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Minorities Plead for AIDS Funds

June 6, 2001

"This is one birthday I wish I never had to commemorate," Dennis de Leon said yesterday, 20 years after researchers first reported on the disease now known as AIDS. De Leon, executive director of the Latino Commission on AIDS, spoke at a press conference on the steps of Manhattan City Hall.

According to the Hispanic Federation, Latinos constitute 27 percent of New York City's population, but 31 percent of its AIDS cases. "We've lost 22,000 lives in the Latino community," de Leon said. "We need more money for needle exchange, more money for methadone, more money for drug treatment. If we had that money, lives could have been saved." The leading causes of transmission among Latinos are contaminated needles and sexual transmission by drug users. Joyce Rivera, executive director of St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction in the Bronx, said the lack of federal funding for needle exchange is to blame for the increase in AIDS cases.

De Leon, City Council member Phil Reed (D-Manhattan) and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer are calling on the city to contribute an additional $7 million directly to minority-run AIDS organizations. They also urged Gov. George Pataki to approve a request by the State Assembly for $12 million to address HIV and AIDS among Asians, African-Americans and Latinos.


Back to other CDC news for June 6, 2001

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Adapted from:
Newsday (New York)
06.06.01; Margaret Ramirez



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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