The purpose of the study is to facilitate international co-operation and national development on AIDS-policy by describing and comparing the programmes on the control of AIDS in the five Nordic countries. This article is focusing especially on community and individual considerations in legislation and test policy regarding HIV-infection in relation to general testing, testing of special groups, registration, voluntariness and confidentiality. The data were collected in the period of April-December 1987 by a review of existing documental material, mailed questionnaires to key persons in the health agencies in each country and personal interviews with 60 representatives of relevant organisations and institutions. The analysis of the data demonstrate that all the Nordic countries are seeking compromises which try to satisfy individual as well as community needs, although with different weight attached to the elements involved. Compared with international recommendations, national AIDS-policies in the Nordic countries in some instances do not fully respect voluntariness and confidentiality. It is concluded that AIDS-policy should be studied in the context of national traditions concerning general health policy, individual rights and community protection.
Interest in research on health care has become quite substantial, in part as a result of the recent emergence of public-policy concern for quality assurance and cost-containment. Yet, the essence of this novel line of research has remained, regrettably, a matter of confusion. In particular, the distinction between health care research on one side and health research on the other is being missed in some eminent writings. We emphasize that, properly, the former is to be viewed as having health care, rather than health, as its object, and as being largely descriptive fact-finding about the nature and occurrence of various processes of health care. In these terms it serves policy and administrative decisions in the context of whatever knowledge is available from health research--as to the health consequences of such processes of care. Health research (applied), in turn, addresses the nature and occurrence of phenomena of health (their frequency)--in relation to type of health care, inter alia. Using the example of the North Karelia project, we illustrate the negative consequences of including under health care research inquiries into the premises of health care--notably studies on the effects of care on health outcome.