30% of Homosexuals HIV Positive by 30 Years: Proving the Statistic


UPDATE: Read more about the “30 by 30” statistic at http://thirtybyagethirty.blogspot.com/

[Chairm has provided an excellent rebuttal to a recent, agitated commenter on this blog who just could not accept a statistic we quoted]

Among lots of other good stuff, Cura_te_ipsum cited the following:

“HIV/AIDS is rampant in the homosexual community. Epidemiologists estimate that 30 percent of all 20-year-old homosexually-active men will be HIV positive or dead of AIDS by the time they are 30.”

E. Goldman, “Psychological Factors Generate HIV Resurgence in Young Gay Men,” Clinical Psychiatry News, Oct. 1994.

And so J. Stone began his little sniping war against that statistical forecast. He repeated several times variations of the following:

“Do you really expect people to believe that 30% of sexually active gay 20 year olds contract HIV by the age of 30? That is the most preposterous statistic I’ve ever seen.”

For those readers who would like to know more about this forecast, here are the basics.

Statistical models are tools. Diagnosed infections are counted and sorted by relevant criteria. Incidence rates and prevalence ratios

are fed into the process whereby epidemiologists assess the available evidence and offer recommendations to help society respond to an

outbreak of disease. Forecasts form the basis for contingencies at multiple levels — from the individual person, to the local community,

to the nation and, in the HIV/AIDS pandemic, right through to the international level.

So it is normal that forecasts are made and estimates are made of current rates and ratios of infection. Note that J. Stone never,

throughout his sniping, proposed what statistic might pass his ‘sniff test‘. He offered no basis to assess any given forecast, much less

this particular 1995 forecast of HIV/AIDS.

Instead he said that 30% by age 30 is beyond credibility. He expressly doubted that the CDC had anything to do with such a

forecast.

1. The CDC’s data is the basis for the 30% by 30 forecast. In 1994, epidemiologists at Columbia University reported that the CDC’s data

led them to forecast that

“lifetime individual risks of seroconversion of over 50 percent, with the highest annual hazard (4.4 percent per year) occurring before age 25 years.”

2. In 1995, clinical psychiatrist (and gay man in San Francisco), W. Odets, presented a paper to the international science community on the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS.

Odets:

“Some simple epidemiology helps answer these questions: To date, more San Franciscans have died of AIDS – 90% of them gay men – than all the San Franciscans dead from the four wars of the 20th century, combined and quadrupled. Nationally, 30 percent of 20 year- old gay men will be infected with HIV or dead of AIDS by age 30. A majority of gay 20 year-olds will contract HIV during their lifetimes. In San Francisco, our current rates of seroconversion will much more than maintain a 50% prevalence of HIV infection indefinitely.”

Odets was not alone in making estimates in that range.

3. By 2001, researchers at the CDC reported that the HIV prevalence (i.e. those living with infection or with AIDS) in the 15-22 age group

“rose steadily with increasing age, to nearly 10% among 22-year-olds. […] The emerging data presented here suggest that we may be headed toward a resurgence in HIV infections among MSM”.

In other words, the prevalence and the incidence rate pointed toward fulfilling the 1995 forecast.

4. Since the outbreake of HIV/AIDS, the CDC has gathered statistics from across the country. By 2005, the CDC revised and refined its

analysis of the available evidence. It released more accurate incidence rates and prevalence rations.

The indications are that 30% by 30 had been fulfilled, tragically, in 1995-2005.

5. In 2005, a leading HIV/AIDS researcher at the CDC, R. Stall, presented his findings at the International AIDS Conference.

He reviewed the historical data and the current trends. Stall calculated the lifelong risk for twenty-year-old homosexually-active

men (i.e. men who have sex with men, aka MSM) of becoming infected with HIV. By age 30 — some ten years hence — about 25% would be

infected; 40% by age 40; and 50% by age 50.

6. In 2008, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, R. Stall presented more research and a new forecast for

another ten years.

Taking as his starting point the current incidence of HIV infection among 15-22 year-old men who have sex with men (MSM), professor Stall ran a mathematic model to see how this would translate into HIV prevalence as the 18-year-old group got older.

In a press conference he explained:

“The model that we constructed yielded an estimate that at about age 25, about 15% of the men would be HIV positive; by age 35, about a third; and by age 40, about 41%.”

He continued:

“We were kind of horrified that our model yielded prevalence estimates that high. […] What we find is that the model actually fits exactly what’s going on in terms of HIV prevalence among gay men, at least in America’s largest urban centers. This model that we are extrapolating based on the incidence rates, which culminates in an HIV prevalence rate of 40% at age 40, is not a prediction of something that may happen one day. We are describing epidemiological phenomena that are occurring all around us, and will continue to occur among young American men, if we do not find ways to lower HIV incidence rates

further.”

* * *

J. Stone ridiculed the 1995 forecast. He ridiculed as preposterous the high prevalance of HIV/AIDS among 30-year-olds. He derided the

estimate that by 30 almost 1 in 3 homosexually active men could be infected with HIV/AIDS or dead of AIDS.

He sniped:

“I want to reiterate that there is no way that 30% of sexually active gay 20 year olds contract HIV by the age of 30. How anyone could believe such an outrageous claim is beyond me.”

J. Stone waved away the heightened risk to homosexually-active young men. His rhetoric, actually, could be dangerous to the lives of people he claims to be defending.

J. Stone is wrong.

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39 Comments

Filed under Homosexuality

39 responses to “30% of Homosexuals HIV Positive by 30 Years: Proving the Statistic

  1. Chairm,
    Thank you for researching and writing this. You are methodical and thorough. I’d written off J. Stone early on because he resorted to personal attacks in place of meaningful discussion. I admire the patience you took with him. It’s too bad his defensiveness led him to disregard a serious problem.

    These statistics are very sad-for these individuals, for their families, their friends, their doctors. The numbers were never meant to position an attack on the gay community, but rather highlight a dire situation that, to a degree, could have been prevented. We look at these things that we might learn from them and support better choices. The gay lifestyle is nothing to celebrate nor promote. Destroying lives, hurting families, compromising the futures of “questioning” teens, indifference to morality, etc. How people take pride in this, I just don’t see it.

  2. Chairm

    Thanks Cura, I think that his quibble meant a lot to J. Stone — emotionally — but since his message does a disservice to the CDC and to the researchers of HIV/AIDS, and thus to those most at risk, a rebuttal was merited.

    The source you quoted, Erik Goldman, is a medical reporter and in his article he referred to Odet’s presentation to the international science community. Both Goldman’s article and Odet’s paper are available on the internet as well as in most public libraries across the country.

    I sympathize with those who might be shocked with 30% by 30 but it is not unusual for sexual-related diseases to be ‘diseases of denial’, as researchers at the CDC have called HIV/AIDS.

  3. J. Stone

    My problem was with the unqualified nature of the blanket statement offered. You take a study from a couple decades ago, and conducted in a specific setting, and then you generalize it to produce this extraordinary claim, which has the desired effect of leading people to conclude that (at least) 1 in 3 of the sexually active gay men they encounter is HIV+, which simply is not true.

  4. Chairm

    You were wrong and still you are wrong.

  5. “In Lesotho, between 35% and 62% of incident HIV infections in 2008 occurred among people who had a single sexual partner. […] A similar proportion of new infections (50–65%) was estimated to occur among steady, long-term heterosexual partners in Swaziland (UNAIDS 2009 AIDS epidemic update).” add that “Young people account for around 40% of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide”.

    Therefore bieng heteroxeual comes with a up to 62% risk of being infected with HIV.

    Compared to your stats on homosexuality, what do you chose?

    Silly isn’t it?

    • “…in Swaziland…”

      Disingenuous. You are comparing the chance of homosexual males in big cities in America contracting HIV to people living in Swaziland? Doesn’t that tell you something?

      Or did you not look at what you’re saying?

      Why does it bother you so much?

  6. What is silly is to take one statictic calculated in a particular context and at a particular point in time and make a generality of it to serve a purpose it was not designed to.

    According to the same “logic” being heterosexual , even if they live in Swziland, puts you more at risk of being infected, which in fact is the reality in some context…

    But note that it is not only in Swaliland, it is everywhere in subsaharan Africa where more than 60% of the people with HIV live and where the HIV epidemic affects mostly young heteroxual women (60% in South Africa).

    But I guess you would disregard the 25 millions of people living with HIV in this area of the world and prefer to concenrate on a few hundreds of thousand in the US?

    • @peripheries, you’re comparing Swaziland to America. Swaziland isn’t the delightful place with the chocolates and the alps horns, it is pretty bad, even for a third-world country. The fact that you have to compare people there to make the HIV statistics look better for gay people here should tell you something.

      It seems to me you are ignoring the relevancy of these statistics because they seem to fundamentally bother you in some way, as is the case with J. Stone. You still haven’t answered why that is.

  7. Chairm

    Peripheries,

    J. Stone disputed the 30% by 30 because he claimed that this did not pass his ‘sniff test’.

    Now you show up to claim something even more extraordinary and … not a peep from J. Stone.

    You said: “Therefore bieng heteroxeual comes with a up to 62% risk of being infected with HIV.”

    False.

    • J. Stone

      Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere? My silence cannot be construed as anything. I’m allowed to take breaks to sleep and eat, aren’t I? By the way, when will I be receiving my first check?

      But since I’m on here now, sure, Peripheries’ numbers seem just as out of whack as yours. Peripheries does get credit, though, for at least trying to define the scope of the statistic being presented; and I believe that was the point–that statistics can be manipulated through their presentation, that context is everything. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.

  8. You don’t understand the irony…

    I was using the logic of the people quoted to draw a similar sweeping and meaningless statement. But I am glad you are disputing it, at least it shows you have some reasonning abilities.

    If you want to write about the HIV epidemic(s) you need to understand both science and context. The statistical prediction was made in 1994 when the number of death from AIDS was peaking at 50,000 a year in the US, now it is less than 15,000 a year. At the time, AIDS diagnosis was starting to fall from 80,000 a year to about 50,000 a year now. And that’s only for AIDS.

    For HIV, 56,300 Americans became newly infected in 2006 down from around 130,000 per year in 1984-85. How does that fit with 30% by 30?

    The model may have had a value 15 years ago, but the statement is nowadays meaningless and you would realise that, should you know about the current status of the epidemics.

    What you need to realise is that there is not “one” HIV epidemic, but many. Which one would this statement applies too? White gay men? Black African/hispanic men who have sex withe men? (note the difference in terminology). And where does such sweaping statement applies? In the US? In the UK? In Asia? Africa (yes they do have gay men and MSM in Africa even if they deny it).

    So, of course being in an heteosexual relationship does not come with a 62% chance of becoming infected with HIV. BUT it is in this group that most new HIV infections are currently occuring, in the US, in Africa and in Asia.

    If you are interested in putting an end to the HIV epidemics, start knowing it and acting on up to date evidences. If your agenda is to stigmatise some of the people who are most at risk, then keep up with out of date sweeping nonsense that just make you look silly.

    I leave it with to the two of you to do some proper honework, there is a lot of truth out there as they say… one just haev to look for it and to think about what it means…

  9. You don’t understand the irony…

    I was using the logic of the people quoted to draw a similar sweeping and meaningless statement. But I am glad you are disputing it, at least it shows you have some reasonning abilities.

    If you want to write about the HIV epidemic(s) you need to understand both science and context. The statistical prediction was made in 1994 when the number of death from AIDS was peaking at 50,000 a year in the US, now it is less than 15,000 a year. At the time, AIDS diagnosis was starting to fall from 80,000 a year to about 50,000 a year now. And that’s only for AIDS.

    For HIV, 56,300 Americans became newly infected in 2006 down from around 130,000 per year in 1984-85. How does that fit with 30% by 30?

    The model may have had a value 15 years ago, but the statement is nowadays meaningless and you would realise that, should you know about the current status of the epidemics.

    What you need to realise is that there is not “one” HIV epidemic, but many. Which one would this statement applies too? White gay men? Black African/hispanic men who have sex withe men? (note the difference in terminology). And where does such sweaping statement applies? In the US? In the UK? In Asia? Africa (yes they do have gay men and MSM in Africa even if they deny it).

    So, of course being in an heteosexual relationship does not come with a 62% chance of becoming infected with HIV. BUT it is in this group that most new HIV infections are currently occuring, in the US, in Africa and in Asia.

    If you are interested in putting an end to the HIV epidemics, start knowing it and acting on up to date evidences. If your agenda is to stigmatise some of the people who are most at risk, then keep up with out of date sweeping nonsense that just make you look silly.

    I leave it with to the two of you to do some proper honework, there is a lot of truth out there as they say… one just haev to look for it and to think about what it means…

    (Apols if posted twice, computer glitch….)

    • J. Stone

      After my post at 7:22PM, I saw this confirmation from Peripheries. At least your use of irony wasn’t lost on me, Peripheries. 🙂
      Thank you for adding your voice to the debate. Your next-to-last paragraph said it perfectly.

      • Chairm

        Peripheries pointed to incidence rate and then talked about share of incidence in a single year.

        10 people are infected this week. Of those 5 are women. That’s 50% of the incidence this week. But it is not the share of women living with the infection since most would have been infected before this week. It is also not an estimate of the proportion of women of a certain age who will have become infected by a certain age down the road.

        So Peripheries played with numbers that Peripheries did not have the education nor the knowledge nor the common sense with which to use appropriately. The irony is not that Peripheries intended to make these errors, for Peripheries did not cite these errors but rather made some other political point. The irony is tragic: both J. Stone and Peripheries have shown disdain for evidence that homosexually-active men are at higher risk for HIV/AIDS.

        That’s true throughout the world even in those places Peripheries cited. The ignorance on display in the comments of J. Stone and Peripheries is excusable, but not the arrogance and the know-nothingness.

        If you had a real challenge to the estimate of 30% by 30, you’d have made it by now.

        And it is not comparable to the estimate produced by the epidemological models used in 1991, 1995, 2005, and 2008. These models produced the 30% by 30 estimate which, sadly, is well supported by the CDC data.

  10. Chairm

    J. Stone emphatically said” “My goal was to challenge people who find their way to this page to think about the “information” being fed to them. Does it even pass the smell test?” [See Footnote]

    Now he says: “Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere?”

    No, no you are not in charge of anything but your own comments. You have repeatedly attacked an HIV/AIDS estimate without actually, you know, challenging it with more than disdain belched from your gut — or snorted from your nose.

    * * *

    J. Stone said: “Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.”

    But in the same comment J. Stone also said: “My silence cannot be construed as anything.”

    Double standards are nothing new to you, J. Stone.

    * * *

    J. Stone said: “Peripheries’ numbers seem just as out of whack as yours. Peripheries does get credit, though, for at least trying to define the scope of the statistic being presented; and I believe that was the point–that statistics can be manipulated through their presentation, that context is everything.”

    And peripheries chimed in by running away from the statistic cited in the comment that J. Stone has praised.

    Yes, let’s give credit where credit is due.

    * * *

    Peripheries your comments are so incohrent that I must ask, for the record, if you are one and the same person who has been commenting here under the moniker, J. Stone?

    Please don’t be bashful.

    * * *

    Footnote: For that quote see the trail end of the discussion under cura-te-ipsum’s blogpost in which J. Stone repeated his disdain for the CDC data and the epidemiological estimate re 30% by 30.

    https://thisismarriage.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/the-deadliness-of-homosexuality/?replytocom=40#respond

  11. Chairm

    1. Peripheries had said: ““Therefore bieng heteroxeual comes with a up to 62% risk of being infected with HIV.”

    That statement is false for reasons you did not give.

    In other words, you did not give the reasons that the statement is false. You copy-pasted some stuff but you did not show that you understand the epidemological evidence. Not for the USA. Not for Africa. Not for anyplace. You bluffed.

    Here’s a simple challenge that you should be able to knock out of the ballpark very easily, given your boasts.

    Please explain, precisely, why that statement is false.

    If you can’t do that much, then, your boasts are bluffs.

  12. J. Stone

    At 2:21PM on 3/15/10, Peripheries posted his or her initial comment.

    At 6:34PM on 3/15/10–barely 4 hours later–Chairm posted this:
    “Peripheries, J. Stone disputed the 30% by 30 because he claimed that this did not pass his ’sniff test’. Now you show up to claim something even more extraordinary and … not a peep from J. Stone.”

    Less than an hour after that–and just 5 hours after Peripheries’ initial post appeared–at 7:22PM on 3/15/10, somewhat shocked that I was being criticized for failing to respond to something I had only just read, I posted this:
    “Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere? My silence cannot be construed as anything. I’m allowed to take breaks to sleep and eat, aren’t I? . . .
    “But since I’m on here now, sure, Peripheries’ numbers seem just as out of whack as yours. Peripheries does get credit, though, for at least trying to define the scope of the statistic being presented; and I believe that was the point–that statistics can be manipulated through their presentation, that context is everything. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.”

    Finally, at 12:48AM on 12/16/10, Chairm posted this:
    “J. Stone emphatically said, ‘My goal was to challenge people who find their way to this page to think about the “information” being fed to them. Does it even pass the smell test?’ Now he says: ‘Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere?’
    . . . .
    “J. Stone said: ‘Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.’ But in the same comment J. Stone also said: ‘My silence cannot be construed as anything.’
    “Double standards are nothing new to you, J. Stone.
    . . . .
    “Peripheries your comments are so incohrent [sic] that I must ask, for the record, if you are one and the same person who has been commenting here under the moniker, J. Stone?”

    _________________

    I get it, Chairm–you don’t like me. But really, you are only discrediting yourself by continuing on this smear campaign. You are misrepresenting the discussion here. You need to stop before you lose all credibility.

  13. Chairm

    I disapprove of your sniping, J. Stone. I don’t know you well enough to say whether I like you as a person or not. I look instead to the content of your comments.

    You repeatedly derided an estimate that is derived from the CDC’s data and which has been the product of valid models going back at least to 1991, 1994, 2001, 2005, and 2008. This research is being used by the current President to formulate his budget request in 2011 for his national HIV/AIDS strategy.

    Yet you say it is some errant bit of statistical malfeance?

    As a projection the 30% by age 30 was clearly about the US subpopulation of MSM. That cannot be mistaken so you can stop trying to run to Lesotho or wherever Peripheries might take you to flee your error.

    Now, do you agree that 1) the data is valid, 2) these models and estimates are valid, 3) these researchers are credible, and 4) the risks to homosexually-active men are considerably higher than for other subpopulations?

    Since you have had ample time to substantiate your oft-repeated ‘challenge’ it has become clear that, in fact, you have no such challenge to offer.

    You latest ploy is to pout and say that you are not liked. That posturing does not impress.

    Upthread the host of this blog asked you (and Peripheries can consider this as well):

    “So is the statistic:
    a: right
    b: wrong
    c: I don’t know, I just don’t like it.”

    * * *

    Also your host noted for Peripheries (and could respond):

    “It seems to me you are ignoring the relevancy of these statistics because they seem to fundamentally bother you in some way, as is the case with J. Stone. You still haven’t answered why that is.”

  14. J. Stone

    Chairm,

    my latest ploy is not to pout; it is to point out that you are deceitful in the small things, so why should you be trusted on the big things? You misrepresent what I have said, because it suits your goals; why would you not also misrepresent what others have said, to suit your own goals?

    I read the paper that Walt Odets–a psychologist, not a psychiatrist–presented in 1994, not 1995, to a meeting in Dallas of the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights, which may or may not count as “the international science community.” If this is not the paper to which you have referred, please provide a link; however, I doubt you would want to do that, given the conclusions that Dr. Odets draws from the data–conclusions very different from your own. For instance, Dr. Odets decries “public attitudes that overly-identify the gay community with AIDS . . . . Whether interpreted as concerned warning or punitive prediction, the adolescent is repeatedly made to feel that if he “becomes” gay, he will get AIDS.” Now, the title of the original blog entry that generated this comment thread is “The Deadliness of Homosexuality.” Could there be a more perfect example of the sort of conflation that Dr. Odets warns against?

    Also from Dr. Odets’s paper:
    “A young person emerging from childhood and puberty must create a subjective experience of self that is authentic and important and is, at the same time, valued by those who are important to him – peers, older adults, and parents. The task is always a complex and volatile one, but for gay or bisexual youth it can be particularly conflicted and destructive. With many fewer apparent adult role models, little peer support, a society that does not allow the development of social and interpersonal skills (with members of the same sex), and a sense of a homosexual or bisexual self that is rarely valued, and often abhorred or prohibited, the gay or bisexual youth is left largely to whatever internal resources he or she may possess. While many youth are handicapped in this developmental task by cultural, social, and family inadequacies, the gay or bisexual youth is especially so.”
    I include this extended quote because it goes directly to a point I made to Cura-Te-Ipsum in the original comment thread. Even though she has been contradicted by one of her own authorities, I doubt we will be hearing a retraction from her any time soon.

    The final paragraph of Dr. Odets’s paper is especially damning for you, Chairm:
    “The psychosocial development of youth should not and cannot be sacrificed to the needs of simplistic HIV prevention approaches – especially those that express disapproval, ambivalence about, or mere tolerance of youthful sexuality. Youth will continue to experiment sexually and interpersonally whether we support them in this important human effort or not. If gay and bisexual youth are forced by our neglect or prejudice to continue their developmental work unapproved and unsupported, the consequences will be what they have always been. We will pay the costs for many generations to come – this time with an enduring, virulent epidemic that will take young men to tortured and early deaths in numbers that did not seem possible in 20th century America.”
    One sentence, especially, bears repeating: “If gay and bisexual youth are forced by our neglect or prejudice to continue their developmental work unapproved and unsupported, the consequences will be what they have always been.” And what is the overall message of this site: “The gay lifestyle is nothing to celebrate nor promote. Destroying lives, hurting families, compromising the futures of ‘questioning’ teens, indifference to morality, etc. How people take pride in this, I just don’t see it.” (Thank you, Cura, for summing it up so well.)

    Chairm, Dr. Odets’s paper makes clear that, in his opinion at least, you and your message (and TIM’s, and Cura’s) are part of the problem, not the cure. You really should read your authorities before you cite them.

    You say that your science is the result of “valid models going back at least to 1991[.]” Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? You say that “[t]his research is being used by the current President to formulate his budget request in 2011 for his national HIV/AIDS strategy.” So you say; but how would you know, Chairm? You can’t be an expert on everything. What is your specific field of training? How do you know the models are valid? Why should anyone rely on your assertion that they are valid? You’ve already shown yourself to be less than trustworthy when it comes to representing the work of others.

    You say that “[a]s a projection the 30% by age 30 was clearly about the US subpopulation of MSM.” I challenge you to show me where in Cura’s article–“The Deadliness of Homosexuality”–that that is made clear. (You won’t be able to, because it isn’t there.) And even now, nothing has been made clear: is it everywhere in the US, Chairm, or just “in big cities,” as TIM asserts (but only when pressed, because TIM wants to get the biggest scare-factor possible)?

    So, to give you some direct answers to your questions (a practice you and others should take up–are you listening, On Lawn?): I trust the CDC and its data, but I have been given no reason to accept as valid the models used to arrive at your statistics. The credibility of the researchers similarly is unsupported. The risk to any subpopulation of contracting HIV is dependent upon both activities engaged in and preventative measures taken; that said, it is probably still the case that men who have sex with men are generally at higher risk of contracting HIV than men who have sex exclusively with women (all other things being equal, of course). The question is, what is to be done about that? The authorities–even the ones you cite–disagree with you on that question.

  15. Chairm

    J. Stone,

    Odets cited the projection, based on the CDC data, that you derided. That projection is not mine. Odets found it valid. The CDC has found it valid. Other experts on HIV/AIDS have run the datat through different models and produce similiar projections.

    You have offered no actual challenge to it other than your sniffles and that, J. Stone, does not justify your sniping at Cura and the hosts of this blogsite.

    Opinions on other matters does not change the fact that you were wrong on a point you mistakenly kept hammering on.

  16. Chairm

    Also, J. Stone, you are on the record here.

    My advice to you is that you are in a deep hole and it is time for you to stop digging.

  17. Chairm

    J. Stone said:

    “You say that your science is the result of “valid models going back at least to 1991[.]” Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? ”

    Actually, you pre-emptively declared the estimate invalid. The models and estimates (plural) of which I wrote come up to 2008. Yet you compounded your declaration by deriding the more recent and current estimates as well.

    You went on and on about the CDC — and here we are discussing CDC data that was put through models that produced estimates that you reject anyway. So now your pose switches to that of someone who knows better than they.

    Well, okay, set forth your own valid model and the Stone-approved estimate of the percentage of twenty-year-old men in 1995 who by age 30 would be living with HIV/AIDS or dead from HIV/AIDS. If that is too difficult, do that much for 2005 or 2008 or 2010.

    Nah, you won’t — and no one should fairly expect you to do so — because you’d rely on the epidemiologists. And that is a fundamental point you seem so reluctant to acknowledge. Government, society, we all rely on the surveillance of HIV/AIDS, the models, the analyses, and the projections of the researchers and epidemioligists. All of us try to make sense of what comes through the process.

    But not you, it would seem. You have a ‘sniff test’. A pre-emptive ‘sniff’ and your nose knows.

    You said:

    “I trust the CDC and its data, but I have been given no reason to accept as valid the models used to arrive at your statistics. The credibility of the researchers similarly is unsupported.”

    These are not my statistics. Nor my researchers.

    Look, if you don’t trust the CDC’s researchers and their work, don’t snipe at your hosts here to present CDC research and expertise.

  18. Chairm

    J. Stone said:

    “You take a study from a couple decades ago, and conducted in a specific setting, and then you generalize it to produce this extraordinary claim, which has the desired effect of leading people to conclude that (at least) 1 in 3 of the sexually active gay men they encounter is HIV+, which simply is not true.”

    1. I did not cite just a single study.

    2. I did not generalize nor did I produce the projection(s).

    3. The 30% by age 30 estimate is an epidemiological projection, not a “claim”.

    4. That scientific estimate is not as you just stated.

    5. Your stated objection is itself highly misleading and thus runs afoul of your own stated standard.

  19. Chairm

    Peripheries said:

    “Therefore bieng heteroxeual comes with a up to 62% risk of being infected with HIV. Compared to your stats on homosexuality, what do you chose?”

    There is no contest because that statement, and choice, is gibberish.

    1. The blogpost is about the US, not Africa.

    2. Incidence is not prevalence.

    3. Share of incidence is not a percentage of prevalence.

    4. Share of one year’s incidence is not a projection.

    5. The example given does not provide a projection by age.

    The bit of commentary from Peripheries, quoted above, is incoherent. It is false for obvious reasons that Peripheries missed even as he posed as lecturing the readers how to interpret epidemiological evidence. These obvious reasons are fatal to the statement. The gibberish, well that’s just his gibberish.

    And false for obvious reasons that J. Stone has failed to mention even though he also has posed as one with a special nose for these things.

  20. Chairm

    Peripheries said:

    “What is silly is to take one statictic calculated in a particular context and at a particular point in time and make a generality of it to serve a purpose it was not designed to.”

    The purpose was made clear: to estimate the probability that a homoexually-active twenty-year-old man would be HIV-infected or dead of AIDS by age 30. The blogpost deals with the US context and CDC evidence. The projection also serves the purpose of assisting in societal response to the spread of infection. It also helps the individual to respond.

    Peripheries said:

    “According to the same “logic” being heterosexual , even if they live in Swziland, puts you more at risk of being infected, which in fact is the reality in some context.

    “But note that it is not only in Swaliland, it is everywhere in subsaharan Africa where more than 60% of the people with HIV live and where the HIV epidemic affects mostly young heteroxual women (60% in South Africa).”

    1. That’s more gibberish.

    2. The 30% by age 30 projection is not based on such gibberish.

    3. Share of incidence is not prevalence. See above.

    Perhipheries said:

    “But I guess you would disregard the 25 millions of people living with HIV in this area of the world and prefer to concenrate on a few hundreds of thousand in the US?”

    Actually, I hold them in steady regard for reasons that exceed your rhetorical taunts.

    However, since Cura cited a US projection, and I have cited additional US projections, that is the focus of the discussion.

    The gibberish you brought here deserves to be discarded and looked on no further.

  21. Chairm

    Peripheries said:

    “I was using the logic of the people quoted to draw a similar sweeping and meaningless statement.”

    The people quoted in my blogpost did not speak gibberish as you did. And in this comment you have conceded as much.

    Let’s pause to note that you are describing the projection within its appropriate context: the CDC data was used to produce an estimate; and that estimate was valid — even if your questionable opinion is that it was valid in 1994 but not later.

    Peripheries said:

    “The statistical prediction was made in 1994 when the number of death from AIDS was peaking at 50,000 a year in the US, now it is less than 15,000 a year. At the time, AIDS diagnosis was starting to fall from 80,000 a year to about 50,000 a year now. And that’s only for AIDS.”

    The projection cited by Cura combined HIV infection and AIDS — it was an estimate of the share of twenty-year-olds who’d be living with HIV/AIDS or dead of HIV/AIDS ten years later.

    Higher survival rates mean more people living with HIV/AIDS, not less. That means more people living with the infection; and that would push prevalence in the upward direction. Prevalence is a measure of people living with the disease.

  22. Chairm

    Here is something so very special.

    Peripheries said:

    “For HIV, 56,300 Americans became newly infected in 2006 down from around 130,000 per year in 1984-85. How does that fit with 30% by 30?”

    Obviously, a man who is twenty in 1994 would have been ten in 1984. By 1994 surveillance has improved as the survival rate improved. The incidence of diagnosed infections had dropped and levelled off.

    No credible epidemiologist would have used your implied assumption that ten year olds were homosexually-active men for more than a decade before reaching the age of twenty.

    The model used for the 30% by age 30 projection was not skewed by the peak of the mid-1980s.

    Your grasp of the science and the context is highly laudable and brilliantly ironic.

    Peripheries said: “The model may have had a value 15 years ago, but the statement is nowadays meaningless and you would realise that, should you know about the current status of the epidemics.”

    In my blogpost I added estimates from the 1990s through to 2008. The last one is an estimate of current phenomena and it projects forward more than twenty years.

    Peripheries said:

    “So, of course being in an heteosexual relationship does not come with a 62% chance of becoming infected with HIV. BUT it is in this group that most new HIV infections are currently occuring, in the US, in Africa and in Asia.”

    The 30% by age 30 was not a projection of the share of general incidence nor the share of general prevalence.

    Your gibberish is an illustration of garbage-in garbage-out.

    * * *

    Peripheries said:

    “If you are interested in putting an end to the HIV epidemics, start knowing it and acting on up to date evidences. If your agenda is to stigmatise some of the people who are most at risk, then keep up with out of date sweeping nonsense that just make you look silly.

    I leave it with to the two of you to do some proper honework, there is a lot of truth out there as they say… one just haev to look for it and to think about what it means…”

    Oh, now that’s rich. How inadvertently ironic of you.

    Heh.

  23. Chairm

    J. Stone said unironically:

    “Peripheries’ numbers seem just as out of whack as yours. Peripheries does get credit, though, for at least trying to define the scope of the statistic being presented; and I believe that was the point–that statistics can be manipulated through their presentation, that context is everything. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.”

    1. Peripheries’ poorly executed heroics made a mess of the statistics he brought in his comments.

    2. What Peripheries has actually said, in those comments, is misleading. And gibberish. See above.

    That you, J. Stone, credit those comments is more reason to smile at your “sniff test”.

  24. Chairm

    J. Stone now says that it is his goal

    “to point out that you are deceitful in the small things, so why should you be trusted on the big things? You misrepresent what I have said, because it suits your goals; why would you not also misrepresent what others have said, to suit your own goals?”

    The 30% by age 30 projection is not a small thing, in the lives of homosexually-active men dealing with the risks of HIV/AIDS.

    Besides that, in your comments you have been hammering against that estimate and you have urgently insisted that this was a huge thing.

    So big that you have now staked your own crediblity on this.

    You have misrepresented the projection and have tried to mislead by dodging responsiblity for the ‘challenge’ you supposedly set as your goal here at this blogsite.

    • J. Stone

      Chairm,
      don’t be so dense. The 30% by 30 projection IS the big thing. The small thing is the way you misrepresented my post of 3/15/10 at 7:22PM, as revealed in the following, which I posted at 6:29AM on 3/16/10:
      ————————————–

      At 2:21PM on 3/15/10, Peripheries posted his or her initial comment.

      At 6:34PM on 3/15/10–barely 4 hours later–Chairm posted this:
      “Peripheries, J. Stone disputed the 30% by 30 because he claimed that this did not pass his ’sniff test’. Now you show up to claim something even more extraordinary and … not a peep from J. Stone.”

      Less than an hour after that–and just 5 hours after Peripheries’ initial post appeared–at 7:22PM on 3/15/10, somewhat shocked that I was being criticized for failing to respond to something I had only just read, I posted this:
      “Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere? My silence cannot be construed as anything. I’m allowed to take breaks to sleep and eat, aren’t I? . . .
      “But since I’m on here now, sure, Peripheries’ numbers seem just as out of whack as yours. Peripheries does get credit, though, for at least trying to define the scope of the statistic being presented; and I believe that was the point–that statistics can be manipulated through their presentation, that context is everything. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.”

      Finally, at 12:48AM on 12/16/10, Chairm posted this:
      “J. Stone emphatically said, ‘My goal was to challenge people who find their way to this page to think about the “information” being fed to them. Does it even pass the smell test?’ Now he says: ‘Surely I’m not in charge of fact-checking the entire blogosphere?’
      . . . .
      “J. Stone said: ‘Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that’s misleading.’ But in the same comment J. Stone also said: ‘My silence cannot be construed as anything.’
      “Double standards are nothing new to you, J. Stone.

      _________________

      You resort to misrepresentation when it suits you.

  25. Chairm

    J. Stone

    Pause to note that Odets cited the 30% by age 30 projection. He did so repeatedly in various presentations. He would not have done that if he had thought the data, the model and estimate, and the researchers were invalid or not credible.

    He also knew the projection was for the US.

    Yet here you are disagreeing with Odets on the very thing on which you have staked your own credibility.

    Or do you feel he was being deceptive so that he could do great harm to the people he was openly defending?

  26. Chairm

    J. Stone,

    You have routinely conflated homosexuality, homosexuals, gays, and on and on, throughout the discussion here and under the other blogpost. It is a conflation that gay activists rely upon all the time. Sometimes it is just shorthand.

    You read into the 30% by age 30 estimate what was not there.

    So, no, you don’t get to whine about that now when it happens in titles of blogposts you don’t like. Your hosts here are not writing formal papers. This is a blogsite. But they do no worse, and mostly a lot better, than, say, the New York Times headline writers.

    Meanwhile the projection that Cura cited clearly refers to homosexually-active men. It also refers to twenty-year-old men. You have repeated conflated that with all gay men — even travelling to Africa to expand your conflation far beyond this estimate that you dislike so much.

    * * *

    If your real gripe is with the semantics, and that might be a valid gripe, then, you shouldn’t be so foolish as to attack the actual epidemiological evidence as proxy.

    If you would like to discuss the various opinions of Odets, put up a blogpost at your own blogsite and invite readers to participate there.

    I quoted Odets; I have lots of links concerning Odets; I have read his papers; so your long excerpts don’t shock me.

    However, if you so readily agree with so much that he has to say about HIV/AIDS, then, you should take into consideration that the line cited by Cura came from a report about what Odets wrote — and not from people you choose to snipe at.

    Furthermore, it is fair to question and to seek to learn, but when you laxily attack the epidemiological evidence, you become part of the problem.

  27. Chairm

    J. Stone said:

    “You say that “[a]s a projection the 30% by age 30 was clearly about the US subpopulation of MSM.” I challenge you to show me where in Cura’s article-”The Deadliness of Homosexuality”-that that is made clear. (You won’t be able to, because it isn’t there.) And even now, nothing has been made clear: is it everywhere in the US, Chairm, or just “in big cities,” as TIM asserts (but only when pressed, because TIM wants to get the biggest scare-factor possible)?”

    The 30% by age 30 estimate was not a lonely flagpole in the middle of an abandoned field somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Your own comments show that you understood this was about the US. You did not once bring other countries into your comments. But you did discuss US CDC, links to the CDC and to American sources, and you even invoked the name of President Obama.

    Meanwhile, Cura cited an estimate which, in its own right, is based on data drawn from the USA about the subpopulation of MSM. “Homosexually-active” is the phrase that Goldman used to describe men who have sex with men. Odets used the phrase “gay men”. Both wrote about America, not Lesothos. Both used the estimate in terms of the national importance of the higher risk to men who have sex with men. As did you in that discussion even when you heaped scorn on the estimate.

    Besides, isn’t that supposed to be the praiseworthy observation that Peripheries brought into the discussion here, under my blogpost? That the context is obviously the US and not Africa.

    Until Peripheries entered here to add his gibberish into the mix, you did not question that this estimate was American.

    * * *

    In that previous discussion, there were more general points raised and disputed about homosexual behavior in general, but here we are discussing your disdain for a valid estimate upon which you have staked your crediblity.

    The previous discussion can be continued there, surely, instead of overflowing to here where the focus is on the estimate that is the topic of my blogpost.

    • J. Stone

      Chairm,

      I challenged you to show me where in Cura’s article it was made clear that the disputed statistic covered “the US subpopulation of MSM.” And you have not met that challenge.

      You say that “[my] own comments show that [I] understood this was about the US,” but you cite no such comments. Instead, you note that I “discuss[ed] US CDC, links to the CDC and to American sources, and [] even invoked the name of President Obama.” First, it’s not as if the CDC and other American sources have nothing to say about the global AIDS epidemic; and second, for those of you who missed it, here is where I “invoked” the name of Obama: “I’m pretty sure that even the morally bankrupt, homosexually-controlled, Obama-loving mainstream media would be reporting on that [statistic] if it were true.” Thank you, Chairm, for another fine example of your willingness to misrepresent.

      You say that both Goldman and Odets “wrote about America, not Lesothos.” First, such context was not given in Cura’s article; and second, Odets’s paper cites only a San Francisco Department of Health estimate, followed by another reference to reports from “San Francisco city STD clinics.” I figured that the context of the disputed statistic in Cura’s article was the US–not because it was “obvious,” as you baldly claim (anyone who cares to check will find that Cura’s list of statistics referred to a variety of contexts–city, national, AND foreign), but because that’s all that most Americans really care to talk about. The question was, was she talking about all of the US? Or just urban centers? Or just L.A., the identified context of the statistic immediately following the disputed statistic? Cura doesn’t say; and as I’ve pointed out before, even TIM seems to think the statistic isn’t talking about ALL of the US.

      You keep saying that my credibility is at stake, Chairm, but it is only you who keeps getting caught misrepresenting what others have said.

  28. Chairm

    J. Stone

    The fact is that the projection is for the US.

    Besides, your own objections operated on that very basis and you did not bring in other countries. Thanks for quoting yourself referring to Obama. As you admit you “figured that the context of the disputed statistic in Cura’s article was the US” – for whatever reasons.

    The other discussion is on record and I described it accurately.

    In this blogpost the projections (plural) are all for the US, including the first one cited. That’s the one that Cura had promptly cited when you asked. Goldman’s 1994 article referred to the US and the American situation. You asked, you received, you scorned.

    Further, from my blogpost above:

    Odets: “Nationally, 30 percent of 20 year- old gay men will be infected with HIV or dead of AIDS by age 30.”

    Stall: “We are describing epidemiological phenomena that are occurring all around us, and will continue to occur among young American men”

    These are credible HIV/AIDS researchers who are using models that take various types of inputs, as is standard practice. Their work is peer-reviewed and is published in credible journals.

    You might feel it necessary, given your sniff test, to assume the worse about them and their work if you wish, but that is a dubious basis upon which to snipe at your hosts here on this blogsite.

    But let’s move on.

    You feel that the 30% by age 30 projection is unbelievable. You feel that — as per your sniff test — and so it immediately became your responsiblity to state what number would pass your sniff test — what would feel right to you.

    Not 30% and not more than 30%, I suppose. Okay, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, 0%?

    Note: this question is not about models and science and sifting through the data.

    You had a hunch based on homosexually-active men you’ve encountered. Or based on what you imagined anyone else might encounter.

    Twenty year old men in, say, 1995. What percentage do you feel would be infected by age thirty? forty? fifty? in a lifetime? Give us your hunch.

  29. Chairm

    The lack of an answer to the hunch question means that the “sniff test” of J. Stone was a mere pose and thus a poor excuse for sniping at the hosts of this blogsite.

    * * *

    HIV/AIDS epidemiology – “30% of MSM by age 30”.

    http://thirtybyagethirty.blogspot.com/p/introduction-to-this-site.html

  30. Chairm

    More that two months later and J. Stone has not explained his sniff test. He has no such test. He has discredited his own virulent attempt to challenge the hosts of this blogsite. J. Stone’s failure began with his hostile pose and betrays a pro-gay bigotry.

    • One and one-half years later (18 months)and J Stone has not given his own estimate (sniff test approved) for the risk of the twenty year of homosexually active man being infected.

      Meanwhile the CDC has rported that this risk is sixty times greater than for other men.

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