AIDS Healthcare Foundation founder Michael Weinstein came out swinging yesterday at a Washington D.C. press conference, saying that President Barack Obama's AIDS strategy measures up poorly to his predecessor's, former president George W. Bush.

“The New York Times obtained a copy of the President's AIDS strategy, and from what we've learned of it so far, there is really no 'there' there,” said Weinstein.

“This strategy is a day late and a dollar short,” the longtime advocate for HIV/AIDS patients added. “Fifteen months in the making, and the White House learned what people in the field have known for years. There is no funding, no 'how to,' no real leadership.”

Based in Los Angeles, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is recognized as an international leader for providing services and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS.

At the press conference, Weinstein unveiled a new advertising campaign to put the heat on Obama by questioning who has the better AIDS policy: Obama or Bush?

According to AHF, that person is George W., who hasn't been much of a friend to the gay community over the years — Bush once pushed for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

“President Bush created the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief,” AHF wrote in a press release, “the successful U.S. global AIDS program, which has also been neglected and underfunded on Obama's watch.”

Obama has been criticized by the gay community on many issues — most recently, the slow repeal of the military's ban on gays and lesbians called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' has taken center stage. Now Obama's AIDS policy will apparently join the list.

AHF will try to pressure Obama into action by placing advertisements in 16 bus shelters near the White House and in print and online versions of Politico.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

LA Weekly