The month of death (was: Sabin et al, BMJ, 1996)

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relative truth

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Jul 13, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/13/00
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[ talk.origins replaced by alt.politics.homosexuality after three
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| = Gary Stein
| > = Wolfgang G.

| > In his personal page, Gary Stein writes:
| >
| > "I went to more friends' funerals during one month then many have
| > been to in their lifetime."
| > http://webdiscuss.com/~gestein/garys_history_aids.htm
| >
| > I ask again: how is it possible that a virus which is assumed to
| > cause illness on average 10 years (and death on average even more
| > than 10 years) after infection results in such an incredible
| > accumulation of deaths in one month ???
|
| Not hard to understand in the least, I lived in Palm Springs CA at the
| time (which had the second highest per-capita rate of AIDS deaths for
| the state of California and was 4th in the nation at the time, yet was
| a small city population wise) and knew many people form both LA and
| SF, the month in question was a decade into the HIV/AIDS epidemic and
| add to that I was working in an industry with a very high % of gay
| employees thus my work as well as personal friendships were all
| members of high risk groups.

Could you tell us when exactly happened this month-long "decade in
the HIV/AIDS epidemic"?

It is always dangerous to suppress true facts for the sake of (what
one considers) truth.

Z. at Z.

Eric Bohlman

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Jul 13, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/13/00
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relative truth (z...@lol.li) wrote:
: [ talk.origins replaced by alt.politics.homosexuality after three

There seems to be a language barrier here. "A decade into" is an English
idiom that means that something (in this case the HIV/AIDS epidemic) had
been going on for a decade before an event (in this case the month in
which Gary went to all the funerals) took place. In English, "into" and
"in" aren't interchangeable.

Gary's point was that the "incredible accumulation of deaths in one
month" was the result of an "incredible accumulation of infections" in
the 10 years preceding that month. The fact that it takes, on the
average, ten years between getting infected with HIV and dying of AIDS
doesn't in any way imply that AIDS deaths should be spaced ten years apart.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that English isn't
your first language and that you misinterpreted the "decade into" idiom.
If that isn't the case, then either you're being "deliberately dense" or
you've decided to reject not only the conclusions of science in the
matter of AIDS, but the very notion of logical reasoning.


relative truth

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Jul 13, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/13/00
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| = Eric Bohlman
| : = Z. at Z.

I assumed that "into" was a typo. I would have understood something
like "a decade of the HIV/AIDS epidemic into a month" but "the month
[being] a decade into the HIV/AIDS epidemic" is still difficult to
understand for me.

Anyway, I cannot recognize a relevant difference between Gary's
expression and my mis-quoted version. The essence of both versions
is that a month can somehow represent a decade.

| Gary's point was that the "incredible accumulation of deaths in one
| month" was the result of an "incredible accumulation of infections" in
| the 10 years preceding that month. The fact that it takes, on the
| average, ten years between getting infected with HIV and dying of AIDS
| doesn't in any way imply that AIDS deaths should be spaced ten years
| apart.

Let us arbitrarily assume that the month of death was December 1987.
In this case an incredible accumulation of infections in the middle
of December 1977 could explain it under the premise that the period
from infection to death lies with high probability within the range
from 9 year + 11.5 months to 10 years + 0.5 months.

In reality however a mean latency period of 10 years entails that
the probabilities of concrete cases after 9 years and 11 years are
almost the same as after 10 years.

So even if we assume such an incredible accumulation of infections
during a short period, the 10 years latency period would still
entail a rather steady death rate over at least two years.


Z. at Z.

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