WASHINGTON — The federal government is printing 45 million copies of a new brochure on AIDS and will start distributing the eight-page booklet next week, an Administration official said Thursday.
The pamphlet will be distributed by state and local health departments, community-based organizations and large employers, said Campbell Gardett, a spokesman for the Health and Human Services Department.
The booklet was originally prepared by the Centers for Disease Control for possible mailing to individual households.
Disclosure of the decision to begin distributing the booklet through local outlets came two days after the Administration came under criticism from a House subcommittee for not heeding a congressional directive for a national mailing.
AIDS Prevention Month
Gardett said 25 million copies will be available for initial distribution on Wednesday in conjunction with AIDS Awareness and Prevention Month in October.
Additionally, he said, 2 million copies will be ready by then for distribution to military personnel and their families at home and overseas.
The remainder of the 45-million printing will be available later, perhaps within a matter of weeks.
Although months in preparation, draft versions of the document have been closely held within the department and it is not known how the information in it will compare with the explicit nature of the 36-page surgeon general's report on AIDS.
Koop's Advice Cited
In that report, Surgeon Gen. C. Everett Koop says use of condoms is the only protection against sexual transmission of AIDS for those who do not practice abstinence or have sex only with a partner they know is not infected.
Plans for release and distribution of the brochure came only hours after a top official denied assertions that the White House was responsible for delays in a mass mailing.
"The bottleneck is not here," said Gary L. Bauer, President Reagan's chief adviser on domestic policy and a member of the Domestic Policy Council.
In a Sept. 22 letter to Sen. Lawton Chiles (D-Fla.), Health and Human Services Secretary Otis R. Bowen said his department planned a national mailing but that it would not be ready by October "because the time required to develop the materials and to arrange logistical support was not adequate."