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October 6, 1989

AIDS: The Burdens of History

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Baltimore, Md

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1989;262(13):1862-1863. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430130138050

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It is now a rare issue of this or any comparable medical journal that does not include an article about some aspect of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The AIDS literature seems to be growing even faster than the epidemic itself. Even so, as history is being made, the historians have but just begun to pay serious attention to these remarkable events of the 1980s.

Attempts to compare our present plight with past epidemics provide some intellectual challenge, if few sound guides, for policy-making. It is to such questions, as to the need to preserve the historical record itself, that we must now address ourselves. Dr Elizabeth Fee of The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Dr Daniel Fox of The Medical School at Stony Brook have compiled a series of a dozen essays that range widely over important historical parallels as well as philosophic and policy issues raised by