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March 18, 1998

Controversies: The Role of HIV Specialists—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(11):833-835. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-11-jac80001

In Reply.—The letters in response to the Controversies articles regarding specialty vs primary care for HIV-infected patients fail to extend the discussion around major issues. In fact, these letters seemingly have only 1 thing in common—they extol the virtues of their own efforts, which are undoubtedly important.

Ms Dooha describes the achievements of the AIDS advocacy groups, but while the Managed Care Bill of Rights and the president's Consumer Bill of Rights imply that AIDS is one of the life-threatening diseases that should be considered, it is not explicitly mentioned as such. Although these documents are important regarding policy, who is talking to patients? Who is providing guidance to those receiving treatment, which includes finding another physician and advising those receiving monotherapy? It is unfortunate that the policy work by this group does not seem to have influenced the behavior of those serving as patient advocates at the grass roots.