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by Glen Caulkins

U.S. AIDS Deaths are on the decline: Reasons for Concern. The main reason for the drop is that new combination drug therapies are delaying progression from HIV infection to full blown AIDS.

While the number of new AIDS diagnoses in the United States declined 15 percent among white homosexual and bisexual men, the incidence of AIDS among heterosexuals continues to rise, increasing 11 percent among men and 7 percent among women. Overall, the number of women diagnosed with AIDS in the United States increased by more than 60 percent from 1991 to 1995. Worldwide it is estimated that 2.3 million people died of AIDS in 1997 a 50 percent increase over 1996. Nearly half of those deaths were in women, and 460,000 were in children under 15.

In the United States, based on national HIV prevalence estimates, a minimum of 60,000 to 115,000 HIV-infected women not yet diagnosed with AIDS will be requiring care in years to come, twice as many as have been diagnosed as having AIDS since the epidemic began.

November 1997 (low estimates): 30+ million people worldwide are now living with the HIV virus. 16,000+ new victims are infected every day. One in every 100 sexually active adults worldwide is infected with HIV, and only one in 10 knows they are infected.

HIV transmission has taken on the pyramid effect. With the number of people in lower income brackets being infected, lack of testing due to finances, irresponsibility and indifference; combined with HIV s incubation period: make valid census impossible.

An effective way to estimate the future of HIV is to parallel it with genital herpes -- another seemingly incurable virus with no incubation period. Overall, genital herpes infections jumped 30 % in the United States from 1976 to 1994, the CDC said, with about one in five Americans over 12 years of age has the sexually transmitted infection. The data gathered between 1988 and 1994 was compared with a similar study done from 1976 to 1980. The results suggest that: 45 million Americans are infected, high risk behavior is prevalent, and mother-child infection is widespread. If current transmission rates hold steady, by the year 2000 the number of people living with HIV could soar to 120+ million. The full impact of the epidemic in terms of AIDS mortality has just begun. AIDS will contribute to a loss of skilled and talented people in this and coming generations.

Worldwide over 40 million children stand to lose one or both parents to AIDS over the next 13 years, with catastrophic results. AIDS will create generations of children needing financial support, protection, love and care.

In countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, HIV/AIDS is unraveling years of progress in economic and social development. Life expectancy which has been steadily on the rise for the last three decades will drop to 40 years or less in nine sub-Saharan countries by the year 2010.

In Mexico, the damage was contained. A $48 billion international loan and Mexico was quickly on the road to recovery. South Korea now wants the same kind of direct help. The Asian rot is a far deadlier strain than the Mexican. Starting in Thailand in June, it had spread to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia by July. So far this year, stock markets in these four nations are down an average of 65 percent. And their national currencies have fallen similarly. As 1997 ended, the South Korea devaluation -- threatened Japan, it sent Wall Street down sharply.

The future could hold a far deadlier strain than the Mexican and Korean devaluation. The nine sub-Saharan countries unraveling could sanction their own domino effect -- daunting Wall Street.

Include in this the gray-wave. That is life expectancy alone will increase beyond the ability of medicine: there will be a shortage of trained doctors, nurses, and hospital facilities. Global warming will increase the spread of disease; over population and scores of children requiring government assistance will compound our dilemma.

The economic cost of these factors could be reflected by an overburden of social medical response that could eventually deny health services for the masses, in many nations. If this medical holocaust is not contained, it could demand our total focus. Most high end consumer products and services could be severely hampered if societies needs become acute: setting a snowball in motion.

Denial is not a shield, ignorance is not a sanctuary. We must realistically confront and evaluate the world around us to expand our awareness. Invalidating denial and illusion - prompting compassion and love.


After a profound spiritual experience, 10 years of research, writing and rebuilding myself: Glen Caulkins My work is ready. He has completed three manuscripts and is producing educational videos.


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