Undisclosed Relevant AIDS FACTS
failing to stop the spread
In 1981 AIDS was detected in gay men. The CDC seeing a disaster in the making the lobbied for research funds. Due to the misconception that AIDS was a Homosexual disease this was a daunting task. Finally after two years of lobbying president Reagan finally requested funds to address this epidemic (1).
Remember speed is SUPPOSE to be of the essence when fighting an epidemic.
Granted gay's bore the brunt of the first wave of the AIDS epidemic. How did the Americam government "react". In 1987, an amendment was passed by the Senate prohibiting the CDC from funding any materials that would "promote or encourage ... homosexual activities," which precluded creation of any prevention informational material specific to the gay community. While this law eventually expired, other obstacles took its place. Other regulations required the CDC to be reviewed by a panel representing a "reasonable cross-section of the general population" so it wouldn't be " offensive to a majority of adults beyond the target audience." A federal Court found that this hamper AIDS prevention efforts(2 ).
Health and Human Services spokesman William Grigg, said about not targeting high risk populations "when you're fighting a fire, you control it from the outside and let the center burn. The same holds true for medicine."(3 ).
"The failure to respond to this epidemic now borders on a national scandal," said Dr Marcus Conant he led scientific testimony at house of representatives subcommittee hearing on AIDS on August 1 1983. He continued "Congress, and indeed the American people, have been misled about the response. We have been led to believe that the response has been timely and that the response has been appropriate, and I would suggest to you that is not correct."(4 ).
A report from a blue ribbon committee of health professionals that investigated American response to the AIDS crisis noted early on the governmental response lacked leadership. Committee head Harold C. Sox of Dartmouth Medical School said "that a failure of leadership may have delayed effective action during the period from 1982 to 1984." (5).