Monday, March 14, 2011

UNAIDS' Subterfuge Puts Gadaffi's in the Shade

Mike Elkin gives a rather predictable 'analysis' of Libya's relatively well documented nosocomial (health care related) outbreak of HIV, which began to be uncovered around 1998. But Elkin would do well to distinguish between Gaddafi's dictatorship and the outbreak investigation that took place, and eventually revealed that hundreds of children had been accidentally infected with HIV because hospital equipment had been contaminated by one former HIV positive patient.

Libya's is not the only nosocomial outbreak in the history of HIV. It's not even the biggest. But it was more thoroughly investigated than many others and resulted in changes to the whole health care system in Libya. The fact that all sorts of horrific political excesses also resulted from the outbreak does not detract from what could be learned from such an investigation. Yet, evidence that such outbreaks have occurred in many other countries at various times has been virtually ignored.

I refer to the Libyan incident, but really it was a whole series of incidents. The investigation revealed that hundreds of HIV positive children with HIV negative mothers began to be infected in the mid-1990s. Some mothers were also infected through breastfeeding their babies. No doubt, others have been infected since. There must have been many health professionals involved, over a period of several years.

The point is that one outbreak like this in a very low HIV prevalence country like Libya (about 0.3%) can result in very high rates of transmission. The 400 or so transmissions amount to about 4% of Libya's entire epidemic. Just one infected person in an underfunded health care system can do untold damage. So think how many times this kind of thing could happen in high HIV prevalence countries with even less well funded health care systems.

My frequent rants about nosocomial infection and heterosexual HIV transmission are about the fact that the former is a very efficient transmitter of the virus and the latter is not. A few nosocomial outbreaks in high prevalence countries could explain the extraordinarily high rates of transmission often found, especially among young, pregnant women. But even the most (certainly non-mammalian) animalistic rates of heterosexual behavior cannot account for epidemics found in Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa and many other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

If Gadaffi's regime is as brutal as Elkin paints it, and I believe it is probably a lot worse, what about the regime of the global AIDS industry, which insists that nosocomial HIV infection accounts for a very small fraction of HIV transmission in SSA countries, despite evidence to the contrary? And the same industry insists that 80 to 90% of HIV transmission in SSA countries is through heterosexual sex, despite plenty of evidence that this is not true, is not even possible?

Many heterosexual HIV positive people are unlikely to infect anyone else. At least, the speed at which HIV is transmitted among heterosexuals is slow enough to make a massive HIV epidemic impossible. Yet there are massive epidemics in many countries and in parts of many countries. The only explanation is that 80 to 90% of HIV transmission is most definitely not through heterosexual sex.

The question of what could account for high HIV prevalence rates is even asked by those who probably know well what could account for them, and who probably know well that heterosexual sex could not account for them. And if they don't know these things, they should not be receiving the massive amounts of public money that supports this multi-billion dollar industry.

Those working for UNAIDS and various other institutions don't need to be bullied into silence about how many people may be exposed to HIV infection, infected and even killed though unsafe health care. They seem to see it as their job to take the money and keep their mouths shut. Gadaffi's regime may have blamed the whole outbreak on some innocent health care workers who were in the country at the time (though probably not at the right time to have been responsible for the infections). But UNAIDS and the HIV industry blame those who become infected.

Whatever Gadaffi did to cover up the outbreak and silence anyone who tried to speak out, it's nothing to the way the HIV industry refuses to investigate why so many children in some countries are HIV positive when their mothers are negative, why so many women are infected when their only partner is negative, and many other anomalies in the sexual behavior story of HIV transmission.

When you think about it, the UN doesn't even have as credible a democratic mandate as Gadaffi himself. They may have a touchy-feely reputation (or do they still?) but, by pretending that nosocomial HIV infections barely exist, UNAIDS and the HIV industry may ultimately be responsible for more deaths than some of the most infamous dictators in history. Elkin may be justifiably outraged, but when it comes to HIV infection Gadaffi's Libya is small fry.

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1 comment:

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