9 1/2 Minutes: Obama Launches AIDS Push

Bush had PEPFAR; now Obama has Act Against AIDS. The White House today launched the latter as a five-year push to educate Americans about HIV/AIDS's prevalence within the U.S., with a communications strategy centered on alerting people to the statistic that every 9 1/2 minutes, someone in the U.S. becomes infected with HIV.

Obama's effort will differ from Bush's in that it's domestic, while the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Bush's AIDS agenda) was a worldwide relief plan. Act Against AIDS will include PSAs and a website (NineAndaHalfMinutes.org), and organizers will seek to partner with media and entertainment figures. It will also specifically target African Americans in its next initiative, who, according to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control study, became infected seven times as frequently as whites per the same population sample. To that end the White House will partner with leading African American groups like the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the National Urban League. Future phases will target other high-risk groups, such as Latinos, the White House said.