Briefing

Obama vs. Romney 101: 4 ways they differ on gay issues

Barack Obama made history on May 9 when he became the first sitting US president to declare support for same-sex marriage. Mitt Romney has said he is against it. But gay issues extend beyond same-sex marriage. 

By , Staff writer

3. HIV/AIDS research and prevention funding

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    An audience member holds up a "Fund PEPFAR" sign, referring to the US President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), during President Obama's speech at a campaign event in Boone, Iowa, on Aug. 13.
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Obama gets good marks from the AIDS research community, most recently for July’s International AIDS Conference in the US. Moreover, Obama has remained committed to HIV/AIDS funding. Even during economic challenges in the country, he has implemented the first-ever US National AIDS Strategy, and the Obama administration has lifted a longtime ban on HIV-positive travelers, notes Dan Tietz, executive director of AIDS Community Research Initiatives of America.

This last move allowed this year’s conference to be held in the US for the first time in two decades. Obama has also continued funding for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program to combat AIDS in developing countries, which was launched in 2004 under the Bush administration.

In mid-July, prior to the conference, Romney issued a statement on the continued need for action in AIDS research and funding. 

“AIDS is an indiscriminate killer. It takes our young and our old. It leaves behind widows and orphans,” said the former Massachusetts governor. “And in many parts of the world, it affects those least able to help themselves. Significant progress has been made in research, education, and delivery of medication, but more needs to be done. America is a compassionate nation. It has been – and must continue to be – a beacon of hope for innovative research and support as we seek to overcome the global challenge of AIDS.”

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