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April 3, 1987

Lying to Military Physicians About Risk Factors for HIV Infections

Author Affiliations

El Paso County Health Department Colorado Springs, Colo

El Paso County Health Department Colorado Springs, Colo

JAMA. 1987;257(13):1727. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390130045010

To the Editor. —  About 30 percent of men with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) evaluated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC reportedly acquire the disease heterosexually, according to a study published in The Journal.1 The authors conclude that risk factors for military patients differ substantially from those of patients reported to the Centers for Disease Control.Years of experience in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases among military men in Colorado Springs, Colo, (a region hosting about 30 000 active duty personnel, of whom 92% are men) remind us that infected men are likelier to reveal histories of homosexual or drug abuse activity to civilian rather than to military case-investigators. An opportunity to test our anecdotal impressions presented itself a few days after publication of the aforementioned article: Colorado became the first state to add HIV infection to its list of notifiable diseases on Nov 1,