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August 4, 2008

HIV Cases Undercounted By At Least 40%!

According to a Sunday New York Times article the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) figures released last Saturday show that the annual HIV infection rates have been underreported by at least 40%.

Dr. Kevin A. Fenton, who directs H.I.V. prevention efforts at the agency, said, “C.D.C.’s new incidence estimates reveal that the H.I.V. epidemic is and has been worse than previously known.”

This is a very important discrepancy because accurate and timely data about HIV transmission rates are used for planning and evaluating basic prevention efforts and the monies that are spent on those efforts. The study found that 56,300 people became newly infected with H.I.V in 2006. For the last 15 plus years, the estimated figure of 40,000 new annual infections has been used by the government in determining funding for HIV/AIDS programs here in the United States.

Dr. Philip Alcabes, an epidemiologist at Hunter College in Manhattan said that if this new report is accurate that means that new HIV infection rates have been undercounted by about 15,000 per year for 15 years. "Therefore," Dr Alcabes said "there are roughly 225,000 more people living with H.I.V. in the U.S. than previously suspected.”

This administration has been severely criticized worldwide for not allocating sufficient funds to fight HIV in this country and many professionals are very upset that the CDC didn't release this study much sooner.

This is obviously another case of this administration attempting to withhold scientific research studies it deemed uncomfortable or unprofitable for them and/or their friends. Knowing that this is one study that they couldn't keep under-wraps indefinitely and that Bush is only months away from leaving the White House and that the congress has adjourned for this session, making any kind of funding increases for this year impossible, they apparently felt that now would be a good time for them to release it.

This has been the sleaziest, most dishonest and most corrupt administration in the history of this country. I hope that someone will pursue legal actions against as many of them as possible after they're out of office.

To read the full NY Times article go to: New York Times


Speaking at an AIDS conference in Mexico city, former President Bill Clinton said that the just released report by the CDC (above), has spurred him into action. He said that “For Americans, this should be a wake up call. Even as we keep working globally, we need to do much more to fight AIDS at home, and I intend to do so with my foundation.”

Imagine what might have been done already had the CDC released that report in a much more timely manner.

Thank you Bill Clinton and shame on the CDC for putting politics ahead of people's health and well being.


Queers United said...

its tragic, and to know that its mostly effecting those under 30. gosh people need to learn.

Steve Krotz said...

Thanks for your comment queers united. Unfortunately, there are a lot of younger gays that think it's a "manageable" disease but what they don't look at, or maybe don't even know, is that "management" is far more complicated than just taking a pill and that even treatment doesn't work for everyone.

That's why I'm so upset with this administration. Not only did they hold onto this study for way too long but they actually CUT funding for HIV prevention which pretty much assures the continued ignorance among young people about it's treatability.