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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 1 - 15 (of 24 total)     next > >>

Jade, Australia, 2008-09-03 06:02:23
Sorry people, for being a touch on the ignorant side regarding the politics of your country. But one question I would like to ask, is that why, despite having been ruled by both democratic and republican governments over the last 20 or so years am I still breaking the laws of your country if I wish to visit as a PLWHA?

John, San Antonio, Texas, 2008-09-03 01:53:58
Big Oil gross profits for 6 months....$111 Billion with more republican tax breaks under McCain planned for the same economic and legal rapists should he win. $3B for your own American sisters and Brothers living and dying with HIV and AIDS. There is no reason for the US public to allow the good ole boy fraternity to dictate the level of compassion beating in the American heart. We all are the laughing stock of the rest of the world. VOTE!!! Change the system!

Greg Noone, Patchogue, Long Island, 2008-08-19 12:38:08
Keep the conversation going! Bush is our worst nightmare and it must be repeated over and over to get it thru some thick skulls. I am physically sick of my Gay brethren who choose blindness. Grow up, boys and girls. The GOP hates you and so does most organized religion. Get over your fairy tales and get down to earth. The Ryan White Act was gutted, eviscerated, trashed in 2006! Prevention? What American prevention strategies are there? Oh, yeah, hate Gays. Get real folks.

Robert Evans, New York, 2008-08-19 11:29:53
The Republicans have insisted on abstinence-only programs for sex education and HIV prevention, have done more talking than action and funding. Reagan wouldn't even say the word AIDS till his buddy Rock Hudson announced he had it. Few gay folks or black folks, either, hope another GOP person is in the White House, and Republicans are good about spreading lies about their opponents and helping their wealthy constituents become wealthier while other folks suffer.

mark, ware, 2008-08-14 19:55:52
he presides over a country whose capitol is overun with hiv, he's ignored the catastrophe and horror of aids on his shore never mind foreign lands

Jerry, Saint Petersburg, 2008-08-13 10:15:52
To Kevin, Are you for real. It is not the; Over the top you might think. Part D and other things that have made it impossible for some people to get meds in time. These are the things that trouble us that Bush Administration has caused. Many hoops that couild be avoided due to red tape. Ryan White cuts Medicaid cuts. All is not better with Bush. Thanks,Jerry

Kevin, , 2008-08-07 21:47:50
George Bush is the target of a smear campaign that started when he was elected the first time. It is over the top. Yes, this president has consistently done as is reported. And I applaud him for his service and compassion. The partisan smear campaign is new age McCartyism. What's next..the inquisition and executions a la Rosenberg?

rob gerard, atlanta, 2008-07-28 15:40:01
are you kidding me with this? How about spending more money here at home. I'm sorry a gay person voting republican is like a chicken voting for Kernel Sanderrs.

Tim Sanders, , 2008-07-22 15:22:15
Benkof was born in 1970 and was selling cross word puzzels to gay rags when he was 20. I dont think you are in any position to insult the 10s of thousands of gay people that were in the trenches during the first 20 yrs when families and communities were throwing their gay children on the streets to survive when many medical field professionals would not touch a PWA when only our wonderful Lesbian sisters and Gay brothers would take care of those afflicted. Benkof you r a bigoted liar.

Tim Sanders, , 2008-07-22 15:05:48
David Benkof is just another self loathing ex gay republican who spins the facts. PEPFAR is for just 15 targeted countries. Since 2006 it has been the Democratic controlled congress that has pushed thru more and more funding while the republicans filibuster bills that would provide more funding. The proposal to change HIV immigrations laws was blocked by republicans until this year. Obviously, they need something to throw out to say "see we are not anti-gay" to the public. Benkof is a sick man!

150, ft lauderdale, 2008-07-20 13:13:21
The fight against AIDS transcends presidents. It is inane to credit (or discredit) a President for what goes on in response to a World Health Crisis. To be sure, more could have been done, more should have been done, more must be done. I embrace diviersity, even when it is a gay person adopting a Republican affiliation, be kind to these brethren and hope they will be cured of that as well

Rob, New York, 2008-07-16 15:22:55
Six graders not consenting to having sex??? Are you freaking kidding me??? What part of the country do you live in?? Probably the same part with the group of girls who decided to get pregnant in high school

Ron, Milwaukee, 2008-07-16 12:14:54
I think anyone who believes that young adults in sixth grade or even below are not having sex, partaking in drugs, or experimenting with both should spend a few hours at any school, youth club, or popular hangout; maybe update themselves via reality tv, MTV, etc before speaking on behalf of a vast American demographic population. What harm will come with giving them the resources and knowledge to make smart choices? Apparently to GW and any other conservative we are still living in 1932.

Brian, New York, 2008-07-15 17:37:02
Ronald Regan would not even speak the words AIDS or HIV for most of his term as president, G.H.W. Bush did pretty much the same. Bill Clinton, do you forget he was dealing with a Rep. controlled congress which denied funding and since leaving office, he has done more practical work than all of GW's combined. Where is GW's assistance to us here in the US? Limited and impractical because it's mostly among gay men and who cares about them? Keep dreaming Republicans will accept you.

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

comments 1 - 15 (of 24 total)     next > >>

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