[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 4, 1986

Preventing the Spread of AIDS

JAMA. 1986;255(13):1706-1707. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370130062014

To the Editor.—  In Dr Echenberg's recent editorial,1 he called for "all AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] patients [to] be interviewed to obtain their heterosexual contacts and that these contacts be tested for LAV/ARV [lymphadenopathy-associated virus/AIDS-related virus] antibodies."This proposal is important in that it calls for long overdue epidemiologic studies on the spread of LAV/ARV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III [HTLV-III]) in currently low-risk populations. I join Dr Echenberg in believing that we have reached a point in the current LAV/ARV (HTLV-III) epidemic where efforts to attempt to protect the public must outweigh potential interference with individual privacy.Two important additions must be made to Dr Echenberg's proposals, however, to make them maximally efficient. The first addition is the inclusion of all persons with LAV/ ARV (HTLV-III) infections, regardless of clinical symptoms. All potentially infective persons (including the majority with no clinical disease, those with persistent generalized lymphadenopathy