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April 5, 1999

Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders coming to UCSC

She will deliver lecture on April 29 on "Sex, Health, and Personal Responsibility"

By Jim Burns

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the plain-talking Surgeon General of the United States in the early years of the Clinton administration, will deliver a lecture on "Sex, Health, and Personal Responsibility" at UC Santa Cruz on Thursday, April 29. The lecture, open to the public at no charge, will begin at 8 p.m. in the Stevenson College Dining Hall.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders

Elders took office as the country's First Doctor in 1993, declaring, "I want to change the way we think about health. I want to be the voice and vision of the poor and powerless. I want to change concern into commitment." Fifteen months later, she resigned her post amid intense controversy over her suggestion that masturbation "is a part of something that should be taught" to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Since then, Elders has continued to be an outspoken champion of a health-care system that puts public needs over private profits, a drug policy that emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration, and openness in sex education.

She is also a strong advocate of AIDS prevention efforts. Kicking off the annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference in San Francisco on March 24, Elders issued a warning that the public has been lulled by early results from new drug therapies--and many Americans have decided that AIDS is no longer much of a threat. "We all have to be in this battle until it's over," she said. "And I want you to know it's not over."

Dr. Elders's visit to UCSC is sponsored by the campus's Title IX Office and Advisory Council, the UCSC Women's Center, the Chancellor's Office, the Council of Provosts, and UCSC's eight colleges. For information on disability accommodation, call (831) 459-2462.

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