Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday TED Talk: Hans Rosling on World AIDS Statistics

Hans Rosling is one of the most popular speakers ever at TED.  His energetic---on occasion, even acrobatic---presentations of what could otherwise be dull statistics on world health issues are made even more riveting by the special, time-lapse imaging software he helped create to display them.  In this talk from the 2009 TED Conference, he is in his usual fine form as he makes some points that may surprise you: the growth of AIDS in African countries shows no correlation with poverty rates, for example:

The high-res version of the talk may be viewed here.  Hans Rosling's bio is here, and his home webpage is here.  Here is a link to an interview he gave (Part 1 and Part 2) to TED after his talk, in which he recounts his encounter with Fidel Castro (before the latter became ill), and other notable adventures.  And here is a link to his famous first talk at TED, as well as to his second one, about poverty in the world.

PS: We are catching some truly wonderful plays at Ashland for the weekend.  Regular blogging will resume next week.


  1. Keep it simple...keep it to one...and all is well! Wonderful! I thank God for my wife and her love for me!


  2. At the end, he seems to conclude that the problem is "concurrency", having more than one sexual partner in the same month. He distinguishes this from "serial monogamy" and uses the example of Swedes having a new partner for each solstice as "serial monogamy". He does note that Swedes have high rates of chlamydia due to this "serial monogamy".

    But he doesn't provide any graph or chart to illustrate how HIV is related to concurrency.

    And we see that the rate is very low in Muslim countries except Iran, which has prostitution. Polygamy would technically seem to be a form of concurrency as the man may be having sex with more than one wife in the same month. But, polygamy with strict prohibitions against sex outside of marriage does not spread HIV.

    I'm not advocating polygamy. But I wonder if this is a factor in the disgust and fear the Muslim world feels toward the West.