I was a scientist (a biochemist as it happens) before I was a journalist, and it's always annoyed me the way that statistics are often manipulated by vested interests and that journalists don't do enough to stop them.
I saw the following story in The Daily Telegraph and it annoyed the heck out of me!
HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide, the United Nation HIV/Aids agency has said.
One of the most significant factors contributing to the spread of the deadly illness is that up to 70 per cent of women worldwide are forced to have unprotected sexual intercourse, UNAids said.
The UN Aids agency and Annie Lennox, the Scottish singer, unveiled a five-year action plan amid a two-week conference in New York.
The UN Millennium Development goals, adopted in 2000, included halting and reversing the Aids pandemic by 2015.
But Michel Sidibe, the executive director of UNAids, said the agency's latest report in December showed the proportion of women infected with HIV has risen in many regions of the world over the past 10 years.
According to the agency, HIV is the leading cause of death and disease worldwide among women of child-bearing age from 15-49.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 per cent of people living with HIV are women, and in southern Africa the prevalence of HIV among women aged 15-24 is on average about three times higher than young men of the same age, UNAids said.
Nearly 30 years into the HIV epidemic, Mr Sidibe said, growing inequality between women and men and human rights violations against women including "brutal rapes" and trafficking for prostitution are putting women and girls at greater risk of HIV infections.
Now, here's the thing. I think it is possible that the headline is true - that Aids is the leading cause of death and disease among women of child-bearing age in the world, though I have to say that maleria and TB are more likely candidates for the title. But what is absolutely true is that it is the situation in Africa that is the cause and that in the grand scheme of things rape and human trafficking have virtually zero influence on the spread of the disease.
I went online to the UK's Office Of National Statistics (http://www.statistics.gov.uk) and looked at their data. The numbers of deaths through Aids is negligible for women of child-bearing age in the UK, well below suicides even, and well, well below real killers such as cancer and accidents.
Aids might well be a terrible disease, but shame on the UN for releasing skewed statistics and shame on the Daily Telegraph for not calling them on it and just repeating the propaganda parrot-fashion!
And don't get me started on the whole global warming nonsense where we have all seen how so-called scientists play fast and loose with statistics!