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  • The NIH Keeps Up With The Times: 1, 2, 3. David Baltimore Has A Flashback: ***. The NY Times Keeps Up With Times: ***. The Faith of Anthony Fauci: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains How HIV Causes AIDS: ***. Robert Gallo on The Force of Ejaculation: ***, on HIV Theory: ***, Lectures in Marseilles: ***. David Ho Does The Math: ***. John Mellors Sets the Record Straight: ***. Bono, el Magnifico, Holds (Another) Press Conference: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains Journalism in the Age of AIDS: ***. Anthony Fauci and David Ho Disprove an Old Adage: ***. Anthony Fauci Explains ICL and AIDS: *** The CDC Can't Keep Up With The Times:*** The Method of the "Small Inquisitor" Moore:*** The Co-Discovery of a Nobel-Worthy Enzymatic Activity:*** The Revenge of the "Very" Minor Moriarty:*** Julie Gerberding and Anthony Fauci Learn Arithmetic:*** Osama Obama Has a Message for Africa:***

Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« Bob Doyle Remembers His Days at the Pentagon (Part I) | Main | The Travesty of Canadian Justice and the Trial of Trevis Smith, Part II »

December 18, 2006


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Jan Spreen

I suppose it is not "hard" to speculate on the possible motivations of the "researchers" who got into this, but what about the NY Times editors who not only put it on the front page (where all the news of the day that was "fit to print" was printed), but even were forced to editorialize about it.

At the risk of an Otis deletion, I can only say:

There must be some really short-dicked pricks at those desks.

Jan's view from the Western Front

Henry Bauer

Stopping a trial earlier than called for by the protocol may or may not be "unethical", but it certainly ensures that any statistical inferences drawn will be invalid. It is a standard fact of statistical inference that "optional stopping" allows the experimenters to choose what the outcome of the "trial" will be


Dr. Bauer gives far too much credence to this farce as a scientific study. I think that Marcel Girodian writing in the real NY Times, as linked above, is much more in keeping with the degree of diss that such garbage deserves.

I would much rather reserve the very serious point about "optimal" (for the investigators) stopping, (or in the vein of this string, prematurely terminating their "investigation") for the initial AZT trials which resulted in the poisoning of an entire generation of gay men and hemophiliacs.

Chris Tyler

Gosh, I'm confused here. AIDS is supposed to be ripping Africa apart.

For instance, the CDC says of Kenya:

"Kenya has a severe, generalized HIV epidemic. The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2003 found a prevalence rate of 9 percent in adult women and 5 percent in adult men. Surveillance of HIV in pregnant women has been conducted annually since 1990, with prevalence rising to 16 percent in urban areas and 8 percent in rural areas in the late 90s but now showing signs of decline." 1

So we go from 5% to 16% 'prevalence' rates and then this data comes along and shows for Kenya the rate in this group of men is half the lowest estimate above?

How is Kenya having a 'severe, generalized HIV epidemic' when 69 out of 2784 men over the course of about a year have antibodies that react to a non-specific antibody test? And what of Udanda, currently it's estimated that 6.7% of the adult population is 'HIV infected'. So why does this study show a rate 1/5th that?

Total subjects = 4996 HIV
positive after the study period = 22 C: 43 UC: 65 Total
Age range: 15 - 49
Percentage 'infected' = 65/4996*100 = 1.3 %

Total subjects = 2784
Positive after the study period = 22 C: 47 UC: 69 Total
Age range: 18 - 24
Percentage 'infected' = 69/2784*100 = 2.5 %

I think the crazy thing though is the misleading use of relative indicators that make something sound really impressive. This is so common for 'HIV' science.

For instance, reported:

In a trial of 2784 HIV negative men aged 18-24 in Kisumu, Kenya, the rate of HIV acquisition fell by 53%.

In a trial of 4996 HIV negative men aged 15-49 in Rakai, Uganda, the HIV infection rate fell by 48%.

And so headlines pump up this relative indicator but you have to dig to find what the actual numbers are. Not so impressive when you see it's not a number like 500 to 250, but rather 22 to 43 out of 4996 men.



Elizabeth Ely

Thanks, Chris, for noticing that the numbers for Africa are rather high -- but I think they are rather high in the studies, too. For instance, the South African study I refer to had about 150 HIV positives "at randomization." I think that means from the starting line. And these stats you mention seem to be lifetime prevalence rates, if I am not mistaken. As in, 16% or whatever of these people are going to get HIV or AIDS or whatever they're calling the statistic in their lifetime, because 16% of them have it now. So what is about 2% a year, the reported South African results after that, multiplied by all the years these guys have to live?

What I'd like to know is, are they literally just stacking bodies in the streets over there? Observation on the ground probably says no -- not even from all causes of death. But we're not including the Congo at election time or something like that in the AIDS stats, right? Right? Uh, hello? World Health Org? United Nations? Guys?

I agree with what you seem to be saying here -- they are all just made-up numbers. They are estimated/projected from other made-up numbers based on/not based on a test that picks up garbage.

Brother from Brooklyn

I cannot help to notice that the illustration at the top of Sister Beth's powerful little essay depicts what could easily be Black African "physicians" performing the very life saving surgery that the great white witch doctors of the NIH say can be performed, painlessly and safely by almost any old "village healer", according to the NY Times and its earth shaking report.

So I am wondering if maybe this newest bit of psychosexualis is not some kind of delayed payback for those days when Africa was the beacon, and Europe was the black hole of civilization.


The whole issue of male circumcision--indelicately described by some as MGM--seems very tendentious.

After all, if the goal were to obtain an unvarnished answer to whether male circumcision serves as an effective barrier to HIV transmission then the very obvious research answer would to to compare the HIV rates of countries where MC is the norm and countries where it's not.

Thus why didn't the researchers think of comapring the comparative HIV rates of Greece and Turkey; India and Bangladesh; Indonesia and China; Sweden and the U.S; Norway and Morocco; Finland and Israel, etc.

Looks like the same old trick (racist?) of using Africans as scape goats as well as guinea pigs.

elkay (some data)

According to publiclly available, offical statistics here are the AIDS rates for different contries. Perhaps these numbers could shed some light on AIDS and male circumcision:

JAPAN(virtually uncircumcised): 0.02%

Japanese men are know to be the major proponents of "sex tourism" in South East Asia--especially to Thailand. Condom use among the general population is not so seriously taken

FINLAND(virtually uncircumcized): 0.05%
The Finns take a liberal attitude towards sexuality as Scandinavia in general does.

INDIA(10% Moslem) and with huge urban populations in which prostutition is widely practiced: 0.91%

ISRAEL(virtually circumcized): 0.1% to 0.2%

Note that Israel's rate is HIGHER than that of both Japan and Finland.

BANGLADESH(virtually circumcized):~ 1.0%.
Note again that Bangladesh's numbers are approxiamtely the same as INDIA'S

GREECE(virtually uncircumcized): 0.16%.
Greece receives huge amounts of tourists annually many of whom seek relations with the locals.

INDONESIA(predominantly circumcized): 0.1--0.2%
Note that Indonesia is in the same range as GREECE.

TURKEY(circumcized): .01%
Turkey's numbers are approximately on par with those of Japan and Finland.

Assuming that the reported numers are correct, the somewhat paradoxical conclusion from the above is that the nations that are uncircumcized are on slight statistical advantage--on average--over those that are circumcized!

But in the world of AIDS, Inc., when it comes to Africa all rational thought is out the proverbial window before it even gets a chance to hatch.

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