Accuracy in Media

In a front page story on April 6, the Washington Post finally acknowledged what we have known for a long time: HIV/AIDS cases in Africa have been grossly exaggerated. The numbers were exaggerated in order to generate more money for the U.N. The world body cruelly exploited sick, suffering and dying people.

In Rwanda, for example, the HIV infection rate is 3 percent, not “the 30 percent estimated by some early researchers, nor the nearly 13 percent given by the United Nations in 1998,” the Post said.

D?j? vu. My November 30, 2004, column was titled, “Another U.N. Scandal: Phony Figures On AIDS.” I cited the work of John Donnelly of the Boston Globe, who had come forward in June 2004 to cast doubt on the numbers, noting that “Estimates of the number of people with the AIDS virus have been dramatically overstated in many countries because of errors in statistical models and a possible undetected decline in the pandemic?”

Donnelly added, “Several AIDS specialists said they think the current estimate of 40 million people living with the AIDS virus worldwide is inflated by 25 percent to 50 percent, based on a wide spectrum of household surveys in nearly a dozen countries. That would go against the grain of years of assertions by UNAIDS that the disease is relentlessly on the rise.”

We had also reported the overblown estimates in our special report on AIDS, dated March, 2005.

Now, more than a year later, the Post’s Craig Timberg admits the new data “raise questions about monitoring by the U.N. AIDS agency, which for years overestimated the extent of HIV/AIDS in East and West Africa and, by a smaller margin, in southern Africa, according to independent researchers and U.N. officials.”

The “disparities,” according to independent researchers, “skewed years of policy judgments and decisions on where to spend precious health-care dollars,” he reported. In other words, millions if not billions of dollars have been diverted to AIDS spending and probably wasted.

Money was the motivating factor. Timberg added, “In the place of previous estimates provided by the World Health Organization, outside researchers say, the AIDS agency produced reports that increasingly were subject to political calculations, with the emphasis on raising awareness and money.” (emphasis added). In other words, it gave the U.N. the opportunity to look compassionate by spending our money on a problem that was exaggerated in its importance and significance.

How much money? The U.S. Government has spent $170 billion since the day that the government announced that HIV was the cause of AIDS. A significant portion of that has been funneled through the U.N.

The Post story carried the bland headline: “How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated: Reliance on Data From Urban Prenatal Clinics Skewed Early Projections.”

It should have been headlined: “U.N. Falsified AIDS Data in Money-Making Scheme.”

Who on Capitol Hill will have the courage to call for an investigation into this?  Because of this AIDS scam, money was diverted from other significant health problems, such as malaria abroad or autism at home.

Senator Bill Frist, perhaps more than any other Senator, has led the charge for more AIDS spending.

According to his website, “As a member of the Foreign Relations committee and ranking member of the African Affairs subcommittee, Bill Frist has been a strong advocate for increasing funding for global HIV/AIDS. He has also proposed legislation that would create the first federal framework for the care, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS around the world.

Frist’s World of Hope AIDS charity is already under fire and has been accused by Associated Press of funneling money out to his inner circle. He is leaving his job as Majority Leader to run for president.

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