AIDS in America: Our Chances, Our Choices

AIDS in America: Our Chances, Our Choices

AIDS in America: Our Chances, Our Choices

AIDS in America: Our Chances, Our Choices


". . . [Lee] provides concrete facts and figure where others fail. . . . If only one book were chosen for a library collection on AIDS, make it this study."¿THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW


Since 1986, the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become daily media grist. Stories circulate among us of "friends of friends" being afflicted and dying from AIDS, yet most of us still have had no immediate experience with the disease. Recent reports (1978 to March 1985) from the Federal Government of the potential of AIDS infection from receipt of blood through transfusion have frightened us of the hidden power of this "new invader." An uneasiness about our own fallibility is ever-so-gradually settling into our subconsciousness. The "day-light" of science, firmly rooted as our "can-do" shield, is beginning to waver.

This mystery disease, despite our fears, surely can be solved by the scientific brain trust--or can it? According to David Baltimore, AIDS expert and Nobel laureate, "It will probably be the most important public-health problem of the next decade and going into the next century." His comment is representative of a growing host of normally restrained scientists. The AIDS threat "is probably more serious than has been thought" and the disease stands every chance of becoming the threat of the century. Reports such as these begin to show the magnitude of concern among AIDS scientists. Imagine this possibility:

It is the year 2001 and, although the full scientific knowledge of molecular biology has been focused on defeating AIDS since 1983, there is still no cure and no vaccine. Continuing efforts have begun to affect the nation's sexual behavior in order to reduce the risk of contracting AIDS, but that change in behavior occurred too late for millions of persons. There are now over 50 million persons seropositive (blood-testing positive) for AIDS. Nearly 1.5 million persons die this year alone from the disease. You have had someone close to you die. You know many who are infected--you may be infected. Epidemiological reports of the probable number of persons infected within 5 years by AIDS soar to perhaps 100 million persons in the United States alone.

The social fabric of the nation is threatened; constitutional rights have been suspended. In some areas of the nation, marshal . . .

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