Intended for healthcare professionals


Non-sexual transmission of HIV has been overlooked in developing countries

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 26 January 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:235
  1. David Gisselquist, independent consultant,
  2. Richard Rothenberg, professor,
  3. John Potterat, independent consultant,
  4. Ernest Drucker, professor of epidemiology and social medicine
  1. 29 West Governor Road, Hershey, PA 17033, USA
  2. Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 69 Butler Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
  3. 301 South Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910, USA
  4. Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 111 East 210th Street, Bronx, New York 10467-2490, USA

    EDITOR—Accumulating evidence undermines the belief that heterosexual transmission in developing countries has as large—and that unsterile medical equipment has as little—a role as supposed by many HIV experts. In 1983 the World Health Organization identified contaminated sharps—but not heterosexual promiscuity—as a risk factor for HIV in tropical countries.1 During the next five years, however, high rates of HIV infection were reported in female sex workers and patients at clinics for sexually transmitted diseases.

    By the late 1980s a consensus had …

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