A recent UNAIDS claim that the world AIDS epidemic has stabilized is coming under attack by a former UNAIDS epidemiologist.

In a new 357-page report released Friday, the organization claims the global AIDS epidemic has stabilized after peaking in the late 1990s. Former UNAIDS epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani questions those findings.

On the blog www.wisdomofwhores.com used to promote her book The Wisdom Of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS, she questions the numbers published by the organization, calling them “confusing.”

Compiling reports from previous UNAIDS data, Pisani estimates the report is off by nearly 1 million people. “By my calculations, that makes 33.97 million men and women, sons and lovers, kids and grandparents, accountants and circus performers and sex workers with HIV worldwide. So we're missing nearly a million.”

UNAIDS estimates there are 33 million people living with HIV worldwide.

She adds the numbers this way: “The people living with HIV at the end of 2007 should be those who were living with HIV at the end of 2006 (33.27 million) plus those who got infected in 2007 (2.7 million, if you take the new figures), minus the people who died (2.0 million).”

The UNAIDS report claims new infections “declined from 3 million in 2001” to 2.7 million. If, however, the 1 million figure was added into the new infections column, that would represent an dramatic increase in 2007.

She concedes that estimates may change over time. “But I'm still having trouble understanding how the arithmetic works on this one,” she says, calling on the organization to do a better job in explaining the discrepancy.

Another report released Saturday, this one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed their AIDS U.S. estimates to have been underreported – by as much as 40%.

“I sympathise with the writers of reports like this, caught as they are between the need to show that things are going well (so you should keep investing in HIV) and that the situation is dire (so you keep investing in HIV),” Pisani writes. “In truth, the key issue is not whether there are 2.5 or 2.7 million new infections. It is that somewhere between two and three million people are still getting infected every year with a completely preventable disease that we are spending over a billion dollars a year on. That's a scandal that no amount of report-writing has been able to change.”