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The Bias Against People With HIV

July 10, 1988

The Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus recently issued a report that reflects a rigorous and thorough examination of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. I was particularly interested in the recommendations of the commission to prevent discrimination against individuals infected with HIV.

Further, the commission urged intensifying efforts to educate those at risk for HIV infection and advised increasing the application of creative public/private partnerships to help finance care for persons with AIDS.

Orange County has been a leader in the fight against AIDS and is viewed as a model for other counties and cities throughout the United States. In 1987 the AIDS Coalition to Identify Orange County Needs recommended establishing the HIV Advisory Committee and hiring an AIDS coordinator for the county. Both recommendations have since been implemented.

The coalition is made up of Orange County agencies, both from public and private sectors, who have worked together since January, 1985, to promote effective solutions to the AIDS epidemic in our county.

As the epidemic continues to cause fear and suffering, we urge a resolution or ordinance to deal with HIV-generated discrimination in housing, employment and services. Leadership at this time is crucial in providing a role model for Orange County.

PEARL JEMISON-SMITH

Chairwoman,

AIDS Coalition to Identify

Orange County Needs

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