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August 8, 1986

Serological Markers as Indicators of Sexual Orientation in AIDS Virus-Infected Men

Author Affiliations

El Paso County Health Department Colorado Springs, Colo

JAMA. 1986;256(6):712. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380060038010

To the Editor.—  To elucidate patterns of AIDS virus transmission, epidemiologists look for common characteristics among infected persons, usually obtaining information by personal interview. For a virtually constant proportion (6%) of AIDS cases, no risk factor has been identified.1 We propose an "actuarial" method to reduce the uncertainty that attends current "no identified risks" (NIR) classification, 75% of whom are adult men.In the United States, most AIDS cases are associated with sexual activity of men with other men.1 It seems reasonable to postulate that most of the NIR male adult cases acquire the disease homosexually; they probably have compelling reasons for denying it. The problem then becomes one of gathering plausible evidence to support or discourage this assumption.There are striking differences in prevalence for certain infections in homosexual and heterosexual populations, providing an opportunity to estimate the probability of a man's membership in one or the