Sunday, March 22, 2009

SF DPH Slide:
AIDS Plague Coming to an End?

Apologies for the fuzziness of the graph, but you can view the original, from the December 2008 SF DPH year-end AIDS surveillance report, by clicking here. It appears on page 2.

What we have here, in my opinion, is the latest piece of evidence from America's AIDS Model City, that the plague has not only long been over, but that there is no resurgence of full-blown AIDS cases or deaths.

The graph shows three colored lines of great news. The light purple line represents numbers of AIDS diagnoses, while the red line is for AIDS deaths. Both peaked in the early 1990s and continue to fall.

Then there is the upward shaped gray line, for number of people living with AIDS. I'm not applauding that more people have the disease, but rather saying it's a good thing more PWAs are still alive.

None of this is new news in any sense of the word. It's simply a continuation of trends underway here for quite sometime. So why call attention to AIDS statistics when we all know the real focus of AIDS Inc is on HIV statistics and transmissions?

For one reason: I'm obsessed with following the AIDS and the HIV figures. The numbers may no longer warrant media attention or come under scrutiny at City Hall or get debated at the HIV/AIDS planning councils, but it's to our detriment to ignore the newest surveillance report.

Finally, when plagues end, or there is mounting statistical evidence a viral epidemic is ending, I want to make sure there are lots of surveillance reports to back up any claims made.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Pisani said...

I'm always happy when people take an interest in the data. And I agree that there's much to be happy about in this graph.
Just wanted to point out that the reason "AIDS Inc" (of which I have been a shareholdre, though I think I may recently have sold my shares....)is obsessed with HIV stats and transmissions is because we can't even agree on what "AIDS" is any more. If you're on meds, with an undetectable viral load and a robust CD4 count, do you have AIDS? Is there any way besides your pill-taking (and the fact that you're probably less infectious) in which you differ from someone who used to be called "HIV, Not AIDS"?