August 10, 1998
Chris Green, Jakarta, Indonesia
once more to Prof. Frerichs' for returning to his theme of testing benefits. But
you know, it worries me a lot to see a Professor (assumed to be someone who is
entrusted with educating future generations) distorting what he reads so blatantly.
the journal article, he says "The two main points that the authors make are
1) the enormous benefits of treatment and care, and 2) the perils of lack of
God's name, how did he draw these conclusions? Unless the abstract is missing
some essentials, there is no discussion about 'care' either for the mother or
the baby. The 'enormous benefits' are a reduction in transmission of 6
percentage points -- significant, yes, but enormous? Especially given that the
child will in any case expect to lose its mother early in its life and be
consigned to orphan status -- better than dying early of AIDS? Who knows! The
'perils of lack of awareness'? Where does this appear?
on earth can he extrapolate regular c-section and avoidance of breastfeeding to
a developing country environment? And how does he have the nerve to assume what
the authors felt about the benefits of prevention?
who are able to accept the importance of testing, early detection, early
prevention and early care will have a greater chances
to do good by protecting the society and helping infected persons.
Those who want to remain general in their focus, obscure in their understanding
of biologic principles, and unaware of the devastating trends of the epidemic
may remain blissful, but will not be servants of public health."
Lord! How can he be so patronising! So if I don't accept all the purported
benefits, I am 'blissful,' an enemy of public health, and losing chances to do
I cannot recall one posting of the many in this thread, which challenged the
importance of these items; the concern is with implementation. Few can accept
the 'blissful' assumption that all it needs is test kits. (BTW, in the current
atmosphere of openness, would it be inappropriate to ask Prof. Frerichs to
confirm that there is no conflict of interest which might attach to his
promotion of this form of testing?).
most extreme example of distortion appears at the end of the posting,
"What efforts have they made to save
their unborn infants from near certain death when the mother is infected?"
case MCT rates that I have read are less than 50%. Or is the point that we are
all certain to die? Perhaps American college students are more gullible than I
cause to assume we're the same...
August 10, 1998
Ray Stricker, United States
not sure that a drop in transmission rate from 15% to 9% represents a
"major impact" or an "enormous benefit" from a highly toxic
and expensive drug regimen. This is a bad example to support your reasoning, Dr.