Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton on Thursday pressed for 50 billion U.S. dollars for treatment, prevention and care of AIDS by 2013.
Calling AIDS a "plague of biblical proportions," Hillary said if elected, she will double the HIV/AIDS research budget within the National Institutes of Health to 5.2 billion dollars annually, increase funding for the global HIV/AIDS fight to at least 50 billion dollars by 2013, raise funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, and develop and implement a comprehensive national AIDS strategy.
She spoke at the third annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church in Orange County near Los Angeles.
Hosted by pastor Rick Warren, author of the best-selling devotional book, "The Purpose Driven Life," and his wife, the summit was established to mobilize church resources to fight the disease.
"Around the world, AIDS remains a plague of biblical proportions," she said, "In too many places, ignorance about AIDS prevails and the stigma remains strong."
However, "we have come a long way," she added.
"Not only can we talk about AIDS in church, but churches are leading the way," she said.
Hillary's leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, have made similar proposals.
In a video appearance, Obama said, "This is no occasion to rest. Now's the time to step up our efforts so we can stay on the offense to eliminate this disease."
Also appearing via satellite video were three Republican candidates -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain.