Time to Put Padian to Bed Before Moving on to Other Authors Who Have Been Misrepresented 4 May 2003
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University, Newcastle Australia

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Re: Time to Put Padian to Bed Before Moving on to Other Authors Who Have Been Misrepresented

The Padian paper(1) is, it seems, just as effective for disproving the idea that life is sexually transmitted as it is for claims that HIV isn't(2).

From a response dated 24th March 2003:

>"The Padian study is considered to be the best study of its type in which the author vigorously strived to prove heterosexual transmission."

Rubbish.

The Padian paper (available on line here) does not strive to vigorously prove heterosexual transmission. That goal is not stated ANYWHERE in the abstract or in the full text version. The authors wished to 'examine' rates, although I doubt they 'vigorously' discouraged condom use or were disappointed about the very low (less than 3%) occurrence of other STD's in the group before enrolling, or the decrease in anal sex and increase in condom use etc. etc.

For other reasons already enunciated ad nauseam above, the Padian paper provides no good reason to doubt heterosexual transmission. Nor does it prove heterosexual transmission, nor does it prove or disprove that life itself is sexually transmitted. It was designed to do none of these.

From another response:

>"It has been said that people often see what they wish to see."

Precisely!

References:

(1) Padian NS. Shiboski SC. Glass SO. Vittinghoff E. Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in northern California: results from a ten-year study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 146(4):350-7, 1997 Aug 15. [Abstract] Does sexual intercourse result in pregnancy?

(2) Flegg PJ. Does sexual intercourse result in pregnancy? BMJ Rapid Response. 2 May 2003

Competing interests:   None declared