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One Sentence On Aids Is Not Enough!

Statement delivered at Mothers Dialogue on AIDS press conference
San Diego, California

August 13, 1996

AIDS Action Council and Mothers' Voices are here today at the 1996 Republican National Convention because we have to be. This June, we sadly marked the fifteenth anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. More than 300,000 of our loved ones have died and more continue to die at an alarming rate. And, unfortunately, the death toll of AIDS does not even begin to reflect the real impact of AIDS on America millions of American families are devastated by their losses.

AIDS Action Council is here to remind one of the nation's two leading political parties, as we will remind the Democrats in Chicago and as we reminded the reform Party in Long Beach earlier this week, that the next President of the United States has an obligation and a duty to honor our dead and to respond to the needs of the living by providing leadership and adequate resources to the battle against AIDS.

Thankfully, there is hope today in the promise of new treatments that are keeping many people alive and restoring their vitality and health. A vigorous research agenda must continue until all the answers are found; until science disarms this virus so that it kills no one.

In the meantime, the next administration and our representatives in Congress must ensure that every man, woman and child living with HIV and AIDS has a place to live and adequate health care services including full access to all available treatments. After all, taking care of our own is what family values are all about.

Finally, we must redouble our efforts in HIV education and prevention so that young men and women have the information and support they need to keep them safe from HIV.

The Republican platform is silent on all of the vital issues of importance in our nation's response to AIDS. One line reaffirming the call for a cure is not enough. Not a word about leadership. Not a word about resources. Not a word about a coordinated response to AIDS. One word about prevention: chastity Instead the GOP sidelines its commitment to AIDS by omitting AIDS from their laundry list of diseases which merit additional resources, a narrow list of diseases that they suggest touch the lives of most American families. But not a mention of AIDS despite the fact that AIDS is the leading cause of death among young Americans age 25 to 44.

As a mother of a teenager who has no memory of a time without AIDS, I join other mothers in a call for national leadership to rid the nation and the world of this terrible scourge. However loud our voices, we cannot protect our sons and daughters alone. Unwavering, unequivocal commitment and leadership from the next President of the United States are required if we are to win the battle against AIDS; to provide anything less is guaranteeing the loss of yet another generation of Americans. We cannot, we will not stand for that.

Founded in 1984, AIDS Action Council is dedicated to defeating the AIDS epidemic and improving the quality of life for HIV-infected Americans. AIDS Action Council represents all people with HIV and AIDS and over 1,400 community-based AIDS organizations that serve them.

For more information, contact
AIDS Action Council José Zuniga
(619) 595-7949
Pager (800) 734-9583
or Kevin Mercuri
(202) 986-1300, Ext. 3065
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, Ext. 3042
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

Founded in 1984, AIDS Action is the only national organization devoted solely to advocating on federal AIDS policy and legislation. AIDS Action represents more than 1,400 community-based AIDS service organizations throughout the United States.

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.