The Enigma of HIV Propagation in Africa: Mainstream Thought Has Narrowly Focused on 'Heterosexual Sex'

11 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013

Date Written: August 14, 2013

Abstract

Introduction: Three decades after the identification of AIDS, epidemiologists still do not fully understand HIV transmission dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa, nor its differential geographic and demographic spread.

Discussion: Despite mounting evidence suggesting a substantial role for nonsexual (puncturing) exposures in HIV transmission, researchers have not systematically investigated its impact on HIV propagation in Africa. Mainstream researchers initially reacted to this idea skeptically, then dismissed it in the short run as apostasy and chose to ignore it in the longer run. This research design flaw has been the Achilles Heel of efforts to explain the rapid propagation of HIV in Africa, a flaw that continues to this day -- much to the detriment of scientifically trustworthy interventions.

Conclusion: A science that ignores potentially important modes of transmission, especially when confronted by challenging and respectable evidence, is inadequate and needs remedial attention.

Keywords: HIV epidemiology,HIV transmission, heterosexual transmission, iatrogenic transmission, HIV methodology, Africa

Suggested Citation

Potterat, John, The Enigma of HIV Propagation in Africa: Mainstream Thought Has Narrowly Focused on 'Heterosexual Sex' (August 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2310200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2310200

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