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The Presentation by the CDC of Data on AIDS-Reply

James W. Curran, MD, MPH; Ann M. Hardy, DrPH; E. Thomas Starcher II; W. Meade Morgan, PhD; James R. Allen, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1986;255(23):3247. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370230052018.
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In Reply.—  Dr Caceres raises several concerns about AIDS patient data reported to the CDC and the ways in which these data are presented. The CDC has long recognized that some AIDS patients have multiple risk factors.1-3 The patient classification system most commonly used is hierarchical2-5 because it is both simple and straightforward. It will not always accurately reflect how each individual acquired HTLV-III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) infection and AIDS, but it does reflect the most likely route of transmission.6 For example, a homosexual/bisexual man who had received a blood transfusion may have acquired HTLV-III/LAV infection in a nonsexual way, but for surveillance purposes, would be classified in the homosexual/bisexual group. However, if 5% of the adult population are gay men and if they have the same risk of transfusionassociated AIDS as the rest of the US adult population,6 then the number of transfusion-associated cases may actually


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