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Science / Medicine : Patients Ignore AIDS Diagnosis

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A USC study of male patients at a Los Angeles clinic for people infected with the AIDS virus found that nearly half continued to have sex after their diagnosis, and more than half of those kept their infection secret from one or more sexual partners.

The study, to be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that more than a quarter of those who were sexually active had unprotected anal intercourse--an activity associated with a high risk of spreading the virus--without disclosing their condition.

The researchers, headed by Gary Marks, an assistant professor of preventive medicine, said such secrecy may play an important role in the AIDS epidemic because sexual partners who are unknowingly infected may then unwittingly spread the virus to others.


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