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Aids deaths
Dec 23, 2001

Doctor,

You stated in a recent post that it is estimated that 8000 people die a day of AIDS. Would you know by chance how many people die each year of poverty, malnutrition in underdeveloped nations? Has this number declined in the past 5 years? It would be interesting to see if it has, meaning, have traditional diseases which are related to poor living conditions causing death in the Third World, re-classified as AIDS. Think about it, when was the last time you were watching TV and saw a commercial with Sally Struthers or whoever begging to "feed the children"?...not in a long time. (Did they get fed?) I know as a fact, that the majority of AIDS diagnosis' in Africa are done absent of an HIV test. What do you think of that? The 8000 number isn't even coming from the governments of these said dead, but from the WHO in Geneva. I only need to tell you this: The CDC said in the early 80s that 1 in 5 heterosexuals would be dead of AIDS by the end of the decade. Has that happened? You should take time to read an interesting article about AIDS death reporting from a native South African in last month's issue of the Rolling Stone.

Be well.

Response from Dr. Aberg

There are always problems with statistics even in the US. It is only as good as the people collecting the data. But to answer your question, yes increasing numbers of people still die from malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and all the other diseases associated with poverty and unsanitary conditions. HIV makes people even more vulnerable to these diseases. This is part of the political battle about whether we can treat HIV in Africa given the limited resources. Nevertheless, HIV continues to have a major impact globally and one we should not overlook.


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