Survey Reveals U.S. Apathy Toward International AIDS Crisis

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from World Vision

    SEATTLE, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive Press Release/ -- Despite
 widespread awareness of the international AIDS crisis, more than half of
 Americans are not likely to donate to AIDS education and prevention programs
 or to assist children orphaned by the pandemic overseas, according to a
 national survey released today.
     Roughly three out of four Americans are aware that many countries have a
 large population of AIDS victims; nearly a third are very familiar with the
 AIDS epidemic overseas, the Barna Research poll found.  In addition,
 61 percent of Americans are unlikely to help overseas AIDS prevention and
 education programs and 54 percent are unlikely to help AIDS orphans.
     Barna's random telephone survey of 1,003 U.S. adults was commissioned by
 World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization. "We wanted to measure
 Americans' attitudes about and awareness of the international AIDS crisis,"
 said Richard Stearns, president.  "Needless to say, the results are deeply
 troubling, given that 73 percent of Americans -- among the most charitable
 people in the world -- say they are aware or very familiar with the issue, but
 are still not likely to help the international AIDS crisis.
     "Regrettably, this fits into the general landscape of a nation with
 decreasing support for problems outside its borders.  What seems new is the
 fact that knowledge of the issue has minimal impact on people's concern, or
 their willingness to give their time or funds to the cause," Stearns said.
     The Barna Research Group, which has conducted national polls since 1984,
 drew several other conclusions from the latest survey:
 
     -- Lack of money, concern about domestic issues and commitment to other
 charitable causes are the top reasons Americans stated they would be not be
 interested in donating to overseas AIDS-related causes.
 
     -- African-Americans are the most likely of any demographic group to say
 that they would definitely support either AIDS education and prevention
 programs (19 percent) or AIDS orphans (20 percent).
 
     -- Hispanics also showed above-average support, as did unmarried adults
 and adults under age 36.
 
     Among the least likely group to support AIDS-related causes were seniors
 and married adults.
     "The overall poll results are alarming, especially considering the AIDS
 epidemic is literally ripping the fabric of society in many African nations,"
 said Stearns.
     Since the AIDS epidemic began, more than 18 million lives have been
 claimed by AIDS -- almost 15 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.  There are
 more than 13 million AIDS orphans. The AIDS toll can be expected to double
 over the next decade.
     World Vision, one of the largest privately funded Christian humanitarian
 organizations in the world, started its first AIDS programs a decade ago. The
 organization's first work included assistance for AIDS orphans and their
 foster families in Uganda, care for HIV-infected babies and children in
 Romania, and support for teens and young women escaping prostitution in
 Thailand. Today, World Vision is helping combat AIDS throughout Africa, Asia
 and other parts of the world.  For more information, please see
 www.worldvision.org.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X15535152
 
 

SOURCE World Vision
    SEATTLE, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive Press Release/ -- Despite
 widespread awareness of the international AIDS crisis, more than half of
 Americans are not likely to donate to AIDS education and prevention programs
 or to assist children orphaned by the pandemic overseas, according to a
 national survey released today.
     Roughly three out of four Americans are aware that many countries have a
 large population of AIDS victims; nearly a third are very familiar with the
 AIDS epidemic overseas, the Barna Research poll found.  In addition,
 61 percent of Americans are unlikely to help overseas AIDS prevention and
 education programs and 54 percent are unlikely to help AIDS orphans.
     Barna's random telephone survey of 1,003 U.S. adults was commissioned by
 World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization. "We wanted to measure
 Americans' attitudes about and awareness of the international AIDS crisis,"
 said Richard Stearns, president.  "Needless to say, the results are deeply
 troubling, given that 73 percent of Americans -- among the most charitable
 people in the world -- say they are aware or very familiar with the issue, but
 are still not likely to help the international AIDS crisis.
     "Regrettably, this fits into the general landscape of a nation with
 decreasing support for problems outside its borders.  What seems new is the
 fact that knowledge of the issue has minimal impact on people's concern, or
 their willingness to give their time or funds to the cause," Stearns said.
     The Barna Research Group, which has conducted national polls since 1984,
 drew several other conclusions from the latest survey:
 
     -- Lack of money, concern about domestic issues and commitment to other
 charitable causes are the top reasons Americans stated they would be not be
 interested in donating to overseas AIDS-related causes.
 
     -- African-Americans are the most likely of any demographic group to say
 that they would definitely support either AIDS education and prevention
 programs (19 percent) or AIDS orphans (20 percent).
 
     -- Hispanics also showed above-average support, as did unmarried adults
 and adults under age 36.
 
     Among the least likely group to support AIDS-related causes were seniors
 and married adults.
     "The overall poll results are alarming, especially considering the AIDS
 epidemic is literally ripping the fabric of society in many African nations,"
 said Stearns.
     Since the AIDS epidemic began, more than 18 million lives have been
 claimed by AIDS -- almost 15 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.  There are
 more than 13 million AIDS orphans. The AIDS toll can be expected to double
 over the next decade.
     World Vision, one of the largest privately funded Christian humanitarian
 organizations in the world, started its first AIDS programs a decade ago. The
 organization's first work included assistance for AIDS orphans and their
 foster families in Uganda, care for HIV-infected babies and children in
 Romania, and support for teens and young women escaping prostitution in
 Thailand. Today, World Vision is helping combat AIDS throughout Africa, Asia
 and other parts of the world.  For more information, please see
 www.worldvision.org.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X15535152
 
 SOURCE  World Vision