Press Notification
June 27, 2008

WHO Says That Only Africa Has a Heterosexual AIDS Epidemic — Why?

SAN FRANCISCO (Rethinking AIDS) June 27, 2008 — According to a June 8, 2008, report in The Independent, Dr. Kevin De Cock, the head of AIDS efforts at the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the threat of a heterosexual AIDS pandemic is officially over and that decades of predictions that AIDS would spread through general populations across the globe were wrong . . . except in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Why a heterosexual AIDS epidemic there and not here?

According to former leading WHO epidemiologist James Chin, it's because Africans are uniquely promiscuous, engaging in multiple, concurrent sexual relationships, and also because African men are uncircumcised.

Do scientific studies support the conclusion that Africans are an especially promiscuous people? And if the majority of males throughout the world are uncircumcised, why does naturally occurring male anatomy lead to AIDS only in Africa?

Rethinking AIDS — an international group of more than 2,600 scientists, doctors, journalists, health advocates and others — offers several eminent medical and scientific experts to comment on this and other AIDS issues currently in the news:

Gordon Stewart, M.D.*
Professor Emeritus of Public Health, University of Glasgow, U.K.
Former consultant to the New York City Department of Health and WHO
Member of South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel
Dr. Stewart predicted in 1990 that there would be no heterosexual AIDS pandemic in developed countries and suggested in 1996 that this might also apply globally.

Charles Geshekter, Ph.D.*
Professor Emeritus of African History, California State University, Chico
Member of South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel
Dr. Geshekter is a scholar of African history and culture.

Christian Fiala, M.D.
Gynecologist, Vienna, Austria
Member of South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel
Dr. Fiala predicted in the 1990s that there would be no heterosexual pandemic in Europe, Africa or Thailand. He has practiced medicine in several African countries and can comment on the cultural context and epidemiology of AIDS.

*Rethinking AIDS board member.

Media Contacts:
David Crowe*
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Mountain time zone)
1-403-289-6609 (office)
1-403-861-2225 (mobile)

Elizabeth Ely
Public Relations Chairperson
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1-718-704-9672 (mobile)
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Rethinking AIDS: The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis ("RA" or "the Group") was formed in 1991 to express the concerns of a growing number of renowned scientists and medical doctors about HIV research and the resulting human rights abuses. In 1995, by a letter published in Science, the Group called for a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and recommended that critical epidemiological studies be undertaken.

Among RA's founders and key members are University of Toronto professor emeritus and former cancer researcher Dr. Etienne de Harven; Harvard microbiologist Dr. Charles Thomas; 1993 Nobel laureate for chemistry Dr. Kary Mullis; Nature/Biotechnology co-founder Dr. Harvey Bialy; University of California at Berkeley molecular biologist Dr. Peter Duesberg and the late Yale mathematician Dr. Serge Lang, both members of the National Academy of Sciences; in Western Australia Dr. Eleni Papadopulos; and Glasgow University professor emeritus of public health and World Health Organization consultant Dr. Gordon Stewart.