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AIDS Researchers, Activists Wary Of Newspaper Article's Message

Despite contrary suggestions, they say CDC's prevention efforts aimed toward general public were not wasted A recent article in the Wall Street Journal is causing concern in the AIDS research community. The article, titled "AIDS Fight Is Skewed By Federal Campaign Exaggerating Risks" (A. Bennett, A. Sharpe, May 1, 1996, page 1), contends that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has distorted the public's perception of the potential for contracting AIDS with a

Steven Benowitz

Despite contrary suggestions, they say CDC's prevention efforts aimed toward general public were not wasted A recent article in the Wall Street Journal is causing concern in the AIDS research community. The article, titled "AIDS Fight Is Skewed By Federal Campaign Exaggerating Risks" (A. Bennett, A. Sharpe, May 1, 1996, page 1), contends that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has distorted the public's perception of the potential for contracting AIDS with a highly alarming and misleading message: Anyone can get it. The article acknowledges that the message-launched in 1987 in CDC's "America Responds to AIDS" program-was technically correct. Yet the authors argue that the campaign ignores the proven prevalence of the disease in certain populations, most notably in gay men and intravenous drug abusers.


CRITIC: CDC's Helene Gayle claims no one could predict how AIDS would affect public health.
Most scientists and activists, while...

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