DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (July 1, 2013)⎯U.S. President Barack Obama finishes his official visit to Africa—with a stop in Tanzania starting Monday. Advocates, patients and doctors from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and advocates from the African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO) will continue to urge Mr. Obama to honor the US’ commitment to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the landmark U.S. global AIDS program which has saved millions of lives worldwide. Obama cut over $200 million from global AIDS programs, including PEPFAR—the first U.S. president to ever cut AIDS funding.
Throughout his three-country Africa trip, the advocates held press conferences and placed newspaper advocacy ads urging ‘President Obama: No Retreat on AIDS.’ In conjunction with President Obama’s arrival in each country, newspaper ads ran in Senegal (L’Observateur – June 26 and Le Soleil – June 27); South Africa (Cape Argus – June 30) and in Tanzania (East-African – June 30 and Daily News – July 1). Each “No Retreat” ad used the colors of the flag of each respective country as a backdrop behind an iconic silhouette image of Obama walking away.
In Washington, DC, AHF also placed the ‘No Retreat on AIDS’ ad in ten bus shelter ad panels in locations surrounding the White House.
Desmond Tutu’s “Keep the Promise on AIDS” Video Message to Obama
At the press conferences in Senegal and in Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa, the AIDS patients and advocates also played a video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, recorded last summer for the ‘Keep the Promise on AIDS’ Rally & March which took place the opening day of the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. In his video message, Archbishop Tutu talks about the humanitarian lifesaving efforts of the US through PEPFAR. He also gently then chides President Obama to ‘Keep the Promise on AIDS.’