I think ^(link) therefore I err

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AIDS in Africa

Unbelievable. Aids has been around now for 20 years. 20 years! And just now researchers are learning that in Africa they do things differently that might spread it? They are just now finding that there are rituals with tatoos, and communal breastfeeding and other things that cause the spread of H.I.V..

The NYTimes has a front page story on this today that leaves you shaking your head. And not at Africa or Africans. But at the friggin scientists, researchers, charity groups, etc that are theoretically helping stop the spread of AIDS in Africa.
Researchers here and elsewhere in Africa are just beginning to study the role of these common traditional practices of rural Africa, to determine if they account for a small or large portion of H.I.V. transmission. "We don't know enough about this important topic, but there is no doubt that traditional practices are spreading H.I.V. It's a growing concern," said Dr. Edward J. Mills, an epidemiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who has done extensive work in South Africa.

"Unaids has been ignoring it," he said, referring to the United Nations agency that deals with the disease. "I think it's because people think it's culturally insensitive to talk about. Even if it turns out to be only a minor amount, it's a preventable amount so we really need to address it."
Oh, right. Political correctness. I should have known it would be culturally insensitive to discuss germs with people.
Yves Moumbe, a doctor in Batie, said that almost all of his patients with H.I.V. went to traditional healers before they saw him.

"It is not clear if they are using any sterile technique at all," Dr. Moumbe said. "They don't have much knowledge of H.I.V. and how it is spread. So it could be a serious problem."
How many billions have been spent on HIV in Africa? I realize it could be difficult, but wouldn't the FIRST place you'd go to would be the traditional healers? And after 20 years of pounding it into them, wouldn't they know to clean their knives by now? Something is not right here. Africans are not idiots.
Here's another quote:
"We're used to saying this is all about sexual intercourse, but now we have to remind people it can be elsewhere in the body, and there are other dangers as well," said Bertrice Mabule, who started the Children's Education and Health Foundation to promote H.I.V. awareness in Batie.
NOW? NOW we have to remind people?
For twenty years this foundation has discussed sex, over and over and over but not once with the connotation that the sex part has to do with body fluids?? Not only is this cultural correctness gone crazy, this is, "let's make sure that everyone knows how to have safe sex" pounded into their heads without any grounding for it.

No wonder people don't believe the hype over there. How hard would it have been to add in the part where it isn't "sex" that kills you, it's the body fluid exchange? Seriously, what was it that caused foundations to only discuss sex without sharing any information about blood or fluids? Were they afraid that like here, people wouldn't want to share water glasses or something?
I'm sorry that my rants end up with questions all over the place and no answers but I am astounded and outraged by this story today.