STDs / STIs

November 2007: STDs / AIDS

NEW! AIDS in Africa – MORE Good News: AIDS Epidemic Overestimated

Ugandan AIDS Activist's Facts Invalidate UN Official Claim

HIV/ AIDS Among Hispanics… 

UN Finally Admits Worldwide AIDS Epidemic Greatly Overestimated: UNAIDS estimates now much lower but AIDS scientist says new figures still too high.

As reported by LifeSiteNews at the beginning of November, the number of AIDS cases worldwide has been grossly exaggerated by the UN Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This exaggeration was seen to benefit the massive AIDS industry's constant demands for large funds.

See LifeSiteNews.com stories here: Scientists Acknowledge AIDS Crisis is Distorted and Overblown – Part I (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/nov/07110101.html) and Part II (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/nov/071102.html).

Now the UN has been forced to admit there has been a major problem with its numbers.

[Comment: The United Nations has thankfully been forced to admit that its AIDS statistics have been greatly exaggerated. More important is that the UN must now be encouraged, in the light of the revelations of this debacle, and it can at the very least be called that, to admit its condom strategy has also been very wrong – and deadly.

As the whistleblowing international AIDS scientists have emphasized, behaviour change, not condom programs, has been the greatest factor associated with dramatic declines in the AIDS rates of certain African nations. But, there is no money to be made, personal empires to build or sexual revolutions to cause with abstinence. As well, abstinence programs have a tendency to strengthen marriage and family life, the bane of de-populationists. These are all keys to understanding the problem.LifeSiteNews.com, 20Nov07]

On Tuesday, a UNAIDS annual report admitted the the world body has sharply reduced its estimates of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic because of strong evidence from AIDS scientists that the agency's methods for measuring and predicting the course of the epidemic were flawed.

Dr. James Chin, former head of a World Health Organization Global Programme on Aids unit from 1987-1992 and Drs. Edward Green and Daniel Halperin, formerly with AIDS units of USAID, accumulated and publicised much of the evidence that eventually forced the UN to publicly admit the serious flaws with its AIDS numbers.

The Washinton Post reports that Dr. Chin has responded that the UN's revisions are still too high. Chin estimates the current number of AIDS cases worldwide to be 25 million whereas the new UN figures are 8 millon above that. Chin told the Post "If they're coming out with 33 million, they're getting closer. It's a little high, but it's not outrageous anymore".

Much of the reduction, says UNAIDS, is due to revised information from India, where the numbers have been cut in half from six million cases to about three million, and from new data from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The agency's former estimates were based on studies of HIV infection rates of women receiving prenatal care rather than populations as a whole. New studies relying on random, census-style sampling techniques observed consistently lower infection rates.

The AIDS experts critical of the UN emphasise that dramatically lower rates of infection in African countries such as Kenya and Uganda can be attributed to sexual behavior differences "which are the biggest factors determining the severity of the AIDS epidemic in different countries and even within countries." Significantly, these African countries have strong support for abstinence education, whereas countries in the "hot spot" of African AIDS concentration, such as Swaziland and Botswana, consistently promote condom use.

The UN AIDS agency and other members of the AIDS industry have often ridiculed and aggressively targetted those who emphasised abstinence programs over failed and very costly condom distribution campaigns.

AIDS researchers have stated that AIDS has become a "Billion Dollar Industry" that stands to profit from misinformation. Inflated AIDS numbers were used to distort information in order to gain political and financial support for AIDS progammes.

Helen Epstein, author of a recent book on the AIDS fight, told the Washington Post that within the UN, "There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda".

The now far more realistic findings may cause spending for AIDS research and treatment to be reduced and at the same time possibly lead the UN to accept the overwhelming evidence that abstinence programs will save far more lives than massive condom distribution and harmful sex-ed programs.

Related LifeSiteNews.com Coverage:
Kenya First Lady: Condom "is causing the spread of AIDS in this country."
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/may/06052307.html

Ugandan AIDS Activist's Facts Trounce UN Official Claim that Catholic Church to Blame for AIDS Crisis
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/oct/07102507.html
[20Nov07, By T. M. Baklinski, NY, LifeSiteNews.com]
 

AIDS IN AFRICA: WELCOMING A LITTLE GOOD NEWS. The numbers of HIV+ Africans may not be as high as originally estimated by international agencies, claim two American researchers, and some countries in East Africa seem to be bringing the epidemic under control. This is good news for the continent where about ten countries are currently suffering high infection rates.

"There are about 10 nations, all of them in Southern Africa, that have very bad epidemics," David Halperin, a senior research scientist at Harvard's Center on Population and Development, said. "Outside of those countries, for the most part, the rest of the world is not nearly as affected, although there are certain risk groups within some countries which have extremely high rates of HIV." [African AIDS Statistics Overblown, Experts Say, Crosswalk.com, http://www.crosswalk.com/news/11557744/; Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update, 7Nov07]

 

 

UGANDAN AIDS ACTIVIST'S FACTS INVALIDATE UN OFFICIAL CLAIM. Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan AIDS activist who has long decried the United Nation's anti-abstinence position: "Condoms have not reduced HIV-AIDS anywhere in the world…in fact, to the contrary, higher condoms across Africa have resulted in higher HIV. If we look across Africa, the countries with the highest condoms, they include Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, these are the countries which also have higher HIV. And if we look at countries with less condoms, such as Uganda, Senegal, Kenya, these are the countries also with less HIV."

Ssempa noted that "Higher [more] condoms have not resulted in lower HIV.
In fact, it is the contrary."
 
As LifeSiteNews reported earlier this year, statistics bear out Ssempa's contention. Reporter Hillary White noted on March 5th that "2003 statistics from the World Factbook of the US Central Intelligence Agency, shows Burundi at 62% Christian with 6% AIDS infection rate. Angola's population is 38% Christian and has 3.9% AIDS rate. Ghana is 63% Christian… and has 3.1% AIDS rate. Nigeria, divided almost evenly between the strongly Muslim north and Christian and "animist" south, has 5.4% AIDS rate" (see http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/mar/07030610.html).
 
Despite its insistence on promoting condom use over abstinence, Ssempa notes that "UNAIDS has no success story. UNAIDS cannot point at any country where they have given advice and that country has brought HIV down." Even the World Bank has conceded the problem, he said.
 
Ssempa speculates that, as with the scandalous oil-for-food program, UN officials may be benefiting from relationships with pharmaceutical companies that produce the condoms.
 
"I am suspicious of the UNAIDS relationship with condom companies, in light of recent oil-for-food scandals and the corruption that has been exposed in the UN, I am suspicious about…the cause of UNAIDS officials spending billions of dollars on condoms without any evidence to back them up," he told LifeSiteNews.
 
Dr. Edward C. Green, a research scientist at the Harvard Center for Population and Development, has also speculated about economic motives behind the puzzling support for methods that have proven ineffective in preventing AIDS transmission. "It is by no means clear that empirical evidence can overcome ideological blinders or compete with the big business in pharmaceutical products that AIDS prevention has become," he wrote in a recent article for the Weekly Standard. UNAIDS Secretariat: 20, Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland; [email protected] [25Oct07, Matthew C. Hoffman, Honduras, LifeSiteNews.com]
 

 

HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics — United States, 2001–2005
MMWR Weekly October 12, 2007 / 56(40);1052-1057
In the United States, Hispanics are affected disproportionately by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Although Hispanics accounted for 14.4% of the U.S. population in 2005 (1), they accounted for 18.9% of persons who received an AIDS diagnosis (2). The rate of HIV diagnosis among Hispanics also remains disproportionately high; in 2005, the annual rate of HIV diagnosis for Hispanics was three times that for non-Hispanic whites. To better characterize HIV infection and AIDS among Hispanics in the United States, CDC analyzed selected characteristics of Hispanics in whom HIV infection was diagnosed during 2001–2005 and those living with AIDS in 2005. The results indicated that the mode of HIV infection for Hispanics varied by place of birth, suggesting that all HIV-prevention measures might not be equally effective among Hispanics and that HIV educational activities should address cultural and behavioral differences among Hispanic subgroups.

This analysis includes cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed among Hispanic adults and adolescents aged >13 years during 2001–2005 in 33 states and cases of Hispanics living with HIV or AIDS in 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2005. Included are HIV cases reported to CDC from the 33 states* that have conducted name-based HIV reporting since at least 2001. Confidential name-based HIV and AIDS reporting has achieved high levels of accuracy and reliability (CDC, unpublished data, 2005). HIV/AIDS cases include those with 1) a diagnosis of HIV infection that have not progressed to AIDS, 2) a diagnosis of HIV infection followed by a diagnosis of AIDS, 3) and concurrent diagnoses of AIDS and HIV infection (i.e., in the same month).

Cases were classified according to the following transmission categories: 1) male-to-male sexual contact (i.e., among men who have sex with men [MSM]); 2) injection-drug use (IDU); 3) MSM with IDU; 4) high-risk heterosexual contact (i.e., with a person of the opposite sex known to be HIV infected or at high risk for HIV/AIDS [e.g., MSM or injection-drug user]); and 5) other modes of infection (e.g., receipt of transfusion of blood, blood components, or tissue transplant) and unknown risk factors. Cases reported with unknown risk factors were reclassified into transmission categories (e.g., MSM, IDU, MSM and IDU, high-risk heterosexual contact, and other) in accordance with methods described previously (3). Potential duplicate cases were identified based on unique identifiers and selected demographic characteristics and were eliminated on both state and national levels.

For 2005, annual HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates per 100,000 population were calculated for Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks. Data were adjusted for reporting delays† (3). The number of Hispanics living with HIV or AIDS at the end of 2005 was calculated based on reported cases adjusted for delays in reporting and deaths; this calculation does not account for undiagnosed cases.

During 2001–2005, a total of 184,167 adults and adolescents had HIV/AIDS diagnosed in the 33 states and reported to CDC. Of these, 33,398 (18%) were Hispanics; 93,017 (51%) were non-Hispanic blacks; 54,029 (29%) were non-Hispanic whites; 1% were Asian/Pacific Islanders; and <1% were American Indian/Alaska Natives. The mode of HIV infection for 61% of Hispanic males was male-to-male sexual contact, 17% of infections occurred through high-risk heterosexual contact, and 17% occurred through IDU. Among Hispanic females with HIV/AIDS diagnoses, 76% were exposed through high-risk heterosexual contact, and 23% were exposed through IDU (Table 1).

In 2005, the overall annual rate of HIV/AIDS diagnosis among Hispanic males was 56.2 per 100,000 population and among Hispanic females was 15.8 per 100,000 population. For Hispanic males, the highest rate of HIV diagnosis (86.3 per 100,000) occurred among those aged 30–39 years; for Hispanic females, the highest rate (25.0 per 100,000) occurred among those aged 40–49 years. The overall rates for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black males in 2005 were 18.2 and 124.8, respectively, and the rates for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black females were 3.0 and 60.2, respectively.

The mode of HIV infection among Hispanics varied by place of birth (Table 2). Infection through male-to-male sexual contact was more common among Hispanics born in South America (65%), Cuba (62%), and Mexico (54%) than among Hispanics born in the United States (46%). A greater proportion of Hispanics born in the Dominican Republic (47%) and Central America (45%) were infected through high-risk heterosexual contact, compared with Hispanics born in the United States (28%). Hispanics born in Puerto Rico had a greater proportion of HIV infections attributed to IDU (33%) than those born in the United States (22%).

In 2005, in the 33 states, the rate of living with HIV infection among Hispanics was estimated at 173.0 per 100,000 population (Table 3). Estimated HIV prevalence among Hispanics ranged from 34.3 per 100,000 population in Wyoming to 443.0 in New York. In the 50 states and DC, the rate of living with AIDS among Hispanics was estimated at 244.2 per 100,000 population. Estimated AIDS prevalence ranged from 28.7 per 100,000 population in Montana to 1,165.8 per 100,000 population in DC.

Reported by: L Espinoza, DDS, KL Dominguez, MD, RA Romaguera, DMD, X Hu, LA Valleroy, PhD, HI Hall, PhD, Div of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, CDC.
Editorial Note:

These results confi

rm a previous report of disproportionate rates of HIV diagnosis among Hispanics, who have the second highest rate among all racial/ethnic groups in the United States (4). During 2001–2004, HIV-diagnosis rates among Hispanics declined by 4.7% and 13.0% among Hispanic males and females, respectively (4). These decreases among Hispanics might have resulted from decreased incidence of HIV infection (e.g., in response to prevention measures) or a decrease in HIV testing among Hispanics. However, this report indicates that Hispanics are not a homogenous group, and risk factors differ for Hispanic subpopulations.

Nearly half of U.S. Hispanics in whom HIV infection was diagnosed were not born in the United States.

[CDC, MMWR Weekly October 12, 2007 / 56(40);1052-1057, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5640a4.htm?s_cid=mm5640a4_e]