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12 Am. J.L. & Med. 7 (1986)
The Case against Compulsory Casefinding in Controlling AIDS - Testing, Screening and Reporting

handle is hein.journals/amlmed12 and id is 15 raw text is: The Case Against Compulsory
Casefinding in Controlling
AIDS-Testing, Screening and
Reporting*
Lawrence 0. Gostin, William J. Curran & Mary E. Clark**
ABSTRACT
The spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) demands a
comprehensive and effective public health response. Because no treat-
ment or vaccine is currently available, traditional infection control mea-
sures are being considered. Proposals include compulsory testing and
screening of selected high risk populations. The fairness and accuracy of
compulsory screening programs depend upon the reliability of medical
technology and the balancing of public health and individual confiden-
tiality interests. This Article proposes criteria for evaluating compulsory
testing and screening programs. It concludes that voluntary identifica-
tion, education, and counselling of infected persons is the most effective
means of encouraging the behavioral changes that are necessary to halt
the spread of AIDS.
I. INTRODUCTION
Effective public health strategies for controlling the spread of acquired
immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are urgently required. I There have
* This article is derived from our national review of AIDS legislation prepared for the
U.S. Secretary of State, see infra note 55. See also Gostin and Curran, Public Fears Versus Private
Rights in AIDS Patients: The Use of Personal Control Measures, HAST. CEN. RPT. (in press). LAW,
MEDICINE & HEALTH CARE (in press) is publishing a full symposium on AIDS.
** Lawrence 0. Gostin, Lecturer, Harvard School of Public Health; Executive Director,
American Society of Law and Medicine. B.A. summa cum laude, 1971, State University of
New York at Brockport; J.D., 1974, Duke University.
** William J. Curran, J.D., LL.M., S.M.Hyg., Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Legal
Medicine in the Faculties of Medicine & Public Health, Harvard University.
** Mary E. Clark, Consulting Attorney, Massachusetts Medical Society, Research
Specialist, Harvard School of Public Health.J.D., New York University School of Law, M.P.H.,
Harvard School of Public Health.
IThe effort to reduce the spread of AIDS is the U.S. government's top health priority.
Message of Secretary Heckler and Letter from Commissioner Young; 15 FDA DRUG BULL. 26
(1985); U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, FACTS ABOUT AIDS (1984).

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