Presented Before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee
January 15, 1987
It has been just short of three months since I had a press conference announcing the release of the Surgeon General's
Report on Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome and the release of a public service announcement for use on television advertising
its availability. As the user of this archive will note, the lectures will now follow in rapid succession after the previous
one in an effort of the Surgeon General to reach as many people through as many available venues as was possible.
This was the second public address I made, and the first to Congress in what I call the enlightened era of AIDS, which was
post-first administration Reagan. Every word in this report is essential and therefore, I will not attempt to summarize it.
It does provide a very necessary background for all that is to follow.
My remarks cover not only the brief history of how I came to write the report, but also covered, to some extent, the groups
that I had met with in consultation. In my prepared remarks, which I left behind for use by the press and the committee, there
was a list of the 27 groups in question. I also took this occasion to quote some of the extraordinary responses to the report
itself, by Mrs. Ann Kahn, the President of the National PTA; President Mary Hatwood Futrell of the National Education Association;
and Lew Barker, Senior Vice President of the American Red Cross. I mentioned testimonies from the religious front: Larry Braidfoot
and his colleagues from the Christian life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Rabbi Henry D. Michelman, writing
after a joint consultation with the Synagogue Council of America.
I took full responsibility of the actual writing of the report, told of presenting it to the health group of the Cabinet Council
and eventually to the White House Domestic Council.
I offered three hi-lights. First, the risk of infection increases with increased number of sexual partners - male or female.
Second, the best protection against infection right now, barring abstinence, is the use of a condom. And third, we need to
get the facts about this disease to every adult and every adolescent in America.
To impress the Senatorial Committee, I noted that the report had been published in full in the Journal of the American Medical
Association and the Los Angeles Times, and that the report had either been copied, or is being circulated as is, in many countries
on five continents using as best examples the governments of France and Australia and the use of the report as a template
by the United Kingdom.
(Because of every word in this hearing is so important there is no index.)