Silence Around AIDS Unacceptable When 61 Percent of Americans Rank AIDS No. 2 Election-Year Worry
Statement by Fred Miller
Interim Executive Director
September 16, 1996
AIDS Tied With Crime In Top 20 List of Concerns
With less than two months remaining before Americans cast their ballots in the November presidential and congressional elections, a Washington Post poll released Sunday confirms that most candidates seem increasingly preoccupied with issues that matter little, if at all, to most Americans. In the months before and since the political conventions, there has been a deafening silence around AIDS issues, and a failure to articulate a coordinated response to an epidemic that has already claimed more than 320,000 American lives and threatens many more. In a political era in which action is determined by poll numbers, The Washington Post's poll reveals that silence on AIDS is a tragic mistake. When 61 percent of Americans polled indicate that the worry that "AIDS will become more widespread" ties at No. 2 with the worry that "crime will increase," and ranks only one point below concerns about our educational system, silence is unacceptable.
The results of this poll, which come as no real surprise to AIDS advocates, should send a clear message to candidates and to those who are already sitting in an elected office: Your priorities had better reflect what really matters to the American public. AIDS Action urges presidential candidates to articulate their plans to end the nightmare of AIDS in this country and to care for those already infected. We also urge the Clinton administration and members of Congress to act on the concerns expressed by most Americans as final decisions are made on fiscal year 1997 funding bills that finance the vital services that are provided through the programs that make up our nation's AIDS care infrastructure.
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
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.