Earlier today (September 24), former Senator and current Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards issued a policy paper calling for the formulation of a national strategy to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic both worldwide and in the U.S.—targeting the spread of the disease among Latino and African-American communities. He also stressed the need for universal access to HIV treatment and care for every person living with HIV in the States.

Edwards is the first presidential candidate to respond to the “Call to Action” issued by more than 100 AIDS organizations last week. Today’s announcement, at the Families USA/Kaiser Family Foundation health care forum, was applauded by such organizations as AIDS Action Council, an advocate group in Washington, DC.

“We welcome Senator Edwards’ call for a national strategy,” says Rebecca Haag, AIDS Action’s executive director. “He is definitely listening to the hundreds of organizations, groups and individuals that understand the need for a committed public health approach to HIV.”