Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 112 Part 5.djvu/951

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PROCLAMATION 705&—DEC. 1, 1997 112 STAT. 3709 matically increasing funding for AIDS prevention measures and research. Such programs and research have helped to slow the spread of HIV and AIDS and have made possible the production of new drugs that are extending the lives of people with HIV and AIDS here at home and around the world. But our progress against the scourge of AIDS has not been the result of government action alone. We have been able to make these great strides in understanding and treating HIV and AIDS thanks in large part to the hard work and commitment of thousands of researchers, health care providers, and clinical trial participants. I am proud as well of the resounding response of courage, compassion, responsibility, and love that the AIDS crisis has brought forth from our people. The lesbian and gay community, particularly in the early years of this epidemic, energized existing organizations and created new institutions to respond to the luimet needs of those living with HIV and AIDS. Educators and activists, members of religious and civic groups, business and labor organizations, and tens of thousands of other men and women of goodwill have joined together to comfort the afflicted and bring an end to this disease. We can rejoice in our progress, but we cannot rest. In May, I announced a new HIV vaccine initiative, and I am pleased that the global community has joined together in making the development of this vaccine a top international priority. Within 10 years, we hope to have the means to stop this deadly virus. But until we reach that day, I call on every American to remain with us on our crusade to eradicate this terrible epidemic and care for those living with AIDS along the way. As we mark World AIDS Day this year, we must continue to provide care for the sick and ensure that all have access to the treatment they need. And one of our most important tasks now is to strengthen our efforts to educate young people about HIV and AIDS and to make available to them and others at high risk effective prevention programs. By giving our children real hope for a future free from the shadows of HIV and AIDS, we can best commemorate the many loved ones we have already lost to the disease during its long and tragic course. May their enduring memory light our journey toward a vaccine for HIV and a final cure for AIDS. NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 1997, as World AIDS Day. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in reaffirming our commitment to defeating HIV and AIDS and to helping those who live with the disease. I encourage every American to participate in appropriate commemorative programs and ceremonies in workplaces, houses of worship, and other community centers and to reach out to protect our children and to help all people who are living with AIDS. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of December, in the year of ovu: Lord nineteen hundred and ninety- seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second. WILLIAM J. CLINTON