Presse reports. "I will turn up the diplomatic pressure to seek similar increases from our partners," Kerry said in a statement released to coincide with the launch of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. "I will provide rapid distribution of quality medicines, including generic affordable, safe, and effective drugs. We cannot fight AIDS without adequate weapons to prevent new infections and without providing treatment for the millions already living with HIV and AIDS." Kerry also said he would work with Congress to lift the U.S. immigration ban that prevents HIV-positive people from entering the country. He said the ban is one of the reasons the United States is unable to host international AIDS conferences. "As president, I will work side by side with our international partners, faith-based, nongovernmental, affected communities and private sector groups in order to strengthen the capacity for sustained response by those on the front lines," Kerry said. "A 'go it alone' approach to the war on AIDS is not how we will succeed; only in partnership can we have a chance of defeating this deadly disease."

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