Medicine: Special Report: Good and Bad News About AIDS

How to Block A Killer's Path New infections are down among gays but up in the drug culture

The barrage of scary rhetoric and hyperbole began not long after young homosexual men started dying by the thousands in the early 1980s. Dire warnings of an AIDS apocalypse came not only from headline writers but also, uncharacteristically, from scientists and health specialists. Declared one: "We have not seen anything of this magnitude that we can't control except nuclear bombs." In 1987 Otis Bowen, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, said AIDS would make black death -- the bubonic plague that wiped out as much as a third of Europe's population in the Middle Ages -- "pale by comparison." In...

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