"A number of critics have accused the UNAIDS and WHO of distorting figures in the past to push for increased funding to fight AIDS," says a press release from the International AIDS Society in Geneva. Do tell!
The group, which has been bringing you only the finest AIDS disinformation since 1988, says, “This seems an unnecessary and petty position. The fact is, the evolution of HIV prevention, treatment, and care over the past quarter century is one of the great successes of medical science."
Ah! Save for the efforts of groups like theirs, their awful predictions would have come true. That echoes the explanation U.S. AIDS alarmists give about why their beloved heterosexual AIDS epidemic never arrived, notwithstanding that they were insistent for years that it already had arrived.
Likewise, the new lowered estimate for worldwide HIV has nothing to do with “prevention, treatment, care.” Infections said to already have occurred never existed.
For its data, UNAIDS relied heavily on “sentinel-site surveillance” at prenatal clinics. This system was described and faulted six years ago in Rolling Stone magazine. “If a given number of pregnant women are HIV-positive, the formula says, then a certain percentage of all adults and children are presumed to be infected, too.” Such an extrapolation from a small non-representative portion of the population to literally the whole world is nonsense.
And UNAIDS knew it because it had been told by a number of careful, knowledgeable scientists such as Berkeley epidemiologist Dr. James Chin.
Chin, when he worked for the UN, was responsible for some of the earliest world AIDS forecasts. Later he watched how politics – not a virus – made those figures zoom into the stratosphere.
Three years ago, Chin told me "They [the UN] don't falsify per se" but "as an epidemiologist I look at these numbers and how they're derived. Every step of the way there is a range and you can choose the low end or the high end. Almost consistently the high end was chosen."
So at some point the authorities will be forced to lower the figures again. But they’ll hold off as long as possible in order to continue to bring more attention to this problem at the expense of shortchanging attention and funding to other problems that are much more readily preventable, treatable, or both – such as tuberculosis and malaria.
The epidemic of falsehoods coming from official organizations, NGOs, politicians, and the media has yet to peak.
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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