Hillary’s AIDS Lie

In last night’s non-debate among Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton got the biggest applause line of the night: “If H.I.V./AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country.”

She continued, “If we don’t begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the ‘90s, when it was primarily a gay men’s disease, we will never get the services and the public education that we need.”

These are superb applause lines, well targeted to her audience. The insinuations behind them, however, are damnable lies.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, so here’s four thousand worth drawn from presentations by the Kaiser Foundation and the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS:

AIDS Trends - U.S. Federal SpendingAIDS Trends - International Resource Devotion

AIDS Trends - International Retroviral TreatmentAIDS Trends - International Trends 25 Years

You can click on the images above for full-size slides but the shrunken form is sufficient to see the trends. They depict: US Federal Funding for AIDS Care FY 1995-2004; Total Annual Resources (Internationally) for AIDS, 1986-2005; Number of People on Antiretroviral Therapy in Low- and Middle-income Countries, 2002-2005; and 25 Years of Responding to AIDS.

The trends have been moving steadily and dramatically upward during the entire period. President Bush, in particular, has emphasized spending on curing AIDS in Africa (hint: there are black people there).

Could we be spending more? Probably. Are we failing to spend money because the “wrong people” are afflicted with the disease? No.

FILED UNDER: General, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I don’t think this is a race issue as much as Hillary wants it to be – i think many people view most AIDS cases as preventable and therefore support for funding will always trail funding for cancer research and the like

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    According to Mark Twain, “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”. So Hillary has committed only a 2nd degree lie, I guess?

  3. Hal says:

    Yea, as we all know, race has been eliminated as a bias for at least a century in this country. That’s why all the ethnic groups are pretty much evenly split between republican and democratic parties.

    Oh, wait a minute…

  4. jpe says:

    None of yall think that our public health response would be different if AIDS were as prevalent among white women as it is among black women?

    I think you’re flat out wrong if you don’t think there’d be any difference in the response.

  5. James Joyner says:

    That’s why all the ethnic groups are pretty much evenly split between republican and democratic parties.

    and

    None of yall think that our public health response would be different if AIDS were as prevalent among white women as it is among black women?

    Hillary made two claims: That funding would be higher were the victims predominately white and that it was more seriously addressed in the 1990s.

    The first is, alas, unfalsifiable. The second is, however, demonstrably false as the charts demonstrate.

    Still, AIDS has always disproportionate affected blacks and we’re spending quite a lot in trying to deal with it — even though we had a Republican White House and Congress during much of the decade and, as Hal implies, blacks aren’t voting for Republicans. Yet funding continued to increase.

    And am I the only one who thinks this funny: “If we don’t begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the ‘90s, when it was primarily a gay men’s disease, we will never get the services and the public education that we need.”

    Are gays really that much more popular than blacks? Were they in the 1990s, when we had a black JCS Chair while we were doubling down on our ban in gays in the military?

  6. ken says:

    James, this is just pathetic. Calling Hillary a liar is just so conservative of you.

    Neither of the statement that you quote are untrue.

    “If H.I.V./AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country.”

    This is pretty obviously true. I mean think of it. If most of the deaths of to the women you, and people like you, know were due to AIDS you damn well better believe it would be major issue demanding action.

    “If we don’t begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the ‘90s, when it was primarily a gay men’s disease, we will never get the services and the public education that we need.”

    Perhaps you were asleep in the ’90s when seriously major effort were begun to educate to the population most at risk for AIDS. What is being done now, despite your charts, is just putting more band-aid patches on a problem that is growing out of control.

    James, the ‘insinuation’ behind her statements is that it is because of racial preference that the same level of effort is not being made to turn the tide against AIDS to protect those it is currently ravaging as was made before.

    Look, when AIDS was considered a disease that affected your white hairdresser or interior designer an all out effort was made to cease its further spread amongst gay people in America. That effort was highly successful.

    But now that the increased incidence of AIDS is largely relegated to the darker races in foreign lands stopping its spread is not considered as urgent. The effort must be measured against the need not against what was done when the problem was smaller and affected a mostly educated and politically connected cohort here in the USA.

    Worse than your politically motivated attack on Hilary is the implicit racism behind your ‘insinuation’ that Hilary is saying this only because she is addressing a mostly black audience. Your blindness to people with honest concern is typical of southern conservatives.

    You need to get over it.

  7. Grewgills says:

    Hillary was primarily adressing AIDS within the US with her comments.
    The slides you show don’t appear to support your thesis after even a cursory inspection. The first shows Medicare and Medicaid spending increased as the number of people infected increased and cost of treatment increased. The other 2 components of federal spending did not even keep pace with inflation since 2000. The second slide shows total world resources devoted to AIDS, which does not indicate the seriousness with which our government takes the threat of AIDS. The third slide also deals with total international funding, not US contributions. The final slide shows the dramatically increasing number of people living with AIDS, which in part explains the funding increase and in part is explained by the funding increase.
    None of the slides demonstrates anything about US funding for AIDS research or education efforts.
    In short, only one of the slides you showed deals with the comments she made and it supports her thesis not yours.

  8. John Amy says:

    Right on Ken!

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Hillary counts on the ignorance of her audience so she can make statements which, when examined by the knowledgeable, appear to be the lies she knew they were. If you listen to her voice as she make the claim, notice her inflection. She uses that technique every time she lies. It seems to come easy to the Clinton’s. Why they think they can get away with it is beyond belief. The nutroots just eat it up.

  10. If I thought there were the slightest hope of having a real conversation with the patriotic dissent on display here that would rely on factual statements and logic, I’d write a long response that started by noting that true and false do not exhaustively and mutually exclusively cover the set of all possible statements. But apparently it’s easier to call people racists and be cheered on by the peanut gallery, so never mind.

  11. What is being done now, despite your charts, …

    James, why bother with facts when there is TRUTH to be revealed?

  12. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Amen Charles!

  13. Tano says:

    Grewgills makes some very good points James.

    The only slide that is relevant to the issue raised by Hillary is the first one, and that really misses the point too. Of course spending for CARE increased. No one is claiming that once people get AIDS they are left to die in the street. If they are sick, they are going to be treated, so if more people are sick then more money will be spent.

    The issue Hillary raised has to do with larger scale efforts to stop and roll back the pandemic – and that relates to funding for education, prevention, and for research.

    I am not defending her rhetoric – perhaps you can marshall some stats to undermine her arguments. But you have not done so here – despite the vehemence of your tone.

  14. superdestroyer says:

    The comment played to two big parts of the Democratic Party.

    First, it is easy to appeal to blacks my making fun of white women. Just watch any stand up routine of Chappelle or Chris Rock or view the Move “White Chicks.” Using the term white women was like throwing raw meat to the Howard University crowd and was a blatant playing of the race card

    Second, more money is spent per capita on AIDS than any other disease because it affect the elite in the large urban areas of NYC, SF, LA, etc.

    If Waco Texas had the AIDS rate of Manhattan and Manhattan had the AIDS rate of Waco Texas, much less you being spent on AIDS that is now. AIDS benefits from being the killer of white, affluent gay men who live in the richest parts of the U.S.

  15. Mike says:

    I am confused – is the issue money for AIDS research (which is race neutral) or for prevention/education? Can anyone, with a straight face, really argue that US Citizens do not know how AIDS is spread? Convincing people to not engage in risky behavior by spending a ton of money on programs doesn’t seem like as good an idea as putting that same money into finding a cure.

  16. ken says:

    apparently it’s easier to call people racists and be cheered on by the peanut gallery

    Easier than what? Calling Hillary a liar?

    If examining Hillary’s truthfulness regarding racial issues is a legitimate issue then so is examining James’s racism regarding racial issues.

  17. G.A.Phillips says:

    Ken, Dude Why???

    Once again Ken you ignore the facts and history and totally reverse them.

    the Democratic party is greatest force of racism that this country has ever known.

    And they and their racism is the reason the freaking Republican party was created in the first place.

    you are so unbelievably mad in your absolutely methodical switching of everything the Democrats are responsible for to the Republicans who have always fought against their kind that I sometimes think James created you as some type of alter ego to express the complete and utter fabrications of everything you and your party stand for, believe in, and preach.

    you might want check into who it was that wanted to free the slaves and who wanted to keep them.

    you might want check on who fought for civil rights and who fought against them.

    you might want to check on who wanted to gain seats in congress be counting their slaves……..hmm that sounds kinda familiar…. and what new party was created because of it.

    Not to mention the party the first black people in this country who attained political office belonged to.

  18. RRRoark says:

    If H.I.V./AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34,..

    I would agree with Hilary about the outrage if most people did not assume that the disease was related to known risky behaviour.

    Otherwise.., well…, you know…, patron saint of progressives, Darwin?

  19. Grewgills says:

    Ken, certainly you are aware that the role of Democrats and Republicans in national politics have not always been the same. Back when the Republican party actually represented the interests of African Americans their votes went primarily to Republicans. That is obviously no longer the case.
    The Republican party has come a long way from its progressive origins. The southern Democrats who supported racist policies began leaving the party and voting Republican in the sixties when the party pushed for integration and equal rights. Look at any recent electoral map for the evidence of that.

  20. ken says:

    …the Democratic party is greatest force of racism that this country has ever known.

    Is that your explanation for why almost all minority voters are Democrats?

  21. TJIT says:

    Ken,

    A comment on this topic over at Qando provides some interesting facts on research spending and priorities. If the information linked to by the commentor on qando is correct your comment is not supported by the facts on the ground.

    The disease that gets the most press for women is breast cancer. It has roughly the same number of new cases, but twice the funding of prostate cancer. Of couse, even breast cancer gets less than a billion per year for research. AIDS got about $3 Billion for research in 2006..

    Heart disease kills the most, but the disesase that focuses only on males is prostate cancer. According to the CDC, there were 185,000 new cases in 2003 as opposed to about 37,000 new cases a year for AIDS. Does prostate cancer get five times the funding? Um, no.

    Hillary mentioned white women. The disease that gets the most press for women is breast cancer. It has roughly the same number of new cases, but twice the funding of prostate cancer. Of couse, even breast cancer gets less than a billion per year for research. AIDS got about $3 Billion for research in 2006.

    If we treated AIDS like the most prominent diseases for white men or women, its budget would be slashed by 90%.

    (I couldn’t find a total for heart disease, possible because of the vatiety of causes; diabetes, the nations #2 killer with 1.5 million cases and 225,000 deaths per year, got about $1.1 Billion for research in 2006)

    Written By: Ted

  22. TJIT says:

    You tube has made the speech response / attack ad creation speed spooky fast.

    Hillary’s Record. An Outrage.

  23. G.A.Phillips says:

    ken,

    Is that your explanation for why almost all minority voters are Democrats?

    would you for once read what I wrote and deal with your own donkypoop, instead of responding with an arrogant liberal talking point or an ego maniacal dismissive statement of how you have supreme control over your subjects.

    and if you would had kept reading I sort of eluded to that point.

    or should I have said anybody can buy votes Ken, and I’m glad you admit to it, now if you would only convince you leaders to do the same and then turn yourselves into the proper authority’s.

  24. Tano says:

    G.A. Phillips,

    “Once again Ken you ignore the facts and history and totally reverse them.”

    Talk about ignoring facts and history!

    Yes, GA, we all know the history of the Democratic Party, and how the Republicans spearheaded the fight against slavery.

    And we also know how, after the Civil War, the Republicans became the party of the new industrialists – the bosses, so to speak. And how the northern Democratic party became the party of the workers and immigrants. And how, when blacks began their internal migration to the north they gravitated toward the Democrats because of their status as lower class, and lower middle class workers.

    And how this set up a sharp divide within the Democratic party – between its southern half, which was segregationist, and its northern parts, which were pro-worker, including blacks. And we all know how this played out, starting especially in 1948. The northern Democrats started their takeover of the party and set it on the path to become champions of civil rights. And the Dixiecrats revolted and started to leave the party – under the leadership of Strom Thurmond (ever hear of him?).

    And yes, we all know how the Democrats (northern) under Kennedy became the champions, in the political world, for black civil rights. And how one southern Democrat with vision (LBJ) tried to muscle the rest of the party to follow. Of course he realized it wouldnt happen (we now have lost the south for a generation he said, as he signed the Voting Rights Bill). And of course it provoked another wave of southerners leaving the party (George Wallace, ever heard of him?).

    And then of course, we all remember Richard Nixon, who understood these dynamics perfectly well, and who set out to build a new Republican majority with his southern strategy, to sweep up all those disaffected Southern ex-Democrats who left the party because the Dems were now for civil rights.

    And of course we all saw that come to fruition. When Reagan launched his candidacy in Philadelphia MS, with a speech about “states rights” in a city that had no claim to fame other than as the site of the murder of civil rights workers – it was not an accident.

    The modern Republican party is built on the prejudices and attitudes of those Southerners that the Democrats rejected. They are not only in your party now, they are your base. They drive your agenda – and you are welcome to them.

    That is the great tradgedy of the modern Republican party. Coming from the tradition of Lincoln, they opportunistically leapt at the chance to incorporate the racist ex-Democrats, complete with their one-party instincts. Its worked for ya. It is blind, willful ignorance of history to deny that.

  25. vnjagvet says:

    Tano:

    You missed the part where, in the mid-sixties, Republicans were in the minority in both Congress and the Senate, but they supported and assured passage of Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964 and 1968.

    Many of us on that side of the aisle still support the letter and spirit of those laws. We just don’t support stretching them beyond recognition.

  26. Tano says:

    vnjagvet,

    Yes. I was speaking of the larger dynamics in political history. I did not mention, and perhaps should have, that there are northern Republicans who have roots in the party that stretch back to the days of Lincoln, and who have been committed to equality all along. Apologies, if appropriate.

    They are, however, a dying breed. Take New England for example – formerly home to the very paradigm of rock-ribbed Republicanism. Now a vast sea of blue – with only one GOP house member from the entire region. Many northern republicans have become Democrats, although at a slower rate than the Southerners have realigned. With this current administration, and perhaps with a future Thompson candidacy (or Gingrich ! ), this process is, and will continue accelerating, I suspect.

  27. vnjagvet says:

    Tano:

    So long as the Democrats continue the positions they have espoused as to what action was appropriate after 9/11 and their general approach to national defense issues, old guys like me aren’t going there.

    I would welcome another (Scoop) Jackson or Sam Nunn democrat to support and cheer on because I have a libertarian streak that is not enamored with some of the pandering to the so-called “religious right”. While saying that, I want to point out in the spirit of full disclosure that I am a life-long professing Christian (with an “inquiring time-out” from ages 18-25).

    Nonetheless, for once you and I see eye to eye on our analysis of the political dynamics at play here.

    It is very refreshing. Thanks for engaging.

  28. Tano says:

    vnjagvet,

    I dont know if we can continue this conversation, but I wonder what actions, post 9/11, that you supported, that the Dems did not.

    There was unanimous support for going after al-Q, and the Taliban. Some Dems supported Iraq, but now most all (as well as significant majorities of Americans in general) realize that was a mistake. It has not diminished al-Q at all, thats for sure.

    So I wonder – are you one to believe that Iraq was a good move in the war against al-Q?

    Or would you agree with Sam Nunn?

    ““We’ve lost a lot of prestige and credibility in the world,” Nunn told the AP. “I definitely think we made a real mistake going to war without the consensus of other countries … we can’t occupy a country successfully without cooperation from neighbors and countries around the globe.

    “I think we’re paying a very severe price for that right now,” the former Democratic senator added. “It was the worst strategic error I’ve seen in modern times by the United States.””

    Obama-Nunn always struck me as a very compelling ticket 🙂

  29. G.A.Phillips says:

    Tano,

    you have once again missed my point, and seek to believe a rewritten history. all I have said is true, and here is more.

    Your hero’s are the ones who removed God’s laws from our education system and almost destroyed the great American culture and most certainly devastated the family structure of those Americans who skin color happens to be black.

    also your hero’s most certainly sealed them into a new type a bondage trying to fix a horrible mistake that your hero’s refuse to see that they have made.

    they seek to fight their own bigotry and racism, with bigotry and racism and you seek to blame a couple of republicans and couple of your own cause their strategy is not working?

    I could go all night, but your a smart person, and I bet if you slowed down and took a hard look at this with an open mind I would not have to.

  30. vnjagvet says:

    Tano:

    I referred not to the initial support of both the Afghanistan and Iraq responses, but to the later sniping from the Democratic leadership. Once you go to battle, I believe you should see it through. I am of the Winston Churchill school of fighting wars, which can be boiled down to two words: “Never Surrender”.

    So far as Senator Nunn’s quote is concerned, I just disagree with it. Although I supported him with money and work for years, I didn’t agree with everything he said or did. This is one statement with which I disagree. A UN resolution authorized the actions against Saddam. To me that seemed enough.

  31. C. Pierson says:

    HIV prevention groups need more money, public health experts say
    Sixty million more people around the world could be infected with HIV by 2015 if prevention programs are not expanded, according to a group of public health experts convened by the Gates and Kaiser foundations. “We should be winning in HIV prevention,” Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said Friday. But the reality is that HIV prevention groups have the tools, but not the money, to make enough of a difference, according to a new report from the Global HIV Prevention Working Group. The working group, made up of more than 50 public health experts, clinicians, researchers and people living with HIV, previewed the report at an international conference in Rwanda two weeks ago and released it this week. Kates said organizations fighting HIV infection now spend about US$10 billion (euro7.4 billion) on treatment, prevention and care in developing countries around the world. They would need US$22 billion (euro16.3 billion) by 2010 to start to decrease infection rates, and half of the money would need to be used for prevention.

  32. C.Wagener says:

    Can anyone out there actually site something concrete about Nixon’s Southern Strategy? When Democrats lose it’s always because Republicans cheated or tricked people, e.g. “the angry white men” of 1994.

    Weird strategy, having another guy win the deep south, that being Wallace in 1968. Oh and 1972 was a real squeaker. Nixon, along with the majority of both blacks and whites, opposed busing. Liberal Democrats had moved so far left socially that opposition to busing could only be due to racism rather than not wanting your kid on a bus two hours a day for the parent’s penance.

    Goldwater’s state rights views could be viewed as racist, Nixon and Reagan’s, I just don’t see it.

  33. albee says:

    Lies come easily to the Clintoons. Until the media fulfills their primary purpose for their existence, lies will continue to roll out of the Clintoons’ mouths like water off a ducks back

    In retrospect, the Clintoons autobiographies were the cheapest books in my lifetime. The price, the publishers paid, breaks down to only one dollar ($1) a lie