Two French AIDS Groups Rally Against Conservative Presidential Candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen
The French AIDS groups ACT UP/Paris and AIDES have joined the "avalanche" of opposition to conservative French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen, calling him "an enemy of people with ... HIV" and urging voters to cast their ballots for President Jacques Chirac in the May 5 general election, Reuters reports. Le Pen, leader of the conservative National Front party, beat Socialist candidate Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the primary election held earlier this week. Le Pen stated in 1986 that AIDS could be addressed by placing people with HIV in "Sidatoriums" -- a combination of the French term for AIDS and the word sanatoriums. Although Joelle Melin, health policy adviser to Le Pen, said that the "sidatorium" proposition has been "shelved," Le Pen still supports mandatory HIV testing for foreigners entering France. ACT UP/Paris and AIDES called for a "massive vote" for Chirac in the general election to ensure that Le Pen does not win the presidency. "We didn't survive AIDS until now to see this. ACT UP has decided to call to vote Chirac on May 5," the organization states in a press release (Reuters, 4/24).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.