Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

AIDS

Adopted by the CCAR at the 98th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
1987

WHEREAS AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, has become a major health problem in North America and throughout the world, and

WHEREAS the horror of this as-yet incurable disease is exacerbated by ignorance of the means of transmission of the disease, and

WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled permitting American businesses to discriminate against persons who have tested positive for HTLV-III virus and patients who have developed AIDS, and

WHEREAS the United States Justice Department has recently ruled that persons who have tested positive for the HTLV-III virus and those who have developed AIDS are not protected by existing federal statutes concerning persons with handicaps,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that

1. The Central Conference of American Rabbis extends its praise and support to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which has boldly undertaken pioneering initiatives in both policy and program in regard to AIDS, in creating a national task force on AIDS. We urge our members to support the UAHC in its activities in this area.

2. We call upon our members to make known to their various congregations and other constituencies those facts that are known and that will become known about AIDS. As a particularly urgent matter, we urge publicity concerning the fact that giving blood to blood banks involves NO risk of contracting AIDS.

3. We further call upon our members and our congregations to extend warm and loving support to those persons who contract AIDS and to their families, exercising the mitzvah of bikkur cholim , especially in those cases that so often have elicited rejection rather than care.

4. We wholly reject the suggestion that has been offered by some, that AIDS may be understood as a special punishment visited by God on a particular class of sinners. AIDS is a viral disease, and, as such, follows natural laws. The difficult theological problem of suffering must be solved for all cases, not dealt with in only those areas where prejudice is substituted for reason or love.

5. We call upon our national governments to include all individuals who have tested positive for the HTLV-III virus infection or who have developed AIDS within the scope of existing federal, state, and local statutes protecting the rights of the handicapped.

6. We call upon our national governments to provide adequate financial and scientific resources to work toward developing a cure for this disease.