Medicine: A Recount of AIDS Carriers

Recount of AIDS Carriers The epidemic may not be as widespread as once assumed

One of the most maddening -- and frightening -- aspects of the AIDS epidemic is that no one knows how many people have been infected with the deadly virus. It can lie dormant in the body for years before producing symptoms. U.S. health officials have estimated that between 950,000 and 1.45 million Americans have picked up the virus, but that is based on spotty data. Admits a federal AIDS expert: "It's just hard to take those numbers seriously."

But now there is a set of numbers that may deserve to be taken seriously. Joel Hay, a health economist for the Hoover...

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