Someone at Reuters is not a Statistician

Filed under: news @ 01:07

Reuters recently posted a story with the title, “Report: Nearly Half of HIV Adults Are Women“.

My response: “…umm… nearly half of all adults are women.” This doesn’t really mean anything, unless you think the percentage should be skewed.

The rest of the article is as poorly written. The language is ambiguous (did the number of women in East Asia jump by 56% or to 56%, and are they normalizing to total population or to total infected population?), and the writing keeps jumping back and forth from topic to topic.

I (think I) understand the issues unique to women with HIV. Indeed, they are very important issues: male dependence, oppression, abuse, cultural inequalites. The list, surely, goes on. But this article does not present those issues very well. All they’ve done is throw some big numbers around. Now, anything that gets more people aware of the AIDS crisis is a good thing, but I wouldn’t mind if those somethings contained actual information.

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