AIDS numbers inflated

I am sure this will become a big item of discussion, but Craig Timberg, who has written critical news articles about AIDS estimates before has written another article in the Washington Post detailing forthcoming new estimates, using improved sampling methodologies.

The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year’s estimate, documents show. The worldwide total of people infected with HIV — estimated a year ago at nearly 40 million and rising — now will be reported as 33 million.

For example, the United Nations has cut its estimate of HIV cases in India by more than half because of a study completed this year.

There is some suggestion that the epidemic has crested, that fears of a potential global epidemic in places like China and India are overblown. I thought the line in the story about India was interesting in that India has been thought to have the largest number of AIDS cases, even if a small proportion of the total populace. This suggests the disease is much less of a problem in India than initially feared.

What does this mean for policy? The study quotes some other experts who think 33mn is still too high. I think in time this might mean more emphasis on health systems (broadening the health emphasis beyond HIV) and perhaps more targeted efforts to southern Africa and vulnerable populations in other countries.

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2 Responses to “AIDS numbers inflated”

  1. […] tip to Josh Busby at the Politics and Policy of HIV/AIDS blog. […]

  2. A thought experiment
    the strategy of let’s get tested TOGETHER BEFORE we have sex for A VARIETY of sexually transmitted diseases