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Soft Economy Hardens Hearts for AIDS Crisis
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Americans have little interest in helping children overseas orphaned by the AIDS pandemic, according to a national survey commissioned by World Vision and conducted by  Barna Research Group. While 41% said they might give to programs addressing the needs of these children, only 5% said they definitely would provide support, a drop from 8% less than two years ago.

Some 42% of the respondents say that financial limitations prevent them from giving to the AIDS fight. Last year only 27% gave the same response. This is an indicator of how the drooping economy is impacting donations.

Significant numbers of other respondents said they would prefer to give to needs in the U.S. or to support other causes. David Kinnaman, Barna's vice president, believes that many of those who say they cannot afford to help are simply afraid to tell interviewers their real attitude. "The other common responses indicate that lack of interest may be the more accurate reason."

Younger adults, under age 38, are more likely to be willing to give to help AIDS babies overseas, with 47% "supportive" or "mildly supportive." Only 30% of the Baby Boom generation (ages 38 to 56 in 2002) give the same responses, as do just 21% of those over age 56. The segment most likely to support child AIDS victims are church-attenders who are parents of young children.

White Americans are most resistant to addressing HIV/AIDS. Only 27% indicate support, compared to 52% of Hispanics and 51% of African Americans. Residents of the eastern U.S. are more likely to say they will supportive HIV/AIDS babies overseas, while people in the West and Midwest are more likely to be "indifferent" or "unsupportive."

Trend Analysis Report (2003) - Source: News Release from World Vision International, Nov 26, 2002.