01 December 1997
A Question for World Aids Day
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, co-author of 'The Truth About the Aids Panic',
poses a question for World Aids Day
There is a growing consensus that the failure of the AIDS epidemic in
Britain to follow the doomsday projections of a decade ago can be
attributed to the success of the campaign for 'safe sex'. This campaign has
been promoted by the AIDS establishment with massive backing from the
government, the media, medical, educational and other institutions.
It is indeed striking that the spread of HIV among heterosexuals in Britain
- the major focus of safe sex propaganda - has been negligible. A recent
official survey of sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers in England
and Wales came to the following conclusion:
'The low levels of HIV infection among heterosexual teenagers attending
genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics and teenage girls having antenatal
care are consistent with there having been no substantial heterosexual
transmission of HIV to teenagers in England and Wales.'
Following the principle that any news that might contradict the doomsday
scenario and undermine its moral impact should be ignored, the mainstream
media passed over this remarkable and reassuring discovery concerning the
sexual health of the nation's youth. The press did however pick up on
another feature of the report: the apparently increasing incidence of other
sexually transmitted diseases - gonorrhoea, herpes, chlamydia, warts - in
this age group. The authors note that 'high levels of other STDs indicate
continuing behavioural vulnerability' to HIV.
N Connor et al, Communicable Disease Report, 14 November 1997.
Now this is interesting: it appears that 'no substantial heterosexual
transmission' of HIV to teenagers has taken place over the past decade even
though the incidence of other STDs has risen, suggesting an increased scale
of unprotected - 'unsafe' - sexual activity. Indeed, as one authority on
herpes admitted at the weekend, 'the evidence that people have changed
their sexual behaviour isn't that great' (Independent on Sunday, 30
November). In fact, population studies of herpes infection would tend to
suggest an increase in unsafe sex over the period of the great AIDS scare.
So here's the question: if the safe sex campaign has not changed sexual
behaviour then how can it claim the credit for curbing the spread of HIV?
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