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UTAH ACTIVIST AND ACTRESS JOIN FORCES TO LOBBY CONGRESS FOR AIDS FUNDING

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Sylvia G. Corral's treatment of AIDS patients in Utah is far less glamorous than the Hollywood glitter surrounding actress Elizabeth Taylor's efforts to help victims of the disease.

But they joined forces Tuesday to seek more ammunition from Congress Tuesday to fight AIDS."It is imperative to our community that funding be continued and expanded so that we may destroy this disease rather than let it destroy us," said Corral, medical director at Wasatch Homeless Health Care Project in Salt Lake City.

She told the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee that the number of AIDS victims in Utah has also doubled since 1989, and 500 Utahns now suffer with it.

The committee, on which Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is ranking Republican, is reviewing implementation of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act - which Hatch helped pass through Congress two years ago.

The bill, named after a Cicero, Ind., youth who died of AIDS he contracted through a blood transfusion, currently is funded at $275 million, one-third of the $875 million level authorized in 1991.

Hatch supported continued funding of the bill, saying, "If we are to get ahead of this terrible epidemic, it is clear that we need to work at finding the best ways to prevent HIV infection and to provide cost-effective medical care to those who are affected."

Many believe that more funding for the bill is required - including Corral and actress/AIDS activist Taylor.

"Despite the noble purpose of programs supported by the Ryan White CARE Act, and despite the ever-increasing caseload in our cities, funding for this bill has been at best totally inadequate, and at worst, non-existent," Taylor said.

Utah receives funding under the Act that supports testing for the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and counseling services, medications for HIV and associated infections, ancillary case management-support services and access to primary care for HIV patients during early stages of their disease.

Among others testifying were Laila and Jerry Winfield, a Newark, N.J., couple infected with HIV along with their 2-year-old son, Alex.

The Winfields told the Senate committee that services provided by the Ryan White act helped to keep the family together.

Hatch commended the family saying, "We are fighting for funding because of people like you who get their lives in order, raise families, work . . . and do the things that they should."