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October 10, 1990

Heterosexual AIDS: Myth or Epidemic?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Cook County Hospital Chicago, Ill

Cook County Hospital Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1990;264(14):1807. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450140027013

In Reply.—  Here in the United States there was a 36% increase in heterosexually transmitted AIDS from 1988 to 1989; this ranks with perinatally transmitted HIV (38% increase) as the fastest growing categories of transmission.1 Furthermore, 25% of women with AIDS in the United States acquired the disease heterosexually; for these individuals, heterosexual AIDS is no myth.Data on trends in AIDS give us epidemiologic information that is 10 years old; when available, HIV infection data are more indicative of current trends. It certainly is true that some of the data on prevalence of HIV among heterosexuals at risk in low-incidence areas in the United States are reassuring; for example, heterosexuals attending sexually transmitted disease clinics in rural Illinois have a prevalence of 0.54%.2 Nevertheless, the military recently found for the first time near-equivalent seroprevalence rates among male and female recruits (0.8 per 1000 vs 0.7 per 1000,