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January 27, 1989

The Care of Patients With AIDS: Don't Ignore the Family Practitioner

Author Affiliations

Cook County Hospital Chicago

Cook County Hospital Chicago

JAMA. 1989;261(4):555-556. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420040089016

To the Editor. —  I strongly disagree with the contention of Dr Cotton in her article "The Impact of AIDS on the Medical Care System" that a new acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) specialty needs to be established. This is just not an acceptable way to provide basic health care services for patients with AIDS. It will only lead to increased fragmentation of health care provision. There are just too many patients who have HIV infections, and their problems crossover many of the traditional specialty lines.These individuals deserve the skills of a primary care physician who can call on the expertise of specialists, both medical and nonmedical, to coordinate their care.The good news is that this specialty already exists and it is called family practice. Family physicians are trained to care for individuals of all ages and to do so in the context of their families and communities. It