29. Memorandum From the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Wiant) to the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Priorities Committee, Central Intelligence Agency [name not declassified]1


  • AIDS Topic: Proposal to Add New Special Subject Definition

Proposal: That a broad definition for political and economic concerns surrounding the AIDS situation be formulated under “Special Subjects” section 4.9. We propose the following language:

4.9 AIDS: (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Effect on governing and economic elites: (including identification of such individuals and/or family members affected); effects of an AIDS epidemic in the upper strata of society. Political and economic consideration: government responses to in-country AIDS and reactions to international defensive strategies; effects of AIDS on national health structures; effects of an AIDS pandemic on industry, agriculture, and economic development.

Discussion: The spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and its political and economic effects are emerging rapidly as issues of universal concern. There is evidence that governing elites themselves may be at particular risk in many countries, that national or international defensive strategies are being interpreted by other states as racist or politically motivated, that health resources may become hopelessly overburdened by AIDS-related treatment and maintenance, and that widespread infection rates in the population could depress national productivity and economic growth.2

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Community Management Staff, Job 00B01635R: Committees, Task Forces, Boards, Councils Files, Box 6, Folder 390, FIPC Change Notice #27 Topics For Intelligence on the AIDS Pandemic. Secret. Drafted by Clear; cleared by Clark and Passage. Camilluci transmitted a copy to the members of the Foreign Intelligence Priorities Committee under a June 3 memorandum, which stated: “The Department of State has requested Committee consideration of the attached proposal to establish a topic on AIDS in the Special Subjects category. The Committee will discuss this proposal at a regular meeting in the very near future. Upon its approval, the Committee would proceed to the proposal and consideration of country priorities.” (Ibid.)
  2. A Foreign Intelligence Priorities Committee member sent [name not declassified] a May 5 memorandum, which stated: “AIDS is a growing problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. CIA/ALA proposes priorities as are indicated in the attached matrix. (The CIA member agrees that priorities are needed, but he is unwilling to pitch for any 4’s [the highest priority-level designation] except for Zaire.)” (Ibid.)