Skip to comments.A Virus Like None Other Before it
Posted on 06/14/2005 5:30:24 PM PDT by Voice in your head
According to a paper published in last months World Economics, there are four anomalies relating to the HIV/AIDS epidemic which make it unique and, crucially, question the policy approach in developing countries. The papers varied authors--an English professor of public accountability; an Austrian obstetrician; a Canadian professor of pathology; and a retired Scottish professor of public health--have provided a fascinating insight into why HIV/AIDS is different, not only between rich and poor countries, but between neighboring African countries.
This is a brave and important paper, not least because anyone contradicting AIDS orthodoxy is seen not unlike a Holocaust denier.
Crippling epidemics are not new: Europes Black Death (bubonic plague) from 1347-51 killed two-thirds of Europe. Other less well-known examples often decimated populations--yellow fewer (1740-48), smallpox (1870-71), dysentery during the Crimean and Boer wars, and the famous 1918-19 influenza epidemic that killed more than the First World War. The most recent was the much less devastating severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak of 2002-03.
All these epidemics share multiple characteristics, which HIV does not. All have an identifiable starting point, a verifiable end point, short duration, and require traditional policies of isolation, quarantine and hygiene to minimize transmission of the causal pathogen.
But what of AIDS? As the authors point out: The HIV/AIDS epidemic began as a localized outbreak in California and New York (not in east Africa, as claimed) and became international within 15 years, with apparent devastating lethality in sub-Saharan Africa and some other developing countries. This complex syndrome is currently regarded as by far the greatest threat to economic and human survival in the affected countries.
First, the main AIDS-qualifying diseases in developing countries (such as tuberculosis, persistent fever and/or weight loss and diarrhea) are totally different from the main AIDS-qualifying diseases in developed countries (such as Kaposis sarcoma, pneumocystis carinii).
Second, a diagnosis of HIV and AIDS is very loosely defined in developing countries but is strictly defined in developed countries. In rich countries, an HIV antibody test is always done but in the poor world it is not necessary and has not been performed in millions of cases.
Third, AIDS is distributed and appears to be acquired overwhelmingly heterosexually in developing countries but overwhelmingly by homosexuality and by drug abusers in developed countries. Fourth, the definition of AIDS has been changed four times, so that we now refer only to HIV/AIDS rather than to HIV and AIDS separately. Thus, cases of asymptomatic HIV are called HIV/AIDS.
Furthermore, each change has broadened the definition of AIDS-qualifying diseases and caused the number of cases to rise continuously. For instance, cancer of the uterine cervix is classed as AIDS-qualifying, removing much of the skew to male prevalence in developed countries.
The authors conclude, in effect, that in developing countries endemic diseases--many linked to overcrowding, malnourishment, famine, war, sexually transmitted diseases etc--have been reclassified as AIDS. They say: In economic terms, we suggest that the same asymmetry of information is being used to justify continuation and expansion of inordinate, ring-fenced, and inefficient policies for prevention and control.
The authors are not denying the syndrome in rich countries, are not saying antiretrovirals cannot control HIV, or anything else to deny the existence of HIV. But they are saying that there is an alarming possibility that the opportunity costs of alternative interventions aimed at other more prevalent and equally dangerous threats to health are being denied comparable, or any, attention and vaccine research should be redirected from HIV vaccines towards more effective vaccines and treatments that can be administered to large numbers (millions) of people to control TB and malaria.
It may well be time to allocate some of the ballooning AIDS budget to measuring what is actually causing problems in Africa. Does the syndrome in Africa deserve the funding allocation it receives, or is it misallocated and should it be re-directed? This latest research suggests that it should be reallocated to old foes such as malaria and tuberculosis, and to water quality improvements.
Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI.
OK, but you don't get a pretty ribbon with malaria, tuberculosis and water quality.
Interesting ...this is the first time I've read this theory....I'd be interested in reading the data that supports this statement.
In order to scam money from developed countries?
And I wouldn't be surprised if it starts a movement to have the developed world (read "U.S.") become responsible in every way for all the social and financial costs associated with the problem. Another global transfer in the mid-term future? It is too suggestive, as it is written.
You knew that writing off the African debt was not the end of the story, right?
Reading about partisan politics is fun.
Reading about AIDS is necessary, but not fun.
No wonder Bubba's involved.
IOW Aids is political. But then all one needs to do to realize this is look at the $$$ spent per person infected versus other ailments.
This man is right. There has been a massive disinformation program around HIV. What is called AIDS in 3rd world countries frequently is just a combination of other diseases that occur in poorly nourished areas with bad hygiene and too many people. It's being called AIDS now to politicize the disease and remove the "gay" stigma. It's not about a virus as much as it is about hygiene and better living conditions.
How can any intelligent person read that sentence and not see that the whole HIV=AIDS game is just a giant scam? They are now claiming that HIV "causes" (I guess that is what 'AIDS-qualifiying' means) cancer. If this is science then I'm a duck.
Question: If it is due to malaria, TB and water-borne organisms, then how come most of the dead have been between the ages of 15-49? How come in the hardest hit areas (eg Uganda before they started intensive, and highly successful, abstinence/sex-ed programs ....and South Africa currently, which is still embroiled in a serious crisis) that many of the survivors are the very young and the very old? How come, using Uganda as an exampe again, there were whole villages where the only people present were children been taken care of by their grandparents?
The main victims of diseases like Malaria, as well as water-borne stuff like Bilharzia and Typhoid, are the very young and the very old. And the ones with the highest survival rates are adults. Yet how come that these prime victims (kids and the aged) are the same ones who are alive, and the highest-survival facet (adults) are being decimated?
I'd like to get a nice explanation about the strange antics of this strange 'malaria' and 'typhoid' trend in victim selection, because they are surely acting weird!
The claim that AIDS comes from America makes Africa the victim and now we're obliged to send a lot more than that $16B I thought we sent there. A curious thought though, how does an urban, gay, intravenous kind of disease get to the remotest parts of Africa?
To be frank, and don't take this personally as I'm sure you're just honestly relaying what you understand, but I don't know that any of those stats are true. When it comes to the 3rd world I don't know if any stats are true. I figure it may all just be more propaganda either to get money or to serve some socio/political agenda.
Yeah, I can hear a voice saying FOLLOW the MONEY.
Actually, AEI is correct. Diagnoses of AIDS first happened in CA and NY. It wasn't immediately called "aids"; BUT world doctors responded with data, identifying Africa with victims having similar "symptoms" as those in California and Nevada. Soonafter, began speculation about "how it came from Africa to the US". Minor voices as to who from CA had been to Africa over the past 5 years.. But ultimately, it became a shouting match over funds as to "who (which country) had AIDS first".
You are exactly right.
I'm not taking it personally. No need to. But you should note that in my International Baccalaureate program (sort of a grade 13-14, if there was such a thing, that i had to take in the last 2 years before i came to the US) I spent a lot of time doing something called CAS (Community Action Service). And the facets i undertook dealt and delved into kids with cancer, the homeless aged, and the HIV issue. Unlike 99% of people on this thread I have seen what I am talking about. Unlike 99% of this thread I am not relying on statistics. And while I agree with you that many governments are using this as a political crutch, I also know that it is not due to 'malaria' or 'poor water.'
Riddle me this: Why are there so many AIDS victims, but not Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis victims? I guess its politically correct to be a turd-burglar.
Would it be indelicate to ask what you think it is due to?
May I ask where you are from?
Before the funding in CA got squared away.. there was so much talk about "the monkey disease" (that AIDS was spread from monkeys to humans). Oh yes, back then, serious articles.. discussing HOW the disease may have spread from monkeys to humans.
Check my homepage.
Every scientific report I have read points to the origin of the HIV virus as being a mutation from Chimpanzees/Apes native to Africa that somehow crossed species lines into humans...I have never heard of any evidence that HIV/AIDS originated in the US.
Is the author confusing "first diagnoses" and "origin"?
It would make sense that the most developed medical care system would 'first diagnose' the problem...but that is a far cry from 'it originated' here.
Excellent, thank you. I'm sure you bring a lot of first hand info to our discussions and that's most welcome.
Having it be a crime to give out the names of the infected is an unusually nasty kind of politics. It says omething about where some perverts are skulking...
In the case of malaria, TB, and waterborne -- most of the dead comprise those who've not been innoculated through the various programs of "AIDE" that have been going on in Africa (say, from America) for as long as I can recall?
And I am equally certain that it is not caused by 'HIV' retroviral infection.
The truth is that attributin it to 'malairia' and 'poor water' is a grotesque oversimplification of the actual position of those who attribute African 'AIDS' to cause(s) other than HIV infection. Basically our position is that there is no epidemiological evidence for any superpositioned cause for any of the diseases found in Africa. They are just what they always were.
If true, then it is pretty clear that AIDS is the gay community's gift to mankind. Not a lot of wild monkeys roaming around the Bay Area and New York.
But there isn't any good reason to suppose that this virus recently jumped from apes to man.
All the epidemiology indicates that HIV is a very old infection in man; hundreds or thousands of years old, in fact. All evidence points to the conclusion that HIV is a benign passenger retrovirus, just like many other similar virii that have been hitchhiking in man since time immemorial.
Speznetz asked a good question. He obviously has some insight into what causes the "age gap". I was speculating as to a reason why the age gap. I'm hoping he'll provide more insight.
I feel like giving a very simple answer. The word Mu. But since this is not a philosophical discussion (and I am unsure how many would be willing to delve into logical/illogical communicative entanglements), I will strive towards a different answer. However I have noticed that every now and then this type of thread pops up .where it is either trying to assert that AIDS does not exist, or that it is solely due to homosexuality throughout the world (including the 3rd world). And there have been some interesting facts to back up both assertions, some even heading into the ludicrous (one of the more interesting is when some dude, belonging to the it is all due to gay sex camp started quoting scientific research that a simple search proved to actually be from some magazine that also debated psychic water dousing and UFO abductions, and a scientist who was actually a member of the Brahma Kumaris cult).
But I havent answered your question now, have I? Let me be political and try to avoid all the semantic snares and encapsulation that seem to trigger automatic responses in some freepers. Thus the following is what I think it is (and you can quote me): It is due to a weird - probably extra-terrestrial - outbreak of Malaria, Typhoid and TB, which may very well be related to homosexuality (since, as certain Freepers have said, Africans practice 'birth control by having anal sex' ....yep, some genius actually said that even though he had never set foot there ..that was his opinion and yet he stated it as fact), and that only targets people between the ages of 15-49. It also, for some cryptic reason, ignores the very young and the very old, thus implying that the new Malaria/Typhoid/TB (from here on I shall refer to it as MTT) is very different from the old version. And not only that, but several African countries (Kenya and South Africa for example) always test orphans from parents who died from AIDS I mean who died from MTT .and those orphans have antibodies that show up in AIDS MTT tests. The reason for all the checkups in orphans is because with proper care and drug regimen (which is why it only takes part in the richer countries) some of the kids can sero-reverse into negative test, as long as it is started when they are tots. So, I conclusion, the issue is due to a weird case of MTT, which is so strange as to be probably extra-terrestrial, and this MTT is hitting adults hard. Uganda managed to stop the dire straits they were in through educating people about abstinence and sexual health I meant about preventing mosquitoes, dirty water and pulmonary disease since we are talking about MTT and Uganda has literally saved itself. Southern Africa (eg South Africa, Zimbabwe etc) has not been able to achieve similar success due to many politicians refusing to recognize that AIDS I mean MTT exists, and they claim that it is due to diseases like malaria, or due to poor dietary health, and thus refuse to institute programs like the ones Uganda implemented. Thus I blame the weird case of MTT.
Hopefully that will satisfy all parties since i have noticed people have issues with semantics. Maybe by calling it 'exotic MTT' everyone is happy.
Between the years 1966-1977, almost 100 million Blacks living in Central Africa were injected by the WHO. Scientists now speculate that the smallpox vaccine might have awakened a "dormant" AIDS virus infection on the continent.
Yes. The terminology in this field sometimes gets impenetrable very fast. What the authors are evidently referring to is the twin foci of the epidemic, not the origin of the disease. One other difference between HIV and the other viruses mentioned is that it is a "slow" virus, meaning its translation into detectable symptoms is so slow that normal epidemiological treatments of disease gradient are difficult or impossible to establish. We do know it was communicated very rapidly in those regions and that the vector was unprotected anal intercourse.
What really makes diagnosis difficult is that the patient always dies of something other than the primary effect of the disease, which is the compromise of the immune system. In fact, many non-political skeptics were difficult to convince that it even was a disease early on until it became apparent that gay men were dying of some very strange diseases in numbers never seen in medicine before - pneumocystis pneumonia, Kaposi's sarcoma, cytomegalovirus infections in various organs - weird stuff.
In Africa diagnosis is more difficult for three (at least) reasons - first, that exposure to severe disease there is more common than in New York and San Francisco, hence many of the diseases that AIDS made the patients more vulnerable to might have killed them anyway - this makes it more difficult to cite the presence of these diseases alone as evidence of AIDS. With someone turning up with something rare like Kaposi's in the States it's a pretty good bet, with someone coming up with malaria in Africa it isn't. Hence it is more necessary to test for actual HIV antibodies in Africa than in the States in order to gain accurate statistics, which is precisely what that less-developed continent cannot do due to lack of resources. That is the second reason to be skeptical about African statistics. The third reason is that money is involved and countries have an incentive for exaggerating these statistics or at least interpreting the raw numbers in the most severe possible manner. More cases, more aid. Not only could they not do better if they wanted to, they have a reason for not wanting to.
I read Michael Fumento's "Myth of Heterosexual Aids" the moment it hit the market. Brilliant analysis, heavily annotated. One of the more enlightening and comprehensive books I've read on the subject of AIDS.
This is similar to the whole corrupt government thing. Most (if not all) African governments have heavy inherent corruption legacies, and thus a lot of the money for 'fighting AIDS' lines secret Swiss coffers belonging to the top officials. But all the same there is something going on there. In those 2 years i was going about doing CAS I saw a bunch of weird stuff. And whatever people want to call it one thing it is not is Malaria, water inadequacies, of dietary deficiencies. The typical victims are not been hit.
Billions for defense, but not one cent for fighting phony diseases.
Sad but true. IMO one of the most preventable epidemics in developed countries.
What is even more ironic is that militant political homosexual interest groups are the most responsible for gay deaths from AIDS than any other one factor.
Why? Simply because they have worked (very successfully) to promulgate the myth that it is a disease of the general population. 20 years later we are still waiting for the explosion in the hetero population that has not occurred.
By doing this, by forcing society to pretend that it is not [primarily] a young, gay male disease, they have convinced 2 generations of gay men that it is ok to have hundreds of partners, engaging in sodomy, etc.
The disease is rapidly increasing in 18-30 gay men...and the gay lobby is most responsible for it. People dying in a very ugly way to satisfy the priests of political correctness. Unbelieveably sad.
I'm afraid this is not true. Please see http://www.niaid.nih.gov/Factsheets/evidhiv.htm for a detailed summary of the evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS.
If I recall correctly, didn't they determine that the original case was a male airline steward traversing that route, and being very promiscuous all along the way. Estimated that he gave it to somewhere around 200 other men.
And then off it goes.
In re the "gay slamming in re AIDS" which shows up in threads; I just pass on by these. Slamming gay politics is something I'm up for, however. :>
In 1993, Paul Cameron in a live debate forum brought up the unthinkable with gay activists in the same debate: He pointed out the hardiness of the vagina as compared to the thin tissues of the anus. That while the anus was designed specifically for waste products; it was not well designed to fight off diseases and viruses -- which the vagina is in fact fully well designed for.
Your explanation was perfectly understood. The why's and wherefores of MTT; and African politician/governmental not wishing to address the specifics of MTT. Thank you.