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Affects on the US
May 29, 1998

I'm doing a report on Aids and it's affects on the US. I would like to know what you think the affect on the US is and would like to know if I could quote you on it.

Response from Rev. Pieters

HIV and AIDS have profoundly impacted the US as well as most other countries around the world. In the US, it has affected our health care system, our economics, and our politics. AIDS activists have challenged the problems with our health care system and our politics, and produced some change in both areas.

AIDS has cost this country millions in research and patient care. Because health care is not considered a right in this country, but a privilege, the basic needs of those who cannot afford treatments or care have put an enormous burden on municipal health care budgets all over the country.

One of the most profound effects AIDS has had on our country is the enormous number of productive, active people who have been killed. The loss of so many wonderful, talented people is an immeasurable loss to our life as a country.

If there is a positive effect of AIDS on the US, perhaps it is in the way so many diverse groups of people have come together to address the problems. The AIDS pandemic has brought together straights and gays, sex workers and church workers, politicians and health care workers in ways they never would have prior to AIDS.

There are many other effects AIDS is having on the US that are too complicated to get into here. There is no doubt in my mind that the US would be a very different country today if we had not had to contend with HIV and AIDS over the last 18 years.

And yes, you may quote me.



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