Monday, June 06, 2005

Higher Risk: Crystal meth, the Internet, and dangerous choices about AIDS -- a lengthy article from The New Yorker that's a bit unfocused. I think it's worth reading, especially from a public policy perspective, because it illustrates the complexity and messiness that lurk behind statistics.

Crystal meth use, the Internet and certain characteristics of the gay community (including the effects of stigmatisation by the rest of society) are all factors in the explosion of HIV infection rates among gay communities in large urban areas. They all interact in non-linear ways (a bit of an understatement really), suggesting that at the very least an inter-agency approach is necessary to even begin tackling the problem.

What's also interesting (alarming or depressing or disturbing -- depending on your point of view) are the mathematics involved -- how a tiny window of infection can still fuel an epidemic -- and how people in general fail to properly manage risks.

Say, think Dr Balaji might be interested?

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