Halting the AIDS Pandemic
As William A. Hasteltine (1993) pointed out, “The future of AIDS is the future of humanity.” Hasteltine, the then-chief retro-virologist at Harvard’s DanaFarber Cancer Institute, added that “Unless the epidemic of AIDS is controlled, there is no predictable future for our species.” Later, testifying before a U.S. Senate hearing, he suggested that by 2000 there might be 50 million HIV-infected people and that by 2015 the total number dead or dying could reach one billion, one-sixth of the current global population. Hasteltine (1992) may have been a little optimistic. In Vital Signs 2001, Worldwatch (2001) estimated that by the end of the year 2000, 57.9 million people had been infected with HIV, 21.8 million of whom had died. The July 2002 infection estimate is 40 million (Cohen 2002), a figure that, as Hasteltine (1992) predicted, is rising exponentially. If there are no significant breakthroughs by 2015, the AIDS pandemic will have become by far the greatest catastrophe in human history, worse than the Black Death and the Second World War combined, the equivalent of eight First World Wars (Foster 2002a).
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Type Biological Trace Element Research Selenium Level Immune Deficiency Syndrome Selenium Deficiency
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