t Double Yellow's Musings: If you are Gay, are you an AIDS threat?
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

If you are Gay, are you an AIDS threat?

Yesterday, the gays in Singapore were back into the spotlight, for the usual reasons that they are brought into focus in Singapore – the scientifically unexplainable but allegedly very true link between homosexuality and AIDS. The headlines screamed – “Why gay factor can't be ignored” and this time they supposedly had some statistics to back them up. They said that a whopping

“93 per cent of the record 311 HIV cases diagnosed last year came from just two groups — the gay community and lower-educated single men who have casual sex with sex workers abroad”

For people like me who are mathematically challenged, the calculator tells me that we’re talking about 290 people. I was left wondering if this was the statistics for last year, why bring it up at the end of August of the NEXT year? Anyways, the gahmen changed tack today by focusing on the link between AIDS and SARS instead. The end result - big one page article on the lessons we can take back from combating SARS.

I was about to turn the page, when I noticed a small box that said “Correction”. I could not find the online version of the small box but this is what it says....

"Of the 311 HIV cases last year, 93 percent were men. The gay community and the lower educated single men were significant groups, as were other groups of individuals who indulged in casual sex. "

Bloody hell.... they used WRONG statistics to write a piece on why the gay community was a problem and then take it back with a teeny small correction box? Not the media’s practice to admit their mistakes on the front page is it? Even better, all we now know is that a SIGNIFICANT number belongs to their community – pray tell us, MOH, what is this elusive significant number? Another SIGNIFICANT number was lower-educated single men – again, dear MOH, what is this mysterious number? And what exactly is lower-educated? And how come there are no numbers on the number of AIDS cases due to blood transfusion? Say lah.... are all ears :)

Congratulations, TODAY, give yourself a pat on the back. You have again managed to confuse your readers but just vomiting whatever you were given to eat.

P.S: I am willing to bet that after this goof-up, the ministry will be giving the media the transcript of every speech. But who knows, our competent media may find a creative way to screw it up yet again.


Blogger mooiness said...

Ah the age old practice of making statistics prove whatever it is that you want to prove. Especially easy when you use said statistics out of context.

I'm whoring my post here but I wrote sometime ago regarding a similar misuse or misreading of statistics re: immigration into Australia.

Anyways, keep up with the Media Watching - incidentally, if you were in Australia you would love this program:


Have a great day! :)

2:57 AM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

hey mooiness, yeah i agree - so much for making statistics a 'scientific' subject :) read ur post on immigration into Australia and its amazing how some people can twist statistics to their end - the constant fear of the 'other'!

media watching eh? Heheh... nothing else to read when i hv my morn coffee leh :)

Aaah... Media Watching looks real interesting, will check it out. But unlikely if it will make its way here... not in near future at least :)

11:32 AM  

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