Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
It is gratifying to read about the 17% reduction in new HIV
infections reported by Dr. Zarocostas. (ref. BMJ 2009;339:b5070).
However, on world AIDS day, it seems appropriate to comment that the
"HIV exceptionalism" of the mid-nineteen eighties is still alive and well.
Despite encouraging changes in US and UK central government HIV advice,
compliance has been virtually non-existent in several US states. The
revised advice has also failed to penetrate many medical and other
organisations in both countries.
The actual "normalisation" needed to abolish late diagnosis,
unnecessary illness, treatment delay, deaths, stigma, fear, and ignorance
remains a distant dream.
Dr. M. F. Brewster (Retired GP). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org