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Memorandum on AIDS

September 30, 1993

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: AIDS at Work

Halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and caring for those already touched by the disease is our common responsibility. Sadly, if you do not know someone with HIV/AIDS, you soon will. Every 17 minutes an American dies of AIDS; one of every five Americans knows someone who has died of AIDS; over one million Americans are already infected with HIV.

HIV/AIDS affects everyone in this Nation. Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and its associated human and economic costs is crucial to the success of health care reform. Likewise, enlightened, nondiscriminatory workplace policies are essential to both our efforts at reinventing government and at lowering health costs. This Administration and this Nation must do all within our power to prevent discrimination against those infected with HIV. I am committed to facing the difficult issues raised by HIV/AIDS.

This is an Administration of action and leadership by example. Today's Cabinet meeting discussion of HIV/AIDS is the beginning. All of you are asked to develop and fully implement comprehensive HIV/AIDS workplace policies and employee education and prevention programs by World AIDS Day, 1994, beginning with your Senior Staff.

To begin this process:

  • Each Cabinet Secretary shall designate a member of his/her Senior Staff to implement ongoing HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs and to develop nondiscriminatory workplace policies for employees with HIV/AIDS.
  • These designees, with the Office of the National AIDS Policy Coordinator (ONAPC), shall form a working group to implement this directive.
  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) shall review its current HIV/AIDS workplace guidelines and assist in the development of workplace policies in the departments and agencies, as directed by ONAPC. OPM should pay particular attention to ensuring that the administrative burden on the departments and agencies is minimized.
  • The National AIDS Policy Coordinator shall report to me quarterly on the progress of each department and agency, beginning January 1, 1994.
  • The White House Staff and the Staff of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) will participate in HIV/AIDS education and prevention training prior to World AIDS Day, December 1, 1993.

HIV/AIDS is the health crisis of this century; it cannot be allowed to extend into the next. Only through education and prevention can we stop its spread. Only through aggressive and coordinated efforts at medical research can we find a cure. Join me on World AIDS Day, 1993, to remember the hundreds of thousands of American dead and the millions of Americans infected or suffering because of this disease; help me to vividly demonstrate this Administration's commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


William J. Clinton, Memorandum on AIDS Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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