December 7, 2005 -- BEFORE fashion designer Kenneth Cole is heaped with more praise for his "We All Have AIDS" campaign, which is supposedly raising awareness of the disease, maybe he should consult with Tom Bethell, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Sci ence" (Regnery), which is on ama zon.com. Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Sir Elton John, Richard Gere, Natasha Richardson and Sharon Stone should read it, too, since they are appearing in ads under the "We All Have AIDS" banner. Bethell claims AIDS in Africa has been vastly overre ported since 1985, when the World Health Organization decided "a combi nation of the following symptoms would suffice for an AIDS diagnosis: weight loss, fever, diarrhea, swollen glands, a cough, prolonged fatigue." Bethell re ports in The American Spectator that the real problem is lack of clean drink ing water in sub-Saharan Africa, which leads to a horrifying smorgasbord of infections, parasites and disease. Such conditions render HIV tests unreliable. "About 70 conditions have been shown to trigger a false positive, so the test is essentially useless in countries where bacterial contamination is endemic," Bethell writes. "Therefore, AIDS in Africa has never been shown to be the same as AIDS here . . . The sheer dishonesty of the New York Times and other media in not reporting these facts is hard to take."
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