Commentor Hoo and I have been having a little back-and-forth
about the lifetime risk of acquiring HIV for active gay men. California has recently passed a law making it a crime for a licensed therapist to suggest to a minor that he shouldn't pursue a gay lifestyle.
I thought that it was worth considering the risk that not
challenging the gay lifestyle poses to the kid.
I pointed out that the lifetime risk that an active gay man will become HIV positive is 50%.
Male homosexual conduct is perhaps the most dangerous activity known to man. Half of male homosexuals get AIDS.
I should have said "... get HIV", which commonly progresses to AIDS. Hoo didn't even notice my actual (minor) error.
Hoo took greater umbrage:
This is spectacularly wrong on a number of levels. It's not so hard to get the right numbers from the CDC. It's amazing that no one has bothered so far.
Here is what CDC says:
Gays represent approximately 2% of the US population. That would be 0.02×300 million = 6 million. At the end of 2009, an estimated 442 thousand of them had HIV. That would be 7 percent. A considerable number, to be sure, but nowhere near 50 percent. Not even close.
But we are not done yet. Having HIV does not necessarily mean having AIDS. Fewer than half of people with an HIV infection have AIDS. That means that the fraction of gays who have AIDS is around 3 percent. Not 50 percent.
... If you could do math, you would go to the CDC webpage and crunch the numbers yourself. Because you suck at math, I will do this for you.
In 2009, 11,400 gay men acquired HIV. Out of 6 million. That gives a probability of 0.0019 per annum. We may estimate the sexually active lifetime of a gay man to be 30 years. The total probability of getting an HIV infection is thus 30×0.0019 = 0.057, or 5.7 percent. Not 50 percent.
It is not surprising that this number is close to the 3 percent I obtained above. HIV has been around for a while, so the population is close to equilibrium.
So I must fire you as my secretary for trying to perform tasks that are clearly above your pay.
So, dutiful conservative fact-checker that I am, I followed the link. I clicked HIV/AIDS
at the top of the page, and got the HIV/AIDS main page at the CDC. Then I clicked "Basic Information"
(to the left, second down in the little list), which Liberals apparently don't click because... it provides basic information.
Then I clicked "Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)" -- it seemed relevant. Did anyone but me notice that Men Who Have Sex With Men and Mainstream Media have the same acronym? Heh.
Under "Prevention Challenges", the CDC says:
Results of HIV testing conducted in 21 cities indicated that 19% of MSM tested in 2008 were HIV-positive
At the same CDC website from which Hoo scribbled his 5th grade statistics project and concluded "that means that the fraction of gays who have AIDS is around 3 percent. Not 50 percent.", the CDC reports explicitly that 19% of MSMs are HIV positive.
Hoo: '3% of gay men are HIV positive.'
CDC: '19% of gay men are HIV positive'
So Dr. Hoo, scientist, underestimated HIV prevalence by 85%, using "data" from the CDC website that actually gives
the prevalence, which is 19%.
It gets better. Dr. Hoo, scientist, doesn't understand the difference between prevalence
. Prevalence is the percent of HIV in a population at any given moment. Incidence is likelihood of getting HIV over an interval of time. The incidence of cancer for an individual over a lifetime is about 33%. The prevalence of cancer in the population at any given moment is much less than that, a few percent, perhaps.
My assertion was an incidence assertion-- that the lifetime likelihood of getting HIV for a gay man is 50%.
So where did I get that number from. Well, here:
"A study based upon statistics from 1986 through 1990 estimated that 20-year-old gay men had a 50 percent chance of becoming HIV positive by age 55"
Donald R. Hoover, et al., “Estimating the 1978-1990 and Future Spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in Subgroups of Homosexual Men,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 134(10): 1190-1205, p. 1203 (1991).
Hoo replied to my literature citation:
The work on which this factoid is based is very old: 1991. It is an estimate from the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mine is new and is based on hard numbers.
You may fuck off now.
Before I fuck off, let me sum up:
The prevalance of HIV positivity among gay men is 19%. The lifetime risk of a gay man getting HIV is 50%.
In California, if I were a therapist, and I told a kid who was my patient the same facts about the risks of male homosexuality that I just told you, I'd be committing a crime.
The gay agenda marches on.