[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die
As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
After one performer tested positive this week, 16 previously unpublicized cases of HIV in the porn industry have emerged. Last time this happened, government officials called it an outbreak and porn production grinded to a halt for two months.
Haunted by a truly global epidemic, perhaps it is time to consider the effects of globalization on the spread of diseases like AIDS. In addition to making it easier for disease to achieve global prevalence, global economics reduce funding for public health by placing treatment emphasis on those who can pay for their drugs, and, in the case of AIDS, may also encourage pharmaceutical companies to pursue expensive life-long 'treatments' rather than cures. Furthermore, younger, economically depressed members of the global economy are wholly dependent on the whim of richer nations for their well-being in the face of devastating epidemics. In this case, it seems that the global marketplace has failed to be the holy grail it is so often presented as.
Is Male Circumcision A Solution to the African AIDS Crisis? The United States Agency for International Development has sponsored some hopeful research suggesting that wider availability of male circumcision could substantially reduce AIDS tranmission in Africa. Contrary to worries that male circumcision would be viewed as a culturally imperialist intrusion into African traditions, public health surveys have found surprising unfulfilled demand for circumcision among African men.
"35,000". The South African president Thabo Mbeki is failing to deal with his nation's unbelievable AIDS epidemic. Here are the opinions of his chief advisor on the disease. For balance, here is the opinion of the UK government. Do you agree with me that Mbeki is a dangerous man, and is a terrible choice to follow his predecessor?