High Exposure: Testing millions for AIDS

Testing millions for AIDS

Fighting an epidemic often means choosing between the public's need for protection and a patient's right to privacy. Faced with the still spreading menace of AIDS, Government officials last week proposed the most far-reaching measures yet to control the incurable disease, recommending that millions of Americans in high-risk groups voluntarily undergo periodic blood tests to determine whether they have been exposed to the HLTV-3, or LAV, virus. At the same time, health authorities stressed the need to ensure confidentiality.

The number of AIDS victims remains relatively low--some 18,070 cases have been reported to date, including 9,591 deaths. But authorities estimate that...

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