NEW YORK, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- AIDSVote.org released the following statement today: When asked a clear, direct question by PBS Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill about the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic during their debate, neither Vice President Cheney nor Senator Edwards gave a clear, direct answer. Both candidates' responses lacked specific plans for addressing the disproportionate impact of HIV on women of color in the U.S., indicating the urgent and ongoing need for increased awareness and education of both campaigns on this vital domestic issue. "As a black woman and an AIDS activist, I'm offended," said Linney C. Smith, Housing Works Senior Vice President for Prevention and Services. "It's outrageous that Vice President Cheney has no idea that black women are dying of AIDS in America, and it's outrageous that Senator Edwards failed to address this huge gaffe and offer his own plan to save the lives of women of color and others at high risk." Vice President Cheney said he was "not aware" that African-American women are 13 times more likely to die of AIDS than white women, but that "we need to do more" for prevention, education and research. Senator Edwards spoke only generally about the need for preventative health care and pledged that a Kerry administration would double the U.S. commitment to global AIDS. AIDSVote.org urges the audience participants and moderators of the two final presidential debates to demand specific and detailed answers from the candidates about their HIV/AIDS policies. The group's model presidential platform contains a detailed plan on effective strategies to combat HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals have endorsed this platform, generating emails to the candidates encouraging them to do more in the fight against HIV/AIDS. AIDSVote.org is a joint project supported by the nation's leading HIV/AIDS service, advocacy and research organizations.