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Anniversary Of Pedro Zamora's Death:
A Call For Leadership With HIV And American Youth

Federal Coordinated Response to AIDS Remains Priority

November 11, 1996

For information, contact:
Kevin A. Mercuri, (202) 986-1300, Ext. 3065

AIDS Action, the administrator of the Pedro Zamora Memorial Fund, today remembers the life, accomplishments, and untimely death of peer leader and AIDS advocate Pedro Zamora. Zamora, who would be twenty-four this year, was a vibrant, young person of color who lived out a portion of his life with HIV disease on MTV's "The Real World." A vocal AIDS advocate until his death two years ago today, Zamora encouraged young people to actively involve themselves in the fight against AIDS.

In his brief lifetime, Zamora advanced the awareness of adolescent HIV issues farther than anyone or any organization. Yet, the battle has not been won when one quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States occur in young people between the ages of 13 and 20. Zamora's insistence that federal AIDS prevention and care programs consider the needs of America's youth remains an unfulfilled priority as another generation falls prey to this epidemic. Open and honest communication on HIV and AIDS for young people remains the most effective deterrent to the spread of HIV and AIDS.

A recent poll published by the Washington Post reflects the urgency Zamora sought to convey through his work as an AIDS advocate: the worry of 61 percent of Americans that "AIDS will become more widespread" tied at No. 2 with the worry that "crime will increase", and ranked only one point below concerns about our education system. Given America's fears, the continued failure on the part of the federal government to articulate a coordinated response to an epidemic that has claimed more than 320,000 lives is a moral outrage.

To help perpetuate the vision and leadership of Zamora, AIDS Action has established the Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship which provides an opportunity for young adults ages 18 to 28 to learn about and participate in the development of federal HIV/AIDS policy.

For more information, contact:
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3053
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)


This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.