AIDS Issues Update Blog

Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS

PEPFAR: The Little Bo-Beep that Was

Posted by Sunny Bjerk , September 10, 2012

PEPFAR: The Little Bo-Beep that Was

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After the rabble-rousing at the Republican National Convention, many of us looked forward to the Democratic National Convention and hearing what President Obama had to say about HIV/AIDS and ending the public health crisis of our time.

Many of us were looking forward to the President contrasting himself and his platform against the sheer silence that the RNC demonstrated on HIV/AIDS during their time in Tampa.

But instead of a renewed commitment to ending the AIDS crisis, even however brief, President Obama stayed particularly mum on the issue, choosing to focus on health care and Medicaid, jobs, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other issues.

Instead, HIV/AIDS issues were brought up by Former President Clinton, who, on the second day of the DNC, thank Former President George W. Bush for continuing to support PEPFAR. And that, folks, was about it. HIV/AIDS at both National Conventions appears to be the Little Bo-Beep that Could, barely mustering up a register even for those of us who were specifically waiting for the issue to be brought up.

Does that mean that HIV/AIDS is not a part of President Obama’s priorities? I find this doubtful, given his Administration’s ambitious National HIV/AIDS Prevention Strategy, but it does give many of us pause.

I know that President Obama can’t simply speak about every single issue that is on the public’s mind, and that HIV/AIDS may not be at the forefront of every politicians mind, as it is mine.

But unless the President makes a concerted effort to discuss HIV/AIDS as he continues to campaign, we must come together as we did for the We Can End AIDS march in July to make sure our issues our heard.

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