Sunday, February 25, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: No time to let up in fight against AIDS

It's been 31 years since scientists named a devastating disease that would sweep the country and ravage nations around the world. Then, the mere mention of AIDS or HIV caused people to recoil in fear. Since then awareness campaigns have helped educate the public and tamp down fear so that World AIDS Day came and went last month with little notice. But an estimated 35.3 million people are living with AIDS worldwide, and there still is no cure. The world must remain committed to finding a cure and stopping the spread of the disease.

Representatives from around the world made financial commitments in Washington last month that would allow the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to continue to operate for the next three years. Based in Geneva, the Global Fund works to eradicate disease in more than 140 countries, many of them poor. The group, founded in 2002, touts significant strides in AIDS prevention efforts and in reducing tuberculosis and malaria infections. President Barack Obama committed the United States to contribute up to $5 billion, provided other nations chip in $10 billion. Twenty-five countries stepped up. Pledges also came in from the private sector, including from Microsoft's Bill Gates, who said he would donate $500 million. So far, projected contributions stand at $12 billion, a 30 percent increase from the pledges received in 2010. Separately, Obama announced plans to give $100 million to a National Institutes of Health project aimed at finding a cure.

This is what the United States, other countries and philanthropists should be doing. But it is not enough. Although infection rates in the United States are holding steady, the statistics still startle, with 1.1 million people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blacks continue to represent a disproportionate share of the infected, and young gay and bisexual men, ages 13-24, are among the fastest growing groups contracting the disease. Public health agencies, churches, civic and community groups, schools and, well, all of us, need to get busy. We must inform a generation whose ignorance of the disease leaves them ripe for infection. They don't remember Rock Hudson. Many weren't born when the movie Philadelphia premiered, and they don't remember when Magic Johnson retired from basketball the first time. Besides, Magic, apparently, lives quite well. Thank good antiretroviral drugs — now more broadly available — for that. In what is both a blessing and a curse, the destigmatization of the disease fosters lax attitudes too.

We must retell the story of AIDS, what it is, how it has killed more than 630,000 in the United States and how it still kills. We must shake a public jaded by awareness ribbons of every color. The world's health depends upon our ability to advance the message and the research, and now is not the time to let up.

Comments
Editorial: Learning from St. Petersburg’s Sunshine Law violation

Editorial: Learning from St. Petersburg’s Sunshine Law violation

A recent state appeals court opinion strikes a victory for open government in finding St. Petersburg city officials violated the state’s Sunshine Law. City councils and other government panels in Florida are allowed to meet in secret only in very lim...
Published: 02/25/18
Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Gov. Rick Scott and key members of the Florida Legislature offered ambitious proposals Friday that would plug some holes in the state’s safety net, strengthen school security and spend up to a half-billion dollars in response to last week’s massacre ...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Association’s solid w...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

The nation’s conversation on guns took an encouraging step this week in three essential places — South Florida, Tallahassee and Washington — as survivors, victims’ families and elected leaders searched painfully and sincerely for common ground after ...
Published: 02/22/18

Editorial: FDLE probe of state fair fiasco falls short

It should go without saying that Florida law frowns upon public officials who take freebies from vendors and whose agency throws business to their family. But that wasn’t enough to move the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to find that the ex-di...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18

Editorial: Nursing home rule should be stronger

It shouldn’t take months or another tragedy for Florida — which is hot and full of seniors — to protect its elderly population from heat stroke in the event of an emergency. That’s why Gov. Rick Scott had the right idea last year in calling for nursi...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nation’s 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18