It’s widely acknowledged that the soundness of a theory can be gauged by how well it can predict future phenomena*.
Here’s my theory about what testing “HIV-positive” means:
1. A positive “HIV” test reflects a wide variety of conditions, including common conditions like flu, pregnancy, flu vaccination, and the like, and less common and more serious conditions like tuberculosis and the consequences of habitual drug abuse. Damage to the intestinal microflora is a powerful inducer of “HIV-positive”, and this seems to be a particular risk for gay men.
2. The tendency to test positive under any given one of those conditions varies in predictable fashion by sex, age, and race.
3. Therefore certain population groups test “HIV-positive” more often others: in particular drug addicts, TB patients, pregnant women, gay men.
4. In any given otherwise homogeneous group, positive “HIV” tests are most frequent in early middle age, say 35-45 (varying slightly by sex and race: lower for women and for people of African ancestry).
5. If all other variables are randomly distributed, testing “HIV-positive” is more frequent in urban environments than rural ones.
That theory is not pulled out of a hat, of course; it is derived from the demographics of “HIV” tests in the United States, see The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
The statistical “Law of Large Numbers” states that when a large enough number of observations is made, the observed average will approach the true average.
Let’s extend that to comparing large population groups, in which the variables of age, sex, etc., and the incidence of such conditions as tuberculosis, flu, pregnancy, etc., are likely to be randomly distributed — as would be the case for a national population, say, or for a large metropolis. In particular, let’s compare the national average for testing “HIV-positive” with the rate of testing “HIV-positive” in Washington, DC.
The variables that will NOT be randomly distributed, but that will be greater in Washington than the national average, are
2. Proportion of habitual drug abusers (higher in metropolitan areas than rural ones)
3. Proportion of gay men (higher in metropolitan areas than rural ones)
2 and 3 represent differences that are minor compared to the racial differences in testing “HIV-positive”, because they form small percentages of both metropolitan and national populations, whereas African Americans represent significant percentages of both.
Now, people of African ancestry test “HIV-positive” at rates that are perhaps 5 to 20 times greater than people of European ancestry.
People of African ancestry represent about 1 in 8 Americans (~12%).
People of African ancestry represent about 6 of every 10 residents of Washington, DC (~60%).
Unless the racial composition of Washington, DC, changes significantly, the rate of testing “HIV-positive” there will be approximately 5 times the national average.
This little exercise was stimulated by a “CNN Presents” TV program on the night of Saturday, March 13. Several experts were deploring the fact that the rate of “HIV-positive” in Washington is more than 3 times the national average (3% vs. <1%). Naturally the experts called for even further “prevention” efforts and described a number of initiatives intended to enhance prevention.
I repeat my prediction: None of the initiatives will have any effect. The rate of testing “HIV-positive” in Washington, DC, will continue to be approximately 5 times the national average (0.6% in 2007 according to the CIA Fact Book) unless the racial composition of that region changes significantly.
The only effective “intervention” would therefore be “racial cleansing” of Washington.
While that is of course out of the question as a conscious, deliberate policy, it is nevertheless a fairly likely albeit unintended consequence of the increasingly strident official recommendations that everyone be tested and all “HIV-positive” individuals be immediately “treated” with antiretroviral drugs irrespective of their state of health, CD4 count, or anything else (e.g., “Universal HIV testing gaining worldwide support”, 23 February 2010). Such a program would cause people so tested and “treated” to die at an earlier age — proportionately, many more African Americans and pregnant women. Thereby the racial composition of the region will change, just as though the intention had been a gradual racial cleansing.
For pertinent posts relating to Washington and to race, see
— Sex, Race, and “HIV”, 14 May 2008
— Anthony Fauci explains racial disparities in “HIV/AIDS”, 3 June 2008
— STOP PRESS: 40% DECREASE in HIV in Washington DC, 18 March 2009
and note that “HIV-positive” was said to be 3% a year ago, just as it was said to be in last night’s program. My prediction is looking good already.
[Universal testing and immediate HAART will also, of course, bring about “sexual cleansing” by depleting the population of gay men at a much higher rate than for heterosexual men.]
* However, the theory must be described so clearly and tightly that anyone using it would make the same predictions; that’s why Velikovsky’s predictions of a hot Venus and radio signals from Jupiter brought him no credit ins the scientific community — see Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, University of Illinois Press, 1984. For other caveats see Stephen G. Brush, “Prediction and theory evaluation: the case of light bending”, Science, 246  1124-9; “Prediction and theory evaluation: Alfven on space plasma phenomena”, Eos, 71 [no.2, 1990] 19-33.