White House Announces AIDS Strategy

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Clinton Administration announced a six-part national AIDS agenda Tuesday aimed at bringing the epidemic under control and comforting those suffering from the disease. Though not comprehensive, it is the first cohesive national strategy for dealing with AIDS. Its goals: Development of a cure and vaccine; reducing and eliminating new infections; guaranteeing care for HIV-positive patients; quick translation of new science into new treatment and policy; providing strong support for international AIDS efforts; and fighting AIDS discrimination. AIDS activists hailed the strategy for providing some structure to the AIDS effort in the United States, but criticized its lack of specifics or support for a needle exchange program. Clinton said during his 1992 campaign that he supported needle exchanges as a way to combat transmission of HIV, but has backed off; Congress has since banned using federal money for such programs until it is satisfied there is proof of their efficacy. The Administration noted that under Clinton federal spending has increased by about 50 percent for research, treatment and care related to AIDS, the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25 to 44.