Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Comparison of HIV/AIDS Statistics with Data about ESKD from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS)

Cyrus gave me a link to an article called It Ain't All About the Down Low . The article talks about closeted gay men (Down Low) that spread HIV to women of color and it goes into some details of the many factors behind the alleged rising of HIV epidemic among women of color. I'm very suspicious about this HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community so it compelled me to compile some data to show why I don't believe that we have a HIV/AIDS problem.

The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) is a national data system that collects, analyzes, and distributes information about end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. Unlike the CDC for HIV/AIDS statistics, the USRDS collects actual numbers and they have been collecting data for end stage kidney disease (ESKD) since 1978. I'm only showing the actual numbers for Blacks and Whites to illustrate a point and that point is that something is seriously wrong with the way the CDC is compling data.

For instance, in 1978, the total number of people with ESKD = 42,841
Whites = 28,306 (~66%)
Blacks = 13,724(~32%)
Other = 808 (~2%)

In 2002, the total number of people with ESKD = 424,808
Whites = 266,263 (~63%)
Blacks = 135,135 (~32%)
Other = 23,410 (~5%)

Any individual can easily calculate the percentage increase by race of those affected with ESKD. As you can see, the percentage of whites with this disease has decreased slightly while the percentage of African Americans with ESKD remained constant. Now, if you look at this data in another light, you will see a disturbing trend occurring for African Americans. Although we make up 12-13% of the American population, we make up 32% of the total people who have ESKD. If you analyze a little deeper, you can then begin to see the reasons for this disparity by analyzing other data such as the number of people that have diabetes and hypertension starting with the USRDS Website. This Website also gives the actual number of males, females, children etc. with ESKD, as well as, a breakdown of the number of people that have other diseases that are the primary causes of ESKD such as diabetes, hypertension, etc and the racial components of each category. If you want, you could cross reference this number to the statistics for diabetes and hypertension and a clearer picture of the health issues of African Americans will emerge. The same information should be available for any chronic disease or epidemic, particularly HIV/AIDS that is said to be plaguing the general population and African Americans in particular.

People - something is seriously wrong with how they are determining the numbers for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Where are the actual numbers so that we can assess the situation on its own merits?
Since HIV/AIDS have been around since the 1980s, why don’t they have actual numbers of cases of people who have died, of those who are infected with this allegedly deadly virus, instead of these asinine estimated numbers? This is yet another reason why I am suspicious of these numbers.

Briefly look at the AIDS statistics from the CDC and you will see an alarming trend. They never show actual numbers of people infected only estimated numbers for an epidemic that supposedly have been plaguing people for at least a couple of decades. This doesn't make sense. I can't stress enough that something is wrong.

AIDS Cases and Rates for Female Adults and Adolescents, by Race/Ethnicity 2003—50 States and D.C.

In 2003, an estimated 68% of female adult and adolescents with AIDS were black; the rate was 50.2 cases per 100,000 black female adults and adolescents.

Although the estimated number of cases among Hispanic and white female adults and adolescents were similar, the rate for Hispanic female adults and adolescents was more than 6 times that for whites.

HIV Estimate

An estimated 850,000--950,000 persons in the United States are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), including 180,000--280,000 who do not know they are infected (another estimated number).

1. Source: Fleming P, Byers RH, Sweeney PA, et al. HIV prevalence in the United States, 2000 [Abstract 11]. Presented at the Ninth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Seattle, WA; February 24--28, 2002.
AIDS Cases

In 2003, the estimated number of diagnoses of AIDS in the United States was 43,171. Adult and adolescent AIDS cases totaled 43,112 with 31,614 cases in males and 11,498 cases in females. Also in 2003, there were 59 AIDS cases estimated in children under age 13.

The cumulative estimated number of diagnoses of AIDS through 2003 in the United States is 929,985. Adult and adolescent AIDS cases total 920,566 with 749,887 cases in males and 170,679 cases in females. Through the same time period, 9,419 AIDS cases were estimated in children under age 13.

Deaths Due to AIDS
In 2003, the estimated number of deaths of persons with AIDS was 18,017, including 17,934 adults and adolescents, and 83 children under age 13

The cumulative estimated number of deaths (you either die or you don't) of persons with AIDS through 2003 is 524,060, including 518,568 adults and adolescents, and 5,492 children under age 13.

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