Susan Blumenthal, MD, former U.S. assistant surgeon general and distinguished advisor for health and medicine, and her team at the Center for the Study of the Presidency (including Melissa Shive, Beth Louise Hoffman and Yi-an Ko) have compiled a comprehensive analysis and side-by-side comparison of the U.S. presidential candidates’ proposals to fight HIV/AIDS (, 12/12).

The analysis, first published on the Huffington Post website on December 12, calls for presidential leadership in addressing the issue of AIDS in America. In the article accompanying the analysis, Blumenthal and her team say that “throughout history, infectious diseases like AIDS have been major killers of people worldwide and therefore, decisive shapers of history. That is why it is essential for the 2008 Presidential candidates to detail their plans for eradicating the disease in the United States and globally now.”

The information about the candidates’ positions on HIV/AIDS—present and historic—is presented in the candidates’ own words. Blumenthal and her team based their comprehensive review on information gathered from the candidates’ official websites, interviews, speeches, debates and press statements.

Blumenthal and her team state that “The dramatic decline in mortality from AIDS in the United States coupled with the recent report from UNAIDS of lower numbers of infected people globally can lead policy makers, the public, and the media to believe that AIDS is no longer a public health hazard in the United States and that it is being conquered in the developing world. That belief is incorrect and perilous to the health of people in America and worldwide. Increasing HIV infection rates in America, as the CDC statistics are purported to reveal, suggest that there may be a growing complacency about the illness in the United States.”