New York City, May 31, 2016 - Today, ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) will be rallying outside Sec. Clinton’s fundraiser at the Sheraton Hotel at 811 7th Avenue and 53rd street from 4:30-6:00PM.
Earlier this month, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton met with a coalition of AIDS activists, including members of ACT UP, and pledged to work to end the epidemic spread of HIV/AIDS in the US and internationally. These important goals need to be met, and there need to be more effective financial and healthcare delivery mechanisms to ensure that they are met. While Clinton as Secretary of State called for an AIDS free generation in 2012 on behalf of the Obama Administration, progress has been too slow.
Currently 50,000 people in the US are infected with HIV annually and more than 1.4 million live with the disease. Improvement of the healthcare infrastructure is necessary to implement the new use of expanded access to HIV prevention drugs and to insure that every person that has HIV/AIDS has the ability to get treatment. Currently only 37% of those with HIV in the US are on treatment.
ACT UP/NY has promoted the following mechanisms for years that could achieve those goals. We urge that Candidate Clinton vigorously support the following:
Universal Single-Payer Healthcare needs to be implemented in the US to ensure everyone is covered from birth to death and to help contain prices for healthcare. It would enable preventive HIV treatments like Truvada to be affordable and available to all who need it and HIV/AIDS therapies to be more accessible. Many people with HIV are co-infected with Hepatitis C virus which imperils their health. We need a single-payer healthcare system that can effectively bargain for fair prices for Hepatitis C drugs and all drugs for the entire population. Robin Hood Tax to Fight AIDS and for Social Goods: Globally 21.5 Million people need treatment. One of the main blocks to this is that international funding mechanisms for the Global Fund to End AIDS are inadequate. Bilateral aid programs like PEPFAR do not make up the difference. Whoever is elected President needs to push for a financial mechanism to fulfill this need. ACT UP supports the use of a small 0.5% tax on all Wall Street trades to generate hundreds of billions of dollars to be put into social needs, like full funding for Global AIDS, combatting climate change and creating full employment
in the US. It is essential that presidential candidates from all parties support such a tax. Additionally the US needs to pressure western countries to pay their fair share of combatting global AIDS. Denouncing Health Damaging Trade Agreements: While Candidate Hillary Clinton has said she opposes the current draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would block access to more affordable generic drugs, she has in the past supported other agreements which limited some countries’ rights to produce or purchase generic AIDS drugs or other life saving drugs. She must pledge to stop these types of trade pact requirements in the future and renegotiate those that are still in effect.
Said Kate Bailey of ACT UP/NY, “These are goals that should be part of both the Democratic and Republican platforms, and ACT UP/NY has been supporting them for years.”