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November 21, 2008

White House Rally Celebrates Obama’s AIDS Focus

A group of 1,000 AIDS advocates and people living with HIV convened in front of the White House on November 20 for a demonstration to support President-elect Barack Obama’s commitment to fight AIDS, Voice of America reports. Demonstrators urged Obama to quickly adopt a national AIDS strategy and called on him to address HIV/AIDS both domestically and globally during his first 100 days in office.

According to the article, the rally comes one day after former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle accepted Obama’s offer to become Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and implement a campaign pledge to provide Americans with universal health care.

“It’s going to be a critical period of appointments in terms of who is going to be the next global AIDS coordinator and other key positions in the U.S. global health bureaucracy,” said Michael Swigert, associate director of Africa Action, one of the groups that coordinated the rally. “So it’s important that Obama fill those positions with qualified individuals who support comprehensive prevention programs.”

Other priorities Obama highlighted during his presidential run include guaranteed treatment for all people living with HIV, an end to the federal ban on syringe exchanges and a call to redirect abstinence-only education funds to comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention programs.

Search: Obama, National AIDS Strategy, HHS, Tom Daschle, White House, Africa Action

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