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Censored AIDS Fraud Ad Appears in Roll Call

Censored AIDS Fraud Ad Appears in Roll Call
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 22, 2000

CONTACT:

David Pasquarelli: (415) 637-4666

Michael Bellefountaine: (415) 864-6686

Censored AIDS Fraud Ad Appears in Roll Call

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Congress urged to cut AIDS funding in controversial advertisement banned by The Washington Blade and The Hill

Washington, D.C. -- Amidst alarming reports of continuing misappropriation of federal AIDS funds, four chapters of ACT UP -- the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power -- have produced a controversial full-page advertisement scheduled to appear today in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call urging Congress to "Pull the Plug on AID$ Fraud" and to "Cut AIDS Funding Now!"

Staking out the surprising position, ACT UP San Francisco, Hollywood, Atlanta and Toronto assert that AIDS is outrageously overfunded and that National Institutes of Health (NIH) research priorities are unfair to those with other diseases. In addition, activists charge that millions of taxpayer dollars intended to help sick patients are being squandered on high salaries; illegally funneled into political campaigns; stolen to pay for personal luxuries like Jaguar automobiles, jet skis, tropical vacations and shopping trips to Neiman Marcus; and used to subsidize pharmaceutical industry production of dangerous drugs that cause deformity, death and diseases indistinguishable from AIDS.

As a result, ACT UP has called for the elimination of all federal AIDS funding administered through the Ryan White CARE Act and AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) -- taxpayer financed expenditures that now exceed $1.5 billion annually. Reauthorization of Ryan White is presently stalled in the House of Representatives after a swift passage through the Senate earlier this month.

The bold advertisement, complete with bar graphs contrasting the small number of total U.S. AIDS deaths to excessive funding for victims of the syndrome, features recent examples of AIDS fraud highlighted with startling pictures of stamped out red ribbons. The controversial message and provocative imagery apparently proved to be too much for two Washington D.C. newspapers. Both The Hill, a Congressional weekly, and The Washington Blade, a national gay periodical, cancelled publication of the ad despite being provided with 45 pages of press clippings, personal correspondence and public financial records supporting allegations of widespread AIDS corruption.

Last month, ACT UP San Francisco mailed 450 packets of AIDS dissident information to Congress and urged drastic cuts in AIDS funding alleging that "current services based on the erroneous hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS are fundamentally flawed." Activists dispute that AIDS qualifies as an epidemic or emergency by citing federal statistics that show every year since 1980 more people have died in car accidents than from AIDS.

"AIDS is the biggest scientific and financial scandal in American history," commented ACT UP member David Pasquarelli. "Billions of dollars are disappearing into the HIV boondoggle under the pretext of an emergency but patients sick from AIDS never see the money. Meanwhile, those with other diseases are being shortchanged or completely left out in the cold. It's obscene."

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Roll Call June 22, 2000 www.rollcall.com

Pull The Plug On AID$ Fraud!

Federal tax dollars pay for:

* Dog walking -- Pet care for people with AIDS is covered while those sick from other diseases starve in the streets and die waiting for affordable housing.

* Luxury vacations -- Embezzled funds pay for trips to Disneyworld as AIDS execs waste Ryan White money on fun-in-the-sun Virgin Island junkets.

* Political contributions -- San Juan AIDS bureaucrats divert $2.2 million in Ryan White funds to elections campaigns and jeopardize services for the sick.

* Drug company subsidies -- ADAP pays for useless animal research and profitable pills that cause deformity, death and diseases identical to AIDS.

* $200,000+ annual salaries -- Sick people live in poverty while fat cats like S.F. AIDS Foundation's Pat Christen make more per year than most mayors, governors and members of Congress.

This isn't care, it's corruption.

Cut AIDS Funding Now!

Americans need money for food, housing, health care and substance abuse programs regardless of HIV antibody status.

ACT UP San Francisco 1884 Market Street * San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 864-6686 * Web: www.actupsf.com

ACT UP Hollywood 8965 Santa Monica Boulevard, #157 * West Hollywood, CA 90069 Phone: (323) 692-7766 * Web: www.actuphollywood.com

ACT UP Toronto 236 Delaware Avenue * Toronto, Ontario M6H 2T6 Web: www.actuptoronto.org * Email: actupto@mailcity.com

ACT UP Atlanta P.O. Box 162496 * Atlanta, GA 30321 Phone: (770) 242-4343 * Web: www.actupatlanta.com

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ACT UP San Francisco 1884 Market Street * San Francisco, CA 94102 Phone: (415) 864-6686 * Fax: (415) 864-6687 * Web: www.actupsf.com


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