Dec 24, 2005

Politicizing AIDS- D.A.L.E.

I have been watching the AIDS "science" with some interest for at least 10 years. In 1984 I was a sign painter in San Diego when Dr. Robert C. Gallo announced he had isolated a virus that was believed to be the cause of the AIDS virus.

It has since been discovered that Gallo actually used samples given to him by another scientist in France, Luc Montagnier, who worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Neither had actually isolated a virus and Gallo's announcement that he had done so caused such an international Incident that Ronald Reagan had to meet with France's prime minister to smooth things over. Both governments took credit for discovering what is now known as HIV.

In the two decades since that announcement, the science surrounding AIDS reseaerch doesn't appear to have become any more rigorous. Previously, the Pasteur institute itself had provided the world with a repeatable protocol which would both demonstrate virulence and isolate a virus.

Today this protocol is still used. Except in the case of HIV where such practices are considered inconvenient. It would take an entire site to document the poor scientific methods used amongst AIDS researchers who treat HIV as a foregone conclusion. An acquaintanence of mine gave me a heads up about yet another salvo from the World Health Organization in the effort to politicize AIDS.

Longing to force all of Africa into submission, they've come up with a new measure of human life expectancy which claims to predict life expectancy rather than just measure it after the fact. Life expectancy has long been used to tout the efficacy of "modern" medicine. Typically, government health organizations have lumped in infant mortality with all mortality to come up with "life expectancy." Not to defend the Bible, but two thousand years ago the scribes who wrote down Judeaic laws claimed that a man lived to be about 70 on average. If that information is used as a historical benchmark, we haven't progressed as much as the medical community would have us believe.

The new measure of life expectancy, D.A.L.E. (Disability-Adjusted life expactancy), according to the WHO, is much more accurate. For myself, it is high comedy. The University of Pennsylvania "African Studies" department tries to explain the formula:
DALE summarizes the expected number of years to be lived in what might be termed the equivalent of "full health." To calculate DALE, the years of ill-health are weighted according to severity and subtracted from the expected overall life expectancy to give the equivalent years of healthy life.

Interesting to note is the fact that the new formula does not even take into consideration actual morality - at least not according to what one can find on the subject. The current hysterical proclamations about conditions around the world are projections of moratility rates for "babies born in 1999."

Lately, there have been quite who have questioned the claims of an AIDS epidemic in Africa and the numbers of deaths. When it became apparent that the diagnosis of AIDS was not based on actual test results, some health organizations looked as if they were engaged in hype. If I were less cynical I wouldn't view the new DALE formula as a way to explain away the lack of actual deaths to match the WHO's preditions.

All of the bottom 10 countries were in sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV-AIDS epidemic is rampant. In ascending order beginning with 191, those countries were Sierra Leona, 25.9 years of healthy life for babies born in 1999; Niger, 29.1; Malawi, 29.4; Zambia, 30.3; Botswana, 32.3; Uganda, 32.7; Rwanda, 32.8; Zimbabwe, 32.9; Mali, 33.1; and Ethiopia, 33.5. [see below for full list]

No doubt, this will further solidify the HIV=AIDS argument and very few will question the accuracy of predictions that cannot come true for another 70 years.


No comments: