Monday, June 9, 2008 at 11:53 AM
In the industrialised world transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men is not declining and in some places has increased.
In fact, according to Dr. Kevin de Cock (I kid you not), the head of the WHO’s department of HIV/AIDS, new scientific data show that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has actually “disappeared.” This, of course, stands in stark contrast to what UNAids was insisting just years ago, namely, that “everyone is at risk,” which led to billions being wasted on prevention programs for people who were, in fact, at minimal risk.
Specifically, Dr. de Cock says that:
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.
That said, let me hasten to note that AIDS is still the leading killer of adults in the developing world, which now has 33 million people living with HIV.
The reason these new findings are so important, however, is that they might finally compel organizations, like WHO, UNAids and the Global Fund, to redirect scarce resources away from such useless programs as teaching abstinence in the developed world.
Instead, that money would be far better spent on circumcisions, condom distribution and new clinics to treat health needs such as malaria throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Not to mention general health benefits to be derived by spending more on safe water projects to combat the dangers posed by contaminated water throughout the entire developing world.
Nevertheless, it remains critical for sexually active people everywhere to continue using condoms to prevent other STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
After all, another report released today by the New York City Health Department shows that “more than one fouth of adult New Yorkers are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes.”