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HIV/AIDS Statistics, Origin And The Three Tests

According to the World Health Organization 34.3 million people in the world have the AIDS virus.

  • 24.5 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Nearly 19 million have died from AIDS, 3.8 million of them children under the age 15.
  • 5.4 million new AIDS cases in 1999, 4 million of them in Africa.
  • 2.8 million died of AIDS IN 1999, 2.4 million of them in Africa.
  • 13.2 million children orphaned by AIDS, 12.1 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Reduced life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa from 59yrs to 45yrs between 2005 and 2010, and in Zimbabwe from 61yrs to 33yrs.
  • More than 500,000 babies infected in 1999 by their mothers most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1959 scientist identified the AIDS virus. Only In the mid 80's a scientist at the National Institutes for Health, with a high profile reputation in cancer research claimed to have proved the link between HIV and AIDS, although disputed at the time by a handful of scientist, in their desperation to find a cure, the world stopped looking for the virus and began trying to find a treatment or vaccine.

Sixteen years later governments and private organizations across the world have poured billions of dollars in research, treatment and prevention strategies and to date no one has provided scientific proof of the link between HIV and AIDS.

Amongst other that disagreed with the above claims, a German born molecular Biologist at the University of California Berkeley wrote a book "Inventing the AIDS myth" his theory coincided with the above, that Western scientist prematurely concluded that HIV causes AIDS and when billions of dollars became available to study the disease, scientist jump on the band wagon and have been heading in the wrong direction ever since.

Some scientist believe that HIV is not sufficient to cause AIDS and there must be what they call co-factors. No one has yet found a vaccine and claims of evidence of the isolation of the virus have been disputed.

The Three Tests: Two of the tests the Elisa and the Western Blot tests for HIV can only tell whether your body has antibodies to HIV, not whether HIV infection is present. Both the tests have been found to generate positive results in a multitude of conditions, including pregnancy, malaria and tuberculosis. When scientist finally came up with the third test the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, which can detect the presence of HIV virus itself, positive readings were thrown up with even the most minuscule fragments of virus particles.

Scientist who object to the use of PCR testing for HIV (or for any virus) argue that the presence of a fragment of HIV does not mean you are ill or even infected. They say people can live with hundreds of retroviruses dormant in their systems, most of which will never cause illness.

The issue of co-factors lies at the heart of divergence between mainstream thinking and the so called dissidents.

For many years, since the first claims about the role of HIV in the predisposing people towards AIDS, major players in the field of virology have had doubts.

There seem to be a universal acceptance among scientists that the HIV is a real entity and this is not in dispute, but there are, broadly speaking, three views about it's role in AIDS.

HIV always leads to AIDS, sometimes manifesting years after the initial infection.

HIV is a virus which is ignited when a person's immune system is compromised i.e. when a person has suffered years of malnutrition and lack of access to clean water, or who may have Tuberculosis, Sleeping sickness or Malaria or one of numerous other diseases endemic in many parts of the world, may become sick with AIDS because their systems cannot cope with the load. This argument would hold for people living in First World conditions whose immune systems are compromised by lifestyle factors such as drug abuse, multiple sexual partners and infections from sexually transmitted diseases.

HI virus is a harmless passenger virus to which we are exposed and does not cause death. In this view the critical factors that causes people to contract various serious diseases like Tuberculosis and Pneumonia are the "co-factors". In this view AIDS is real and it exist, with serious implications for economies of the world. But HIV does not cause it; rather it is economically and socially driven.