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July 11, 2008

Has George W. Bush “Done More” to Fight AIDS Than Any Other President?

In a Philadelphia Daily News opinion piece, blogger and Republican gay activist David Benkof of praises U.S. President George W. Bush for his commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS (, 7/9).

“It is unquestionable that GOP Present George W. Bush has done more to fight AIDS than any president in history, including Democrat Bill Clinton,” Benkof writes. “The people pushing Bush to fight the epidemic at home and abroad are overwhelmingly conservative Christians—the same people we keep hearing gay leaders tar as narrow-minded and bigoted. Well, those bigots deserve far more credit for relieving suffering from HIV in this decade than gay men and lesbians did in the previous two decades combined.”

Benkof says that under Bush, the U.S. spends more than $3 billion annually fighting global AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), while Clinton’s last budget contained less than $1 billion devoted to AIDS programs. He also cites that Bush may be instrumental in lifting the long-standing travel restrictions on HIV-positive foreign U.S. visitors, and lauds Bush’s appointment of openly gay experts on HIV, including U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul.

He concludes, “For years, I’ve been asked, ‘How can you be a gay Republican?’ In 2008 I can answer, ‘Because on one of the gay community’s top priorities, Republicans outshine Democrats hands down.’”

Search: George W. Bush, PEPFAR,, David Benkof

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  comments 15 - 24 (of 24 total)     << < previous

Patrick, Honolulu, 2008-07-15 15:45:40
I would laugh at this guy, if I was not so upset by his complete lack of information or knowledge on the HIV epidemic. I can tell you horror stories of Bush's abstinence-only campaigns in Africa, or the disatrous effects that he has had on Ryan White/HOPWA monies in the states. But as a gay social worker who has worked with HIV in Canada, Malawi, Washington, DC, and now Honolulu, I can tell you that his policies, lack of support and appropriate programming, have been detrimental to the HIV pop

Jerry Robbins, Saint Petersburg, 2008-07-15 11:49:51
Well, Why do they keep cutting funds to Ryan White, Medicaid and Housing since Bush has been in office. Can you explain That.

Connie, , 2008-07-15 11:03:23
I can think of a good reason to give condom education to sixth graders.....THEY ARE HAVING SEX! Whether you like it or not or whether the law allows them to consent to it or not, they are doing it. When are people going to figure out that regardless of right or wrong, Christian beliefs or not, human beings are going to do what they want. They will drink and drive, they will do drugs and they will have sex. The best prevention is education.

Dave Martin, Austin, 2008-07-15 10:00:36
Sex education and STI prevention guidelines MUST be taught prior to a child reaching puberty. Once those hormones kick in, it's like reasoning with a rabid dog. If kids are armed with what they need to know, and told what to expect from puberty, then maybe we can finally reduce infection rates, unwanted pregnancies and more. As for GW, he has done far more harm to the HIV & AIDS community here and around the world than he ever did good.

Alex, Chicago, 2008-07-14 10:07:02
David- 1. You're reading things in my post I did NOT write. Do not extrapolate. 2. For years, I've been asked, "How can you be a gay Republican?" In 2008, I can answer, "Because on one of the gay community's top priorities, Republicans outshine Democrats hands down."* What about Jesse Helms and Reagan?

Dan, Cleveland, 2008-07-13 11:08:14
Whatever..Geoger bush used the money to funnel back to right wing christian conservatives and back the christian conservative policies.

Matt, AK, 2008-07-12 00:21:40
Follow the money!I bet most of Bush administration money has strings and abstinence only rules attached and is not actually being spent where needed.Sorry, I question who is pushing for the funding-I still think it is more traditional activists joined by some young Christians that are after faith based money.

David Benkof, St. Louis, 2008-07-11 20:11:50
Alex- I said in my article that I don't have much of a problem with condom education in 11th and 12th grade. But I have never heard anyone give a cogent reason (maybe you can) for teaching about condoms to sixth graders and others who everyone agrees are unable to consent to sex. What is the purpose of "safe rape" education? Why don't we do our best to stop non-consensual sex altogether?

Alex, Chicago, 2008-07-11 13:40:54
What good is treatment when the preventive education is lacking? Under Bush’s “Abstinence Only Education Programs,” STDs prevention (HIV, in particular) isn’t taught to students. Sure, give money for treatment but continue a stupid policy that does nothing but increase new infections. I’m sure Bush’s pharmaceutical buddies love it.

Rob, New York, 2008-07-11 10:55:39
Well he sure has put up a lot of money

comments 15 - 24 (of 24 total)     << < previous

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