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December 3, 2008

Review of The Invisible Cure—Reply

JAMA. 2008;300(21):2485. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.747

In Reply: Perhaps because I found fault as well as (mostly) praise for her book, Dr Epstein suggests I had an undeclared conflict of interest due to an unflattering portrayal in her book. Epstein in fact introduces me as a “voice in the wilderness” who “had been arguing for years that abstinence, faithfulness, and reductions in casual sex had been more important than condoms in Uganda.”1(p187) This is a portrayal I find accurate, not unflattering, and not unlike Epstein's own position. However, on p 188 Epstein claims I defended “abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.” This is misleading; I have written and stated repeatedly that abstinence is only one part of a comprehensive prevention program.