lunes, abril 03, 2006

La Jornada desinforma sobre el sida

Es increíble a a estas alturas haya quienes afirman que no existe el virus de inmudeficiencia humana, y que el sida no es causado por éste. Eso fue lo informó La Jornada hoy - ese gran diario que parece publica ahora cualquier tontería. Es una verguenza lo que hizo hoy el diario al publicar desinformación. No todo debe publicarse, y menos si es falso, y menos si es sobre salud pública.

El diario narra la conferencia que dió Roberto Giraldo, famoso por cobrar conferencias donde dice que el sida se puede curar casi por voluntad propia. La conferencia fue en el Auditorio Nacional y costó entre 250 a mil 500 pesos, y ocurrió en el marco de un congreso new age, con el triste título de Congreso Humanístico Científico, organizado por Ricardo Ocampo, quien afirma coordinar Red Luz, la mayor red new age de México.

Casualmente Andrew Sullivan - quien es seropositivo desde hace años y gracias a los medicamentos vive - escribió sobre el tema hace unos días. Copio:

Elites and Medicine

01 Apr 2006 02:01 pm

A reader makes a good point:

"One interesting case study for elitism is medicine. Your familiarity is through experience with HIV; mine, cancer. The point though is the same. There was at first an unresponsive God-like community that made unassailable pronouncements about the science and medicine. Correctly this was rebelled against. But now we have charlatans and healers who have no basis, except anecdotes if that, for their claims. And substantial members of the public believe them over the science. Part of this is because for cases like AIDS and cancer, sometimes science hasn't an answer yet. Nonetheless, the "everyone's opinion is equal" attitude is now as destructive as the God-like elitism. Somehow we need a happy medium - acknowledging expertise while demanding that it explain itself. The anti-knowledge forces are not just religious fundamentalists; read some of the anti-medicine nonsense out there."

I have to agree. One of the most persistent sub-currents out there among people with HIV and AIDS is superstition, or the notion that all drugs are somehow poisonous, or that homoepathic quackery can replace actual science, or that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, and so on. This is particularly widespread among some gays and African-Americans, some of the populations most at risk. You have magazines like Harper's giving credence to "theories" that HIV is unrelated to AIDS - in 2006! In the early days, you had people like Larry Kramer telling everyone that AZT was poison, despite the fact that it was then and remains today a critical component of many effective anti-HIV cocktails (it was disastrous only as over-dosed mono-therapy). Every day, I get emails telling me to try aspirin or St John's Wort for HIV. The right response, I think, is not to take what the science establishment says on faith - let alone the public health establishment. The answer is to try and understand the science as best you can, to ask the right questions, to keep asking, to get second opinions. There is an alternative between fundamentalism and relativism, between authority and nihilism. That alternative is curious and empirical skepticism, which must, of course, respect those whose knowledge of any particular subject is inevitably far deeper than our own. That kind of skepticism is important not only for a patient with a life-threatening disease, but also for liberal democracy and liberal learning. We need to recover it.

Desde 1981 detectamos esta enfermedad, y prefiero confiar al consenso médico mundial que un hombre que vende teorías-aceite de serpiente para sorprender a la gente inocente que necesita una esperanza. La ciencia se puede equivocar, pero muchos como Andrew viven - y viven bien - gracias a la ciencia.

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