It’s a testament to something — well — not good, that 19 years after I first started debunking the “we’re all at risk” theory of HIV/AIDS there are still those who insist that contagious diseases must follow political ideologies. And they’re not shy about fabricating numbers to shoehorn them into the politically correct fit.
Thus I recently heard from a college student named Alex who “informed” me of certain startling “realities” of AIDS that he initially claimed he learned from a professor of his. Among them:
He tossed in a few more numbers, but his conclusion showed his letter wasn’t really about science and health, but rather a Righteous Cause. “It doesn’t matter who is at risk for AIDS. It doesn’t matter if you believe only homosexuals get the disease. How many h
There were 529,000 U.S. AIDS deaths through 2004 according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention latest annual HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, a slightly more reliable source than Alex’s teacher. (Whom I discovered to be a professor of . . . philosophy.) Only one American in 6,666 was diagnosed with AIDS in 2004, which hardly supports the prediction that a fourth of us will get the disease.
Deaths fell 8% from 2000 to 2004. In sheer numbers, cases h
Faced with these rather compelling numbers and their official source, Alex’s response was rather disquieting. “Those numbers I quoted, I came up with,” he explained. Um, right. But then even he seemed to realize that might not be good enough, so he amended that to say, “They are based off (sic) the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) around the world. You’ll notice that every other STD has increased exponentially since 1990, and you are going to tell me AIDS hasn’t?”
So with U.S. AIDS data presented to him on a platter, he chose instead not only to use a surrogate (other STDs) but also one not from the
Even his assertion about STDs was completely wrong.
The three major STDs the CDC concerns itself with are Gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia.
Chlamydia diagnoses h
Now to address Alex’s assertion that AIDS risk factors don’t matter, that the role of homosexual (as opposed to heterosexual) practices should not be emphasized, and that anybody who thinks otherwise has no compassion for the dead and dying.
Medical epidemiology is not meant to be a political tool. Its purpose is to tell us the extent of sickness and death from a given cause and to define the risks. If gays are the prime risk group, that fact must be stated as plainly as saying that only infants get SIDS and that runners and other athletes are the prime risk group for shin splints. In the case of SIDS and shin splints, the beneficiaries of proper epidemiology are babies (and their parents) and runners.
The prime beneficiaries of good AIDS epidemiology are gays. How can it possibly be considered compassionate to pretend otherwise?
Call Alex an ignorant freshman, but his modus operandi is routinely employed by special interest groups, politicians, the media, and even government health bureaucracies, on vital issues including disease and the environment. The day statistics became politically incorrect was a dark one for us all.