Kevin De Cock, AIDS director at WHO (World Health Organization) and Paul De Lay, director of Evidence, Monitoring, and Policy at UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) obviously have a PR problem on their hands after De Cock inserted his foot in his mouth earlier last week, and the pair were officially in spin control mode this morning:
"We wish to clarify misinterpretations concerning WHO and UNAIDS' positions on the status of the AIDS epidemic in recent media articles. The story in the Independent on Sunday titled: "Threat of world AIDS pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits" contained a few seriously misleading statements that have led to inferences and conclusions that bear no relation to the highly complex realities of the HIV epidemic....
Heterosexual transmission continues to drive the epidemic among sex workers, their clients, and their clients' partners. In addition, prisoners, injecting drug users, as well as men who have sex with men, may also engage in heterosexual relationships. In sub-Saharan Africa almost 60% of adults living with HIV were women, 48% in the Caribbean....
To recap: AIDS remains the leading infectious disease challenge in global health. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible and misleading."
Compare this to previous statements by De Cock:
"It is very unlikely there will be a heterosexual epidemic in other countries [outside sub-Saharan Africa]. Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia – China was the big worry with its huge population. That doesn't look likely."
"The impact of HIV is so heterogeneous. In the US , the rate of infection among men in Washington DC is well over 100 times higher than in North Dakota, the region with the lowest rate. That is in one country. How do you explain such differences?"
WHO/UNAIDS estimated that 2.8 million died from AIDS in 2005 globally, and only 30,000 died from AIDS in 2005 in North America, Western, and Central Europe combined. Compare this with the whopping 5.6 MILLION CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 5 KILLED BY MALNUTRITION EVERY YEAR GLOBALLY.
First Roger England calls for UNAIDS to be shut down, then Kevin De Cock says heterosexual AIDS epidemic is very unlikely outside sub-Saharan Africa, then an anonymous Indian health official says the debate on HIV exists in the scientific community and has not been resolved, then Peter Piot resigns from UNAIDS.
The tide seems to be turning at last. Could these be the first signs of the beginning of the end of this monstrous fraud?