Archive for Health

Avian Flu vs. HIV/AIDS

6-Month Trend


Blog posts on the HIV/AIDS epidemic have remained steady over the last six months, ranging between 0.125% and 0.300% of all published weblog messages. There was a brief peak in HIV/AIDS posts in early July that occurred around the time of the Live8 concerts. The proportion of posts on the topic have remained within a relatively stable range over the last four months.

The emergence of avian flu (aka ‘bird flu’) posts occurred in mid-September when the United Nations Health Chief issued a warning about the potential for a deadly pandemic resulting from transmission of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus from fowl to humans. Around the same time, initial reports of avian flu-related deaths in Indonesia emerged. The avian flu posts peaked on November 1st, the day that President Bush announced his initiative to combat the looming pandemic and have since declined by over 50%. Despite the waning interest in recent weeks, the death toll continues to rise as the eighth death attributed to H5N1 in Indonesia was announced earlier today.

Update (12/2/05): The trend was regenerated today because of a technical problem.  As you can see, there was a large spike in HIV/AIDS weblog posts that occurred on December 1st which was World AIDS Day.

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