Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jun 2001
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 The New York Times Company
Author: Dr. Robert Heimer
Note: The writer is on the public health faculty at Yale


To the Editor:

I was disturbed that in the seven pages on AIDS at 20 in Science Times 
(June 5), there was not a single mention of H.I.V. prevention.

Among the major successes against AIDS have been the demonstrations that 
campaigns targeting sexual and blood-borne transmission have reduced H.I.V. 
incidence, often drastically. Even recent news about the resurgence of 
infections among young men who have sex with men would not have made 
headlines had it not been for the sharp reductions in incidence previously 
brought about by politically contentious but effective prevention measures.

There was no mention of the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs and 
little consideration of ways people with H.I.V. have changed their behavior 
to reduce transmission risks.

These oversights are, I fear, symptomatic of a viewpoint that values 
treatment over prevention; prevention is a science, a cornerstone of public 

Dr. Robert Heimer
New Haven
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