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July 21, 1989

Seasoned AIDS Warriors Extend Arms to Rookies in the Battle Against HIV Disease

JAMA. 1989;262(3):326-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430030014005

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AS MORE PEOPLE in the United States each year are living with, not just dying of, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), more physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are having to learn how to care for PWAs (as many Persons With AIDS prefer to be called).

At the Fifth International Conference on AIDS in Montreal, Canada, men and women who are themselves coping with some stage of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection made moving pleas for nondiscriminatory treatment as people first, people with a fearsome disease second. Plenary session speakers of calm demeanor as well as strident advocacy groups like New York City—based ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) urged greater understanding of the social and psychological stresses of their disease. But above all, they pleaded for—in truth demanded—more medical help in fighting their bodies' foes.

Some 40 000 Americans have Centers for Disease Control—defined AIDS right now. (More