HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Archive for November, 2007

HIV/AIDS: NUMBERS THAT DON’T ADD UP

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/29

UNAIDS recently decreased by more than 6 million its estimate of the number of HIV-infected people, putting it now at 33 million as against last year’s 39+ million. The estimated number of new infections was also lowered by 40%. (For useful commentary, see Science Guardian of November 20th.)

Media coverage failed to report clearly that the revision was only of statistically calculated estimates, not of the actual situation those numbers pretend to describe. Thus an editorial on November 25 in the Arizona Republic had the heading, “Turning the corner on HIV is inspiration to keep going”, and the optimistic comment that “The United Nations has revised its HIV estimates downward, correcting statistical flaws that, frankly, should have been addressed earlier. But that shouldn’t obscure the good news: a significant drop in new infections in recent years, especially in hard-hit sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have actually turned the corner. Now is the critical time to keep resources flowing, when it’s clear that prevention and treatment are paying off.”

But there had been no good news, just the bad news–for those who didn’t already know it–that UNAIDS’s numbers are not worthy of attention, let alone belief. In this latest revision, for example, the recalculated infection rate in sub-Saharan Africa for 2001 is given as 5.0% (4.6-5.5); in the 2004 version, the rate for 2001 had been given as 7.6% (7.0-8.5). Naïve consumers of numbers may imagine that when experts state a range like 7.0-8.5, that asserts with great confidence that the true value lies between those bounds. Yet three short years later, we are asked to have great confidence in a considerably lower range, 4.6-5.5, that doesn’t even overlap the earlier one. That should inspire great confidence in this conclusion: these experts do not know what they are doing.

There is no obvious reason to lend any credence to the latest numbers, and sound reason not to. Detailed descriptions of the technicalities of the computer models can make the head spin, but it takes no expertise to recognize that the estimates are an affront to plain common sense. The ranges of uncertainty attached to UNAIDS’s estimates are clearly nonsensical. Furthermore, UNAIDS estimates for the United States differ greatly from the data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

* * * * * *

Computer models are used to project estimates, to make extrapolations beyond actual counts, because so few actual counts are at hand. One would expect the estimates to be most reliable for those regions where reporting of actual counts is most reliable: first because the computer models should be tested against actual counts, and second because every estimate has to use some actual counts as a baseline or starting point for any calculation. Yet UNAIDS and the World Health Organization publish estimates that are said to be better for Africa than for North America! Here, for instance, for people “living with HIV” in 2004:

Sub-Saharan Africa                       23.4–28.4 million (25.9* ± 10%)
Western & Central Europe              0.48–0.76 million (0.62* ± 20%)
North America                                 0.54–1.6 million (1.07* ± 50%)

(* For convenience, the midpoints of the ranges and a single ± percentage are given here instead of the “most probable” values in the cited publication, so that a single number can describe the range of uncertainty instead of different percentages + and – respectively; cited from “The Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise: Scientific Strategic Plan”, PLoS Medicine, February 2005, e25, based on data from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization).

How strange that the most accurate estimates, to just ±10%, are for sub-Saharan Africa, where reporting is acknowledged to be far from perfect; while in North America, where reporting is most highly organized and has been done for the longest period of time, the estimates are no better than ±50%.

I had written this a little while ago. The supposedly improved estimates in the “AIDS epidemic update” of December 2007 are, if anything, even less credible. For sub-Saharan Africa the estimated range of uncertainty is now even less, at 7.5%, while for North America the range of uncertainty is now even greater, at 60%!

Similarly incredible are the estimates of new infections (again for 2004):
Sub-Saharan Africa                              2.7–3.8 million (3.25 ± 17%)
Western & Central Europe                 14,000–38,000 (26,000 ± 45%)
North America                                 16,000–120,000 (68,000 ± 75%)

In school we were taught that, having completed a calculation, we should stand back and ask ourselves whether the result made sense–in case we had misplaced a decimal point, say. That advice seems not to have been taken by the experts at UNAIDS and WHO. These numbers are outrageous affronts to common sense. They sap any confidence one might otherwise still have that the people responsible for these estimates understand what they are doing. The media are culpable as well, for disseminating these numbers, typically reporting the “best estimates” without the enormous ranges of uncertainty, apparently oblivious to the clear evidence that these numbers should not be taken seriously.

It is even more ludicrous when it comes to deaths from AIDS (again, for 2004):

Sub-Saharan Africa              2.1–2.6 million (range is ± 11%)
North America                       8,400–25,000 (range is ± 50%)

We are asked to believe that in the United States deaths from a reportable disease are known to no better than ± 50%, whereas for sub-Saharan Africa, where governance, administration, and infrastructure leave much to be desired, the numbers are known to within ± 11%!

Yet it gets even worse. CDC’s Surveillance Report for 2005 gives the number of AIDS deaths in the USA in 2004 as 17,453–accurate to a single death! Since the UNAIDS/WHO estimate of 8,400–25,000 is for North America, not just the United States, deaths in Mexico and Canada were apparently as few as NEGATIVE 9,053 [8,400-17,453] or as many as 7,547 [25,000-17,453].

For what’s wrong with many other aspects of officially disseminated HIV/AIDS numbers see, for instance, in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory:
Estimates much higher than actual counts, p. 224;
Unexplained retroactive reduction by CDC of actually reported AIDS deaths, p. 221;
Number of HIV-positive Americans unchanged for two decades
during a supposedly spreading epidemic, pp. 1-2;
Poor performance of the computer models used by CDC, p. 223;
CDC increasingly disseminating estimates rather than actual counts, pp. 221-2;
Poor performance of the computer models used by UNAIDS/WHO, pp. 135-6 & 204-9;
—and these are far from the only instances.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers, uncritical media | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

HIV AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: IT JUST ISN’T SO

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/28

Everyone knows that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and that the chances of contracting it are much greater if you have another STD, like gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia.

Everyone knows those things even though the facts contradict them.

An Australian correspondent alerted me to this recent and typical story (by Tory Shepherd, Health Reporter, November 28, 2007 (http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,22832996-5006301,00.htm):

“A surge in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases has hit South Australia. . . . chlamydia infections have trebled to more than 3000 a year in the past decade, while gonorrhea infections have increased from about 190 to about 500. The number of HIV/AIDS infections has fluctuated, from 46 HIV and 39 AIDS infections in 1996 to 23 HIV and five AIDS in 2000, then up to 61 HIV and 14 AIDS cases in 2006. . . . the increase in other STDs could herald a rise in HIV/AIDS infections, as it showed safe sex messages were being ignored. ‘If these trends continue, an increase in HIV infections can be predicted to follow,’ it said.
….
‘chlamydia is largely an infection of heterosexual adolescents and young adults while HIV remains largely associated with male-to-male sex, injecting drug use and heterosexual sex overseas,’ …. ‘Syphilis and gonorrhea in metropolitan Adelaide has also been predominantly associated with men who have sex with men, but recently a few heterosexual transmissions have occurred. A major concern for the future would be if these epidemics intersect with a rise in gonorrhea and syphilis among the heterosexual community, which could herald an increase in the heterosexual transmission of HIV.’”

The cited numbers and generalizations present these facts: In the quarter century of the claimed epidemic of HIV/AIDS, STDs in South Australia have gone up but HIV and AIDS have fluctuated at a much lower level: 50 times lower than chlamydia, 4 to 10 times lower than gonorrhea, and not increasing in tandem with them. Moreover HIV/AIDS has remained within the original risk groups and has not spread into the general population.

Yet the same story that presents these facts warns against what the experience of 25 years teaches will not happen.

That is typical of reporting and of official press releases about HIV/AIDS: dire warnings in the face of the facts. The primary medical-scientific literature, cited in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, demonstrates that

“HIV” is “transmitted” via unprotected sexual intercourse about 1 in 1000 times–whereas gonorrhea or syphilis are transmitted 200-800 times per 1000 acts (pp. 44-45 in the book).
The epidemiology of “HIV” is not like that of an STD (especially p. 31 ff, p. 44 ff. in the book).
Use of condoms has not been shown to decrease the “transmission” of “HIV” (pp. 44, 109 in the book).
Rates of STDs and of “HIV” have moved in opposite directions in South-East Asia (p. 109 in the book).

How could beliefs contrary to fact persist for a couple of decades? Parts II and III of the cited book suggest these answers:
1. Medicine and clinical science, like all of science, are liable to go wrong before they eventually go less wrong, if not necessarily quite right .
2. Initial reporting, speculating, and activism about AIDS sent things on a wrong track from which we have not yet recovered.

The idea that AIDS is sexually transmitted came about because the first cases were in clusters. Then the story of the airline steward, “Patient Zero”, seemed to confirm the idea because AIDS appeared within a few weeks or months of his visits around the country. However, now that the average lag between HIV infection and AIDS symptoms is estimated at about 10 years, those bits of evidence speak AGAINST sexual transmission and for a lifestyle explanation.

Another mistaken inference has to do with Africa. In the United States, AIDS in the early 1980s was virtually restricted to gay men and to drug abusers. When in Africa about equal numbers of men and women were said to have AIDS, this was trumpeted as showing that in Africa HIV was being spread via heterosexual intercourse. The basis for this inference is wrong: genuinely heterosexually transmitted diseases–chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis–do not strike men and women in equal numbers. The illnesses that do strike men and women equally are those transmitted though the air like flu, or via insects like malaria, or via the environment as with unsafe drinking water or malnutrition, say.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV transmission, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

HIV DOUBLETHINK

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/27

Doublethink is the act of simultaneously and fervently holding two mutually contradictory beliefs. It is an integral concept of George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four
——-cr. Wikipedia

What is the greatest tribulation for a continent ravaged by a deadly incurable virus spread sexually and from mother to child, where in many parts of that continent the infection rate is as high as 30%, occasionally even higher?

High birth rates, of course:

“’High birth rate soaring HIV spread, say experts’, Evelyn Lirri, The Monitor (Kampala), 10 November 2007 (http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200711100030.html, accessed 11 November 2007)

Uganda’s high population growth rate threatens to undermine efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic . . . . At a growth rate of 3.2 per cent, there is a greater risk of women giving birth to HIV/AIDS positive babies through mother-to-child transmission . . . . at least 110,000 children are living with AIDS in Uganda . . . . mother-to-child transmission is the second biggest mode of HIV/AIDS transmission in Uganda. . . . with Uganda’s high birth rate–one of the highest worldwide–chances of women giving birth to HIV/AIDS infected children is very high. . . . Every year, about one million babies are born to HIV positive mothers and out of these at least 25,000 get infected with the virus. . . . 7.9 per cent of women have HIV/AIDS”.

* * * * * *

Obviously:
1. Having HIV/AIDS doesn’t affect a woman’s capacity to carry and deliver children: nearly 8% of women have the disease, yet Uganda’s birth rate is among the highest in the world.
2. The rate of transmission of HIV from mother to child is only 2.5%.

But wait:
“It is estimated that about 15-30 per cent of babies born to HIV positive mothers will become infected during pregnancy and delivery and another five to 20 per cent will be infected through breastfeeding.”

So: it isn’t a mere 25,000 babies who get infected, it’s 150,000-300,000 during pregnancy and another 50,000-200,000 during nursing–200,000 to 500,000 per year from 1 million births: 20-50% of births.

Now, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a couple of decades old, so this has been going on for quite some time, and antiretroviral treatment has been quite inadequate. The present generation of child-bearing women stems from babies born near the beginning of the epidemic and since. In that time, 20-50% of those cohorts must have died of AIDS–and, indeed, few of all the infected babies born even in the last decades or so are still living; of 200,000 to 500,000 per year, times ten or twenty years, only about “110,000 children are living with AIDS in Uganda” (above).

For a decade or more, 20-50% of potentially childbearing women have been dying, leading to one of the world’s highest birth rates.

* * * * * *

Morals of this story:

Disease leads to high birth-rates, which further spreads disease.
When “experts say”, don’t believe a word of it.
HIV/AIDS numbers don’t add up.
Trust the media to disseminate absurdities with a straight face.
HIV/AIDS theory is impervious to contradictions.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV in children, HIV transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

HIV-POSITIVE CHILDREN, HIV-NEGATIVE MOTHERS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/25

Children not infected by their mothers, and not victims of pedophiles, could become HIV-positive only via infected needles or transfused blood, according to the orthodox view of HIV/AIDS. But a number of reported instances cannot plausibly be explained in this fashion. Instead, they support once again the interpretation of “HIV-positive” as a non-specific marker of physiological stress or challenged health.

* * * * * *

Gisselquist recently cited 42 instances of HIV-positive babies born to HIV-negative mother in South Africa (“Not investigating HIV riddles puts lives at risk”, Business Day (Johannesburg), 4 October 2007). He ascribes these infections to unhygienic medical procedures.

In Britain, 5 of 25 mothers of HIV-positive newborns had tested HIV-negative when entering antenatal care (Struik et al., Arch Dis Child., 12 September 2007 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 17855439). It was speculated that they must have become infected while they were pregnant.

No explanation was offered about the 4-month-old baby in India who was found to be HIV-positive while neither parent, nor the child’s older sibling, was HIV-positive (www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200611260312.htm, accessed 21 December 2007).

Allegations that children became infected with HIV in hospitals or orphanages as a result of unhygienic procedures have also been made in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Romania, and Russia. The Libyan case was widely reported because foreign medical personnel were charged with deliberately infecting children–400 of them in a single hospital (for much detail, see Wikipedia). In Kazakhstan, “at least 78 children have been infected with the HIV virus through the negligence of healthcare workers” (Joanna Lillis, “Government in Kazakhstan Addresses HIV-Infection Scandal” 10/25/06 ); later investigations reported that in 3 hospitals, more than 100 children had become infected in 2006 (cited by Gisselquist, see above). In Kyrgyzstan, “at least 26 people, mostly children, [were] infected in two local hospitals” (Daniel Sershen, “Kyrgyzstan: Officials Grapple with HIV Outbreak”, 10/30/07 ) and medical personnel were fired (“Four more toddlers infected with HIV in outbreak in Kyrgyzstan”, http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHtqc41vfE3uhmKP2XE2RGAemS2A, accessed 26 October 2007). (For further details regarding Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, see the Archives at www.eurasianet.org.)

Gisselquist (above) describes the following events in Romania and Russia. In Romania, one HIV-positive child of an HIV-negative mother led to further testing, whereupon 12 of 30 children in the same hospital were found to be HIV-positive; widespread testing then found, within a couple of years, 1300 infected–few of them with HIV-positive mothers–among the 12,000 tested. In Russia, it was believed that a single HIV-positive child had led within a couple of years to the infection of 260 children in the same hospital.

* * * * * *

The worldwide consensus over the Libyan affair exonerated the medical personnel from having deliberately infected those 400 children. But how likely is it that these hundreds were all infected accidentally? Could there be so much HIV around in the first place to contaminate the medical instruments? Could the failure to sterilize be really so pervasive? Could conditions have been similarly risky in the hospitals of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Romania, when the prevalence of HIV in those countries is so very low, at ≤0.1% (UNAIDS 2006)? Most of the HIV-positive people in those countries are injecting drug abusers; do hospital personnel perhaps use needles borrowed from drug addicts?

Bear in mind that, no matter what the official propaganda says, the official data make clear that it is extraordinarily difficult to transmit the “HIV-positive” condition via infected needles–see pp. 47-48 of The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory for citations of the peer-reviewed literature reporting, for example, that “HIV-positive” was 34% among injecting drug users (IDU) who did not share needles and only 19% among those who did; an independent study in Montreal found that clean needles were associated with a ten-fold increase in the odds of seroconverting to HIV-positive; there was no spread of HIV among IDU prisoners in Maryland during 2 years; medical personnel have not contracted HIV or AIDS through needle-stick accidents–the risk was estimated at about 0.3% (whereas for hepatitis the risk is > 10%) and only 57 possible instances had been reported by December 2001, when the count of AIDS cases stood near 800,000.

A large unknown is this: For how long can HIV particles remain infectious outside a living body? Long enough for hundreds of children to have been infected within a few short years? That seems extremely unlikely. But if not dirty needles , then what can explain these epidemics of HIV-positive children?

As already suggested, a ready explanation is that “HIV-positive” is the sign of physiological stress having nothing to do with infection by a human immunedeficiency virus. Strong evidence for this comes from the manner in which HIV-positive varies with age (for further details, see Tables 25-27 and associated text in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). The following schematic diagram, shown also in the post of 18 November,

agevariations.jpg

is based on a large number of individual reports. For ages below the teens, there are four sets of data from public testing sites across the USA (1995-98), one from hospital patients in New Jersey (1988), and one from healthy subjects in Africa (1984-86). Remarkably enough, all showed a similar decrease of the rate of HIV-positives after birth, a decline of about 3/4 in the first year or so. As reflected in the diagram, the rate among newborns was not far from the highest rates recorded at any age, and the lowest rate was in the early teens in all cases.

It seems inconceivable that rates of infection by some contagious agent would show such similar variations with age in such different groups of subjects. On the other hand, this is precisely what one would expect if HIV-positive is a marker of physiological stress. Newborns are immediately challenged to cope with circumstances less friendly than the womb–as noted in an earlier post, Nature has formulated mothers’ milk in a way that helps the infant ward off infections. Over the years, the child’s immune system adapts and the child becomes better able to ward off environmental insults and infections–so, signs of physiological stress become less evident, and the rate of “HIV-positive” declines.

The CDC’s data sets from public testing sites show separately the rates of HIV-positive for females and for males: the latter is greater, by 50% or more. That is again consistent with an explanation in terms of physiological stress, for the natural mortality of male children is higher than that of females. By contrast, it would not be so easy to conjure an explanation of why mothers transmit an infection to male babies 50% more often than to female babies.

Other evidence that HIV-positive marks physiological stress are cited at p. 85 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, for example: critically ill patients, particularly those in emergency rooms, had higher rates of HIV-positive than others, and unexpectedly high rates of HIV-positive were also found in autopsies.

Once it is accepted that “HIV-positive” is a marker of physiological stress, it becomes rather obvious why it is reported from hospitals in many countries that a significant number of children test HIV-positive even as their parents test negative: the reason is the same as the reason why they are in hospital in the first place, they are experiencing a challenge to health, some degree of physiological stress from any of a variety of possible sources. Surely this is a more plausible line of reasoning than one that has to envisage HIV-infected instruments in large-scale use in several countries, even those where the rate of HIV-positive in the general population is as low as 0.1%; or reasoning that has to envisage that, in Britain, 20% of HIV-positive newborns have that infection because their mothers practiced unsafe sex or drug-injecting even while they were pregnant.

These data about HIV-positive children of HIV-free parents confirms what one can learn from studies of HIV and breast-feeding and from the reports that married women in many places are at the greatest risk for becoming HIV-positive: “HIV-positive” does not signal infection by a deadly virus.

Data about AIDS as well as HIV-positives among children also throws direct doubt on the orthodox view that “HIV-positive” presages progression to AIDS. According to the CDC’s 2005 Surveillance Report, for every 137 adults “living with HIV” in 2005, there were 174.5 “living with AIDS”; among children below 13 years of age, for every 7.4 “living with HIV” there were 2.7 “living with AIDS”. That seems to indicate that the chances of a child progressing from HIV to AIDS is much less than the chance of an adult doing so: for every HIV-positive child, there is only one in three (2.7/7.4 = 0.36) with AIDS, whereas for every HIV-positive adult, there is more than one with AIDS, 137/174.5 = 1.27. Is it conceivable, does it make sense, that children could be 3½ times (1.27/0.36) better able to resist progression to disease than adults?

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV transmission, HIV varies with age, M/F ratios | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HIV NONSENSE: TODAY AND EVERY DAY

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/22

One impetus for this blog was that I had set a Google Alert for “HIV” to keep up with new developments. Often this turned up stories that make no sense in terms of HIV/AIDS theory and which afford the opportunity to point that out. Instead, these reports can be understood readily once it is recognized that:

(1) HIV-positive does not mean infection by a virus. HIV–infectious particles, viruses–have never been isolated directly from an HIV-positive person or an AIDS patient.
(2) “HIV-positive” is just a sign that the immune system has been aroused in some fashion for any of some large number of reasons.

So, from today’s Google Alert:
Treatment of herpes lowers HIV in men:
“Treating herpes simplex virus type 2 appears to reduce HIV-1 plasma levels by more than 50% in men infected with both viruses”
WOW! What a mystery calling for further sophisticated research! The drug that treats herpes has no direct effect on HIV, yet when herpes is present as well as HIV, it eliminates some of the HIV! Maybe this offers a way of treating HIV/AIDS? Infect HIV-positive people with herpes, and then treat the herpes?
NONSENSE. “HIV-1 plasma levels” were not measured, that would mean measuring the amount of virus particles. Bits of RNA assumed to come from HIV were amplified by PCR and the amplified amount was taken to mean something about the amount of “HIV” supposedly present originally–even though the inventor of PCR, Kary Mullis, has pointed out that the technique cannot be used in this way. Moreover, those bits of RNA have never been proven to come from and only from HIV. Sheer nonsense.

(Zuckerman et al., “Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Suppression with Valacyclovir Reduces Rectal and Blood Plasma HIV-1 Levels in HIV-1/HSV-2-Seropositive Men” Journal of Infectious Disease 2007; 196: 1500-08)

Also today:
Russian health chief disputes UN’s HIV numbers
“The head of Russia’s health services [Gennady Onishchenko] on Wednesday accused the UN’s AIDS agency of publishing ‘incorrect’ statistics on the number of HIV infections in the country.

UNAIDS said in its 2007 report on Wednesday that Russia accounts for 66 percent of all new infections in the former Soviet Union… The total number of people living with HIV in the former Soviet Union has climbed to 1.6 million…
Onishchenko said some 403,000 HIV infections had been detected in Russia since the appearance of the virus in the former Soviet Union in 1987. Those still living number 314,000, he said.”

UNAIDS gets its numbers from computer models which incorporate any number of assumptions, for example, about under-reporting, about the type of epidemic in the country, and about much else; for details of those models and their failings, see Sexually Transmitted Infections 80 (2004, supplement 1); for a discussion that includes failings of the modeling used by the CDC, see “Guesstimates–getting the desired numbers”, pp. 203-10 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. But no matter how good or bad the models are, they must incorporate actual data in some fashion. Those data can only come from the region to which the model is to be applied. So UNAIDS takes reports from Russia, augments them with its own assumptions, and then UNAIDS tells the reporting country that they have 5 times as many HIV-positive people as they had actually counted.

Those bits of nonsense have to do with details. But some bits of nonsense pervade the whole apparatus of HIV/AIDS theory and practice, as illustrated by another of today’s Google Alerts:

HK group rolls out campaign to fight HIV stigma
“HONG KONG (Reuters) – Four Hong Kong celebrities and a politician threw their weight behind a campaign aimed at stamping out prejudice against people living with HIV/AIDS by asking: If I were HIV positive, would you still love me?
….
While HIV/AIDS is widely discussed in many Western countries, it is still an invisible blight in many places in Asia, where ignorance, fear and prejudice about the disease abounds.
….
‘Many of us are ignorant about the disease and some think they can be infected through shaking hands or having a meal together with a sufferer’”.

HIV cannot be transferred by casual contact, goes the dogma. The prime means, the way most people become infected, is through unsafe sex with an HIV-positive person, or by sharing an infected needle for the purpose of injecting illegal drugs. Why should that sort of behavior not be associated with social disapproval, that is, stigma? We say to our children, about drugs, “Just say NO!” More than half a century ago, long before HIV/AIDS, we were taught as children and young adults to be responsible and careful when engaging in sex with casual acquaintances, lest we contract gonorrhea, syphilis, or other venereal diseases. Why should there be no social stigma attached to irresponsible behavior?

Why should there not be “fear . . . about the disease”, when we have been bombarded for decades with propaganda to the effect that it is invariably fatal? Even if death can be staved off with treatments that restrict one’s activities, have debilitating side-effects, decrease greatly one’s quality of life?

I suspect that the present oxymoronic situation has its origin in the early days of AIDS, when that was taken as synonymous with gay. The attempt to avoid homophobia morphed into insisting that no stigma should be attached to having AIDS. The question was not explicitly argued out in the public arena, of how responsible–in both senses of the word–one might be if one indulged in the type of behavior that seems to carry the pertinent risk. People who tried to raise that question, for instance gay activists like Michael Callen and Larry Kramer, were excoriated by much of the gay media for advocating sensible behavior.

Be that as it may, nowadays the official line is oxymoron:
A: One becomes HIV-positive only through carelessly injecting illegal drugs with dirty needles or through unsafe sex with high-risk individuals who might well be HIV-positive.
BUT ALSO
B: Everyone is at risk and no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive.

Well, of course no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive, because one can become HIV-positive for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with irresponsible behavior: getting a flu vaccination or being ill from any one of many ailments (http://virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm). But if HIV-positive were synonymous with drug abuse or carelessly promiscuous sex, why should there not be stigma attached?

Another HIV/AIDS oxymoron has to do specifically with injecting illegal drugs. One arm of many governments fights against the importing, selling, and using of heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and other “recreational” drugs, for the excellent reason that addicts become ill and may die from the effects of the drugs. At the same time, however, another arm of officialdom in various places seeks to institute, or actually has instituted, programs to hand out clean fresh needles so that the addicts can enjoy the ill-health benefits of the drugs rather than incur the risk of contracting HIV. Here the HIV/AIDS establishment behaves as though it were not known that drug abuse carries serious consequences for health, mental health as well as physical health.

There is only one way to get rid of this nonsense, and the vast amount of human suffering that this nonsense brings with it: It has to be acknowledged that “HIV” doesn’t cause AIDS and that, moreover, “HIV” isn’t an infectious agent (even though it can sometimes be a marker of an infection as little worrisome as flu or as worrisome as tuberculosis).

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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