THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, December 1, 1997
World AIDS Day
President Clinton Issues Directive to Increase Access to HIV Prevention Services for Young People
My Administration is firmly committed to doing everything within its power to end the AIDS epidemic. That includes finding a cure for those already infected as well as a vaccine to keep others from developing the disease. This commitment also includes reaching out in new ways to enable young people to protect themselves from acquiring or spreading HIV infection.
December 1, 1997
Marking World AIDS Day, President Clinton said in his proclamation, "one of our most important tasks now is to strengthen our efforts to educate young people about HIV and AIDS and to make available to them and others at high risk effective prevention programs. By giving our children real hope for a future free from the shadows of HIV and AIDS, we can best commemorate the many loved ones we have already lost to the disease during its long and tragic course." To that end, the President issued a directive to all Federal agencies and departments requiring each agency to identify youth programs that can provide HIV prevention services. Working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National AIDS Policy, each agency must develop a specific plan through which these identified youth programs could increase access to HIV prevention and educational information, as well as care and support services for young people already infected.
BUILDING ON THE PRESIDENT'S RECORD
Dramatically Increasing Overall AIDS Funding. President Clinton has dramatically increased public health spending for HIV/AIDS programs, including a 200 percent increase for Ryan White CARE programs since FY93 and a 50 percent rise for AIDS-related research by the National Institutes of Health. HIV prevention programs supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have increased 27 percent under President Clinton.
Increasing AIDS Drug Assistance. Since FY96, funding for AIDS drug assistance has increased by 449 percent, from $52 million to $285.5 million, during the Clinton Administration. This program provides new life-prolonging drugs to people with HIV and AIDS.
Accelerating AIDS Drug Approvals in Record Time. President Clinton convened the National Task Force on AIDS Drug Development, and removed dozens of bureaucratic obstacles to the effective and decent treatment of people with AIDS. Since 1993, the FDA has approved 10 AIDS drugs and 20 drugs for AIDS-related conditions, including a new class of drugs known as protease inhibitors.
Increasing Research. In one of his first acts in office, President Clinton signed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, placing full responsibility for planning, budgeting, and evaluation of the AIDS research program at NIH in the Office of AIDS Research.
Pushing for an AIDS Vaccine. On May 18, 1997, President Clinton announced a new AIDS vaccine initiative and challenged the nation to commit to the goal of developing an AIDS vaccine within the next ten years.
Banning Insurance Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions such as AIDS and Protecting Medicaid. The President fought for and signed the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which bans insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing medical conditions including HIV/AIDS. The President also fought for and won protection of the fight to preserve the Medicaid guarantee of coverage for the more than 50% of people living with AIDS who rely on Medicaid for health coverage.