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AIDS correspondence (TRACER) archives 1982-1990
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Collection Scope and Content Note


The collection primarily consist of the contents of a controlled correspondence system (TRACER) related to the topic of HIV/AIDS as last controlled by DHHS Chief Policy Coordinator for PHS AIDS programs Arthur J. Lawrence; no other provenance information is known. These chronologically arranged files include primarily incoming correspondence to the DHHS Secretary, Surgeon General, and Assistant Secretary for Health from public interest groups, medical associations, Congressmen, and individuals inquiring about specific topics, alerts of concern, or calls to action. Each item has attached its routing slip showing its course through the DHHS chain of command and decision point notes.

Separately identified but interfiled chronologically are Aids TRACER M files. It is unclear what the 'M' stands for, but these files seem more related to internal memoranda and meetings. There is much topical overlap with the other files, but responses are included here as opposed to being absent. Types of documents in folders marked AIDS Tracer M include:drafts of proposals requesting review; questions and answers for upcoming interviews; Daily AIDS Reports; Biweekly AIDS Reports; statements for the press or form letters; meeting minutes; memoranda marked as "FYI" or "Note to: usually to bring attention to a recently published article about AIDS.

Other collection contents include a folder of Iris Gelberg's meeting and travel files. Gelberg was the External Liaison Officer and Special Assistant to the Acting Director for the National AIDS Program Office (NAPO).

"Response to Congressman Weiss's Request for Information Relating to Medical Exclusion of Aliens Infected with HIV" holds correspondence relating to proposed amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act that would omit HIV and several other sexually transmitted diseases from the list of "dangerous contagious diseases." National and international organizations threatened to boycott the Sixth International on AIDS, to be held in the U.S., if Congress did not remove HIV from the list. This binder of material may have been prepared for Representative Ted Weiss who "was the sponsor of the very first funds for AIDS research."

Folders marked "[AIDS and the IV Drug User: a Training Program]" hold training program material for health care professionals working with drug users with AIDS. There is material both for the person running the training program and for people taking the training program.

Finally, the folder labeled "[Presentation to the PHS Task Force on AIDS – AIDS Drug Development]" holds a presentation given by Bruce A. Chabner, M.D., Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, on January 8, 1990. The presentation material includes the meeting agenda, objectives, and participants, as well as graphics and state data.

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