The latest “Economist” cover story on AIDS is hopeful. It states: “The 30th anniversary of the disease’s discovery has been taken by many as an occasion for hand-wringing. Yet the war on AIDS is going far better than anyone dared hope.” It also mentioned that 5 million lives have been saved by drug treatment, and that in 33 of the worst-affected countries (most in sub-Saharan Africa) new infections are down by 25 percent from the peak. “The questionwill no longer be whether it can wipe out the plague, but whether it is prepared to pay the price,” it says.
Contrariwise, the June 4 article by Tony Pugh of McClatchy newspapers is 1970’s scaremongering, ignoring that heterosexual AIDS outside of Africa is virtually nonexistent.
Pugh states, without support, “ 7,000 people around the world become infected with HIV each day ” If true, where?
Pugh states that we have become “complacent” about prevention. Naturally. Prevention is simple: behave properly. Except for rare blood-transfusion cases, all infections result from changeable behaviors.
Pugh quotes the Centers for Disease Control: “the sense of crisis has waned.” Like the “sense of crisis” about overpopulation, or discredited “global warming/change”?
Next? We must fund $22 billion a year to cure Africa. This seems wiser than bailouts for buddies.
Jon A. Hartz Sr.
Lon Allan’s commentary referencing the Atascadero City Council’s concerns about proposed, additional Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) regulations governing septic systems on May 31 is misguided.
He completely missed the point that the current regulatory framework is working well in Atascadero and has been for decades, since the city incorporated. The issues he cited were long since mitigated by local government agencies and are virtually nonexistent today. The proposed regulations will impose an unnecessary financial burden upon a city with more than 5,000 septic systems, to mitigate a nonexistent problem with enormous cost to the city budget and individual homeowners. (Latest estimate of cost to the city budget: $832,000.)
The city staff provided expert testimony — as did the water company, city leaders and a legal expert — to the RWQCB, regarding data showing the new regulations were unnecessary and even detrimental to the city, in a variety of areas. The RWQCB staff essentially said, “That’s nice, but we’re going to do it anyway,” as they were committed to a course of action; no amount of facts to the contrary would dissuade them.
I invite Mr. Allan and other Tribune staff to examine the facts, because facts matter, before they further confuse the public.