Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jul 2000
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 The Sydney Morning Herald
Contact:  GPO Box 3771, Sydney NSW 2001
Fax: +61-(0)2-9282 3492
Author: Raymond Seidler


Signs that many young gays in America are no longer heeding the safe sex
message are ominous ("Rate of infection on rise among young US gays" Herald,
July 12). Add to this the rising failure rate of the anti-retroviral
treatments hitherto widely believed to stem viral activity in AIDS and we
have a recipe for a looming public health disaster.

Luckily, in Australia we do not share the added burden of a huge
drug-dependent population with HIV/AIDS. Having embraced needle exchange in
1985, we have one of the lowest rates of transmission in the world to
intravenous drug users.

In a political climate of zero tolerance for drug users, it is a small step
to open the gates of infection with HIV to this marginalised group in our

Dr Raymond Seidler, Kings Cross.
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