[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 28, 1993

AIDS Policy: Two Divisive Issues

Author Affiliations

From the National Commission on AIDS, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1993;270(4):494-495. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510040098037

THE NATIONAL Commission on AIDS (the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) was created by federal statute in 1989. Its major legislative mandate was to provide ongoing oversight of the nation's involvement in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic and to report on the response to the President, the Congress, and the American people. The Commission recently released its final report,1 and we have issued public statements when particular AIDS policy issues have taken on national importance.

The time to speak out has come again. Recently, two issues have arisen that once more threaten to divide us as we move into the 13th year of the HIV epidemic. They are deceptively simple:

  1. Should HIV prevention programs be narrowly targeted toward certain "at risk" groups, or should prevention programs focus more broadly on the universality of risk among all people?

  2. Since drug use is now linked to more than one third of all