men. Once pointed out, the similarities were indeed striking, but the two groups were not completely alike. First, we had heterosexuals, including women. Second, our patients had much more tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis and much less pneumocystis pneumonia. We had only one case of Kaposi’s sarcoma, a previously rare cancer emerging in the gay population. Still, we knew we were on to something and began meeting weekly.
Margaret remarked that the problem was being reported more and more in gay men. “It even has a diagnostic category for billing. They’re calling it the Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease.”
We decided to follow all new Haitian admissions. Margaret and Art P. drew up a questionnaire, and each of us took turns for a week identifying and reviewing all the Haitians admitted to Jackson Memorial. Any patients who seemed to have the syndrome would be followed by whoever picked them up during his or her week on call. I volunteered my office as a logical place to see patients after they were discharged. As it was located behind the medical clinics, I could arrange for patients to be seen there, regardless of their ability to pay the university’s usual private patient fees. While most of our time as medical school faculty was devoted to supervising residents caring for “public” (that is, poor) patients, each faculty member was required to devote a small portion of time to seeing private patients. Dan, Mark, Margaret, and I already saw our private patients there, and Fanny and Clara, our secretaries, could facilitate appointments and other logistics. It was clear that these patients could not be well accommodated by the hospital’s clinic system, with its long waiting list for appointments and inflexible scheduling.
My week on call finally arrived. The word from those who had already taken call was that I could expect about 10 Haitians to be admitted during the week but that only two or three might actually have the syndrome. The most difficult part would be coordinating my schedule with that of the Creole interpreter. Speaking to patients through an interpreter, in their own language, I began to realize how shallowly I knew these people. During rounds I would introduce