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July 25, 2008

Doctors Overlook Early HIV Symptoms

British doctors are overlooking HIV symptoms, according to the National AIDS Trust. An opportunity to prevent further infections is being lost, the BBC reports ( 7/22).

According to the article, as many as half of all early stage infections, or acute infections, which are marked by flu-like symptoms, are being missed as signs of HIV.

Christian Jessen, MD, a general practitioner specializing in sexual health, said doctors were still guilty of being influenced by the stereotypical notion of the “gay man with HIV.”

“I have seen so many cases come to me which have been missed,” he said. “Doctors need to always be alive to the possibility that the person in front of them may have HIV.”

There are about 7,000 new HIV infections in the United Kingdom every year. As many as half are estimated to be passed on by people who are in the early stages of their own infection.

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