Copenhaver holds AIDS news conference

Friday, April 21, Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver and doctor Gary Puckrein held a news conference on AIDS.

They called for a greater awareness of the HIV/AIDS problem in the black community.

70 percent of new HIV/AIDS patients are African American.

They want Congress to renew the federal law that provides treatment for low-income AIDS patients no matter where they live.

"Augusta is ranked third in the state in regard to prevalence of HIV and AIDS," Copenhaver said. "We need to address it. The Ryan White Care Act is so cities similar to the size of Augusta can get more access to federal funding."

The act is named for the Indiana youth who died in the 1980s after getting tainted blood in a transfusion.

New drug treatments mean those with AIDS are living much longer.