by Zoe Pollock

A reader writes in to correct the media's take on the Oregon State study:

This study was intended to look at risk factors for contracting HIV. The researchers, therefore, selected heterosexual couples they deemed to be at risk. They chose subjects based on interviews of the female members of each couple. In order to be eligible for the study, the women had to be between the ages of 18 and 25 and indicate that either: they had engaged in risky behavior in the last year, such as intravenous drug use or sex with another man; they suspected their partner of engaging in such risky behavior; or they expected that either they or their partner would have sex with someone else in the next year while they were still together. In other words, the researchers selected for people who were unlikely to maintain a monogamous relationship. Everyone needs to stop treating this like a representative population. Science reporting should be more responsible than this.

You can read Dr. Pisaster's full response here.

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