Dissident AIDS Database

EpidemiologyStatisticsAIDSInconsistent figures
The incubation period of AIDS.
 Munoz, A. et al.
  In a recent European study 22% of HIV-infected children had progressed to AIDS or death by 10 years, considerably lower than the rates of progression often seen in adults
  AIDS. 1997; Vol 11 (suppl A): S69-761997
Life in the 21st Century, a vision for all: The World Health Report 1998
  In November 1998, the WER provided the totals of AIDS cases for a 15-year period (1982-1997) in the following countries: Nigeria (21,905); South Africa (12,825); Uganda (53,306); and Tanzania (97,621).The World Health Report 1998 which claims to "use the latest data gathered and validated by WHO" gives the following numbers of AIDS cases in those four countries for 1996: Nigeria - 308; South Africa - 729; Uganda -3,021; and Tanzania - 0.
  World Health Organization, (Geneva: WHO, 1998)1998
AIDS in Africa, In Search of the Truth
 Malan Rian
  "...my homeland is different - we are a semi-industrialized nation with a respectable statistical service. "South Africa," says Ian Timaeus, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor and UNAIDS consultant "is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa where sufficient deaths are routinely registered to attempt to produce national estimates of mortality from this source." He adds that, "coverage is far from complete," but there's enough of it to be useful - around eight of ten deaths are routinely registered in South Africa, according to Timaeus, compared to about 1 in 100 elsewhere below the Sahara. It therefore seemed to me that checking the number of registered deaths in South Africa was the surest way of assessing the statistics from Geneva, so I dug out the figures. Geneva's computer models suggested that AIDS deaths here had tripled in three years, surging from 80,000-odd in 1996 to 250,000 in 1999. But no such rise was discernable in total registered deaths, which went from 294,703 to 343,535 within roughly the same period. The discrepancy was so large that I wrote to make absolutely sure I had understood these numbers correctly. Both parties confirmed that I had, and at that exact moment, my story was in trouble. Geneva's figures reflected catastrophe. Pretoria's figures did not. Between these extremes lay a gray area populated by local experts such as Stephen Kramer, manager of insurance giant Metropolitan's AIDS Research Unit, whose own computer model shows AIDS deaths at about one-third Geneva's estimates. But so what? South African actuaries don't get a say in this debate. The figures you see in your newspapers come from Geneva. The WHO takes pains to label these numbers estimates only, not rock-solid certainties, but still, these are estimates we all accept as the truth."
  RollingStone magazine, November 22, 20012001
Africa isn’t dying of Aids
 Malan Rian
  "Most estimates for countries north of the Limpopo are issued by UNAIDS, using methods similar to those discredited here in South Africa. According to Paul Bennell, a health- policy analyst associated with Sussex University’s Institute for Development Studies, there is an ‘extraordinary’ lack of evidence from other sources. ‘Most countries do not even collect data on deaths,’ he writes. ‘There is virtually no population-based survey data in most high-prevalence countries.’ Bennell was able, however, to gather information about Africa’s schoolteachers, usually described as a high-risk HIV group on account of their steady income, which enables them to drink and party more than others. Last year the World Bank claimed that Aids was killing Africa’s teachers ‘faster than they can be replaced’. The BBC reported that ‘one in seven’ Malawian teachers would die in 2002 alone. Bennell looked at the available evidence and found actual teacher mortality to be ‘much lower than expected’. In Malawi, for instance, the all-causes death rate among schoolteachers was under 3 per cent, not over 14 per cent. In Botswana, it was about three times lower than computer-generated estimates. In Zimbabwe, it was four times lower. Bennell believes that Aids continues to present a serious threat to educators, but concludes that ‘overall impact will not be as catastrophic as suggested’. What’s more, teacher deaths appear to be declining in six of the eight countries he has studied closely. ‘This is quite unexpected,’ he remarks, ‘and suggests that, in terms of teacher deaths, the worst may be over.’ In the past year or so, similar mutterings have been heard throughout southern Africa — the epidemic is levelling off or even declining in the worst-affected countries. UNAIDS has been at great pains to rebut such ideas, describing them as ‘dangerous myths’, even though the data on UNAIDS’ own website shows they are nothing of the sort. ‘The epidemic is not growing in most countries,’ insists Bennell. ‘HIV prevalence is not increasing as is usually stated or implied.’"
  The Spectator, 13 dec 20032003
Africa isn’t dying of Aids
 Malan Rian
  ‘The only country in sub-Saharan Africa where sufficient deaths are routinely registered to attempt to produce national estimates of mortality,’ says Professor Ian Timaeus of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. According to Timaeus, upwards of 80 per cent of deaths are registered here, which makes us unique: the only corner of Africa where it is possible to judge computer-generated Aids estimates against objective reality. In the year 2000, Timaeus joined a team of South African researchers bent on eliminating all doubts about the magnitude of Aids’ impact on South African mortality. Sponsored by the Medical Research Council, the team’s mission was to validate (for the first time ever) the output of Aids computer models against actual death registration in an African setting. Towards this end, the MRC team was granted privileged access to death reports as they streamed into Pretoria. The first results became available in 2001, and they ran thus: 339,000 adult deaths in 1998, 375,000 in 1999 and 410,000 in 2000. This was grimly consistent with predictions of rising mortality, but the scale was problematic. Epimodel estimated 250,000 Aids deaths in 1999, but there were only 375,000 adult deaths in total that year — far too few to accommodate the UN’s claims on behalf of the HIV virus. In short, Epimodel had failed its reality check. It was quietly shelved in favour of a more sophisticated local model, ASSA 600, which yielded a ‘more realistic’ death toll from Aids of 143,000 for the calendar year 1999. At this level, Aids deaths were about 40 per cent of the total — still a bit high, considering there were only 232,000 deaths left to distribute among all other causes. The MRC team solved the problem by stating that deaths from ordinary disease had declined at the cumulatively massive rate of nearly 3 per cent per annum since 1985. This seemed very odd. How could deaths decrease in the face of new cholera and malaria epidemics, mounting poverty, the widespread emergence of drug-resistant killer microbes, and a state health system reported to be in ‘terminal decline’? But anyway, these researchers were experts, and their tinkering achieved the desired end: modelled Aids deaths and real deaths were reconciled, the books balanced, truth revealed... Towards the end of 2001, the vaunted ASSA 600 model was replaced by ASSA 2000, which produced estimates even lower than its predecessor: for the calendar year 1999, only 92,000 Aids deaths in total. This was just more than a third of the original UN figure, but no matter; the boffins claimed ASSA 2000 was so accurate that further reference to actual death reports ‘will be of limited usefulness’... Last December ASSA 2000 was retired, too. A note on the MRC website explained that modelling was an inexact science, and that ‘the number of people dying of Aids has only now started to increase’. Furthermore, said the MRC, there was a new model in the works, one that would ‘probably’ produce estimates ‘about 10 per cent lower’ than those presently on the table. The exercise was not strictly valid, but I persuaded my scientist pal Rodney Richards to run the revised data on his own simulator and see what he came up with for 1999. The answer, very crudely, was an Aids death toll somewhere around 65,000 — a far cry indeed from the 250,000 initially put forth by UNAIDS.
  The Spectator, 13 dec 20032003
 Malan Rian
  "Robert S Cooper, US epidemiologist who has done service in west Africa, attempting to quantify the suffering caused by various diseases in regions where administration is weak and recordkeeping barely existent. "The idea that the sum of humanity's misery is now calculated and published is seductive," he concludes. In Cooper's estimation, disease statistics for sub-Saharan Africa are often just "guesstimates". The trouble with such modelling exercises is that they are capable, as UNAIDS chief epidemiologist Bernard Schwartlander recently phrased it, of producing "complete bullshit". Consider, for instance, the staggering array of AIDS death estimates for the year 2000 presently on offer in SA. Preliminary estimates from Stats SA put the toll at 109000. The Metropolitan Doyle model says 120000. The ASSA 2000 model, used by the MRC, says 164000. An earlier ASSA model says 190000. The software used by UNAIDS says 305000 or thereabouts, and the United Nations Population Division predicted AIDS deaths in the region of 400000."
  Business Day (South Africa) 2 Nov. 20012001
Fighting Disease, Fostering Development: The World Health Report 1996
  For the period 1984-97, the WHO compared estimates of HIV seropositivity with the actual numbers of AIDS cases in its Weekly Epidemiological Reports. The cumulative result is that 99.2% of all Africans do not have AIDS, including 97% of those who test HIV-positive.
  World Health Organization, (Geneva: WHO, 1996)1996
South Africa: Country Profile
  For instance, even though South Africa reported only 1,120 AIDS cases in 1995 but 90,292 cases of tuberculosis in 1994, AIDS was accorded a much higher national profile and larger budget so that it now dominates clinical practice across all medical fields ranging from pediatrics to neurology. Oddly enough the 1998 World Health Report indicated only 729 AIDS cases in South Africa for 1996 - a decrease of 35% from 1995!
  The Lancet, Vol. 349 (May 24, 1997), p. 1542.1997
HIV-1 Disease Progression and AIDS-Defining Disorders in Rural Uganda
 Dilys Morgan, et. al.,
  In 1987, the WHO estimated that 1 million Ugandans were HIV-positive. Ten years later, that number was unchanged yet the cumulative total of AIDS cases reported in Uganda was less than 55,000. Researchers did not know the health status of the other 945,000 HIV-positive Ugandans who were not AIDS cases nor evidently noticed the erroneous projections and obvious discrepancies that appeared among articles published in the very same journal.
  The Lancet, Vol. 350 (July 26, 1997), p. 245.1997