May 22, 2001, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation released a report on the public's perception of the AIDS epidemic in America. This release is in advance of the National Symposium on AIDS convening on June 5, which will, among other things, take up these findings. According to the 64-page report, "when asked to name the most urgent health problem facing the U.S., more than one in four Americans (26%) names AIDS" -- a significant decline from recent years, but still AIDS is second only to cancer (35%). Moreover, nearly half of Americans (49%) think HIV/AIDS is a "more pressing problem for the nation today than it was a few years ago." The survey presents data on the state of American's knowledge about the epidemic -- including its means of transmission, the number of Americans who have relatives or friends with AIDS, and their opinions on the Federal government's role in fighting AIDS both at home and abroad as well as the worldwide AIDS crisis. Opinions are also broken down by race, showing marked variance in the responses of different ethnic groups. An eight-page timeline of selected milestones in the history of the epidemic is also posted as well as a press release.
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