Heterosexual Spread of HIV Virus


Regarding the epidemiology chapter in ‘The Tipping Point’, I think Gladwell gets it wrong. He mentions some guy in Baltimore who was supposedly responsible for giving HIV to over a hundred young women through garden variety heterosexual intercourse. I don’t think this is possible. There had to be some IV drug use involved, or something. Perhaps the interviewers were not asking the right, or detailed enough, questions. The New York City health department is very detailed in their pursuit of HIV positive people to determine who needed to be contacted for medical follow up. They discovered way back in the late 1980s that there was almost always some secondary risk behavior involved in heterosexual transmission. This was about the time that the Atlantic did a cover story claiming that AIDS was transmitted by mosquitos.

William: @James: You raise an interesting issue. I went to look at your profile for indications of religious affiliation but found none. As I look at your photo I see a slight resemblance between you and James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” fame (but of course coincidental resemblance means nothing.)

In Google I find such sites as these which assure us that normal heterosexual transmission of HIV is rare or next to impossible


Excerpt: AIDS is a very serious disease — for homosexuals, drug users, and receptive partners in anal sex from an AIDS-infected partner. The likelihood of AIDS transmission in normal vaginal intercourse when avoiding partners that are bisexual or drug users, is so remote, that you are probably more likely to be struck by lighting or be killed in a car accident on your way to a swing club. Once you make it to the swing club your much safer than in the car.

AIDS is a very weak virus and must be spread by blood-to-blood or semen-to-blood contact. Anal intercourse is the only likely way of transmission in heterosexual relations, although transfer from a male to a female can occur vaginally. Of course, first the male must be an AIDS carrier so women should be selective to be confident that the man is not bisexual or a drug user. The transfer of AIDS from a woman to a man is very rare since the penis would have to be either infected with an open sore or tissue torn by extreme roughness in intercourse. Heterosexual men are acting as a block to the spreading of AIDS which is why the CDC estimate of future AIDS cases has plummeted from 25 million to about 1 million.

(end of excerpt)

You will notice that the above link is a “Christian” site.

Here is a link from a more secular site which seems to indicate that HIV is easily spread by normal heterosexual intercourse


Excerpt: The pandemic continues its relentless spread—about 14 000 people are infected each day. This article describes the impact on health and the economic and social impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in poor countries, discusses the many factors that promote the heterosexual transmission of HIV, highlights successes around the world in preventing infection, and outlines some of the challenges for the future.
(end of excerpt)

In the 1980s my office was directly across the street from a Puerto Rican woman who had two young boys. She was rather sexually active. I often worked nights and weekends. I would look up from my work and out the window and notice her boy friend on the balcony. He was the one who transmitted HIV to her. She died of full blown AIDS. She actually worked for a while in our factory. We helped one of her sons for years after her death. The man who infected her asked for forgiveness. Of course I never cross examined the woman to inquire if she engaged in “unnatural” sexual acts.

With all due respect, I see the first “Christian” link as a form of propaganda designed to slander homosexuals. To be blunt, many more traditional religions such as Greek Orthodoxy see people like Dobson and Graham and Osteen, et al. , as demonic instruments of Satan. Satan is very clever as you may have observed from Gospel passages which describe how Satan tempted Jesus with BIBLICAL VERSES. Yet, what better way to lull all of humanity into spiritual carelessness than by telling them that all of their sins are magically forgiven and they have the eternal security of salvation, once saved – always saved (sometimes abbreviated as O.S.A.S.).


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