March 08, 2005

89 Million More Africans with HIV/AIDS by 2025

HIV/AIDS in Africa is always in the news, so much so that some people think HIV/AIDS and Africa are synonymous. I once commented that AIDS is a problem in Africa, it is not an African problem. In keeping with contemporary scare tactics about Africa, it was recently reported that by 2025 that over 89million African will have HIV/AIDS. Having been to Africa on two occasions and seeing first hand that what we were told about Africa is mostly lies concocted by white folk, I must say I grimace when I see information in the news saying 89 million Africans will have HIV/AIDS by 2025. To understand why I grimace there are a few things we all should know.

Author Rian Milan stated “AIDS is the most political disease ever” and I must agree, because proving that the a great number of people is not dying from AIDS is not good news it only means that the number of dying has been overestimated but we all should know how these overestimations take place. Whenever we are face to face with projected numbers about anything, we should understand that these number is derived from using a model of some kind to predict an outcome based on what is known. However, in the case of HIV/AIDS in Africa the model being used to project the outcome or outlook of the spread of this disease is being computed using guesses, unverified data and sexual links that do not exist.

To quote from the Article written by Rian Milan;

“Aids in Africa is indeed something of a computer game. When you read that 29.4 million Africans are ‘living with HIV/Aids’, it doesn’t mean that millions of living people have been tested. It means that modellers assume that 29.4 million Africans are linked via enormously complicated mathematical and sexual networks to one of those women who tested HIV positive in those annual pregnancy-clinic surveys. Modellers are the first to admit that this exercise is subject to uncertainties and large margins of error. Larger than expected, in some cases”

To understand this Rian Milan points to instances where overestimations were constantly being reduced based on the model of the computer system being used to compute the number of men and women with HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Epimodel estimated that of the 375,000 deaths in 1999 in Southern Africa, 250,000 were from HIV/AIDS far fewer than what the UN was claiming. After that the modelers used a new model called the ASA 600 that reduced the numbers of deaths to 143,000 for the year 1999. By the time 2001 came around the modelers were using the ASA 2000 that reduced the total number of deaths from HIV/AIDS in calendar year 1999 to 92,000 a far cry from the original estimation of 250,000. This number was later reduced to 65,000 using a totally separate model.

We need to and must understand the numbers being offered to us in regards to the number of men and women with HIV/AIDS and projected to have HIV/AIDS are all computed using pseudo-science, bad statistics and inaccurate information about who has the disease already and the number of people they have and will have sex with.

Another thing we should be mindful of is that the idea that HIV/AIDS is being spread through sexual intercourse is far from the truth. Josie Glausiusz writing for Discover magazine wrote in June of 2003 that the analysis of AIDS transmission in Africa led to the conclusion that only 35% of HIV/AIDS cases are spread through sex. In his piece he points out that;

“A study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, found that 39 percent of HIV-positive, vaccinated infants had uninfected mothers”

“In Zimbabwe, HIV incidence rose by 12 percent per year during the 1990s, even as sexually transmitted diseases sank by 25 percent overall and condom use rose among high-risk groups.”

Is it possible that AIDS is being spread sexually in high numbers year after year by the sexually promiscuous men and women while all other STD’s are sinking? Not likely, which leads to another question, if HIV/AIDS is not being spread sexually than how it is being spread? How can vaccinated Babies be HIV-positive but their mother is not?

We can not forget that HIV/AIDS is being brought into many African nations and villages by “Sugar Daddies”. These are white men who travel throughout Africa paying for sex and promising young women many things if they have sex with them.

In conclusion when you read that 89 million Africans will have HIV/AIDS by 2025, know that this is hyperbole, computer generated lies, generated using bad and inaccurate data and using a model that will be outdated next year. This does not mean HIV/AIDS is not a problem in Africa it simply means we should take a deeper look into the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and how they compute how many people have it and will have it as we work towards helping prevent the spread of it. If this disease is not being spread sexually for the most part and a large portion of the money is being used on sexual education, it means something different must be done.


At 11:13 AM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

This was the most irresponsible, outrageous and off-base post I've read since I've been on this site.
Any person with a rudimentary understanding of medicine and statistics knows that almost all disease numbers like this are *estimated*. There is nothing inherently evil with estimating the number of people in a region suffering from AIDS.

Like you, I have been to Africa twice. In Ghana, the AIDS rate is relatively low because of the familial structure has largely remained intact. In South Africa and other countries, however, AIDS is a way of life. Three months ago, I stood in Soweto and counted the number of funeral processions I saw in 8 hours. I saw 8 funeral processions in one day. Sowetans I talked to said that most of those funerals are probably AIDS related.

AIDS is an enomorous threat to the future of the black race, yet your post focuses only on bad statistics and white blame (i.e., sugar daddies) Everyone knows the root cause of misery in Africa is the white man, but diverting attention to supposedly faulty stats and other pithy issues is not something a true black liberator would my opinion.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

There is nothing evil in estimating the number of people in a region that will suffer from HIV/AIDS, however there is evil in attaching to those estimates the belief that irresponsible sexual behavior is the root cause of the spread of the disease and there is evil in not making clear how this disease is actually being spread. You missed the point of what I wrote if you thought it was simply to deflect Blame. I pointed out verifiable data that speak to what I wrote. You talk about seeing eight funeral processions in eight hours and write that you were told that they all “probably” died from AIDS does not speak to how AIDS was transmitted to these men and women. What is the purpose of estimating 89 million Africans will have HIV/AIDS by 2025, is that a goal? Is it an attempt to paint AIDS as an African problem caused by irresponsible sexual behavior when data is showing that it is not being spread by irresponsible sexual behavior? You tell me bombs if this disease is not being spread sexually how is it being spread? If a mother is not HIV-positive but her vaccinated Baby is HIV-positive, how did the baby become HIV-positive. How is the spread of sexually transmitted diseases falling but the transmission of HIV is steadily increasing? Does that make sense to you bombs? You can think what I wrote was an attempt to deflect but I stated things that can be backed up while most of what you wrote about what I wrote is conjecture.

If you understand problem solving you would know that one of the things that must be done before a problem can be solved is understand what is causing the problem. Simply stating that HIV/AIDS is an enormous problem does not speak to how it became a problem and continue to be a problem. If most of the funding is going towards education about sexual behavior and this disease is not being spread sexually, this will not stop the spread of this disease. This is the point you missed, you were so focused on rather or not the white man is being blamed that you missed most of what I said. You should have asked those who told you those men and women probably died from AIDS, How did those men and women get HIV? but you probably already assumed it was through promiscuous sex, didn’t you?

At 2:10 PM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Faheem, you are fooling yourself if you think that AIDS is being spread largely through sex in Africa. Where did you go in Africa?

I know in South Africa there is rampant prositution and lack of sex education. Gang rape and BABY RAPE are also prevalent. Women are raped like it's nothing. If you don't believe that, you are simply misinformed.

My critique is not to say that Afrians are less moral. It's more to the point that there social structures have been obliterated by these freakin' white DEVILS.

So, in essence, we are on the same side. But I'm not gonna co-sign onto any false statements about the African reality.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Boms, I am a bit confused by what you just wrote, maybe it was a mistake. You wrote;

"Faheem, you are fooling yourself if you think that AIDS is being spread largely through sex in Africa"

My arguement is that AIDS is being spread through other means and at a higher percentage than through sexual intercourse as pointed out in my op-ed.

Did you mean to say I am a fool if I believe AIDS is "NOT" being spread through sex? I am sure sex is part of the equation but what percentage is the question at hand? As noted, how are babies becoming infected when the parents are not? How is all other STD's going down while AIDS infection going up? These are questions that must be asked. I pointed to a study that was done that said only 35% of HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sex. Where is the other 65% coming from?

At 3:19 PM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Dang, that was a typo. My bad.

What do you think is spreading AIDS. My understanding from the people there is that it's sex. Like it or not, people in Africa are not really informed about protecting themselves. Many don't even believe AIDS exists. I don't know how these people explain all the death...

If it's true only 35% is coming from sex, I honestly don't know what's causing the rest.

But, in all honesty, I think you are picking and choosing which stats you wanna rely on, no?

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

I am no more picking and choosing which stats I use than anyone else involved in the whole HIV/AIDS business. What I want you to do Bombs is think about the fact that all estimation about deaths from HIV/AIDS have been grossly over estimated in the past and now we are faced with news that 89 million Africans will have HIV/AIDS by 2025 however this number does not say how these many men and women will acquire the disease it simply says they will have it. So we are simply left to believing that it will come by way of Sex which is the most common way it is transmitted in African at least that is what we are told.

Let’s just say 35% is not accurate as representing the percentage of sexual transmissions of HIV/AIDS; Lets up it to 55% and leave 45% as non-sexual. Do you still see the problem I am talking about? What is 45% of 89 million? You do the math. I make no excuses for sexual behavior that is detrimental to health of those engaging in that behavior; however 10% of 89 million people getting HIV/AIDS non-sexually is too many.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m back from my travels!

How timely a discussion, as I was just in Africa… Senegal to be exact.

I think the statistics on AIDS in Africa – like most statistics – are wildly inaccurate, and are tainted with all of the ideological biases that permeate such (pseudo-scientific/mathematical) forms of inquiry. The root cause of AIDS transmission in Africa is hard to document because the medical infrastructure has many problems. Along with unprotected sexual intercourse and drug abuse, botched medical procedures (i.e. blood transfusions, surgeries, etc.) contribute to statistical inaccuracies. Also, the extremely slow gestation period of the disease makes it especially difficult to track. It can take several months to a year in some cases for the virus to become visible.

But I think the most important thing to remember is that the gathering and disseminating of statistical data serves a largely ideological/propagandistic purpose. We all know that there has been a continual effort to create an ideological depiction of Africa as a savage, debased and unruly dystopia. Such fictions, and blatant mythmaking are the foundation on which such oppression is built and maintained. AIDS will not destroy Africa, and any such assertion is based on nihilistic premises that are unfounded and grossly exaggerated.

It seems that the unspoken subtext of this discussion is a belief that the AIDS virus is being intentionally given to African people as a form of genocide. Is this true Faheem? I think that in an earlier post you spoke of diseased Europeans bringing an array of maladies to the continent. Yes, it is well documented that European colonists brought with them an array of illnesses, but they also encountered a host of diseases themselves that wiped them out by the thousands. Last time I checked, "all" disease didn’t originate in the West.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I do know that biological warfare is often utilized as a tactic in ethnic cleansing, and war efforts. Only time will tell. Nevertheless, Africans – like African Americans – must contain, and eradicate the disease on their own through education and personal responsibility. The West is doing all it can to deny Africa the aid it needs to fight this disease, while it continues to spread lies and misinformation. I will end by saying that AIDS is the first truly ideological disease… It is intensely moralized, and is viewed as punishment for irresponsible behavior. But to suggest that the depraved sexuality and rapaciousness of white Europeans is the primary cause of this plague is to allow hatred to cloud one’s judgment – which is basically to replicate the racism we claim to be rallying against.

By the way, did anyone see Bush’s Black History Month address, where he repeatedly cited W.E.B. DuBois? A radical huh… don’t make me laugh!!

Happy to be back!
-Jean Michel

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

Glad you made it back safely Jean and hopefully you have some information to share with us about your trip.

What I wrote was not meant to or an attempt at espousing the belief that HIV/AIDS is being intentionally spread by white folk in Africa, it was meant to and an attempt at showing the gross over estimation of HIV/AIDS, the lack of knowledge as to how the disease is being spread and to show this talk about 89 million African men and women will have HIV/AIDS was more propaganda by those who wishes to continue painting Africa as a savage and disease infected place. Unfortunately this propaganda is still working; here is something a "Black" person wrote on a forum I frequent about why they would never want to go to Africa.

“I would never want to go to Africa, though...part of me does, but the other part is scared, because of a few reasons:

There are too many diseases over in Africa like Malaria and Ebola, not to mention all the people who suffer with AIDS...I would rather not be around all that sickness, and risk getting sick myself.”

Even with all the information available to us, some of our people are still believing the hype.


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