Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for softwareHarriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic has occasioned frequent and varied debates about human rights, public health, and the sometimes difficult conflicts that arise between them. At times, these interests are complementary, at times, there is indeed an irreducible conflict between competing, legitimate agendas. It is not surprising, however, that such dilemmas arise in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and AIDS, given the basic dynamics of an epidemic in which private behavior has significant public consequences. This fundamental contradiction has engendered many debates, since early in the epidemic, over issues of confidentiality vs disclosure, voluntary vs mandatory HIV testing, and the limits and obligations of partner notification, epidemiologic surveillance, and risk reduction interventions in high-risk populations.
AIDS and RightsHuman Rights and Public Health in the AIDS Pandemic. JAMA. 1998;279(14):1121-1122. doi:10.1001/jama.279.14.1121