Before this morning I might have read today’s BBC piece about Aids in Africa and given a world-weary sigh for those poor people. But this morning, via the Freakonomics blog, I read Emily Oster's piece in the December Esquire magazine: Three Things You Don't Know About Aids In Africa.

And now I know that: Aids is not the disease to be worrying about; an end to poverty will stop Aids faster than just about anything else; the UN's figures -- peg for the BBC -- are way too pessimistic but, and this is the really bad news, the rate of spread is as fast as it ever was.

All I need to do now, of course, is to read her original papers.

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