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October 27, 1989

JAMA and AIDS: Too Much? Not Enough?

JAMA. 1989;262(16):2229. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430160047016

To the Editor.—  Dr Kubin1 questions the relevance of many articles on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) for the practicing physician. This is understandable, because most patients visit their physician because of other problems, and the physician's primary responsibility is to address those needs. However, Dr Kubin understates both the magnitude of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS epidemic and the role that physicians can play in stopping it.Dr Kubin predicted that 72 000 patients would be diagnosed with AIDS by 1990, but this was already exceeded by more than 10 000 at the end of 1988. He estimated that by 1990 the number afflicted will be less than 1 in 2000, but current estimates are that 1 in 200 may already be infected2. Furthermore, in some areas 3% of children are born to HIV-infected mothers3; the epidemic will not end in 1990. We suspect that Dr Kubin