[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[December 1, 1997]
[Pages 1678-1679]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Memorandum on Integration of HIV Prevention in Federal Programs Serving 
December 1, 1997

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: Integration of HIV Prevention in Federal Programs Serving Youth

    Adolescence marks a major rite of passage, a transition from 
childhood to adulthood. It is a period of significant physical, social, 
and intellectual growth and change. It is also a period of 
experimentation and risk-taking. The choices that young people make 
during these years profoundly affect their chances of becoming healthy, 
responsible, and productive adults.
    Unfortunately, too many young people lack the support and self-
esteem needed to make sound decisions, and end up putting their lives 
and their futures at risk. Today, it is estimated that one-quarter of 
all new HIV infections in the United States occur in young people 
between the ages of 13 and 21. This means that two Americans under the 
age of 21 become infected with HIV every hour of every day. The Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in some communities as 
many as one in thirty 18- and 19-year olds may be HIV-positive.
    For young people who become infected, there are promising new 
treatments available to help them live longer and more productive lives. 
Yet these treatments only forestall the progression of the disease; they 
do not constitute a cure. In fact, AIDS is the sixth leading cause of 
death among young people 15-24 years old (and the leading cause of death 
among African Americans of the same age group). The loss of so many 
young Americans to this terrible epidemic is a threat to this Nation and 
should serve as a call to action.
    My Administration is firmly committed to doing everything within its 
power to end the AIDS epidemic. That includes finding a cure for those 
already infected as well as a vaccine to keep others from developing the 
disease. This commitment also includes reaching out in new ways to 
enable young people to protect themselves from acquiring or spreading 
HIV infection.
    Accordingly, I hereby direct:
     That each Federal agency, within 90 days, working with the 
            Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office 
            of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) identify all programs under 
            its control that serve young people ages 13-21 and that 
            offer a significant opportunity for preventing HIV 
            infection; and
    That each Federal agency, in collaboration with the HHS and 
            ONAP, develop within 180 days a specific plan through which 
            said programs could increase access to HIV prevention and 
            education information, as well as to supportive services and 
            care for those already infected.

                                                      William J. Clinton

[[Page 1679]]

Note: The related proclamation of December 1 on the observance of World 
AIDS Day is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.