John on June 9, 2008 at 8:27 pm
AIDS is not a gay disease!
That’s been the mantra for how many years now? At least a dozen, maybe two. And along with the threat of an AIDS pandemic came lots of funding for prevention. The entire nation has been shrink-wrapped in latex several times over by now. We’ve had an endless parade of “consciousness raising” exercises stretching from the local elementary school through the nations airwaves in TV shows like Ellen and Will & Grace.
Of course it’s not true.
With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS has not become a heterosexual pandemic anywhere in the world, certainly not in the United States. And at long last, even the WHO is willing to admit it:
In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations may have been misdirected, Kevin de Cock, the head of the WHO’s department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa.
Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients.
Dr De Cock said: “It is very unlikely there will be a heterosexual epidemic in other countries. Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia â€“ China was the big worry with its huge population. That doesn’t look likely. But we have to be careful. As an epidemiologist it is better to describe what we can measure. There could be small outbreaks in some areas.”
In 2006, the Global Fund for HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis, which provides 20 per cent of all funding for Aids, warned that Russia was on the cusp of a catastrophe. An estimated 1 per cent of the population was infected, mainly through injecting drug use, the same level of infection as in South Africa in 1991 where the prevalence of the infection has since risen to 25 per cent.
Dr De Cock said: “I think it is unlikely there will be extensive heterosexual spread in Russia. But clearly there will be some spread.”
Why did it take so long to get around to stating the obvious?
Any revision of the threat was liable to be seized on by those who rejected HIV as the cause of the disease, or who used the disease as a weapon to stigmatise high risk groups, he said.
Critics of the global Aids strategy complain that vast sums are being spent educating people about the disease who are not at risk, when a far bigger impact could be achieved by targeting high-risk groups and focusing on interventions known to work, such as circumcision, which cuts the risk of infection by 60 per cent, and reducing the number of sexual partners.
There were “elements of truth” in the criticism, Dr De Cock said. “You will not do much about Aids in London by spending the funds in schools. You need to go where transmission is occurring. It is true that countries have not always been good at that.”
One of the danger areas for the Aids strategy was among men who had sex with men. He said: ” We face a bit of a crisis [in this area]. In the industrialised world transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men is not declining and in some places has increased.
“In the developing world, it has been neglected. We have only recently started looking for it and when we look, we find it. And when we examine HIV rates we find they are high.
“It is astonishing how badly we have done with men who have sex with men. It is something that is going to have to be discussed much more rigorously.”
So to sum up, the inflated threat was part of a very long, expensive campaign designed to de-stigmatize AIDS as a “gay disease.” But now that 25 years have passed it’s time to admit that it might have been a better idea to take the AIDS-awareness campaigns directly to the gay subculture rather than the local high school. Yes, that’s really what he said. Read it again if you find it as hard to believe as I did.
What’s fascinating is that the United States has been consumed with a discussion about “Bush’s lies” to “sell the war” using “sexed up intelligence” and a supposed attempt to create a “climate of fear.” The critics claim the only thing we have to show for it all is 4,000 American lives lost and many more Iraqis, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars. In short, many Americans on the left are all about counting the cost these days.
So what about the cost of “sexed up” AIDS figures designed to frighten the American people into thinking an AIDS pandemic was just around the corner unless they let some idiot teach their 7 year old about homosexuality. Can anyone add up the billions spent on such programs? What about the loss of innocence inflicted on children around the world? Not to mention all the lives that might have been saved by attacking the disease where it actually spread.
The WHO just admitted they blew it. What’s more, they blew it — in no small measure — because it was politically correct to do so. WHO lied, AIDS-patients died! Where’s the outrage?
Category: Health & Education |