More biology articles in the 'General' category

I did a small redesign of the site as promised; its much more "me" than the default theme generated by blogger. I got mail from a reader that I would like to share; it reflects very well the general desensibilization to hiv/aids in developped countries; people don't see it as a threat anymore; they don't see anybody dying of it; because of this, they tend to protect themselve less, etc... here it is with my answer following.

- Do you think the amount of money poored into AIDS research is in proportion to that of other deadly diseases, considering the fact that fewer people in the US have died of AIDS than die every year of cancer? Even when taking global statistics into consideration, AIDS kills far fewer people than the flu, or malaria. Even diarrhea causes as many deaths as AIDS does, yet it receives no research funding to speak of. If you look at death rates in Canada / United States, AIDS sure receive a lot of $$ per death, because the epidemic in developed countries is almost negligible compared to Africa / India. In Africa, 25 000 000 people (66% of world's total, estimated) are infected, with 3 millions new infections and 2.2 million people dead, only last year. In some African countries, almost 50% of the working population (18-65) is dying. Diarrhea is related to poor water quality, which is not easy to fix on a global scale. Drugs exist for malaria prevention... but there's always the problem of (guess what?) money and countries being far too poor to afford it. Cancer sure kills lots of people (and get its fair share of research dollar), but isn't infectious and affect (mostly) old people which usually have other problems. AIDS can affect anyone; even children. AIDS also has the potentiel to unstabilize whole regions politically, leading to civil wars etc. See the World Health Organization report for last year for more information Some more facts derived from this report : In the worst-affected countries of eastern and southern Africa, if current infection rates continue and there is no large-scale treatment programme, up to 60% of today's 15-year-olds will not reach their 60th birthday. In seven African countries where HIV prevalence is more than 20%, the average life expectancy of a person born between 1995 and 2000 is now 49 years – 13 years lower than in the absence of AIDS. In Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, without antiretroviral programmes, average life expectancy is predicted to drop below 35. Food for thoughts... don't be Developped-World centric ;)

October 2, 2004 03:37 PMGeneral

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