Letter from Gil Gerald, National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays to C. Everett Koop
Koop consulted the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays in preparing his AIDS report. Koop was opposed to homosexuality
for moral and religious reasons, but set his personal convictions aside in searching for the most effective response to the
threat of AIDS, which required inclusion and consultation of a wide range of groups affected by the epidemic in drafting his
report. Conservatives, however, criticized him for meeting with gay organizations and for listing their contact information
in his report.
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1 (70,059 Bytes)
1986-10-24 (October 24, 1986)
National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays
Koop, C. Everett
Courtesy of C. Everett Koop.
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AIDS, the Surgeon General, and the Politics of Public Health
October 24, 1986
Dear Dr. Koop:
We commend you for the Surgeon General's Report on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and your statements at the press
conference announcing the release of the report. As you may recall we have been concerned about the lack of public response
to the issue of AIDS in Black and Brown communities. While we would have preferred some elaboration of this issue in your
report, we were pleased that it was included in your statement to the press, and that it was indeed picked up by the media.
You are to be further commended because of your positions favoring sex education for school age children, against compulsory
mass blood testing, and against quarantining persons with AIDS, ARC, or who test positive for HIV antibodies. To be quite
honest the report and your statements exceeded our
expectations. Please count on our support for promoting the recommendations you outlined in issuing this report. We urge you
to use the prestige and influence of your office to see that the federal response to AIDS as a health concern in Black and
Brown communities is adequately addressed.