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Article
January 16, 1987

The Initial Impact of AIDS on Public Health Law in the United States—1986

Author Affiliations

From the Office of the General Counsel, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.

From the Office of the General Counsel, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.

JAMA. 1987;257(3):344-352. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390030074025
Abstract

SINCE the first recognition of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the summer of 1981, this new disease has had a profound impact on the public health sector of the US medical community. However, within the legal context, it is only now that the impact of AIDS on public health law can begin to be perceived. While most cases are not yet found in the traditional legal reports, it would appear that a substantial body of AIDS law is developing very rapidly and is significantly influencing trends in public health law. This article reviews the AIDS-related litigation and legislation that have appeared to date and suggests some perspective as to the impact of these cases and statutes on public health law.

The following discussion of AIDS litigation and legislation is grouped into three parts. Part 1 describes the legal aspects of the various state and federal health policies and initiatives

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