HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

CDC: lying via statistics

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/08

“Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States”,  labeled generically “CDC HIV/AIDS Facts” and dated August 2008, says:
“Age Group
More infections occurred among young people under 30 (aged 13-29) than any other age group (34%, or 19,200), (Figure 8), followed by persons 30-39 (31% or 17,400). These data confirm that HIV is an epidemic primarily of young people and underscores the critical need to reach each new generation of young people with HIV prevention services. Persons over age 50 continue to account for a relatively small proportion of new infections.”


It’s a plain lie, whose deceitfulness is artfully accentuated by this Figure, that “These data confirm that HIV is an epidemic primarily of young people”. The misleading impression of concentration among younger people is created by grouping 17 years into 13-29, and only 10 years into 30-39 and 40-49; and by presenting numbers of new infections instead of RATES of new infection among the different age groups.

These are standard tricks for lying by means of statistics: compare groups that are not properly comparable (13-29 and 30-39), and use visual illustrations because those carry for most people more impact than numbers.

The data come from Hall et al., “Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States”, JAMA 300 [2008] 520-529. There, Table 2 does show the rates (per 100,000):

13-29,   26.8; 30-39, 42.6; 40-49, 30.7; 50-99, 6.5.

In other words, the people most at risk for new infections are in the 30-39 age group, not the 13-29 group.
The misleading presentation, this sleight of evidence, is needed to make it appear that “HIV” is like every other sexually transmitted infection, where the rates and risks of infection are greatest among adolescents and people in their early twenties.

Another way of exposing the fraud is to calculate the median age for “new infections”.
Table 1 in Hall et al. gives the numbers as 13-29, 14,100; 30-39, 12,500; 40-49, 9,900; ≥50, 4,300. Note once again how grouping 17 years (13-29) together creates the impression of “bottom-heavy”. But the total number of “new infections” is 40,800. Half of that is 20,400. The median age is the age at which there are as many above as below that age. 20,400 minus 14,100 leaves 6,300, so the median age for “new infections” is somewhere in the range 30-39. Taking a linear approximation, 6,300/12,500 = ~5.0; in other words, the median age for incurring “new infections” in 2006 was, according to the official sources, 35 years of age.
As I’ve repeated ad nauseam, everything about HIV/AIDS is at a peak in the age range 35-45, and has been since “AIDS” was first described in the early 1980s: new “infections”, new “AIDS” diagnoses, deaths from “AIDS” or from “HIV disease”, most frequent “HIV-positive” tests. There are minor variations by race and by sex, but the maximum rates are in the range 35-45 with almost no exceptions (an interesting one being repeat blood donors).

It is nothing short of deliberate deception to claim that “new infections” of HIV are concentrated among young people. One has this choice between two possibilities:
1. The people at CDC who gather and analyze and disseminate HIV/AIDS statistics are incompetent in statistics, strangely enough with the incompetence always producing effects that embellish the official position,
2. They know exactly what they’re doing, and deliberately employ well-known, frequently described *  statistical sleights-of-evidence to produce misleading impressions to bolster the official dogma.

Make your own choice.

Either way, as one who became captivated by science decades ago, thinking it an activity where truth-seeking and truth-observing were the norm, I find it simply too sad for words.


* Joel Best, Damned lies and statistics: untangling numbers from the media, politicians, and activists, 2001; More damned lies and statistics: how numbers confuse public issues, 2004; Darrell Huff, How to lie with statistics, 1954, reissued 1993.
That Huff’s book deserved to be re-issued 40 years after its first publication gives a sense of how little the public or the popular media have absorbed its lessons. CDC personnel, on the other hand, and HIV/AIDS researchers more generally, have evidently learned very well the techniques for using statistics for purposes of misleading and deceiving the polity that they are supposed to serve.


9 Responses to “CDC: lying via statistics”

  1. Connie said

    So, just to be sure I understand this properly—the information we get about those at most risk is misleading? The problem with comparing groups of different sizes is easy enough to get…but representing incidence or numbers of new infections rather than rates or prevalence of those living with a disease within that group skews the picture?

    Stats have never been my forte, so I hope you’ll be patient, but if numbers of new cases are highest within one group but prevalence is highest in another group (given the groups are the same size), wouldn’t the group with the highest number of new cases still be most at risk?

    • Henry Bauer said


      The relative risks by age are the same for estimated new infections as for overall prevalence. Everything about HIV/AIDS is most pronounced in the age range 35-45. What the CDC is lying about here — their August 2008 “Fact Sheet” is only about new infections — is that they claim young people (13-29) are most affected when actually, if you take equal-sized groups at every age, it’s people aged 35 who are most likely to get “newly infected”. The data in my book, and on other blog posts, show that prevalence is also at a maximum in the age range 35-45; so are deaths from “HIV disease”; so are new diagnoses of “AIDS”.
      The odds of being “newly infected” by “HIV” are greatest at age 35. Just looking not at new infections, but just testing some group from the population, the odds of finding “HIV-infected” people are again greatest at ages 35-45. Among “HIV+” people, the chace that they will be diagnosed with actual “AIDS” is greatest at ages 35-45 — in other words, no sign of the supposed “latent period” of ten years between infection and AIDS. If you look at deaths from “AIDS”, again the greatest risk of being dead from AIDS comes in the age range 35-45.
      What this means is that there’s something about the nature of the HIV tests that makes a “positive” most likely among people aged 35-45 — whether they’re healthy or ill, alive or dead, with or without “AIDS”.
      In other words, testing “HIV+” does not in general detect an infection — though it may sometimes coincide with one, from a large variety of illnesses.

  2. Connie said

    Got it now, thanks for clarifying 🙂 It’s unbelievable, the misrepresentation.

  3. Michael said

    Henry, Connie,

    I had written a piece for “You Bet Your Life”, that perhaps helps to explain much of the 35-to-45 age bracket and associated health issues in the gay community, which is still the largest group that deals with the health issues of actual illness around the HIV/AIDS issue. The piece is also at the AIDS WIKI at the following link:

    The number of gays with increased depression and loneliness increases dramatically in gays in their 30s and 40s. So does the depth of their emotional depression, which in turn is also very suppressing to their immune sytem.

    The reason seems clear enough. Gay life is very youth-oriented. A lot of gay guys have a very difficult time emotionally when they reach their 30s and 40s. Particularly if they do not have partners, or if they still abuse drugs.

    A lot of acting out can also go along with with this age group in a desperate attempt to “act young” or find someone to hook up with, including increases in drug abuse and the number, as well as a lower “quality” of sex partners who also have a lot of “issues”, followed by more exposure to STD’s followed by lots of antibiotics, and so on. And at this age, their bodies often just can’t take the stress or abuse any more whereas they could in their teens to early 30s. For some, when the party of their youth is over, and middle age settles in, unfortunately, they often just don’t seem to have much left to live for.

    • Henry Bauer said


      I don’t question the importance and physical consequences of psychological stress, and you make a plausible case for factors that conduce to such stress in gay men. I have a section on nocebo, the antithesis of placebo, in my book.

      However, as to the matter of age, there is an alternative explanation — or, if you like, an additional explanation: the harm from behavior you describe doesn’t set in at once; there’s a “latent period” before the repeated illnesses, antibiotics, stresses, etc., exact a really tangible toll. People aged 35-45 can sill ward off stresses pretty well — unless they’ve been suffering them for a decade or two.

  4. Connie said

    I’m thinking that if repeated infections, antibiotics, drug abuse, binge drinking and other immune-suppressing factors for a decade or more during young adulthood can crash our immune systems after forty, we have reason to be worried about large numbers of today’s generation of young adults, both men and women, a few decades from now…I hope I’m being unnecessarily fearful.

    • Henry Bauer said


      I do think you’re being too fearful. I think it was only most of the early 1980s cases, before AZT was introduced, who became seriosuly ill and died from that combination of insults. For a sense of how extreme was the “fast-lane” lifestyle of the small group of gay men who hurt and killed themselves thereby, read Larry Kramer’s “Faggots” and get to see “When ocean meets sky”, 2006 film by Crayton Robey; periodically shown on LOGO television;

      After “discovery” of “HIV”, “AIDS” was less and less diagnosed by actual illness and more and more via “HIV+”; and there, I truly believe, Duesberg’s drug-AIDS hypothesis becomes the major explanation of “AIDS” “Deaths”: killed by AZT. Nowadays under HAART, fewer are dying, or at least they’re dying less rapidly. But the NIH Treatment Guidelines indicate that at least half of “AIDS” deaths are from HAART drugs. See my 2 October 2008 post — “AIDS” deaths: owing to antiretroviral drugs or to lack of antiretroviral treatment? and note that prominent “AIDS Activists”, who presumably know what the “best” and latest treatment is, have still been dying on avergae before age 50, and in many cases from organ failures, which indicates iatrogenic drug-caused death.

      It’s MONSTROUS.

  5. Connie said

    So the biggest worry is actually a diagnosis and treatment? It just sounds so jaded and defiant….though I’m actually not surprised, and I don’t think cancer and cancer treatments (especially early ones) have been all that different, now that I think about it. I’ve watched several very young friends die within a few years of diagnosis and treatment, and have an 80 year old uncle who was told 50 years ago he had liver cancer, refused treatment, and is only now, all these decades later, dying. We are, after all, not exactly wired for drugs that kill off vast numbers of human cells. And given that 90% of our cells are nonhuman microorganisms trying to live in relative peace, it makes sense to avoid all-out war that tends to wipe out the protective varieties of microbes; it makes sense to try instead to maintain some equilibrium.

  6. The problem is not only with the lack of all inclusive screenings, but also with the defination the CDC places on groups of people. No reall statistic will be true until all groups of people at risk [meaning everyone] can have there recognition. While the CDC continues to define transgender male to females as MSM [men sexing men] a huge gap is being left out of receiving true results. A trans person falls through the cracks simply based on inproper definition. Much work needs to be done in the Transgender community to get real statistics of HIV/AIDS, and to help further educate all of us. The CDC can do this by stopping the use of MSM when defining a transwoman. I know this because I am an HIV positive Transwoman, who was infected not while having gay sex, but simply by having male on female sex..jmb

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