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Officials Warn AIDS Crisis Is Continuing


BOSTON--Key state officials said yesterday the AIDS crisis has not abated in Massachusetts and more needs to be done to prevent the disease and to treat people who have it.

Human Services Secretary Philip Johnston and Public Health Commissioner David Mulligan urged the Legislature to raise taxes to provide more money to combat the fatal disease.

Johnston and Mulligan made their plea at a news conference that marked the 3000th reported case of AIDS in Massachusetts.

Johnston said six Massachusetts people each day get infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

"This remains the most serious public health problem that we face," Johnston said. "We have to redouble our efforts to keep the virus from spreading even further."

He and Mulligan said the spread of the HIV infection continues to rise in the Black and Hispanic populations, but is slowing among gay men.

Mulligan said the spread of HIV infection among intravenous drug users has not been rising as rapidly as expected, but that is still the group at highest risk of spreading the disease.

Mulligan said an estimated 30,000 people in Massachusetts have been infected with the HIV virus and most eventually will show symptoms of AIDS.

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