Press Room

June 22, 2004

Category: HIV & AIDS

HRC Responds to President Bush’s HIV Speech: Prevention Is Key

'Giving Americans the unvarnished truth about HIV/AIDS is the only way to stop it,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign responded today to President Bush's speech on HIV/AIDS by underscoring the importance of prevention and education. While we are heartened that the president acknowledged the urgency of the domestic HIV/AIDS crisis, the only way to stop HIV/AIDS is to give people - especially young people and communities of color - the truth about prevention.

"Giving Americans the unvarnished truth about HIV/AIDS is the only way to stop it," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "That unvarnished truth must start with real education. While we laud the president's attention to HIV/AIDS and his promise to allocate some funds to key programs, the president supports abstinence-only-until-marriage education - programs that time and again have been proven ineffective in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases."

Added Jacques: "Even the Ugandan programs that President Bush cited today incorporated information about condoms as an essential part of the A-B-C model - that is, Abstain, Be Faithful, Condoms."

During a speech in Philadelphia, the president promised to immediately release $20 million to alleviate the crisis conditions that exist in many state AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs. The Human Rights Campaign applauds the provision of these critically-needed funds.

"We hope that this is just the beginning of increased financial support for state ADAPs," added Jacques. "Experts estimate that more than double that sum is needed to eliminate the emergency conditions faced by thousands nationwide who are on waitlists for life-saving drug therapies."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.