Condoms, Race, and “HIV”
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/04/03
In “Predicting rates of ‘HIV-positive’ — and racial cleansing” (2010/03/14),
I pointed out that the initiative for universal testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment of all “HIV-positive” people amounted essentially to a program of racial cleansing, because black people anywhere and everywhere test “HIV-positive” far more often than others, mutatis mutandis (that is, healthy black pregnant women of a given age test positive far more often than healthy non-black pregnant women of the same age; black Marines of a given age and sex test positive far more often than non-black Marines of the same age and sex; and so on).
In my book and on several blog posts since then, I’ve pointed out that the orthodox explanation for why blacks test positive more than others is unsustainable. That orthodox explanation sees “HIV-positive” as primarily reflecting sexual behavior; yet study after study (cited in my book at pp. 77-79, for example) reveals that black people are less prone to careless promiscuity than are others.
A recent comment from Nguyen underscores these points. He quotes from “14 percent of D.C. gay, bi men are HIV positive: report” (Lou Chibbaro Jr., 26 March 2010):
“A first-of-its-kind study of men who have sex with men in the District of Columbia found . . . that black men who have sex with men had an HIV infection rate of 25 percent, compared to an 8 percent infection rate among white MSM who participated in the study.”
This is news??
In the 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already published data showing that black MSM were more often “HIV-positive” than other MSM, see Figure 11 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
In those data, the relative numbers were 45 decreasing to 30, and 25 decreasing to about 16.5, respectively, a ratio of 1.8 rather than the new report of a ratio of >3 (25 vs. 8). As explained in my book, the black-to-white ratio must inevitably decrease as the overall “HIV-positive” rate gets larger. Among repeat blood donors, where the overall rate is minuscule, the black-to-white ratio is ~14–25; obviously that ratio must decrease as the white rate increases, otherwise the black rate would be 100% once the white rate exceeds about 5%. So the new report is even quantitatively consistent with earlier reports.
“In a finding that surprised city health officials who commissioned the study, . . . black MSM of all ages used condoms more frequently than whites.”
But if those city health officials had looked at the relevant published literature, they would already have known that, on average, black people are if anything less carelessly promiscuous than others.
“Yet the infection rate for black MSM remains extraordinarily high”
And if those officials had bothered to examine the demographics of “HIV”, they would know that black people are genetically predisposed to test “HIV-positive” more frequently than others, by a factor as high as 20-25 in groups where the overall rate is very low to a factor of 2 or less when the overall rate is very high.
“the report says, [the rate among black MSM is high] most likely because the number of infected black MSM is significantly higher than white MSM, increasing the chance of infection even if safer sex is practiced most of the time.”
HIV/AIDS logic at something like its best/worst: the rate is high because it’s high!
But also note the unstated but clear assumption that sex among MSM is racially segregated, that black MSM and white MSM are two separate groups that never have sex with one another. Yet millennia of history attest to the ubiquity of interracial heterosexuality, indeed that racial differences are often erotically stimulating.
“Though white men were more likely to engage in higher risk sexual behavior, more men of color were impacted with HIV”
Exactly and of course: because the tendency to test “HIV-positive” does not reflect infection with some putative retrovirus (or at least not chiefly such infection), and the tendency is race-linked.
Once again as so often:
HIV/AIDS theory finds the data inscrutable,
presenting an inexplicable, incomprehensible, conundrum;
whereas a Rethinking viewpoint finds nothing strange or unexplainable