Wow – talk about unhinged. Of course Washington Times columnist Wes Pruden ignores the predominance of heterosexual transmission of AIDS in third world countries, or the low rate of AIDS in the lesbian population, but who’s paying any attention to actual facts? (Media Matters):

In a June 17 Washington Times column in which he downplayed global climate change by comparing it to other perceived “terrors” that “subsided, done in by reality,” Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden wrote of the AIDS virus: “We were all supposed to be dead now, done in by AIDS, the gift of the gays.” Pruden continued: “After that it was SARS, bequeathed to the world by China. Then it was avian flu, which, to be fair to the alarmists, did in fact result in the deaths of millions. The millions were all chickens, true, but chickens have feelings, too. You could ask the folks at PETA.”

Contrary to Pruden’s suggestion, AIDS has in fact killed millions. In its December 2007 “AIDS epidemic update,” the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS estimated that there were 2.1 million AIDS-related deaths worldwide in 2007. According to a chart included in the report, at least 1 million people are estimated to have died from AIDS-related illnesses every year since 1997 and at least 2 million every year since 2003.

Since the late 1980s, Pruden has repeatedly downplayed HIV/AIDS, asserting, even as recently as 2005, that “after all these years AIDS remains a disease almost altogether of homosexuals and drug addicts and the unfortunate women who hang out with them.”

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding