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Does anyone understand the AIDS epidemic in Africa?(93 posts)

Does anyone understand the AIDS epidemic in Africa?Sintesi
Dec 2, 2002 12:46 PM
I just finished an article in the Wash Post about the new anti-AIDS blitz going on in Botswana. They are getting pelted down there. 5 new infections an hour, 75 deaths a day - in a population of only 1.6 million! The problem is amazingly bad throughout the continent.

So why is this happening? My understanding of AIDS and HIV is that it is transmitted almost entirely blood to blood. This is why intravenous drug users and gays (let's be blunt: anal sex tends to rip the rectal tissue) have been the hardest hit populations in the rest of the world. Yet in Africa it seems AIDS spreads like VD with mostly heterosexual populations getting the disease. So what is up? Do they have a lot of anal sex in Africa? Do they have a special form of HIV that doesn't affect anybody else? This seems really unlikely. I don't understand why this one corner of the world gets AIDS at epidemic levels but in other continents the spread has levelled off and even retreated in some cases. Ignorance can explain a lot but really, when I think of all the ignorant heterosexual men in the US having unprotected sex how is it they, as a group, remain relatively untouched by this disease?

Can someone explain this to me?

Here's the article if anyone is interested.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61669-2002Dec1.html
Not "almost entirely blood to blood"...........Len J
Dec 2, 2002 1:15 PM
but rather almost entirly body fluids to body fluids. Regular unprotected vaginal sex transmits HIV almost as easily as blood to blood.

My understanding is that the largest obstacles to AIDS prevention in Africa in general is a combination of a cultural bias for men to have multiple sexual partners, the reluctance to use any protection and the extreme stigma attached to admitting that one is infected. Consequently there is very little testing coupled with (what would be considered in the west) extreme multiple partnering. By the time someone shows active signs of HIV/AIDS they have already infected multiple partners.

Remember the disease spreads geometrically (even if each person only infect 2 others). Once there are multiple carriers interacting with multiple partners and traveling throughout the country, it doesn't take much more than a half a generation to reach critical mass.

Estimates in parts of Africa are that less than 5 % of 2 whole generations may survive. Think about that as you look around your neck of the woods.

Len
I'm pretty sure that's not true Len.Sintesi
Dec 2, 2002 2:03 PM
Vaginal sex is a poor transmitter due to the thick vaginal lining. This is why heterosexual women do not contract aids on nearly the same level as needle sharerers and gays who engage in anal sex. (At least this is what I've read in several different articles over the years) Also, this would beg the question posed above: why don't other heterosexual men in other areas of the world suffer the same degree of infection? I mean is it only Africa where people screw unprotected so much ? I can imagine all sorts of places where this occurs with people relatively ignorant of aids yet not facing such an epidemic. Surely other heterosexual populations would see this degree of infection somewhere if promiscuity in unprotected ignorance were the cause? Or no? Maybe I'm not "up to speed" on African promiscuity.

You might be right tho, I'm just going off the memories of what I've read over the years. Africa has always been a hotbed for diseases but I'm not sure the world has seen what is going on there for ages and ages. Maybe the infuenza outbreak of 1918 would be comparable. Probably the Black plague especially when seeing life expectencies cut by a third in a single generation.
Somewhere in the middle.Len J
Dec 2, 2002 3:13 PM
http://www.avert.org/howcan.htm
http://www.avert.org/faq1.htm
http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/RefArticle.aspx?refid=761554539&pn=1

See the links above: Basically, the most highly probable transmission vehicle is blood to blood as you say, however tests have indicated an over 10% transmission rate with hetero couples, vaginal cantact only, no condom, one party infected. The current thought is that this is due to absorbtion into the bloodstream thru the mucos membranes in the vagina & small micro sores in the vagina or in the penis.

See this for statistics:

http://www.avert.org/subaadults.htm

The rate of infection is accelerating geometrically. In addition, being a virus there are apparently many mutations.

While it may spread faster with anal sex, it still spreads vaginally. And remember that it origanated in Africa so the curve started sooner.

Len
if there is a problem in America, you can imagine theretrekkie1
Dec 2, 2002 2:06 PM
We have had an epidemic here for 20 years, and we are relatively monogomous and well educated. We know, now, damn well what causes aids, or at least how it's transmitted, yet infections continue. With all our medical might, education, and relatively "safe" lifestyles, we can't defeat it.

I can't imagine the horror occuring in Africa under the circumstances described. It seems only a few outcomes are possible: 1. nothing changes and nearly everyone dies; 2. someone invents a treatment or innoculation; 3. they radically change their lifestyles. I fear #1 is most probable.
Even if it's only blood to blood...Matno
Dec 2, 2002 3:29 PM
Two things might help to explain the problem in Africa.

First, female genital mutilation is much more common in Africa than anywhere else. This is supposed to be a "chastity barrier" but in fact just makes sex much more painful for those who have been deformed this way. It's not the same as male circumcision because it interferes with normal sexual activity (the vaginal opening is often reduced to the size of a pea) and removes the clitoris (the nerve center where sexual pleasure is stimulated). Thus, when women who have had this "procedure" have sex, they will inevitably bleed (i.e. get ripped open). This often happens over and over and never heals properly unless surgical intervention is undertaken. Interestingly, it is almost universally women who perform the mutilation on baby girls, with the idea that it will "protect" them from men. Sad.

Second, forcible rape is almost accepted as a fact of life in many African countries. When I visited Mali, the people there told me that about 80% of girls had been raped by a stranger by a really young age (I can't remember the exact age, but I'm pretty sure it was either 12 or 14). That is a disgustingly high number. Apparently, the truckers who pass through each village (Mali's population is mostly concentrated along one long highway) stop wherever they happen to be at night and find someone to have sex with, willing or not. People there have a general idea that AIDS is bad, but they really don't know how dangerous it is, and many are unaware of how it is transmitted. The problem of rape is compounded in countries that are at war and/or have large refugee populations.

Incidentally, I don't think AIDS is primarily a homosexual disease anymore. Originally, it certainly was, but now it has spread to all walks of life. Also, at least one major study that I read showed that the risk of getting HIV was approximately the same for women as it was for men participating in anal intercourse. (about 10% for unprotected sex) Of course, the risk was far lower for men who did not have anal sex (for obvious reasons). Something like 10x less likely. Maybe even more. I can't remember the exact number.
here are some statstrekkie1
Dec 2, 2002 3:43 PM
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats.htm#cumaids
Thanks.Matno
Dec 2, 2002 4:33 PM
I guess my number was kind of high. Looks like heterosexual women have about twice the risk of heterosexual men. I'm still not sure what the percent risk is for homosexual males. Interestingly, lesbians are also at greater risk for all STD's (not HIV) according to one source I found. I guess the real determining factor here is probably the number of sexual partners, which tends to be MUCH higher among homosexuals. One study from the CDC stated that the typical homosexual interviewed claimed to have had more than 500 different sexual partners in a lifetime. Among those who actually had AIDS, it was much higher. That's certainly one sure way to increase your risk of infection! Monogamy sure eliminates a lot of worrying...
500 different sexual partners?eyebob
Dec 3, 2002 8:03 AM
Perhaps I could see the article. Any reference to this stat?

BT
That may not be totally accurate.Matno
Dec 3, 2002 8:53 AM
It was actually an article discussing the CDC's study. (It was one of the first things that came up on a Google search for "heterosexual homosexual aids risk"). Here's the link: http://www.marysremnant.org/Friends/DBK/BKHomAids.html
I'm pretty sure it's not a morally "neutral" webpage! (So take it with a grain of salt). It MAY be accurate, but I didn't take the time to verify it. However, it does have some references to more "reliable" sources (for those who think the NEJM is not biased...).
I have to seriously doubt the veracity of this argument when alleyebob
Dec 4, 2002 6:37 PM
of the data that he sites is at least 10 and in some cases 20 years old. Surely there is a lot more recent data to support the arguments that he puts forth. It's the credibility issue again!

BT
Needle re-use cause for Third World epidemic?czardonic
Dec 2, 2002 7:35 PM
Happened to see this on the front page of Sunday's SF Chron: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/12/01/MN334.DTL

"Researches say that reuse of needles as much to blame as sex behavior"

Apparently, some resarchers are tying the spread of the disease to appallingly poor medical conditions. This is not yet accepted by most of the establishment, but evidence is mounting. Previously, needle re-use for medical purposes were thought to be responsible for only 5% of infections. However, recent WHO and UN stidies have discovered that half of the injections in the Third World are unsafe, with as many as 10 people being injected with the same needle before it is properly discarded or sanitized. Research that previously indicated a low risk of infection by dirty needle were based on accidental needle sticks in the U.S., as opposed to deep tissue injections.

This is far from proven, but again, the theory is gaining momentum. It will be interesting to see what resistance arrises from quarters who prefer to attribute the disease primarily to loose morals.
I know I wouldn't want to get a shot in those countries...Matno
Dec 3, 2002 4:46 PM
Sanitation is poor indeed. When I was working with a team of OB/GYN's in Mali, we actually chased the chickens out of the hospital rooms and hosed them down before the doctors arrived! Seems likely that it could indeed be a major player in the spread of HIV. On the other hand, people have sex a lot more often than they get shots, especially in areas that have no needles. Seems like both ought to be addressed...
This helps the spreaddaz I
Dec 2, 2002 11:55 PM
Living in Nigeria (one of over 50 countries in Africa), I always find post/articles like this interesting.

1. The rate of infection (as a percentage of population) in Africa varies widely. Some countries had less than 1 percent say five years ago.

2. ALL reports in western media use the word Africa and lump all the countries together.

3. People reading about how Africans are dying off like flies look around them and do not see any apparent sign

4. Most folks write it off as another propaganda by the West and go on with their life (including having unprotected sex).

5. There are many varieties of female circumcision, HIV is likely to be contacted by the variety that is done to teenage girls but due to multiple use of blades. The female circumsion stuff is laughable and blown out of all propotion. It should be stopped of course and most cultures have stopped routine circumsion.

6. It is not generrally accepted that girls of 12/13 are raped as a matter of routine. Where do you get such information from? A truck driver raping a teenage girl would likely lead to the truck convoy being burnt (at least in Southern Nigeria)

Off to a meeting but I have more on this later.
Point # 3Sintesi
Dec 3, 2002 6:47 AM
Are you saying that these problems are so isolated and removed fromt the general population of most African nations that nothing is done or is it nothing needs to be done? Why do they feel the West (incidently a broad generalization referring to many independent nations not necessarily in league with one another - we get that a lot from Africans et. al.) is propagandizing, or in essence, sensationalizing a relatively small problem if it is one-perceived or not?
Group Theorydaz I
Dec 3, 2002 12:00 PM
The strain of HIV in West Africa (second hand info) is apparently different from the East African type. You don't see emaciated people here or hear about groups wiped out from AIDS related diseases. Most people with HIV around here expire from the regular killers like malaria, typhoid, dysentry. Its not so obvious that they died from AIDS related complications. I can't speak for other areas in Africa apart from Ghana and Nigeria that I am familiar with.

I undestand (from doctors and health care related folks) that the infection rate is ramping up in Nigeria, there is quite a move to publicise the problem and the Nigerian president joined a march on worlds AIDS day with AIDS activist.

The west refers to CNN, Time, BBC and the like. Nigerians and other Africans can differentiate between Bolivia, Venezuala, Canada and the United States.

My personal opinion on the HIV infection spread around here (Nigeria) is the disconnect between cause and effect. Many people KNOW or have been told that mosquitos carry the malaria parasites. No mosquito, no malaria spread. But you see very little effort to eliminate the pesky little buggers or people linking having malaria to having been exposed to mosquitos. There is also the big shroud around sex related discussions (helped further by the two major imported religous systems - Islam & Christianity)

The AIDS epidemic is not a small problem, but people get defensive when other issues are mixed up in discussing the issue. I find statements like 'Rape of young girls is accepted' quite difficult to take and you won't get people discussing the problem rationally when you throw in such statements.

Most governments are waking up (rather late) to the size of the problem and there is growing awareness among the populace of the HIV issue(I hope not too late)
One other point...Matno
Dec 3, 2002 4:42 PM
There are some who believe that the AIDS epidemic is not nearly as bad as has been reported. One main (purported) reason for that is the lack of actual testing. Because of vague diagnosing criteria, many people who supposedly die of AIDS may actually have malaria instead. (There are a list of symptoms, and when victims satisfy any 2 of them, they are classified as AIDS victims according to WHO standards. There is considerable overlap in this list with the symptoms of malaria).

Incidentally, I think it's sad that AIDS has become so politicized. Not to downgrade its importance, but in African countries it has diverted most of the international funds away from malaria, which is a major killer and far easier to prevent than HIV. Why not focus our attention and money on killing mosquitos (which we know works) rather than on giving out free condoms (which has done little if anything to stop the spread of AIDS)? There are other more effective means of slowing the spread of AIDS, but they don't get much attention. I realize that the answer to my question is probably that we don't have a malaria problem in developed countries, so we don't spend as much on it, but it's still sad.
Who is politicizing it?czardonic
Dec 3, 2002 5:16 PM
Isn't the primary political aspect of the AIDS issue the moralizing, "sex will kill you" attitude that comes from the right? It echos their agenda in the developed world and dovetails quite nicely with the notion that poor people are the victims of their own inability to educate themselves and resist their raging libidos.

If malaria is the real killer, wouldn't it indicate that the epidemic is not the fault of the victims and their loose morals? Rather, doesn't it indicate that poor distribution of resources and technology is to blame?
YesMatno
Dec 3, 2002 5:28 PM
Isn't that what I just said?
I just find the contradiction, shall we say, out of character?czardonic
Dec 3, 2002 6:10 PM
You are admitting that your own political agenda is "sad", and is diverting attention from the true causes of disease and death?
What do you think of this?Matno
Dec 3, 2002 7:02 PM
Actually, I was only agreeing with the last sentence. I said that poor distribution of resources and technology is to blame. I never said that malaria is the "real killer," only that some people think it MAY account for a percentage of deaths attributed to AIDS. I don't have any way of knowing exact numbers, and until AIDS testing becomes available throughout Africa, neither does anyone else.

The politicization I was thinking of is where people claim it's wrong and bad to say that sex can be dangerous. It certainly can be. I don't think you're arguing that unprotected sex is completely harmless are you? Sure, my position is that promiscuous living is not a good thing, but is it not true that abstinence outside of marriage would eliminate a major part of the spread of AIDS? Is it political to say so? (Notice I didn't say ALL AIDS cases. It wouldn't directly affect rape, contaminated needles, etc.) Every political issue has at least two sides, but even ignoring my own opinion, doesn't the argument make sense? In this case, the left is deriding the right for what they consider "moral" imposition, while the right condemns the left's idea that promiscuous sex is somehow inevitable. (At least that's how I see it). I don't have a political "agenda" other than wanting to do what's right. (Which of course, is entirely subjective on this forum. For that reason, I will try to make sure that my opinion is always clearly expressed as such, and I will keep my "arguments" separate. Even so, feel free to ignore anything you don't like).
I see.czardonic
Dec 4, 2002 11:16 AM
To be perfectly honest, I couldn't quite figure out what the Left's political agenda might be in this areana. You are right. It is nonsense to claim that sex is not dangerous, or to criticize those that do. However, I believe that those that do say it is bad are dishonest about the risks and about ways that the risks can be mitigated.

Of course, eliminating sex outsied of marriage would eliminate the major part of the epidemic. So would using condoms. Which is more realistic? If you can't convince people to use condoms, what chance do you have of convincing them to live a life of chastity? Yet, based on their political agenda, the right wing pursues this pipe dream, to the exclusion of making condoms and sex education readily available. The first part I disagree with, but I don't begrudge anyones right to make the point on moral or religious grounds. The second I find completely disgusting. It puts politics before saving lives. I don't beleive that to be moral.
I don't understand your rationale.Sintesi
Dec 4, 2002 5:56 AM
Are you saying the american political "right" is trying to stop people from f**king in Africa? Or are you talking about African Christians of Muslims (as Daz points out) You're using these terms a little loosely and it's hard figure out what you mean.

Also, the lack of a morally controlled component in Malaria removes it from politicization? If true doesn't that mean the moral political component is nearly irrelevant since either disease remains a huge killer? Or is it a valuable component since it brings such focus on the AIDS epidemic? The real and true political component is whose constituency, what population AIDS or malaria is killing. Does it bother those in power so much that these people are dying? I wonder if Daz' disconnect isn't really a matter of rich and poor rather than moral v. immoral. Or possibly a condition of ethnic/religious ties to power. I don't know, just throwing it out there.

And one further: Let's say that the perception was true (just for arguments sake), that the segments of population afflicted by AIDS were hyper-promiscuous and this was indeed a, if not the, root cause of the epidemic. Why would a socially led moral pressure to remain monogamous be wrong? Indeed, in what society is promiscuity not considered immoral? I think there are a few indigineous tribes in the Amazon basin that advocate open free sexuality amongst multiple partners and a few hip hip hippies in New Hampshire and California. Isn't the notion that promiscuity is "immoral" a good notion anyway?
No,eyebob
Dec 4, 2002 7:39 AM
"Isn't the notion that promiscuity is "immoral" a good notion anyway?"

No, it's just a "notion." You, me and our current set of morals and more 's define what is and what isn't moral for our times. Look at it this way. Understand that we live in a brief snapshot of time of human history. All that we think is important today may or may not be so in the future, and certainly hasn't been in the past. Those who adhere to specific religions based on adherence to the interpretation of their holy books would disagree but all of recorded history tells of ebbs and flows of definitions of "moral" behavior. To say that one "moral" like promiscuity is a good notion is just as much a reflection of the times that we live as anything else.

BT
Frankly I agree.Sintesi
Dec 4, 2002 8:52 AM
But in the "snapshot" that is our times, is this a good notion? Why are monagamal (is that a word?)child rearing units so cross culturally univeral? One aspect of monogamy is an evolutionary. Many theories concerning the lack of estrus in females and the necessities of child rearing and protection have led many theorists to conclude monogamy has been present for eons. It may be the natural state. Of course this has been challenged but the basic family unit of mother, father, child is found everywhere on the planet now and in history. I'm not aware of any major societies that doesn't have this unit and guard it by some taboo or another.

Essentially I do agree with you, there are examples, but I think there is a basic truth to promiscuity not being widely accepted in the human species. The edges of the definitions of promiscuity have changed on the edges of society throughout time, but I don't think this notion is entirely relativistic either. Some of our most basic social interactions and mores are hard wired. I thin it has something to do with who we are as opposed to what we're taught.
The basic unit of the familyMatno
Dec 4, 2002 9:07 AM
has always existed (and is even recognized by the United Nations as the "basic unit of society") in part because there have never been any real options. With the advent of alternative reproductive technologies, the possibilities have grown considerably. For better or worse... (Also, as long as there are people who value commitment and defend relationships with jealousy, there will always be a large number of "traditional" families).

(I think you already know what my opinion on this issue is).
Should immorality be punishable by death?czardonic
Dec 4, 2002 11:27 AM
Regardless of what the Bible, most cultures or the UN sanctions, there has always been promiscuity and there always will be. I simply don't think it is realistic to demand conformity with the notion of monogamy, nor do I think it is humane to promote it to the exclusion of safer forms of non-monogamy.

Do we want to save lives or do we want to cram moral notions down other peoples throats? I find it odd that people who are so wrapped up in these morality issuse are content to say "I told you so" while people die by the millions. Is that moral?
No.Matno
Dec 4, 2002 12:44 PM
Unless you put murder in the category of "immorality." (I'm pretty sure you were just referring to sexual immorality). My personal opinion that such immorality is wrong translates to wanting to help people to not do it, not to punishing them for it. My religion holds that if someone commits adultery, they are temporarily not allowed to participate in church activities, but they are not punished. On the contrary, they are encouraged to do what they can to change. Of course, it's all purely optional. If they WANT to continue in the practice, there's nothing stopping them.

If adultery is against the law, on the other hand (which, amazingly, it technically still is in some states), I think it's a different issue. A moot point now, since no such law has been enforced for a LONG time. I'll be curious to see how the Supreme Court rules on whether there's a right to private homosexual activity. Apparently that was never ruled on clearly before and it's come up again.

Saving lives is important. I don't think anyone will deny that. I know that many people who work hard to prevent the spread of disease are totally genuine in their efforts, even if I disagree with their methods. Some of us happen to think that promiscuity can be reduced dramatically. Eliminated? Not on this planet. I do think that encouraging condom usage can be somewhat counter-productive though. Sure, if people always have them, and use them, they will be safer. But passing them out (particularly to young people) helps to increase sexual activity, which can lead to increased "accidents," and what happens if you don't have one handy? How many people really stop in the heat of the moment to run home and find one? Only one thing is 100% safe (not having sex), but of course, the only way to assure that it's safe is for each individual to choose to follow it. Personal decision, personal risks. Unfortunately, "personal risks" often extend to innocent children and family members.
Comprehensive Education is needed.czardonic
Dec 4, 2002 1:15 PM
Condoms, of course, are the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of ways to stay in the "heat of the moment" and maintain a negligible risk of contracting a disease or becoming pregnant. Of course, these alternative sremain taboo, in large part due to the promotion of sexual ignorance by those who would prefer people to be chaste.

Are the reasons not to have sex moral or health related? If they are moral, and if that brand of morality has any weight, why should it matter if you preach chastity or monogamy and make condoms available for those who decide to have sex after all? Doesn't the assumption that passing out condoms increases sexual activity basically admit that preaching abstinence doesn't work?

I have no problem with advocating abstinence before marriage. However, along with that message there is typically a lot of disinformation about the risks of sex and the efficacy of protection. There is also a lot of resistance to education that is, frankly, an attempt to make this disinformation true. It's dishonest to say that sex is more dangerous than it really is. It is even worse to make it dangerous by blocking education, or by telling people that sex with a condom is just as dangerous as sex without it. People are going to have sex anyway, and with that message they are not going to protect themselves. This is the point where I see the anti-sex agenda trumping the saving lives agenda. Essentially, this tactic acknowledges that fear carries a lot more weight than morality, and goes abount artificially creating a reason to be afraid.

If you convince people that there is no point in using condoms because they don't work, some people will choose abstinence and the rest will likely choose unprotected sex. If you convince people that abstinence is the best option for spiritual and health reasons but other than that condoms are an absolute neccesity, some people will choose abstinence and the rest will likely choose safer sex.
I fully agreeMatno
Dec 4, 2002 2:07 PM
with your last paragraph. I also fully agree that it is wrong to block education, disseminate false information, or use misleading scare tactics. Reality is convincing enough without being doctored. From a health standard, sex with condoms is only 97% less "dangerous" than unprotected sex (or whatever the prevention rate is for the particular contraceptive used). (Unless you factor in that contraceptives donated to 3rd world countries are often sub-par, and wouldn't be sold here...) From a moral perspective, it's much more dangerous, but only in my opinion. I do think you're making a pretty big generalization when you imply that those who teach abstinence also lie about the dangers of sex. That may be true of some (unfortunately), but certainly not all. Personally, I think that even if everyone had perfect information, abstinence would not be universal (everyone has different degrees of aversion to risk), but I do think that abstinence rates would be much higher. I could be wrong.
Proof please.eyebob
Dec 4, 2002 2:11 PM
"But passing them out (particularly to young people) helps to increase sexual activity"

Are you sure. Maybe, or maybe not. I'd also argue that they may help to promote awareness of the use of them and the reasons why you should choose to do so. What bothers me is that essentially the take from those who oppose handing out condoms is that it somehow teaches/encourages sex amoung teens and pre-teens. Why are we so afraid to educate our kids about sex? Knowledge is almost never a bad thing. Why do we sell our own offspring short by shielding them from what they need to know?

Sounds counter-productive to me...

Sintesi. Don't get hung up on right and wrong with the monogomy issue. It's more about what works. For most species monogomy doesn't and wouldn't work. For ours it can, but that doesn't mean that it's better/worse.

BT
Who's suggested that?Sintesi
Dec 5, 2002 5:40 AM
Who is this ridiculous "we?" There are morals and then there are morals. You have morals, you have codes of behavior and decency like every sane person on the planet. But sanctimonious intolerance isn't one of them, right czar? (hint: read J.S. Mill's On Liberty.)

There is promiscuity and then there is promiscuity. What are we talking about? 15 partners in a life? Or 160? Do you think it's right to cheat on your wife? Is it all right for mom to run off with another guy because dad isn't good looking? Give me a break, It's not good for anyone to disrespect these bonds out of pure capriciousness. It is immoral unless agreed upon by mutual consent, yes? The Bible or Koran telling people not to covet or cheat is not only not evil it is helpful, and in today's AIDS, VD society, it is healthful. It's the prosecution of these sentiments that can be troubling if not repulsive.

Stoning people to death and locking up sodomites is a lousy idea and an evil practice. Let's get real here, okay?
You missed my point.czardonic
Dec 5, 2002 12:07 PM
I don't have a problem with preaching moral standards that are, as you point out, pretty much universal. However, the fact is and always has been that a significant number of people decide to forgo those morals standards, usually while they are young and stupid.

People didn't start sleeping around after AIDS showed up and made it deadly. AIDS spread on the back of behavior that was already widely practiced because there had been no catastrophic reprecussions. It was not considered moral, but it was considered a fact of life, and it always will be. That is, unless things go the way you seem to want them, and "immoral" people die off while you pat yourself on the back for taking the righteous path.

I was not talking about stoning people. I was talking about the brand of "sanctimonious intolerance" that you seem to practice, that justifies allowing people to die for lack of education of resources, simply because their are not moral.
No, it was always immoral.Sintesi
Dec 9, 2002 6:45 AM
Read an old book that deals with infidelity. You can start with the bible or something. The "sin" only became more poignant after people started dying from it.

BTW, you're sanctimonious. The most sanctimonious and therefore the least insightful simply because you don't realize it.
Sin or not. . .czardonic
Dec 9, 2002 11:04 AM
. . .infidelity has little to do with the AIDS epidemic.
Infidelity, promiscuity...Sintesi
Dec 9, 2002 1:44 PM
they are contributing factors whether you like it or not. Reduce the number of partners and you reduce the risk.

So what is your argument again? Religion is not helping? Maybe or maybe not. you can only prove it if religion suddenly became absent. Your prejudices are clouding your brain.
I think I see the problem.czardonic
Dec 9, 2002 3:03 PM
I am not explaining my argument in a way that you are capable of understanding. Apologies. I said that when religion blocks education and resources to promote an agenda, it is harmfull.

Incidentally, did it ever occur to you that despite the "universality" of your monogamy paradigm, there are certain societies in Africa (and Utah, for that matter) that incorporate polygamy? Is there an increase in the frequency of STDs among polygamous mormons? If not, your infidelity link is sunk.

Promiscuity is a different matter, and that was the point.
Me too.Matno
Dec 9, 2002 5:57 PM
There are no Mormon polygamists. According to my good friend Google, anyone who practices it gets automatically excommunicated. Apparently, that's been standard for over 100 years now.

Now, to your argument. Sounds like you're taking the example of a small group of religious people and saying that because they don't have STD's, infidelity can't be related to STD's. The concept of polygamy, as practiced among Muslims in Africa has basically the same effect on STD transmission as monogamy. As long as the members of that marriage are faithful, they will not transmit disease.

While religion may not be for everyone, the Golden Rule seems to make everyone happier (if everyone practices it). That's a religious rule that I think even atheists can apply without too much problem...
Basically, "infidelity" can not be equated to promiscuity.czardonic
Dec 9, 2002 6:37 PM
Those who practice polygamy who claim to be Mormons. "Faithful" ploygamous Muslims in Africa. "Unfaithful" monogamous others who keep a mistress (or the male equivalent). While I wouldn't argue that any of these are ideal, none necessarily involve the kind of behavior that has been linked to the spread of AIDS. That is the only point I was trying to make, albeit not very well.

Also, by these "moral" standards, where does one hold the faithful woman who is infected by her promiscuous (either pre or post marriage) husband? How about her children who have a 1 in 3 chance of being born with the disease? Aren't these cases where getting married and starting a family are causing the spread of the disease? Does it change if the husband was infected through drug use? What if it is poor medical conditions?

Ultimately, moralizing is useless. The disease is spread by ignorance and unprotected sex, period.
Are you an idiot?Sintesi
Dec 10, 2002 5:31 AM
That's a fair question after these last two posts czardonic old boy. Mormons. You have absolutely outdone yourself.
Interpretation.Matno
Dec 10, 2002 2:56 PM
Apparently you can interpret things any way you want on this forum. In that case, I guess special thanks go out to Critmass for praising how "incredible" I am...

(Isn't that what someone without credibility is?)
You sure about that interpretation?czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 4:11 PM
The only way to interpret a challenge to your credibility as a compliment is to imply that you are too dense to understand the insult intended. Thus, you rob your own interpretation of any credibility. Pretty neat, huh?
Damn you're good!Matno
Dec 10, 2002 7:21 PM
:^)

Should have known you'd turn that around on me!
"Infidelity has little to do with the AIDS epidemic"?!!!Matno
Dec 9, 2002 2:47 PM
Exsqueeze me? Did you actually just say that? Usually you're a little more careful than that.

I'd guess that a lot of people with AIDS in Africa are married, in which case, there are only two likely sources of them getting sexually transmitted HIV: either they got it before they were married, or they got it via adultery (i.e. infidelity). (Of course, they may have gotten it from their spouse, but that would only apply to one member of each marriage). I doubt that's a "little" portion of the epidemic. Probably a lot bigger than infected needles.
As opposed to promiscuity, that is.czardonic
Dec 9, 2002 3:20 PM
Sintesi is very wrapped up in the idea that people who get AIDS are sinners who deserve to die. By pretending that promiscuity and infidelity are the same thing, he can use the 10 Commandments themselves to back up his schadenfreude. However, infidelity is simply a subset of promiscuity, and I suspect a minor one. All told, I doubt that adultery by married people is as significant as promiscuity among the unmarried (remeber all those victims of FGM and rape?).
As opposed to promiscuity, that is.Sintesi
Dec 10, 2002 6:04 AM
Do you read? Read my posts for a change, okay Dingbat? i never advocated not helping people who dying from AIDS if they are promiscuous. Nor have I indicated for one moment I think people deserve to die. And you were the first one to mention the word "infidelity." This is YOUR issue not mine. Sinners. give me a break. Yeah I'm a Jerry Falwell. Afraid I'm not the best candidate tho since I'm agnostic and have never been to church in my life. Paradigm. Schadenfreude. What is that? the German world for getting pleasure out of other people's suffering? Man, you are in school still aren't you? Czardonic: boy wonder intellectual. It must be sooo gratifying to use that explosive vocabulary on the RBR board.

Your silly assed prejudices make it impossible to see people as they are or believing anyone can be good if they disagree with you. Maybe we should just stand back and let you argue with yourself for awhile because you ain't arguing with me.
Apparently, even <i>you</i> don't read your posts.czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 11:18 AM
First mention of infidelity in this thread: Sintesi 12/9/02 6:45am.

Incidentally, I learned the word "schadenfreude" from an episode of the Simpsons, so you can save your wonk-baiting for someone else. If you are looking for someone trying to sound smarter than he is, try here: Sintesi 12/4/02 8:52am. Yeesh.
Oh shuuut uuup!Sintesi
Dec 10, 2002 12:51 PM
Could of swore "infidelity" was first used by you since you're so obsessed with it and have to insist that in no way can it be significant. Multiple partners increases exposure to risk, end of story.

Oh well, however you said:

"Sintesi is very wrapped up in the idea that people who get AIDS are sinners who deserve to die. By pretending that promiscuity and infidelity are the same thing, he can use the 10 Commandments themselves to back up his schadenfreude."

That makes you an a$$hole. What a f**king lie. i said none of these things, nor did I imply them. Why are you such a self-gratifying pr*ck? If people don't disagree with you the way you want, if they're not wrong enough, you just make things up. Whatever.

You're Czardonic remember? The king of derisive mockery. (Call me a wonk-bater? That means nerd-bater? I can't even figure out what your saying. Are you saying you're a nerd? I think dingbat will suffice. You know, I don't really don't call anyone names on this board, just you. ) All you do is contemptously imply how everyone is stupider than you. Even when you're dead wrong. Man, to walk around in your head for a day, what must it by like?
Why post on a discussion board if you want people to shut up?czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 1:40 PM
Could have swore? Is that your way of saying that you were dead wrong, but you really thought you were right? I wonder how many times that has happened.

Sorry if I misunderstood your sanctimonious moralizing as some kind of religious conviction. It was the only logical explanation of your sudden shift from demonizing promiscuity to demonizing infidelity. Usually people who spout baseless theories about human development and use them to back up religious doctrine are, well, religious. What's your excuse?

You say that I contemptuosly imply that everyone is stupider than me. I guess the operative word is "imply" since you don't even have the class to leave your contempt of others as an implication. You are the one who is calling me an kook, idiot and a dingbat. I have to ask, where do you read this implication of mine? You are awfully paranoid about people's opinions of you. You'll even interject your bile into conversations that have nothing to do with you. What is that in response to? If is beaming these contemptous messages into your head, it ain't me.
No just you. It's a personal thing.Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 6:19 AM
Yeah I admit I was wrong there about the who said "infidelity" first thing. I apologize. But when are you going to admit your wtong?

There you go again. (Your mendacity is breath taking) I never once "moralized" as you say. Another lie. (Do you intend to be a liar the rest of your life? Or is this just reserved for "internet" discussions. I can see where it would be a bad tactic in real life if the other guy could hit you in the mouth) I merely pointed out that predominant ethical convictions in society (not even necessarily religious. not even remotely) concerning infidelity and promiscuity might in fact be a boon to fighting this disease because of the decreased risk it would ensure. I never once advocated not giving people condoms, not distributing medicine, giving AID and comfort in whatever form available. You just made that up. For you to just make up these assertions on my part is reprehensible. You do it quite a lot to other people as well. I never once "demonized" promiscous people. Are you out of your mind? You're the one demonizinfg me.

You do "contemptuosly imply that everyone is stupider " than you. It's a fact. In fact, I believe you admitted as much to me in a previous post (way back) by saying your handle "czardonic" was an indicator of your troll persona. Mocking derision, contempt - That's what YOUR NAME means. You accuse me of not having class? How many peole have you bullied and sanctimoiusly dismissed here anyway? Do you really have to ask that you do it? Are you that obtuse?

You're a horrrible person. My only hope is that you're merely playing games. But if you ain't I sincerely think you're a prick. Couldn't care less who knows it. That classy enough for you?
<i>Still</i> not reading your posts?czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 11:44 AM
You never once moralized? What then, is this: Sintesi 12/9/02 6:45am? You use the word "immoral" in the topic line, and then refer me to the Bible. Just so I don't misrepresent you in the future, what should I have concluded from that post?

I am sorry if you have an axe to grind based on past conversations, or if you just can't stop yourself from flaming my every post. How about you just don't read them? I'm not exactly thrilled about playing the bell to your pavlovian hysteria.
Are you really that dumb?Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 12:58 PM
It is immoral whether you or I like it or believe in it or not. These things exist in most societies from time immemorial. The Bible is loaded (as is most literature that encounters the subject) with cautions and prohibitions against promiscuity and infidelity. Sodom and Gammorah ring a bell? There aren't a lot of books in the Western Canon that embrace infidelity or promiscuity outright (Marquis de Sade?), usually it is portrayed as damaging or unhelpful. Like the fear of hell or the promise of heaven compels people in society to behave along certain moral codes. Heaven or Hell doesn't have to "really" exist. Promiscuity=immorality is notorious. Do you live in the world? People have been saying this for ages, it's just now that people die it becomes a quite a bit more than a caution or a sin. That's not a judgement, it's a fact.

Let's see what you extrapolated:

"Sintesi is very wrapped up in the idea that people who get AIDS are sinners who deserve to die. By pretending that promiscuity and infidelity are the same thing, he can use the 10 Commandments themselves to back up his schadenfreude."

I mean that's some smoking gun you got there. I think most people would draw the same conclusions you do. I'll remember not to say Bible and morals in the same post next time to keep you from getting so twitterpated.

Hey no need to apologize, you're obviously incapable even when I point out your stupid sh!t post over and over.

You're not sorry at all, you feed off this sh!t. If you say something I don't like I'll speak up. You'll notice I don't do this with anyone else, It's just your tough luck piss bird.

"Pavlovian" man you are a pistol.
Your moral superiority was already a matter of record.czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 1:35 PM
I can't figure out what you are trying to prove. First you moralize. Then inspite of actually using the word "immoral" you deny doing it and say that I am falsely accusing you of moralizing. Then, when I call you on that lie, you go back to moralizing.

You want to use the Bible to justify your otherwise baseless theory on the virtues of monogamy. You even falsely conflate promiscuity with infidelity, which just so happens to be mentioned in the Ten Commandments (coincidentally, we are told to beleive). Then you assert your agnosticism, and object to being characterized as a Bible thumper.

I can't quite figure out what "twitterpated" means. After your "mocking derision" of my use of such suposedly obsure words as "shadenfruede", I guess you have proven who the real pedant is. With your endless (if repetitve) name-calling and heckling, it clear who is out to put down others who dare to disagree.

"You'll notice I don't do this with anyone else, It's just your tough luck piss bird."

I guess I must be asking for it them.
I guess you are. weak.Sintesi
Dec 12, 2002 5:49 AM
Here's a more interesting question? How did you get the way you are? You drink some pesticide or something?

You don't like being mocked? Hmmm. Yeah that must suck.
Actually, I find your histrionics to be quite entertaining.czardonic
Dec 12, 2002 11:53 AM
I could live without your tantrums, but there's plenty of silver lining.

And lets be frank -- even you must realize that your spittle-flecked invectives are more an indictment of your credibility than mine.
Careful...Matno
Dec 10, 2002 2:52 PM
I'm still a student (I've been in some sort of college full-time since 1991). Some people even call me a nerd (although not so much as they did in junior high). As for name calling, though it may be accurate, it doesn't really serve a purpose. I'm totally in agreement with you here, but Czardonic is very good at pointing out discrepancies (even if he has to change what you actually said), so you have to be careful with your words. When you get worked up, you're just egging him on (these latest posts have actually been highly entertaining).

Just to clarify, infidelity is a form of promiscuity. You don't have to have multiple partners to be "promiscuous," just more than one.
I'm glad I am not the only one who is highly entertained.czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 3:35 PM
Though I susped that Sintesi is mortified to know that people are still following this thread.
That's okay...Matno
Dec 10, 2002 7:22 PM
There aren't many of us dumb enough to keep things going this long. I'm sure most others have been ignoring us for a while now...
Let's hope. (nm)czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 11:45 AM
It is funny.Sintesi
Dec 10, 2002 5:33 AM
How does czardonic explain all those wives getting AIDS? This one's over his head.
You believe that wives should suffer for their husbands sins?czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 10:56 AM
Typical.
Another moronic misrepresentation.Sintesi
Dec 10, 2002 11:17 AM
Typical.
Another classy rebuttal.czardonic
Dec 10, 2002 5:22 PM
Typical.
There's nothing to rebut. I'm merely pointing out what aSintesi
Dec 11, 2002 5:29 AM
jerk you are, which is the only thing you've presented.
So does mean that you're all done with the "Master" stuff? NMeyebob
Dec 10, 2002 6:57 PM
Yes eyebob. Are you going to get on me as well? nmSintesi
Dec 11, 2002 5:28 AM
Just curious, I thought that it was funny though I admiteyebob
Dec 11, 2002 8:47 AM
that I was confused by it's purpose. Was it flattery, mockery, or irreverent comedy?

BT
I lose my mind from time to time.Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 9:55 AM
I got so fed up with czardonic one day (this is routine by the way)I decided to put something like that under each of his sardonic posts. I think it was a combination of the black houseboy from La Cage aux Folles and Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. It didn't work all that great. It was mostly mockery of his superior attitude and an attempt at humor. Oh well.
It certainly made you seem a lot smarter. (nm)czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 10:59 AM
But not smarter than you right? (nm)Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 12:32 PM
No. But that is your genius (such as it is). . .czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 12:46 PM
. . .playing the part of someone who can't keep his story straight so that you can turn around and villify the "sophist Masters" for "sactimoniously dismiss(ing)" you.
Isn't villifying a "Sophist Master" redundant?Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 1:09 PM
I guess it is piling on.
It's piling up something. (nm)czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 1:12 PM
Yeah on your head. (nm)Sintesi
Dec 12, 2002 5:30 AM
Don't give Manto any credence.critmass
Dec 3, 2002 10:46 AM
He has no credibility. His facts and credentials usually have no truth to them
I have to agree53T
Dec 3, 2002 12:16 PM
Some of the comments found in his posts in this tread are simply incredible and reflect a sad dependence on television as a source of information.

FGM is not practiced on any scale that could contribute to HIV epidemic anywhere in the world, including sub-Saharan African nations.

The number of partners that a homosexual man or woman has in the US is highly variable from individual to individual. Generalizations like the one Manto offers are just silly. How many partners do you think an unmarried rap star has? How about an unmarried NBA player?

HIV has not crept into all walks of life in the US. Most Americans fall into the category of low-risk for HIV. They are monogomous or pseudo-celebate, non-IV drug users. The rate of HIV infections in that population is negligable.

Manto- Do you know what anecdotal "evidence" is? Do you realize that it is not really evidence when someone in Mali tells you 80% of girls are raped at age 12. It is a safe bet (better than 80%) that any statistic you hear from some guy in Mali is not accurate.
I have to agreeMatno
Dec 3, 2002 2:29 PM
Just because you disagree with the numbers does not make them inaccurate. I have been to Africa 4 times, twice as a participant in the United Nations' conferences on sustainable development. Those conferences included lengthy (week long) discussions of the AIDS epidemic - particularly in Africa, and I can assure you that there are many areas in Africa with rates of rape that exceed 80%. I do not get any information from TV (I almost never watch it). Much of what I know about the situation in Africa came from the people who have actually done the research. Where do you get your information? (Actually, you didn't offer any, just a criticism of mine).

FGM is also a practice which affects a large number of women. "Between 80 and 130 million girls in the world have undergone FGM and an estimated two million undergo the procedure each year. FGM is performed in Africa and to a lesser extent in parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. FGM is also practiced by some immigrant communities in Europe, Canada, and the United States, where it affects over 150,000 girls... Practiced in over 25 African countries stretching from Senegal to Somalia, FGM is not found in Southern Africa or in the Arabic countries of the north (with the exception of Egypt). There is no comprehensive data on FGM for any country, but the most complete information on FGM has been collected in northern Sudan, where FGM is practiced on 89% of females. FGM is most common in the Horn of Africa. The estimated country-by-country prevalence rates for FGM in this part of Africa are: Eritrea 90%, Ethiopia 90%, Djibouti 98%, and Somalia 99%."(http://www.transafricaforum.org/reports/viewpoint041300_fgm.shtml) Those kind of numbers could certainly contribute to an AIDS epidemic. Maybe not the greatest cause, but certainly A contributing factor. (Which is all I claimed).

OF COURSE "the number of partners that a homosexual man or woman has in the US is highly variable from individual to individual." The numbers I was quoting came from the CDC as an AVERAGE. What is your point? I was answering a question about relative risks, and my answer was a description of demographics in our country. Homosexuals, on average have far more partners than heterosexuals. It's not a "generalization," it's a statistic. Do you have a better way of measuring risk in a specific population?

I never said that the RISK of HIV is the same for all walks of life. For example, it would take a really freak accident for someone like me to get it, and I am involved full-time in health care. (Where arguably, there's a higher risk of blood contact. On top of that, I'm in NYC, which has by far the highest number of AIDS patients in the country). I did say that it has CREPT into all walks of life. That means that all different kinds of people have it, not that they are all equally at risk.

I do know what anecdotal evidence is. However, in the case that I specifically mentioned, the source was a well educated politician, whose opinion was confirmed by several other local leaders, as well as the local peace corps. It is not different from numbers I have seen from actual studies in other neighboring countries, so I have no reason to doubt its veracity. If you want to, that's up to you.

I get kind of tired of people who slam statistics without offering any sort of conflicting evidence just because they don't want to believe them. If you HAVE conflicting evidence, I'd like to hear it so I can pass it on to someone who can actually use it. If you don't, you can at least look around and see for yourself whether my "facts" are accurate or not. Post your opinion, but at least try to back it up if you're going to criticize mine.
Your "evidence" is typically self-confliting.czardonic
Dec 3, 2002 3:19 PM
Case in point: Even if 80-130 million girls in the world have undergone FGM (a big if, but I'll grant it to you), is that a statistically significant number among the total female population of the world or even Africa alone? And how many of that 4% were of the particular type that you describe? And by your own admission, this practice is prevalent in countries in the Horn of Africa, far removed from the epidemic areas of Southern and SW Africa.

If you are getting all your cultural insights from "well educated politicians," it's no wonder that your conclusions are so off the wall.
make that "self-conflicting" (nm)czardonic
Dec 3, 2002 3:20 PM
More to the point "self-delusion"critmass
Dec 3, 2002 5:12 PM
It's sad and somehow pathetic when someone uses the anonymity of the internet to give themselves the identity they could never achieve elsewhere. Manto's lazy way with the facts always serves up the truth about him. I'm missing Harlet and watching her mind slap some of these dolts back to reality.
Please.Matno
Dec 3, 2002 7:08 PM
Have I stated a single "fact" without either giving a reference, explaining where it came from (so that you can decide for yourself whether it's true), or clarifying that it was an opinion? What facts, specifically, have I shared as such that were inaccurate? I would appreciate any contributions you have to make, and I welcome any substantive comments.
Okaygrace
Dec 3, 2002 9:34 PM
"forcible rape is almost accepted as a fact of life in many African countries"

In Mali "80% of girls had been raped by a stranger by a really young age (I can't remember the exact age, but I'm pretty sure it was either 12 or 14)."

"I can assure you that there are many areas in Africa with rates of rape that exceed 80%"

Please give me SUBSTANTIVE documentation of these statements. Especially the "many areas" in the last one I've sited. Which areas and the percentages.
While you're at it this one too.grace
Dec 3, 2002 10:27 PM
"I remember a front page article in the Houston Chronicle with statistics showing that 75% of black males nationwide had been in jail at least once by the time they were 21"
Manto means well (I guess)daz I
Dec 4, 2002 11:16 AM
You guys are too hard on Manto, he has been to Mali several times and seriously he sounds like a guy that means well.

Back to FGM.

I have seen various forms of FGM (actually the result after 20+ years) and for most that were performed at childhood (i.e. 7 days to 6 months from birth) it leaves no scars or deformation! Most of the girls are not even aware that their clitoris has been nipped off. Granted, the type I get to read about sound gruesome and are mostly performed on teenagers/adults.
I don't think FGM is right or should be done but it is not the way it looks, and like I pointed out in a previous post, the practice is dying out around here.

In Nigeria, the high risk group are people with multiple changing partners (truck and commercial bus drivers, taxi drivers, oil field workers, police top the list). The truck drivers and others I mentioned have one think in common, they stay out of their base for long periods of time. The police here are mostly posted outside their home area and cannot afford to move their family with them.

Manto, I am interested in your rape figures and find it amazing. I am going to check with some people who have been to Mali. Down here, they are a couple of people on the streets (beggars) from Mali & Niger and one thing they are known for is that they will kill if you touch their women folk or little girls. Maybe I am getting things mixed up.

More stuff on AIDS in Africa
http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=1465193
Education is a good thingMatno
Dec 4, 2002 12:13 PM
Like you say, FGM is certainly shrinking. (Although I had Thanksgiving dinner with a Malian who was raised in the Ivory Coast, and he said it was recently done to a girl he knows here in New York! Worst part was that it was without the parents' permission. But isolated cases don't make good arguments...). Education about FGM is having a very positive effect in most places where it has traditionally been practiced. That's good.

You're right about the people in Mali not standing for crime. When I say it's "practically accepted" I don't mean that people who live there don't care about it! What I meant was that girls cannot be outside alone after dark in many areas. (Sounds like some places here too, but the numbers are higher there). We actually had a woman from our organization in Mali who got her purse stolen in the middle of downtown Bamako. She started yelling, the guy was caught, and it was not pretty. By the time we could get cops to him, the crowd had beaten him so severely that I doubt he survived. He certainly lost both of his eyes. It was pretty scary. I am sure the same justice would be applied to anyone caught sexually assaulting a woman in most countries in Africa. But apparently the key word here is "caught." I wrote a paper in law school that mentioned the rape rates in Africa. (It was a group paper, and that wasn't my part of it). I'll see if I can find the sources for you.
I have to agree53T
Dec 4, 2002 10:45 AM
NYC also has the highest number of crackpots in the world.

What on earth is the UN trying to accomplish by sending a medical worker from New York to Africa to promote sustainable development? Isn't sustainable development a UN code word for miltant environmental protection?

Most of your facts are not referenced. Attributing a statistic to a well-educated politician (aren't they all?) is hardly a solid reference. Your reference for FGM includes the caveat that they are basically guessing at all the numbers (I'm paraphrasing, of course).
Not the sameMatno
Dec 4, 2002 12:28 PM
My medical visits to Africa and my UN visits were not the same. Both were with private organizations. Heaven forbid that I should be a UN employee! Sustainable development is a UN buzz word for lots of militant things. It includes everything from providing housing to gun control. Environmental protection is actually a very small part of it though, and is usually used to "justify" other actions. Not that there's anything wrong with improving the environment, but the facts are often twisted and used to achieve other unrelated means. The last Sustainable Development meeting I went to actually tried to ratify a "Global World Charter for Local Self Government." On the surface, it looked like it was just a way to strengthen local city governments. But closer inspection revealed that it was really just a plan to connect local government directly to the UN (bypassing sovereign state governments). It was dropped after a few days discussion, but it actually had quite a bit of support, and I've no doubt that it has since resurfaced in one form or another.

Yes, the numbers I referenced were "estimates." Somebody asked so I looked it up. As you can see in that article, there are no definitive numbers for entire countries, only specific areas within countries. Maybe there are other sources who have different "facts." Regardless of the percentages, I was merely pointing out that it is a problem that exists, and that it likely contributes (maybe a little, maybe a lot) to the AIDS problem in Africa. Just my opinion based on the information I've been able to find.

You're right about NYC. It's freakin' scary here sometimes. It's not a feeling of danger, just amazing how ignorant and rude people can be. I don't have a problem with people being uneducated (that is, I don't hold it against them personally), but people here really look down on each other. Not everyone of course. There are a lot of wonderful people here to. They just don't work in any of the stores or post offices I go to...
Well I guess Critmass was right about you.grace
Dec 4, 2002 1:03 PM
You were so assured of your 80% FACT. Guess it was a phantom figure like your front- page newspaper article. and so it goes.
You can look it up if you want...Matno
Dec 4, 2002 1:14 PM
http://www.chron.com/content/archive/index.mpl

I'll stand by it 100%. Whether it's accurate or not, it WAS on the front page of the paper. (For that matter, is it shocking to you? Where I grew up, it was no surprise. There was no huge public outcry after it was published). Where do you live?
100% ? Are you sure?grace
Dec 4, 2002 1:36 PM
I just called the paper at 713 220 2700 and talked to a woman named Alma. She did an extensive search and said there was NEVER such an article. Much less on the FRONT-PAGE.
Like I said I guess Critmass was right about you!
Baloney!Matno
Dec 4, 2002 1:56 PM
I don't believe for a minute that you actually called. If you searched thoroughly, you would find it. It was when I lived in Houston, which was in the late 80's. There was a bar graph comparing the various numbers. Keep in mind what I originally said: this was the number of people arrested and taken to jail, not necessarily convicted (you can find the stats for convictions pretty easily). Also keep in mind that racial profiling was and is alive and well. If you have numbers that are different, feel free to share them.
Baloney!grace
Dec 4, 2002 2:04 PM
Call the number I gave and ask for Alma. Give her all your information about this. If you're right and she isn't she will give you the date it was published. Post that date and I will call Alma back and verify it. It's pretty simple to figure out who is LYING here!
You're Good! :}critmass
Dec 4, 2002 2:50 PM
You got him to say he's 100% sure he saw a front-page article that said 75% of black males nationwide having been in jail by the time they're 21. This should be interesting! Too bad you couldn't have him in the same position on the 80% "fact". He is such a putz.