Does One Case Equal a New Epidemic?

New York City health officials are confronted with a potential AIDS perfect storm--the first case of a promiscuous person who is infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of HIV, and whose disease has progressed from infection to full-blown AIDS in a matter of months rather than years

Is there a new superstrain of HIV? It's too early to tell whether the virus was responsible for the New York City man's quick progression to full-blown AIDS or his immune system was particularly vulnerable to rapid decline. The fact that he was a crystal methamphetamine user may have also played a role.

Why did health officials issue an alert on the basis of one case? The man had reportedly had hundreds of recent sexual partners, and if a new strain of HIV was indeed responsible for his quick onset of AIDS, then alerting people early--and emphasizing the importance of safe...

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