For the past decade or so, my research has focused on assessing racial differences in brain size and intelligence, sexual habits and fertility, personality and temperament, and speed of maturation and longevity. Startling and alarming to main people is my conclusion that if all people were treated the same, most racial differences would not disappear. I have found that Asians and Africans consistently average at opposite ends of a continuum ranging over 60 anatomical and social variables, with Europeans intermediate. Based on my studies, I have proposed a gene-based evolutionary theory of racial patterns.

The political fallout from my work has been intense. After my findings became public at the 1989 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the premier of Ontario called for my dismissal. The Ontario Attorney General’s office launched a six-month investigation of whether I had contravened “hate laws.” I was excoriated in the media, and disruptions at the university culminated in my being forced by the administration to teach classes by videotape. (Of course, it could be worse. In many countries, people are jailed or executed for voicing unacceptable scholarly opinions.)

All the above is by way of introduction to the most recent statistics I have compiled on race and AIDS. (Some of the most ferocious attacks on me have come as a result of mv studies of race differences in sexual behavior.) In 1989, I published a paper in Society Science and Medicine examining the worldwide distribution of 100,410 eases of AIDS that had been reported as of July 1, 1988, to the World Health Organization. By April 1, 1990, that figure had grown to 27,110, showing an 18-month doubling time and a crystallization of the racial pattern of the pandemic. Subsequent calculations published by me m the 1990 issue of Social Science and Medicine showed that black Caribbean countries had as high an incidence of AIDS as did African countries. When the figures were calculated on a per capita basis, the three most affected countries in the world were in the Caribbean—Bermuda, the Bahamas, and French Guiana.

The fast rate of increase continues (currently 20 percent a year) and, as of January 3, 1995, World Health Organization figures showed that over one million adult cases had been reported from 192 countries since the onset of the pandemic. Allowing for under-diagnosis and incomplete reporting, the true figure is estimated to be over 4.5 million, and nearly 20 million people are estimated to have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the disease.

While modes of transmission are universally the same—through sex or blood or from mother to fetus—it is clear that HIV has spread disproportionately among racial groups. Because of political sensitivities, many deny that AIDS originated in Africa, and African and Caribbean countries report only a fraction of their actual number of AIDS cases. But countries with large numbers of people of African ancestry have a disproportionate AIDS problem. In some urban areas of Africa, well over one in four adults are infected.

In African and Caribbean countries, the AIDS virus is transmitted predominantly through heterosexual intercourse. The age and sex distributions of HIV infection rates are similar to those of other sexually transmitted diseases, with higher prevalence among younger sexually active women. At the other extreme, it is a characteristic feature of AIDS in China and Japan that most sufferers are hemophiliacs. An intermediate amount of HIV infection is apparent in Europe and the Americas, where it has occurred predominantly among homosexual men.

Specifically, I computed the number of cases per 100,000 people to give an indication of the relative seriousness of the epidemic between countries with different population sizes. On this measure, Canada has a rate of 38 eases per 100,000 people, making it the 39th most infected country in the world. Of the other leading countries, 22 are in Africa, 11 are in the Caribbean, four are in Europe, and the other is the United States. None are in Asia. The 2,000-mile swathe of infected Caribbean countries from Bermuda in the Atlantic through the Bahamas off the coast of Florida to French Guiana in South America is especially striking and has rarely (if ever) been explained.

I have also examined the most recent figures from the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Vol. 6, No. 2). Data as of January 1, 1995, confirm that blacks are overrepresented in every exposure category. The nearly 30 million blacks in the United States, with a cumulative total of 146,283 eases, have a rate of 488 cases per 100,000 population (one out of every 205 black people). This rate is equivalent to that of the black populations of Africa and the Caribbean. Though only 12 percent of the population, blacks accounted for 33 percent of the AIDS figures. Black men accounted for 34 percent of all male cases, including 20 percent of the “Men Who Have Sex With Men” category; black women accounted for 55 percent of female cases; and black children accounted for 56 percent of all pediatric eases. Whites and Asians in the United States have rates of 107 and 41 per 100,000 people, somewhat higher than, but proportionately comparable to, their counterparts in Europe and the Pacific.

One suggestion often made is that blacks in the United States have such a high prevalence of AIDS because of intravenous drug use. Among black men, 36 to 43 percent did acquire the disease in this way, but between 50 and 57 percent acquired it through sexual transmission, eight percent heterosexually (compared to one percent of whites). Of all 24,358 adult cases transmitted heterosexually (seven percent of the total), 14,143 (or 58 percent) invoked blacks, with another 20 percent being Hispanic. Hispanics, of course, are a linguistic group; racially a proportion is black or partly black, especially in New York and Puerto Rico. Overall, since my 1989 publication, the proportion of blacks in U.S. AIDS figures increased from 26 to 31 percent, Hispanics increased from 14 to 17 percent, Asians and Amerindians combined held at less than one percent, and whites decreased from 59 to 51 percent.

In my book Race, Evolution, and Behavior, I documented numerous surveys carried out around the world showing racial differences in frequency of sexual intercourse. The results show that both before and after marriage, people of African ancestry are more sexually active than Europeans, who are more sexually active than Asians. Concomitant racial differences are found in sexual attitudes, with Asian groups being least permissive and African groups most permissive, and European groups in between. Typically, black samples are found to have had intercourse earlier, with a greater number of casual partners and with a more positive attitude to sexual display than either white or Asian samples. I suggest that these differences in sexual behavior are the cause of racial differences in the prevalence of AIDS.