BGALA finds it truly outrageous that the Daily Wildcat would venture to print the editorial cartoon found in Monday's newspaper. To refer to the modern-day plague of AIDS as population control is to insult the memory of those who have succumbed to the disease and those currently battling it.
The groups in Tucson currently at highest risk of contracting HIV are men who have sex with men and injection drug users. The group acquiring the virus at the most rapid rate in Tucson are minority women and sexually-active heterosexuals. It is a mistake to think that AIDS will act as a population control, disappearing when population has gone below critical mass. In the United States, a country with a relatively low birth rate and comparatively plentiful resources, there have been 400,000 deaths due to AIDS and the current estimate is that 1.0 to 1.5 million people are living with HIV.
Forty million people worldwide are expected to contract HIV by the year 2000. The cartoon trivializes these numbers and lulls people of developed countries into a false sense of security. AIDS is with us and here to stay. Only through the efforts of people protecting and educating themselves can we fight this disease. To truly understand the scope of this disease, Wildcat readers may wish to view the Names Project AIDS Quilt when it visits Phoenix in February. Another opportunity will present itself in a film series this fall when BGALA co-sponsors the film "Common Threads."
For further details, please contact the BGALA office at 621-7585.
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