Letter: Predicting an epidemic of heterosexual Aids


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The Independent Online

Sir: Steve Connor quite legitimately challenges my authority as a 'non-expert' to be sceptical about an imminent heterosexual Aids epidemic (report, 21 May). The mode of transmission and therefore the epidemiology of the HIV virus is almost exactly the same as that of the hepatitis B virus - if anything, hepatitis B is the more readily infectious.

Unlike HIV, however, hepatitis B has been around for at least a hundred years. During this time it has remained in this country almost uniquely as an infection of high-risk groups such as homosexuals and intravenous drug users while remaining endemic in the general population in the Far East. There has never been the slightest evidence of a heterosexual epidemic.

I will personally deliver a crate of champagne to the offices of the Independent for Steve Connor's consumption if he can give me just one plausible reason why Aids should behave any differently.

Meanwhile, we must not forget the consequences of ignoring the simple fact. The Government has wasted pounds 150m of our taxpayers' money anathematising the innocent pleasures of casual heterosexual intercourse.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW4

21 May