WASHINGTON — An advisory board of medical experts, in a confidential report to Pentagon health officials last month, concluded that there is no justification "at this time" for screening the blood of all active-duty personnel for an antibody associated with AIDS.
The report, released late Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, was prepared by the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. Its findings conflict with the desire by some military leaders to begin screening all military personnel immediately.
As previously disclosed by sources, the report does recommend that the Pentagon begin screening the blood of all military personnel who are about to leave for an overseas post. That recommendation is pending before Dr. William Mayer, the assistant defense secretary for health affairs, and Deputy Defense Secretary William Howard Taft.
Sources said Friday that the recommendation is sure to be adopted in some form later this month. One source, who requested anonymity, said the recommendation might be amended to include active-duty personnel already deployed overseas in certain countries, as well as those individuals who are about to go to those countries.