Why is AIDS so much more common in Africa than elsewhere? The standard theory is, essentially: Africans are sex perverts. Details have varied over the years: too much prostitution or polygamy or anal sex, too many partners, not enough condoms or circumcision, or girls starting too young. Most of these theories haven’t found much support, or (like circumcision) are too weak to explain African excess. (For example, polygamy
Conventional view, spelled out:
"A minority of scientists claim that as many as 40% of HIV infections in African adults may be caused by unsafe medical practices rather than by sexual activity. The World Health Organization states that about 2.5% of AIDS infections in sub-Saharan Africa are caused by unsafe medical injection practices and the "overwhelming majority" by unprotected sex."
Alternative hypothesis for "African AIDS" phenomenon:
"HIV spreads readily through heterosexual sex in Africa, but less so elsewhere. One possibility being researched is that schistosomiasis, which affects up to 50% of women in parts of Africa, damages the lining of the vagina."
According the CDC, HIV is more prevelant among white homosexual males.
Here is the pressing question for me:
"Why is the mortality ofHIV-antibody-positives treated with anti-HIV drugs 7–9%, but that of all (mostly untreated) HIV-positivesglobally is only 1×4%?"
That comes from an article by Duesberg et. al. at http://www.duesberg.com/pap...
These persons dont actually have AIDS, they are simply diagnosed as having AIDS
Oh come on, look at all the places where AID's infection rates are highest. Most are tropical countries, like Thailand, the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil etc. Time to look at the effects of heat and humidity in transmission rates.
In America, needle distribution is strongly resisted by conservatives; and African countries are more conservative than America. So I wouldn't be surprised if that had never happened.
AIDS is a goldmine of bias in reporting. Sorry that I'm not going to dig up the references for these; it would take a long time.
- There is evidence that susceptibility to AIDS has a strong genetic component.
- One such piece of evidence is the fact that the probability of catching AIDS from a sex partner is (according to 2 studies that I read about 20 years ago using married couples where one partner had AIDS) independent of the number of times you have sex with them. If you're going to catch AIDS, you're going to catch it; if you're resistant, you won't.
- Another piece of evidence, discovered recently, is a particular gene variant that causes susceptibility to AIDS. I've seen this referred to in one paper but could not find the original source. You'd think this would have been trumpeted on the front page of every newspaper, but no. I don't know if this variant is more common in Africa.
- Originally, the different spread of AIDS in Africa was explained by saying that they had a different variety of AIDS there. But as now many people from Africa have brought that variety to America, and it has failed to spread in black communities in America except where there is heavy drug use, it's clear that there is some environmental factor protecting us in America. I've been saying for nearly 20 years now that AIDS research should focus on looking for this protective factor. A few years ago, someone found that infection with malaria is strongly correlated with infection with AIDS. IIRC there's other evidence that malarial infection reduces resistance to AIDS. We had a scientist here from Cameroon last year, Marceline Ngounoue, looking into this; but I don't know if she had any results.
"brazil84, I believe the AIDS rate among African-Americans is much lower than in sub-saharan Africa as a whole."
But much higher than non-black Americans, right?
I just added to this post.
Steve, the whole point of the data analysis shown above was that nations varied in their use of disposable needles, allowing us to see that HIV anti-correlates with such use.
The dangers of reused needles spreading AIDS were well recognized at least by 1983. For example, in 1989 Boris Yeltsin bought $100,000 worth of disposable hypodermic needles in America to distribute in Russia to fight the spread of AIDS.
Surely, some moderately affluent African country like Botswana has been able at some point since the 1980s to use needles that were new or thoroughly disinfected in bleach. What has the effect been there?
The use of the word "perverts" in your summation of the so called standard theory is poor form for someone who authors a blog on overcoming bias.
A much higher than normal incidence rate of STDs is positively correlated to a lack of self-control.
That this makes people go intellectually soft for fear of some Orwellian blowback doesn't change some very basic facts.
Any explanation that explains Africa should also be able to explain the USA. CDC data for 2007:http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topi...
Estimated cumulative number of HIV cases for Blacks - 426,003 ; for Whites - 404,465; for Hispanic of any race - 169,138. Let say that respective percentages in population are 12, 65 and 15% of total. Means that the rate for Blacks is 5.7 and 3.1 times higher than for Whites and Hispanic, respectively. 3X is a big number to explain by SES alone.
Same trend with gonorrhea: http://www.cdc.gov/std/stat...
Black rate is 20.7X that of Whites and 9.8X of Hispanic. Gonorrhea ihas nothing to do with reuse of syringes.
Uh, as others have said: there was no tripling of AIDS in Uganda due to abstinence-only--where did you ever get this idea??
The key quote from that article:
The World Health Organization and the Population Council in New York produced models that were much more complex, including very detailed demographic data, of but where HIV transmission probability of was treated as if for measles, compounding independently randomly for each individual sex act. Thus, in effect, their an models assumed that, knowing nothing of the infective status of individuals, 1 sex act with each of 10 different sex workers was effectively equivalent to 10 acts with 1; our data-governed, but otherwise much simpler, model saw the former as roughly 10 times more risky. So it was not surprising that the later models, apparently "more realistic" by virtue of their computational complexity, suggested a less gloomy view than ours. Sadly, but understandably, our predictions have proved more reliable.These are not predictions based on concurrency, the same partners over and over, but simply on the number of partners each person has.
Yes, the time series on deaths suggests that AIDS is endemic in Africa, but the correlations you quote are not based on death rates, but on HIV diagnoses, which are not reliable in Africa.
Robert May claims that he and Anderson made predictions based on concurrency in the mid 80s and were roughly correct. That's not a lot bits of information, but prospective studies are vital in politically charged fields where you don't trust the researchers.
Completely off-topic: Mencius Moldbug has linked to a video of your debate, so folks don't have to settle for just audio now. He also seems willing to shift to inductive evidence. At least, I think so, I've only read the very beginning.
brazil84, I believe the AIDS rate among African-Americans is much lower than in sub-saharan Africa as a whole. I agree on the epidemic issue though, it is believed that the Black Death is responsible for lower vulnerability in Europe.