October 28, 1998


The AIDS epidemic is not over. It is a particularly severe and ongoing crisis in the African-American community and other communities of color. Like other epidemics before it, AIDS is hitting hardest in areas where poverty is high and education is scarce. It is picking on the most vulnerable among us. We must do more to bury this cruel disease.

President Bill Clinton
October 28, 1998

Today, President Clinton holds a White House event, where he will declare HIV/AIDS to be a severe and ongoing health crisis in racial and ethnic minority communities and announce a comprehensive new initiative that invests an unprecedented $156 million to improve the nation's effectiveness in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in the African-American, Hispanic, and other minority communities. The President will also highlight other important investments in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and new funding for his initiative to address racial health disparities for a range of diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

The Need For Increased Efforts To Fight HIV/AIDS In Minority Communities. While overall AIDS deaths have declined for two years in a row, it remains the leading killer of African-American men age 25-44 and the second leading killer of African-American women in the same age group. African-Americans comprise more than 40 percent of all new HIV/AIDS cases, and African-American women make up 60 percent of female cases. Hispanics represent over 20 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases, though they make up only 10 percent of the population. During the budget negotiations, President Clinton fought for and won $156 million to address the urgent problem of HIV/AIDS among minorities:

The President Fought For And Won Increases In Effective HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention, And Research Programs. The President fought for and won substantial increases in a wide range of effective HIV/AIDS programs:

A Presidential Commitment To Eliminate Racial Health Disparities. Minorities suffer from higher rates for a number of critical diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Congress has taken a first step in investing in the President's proposal to address racial health disparities, but only partially funded the President's proposed grants for communities to develop new strategies to address these disparities and for increases in other critical public health programs.

Calling On Congress To Pass The Unfinished Agenda For People With HIV/AIDS. In addition, Congress failed to pass:

October 1998

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