Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
In an information block at the end of the movie And the Band Played On, we are informed that: "Women, children and adolescents are now the fastest growing segment of the population to have HIV." Not that we really needed to hear that, since it’s a matter of common knowledge. But like so much of the common knowledge propagated by the media, it just isn’t so. For the last two years in a row, cases among those between 13 and 24 have actually declined, compared both to the number of cases in that category and as a percentage of all cases. These are cases, not HIV infections. But twelve years into the epidemic, these figures make it clear that the much vaunted "breakout" of AIDS into our youth just isn’t occurring. Studies of actual HIV infection, such as those among applicants to the military, show similar results. A report which the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last year found that, "For both men and women, infection is most prevalent in persons in their late twenties and early thirties." Likewise, the plague of AIDS babies once predicted amounted to all of 771 pediatric cases last year, eleven less than in 1990.
Female cases, conversely, are increasing as a percentage of the epidemic, though they remain only about 12 percent of the total. But this is merely because the yearly rise in male cases has practically ground to a halt — or had before the new expanded case definition kicked in this year and brought a rash of new diagnoses. Female cases merely lag a couple of years behind male ones and thus will plateau a few years later. Last year, female cases increased only 14 percent, compared to 17 percent the year before and compared to jumps of more than 100 percent per year early in the epidemic. A similar trend is evident among heterosexual cases as a whole. These dropped from a 21 percent increase in 1991 to a 17 percent increase last year, down from increases of over 100 percent early in the epidemic. Time to hit the panic button? Read the article, "How Ronald Reagan Caused the AIDS Epidemic: Review of the Movie And the Band Played On," as well as Michael Fumento’s additional work on AIDS.