AIDS rate is going up among minorities and young gay men.
June 3, 2001 11:27 PM   Subscribe

AIDS rate is going up among minorities and young gay men. If I were conspirationally minded, I'd be convinced that Fort Detrick is back targeting them now that a Republican is in office...but honestly, I'm not. I do wonder if Peter Duesberg and Kary Mullis are on to something when they claim that no work has proved that HIV and AIDS are linked...not that I would throw out my condoms or advise anyone to.
posted by Ezrael (2 comments total)
The press release you posted was dated '95 while this is the more recent story. What I wonder about is the call for more money for "prevention". Come on, how much more could they talk about what causes AIDS? For the last 15 years anyone who's had a television should have a rudimentary idea how AIDS is transmitted. I'd like to see that money go to something like cancer research, which affects more people - and doesn't seem to be such a political thing...
posted by owillis at 6:20 AM on June 4, 2001

Nothing in Duesberg and Mills' arguments should contradict or conflict with establishment theories about a spike in minority and youth seroconversion.

Although Duesberg and Mills contend that the HIV - AIDS relationship is not proven, they suspect as causes of AIDS many of the same sets of risky behaviors as are identified as primary HIV vectors: unprotected or underprotected sex with many partners or with one partner who has many partners him/herself, shared needles, etc.

Other factors that Duesberg suspects to be co-causative in AIDS, like the use of cocaine, amyl nitrate ("poppers") and infection by various non-HIV bugs like herpes, chlamydia, and hepatitis, are agreed by the medical establishment to seriously aggravate the risk of transmission of HIV by increasing risky behaviors.

The fact is, there is very little mystery about why HIV infection rates are increasing among young gay men: less safe sex, partially because today's 22 year olds weren't paying attention at the peak of the safe-sex education movement 10 years ago, and partially because the (apparent) success of drug-cocktail treatment has made AIDS seem less a death sentence then a risk of a chronic condition.

Increasing AIDS rates among the urban poor (which is really, demographically, what the minority seroconversion rates reflect, more than anything distinctively racial) can be laid to some of the same risk factors, as for young gay men: unsafe sex, needle use, etc., without the benefit of a concentrated risk-avoidance education program tailored for the communities. One other factor (not mentioned in the linked article, but frequently mentioned elsewhere) is the truly appalling extent to which jails and prisons have become breeding grounds for HIV, and return to the poor urban communities HIV-positive criminals who transmit HIV to their sexual partners who otherwise wouldn't have been infected.
posted by MattD at 7:34 AM on June 4, 2001

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