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Dr. Laura's Dangerous Message Puts Kids at Risk for HIV/AIDS

AIDS Action Calls on Paramount to Cancel TV Show

March 20, 2000

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

"I'm making an announcement: Not one penny will I give to AIDS anything as long as [public sex is allowed in gay bathhouses]. Not cent one. It's a preventable disease. If you don't want to prevent it, I don't want to pay for it."

-- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Washington, DC -- AIDS Action today called on Paramount Studios to end its association with radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Paramount and Dr. Laura have inked a deal to produce a television talk show that will air on television stations reaching 90% of the U.S. market.

In a letter to Paramount Chairman Kerry McCluggage, AIDS Action's Acting Executive Director, Claudia French, cited Dr. Laura's on-air rant against AIDS funding as evidence that the talk show host's uninformed views have the potential to do real damage to young people at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

"She's not a medical doctor, but she's about to play one on TV. Of course personal responsibility is important, but Dr. Laura doesn't take seriously her responsibility to understand what she's talking about before dispensing advice to millions," said French.

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"Dr. Laura hasn't a clue where HIV is spreading fastest these days," said French. "Women are getting it from their partners. Teens are getting it in dorm rooms. Seniors are getting it in their golden years. It may be comfortable for Dr. Laura to think HIV is being spread only in dank bathhouses, but that's not true. That impression makes young people feel they aren't at risk, and that's a tragedy."

"Half of all new HIV infections in America are in people under the age of 25. Two young people become infected with HIV every hour. Why? Because they don't feel they're at risk. Because people like Dr. Laura, who is not a medical doctor, are perpetuating dangerous myths about the disease. It would be irresponsible of Paramount to distribute such a dangerous message, and they should not do so," French added.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
 
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