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Campaign to End
AIDS goes to Washington, D.C.

Campaign to End
AIDS goes to Washington, D.C.

Nearly 300 activists and HIV-positive people from across the country rallied outside Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium on Saturday to call on the president, Congress, and society to make a renewed commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic, reports The Washington Post. Then the crowd, organized by the Campaign to End AIDS, marched to Anacostia Park to call attention to the virus's growing devastation of the black community, particularly in the nation's capital.

Although the marchers voiced concern chiefly about changing individual behavior, leaders of the Campaign to End AIDS said little will improve until Congress fully funds education and prevention programs that teach people to do more than practice abstinence. They also decried proposed cuts in the Medicaid budget and the expiration of the Ryan White Act, both of which provide a crucial safety net for hundreds of thousands of people with HIV.

This week leaders of the campaign are lobbying Congress for more attention and money for research on the disease. A protest outside the White House and the offices of conservative organizations is also planned. But most important, they said, they will urge national leaders to fund research into a cure for the disease that is still killing millions worldwide. No one "is articulating a vision of a world without AIDS," said Charles King, president of Housing Works, a nonprofit organization that serves the HIV-positive homeless in New York and Mississippi. "We really could end this epidemic if we had the will, the compassion to do that."

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