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November 23, 1994

HIV Testing, Counseling, and Prophylaxis After Sexual Assault-Reply

JAMA. 1994;272(20):1577-1578. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520200033028

In Reply.  —Our working group was acutely aware that our proposed policy for limited compulsory testing of the accused would become a lightning rod for discussion. We also believed that testing the accused was not the major focus of the policy, and therefore, the overwhelming burden of our original report and our article in JAMA focused on other means of alleviating the physical and psychological harm to survivors of sexual assault; specifically, that all survivors should receive prompt medical attention; comprehensive counseling about the potential sequelae of sexual assault; voluntary testing for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and pregnancy; and treatment, where appropriate.Dr Herbert and colleagues focus their comments almost exclusively on testing the accused and claim that the policy would have a differential effect on communities of color. The existence of racial bias in the criminal justice system is clear. However, these criticisms should be directed toward the system