City to Host AIDS Conference

Harvard Doctors Help Organize Event

A trio of Harvard doctors will join medical, legal and public policy experts to organize a national three-day conference on AIDS, the American Society of Law and Medicine said.

The conference, entitled "AIDS: A Modern `Plague?'," will run April 3-5 in Boston's Lafayette Hotel. The first day's proceedings will be shown via satellite to 100 hospitals and schools across the country.

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Although the conference will include speeches on the medical aspects of AIDS, it will focus on the legal and public policy issues surrounding the disease.

Harvard Professor of Legal Medicine William S. Curran, who is one of four conference chairmen, will deliver a speech about the legal ramifications of the AIDS screening test.

The Public Health Service, a government agency, recommended earlier this week that people in high risk groups undergo periodic blood tests to screen for the AIDS virus.

Professor of Medicine Arnold S. Relman, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, will moderate a panel discussion on the cause of AIDS and the methods by which the disease spreads.

"I'm not an authority on AIDS. They asked me to moderate because I've edited and published a lot of stories on AIDS," Relman said. "I'm also a nice photogenic moderator."

Presley Professor of Social Medicine Leon Eisenberg will also participate in the conference. He was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

"We feel that AIDS is the health care crisis of the decade, perhaps the century," said Jo Ann Kantorowitz, acting executive director of the group sponsoring the conference. In addition to speeches and panel discussions on AIDS, several workshops on the disease are scheduled.

Nearly 25 different organizations have sponsored AIDS conferences such as this one in recent months, Kantorowitz said. But Curran said, "This conference is the first one to go into such depth."