The winter 1987 issue of Reference Services Review featured a bibliography of AIDSrelated materials prepared by Edmund SantaVicca, former head of Collection Management Services at Cleveland State University.
Indexing companies and database search services are contributing to the epidemic of ignorance surrounding HIV and AIDS. They are failing us, even killing us. Doctors, patients, students, and researchers seeking information about HIV are offered access only to a narrow range of mainstream and professional publications through the leading indexes. And, while a certain slate of periodicals is represented over and over by rival indexes, gaylesbian periodicals and communitybased health publications containing vital, often vanguard HIVAIDS information are systematically excluded from mainstream indexes and database search services. This article offers a critique of current indexing practices of AIDSrelated periodical literature and suggests strategies to remedy the situation.
While the majority of reported AIDS cases continues to be among white gay and bisexual men, the epidemic has forcefully spread to new populations. Between 1986 and 1989, reported AIDS cases among persons of color increased by 214 percent, among heterosexual IV drug users by 266 percent. The epidemic is also beginning to strike children in growing numbers. DunnMortimer, John. Recommendations for Financing the HIV Epidemic in California. Los Angeles The California Association of AIDS Agencies, 1990.
June 1981 marked the beginning of an indepth investigation by the Centers for Disease Control CDC of clusterings of two rare disorders, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Kaposi's sarcoma, in homosexual men. These diseases were soon recognized as two of the many opportunistic infections and cancers that can attack the immune systems of persons who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS.
We all know that the AIDS threat to society is alarming. It is not only a serious health problem but it has become a problem of education and information as well. By the end of 1991, AIDS is predicted to be the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. More people will die from AIDS than from cancers or accidents and the direct health cost for caring for the estimated 145,000 AIDS patients in 1991 will be between 8 and 16 million dollars.
In April 1988, the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature NRC see sidebar published AIDS Law, Ethics and Public Policy. As part of the NRC's Scope Note Series, the paper offered a current overview of issues and viewpoints related to AIDS and ethics. Not meant to be a comprehensive review of all AIDS literature, it contained selected citations referring to facts, opinion, and legal precedents, as well as a discussion of different ethical aspects surrounding AIDS. Updating the earlier work, this bibliography provides ethical citations from literature published from 1988 to the present.
Reference questions calling for accurate and current data on the HIV infection and AIDS are frequent in any library. Our ability as librarians to answer these and related questions raised by the general and professional public interested in the epidemic hinges on our knowledge of where and how to find AIDS datastatistics, tables, graphs, and figures.
Cartooning is an industry, a subculture, and a field. Educational cartooning is none of these. It is a flexible, popular art that is constantly being reinvented by diverse people working in isolation from each other. As an educational cartoonist, I have been aware of this lack of communication for years. Recently, Michigan State University's Randy Scott, the world's preeminent comic book librarian, sent me a list of the comic books about AIDS that are included in the Educational Materials Database of the National AIDS Information Clearinghouse. For addresses of materials discussed in this article, see sidebar 1. I was astounded. As of June 1990, their list included 46 titles from almost three dozen sources. After years of keeping an eye out for AIDS education comics, I had found out about only 15 of these titles.