US Pledges Support to AIDS Fight
June 6, 2001
Speaking to dozens of AIDS activists and health care workers yesterday, government officials reflected on the disease that has killed 22 million people worldwide and half a million Americans. They described how AIDS changed government's relation to health care, and they promised more funds to stem the rate of infections and death. However, they disagreed on the direction new efforts would take.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said, "We are not going to ignore where AIDS is moving." He pledged financial support of local as well as international operations, while promoting a 12 percent budget increase for federal health centers that research AIDS treatments.
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he would urge Congress to pass the $200 million down payment promised to the global AIDS fund set up by UN officials. "The separation between domestic and international targets is one that some people will continue to underscore," Frist said, "but I and the legislation I bring forth will try to be very supportive of both."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) praised the government for giving drug makers incentive to develop therapies but was harshly critical of the priorities of the current White House. Waxman demanded significant increases in domestic projects like the $1.8 billion Ryan White program.
Dr. Joycelyn Elders, President Clinton's first surgeon general, said that officials wary of talking about youth sex should realize that parents want their children protected. "We can't afford to destroy our children," she said.
06.05.01; Anjetta McQueen
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.