The bioethics tabloids: how professional ethicists have fallen for the myth of tertiary transmitted heterosexual AIDS

Health Care Anal. 1995 Feb;3(1):27-36. doi: 10.1007/BF02197191.


The hysteria and misconceptions about AIDS which are fostered and held by the popular press have been accepted uncritically by many bioethicists, who have not bothered to explore popular empirical claims in sufficient depth. As a result, and because ethicists attempt to sell moral problems in a manner not much different from the way the popular press attempt to sell newspapers, artificial dilemmas have been produced in professional journals. We concentrate on just one popular misconception about AIDS--that the heterosexual incidence of the syndrome is widespread--and show how bioethicists' unreflective acceptance of this myth has led them to make conceptual and practical errors.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Biomedical Research
  • Ethicists*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Information Dissemination
  • Internationality
  • Male
  • Publishing
  • Racial Groups
  • Resource Allocation
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Social Responsibility