Bush Administration Not Making the Grade in the War on AIDS

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March 14, 2002

(Washington, D.C., March 14, 2002) - The polls may show that President Bush is getting good grades for his war on terrorism, but he is not making the grade in the war on HIV/AIDS, according to a national coalition of AIDS organizations from throughout the United States. As the AIDS pandemic enters its third decade, the coalition, in a letter to the President, states that there are few other issues that need the Administration's immediate attention more than ending the toll of HIV/AIDS. There are an estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the world. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 950,000 HIV infected people in the U.S.

The coalition released its assessment of the Bush Administration today, on the eve of the first meeting of the newly appointed Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). The coalition grades the Bush Administration on funding and leadership in the following areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Minority HIV/AIDS Initiatives
  • Prevention
  • Research
  • Global AIDS
  • Executive Office of the President and Leadership

In the letter to the President, the coalition members spell out their concerns, ranging from a lack of leadership in the fight against AIDS at home and abroad, to funding for AIDS prevention, research, and treatment programs, and filling key government healthcare positions that are vacant or will soon become vacant. The most notable positions are at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration.

In its assessment, the coalition commends the Administration for retaining the PACHA. However, the coalition expresses its concern about some of the individuals appointed to PACHA. These members have public track records of supporting HIV/AIDS policies that are at odds with science, public health experts, people living with HIV/AIDS, and community-based providers. They have also made statements viewed as homophobic and discredited sound, proven HIV prevention strategies.

The coalition calls on the President to exert his leadership to help end the suffering caused by AIDS. The coalition expresses its desire to work with the Administration and asks for a meeting with Mr. Bush and key officials to discuss the issues related to AIDS.

The national coalition includes the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, AIDS Project Los Angeles, AIDS Services of Dallas, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, the CAERE Coalition, the Columbus AIDS Task Force, Lambda Legal, Gay Men's Health Crisis, the National AIDS Housing Coalition, the National Association of People With AIDS, the National Minority AIDS Council, Project Inform, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Whitman-Walker Clinic. Coalition Press Contacts

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Contact: Chris Viveiros

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Contact: David Ernesto Munar
312-922-2322 x264

AIDS Project Los Angeles
Contact: Nicole Russo-Okamoto

AIDS Services of Dallas
Contact: Don Maison

AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition
Contact: Chris Collins
917 952 5356

Columbus AIDS Task Force
Contact: Sue Crumpton

Gay Men's Health Crisis
Contact: Marty Algaze

Lambda Legal
Contact: Catherine Hanssens

National Association of People With AIDS
Contact: Ray Daniels

National Minority AIDS Council
Contact: Robert Dabney

Project Inform
Contact: Anne Donnelly

San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Contact: Gustavo Suarez

Whitman-Walker Clinic
Contact: Michael Cover

Chip Lewis
Whitman-Walker Clinic


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