Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Report on AIDS in Africa

A headline in the Agencie France Press:

Stigma driving AIDS crisis among African gays: Lancet

PARIS (AFP)– Rates of HIV infection among gays in some African countries are 10 times that of the general male population, and stigma, poor access to treatment or testing are to blame, doctors said in The Lancet.

A wall of silence, repression and discrimination are amplifying dangers for men who have sex with men in sub-Saharan Africa, they said in a paper published online on Monday.

Researchers from the University of Oxford looked at published studies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence from 2003 to 2009.

Prevalence among gays in some parts of West Africa is 10 times that for the general male population, they found.

The difference varies a lot across Africa, but in most of the countries studied, the rates among homosexuals were substantially higher than among heterosexuals..."

To attribute this to “stigma” or “repression” strikes us as odd. Since the 1980’s the major focus of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health (SFDPH) has been fighting HIV. And there is absolutely zero stigma or repression here. What are the results?

In the year 2006, according to the SFDPH’s 2008 HIV Epidemiology Report, there were an estimated 975 new HIV cases in San Francisco, of which 851 were among men who have sex with men. That’s over 87% of all new HIV cases in the city. And that is from a demographic that in 2006 was only about 8.3% of the city’s population, according to Dr. Willi MacFarland, Director of the SFDPH’s Seroepidemiology Unit.

So: zero stigma, zero repression, decades of “education” and the HIV rate for homosexual males in San Francisco is about 10 times that of the rest of the population.

Maybe Pope Benedict was on to something.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"stigma, poor access to treatment or testing are to blame, doctors said in The Lancet."

Is there any possibility that irresponsible human behavior might bear some of that blame?

Secularists criticize Christians for relying on faith as the basis of their beliefs.

Scientists rely on faith as much or more than Christians at the core of many of their beliefs, particularly those dealing with human behavior.

Mathematics, physics and chemistry have (mostly) provable axioms at their foundation.

Psychology, Psychiatry, Sociology, "Political Science", Anthropology, Evolution, and even Epidemiology, etc. all have subjective criteria at the core of their assumptions. These are backed up with "mathematical" formulae chock full of unquantifiable factors.