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Facing the most daunting political and economic climate in years, AIDS activists have relaunched efforts to follow presidential candidates on the campaign trail, challenging them to commit to funding the fight against global AIDS.

The tactic, called birddogging, has been used for years by activists to get politicians to go on record saying they’ll ramp up AIDS funding. Sometimes, activists merely attend a town hall, step up to the mic, and ask a candidate for a pledge. Other times, participants get more aggressive, interrupting speeches, waving signs and participating in acts of civil disobedience.