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The Real Message on Unprotected Sex

June 19, 2004

Re "High, and at Risk," Opinion, June 13: Very true, many lives have been ruined due to crystal methamphetamine: loss of jobs, homes, self-respect and, yes, unprotected sex leading to HIV infection. However, unprotected sex has become unbelievably common among sober men as well.

A deeper issue is the failure in truly educating men about what reinfection and different strains of the virus entail. Has reinfection already occurred in this country with untreatable strains? What are the odds of it happening, and what is its history? The words "different strains" and "reinfection" alone are pretty meaningless and obviously don't get the message across.

If so many sober men are not getting the message, how can we expect drug addicts to? When will those issues be addressed and the spread of HIV stop being continually blamed only on drug use?

Charles Anteby

West Hollywood

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