On the day after the announcement that a rare strain of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2002/01/19/25863.html' target=_blank>AIDS virus was found in a New York City man, scientists said much work needed to be done to assess just how dangerous the virus is.
But, they quickly added, anything that scares people away from using methamphetamine and having &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/01/29/2203.html' target=_blank>unprotected sex with strangers is still a useful public health measure.
Even doctors who joined New York City health officials in making the announcement on Friday said that it may have been misinterpreted, because it is impossible to say that an especially virulent bug is spreading when only one person is known to have it, and that person has been followed for only a few weeks, reports Houston Chronicle.
"Every medical center in a major metropolitan area will have cases like this," said Dr. Roger Pomerantz, an AIDS specialist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. "You've got to really prove something like this before you go on CNN and scream about a 'super strain.' "
Project Inform, a 20-year-old San Francisco group that provides information about acquired immune deficiency syndrome and treatment, called the reports "unnecessarily alarming to the public", writes the Seattle Times.