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November 24, 1993

AIDS Policy: Two Divisive Issues

Author Affiliations

University of California at San Francisco
Columbia University School of Public Health New York, NY

JAMA. 1993;270(20):2436. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510200042025

To the Editor.  — As study director (J.S.) and panel member (R.B.) of the National Research Council (NRC) project on the social impact of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), we write to respond to a recent Commentary by Drs Rogers and Osborn.1The NRC report concluded that despite the enormous human suffering wrought by AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic has had minimal impact on some key institutions of American life. It noted that a "major reason for this limited response is the concentration of the epidemic in socially marginalized groups."2(p7)This conclusion provoked an outraged reaction by people who took offense at press accounts highlighting this passage. Many commentators responded before having a chance to read the 322-page report that focused on the impact of AIDS on a half-dozen select social institutions. We had hoped the second wave of responses to the report in professional journals would