Sunday, June 8, 2008

The AIDS Threat Misrepresented?

A few years ago I read the book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, by Bernard Goldberg.

In it the author describes how he believes the main stream media distorts the news, consciously and unconsciously often due to a left leaning political bias or in acts of journalistic activism.

The book contained one chapter which I found extremely uncomfortable to read and consider. In Chapter 6, titled "Epidemic of Fear", he argues that the threat of AIDS to non-drug using heterosexuals in the U.S. has been far over stated. He says that this was done to "scare the hell out of straight America" so that "they would have to pay attention" to the problem "Otherwise, the activists feared there would never be a national outcry over AIDS".

It was difficult to read because it went against what I had been taught, "we are all at equal risk", and because those who challenge this are labeled as ignorant or bigoted.

I was reminded of this chapter today when I saw and read an article titled "Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits"

Some quotes:

In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations may have been misdirected, Kevin de Cock, the head of the WHO's department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa.

Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients.
Critics of the global Aids strategy complain that vast sums are being spent educating people about the disease who are not at risk, when a far bigger impact could be achieved by targeting high-risk groups and focusing on interventions known to work, such as circumcision, which cuts the risk of infection by 60 per cent, and reducing the number of sexual partners.

There were "elements of truth" in the criticism, Dr De Cock said. "You will not do much about Aids in London by spending the funds in schools. You need to go where transmission is occurring"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the prominent cases of AIDS played up by the media -- Magic Johnson comes to mind.