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October 23, 1987

Public Health

JAMA. 1987;258(16):2305-2306. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400160159053

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to occupy a prominent place on the nation's public health agenda. Several significant reports were issued this past year on the AIDS epidemic. A committee from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, for example, completed an examination of AIDS and made a series of recommendations.1 The report says that the United States should plan on spending $2 billion to combat the epidemic, $1 billion for AIDS education and $1 billion for research to develop a vaccine or cure for the disease. A presidential or presidential-congressional commission should be created to coordinate these efforts. The report also calls for increased education to curb high-risk behavior, which contributes to the continued spread of the disease. While the licensing of a new drug—zidovudine—for the treatment of AIDS provides some hope for those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the only mechanism currently available to