26. Minutes of a Domestic Policy Council Meeting1


  • Messrs. Hodel, Bowen, Herrington, Bennett, Miller, Thomas, Whitehead, Taft, Burns, Whitfield, Covitz, Cribb, Bauer, Ms. Risque, Messrs. Culvahouse, Dawson, Donatelli, Fitzwater, Griscom, Hobbs, Sprinkel, Green, Graham, Greenleaf, Sweet, Ms. Horner, Messrs. Koop, Gould, Mason, Windom, Galebach

[Omitted here is material unrelated to AIDS.]

The second issue was whether to do HIV testing for immigrants and aliens. Mr. Whitehead expressed State Department concerns that it is not so much the foreign policy aspects of testing as the practical aspects, such as cost and the thought that only a small number of people will be intercepted. He pointed out the complications in doing a blood test in a foreign country since facilities are not often suited to doing HIV tests. Mr. Bauer pointed out that it wouldn’t take many immigrant AIDS cases in which the Federal government picks up the cost, to pay for a large number of HIV tests. Mr. Bauer said the Justice Department favors testing of immigrants and aliens for HIV and that he believed that the practical problems could be worked out.

[Page 74]

Secretary Herrington said that we already test for tuberculosis and venereal diseases, and adding HIV would be appropriate. Mr. Bauer reiterated support for adding HIV to the list of dangerous diseases because of the cost of health care for immigrants to this country who have HIV. Mr. Whitehead questioned whether the money for testing immigrants and aliens would be well spent. He had no problem with identifying clinical AIDS on the list of contagious diseases but continued to oppose the listing of HIV. Secretary Bennett said he believed it was inconsistent to test domestically and not abroad. He stated support for the listing of HIV.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to AIDS.]

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Bledsoe, Ralph: Files, DPC Meeting Minutes 1987–1988 (2). No classification marking. The meeting took place in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.