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The C. Everett Koop Papers

"Address Presented at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts" [Reminiscence] pdf (182,276 Bytes) transcript of pdf
"Address Presented at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts" [Reminiscence]
Number of Image Pages:
3 (182,276 Bytes)
Koop, C. Everett
Reproduced with permission of C. Everett Koop.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Exhibit Category:
AIDS, the Surgeon General, and the Politics of Public Health
Metadata Record Address Presented at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (February 10, 1987) pdf (1,743,294 Bytes) ocr (26,996 Bytes)
Box Number: 105
Folder Number: 72
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Speeches, Lectures, Papers, 1958-2004
SubSeries: 1986-1987
Folder: Address- Kennedy School of Government- Harvard University- AIDS, Cambridge, MA, 1987 Feb 10
AIDS lecture February 10, 1987
Address By C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD
Presented at the Institute of Politics
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts
February 10, 1987
It was eight days since I had last given a lecture on AIDS and on the same day I had spoke at Harvard, I had made my prepared statement before the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives in reference to AIDS and condoms.
This was a prestigious venue and I covered practically everything that was known about AIDS and certainly repeated everything I had ever said about AIDS. Anything new and different or any alteration and emphasis I wanted to make, was included. I spoke more fully than I had previously on the search in 1984 that was narrowed down to something called the human retrovirus and scientists at the National Cancer Institute were able to pinpoint a specific one, which they called "Human T-cell Lymphotrophic Virus Type III", or simply "HTLV-III". It was also acknowledged for the first time that the work at the Pasteur Institute had turned up the same information, but they called it "Lymphadenopathy-associated Virus", or "LAV". I also noted that scientists then agreed to call it by the single common name of "Human Immunodeficiency Virus" or "HIV". That was a change that stuck. It is worth noting that at the time that Robert Gallo was doing his work at the National Cancer Institute, Luke Montagnier was doing his work at the Pasteur Institute. There was a lot of stuff in the scientific journals and the lay press about who discovered what first, and who copied the other, if anybody did at all. The dust settled with the scientific community giving both investigators essentially equal credit for the discovery of HIV.
This is also the first time that I talked about anti-bodies to the virus and on the basis of such testing plus other epidemiological studies stated that we believed that there were between a million and a million and a half American with the AIDS virus on board.
The public's impression at the time of this lecture was that AIDS was still an epidemic and the people at highest risk were homosexuals and bisexual men and intravenous drug abusers. I pointed out that two out of every three cases still involved such men even though they had, we knew, become more cautious about their sexual practices because of the fear of AIDS. But I did stress the 4 per cent of AIDS cases that were in heterosexual men and women and indicated that this figure was rising and predicted as I had in several previous lectures that the number of AIDS cases involving heterosexual persons would increase by 1991 about twenty-fold.
The only new thing I added about sex education was that parents have trouble dealing with the physiology and biology of sex, mainly because they themselves didn't get any of this information with they were kids. Therefore, they feel inadequate. The way this supposed fact was handled was to say, "To paraphrase the wine tasters basic comment: 'it's a good excuse.. . but it's not a great excuse'".
Other than these few additions and variations in expression, this was what I had been teaching and preaching since I began . . . but this was a great audience before which to say as much as could be said.
AIDS education
AIDS vaccine
Alcohol and Drugs in decision-making
Antibodies to the AIDS virus
Azidothymidine (AZT)
Developmental age vs. chronological age
Heterosexual transmission of AIDS
Homosexual and bisexual men
Human retrovirus
Incubation period
Kaposi's sarcoma
Limitations of government
Lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV)
Mortality from AIDS
Mutually faithful monogamy
"Organ recitals"
Parents as sex educators
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
Sex and sensitive and affirmative human relationships
Sex education
Statistics of the spread of AIDS
Surgeon General's Report on AIDS - how to procure one
The genesis of the Surgeon General's Report on AIDS
Virus of AIDS
Christian Life commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type III
National Cancer Institute
National Coalition of Black and Lesbian Gays
National Conference of Catholic Bishops
National Council of Churches
National Education Association
National PTA
Surgeon General's Report on AIDS
Synagogue Council of America
"The Bridge of San Luis Rey"
The Washington Business Group on Health
United States Public Health Service
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