Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good News - Number of AIDS cases worldwide drops by 6,000,000 Bad News - It's because scientists can't count to begin with

LONDON (AP) - The number of AIDS cases worldwide fell by more than 6 million cases this year to 33.2 million, global health officials said Tuesday. But the decline is mostly on paper.

Previous estimates were largely inflated, and the new numbers are the result of a new methodology. They show AIDS cases in 2007 were down from almost 39.5 million last year, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations AIDS agency.


Much of the drop is due to revised numbers from India - which earlier this year slashed its numbers in half, from about 6 million cases to about 3 million - and to new data from several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Previous AIDS numbers were largely based on the numbers of infected pregnant women at clinics, as well as projecting the AIDS rates of certain high-risk groups like drug users to the entire population at risk. Officials said those numbers were flawed, and are now incorporating more data like national household surveys.

U.N. officials could not rule out future downward corrections. WHO and UNAIDS experts reported 2.5 million newly infected people in 2007. Just a few years ago, that figure was about 5 million.


Methodology seems to be a recurring issue on a number of important issues. In addition to this I am thinking about the "Hockey Stick" that proves global warming. That has been challenged a number of times and NASA recently had to release corrected data on global warming which shows 10 of the warmest years on record occured prior to WWII. Why? Because the methodology wasn't rigid enough.

More from the Washington Post

"There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way."

And what other phenomenon are we seeing that associated with right now? If this was "Password" I would be making big circles in air saying "not a map but a..." and "oh my it's ... in here" while fanning myself. You would of course reply Global Warming and we would go home with $100,000.00. Then being a greedy bastard I would kill you bury you under a newly constructed house and keep all the money for myself. Oops strike that it just kind of slipped out. Anyway the point is when you have an agenda you tend to find the results you want.

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