Black AIDS Institute and NAACP Grade U.S. Presidents' Responses to AIDS

Who passed and who failed?


During the 30-year fight against AIDS, several U.S. presidents have been faced with tackling the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic -- and according to the Black AIDS Institute and the NAACP, not all have risen to the occasion. In the report 30 Years Is Enuf! the two organizations graded five presidents from the last three decades -- Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- on how well they handled the epidemic.

Republicans didn't fare well in the fight. Reagan, who sat in office during the early stages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, received the lowest letter grade possible: an F. The report criticized Reagan for ignoring the disease for years and failing to raise awareness among Americans. President Clinton scored the highest with a B for increasing awareness of the disease and increasing funding for AIDS treatments in both America and across the globe.

Both Bush presidents received a C grade, while President Obama was given an incomplete. Since in office, Obama has launched a National HIV/AIDS Strategy and managed to achieve health care reform. Obama also succeeded in lifting the long-standing HIV immigration ban, but only time will tell how successful his presidency has been in the fight against AIDS.

America has seen a great deal of change in the last 30 years, but it's clear that our presidents and the country as a whole have a long way to go.

Read more at the Black AIDS Institute.

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