As the U.S. spends tens of billions of dollars on a pre-emptive war in the Persian Gulf, we demand that this money be spent on the real global priority - the HIV/AIDS crisis.

AIDS is the greatest global threat to human security that exists today. It is more deadly than terrorism or the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. AIDS has already cost 25 million lives worldwide. In Africa, ground zero of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, whole communities are being wiped out and the future of the entire continent is at risk. Around the world, HIV infection rates continue to rise at alarming rates. In the U.S., the toll from AIDS is mounting, particularly among AIDS is a clear and present danger to all of humanity. That it is not the top priority of the U.S. government highlights just how misguided U.S. priorities are. This year, while the U.S. focuses on potential threats in Iraq and possible terrorist attacks at home, it is certain that AIDS will kill more than 3 million people globally, most of these in Africa.

AIDS is an urgent wake-up call to a deeper crisis in the state of the world. The huge global inequalities that fuel this pandemic are de-stabilizing and they are deadly. Only racism has allowed the loss of so many lives to AIDS. Fighting a war against AIDS is the most important positive step toward building a stable future for everyone.

The U.S. is the most powerful country on earth, and it has a clear choice to make. It can choose to provide leadership for a global effort to defeat the AIDS pandemic and save millions of lives. This would earn it great appreciation and respect from the whole world. Or it can choose to act arrogantly and unilaterally, dictating regime changes and re-drawing maps to serve its own narrowly defined interests. This can only escalate resentment and fuel violent reaction against this country and its people. A war on AIDS can be won. This must be the real priority. This is why we demand: MONEY FOR AIDS, NOT FOR WAR!

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