The UN AIDS program has issued its annual report in which, finally, it doesn’t say how many more current HIV infections there are this year. Instead it drops the figure by over six million from its 2006 estimate – from 39.5 million to 33.2 million. Further, the agency now admits the number of new HIV infections per year peaked way back around 1998.
For years, some of us have dared write that worldwide HIV and AIDS figures have been grossly exaggerated; that we were being lied to by just about everybody, including – or especially – the UN AIDS program and the World Health Organization.
For example, pious Peter Piot, executive director of the UN AIDS program since its founding, in 2004 bemoaned that "Projections NOW suggest that some countries in sub-Saharan African will face economic collapse unless they bring their epidemics under control." (Emphasis added.) Obviously he knew whereof he spoke; he’d been using those exact words for at least five years.
Just last year, former President Bill Clinton told attendees at the International AIDS Conference: “It’s difficult to imagine how the world can grow unless we tackle AIDS.” Never mind that world population growth is fastest in areas hardest hit by AIDS.
In 1988, a high Ugandan official on ABC News Nightline said that within two years his nation will "be a desert." Nightline’s reporter declared that by 2000 "50 million Africans may have died of AIDS." Yet Uganda’s population has since increased by over a third and is among the fastest-growing in the world. As to the 50 million death figure, seven years after that prediction was to come to fruition, the worldwide AIDS estimate is just over half that.
Those who have criticized such gross exaggerations, as I did in my 1990 book The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, were labeled liars ourselves, whackos, racists, and variety of other colorful epithets. Perhaps this is an occasion to gloat, but personally I’m too busy shaking my head and wondering how despite our best efforts the AIDS alarmists were able to sustain their fiction for so long.Naturally, those alarmists are now a bit defensive.
Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .
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