[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 19, 1989


JAMA. 1989;261(19):2889-2890. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190165060

Sexology, indeed the entire field of medicine, has been dominated in the last few years by one disease, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The impact on our health care provision system is enormous and, as one contemplates the possibility of the breakdown of services, frightening.

The fear of acquiring AIDS has also had a significant impact on sexual attitudes and behavior. Homosexual "cruising" (casual sex with strangers) has decreased substantially as homosexuals practice "safer sex." The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study's investigators report a marked decrease in anal intercourse and other high-risk behaviors and a dramatic decrease in seroconversion rates. In large urban areas, intravenous drug users and their partners are providing more cases of AIDS, so that in many localities half or more of the new cases come from this group. Changes in dating patterns among single heterosexuals, indicating greater care in the selection of partners, although not yet extensively studied,