Heterosexual anal intercourse. A severely underestimated mode of HIV transmission? 28 March 2003
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University, Newcastle Australia 2308

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Re: Heterosexual anal intercourse. A severely underestimated mode of HIV transmission?

>We put two basic questions to Tony Floyd: 1. Where is the evidence that proves the HIV antibody tests are specific? 2. Where is the evidence that proves HIV is heterosexually transmitted?

> He answered neither

Yes, but you asked me neither.

What you asked was:

> Until at least these two basic issues are resolved, scientists have no option...

You asked 'scientists'. Not I. Will the ability of Tony Floyd (or any other medical student) to answer such questions be the sine qua non of Evidence Based Medicine going forward?

Crikey.

What I did provide was seven reasons as to why the Padian paper doesn't disprove heterosexual transmission of HIV. That's all. There was no open challenge issued regarding all questions posed to scientists in general.

What is meant by heterosexual transmission anyway? In a survey of University Students(1) it was found that:

"Almost 23% of nonvirgin students had engaged in anal intercourse"

In a review of heterosexual anal intercourse by Halperin(2) it was concluded that:

"This typically stigmatized and hidden sexual practice must be given greater emphasis in AIDS/STD prevention, women's care, and other health promotion programs"

Perhaps heterosexual anal intercourse is a severely underestimated mode of HIV transmission?

As for Gisselquist and Brody (who are again cited in support of alternative AIDS theories) could you please provide the URL or PMID number for the study referred to (or any study) by these two researchers that supports any theory that HIV can't be transmitted heterosexually?

In the absence of such evidence I can only assume that Gisselquist and Brody continue to support the fact that HIV can be transmitted by heterosexual contact as evidenced by their article(3) and book(4) respectively.

References:

(1) Baldwin JI, Baldwin JD. Heterosexual anal intercourse: an understudied, high-risk sexual behavior. Arch Sex Behav. 2000 Aug;29(4):357-73. PMID: 10948725 [Abstract]

(2) Halperin DT. Heterosexual anal intercourse: prevalence, cultural factors, and HIV infection and other health risks, Part I. AIDS Patient Care STDS 1999 Dec;13(12):717-30 [Abstract]

(3) Gisselquist D, Rothenberg R, Potterat J, Drucker E. Non-sexual transmission of HIV has been overlooked in developing countries. BMJ. 2002 Jan 26;324(7331):235. [Abstract]

(4) Brody S. Sex at Risk: Lifetime Number of Partners, Frequency of Intercourse, and the Low AIDS Risk of Vaginal Intercourse. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1997: 109168 [amazon.com Link]

Competing interests:   None declared