Since the first report of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in five homosexual men in Los Angeles in 1981,1 more than 10 000 citations about aspects of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have appeared in the medical and scientific literature. The appearance of several compilations of previously published journal articles, including that of the more than 600 citations appearing in The Journal,2 attest to the level of scientific preoccupation with this new entity.
The intense medical interest during the last few years and the frightening potential of an unprecedented pandemic have led to attempts to outline methods for halting the spread of AIDS. In this issue of The Journal, Francis and Chin3 describe a strategy to prevent AIDS in the United States. Not surprisingly, one major thrust of the battle plan for the war on AIDS revolves around preventing the transmission of the causative agent, the human immunodeficiency virus,