NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bernie Sanders is the first U.S. presidential candidate to come out in support of a cure for AIDS. Sanders' comprehensive position on curing AIDS was obtained by Research Foundation to Cure AIDS (RFTCA). So far Sanders is the first and ONLY candidate to respond to all 10 questions posed by RFTCA President, Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D. Sanders believes the U.S. can lead the development of a global cure for AIDS.
"We now have all of the tools we need to end AIDS deaths and HIV transmission and develop a cure for AIDS. Now, we need the political will to do it," says Sanders.
"A cure for AIDS has been proven possible yet it remains a struggle to raise the funds needed to make it a reality. We need presidential leadership like Bernie's in order to succeed in developing a cure for all those in need," says RFTCA President Dr. Shekdar.
In response to a question about Big Pharma's corporate social responsibility, if any, in sharing the cost of developing and implementing a cure, Sanders responded, in part: "If Big Pharma does not end their greed, we will end it for them."
When asked if Sanders would be the president to cure AIDS, his campaign responded as below:
RFTCA: President George W. Bush is credited with averting a global AIDS calamity via his administration's plan, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). President Trump pledged to end the U.S. AIDS epidemic by 2030. Are you excited, ready, willing and able to rise to the opportunity and challenge of being the president to cure AIDS?
SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Yes. Bernie believes that we can and we must end the AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad, and we can lead the world by developing a cure for AIDS. Bernie will invest significant federal resources and convene experts, advocates, scientists, and researchers to ensure this goal is met.
In addition to Sanders' support for curing AIDS, his campaign re-emphasized Sanders' support for greater access to treatment and prevention (PrEP): "As President, Bernie will fight for those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS to receive the health care — including prevention and treatment — they need as a right."
Complete responses to all questions asked regarding curing AIDS will be published in Dr. Shekdar's column in Manhattan's West Village community newspaper, WestView News and at RFTCA.org.
For the October 2019 edition of Dr. Shekdar's column including a questions regarding curing AIDS, see Conquering AIDS in the LGBT Presidential Town Hall: Top 10 Questions Regarding Curing AIDS. The top 10 questions only are also listed, below.
Top 10 Questions Regarding Curing AIDS
- If elected president, will your administration offer each of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS today any reason to hope for a cure in their lifetimes?
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers of AIDS medications have saved countless lives; they have also reaped billions in profits. What in your view is Big Pharma's corporate social responsibility, if any, to share the costs of developing and implementing a cure?
- When America set its sights on winning, American ingenuity, talent and resources have achieved near impossible goals including landing a man on the moon. As president, will you marshal our might in a new "Manhattan Project" to cure AIDS?
- Curing AIDS is as much about making room for new ideas and teams as it is about the science and technology. How will you carve out space for cellular therapies in an arena dominated by AIDS medications alone?
- An AIDS cure will offer limited national value if it is only affordable by the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. How will you ensure that tomorrow's breakthrough therapies will reach all Americans regardless of ability to pay?
- By considering parameters for global implementation at the outset, the United States can help ensure that cellular therapies are developed such that they may be implemented from Park Avenue to the Sudan. How could you envision working with the international community to bring about a global cure for AIDS?
- Gilead Sciences, Inc., a major manufacturer of AIDS medications, is known to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to AIDS and LGBT organizations that go on to advertise its drugs on social media. What is your view of the need for transparency and accountability when it comes to the marketing of prescription drugs?
- Heavy use of the new AIDS prophylactic drug Truvada® / PrEP manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc. has dropped HIV infection rates but opened the door to drug-resistant HIV/AIDS. How will you prevent the new paradigm in which people require ever-newer, stronger, more expensive and more obligatory pharmaceuticals, just to have sex?
- Even with the best medical care, doctors and insurance policies, people living with HIV/AIDS continue to suffer from side-effects, immune systems that do not fully bounce back and AIDS-related dementia. Until there is a cure, how will you help people living with HIV/AIDS achieve optimal health outcomes?
- President George W. Bush is credited with averting a global AIDS calamity via his administration's plan, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). President Trump pledged to end the U.S. AIDS epidemic by 2030. Are you excited, ready, willing and able to rise to the opportunity and challenge of being the president to cure AIDS?
Questions posed by Kambiz Shekdar, Ph.D.. The author is a biologist, a biotech inventor, a gay man and the President of Research Foundation to Cure AIDS (RFTCA).
RFTCA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that was founded to develop a cure for AIDS that is accessible and affordable for all. The law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP and advertising agency Havas Health Plus represent RFTCA on a pro bono basis, RFTCA's Board of Directors includes scientists affiliated with The Rockefeller University. RFTCA paid $1.00 for a perpetual worldwide license to cellular biotehnology to research, develop and commercialize a cure for AIDS. The license effectively allows RFTCA to be the first charitable biotechnology venture to cure AIDS worldwide.
SOURCE Research Foundation to Cure AIDS