Spokeswoman calls for intensified battle against AIDS

January 13, 1992|By Seattle Times

SEATTLE -- Warning that thousands more people could end up homeless and dying on the streets, Dr. June Osborn, chairwoman of the National Commission on AIDS, said the campaign against acquired immune deficiency syndrome must be stepped up immediately.

"We have done a terrible job combating this epidemic, and we should be ashamed," she said. "In particular, we need better housing and more in-home care for people with AIDS. If we wait until they need hospitalization, the nation will go broke, and thousands will end up on the streets dying."

Ms. Osborn, dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, made her comments at a news conference in Seattle yesterday before the dedication of the Bailey-Boushay House, the country's only residential facility designed specifically to treat AIDS patients.

Ms. Osborn said she was particularly frustrated by the lack of federal money available for AIDS care to help communities do just that.

"It is absolutely ridiculous. By the end of 1993, it is expected there will be 350,000 AIDS cases in this country, and communities must have help," she said.

The political and economic pressures of the AIDS epidemic, to say nothing of the loss of life, will almost certainly become a major issue in the 1992 campaign, Ms. Osborn said.

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