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Reducing the Risk of AIDS in High School Students: Lifelong Monogamy Is the Moral Solution

Glenn P. Dewberry Jr, MD
JAMA. 1994;271(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510270041032.
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To the Editor.  —The recent contribution by Dr Walter and Mr Vaughan1 demonstrates statistical significance in changes in attitudes and specific behaviors between students who had attended a special six-lesson acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)—prevention curriculum and students who received no formal AIDS-prevention curriculum. Walter and Vaughan pointed out that "the relatively brief postintervention follow-up interval limits inference regarding maintenance of the treatment effects over time." This caution has failed to deter the media from drawing incorrect conclusions.2An important factor that was neglected is that the only "type" of monogamy that is truly associated with reducing risk of contracting AIDS is "extended or lifelong mutually monogamous relationships," and "a period of monogamy on the order of a year does not necessarily provide much protection."3 It is difficult, therefore, to see the relevance of an adolescent's self-reporting monogamy for 3 months. Hearst and Hulley3 also point out


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