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Knowledge Really Is Power

Knowledge Really Is Power


An analysis of 11 previous studies confirms what AIDS activists have long believed--learning that one is infected with HIV leads to dramatic reductions in risky sexual behavior. The analysis, published in the August 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, shows that HIV-positive men and women who know of their infection reported a 53% lower rate of unprotected vaginal or anal sex with any partner--and 68% lower with an HIV-negative partner or one of unknown HIV serostatus--than reported by their peers who were unaware they carried the virus. The researchers say their findings highlight the importance of urging all sexually active adults to be regularly screened for HIV infection and for prevention-for-positives programs, which aim to keep HIV-positive people from exposing others to the virus.

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