In 1980 there has been reports of rare cases of cancer and pneumonia among Gay men in San Francisco and New York. By 1982 this became so prominent that the disease acquired nick names such as “gay cancer”, “gay compromise syndrome”, and “gay related immune deficiency”. In 1982 it had been referred to as AIDS for the first time in September of 1982 when there was an average of two reported cases per day. The disease was not just affecting homosexuals, but heterosexuals as well who had bad blood transfusions or use of infected needles. -In 1982 during a press briefing at the White House, a journalist asked the presidents spokesperson if he has a response for AIDS being labeled as a epidemic by the Center for Disease Control. The spokesperson asked what AIDS was, and doubted anyone in the White House knew about it. -It was not till three years later Ronald Reagan publicly mentioned AIDS, and referred to it as a top priority for the past four years. At this point over 15,000 cases of AIDS had been reported. -While the government provided licensing to pharmaceutical companies to produce tests for AIDS, President Reagan was against the use of condoms and promotion of safe sex, and instead promoted Abstinence and a ban on HIV positive immigrants. -In 1986 the government's first official statement on what to do to stop the spread of AIDS had been published, and urged parents and schools to hold “frank discussions on AIDS”. -Is it acceptable that it took the president four years to publicly acknowledge AIDS? Reagan is known for his socially conservative outlook, but does that allow him to ignore a disease because it only affects what he perceives as a minority? Should he have promoted safe sex and contraception for reasons of public safety, even if it might contradict his social conservatism? What are some ways the government could have dealt with this issue earlier?
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