Meeting attendees say AIDS apathy is growing
April 01 2004 12:00 AM ET
Attendees of the American Foundation for AIDS Research 16th National HIV/AIDS Update Conference in Miami on Tuesday held a town hall meeting to address growing apathy about the U.S. AIDS epidemic and to discuss ways to reignite the AIDS movement, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. A renewed interest in fighting the disease is especially needed in minority communities, where HIV infection rates are high, meeting attendees said. Nearly 60% of the nation's new AIDS cases in 2001 were among African-Americans and Latinos, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But some activists say that the dwindling interest in fighting the disease is in direct proportion to its increasing association with minority communities. "AIDS research would never have come as far as it did in the '80s if AIDS had had a black face then," the Reverend D'Mrtri Crafton Cato-Watson, pastor of Fort Lauderdale's Harris Chapel Methodist Church, told the Sun-Sentinel. He also said he believes government and private grants to help fight AIDS are dwindling because "AIDS is looking different these days."