http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/30/n...artner=rssuserland&pagewanted=print&position= I have left out a number of paragraphs for space savings but the jist of the article is present .It is very scary to see how little these people care about themselves or others. Tests Pending in Cases Tied to Fierce H.I.V. By MARC SANTORA Investigators looking into the possible spread of a virulent strain of H.I.V. detected in a New York City man have identified several patients who may have a related strain of the virus, but the investigators have cautioned that they cannot yet say if the cases are connected, health officials said yesterday. Because of the complexity of the lab testing involved in matching strains of the virus, it could be months before health officials will be able to determine if others have indeed been infected with the dangerous strain, the officials said. "The extent to which this strain has spread remains under investigation," said the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in its first public statement since issuing a public warning last month about the man's case. That warning, on Feb. 11, was provoked by the case of a gay man in his late 40's who engaged in unsafe sex with many partners while he was using crystal methamphetamine, and whose strain of the virus was at once quickly advancing and resistant to many drugs. The announcement brought an immediate backlash from some prominent AIDS researchers who believed that too much was being made of a single case. Since that time, investigators have been able to trace all of the sexual partners the man could remember by name and have now closed that part of the investigation, said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city's health commissioner. The effort involved more than half a dozen investigators going door to door, but Dr. Frieden would not go into detail about how many people were contacted, citing patient confidentiality concerns. One person briefed on the investigation said that more than a dozen men were tracked down. However, because the patient told investigators that he had sex with more than a hundred people over several months and could not remember many of their names, the contact tracing is of limited help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . The health department's handling of the case, including the public warning, came under criticism from some prominent AIDS researchers, who suggested that the rapid progression of the disease might have more to do with the man's immune system than the aggressiveness of the virus. Given the heated reaction and the complexity of the scientific questions involved, it is not surprising that the department has been cautious in releasing details about the inquiry. Still, yesterday's update by the department failed to answer a central question regarding the case: Did the man transmit this new strain to his sexual partners? "As of today, no other cases of multi-drug-class resistant, rapidly progressive H.I.V. have been identified," health officials said. But that does not mean that no other cases exist. The case that set off the alarm involves a man who tested positive for H.I.V. in December and developed AIDS by January. Investigators say they believe that he has been infected for as long as 20 months or as little as 4 months. On average, it takes 10 years to develop AIDS after infection, but the curve is wide, with some people developing AIDS after about 20 years while others have it progress within a year or so.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But it is the ongoing investigation by the health department in conjunction with the work being done in laboratories that will ultimately reveal the strain's significance. It could be months before any definitive conclusions can be reached, officials said. In an interview, Dr. Frieden said he remained convinced that the department made the right decision in issuing an alert. It is certainly the case that because we did go public we are more likely to find future cases as they occur," he said. He also pointed to some disturbing behavior patterns the investigation revealed. "The social network surrounding this case indicates that unsafe, anonymous sex, along with the use of illicit drugs including crystal methamphetamine, remains common," the department said in its statement.