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Toward a National Policy on Drugs and AIDS Testing

By Mathea Falco and Warren I. Cinkins

Civil liberties, private sector perspectives, and public health and safety issues are critical in an attempt to establish a national policy on mandatory testing for AIDS and drug abuse. This latest volume in the Brookings Dialogues on Public Policy is the product of two Brookings conferences on AIDS and drug testing. The first conference was held in Washington, DC, October 20-21, 1987, and the second in Racine, Wisconsin, March 8-10, 1988.

Participants attempted to confront the intense political controversy and public fear engendered by the spread of AIDS and the use of illicit drugs in the Untied States. Though no single policy recommendation emerged from the meeting, the experts reached some points of consensus on possible approaches to testing that would respect the needs, values, and circumstances of affected communities.

We are grateful to the countless individuals who participated in the planning meetings and studies that preceded the conferences.

We are also thankful for the encouragement of Brookings trustee James D. Wolfensohn to examine the policy issues connected with drug abuse in the United States.

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