September #51 : Desperately Seeking Separatists - by Scott Hess

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Table of Contents


Born to be Wild

Locked Up in Limbo

Amazing Grace

Chai Guy

Catching Up With...Ruby Amagwula

Desperately Seeking Separatists

Hack vs. Hacker

LA Snuff Film

Dole Banana Peel

Say What

Feel Like a Nuttall

Caps Are On

What Dubya Stands For

The Disability Dis

Emotional Rescue

The End of L’Affaire



Mother Inferior

Not for Adults Only

Get Over It

Lipo Handles

Topic of Cancer

Success Sucks

A Load of Fit

Thanks for the Complement

A Loaded Question

Message in a Bottle

Regarding Henry



Source of a Different Color

Mom's Recipe

Three Penny Opera

Letters to the Editor September 1999

Say What!

Woody Cheers on Rx Marijuana

Feel Like a Nuttall

Digest This



Not for Adults Only

Success Sucks

Facts Behind the Fix

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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September 1999

Desperately Seeking Separatists

by Scott Hess

Lesbians with HIV finally have a study of their own: With new funds from the feds, Kathleen Ethier of Yale University and her team launched in May an investigation into female-to-female HIV transmission. While only five such cases have been officially reported since 1984, none have been confirmed through genetic virus-matching, a technique employed by this trial.

“By doing this study we’re not saying that there’s a huge risk,” Ethier said. “But a significant portion of HIV positive women have sex with women, and yet female-to-female transmission is discounted.” Inspiration for Ethier’s study came from a startling 1995 CDC finding that 20 percent of women with HIV had or have same-sex contact.

Good women may be hard to find, however. One major obstacle to enrollment, said Amber Hollibaugh, former director of the Lesbian AIDS Project at GMHC, is that the lion’s share of lesbians with HIV have additional transmission risks related to IV drug use or sex with men. “Those risk factors exclude most women with HIV from transmission studies.” Such disqualifiers could be used to dismiss the likelihood of sexual transmission between women, said Hollibaugh: “The thinking is, ‘If you can’t recruit subjects, you can’t prove anything, so it’s not a big deal.’”

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