AIDS Resolution

Recognizing that the epidemic of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) threatens the mental health and civil liberties, as well as physical health, of many persons, the American Psychological Association adopts the following resolution:

  1. The importance of psychosocial and mental health components of AIDS should be stressed in treatment, research, and prevention programs.

  2. APA is also concerned about the public health aspects of AIDS and about he physical and mental health of the public. Therefore APA supports the greater expenditure of public funds for public education regarding AIDS and for the accurate dissemination and utilization of the most current scientific information regarding the prevention and treatment of AIDS.

  3. Necessary mental health services and facilities for persons with AIDS, AIDS-related conditions, or an exaggerated fear about the threat of AIDS should be widely available.

  4. Given current research evidence that individuals do not become infected with the AIDS virus through casual contact, the American Psychological Association deplores the exclusion of persons with AIDS or those suspected of having AIDS from housing, employment, education, or necessary professional services.

  5. The American Psychological Association condemns the use of the AIDS epidemic as a vehicle for fostering prejudice or discrimination against any group or individual.

  6. Until there are empirical data linking specific tests with the eventual development of AIDS, the American Psychological Association condemns indiscriminate testing to detect exposure to AIDS.

  7. Psychologists are urged to combat irrational public fears of AIDS through education and other professional activities including teaching of courses, lectures to the public, counseling and therapy, consultation, and research regarding the fear of AIDS.

  8. Large-scale identification of AIDS seropositive persons, a major public health goal, clearly requires adherence to the requirement of confidentiality of patient records. We urge that this customary ethical tenet be strictly followed in all dealings with persons voluntarily screened for the AIDS virus. (1986)