(May 31st, NYC)
Amid U.N. summit on global AIDS, activists demand that U.S. commit to science-based prevention and drugs for 10 million by 2010

Wednesday morning at 9am, more than two dozen activists from Housing Works, ACT UP/New York and the Student Global AIDS Campaign were arrested attempting to enter the offices of ambassador John Bolton at the U.S. mission of the United Nations (140 East 45th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues).

Activists attempted to deliver a letter demanding that the U.S. delegation to this week's U.N. General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on AIDS commit the United States to the four core demands of the Campaign to End AIDS (www.c2ea.org).

Those demands include treatment for all people with HIV/AIDS worldwide; HIV prevention based on science, not ideology; more funding for research toward an AIDS cure; and eliminating discrimination and stigma against people with AIDS.

Hours after the 21 AIDS activists were arrested trying to deliver the letter, 1000 massed outside the U.S. mission to demand that the U.S. support concrete goals to end global AIDS in the pledge of commitment it will sign with other U.N. member nations this week.

Activists want the U.N. pledge to commit to HIV treatment for 10 million people with HIV/AIDS by 2010. The U.N. fell short of a 2001 pledge to treat 3 million people worldwide by 2005. Currently, only 1.3 million people get treatment.

"Five years ago, the U.N. summit on global AIDS produced concrete promises to advance treatment and prevention tools worldwide," said Charles King, the president of Housing Works. "Few of those promises were met."

"We need an action plan to get drugs into bodies, to mount a science-based prevention program that distributes condoms, clean needles and explicit safer-sex information to stop the spread of the virus," said Eric Sawyer of ACT UP/New York. "We'll be at Bolton's office to demand money to buy generic drugs and insist on policies that train and sustain more healthcare workers in developing nations."

The surprise visit to the U.S. mission precedes a larger rally with similar demands to take place at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 12:30pm today as the U.S. delegation enters the United Nations. For details on that, visit  http://www.ungassaction.org.