Proclamation 5523 -- Lupus Awareness Month, 1986
September 10, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
Systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as lupus or SLE) is an inflammatory disease of connective tissue, which can produce changes in the structure and function of the skin, joints, and internal organs. The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but evidence suggests that the disease may result from a disorder in the body's production of antibodies (proteins that fight invading organisms). In lupus, abnormal antibodies are produced that react against the patient's own tissue. More than 500,000 Americans have the disease. Ninety percent of these victims are women in their childbearing years.
Although research has yet to find a cure for lupus, the outlook has vastly improved. Patients are living longer, more normal lives as a result of increased awareness of the disease, improved diagnostic methods, and more effective therapy. As a result of advances from biomedical research, positive findings have emerged from such diverse projects as studies on defects in the immune system; research on genetic and environmental factors influencing the disease and its complications; studies aimed at developing improved treatment, including new drugs and techniques; and research in epidemiology and data systems.
In order for us to take advantage of the knowledge already gained, public awareness of the symptoms and treatment of lupus -- and of the need for continuing scientific research -- remains essential. The Federal government and private voluntary organizations have developed a strong and enduring partnership committed to research on lupus. Working together, our objective must be to uncover the cause and find a cure for this devastating disease.
The Congress, by Public Law 99 - 365, has designated the month of October 1986 as ``Lupus Awareness Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October 1986 as Lupus Awareness Month. I urge the people of the United States and educational, philanthropic, scientific, medical, and health care organizations and professionals to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:35 p.m., September 10, 1986]