By the end of 1987, almost 50,000 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) will have been reported in the United States. Although the primary epidemiology of the disease has been described, much work remains to be done to complete our understanding of the dynamics of transmission and infection with the causative virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At the state and local level, the highest priorities for epidemiologic research are to understand better the precise populations at risk of prevalent and incident HIV infection, and to use this information to direct and monitor specific prevention programs that are likely to be effective for the populations at risk. These parallel efforts-sophisticated investigative epidemiologic research and applied epidemiologic and serosurveillance studies-must be expanded rapidly and continued for the forseeable future if we are to accomplish the goal of preventing further spread of HIV
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