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November 28, 1990

HBV, HIV, and the Proscription of Intercourse

Author Affiliations

Chandler, Ariz

Chandler, Ariz

JAMA. 1990;264(20):2625. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450200033018

To the Editor.—  I worry about the loss of objectivity and of a scientific approach in current research, at least in dealing with certain sacred subjects. In the article by Kingsley et al,1 the authors' study showed convincingly that hepatitis B virus is transmitted much more easily than is human immunodeficiency virus in homosexuals and that the penile urethra is more sensitive to disease than is the anus. But from whence do they draw their conclusion that the use of a condom is beneficial? The use of a condom was not even a part of their study. A much more valid and useful conclusion, it would seem, is that anal insertive intercourse is inherently dangerous and should be proscribed.