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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
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Latest Proof of Low Heterosexual AIDS Risk
CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 1997 Year-End
Vol 9, No 2 Released June 22, 1998 Review of Report and Our Analysis
Full Report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/hiv_aids/stats/hasrlink.htm
New Cases Continue to Drop
The year-end 1997 report shows new AIDS cases declined yet again from 105,828 in 1993 to 79,897 in 1994 to 73,767 in 1995 to 68,808 in 1996 and down again to 60,634 in 1997. In reviewing the exposure categories, it is obvious the only significant risks are men having sex with men (still 45% of new 1997 cases), drug injecting men and women, and those having sex with a injecting drug users and bisexual men.
Almost None Are Heterosexual Sex As Only Risk Factor
The total cumulative cases adult and adolescents (excluding pediatric) was 633,000. Of the 633,000 only 58,884 (9%) cumulative in 18 years were heterosexual contact (mostly women) as the only "claimed" risk factor. But 46% of these heterosexual contacts are with drug users or bisexual men. If you look at Table 4 for men's exposure category and Table 5 for women, you find the only category for just plain heterosexual sex, without any other risk is "Sex with HIV-infected person, risk not specified. This means the risk was only heterosexual sex or they refused to specify any other co-factor. Lets assume these non-specified risks are ALL just from heterosexual sex. The result:
In 18 years cumulative we have 12,666 men (2% of all AIDS cases) and 17,809 (3%) women who "might" have got it from heterosexual sex, assuming they weren't just lying about other risk factors!
The racial/ethic trend that the CDC pointed out in
its 1996 summary continues with Blacks or Hispanic race/ethnicity and women (getting it
from drugs) continue to represent increasing proportions of persons reported with AIDS.
In 1997 84% of new cases were Black, 38% were Hispanic and only 10% where White
(Table 10). This is not trying to be racist just reported the facts.I do not know why
heterosexually transmitted AIDS is so rare in white men & women vs blacks or Hispanic.
Cases are also highly concentrated in a few large cities such as New
York and District of Columbia.
The number of women infected is growing however in the last few years. This makes sense since we know anal sex is much more common that many might think (see later study) and AIDS is very easy to transmit male to female via anal sex. We know its virtually impossible to pass from a women to male sexually and very difficult (but not impossible) to transfer male to female vaginally. We have a huge number of prostitute studies from all over the world that clearly show, while many prostitutes are infected (often from drug use), it is clear they are not passing HIV or AIDS to their male clients.
In 1997 there were 3,105 males and 5,007 females (Table 3 non-pediatric) of all races who might have (didn't admit any other risk factor) been infected (not died) by heterosexual sex as only risk factor. Of these many had sex with injecting drug users etc, but lets include all of these to compare to other risks.
Let's put these numbers in perspective
EVERY YEAR (not total over 18 years!):
2,000 people a year die from contaminated tap water in the U.S.!
22,000 per year die from Homicide
26,000 per year die from Liver Disease
30,000 per year die from Suicides
39,000 per year die from Diabetes
50,000 per year die from auto accidents
75,000 per year die from Pneumonia
488,000 per year die from Cancer
972,000 per year die from Heart Disease
Anal Sex May Account For Most Female Cases
Studies show that anal sex is much more common than many might think. Among North American college women, 18.6% report anal intercourse (34.8% of those with 10 or more partners) per MacDonald study in 1990 and over 10% of women report engaging in anal intercourse on multiple occasions per the 1991 study by Voeller. A Danish study (Melbye and Biggar) in 1992 showed 27% to 36% of women ages 20-34 had anal intercourse. These are close to the U.S. studies of 20% found with monogamous heterosexual couples with a HIV-positive male (Peterman et. al., 1988 and Padian et al. 1991). All this easily explains why the heterosexual male to female transmission rate is so much higher than female to male.
Decline in HIV As Americans Ignore Safe Sex Message
The decline in new HIV infection comes at the same time as Americans are ignoring the "non epidemic" and all the politically correct safe sex warning: A survey published in the November 1995 issue of the American Journal Of Public Health indicates that heterosexual adults are not significantly changing their sexual behavior in response to HIV risk. In fact, the survey--which involved more than 9,000 people from 23 high-risk cities and other U.S. locations--found that the number of people reporting multiple sexual partners increased. Additionally, the majority of respondents reported using condoms either infrequently or not at all. But since heterosexual men are clearly blocking its spread we see declining numbers of new cases even when the politically correct "safe sex" messages are being ignored.
The Lying Factor In Heterosexual AIDS/HIV Claims
With the medical knowledge of how difficult HIV is to transmit heterosexually (other than anal sex) it is helpful to look at the studies showing the large lie factor. The very small heterosexual numbers, especially the 0.3% "maybe" in white males, are probably much lower than reported. In all likelihood, there is virtually no female to male transmission and male to female is mostly via anal intercourse. The problem is there are few studies that ask the critical questions and get honest answers regarding bisexuality and drug use by those claiming only heterosexual risk.
Lets look at some of these studies that prove that people lie claiming heterosexual status to cover up other less socially acceptable and sometimes illegal (drug) activities.
In only a few cities such as NY, heath department follow up includes home visits, interviews with friends and even snooping in the medicine chest for syringes, etc. At least two-thirds of those men claiming to have gotten HIV from a prostitute on an initial questionnaire are confirmed to have had a history of gay activity or drug use.
There was a man in the Navy claiming only heterosexual risk but when asked what percentage of time did he practice fisting, he said "fifty percent", not realizing that heterosexuals seldom do that. Further investigation confirmed he was a homosexual.
The lying factor usually puts false blame on prostitutes which many studies show are not transferring any HIV do their customers. In many states, men who claim prostitute contact are taken at their word and classified as heterosexual transmission and this is used in the official CDC data. But New York City officials are not so trusting. "Of 63 men with AIDS who reported prostitute contact was only risk, 42 were later found to have a history of contact with homosexual men or iv drug abuse.
Dr. Joyce Wallace, president of the Foundation for Research on STD's in New York had to interview an AIDS infected man four times before he admitted to homosexual anal intercourse, not prostitutes, was a factor. Another admitted to homosexual acts, but said it was "only, in an orgy setting." Says Wallace, "In my experience, many men will say they've had sex with a dog before they'll admit to sex with another man.
More published reports involve ministers who claim heterosexual only risk but later admit they are gay. In such a homopobic society its natural people will lie about their risk category or admit to illegal iv drug use.
Early in the AIDS scare there was the front page headlines about the high rate of HIV when testing began in the military. One study (Potterat et al., 1987) sampled 20 soldiers that tested HIV-positive. Three quarters (15) claimed heterosexual contact only. Later upon more detailed questioning and assuring confidentiality, 12 of these 15 admitted homosexual contacts or iv drug activity. It is also possible the other three were better and more consistent at lying than the 12 that admitted other risk factors.
The Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1987 showed the result of another follow-up of military recruits testing HIV-positive. In this study of 23 infected who were classified as heterosexual, most claimed to have contracted it from prostitutes. But after 20 agreed to participate in more questioning and with confidentiality assured, ten were iv drug users, eight had homosexual relations. One was a women who eventually admitted to having sex with a iv drug user and one man alone could have contracted HIV from heterosexual activity, but subsequent testing showed he was not HIV-positive. The initial test probably had given false positive result.
A very well documented study of the lying factor, "Lack of Evidence for Transmission of HIV Through Vaginal Intercourse", was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol 24, No. 4, November 1995. The study by Stuart Brody, Ph.d., a specialist in medical PSYCHOLOGY traces the invalid reports of heterosexual contact in detail including data on broader sexual lies told and the various psychological tests to measure the lie factor in other activities. The strong conclusion is lying by respondents (including socially desirable response bias), is one of a number of factors resulting in HIV-positive reports that fail to show the true risk factor of anal intercourse or iv drug activity. Mr. Brody says: "Scientifically proving that something does not exist or occur is always very difficult and usually impossible. The primary point this paper attempts to convey is that there has been the assumption in both scientific and lay communities that vaginal HIV transmission does commonly exist, and that the basis for this assumption rests on data that are unacceptably weak or flawed. The need for sexual behavior change that has been claimed by public health and other authorities is not supported by the scientific data. The potent vectors remain anal intercourse and iv activity, especially in the presence of relatively suppressed immune functioning. However pervasive the lack of evidence for vaginal transmission of HIV may be, it may also be prudent to view the risk as nonzero. Such nonzero risk assignment might also pertain to other vectors (such as nongenital body contact) which have been dismissed by the public health community."
"A tighter research design on risk factors for HIV transmission would include specific, detailed, clear, simply and colloquially phrased questions on sexual, drug, and medical histories posed by clinically sophisticated interviewers; assessment of a social-desirability response set with lie scales and at least one other detector or response bias (perhaps using forensic interview techniques), serology to look for unreported hepatitis or drug use (the latter not unlike approaches used in substance abuse treatment, employment or insurance screening), and physiological markers such as needle tracks or evidence in or on the rectal mucosa."
Insurance Companies See No Risk To The General Population
Insurance companies are now dropping mortality costs since they see no epidemic. They are betting their future profits on the hard evidence there never will be an AIDS epidemic, since in the U.S. it is virtually entirely limited to known high risk groups and not spreading to others. Peter W. Plumley, an independent consulting actuary, is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, has published a number of articles on the very low risk of heterosexual AIDS such as CONDOMANIA - COMMON SENSE OR NONSENSE? Mr. Plumley is also Chairperson of the Society of Actuaries Non-Insurance HIV/AIDS Task Force and is a member of the Society of Actuaries Committee on HIV/AIDS (which deals with insurance-related AIDS issues). He served on the Board of Governors of the Society of Actuaries from 1981-1984.
Rise In AIDS Insurance Claims Is The Slowest in Nine Years
(Human Resource Executive, 10/95)
U.S. life and health insurance companies are paying AIDS-related claims at the slowest rate since trade groups began to calculate the claims nine years ago. According to data reported jointly by the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), AIDS-related claims totaled $1.6 billion in 1994, an increase of only 4.5 percent from the previous year. The proportion of group accident and health policies involving AIDS fell by nearly 8 percent. The HIAA said an increasing number of people with AIDS contracted HIV through intravenous drug use or sexual contact with an IV drug user; people in this risk group are less likely to have group or individual health insurance.
Women have more heterosexual risk than men and need to be careful of that their partners are not bisexual or drug users. Healthy heterosexual men and their female partners, have virtually no risk. The problem for women is knowing their partner well enough to know for sure they are not an anal sexually active bisexual or drug user.
More and more scientific evidence is mounting that the scare everyone tactics to get funding etc. is based on a myth more than fact. Instead of scaring the wrong people with false information about the heterosexual risk, why not devote such effort and resources to reach drug users and tell heterosexual women simply to avoid anal sex if they are not sure their partner is not using drugs or bisexual. Actually, being gay or bisexual is not the risk but anal intercourse. Not all bisexuals or gay men have anal sex.
I do support funding and doing everything possible to find a solution. Just because someone got a terrible disease due to iv drugs or anal sex, in no way should make a cure any less important. Finding affordable treatment and eventual cure is also very important due to the high number of cases in third world countries. But in the U.S. the UK and most all of the Western world, other than known high risk activities, the normal healthy heterosexual has a very low risk compared to much higher risks everyone takes by just being alive. The risk is less than dying from contaminated drinking water in the U.S. Yet just because AIDS is a sexual risk it seems to be blown out of proportion, especially now since the only real risk transmission vectors seem to have been clearly identified.
Still, as a precaution, non-monogamous people are encouraged to get tested routinely for HIV antibodies *and for other STD's*, and communicate the results to all their partners. STD's and unwanted pregnancies are much more real issues than HIV.
Dave's concluding comments: Everyone needs to be responsible for their actions based on knowledge and facts as to the relative risk of different activities. We drive a car every day. The risk of death from being killed in an auto accident, even if wearing a seat belt is far greater than the risk of getting AIDS from someone not in a high risk group. Some people may decide to walk everywhere instead of drive a car. Some people may decide to even further reduce the low risk of AIDS by using condoms, dental dams etc. I encourage everyone to learn the facts to make informed decisions and if you are not comfortable with the risk it's your responsibility to practice safer sex and its your partners responsibility to respect your decision.
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