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AIDS Threat Rising Among the Young, Study Finds, But G.A.O. Reports Educational Efforts Thwarted

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Washington--Aids is the ninth-leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4 and the seventh-most common cause of death among young people between 15 and 24, a federal study has found.

The special panel, formed last year by Dr. Otis R. Bowen, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, warned that aids may be among the top five causes of death among young people during the next three to four years, and that at least 10,000 to 20,000 children will be infected with the virus by 1991.

The panel recommended that4more educational programs that target adolescents be developed, and that young adults be required to participate in such programs as a prerequisite to receiving a driver's license or starting their first job.

In a related development, the General Accounting Office has found that the Centers for Disease Control's campaign to educate the general public about acquired immune deficiency syndrome was stalled by the slow implementation of its key projects for "aids Awareness and Prevention Month" in October 1987.

In its report, the gao notes that because the White House Domestic Policy Council initially withheld its approval, the cdc was unable to complete its mailing of an informational brochure to households nationwide until June 1988--eight months after its target date.

Though 38 public-service announcements produced by the cdc were distributed to the major television networks by Sept. 30, 1987, only one was shown during the following month. Six announcements were made during November, and nearly 90 percent of all aids public-service messages were aired during nonprime time during the next two months, the gao found.--ef

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