Sunday, June 17, 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.

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Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

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Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

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Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

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Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

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Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

The Trump administration just can’t stop sabotaging Americans’ access to health care. Instead of giving up after it failed to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it continues to quietly undermine the law in ways that would reduce acc...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Parkland students set example for advocacy

Music is healing. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School put that theory on display Sunday night in New York with their stirring performance at the Tony Awards — beautifully.The students, all from the school’s drama department, bro...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18