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US Conference of Mayors' Plan of Action

THE US Conference of Mayors task force on AIDS studied 26 major United States cities, and developed a 12-point plan of action:Partnership with the federal government. The plan calls for a comprehensive federal policy for AIDS funding to cities. HIV disease, not AIDS. The mayors "recommend that 'AIDS' be replaced with the more accurate name 'HIV' to reflect the full spectrum of health consequences" associated with the virus. National standards of care. "Few physicians are well-versed in the full range of research on this new virus," and support is inconsistent. Women and AIDS. Reseachers should "develop a consensus on the unique implications HIV presents for women." Condoms in schools and on TV. "Condoms should be made readily available in high schools and public clinics and they should be regularly advertised on nationwide network television." Local clean-needle exchange. "Initial data from places where these programs are in place indicate that they do have a positive effect on educating drug users about of AIDS." Testing. Anonymous, confidential, and voluntary testing "should be encouraged, and adequate funding provided" for counseling. Prevention. Federal resources must be used to support targeted primary-prevention campaigns for all youth and women. Challenging Profiteering. The mayors call for "scrutiny at the highest levels into whether federal AIDS research incentives have been abused by pharmaceutical companies." Immigration. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department are considering an immigration ban on people infected with HIV. But the mayors argue that "turning people with AIDS away at the borders implies that these individuals are unable to take personal responsibility for their behavior." National Catastrophic Health Insurance. A system of national health coverage should be created to serve all needy Americans. Private sector. The mayors call on corporations to provide support for employees affected by HIV, education for employees, and contributions to AIDS organizations.