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April 7, 1993

AIDS and Priorities in the Global Village

Author Affiliations

Orange County Health Care Agency Santa Ana, Calif
Emory University School of Public Health Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1993;269(13):1636. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500130050022

To the Editor.  —Dr Berkley's Editorial1 on why US physicians should care about the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic beyond the borders of the United States articulates several compelling reasons for the mutual interest that all nations share in combatting the HIV pandemic. It is important to note that while the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) leads in accelerating global health interdependence,2 it is far from alone in so doing. Other major diseases affecting developing nations that do not impact on the industrialized world—such as malaria and many respiratory and intestinal pathogens—have similarly inhibited the economic development of most of humanity and acted to marginalize large populations. AIDS has tended to obscure the enormous human losses to preventable morbidity and mortality throughout most of the developing world that are attributable to other causes. Despite considerable progress and advances in reducing preventable disease and death through international assistance efforts, the