governor wants public registry for people with AIDS
By TOM STUCKEY
The Associated Press
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)
- The state should establish a public registry for people with AIDS to
help stop its spread because ``other methods of prevention aren't
working,'' Comptroller William Donald Schaefer said Wednesday.
``People should know
if they are around people with AIDS,'' said Schaefer, a former governor
and mayor of Baltimore. ``I feel it's absolutely necessary that a
registry be set up. It (AIDS) is an epidemic in Africa and it's an
Schaefer said he's
not being critical of people with AIDS: ``I feel very sorry for them.
They are going to die.''
The comptroller, who
proposed a similar registry when he was governor, raised the issue last
week at a meeting of the state Board of Public Works.
The proposal was
blasted by AIDS support groups and fellow Democrats.
communications director for Moveable Feast, an organization that helps
feed AIDS patients, said a registry ``would open the door to
discrimination against people with this disease,'' and discourage others
from being tested.
``The best way to
fight AIDS is to have people get tested,'' he said, adding that fear of
public exposure would work to increase the prevalence of AIDS and ``undo
25 years of very hard work.''
chairman of the state Democratic Party, called Schaefer's proposal
``I would hope he
would retract the statements,'' he said.
off the criticism, however, saying he's just giving voice to what other
people believe but are afraid to say.
``People think I
have some ulterior motive. I don't. Millions are dying,'' he said.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich
did not respond to Schaefer's comments at last week's meeting, and his
spokeswoman, Shareese DeLeaver, said Wednesday he would have no comment.