Action is still needed to stem heterosexual transmission of HIV in Africa

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7353.1586 (Published 29 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1586
  1. Douglas M G Bowley (dougbowley@mweb.co.za), honorary lecturer,
  2. Graeme J Pitcher, consultant, division of paediatric surgery
  1. Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

    EDITOR—The startling statistic, reported by Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al,1 that it would take up to 222 years to achieve a 95% probability of becoming infected with HIV during heterosexual intercourse, will be small consolation to the people of southern Africa.

    Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 depends on the infectiousness of the index case and the susceptibility of the uninfected partner. Infectivity seems to vary during the course of illness and is not constant between individuals,2 each log10 increment of …

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