Remember when the World Health Organization predicted that AIDS would become a heterosexual pandemic worldwide? Now the organization has retracted the prediction.
A quarter of a century after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared.(And no, considering the name of the physician, I'm not sure that WHO isn't trying to prank the world.)
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.
Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. 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
James Taranto notes the many ominous cries of panic regard heterosexual AIDS since the 1980s and wonders whether there will be a similar reversal of opinion with regard to Global Warming twenty-five years hence.
One thing I found noteworthy in the Independent report is that Russians have a high rate of infection HIV (1%)--the identical rate of that in South Africa in 1991. Seventeen years later, South Africa's rate is 25%.
WHO attributes Russia's rate mostly to the large and growing amount of IV drug-users. That fits with this report on Russian "hypermortality, where, between AIDS, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, avoidance of healthcare and abortion rates, the citizenry appears to be committing mass suicide.
Is this the inevitable final comedown of a wholly atheistic society?
(Thanks to James Joyner)
MORE ON MASS SUICIDE: In...Japan.
Since 1998, when it nearly doubled in a year, Japan’s suicide rate has remained among the developed world’s highest. (Although, arguably, not as high as it is sometimes portrayed as being, with over 30,000 people taking their own lives every year so far this decade.) Recently, suicide in groups, usually by means of a charcoal stove in an enclosed car in a remote park, has been on the rise, with participants usually meeting on line. More recently, suicide has taken a turn toward being a public health problem of the sort normally only considered in areas where the threat of a suicide bombing is a reality: hydrogen sulfide gas and other noxious gasses emerged as a new trend in suicide earlier this year, with people in hotel rooms or other densely populated areas killing themselves, then taking others with them as the gas spread throughout the building or emergency workers tried to rescue them.I'd call it post-war depression. The war in question is World War II.