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Sept 21, 1984

AIDS and Zinc Deficiency

Author Affiliations

University of Hawaii Honolulu

JAMA. 1984;252(11):1409-1410. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350110015014

To the Editor.—  Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a complex disease. A multifactorial model is receiving strong support from investigators suggesting that the disease is a cumulative process following exposure to multiple injuries to the immune system. Furthermore, it is likely that all cases of AIDS are not from the same set of causes. I want to propose a new etiologic possibility for AIDS in homosexual men.In the past ten years, homosexuals have asserted a right to self-expression and there has been an outburst of pent-up feeling and an overactive sexuality. Many homosexuals have more than 60 partners per year,1 a great preoccupation with sex, and an overactive use of masturbation, often with multiple ejaculations each day.The average volume of semen is 3 to 5 mL per ejaculation.2 Semen is complex, with many proteins, enzymes, and prostaglandins, and is remarkable in the quantity of zinc