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Election 2008

Edwards Unveils Plan to Fight AIDS, HIV

Hear the Forum Discussion

Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards has unveiled his plan to combat AIDS and HIV — and to extend health care to those who lack coverage.

Speaking at the first of a series of one-hour presidential candidate forums on health care in Washington, Edwards called for universal health insurance coverage for all Americans, which will by definition help those diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, as well as universal access to medications to treat HIV/AIDS worldwide. He promised to invest $50 billion over five years to meet that goal.

But Edwards said that addressing the epidemic will require more than money.

"We want to teach age-appropriate sex education, so that young people know what they can do to prevent getting HIV," he said.

"And I think we also ought to promote programs that prevent harm and specifically needle exchange, which I support. We ought to get rid of the federal ban on needle exchange."