HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for November, 2009

World AIDS Day: How about a look back?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/30

The conference, Rethinking AIDS 2009, was a treat in many ways, some of which I described in “The Family of Rethinking AIDS”. A special pleasure for me was to meet in person people I had respected for quite some time, indeed admired for their work and their integrity. I learned something new from the substance of many of the presentations, and perhaps even more from conversations.

I continue often to be abashed at how little I know about the early days of AIDS, and especially that so many incisive insights and explanations were published long ago that have seemed to me like fresh revelations. The difficulty is that AIDS Rethinking doesn’t have the organized indexes and abstracts and review articles and textbooks that established disciplines do. Tony Lance illustrated that in his talk when he mentioned that after he had recognized intestinal dysbiosis as a central explanation for much in the early days of AIDS, he found that Koliadin had made similar suggestions on the old virusmyth website. Who could possibly have read, and even in that case who could possibly remember, all the material on that website, and in Continuum, and in the early newsletters, and in the dozens of Rethinking books, and in the hundreds of articles scattered over obscure periodicals and websites?

The difficulty is compounded by the lack of agreement among Rethinkers over all sorts of details. We are all of the opinion that HIV has never been shown to be the sole, necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS, but beyond that we differ widely; not only over substantive issues but also over how best to proceed in trying to bring regard for the facts into the public arena. In established disciplines, one can read authoritative overviews of manageable size; concerning HIV/AIDS Rethinking, without having read EVERYTHING one cannot be sure that something of importance has not been missed.

Amid these hindrances, it makes sense to look at where Rethinking has been, and we’re fortunate that John Lauritsen accepted the invitation to talk about that at RA2009. He has now posted his initial draft, which was far too long for the 25 minutes he was allotted at the conference, and he invites comments and suggestions for additions or corrections. I enjoyed his talk immensely, and gained even more from reading his longer discussion of  “The History of the Controversy”.

 

 

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Other things being equal . . . .

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/21

“Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change” (New York Times, 20 November 2009; “Hacked e-mail is new fodder for climate dispute”, by Andrew C. Revkin).

Mutatis mutandis, the same story could be written about HIV/AIDS:

“The e-mail messages, attributed to prominent American and British climate HIV/AIDS researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views. . . . In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical ‘trick’ (and a computer model) in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend increase in HIV/AIDS. In another, a scientist refers to climate HIV/AIDS skeptics as “idiots.” . . .
Some of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics’ camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them. The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming HIV as cause of AIDS is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument. However, the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists. In several e-mail exchanges, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, (any of Fauci, Gallo, etc.) and other scientists discuss gaps in understanding of recent variations in temperature failures of vaccine trails, increasing death rate from side effects of HAART, and no sign of heterosexual HIV/AIDS epidemics outside Africa. Skeptic Web sites pointed out one line in particular: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming findings that viral load, CD4 counts, and clinical progression are not correlated with one another . . . and it is a travesty that we can’t,”  . . . . The revelations are bound to inflame the public debate . . . .
Dr. Trenberth (you choose) said Friday that he was appalled at the release of the e-mail messages. But he added that he thought the revelations might backfire against climate HIV/AIDS skeptics. He said that he thought that the messages showed “the integrity of scientists.” Still, some of the comments might lend themselves to being interpreted as sinister. In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate HIV/AIDS patterns over the last two millenniums, Phil Jones (you choose), a longtime climate HIV/AIDS researcher . . . said he had used a ‘trick’ . . . to ‘hide the decline’ in temperatures HIV and AIDS numbers. . . . Dr. Mann (you choose) . . . said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often used the word ‘trick’ to refer to a good way to solve a problem, ‘and not something secret.’ . . . .
But several scientists whose names appear in the e-mail messages said they merely revealed that scientists were human, and did nothing to undercut the body of HIV/AIDS research on global warming.”
[Yes, it does. Since humans can make mistakes, and since scientists are now acknowledged to be human, therefore scientists can make mistakes and claims made by scientists may be wrong — especially when they have conspired for a decade or two or three to suppress data that contradicts the theory they have been peddling.]

“At first, said Dr. Michaels, the climatologist who has faulted some of the science of the global warming consensus, his instinct was to ignore the correspondence as ‘just the way scientists talk.’
But . . . after reading more deeply, he felt that some exchanges reflected an effort to block the release of data for independent review. He said some messages mused about discrediting him by challenging the veracity of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin by claiming he knew his research was wrong. ‘This shows these are people (John P. Moore, Mark Wainberg, et al.) willing to bend rules and go after other people’s reputations in very serious ways,’ he said.”

“Spencer R. Weart, a physicist and historian who is charting the course of research on global warming, said the hacked material would serve as ‘great material for historians.’”
So will the files of Peter Duesberg, John Lauritsen, Neville Hodgkinson, Joan Shenton, Gordon Stewart, and the many other courageous fighters for the integrity of HIV/AIDS research.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers, Legal aspects, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , | 25 Comments »

RA2009 PowerPoint presentations posted

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/17

Many of the talks presented at the conference are now available as PowerPoints at the conference website.

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Family of Rethinking AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/15

[Here’s a pdf of this post]

 

RA2009, the conference held by Rethinking AIDS (RA) in Oakland, 6-8 November, was an extraordinary success in every possible way. It exceeded wildly any reasonable expectations.

That’s not just my opinion. The RA Board meeting on Sunday evening, the later get-together for speakers at the Duesberg’s, various “au revoir”s on Sunday, all assured me that my own feelings were fully shared by many others. In the last few days, e-mails and Facebook threads and the like have further underscored how many of us remain incredulous over the blessing of having participated in this unforgettable bit of human history. RA2009 was a success not just from a scientific or intellectual point of view but also in its demonstration of deeply shared commitment and in the exhilaration felt at such unstinted commonality of purpose among so large a contingent of people representing the full spectrum of humankind.

We will be digesting the experience for a long time to come, but one insight came to me already on the Monday morning after the meeting. As I woke up, my mind was buzzing “The Family of Man!” Subconsciously while asleep, I had evidently encapsulated, this extraordinary occasion by a reminder of the book of photographs titled “The Family of Man” which had brought enthusiastic encomiums 50 years ago for its stunning photographs of people of all ages from around the world, portraying the universality of human experience that underlies superficial differences.
(I’ve been unable so far to lay my hands on the copy of the book that’s somewhere on my disorganized shelves, so I refreshed my memory from a copy  in the university library. Though the book had been published more than half a century ago, there are still 4 or 5 copies of it in the open library stacks, not in the remote storage area used for material that’s rarely accessed; and a couple of those copies are currently out on loan. The book’s sales have been in the millions. It had its source in a photographic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art arranged by Edward Steichen in 1955, of more than 500 pictures by more than 250 photographers from dozens of countries.)

At any rate, RA2009 achieved what Steichen’s exhibition of the Family of Man had aimed for. People of all ages and backgrounds mingled and shared civilly — more than that, empathetically, in passionately demonstrated mutual good will. I’ve never before seen so many tears of empathy shed so freely and appropriately. I startle easily from sound or touch, yet while I was listening intently to a talk, when a hand suddenly descended on my shoulder, it didn’t startle, it somehow conveyed companionable reassurance. I’ve never before experienced an occasion where intellect, emotion, and spirit were so much in harmony.

Registered for the conference had been in total about 150 people from every inhabited continent. In age we ranged to my knowledge from 19 to 77, and there may well have been some outside that range. Personalities ranged from shy and retiring to effusively outgoing, from deadpan to demonstrative. Appearances ranged from old-fashioned coat-and-tie conservatism to every type of contemporary exuberance including cosmetic adornments, from stunning examples of elegant Italian style to illustrations of Hollywood grunge and sloppiness. Skin colors ranged over the spectrum. There were traditional families present and there were gay people, some announcing that preference in obvious ways and others not. There were people revealing in private or in public their “HIV-positive” status, and there were physicians who attend without discrimination equally to “HIV-positive” individuals as to others — with the vital exception that they have a special understanding, an empathy, and an awareness of when to use and when not to resort to antiretroviral medication. There were people who have suffered in dreadful, tangible ways from being “HIV-positive” (and not only because of physical iatrogenic damage), and there were friends and relatives of people who have so suffered; and there were others again, like me, who came to Rethinking for intellectual, abstract reasons and came to understand and feel only later the human aspect, the personal impact of the colossal human tragedies that HIV/AIDS theory has brought. There were writers and scientists and students and people from all sorts of work experience. There were several shades of “libertarians” and of “conservatives” and of “liberals”. There could not be a more convincing demonstration that the endless diversity among human beings need be no barrier to productive commitment to a shared purpose.

I had previously met in person only two of those present, but I had exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and written material with several dozen whom I had come to regard as valued colleagues. After just a few minutes or a few words face to face, e-mail acquaintances have become firm personal friends — something that others too experienced, as remarked in e-mails, on blogs, and elsewhere in recent days. We discovered ourselves to be members of a very large and very close-knit FAMILY.

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Much about the program bears discussion, and the proceedings will be disseminated and analyzed and critiqued in a variety of venues and ways for quite some time. Here I want to make just a few observations.

The most powerful presentations, by common agreement, were those by individuals who have most directly experienced horrors stemming from HIV/AIDS madness. The Nagel family, featured in the film House of Numbers, were at the conference throughout and made themselves available for comments and questions after the film’s showing; how can words capture the miracle of meeting Lindsey, now healthy and beautiful because her courageous parents had defied and evaded the AZT mafia? Celia Farber’s images-with-music in memory of Christine Maggiore brought a standing ovation. Karri Stokely and Tony Lance shared to the full their experiences — 11 years of devastating “side” effects of antiretrovirals for Karri, for Tony the isolation experienced by a gay Rethinker who lost to AZT some hundred friends and acquaintances. Karri and Tony honored us greatly by allowing us to learn from their lives, sharing details frankly in public that most people might hesitate to discuss even with their doctors or their priests.

All the formal and informal proceedings showed people at their sincere best: honest, open, trusting, uninhibited. No bullshit. I was struck by the contrast with the mainstreamers appearing in House of Numbers, who display the robotic hypocrisy of automata who emit only what they have been trained to emit in their designated social roles — nothing original, nothing from personal experience, everything abstracted from human reality by dishonest euphemisms like Kuritzkes’s comment that  “in retrospect the dose we started with, with AZT, was a dangerous and poorly tolerated dose.” What a way to talk about something that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and done untold permanent damage to God only knows how many more — which Kuritzkes surely knows at least subconsciously, for otherwise not even so evasive an admission would have come from him. “In retrospect”?! Many ignored voices were protesting the toxicity from the beginning and throughout.

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So RA2009 was a resounding success. No forethought or planning could have ensured that, but it also could not have happened had not the opportunity been created through splendid organizational groundwork by Siggi Duesberg, insightful first-rate program arrangements by David Rasnick, and necessary fundraising as well as instigation by David Crowe. Exemplifying the unplanned is what occurred at the banquet. Crowe had arranged for a few toasts; what could not have been foreseen was the stampede to the microphone by the many people who wanted to make explicit their gratitude for the occasion, their particular role in Rethinking, their own thoughts and feelings. I’ve been at many occasions where everyone has been positively urged to join in like this, usually to little or no effect; I’ve never seen so widespread and spontaneous a desire to share publicly.

It’s only natural that in recalling this occasion we will wonder just what made it so remarkable. Cynics might even suggest that it wasn’t really unique, just that those in attendance hadn’t much experience of similar get-togethers. For me personally, no such explanation could hold water. I’ve been to innumerable professional conferences on chemistry and history of science or science studies, where there has sometimes been excitement over specific items or topics, but nothing like the communal atmosphere and impact of RA2009. I’ve been to meetings where a single purpose was passionately shared — the wish to preserve academic standards and integrity — but we were always a noticeably homogeneous crowd of largely white, male, senior professors. I’ve participated in several other organizations of contrarian bent, for example several of the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences which brought together people of all stripes and disciplines and beliefs from all over the world, but the actual proceedings were in small groups and little different from academic seminars; enjoyable as interdisciplinary discussions freed from the blinders of the traditional fields of knowledge but no more than that. The Society for Scientific Exploration was established precisely to enable disciplined discussion of matters ignored or shunned by the mainstream disciplines, and its meetings have some of the characteristics that RA2009 displayed — wide range of intellectual backgrounds, joint experience of struggling against mainstream dogma, the making of friends through shared endeavor — but, again, not the extraordinary symbiosis of intellect, emotion, spirit, and very specific common purpose evident at RA2009. In the proper meaning of that much-misused word, RA2009 was UNIQUE in a very meaningful way.

We come away from RA2009 with renewed determination, as well as with a number of new ideas and plans for constructive action (plans for actions DEstructive of HIV/AIDS theory and practice). I found myself wondering what might have happened if some mainstreamers had been in attendance; surely their baseless and mistaken beliefs would have become somewhat unsettled, at the very least subconsciously.

I am by nature less than an optimist, and my instinctive reaction to optimistic plans and forecasts is “Yes, well, maybe, … BUT ….”. Nevertheless, RA2009 convinces me that we cannot be stopped, and that we will not be stopped.

Yes, we can.

Yes, we will.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Circumcision and condom idiocies

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/10

When children are taught to use calculators, the importance is well recognized of teaching them to THINK about what the result should be, by doing a rough mental or manual calculation, so that they don’t accept a silly order of magnitude through mistaking an exponential or use a stupid number of decimal places as “significant figures”. So too, people who use statistical analyses of possible correlations should THINK about the implied meaning of suspected associations. That could hardly have been the case with those who wrote

“The protective effect of MC [male circumcision] on HIV infection was unchanged when controlling for sexual behaviour, including condom use” [Auvert et al., “Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: The ANRS 1265 trial”, PLoS Medicine 2(11) (2005) e298].

THINK about it, please. Circumcision supposedly protects against “HIV” whether or not the male is wearing a condom?!  How could that possibly be?
The claimed protective effect of circumcision can only have something to do with the foreskin. Indeed, it is hypothesized to result from the high density of “HIV”-susceptible cells in the foreskin or from the foreskin’s greater tendency to tear during intercourse. But condoms prevent contact of the foreskin with anything except the condom. How could the foreskin be relevant when condoms are used?

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Those 3 flawed clinical trials of circumcision against “HIV”, with results at best inconclusive and at worst unbelievable, have nevertheless formed the basis for projections, under the auspices of UNAIDS, of how many “HIV infections” could be prevented, and at what minimal cost. Those projections are based, as usual, on elaborate models incorporating innumerable assumptions as well as unwarranted reliance on the clinical studies whose faults are legion.

*********************

Everyone knows, of course, that condom use decreases the risk of contracting “HIV”. But, as so often with HIV/AIDS shibboleths, the facts don’t bear that out [for example, Condoms and HIV: What everyone knows is once again wrong, 10 February 2008; HIV and sexually transmitted disease: it just isn’t so, 28 November 2007].

For instance, during a clinical trial of the influence of pregnancy in which the actual incidence of “HIV” was being observed in real time, the rate of becoming “HIV-positive” was greater among those using condoms than among those not using them, in all 3 studied cohorts [as I noted already in Spontaneous generation of “HIV”, 25 October 2009]:

CondomsPregnantGray

At what straws might the investigators grasp to explain this away?
“HIV incidence rates were lower in non-condom users than condom users, but interpretation was constrained by small sample sizes in the pregnant and breastfeeding groups, and by the fact that female condom use in this population is strongly correlated with multiple sexual partners.”

So condoms don’t protect you if you have multiple partners, and not using them protects you if you don’t have multiple partners. By all means, sign me up for the next time a Brooklyn Bridge goes on sale.

As to sample sizes:
Those never using condoms irregularly or always totaled 2763, of whom 49 became “HIV-positive”, a rate of 1.77%. Those not using condoms totaled 25,440, of whom only 289 became “HIV-positive”, a rate of 1.14%.
It’s not immediately obvious why the samples 49/2473 and 289/25,440 are too small to permit significance whereas 23/997 (pregnant women becoming “HIV-positive”), 40/3,043 (lactating women becoming “HIV-positive”), and 275/24,161 (women neither pregnant nor lactating becoming “HIV-positive”) were sufficiently large to establish that pregnancy is significantly associated with becoming “HIV-positive”, as the study concluded.

I suppose it’s really that when the facts don’t jibe with HIV/AIDS theory, the facts must be wrong, and if the only conceivable reasons are small sample sizes and an association between condom use and multiple partners, so be it, that’s the best explanations there are, and there’s no need to worry about their plausibility because the theory is right and the facts are therefore wrong.

The conclusion that pregnancy is significantly associated with becoming “HIV-positive” is in itself mind-boggling. The researchers “explain” it by postulating hormonal and other physiological changes in pregnancy that enhance the virus’s infective powers! Because, of course, they must not admit that “HIV+” might be a direct consequence of pregnancy, the so-called “HIV” test actually reacting directly to precisely something associated with those physiological changes. That’s why pregnant women everywhere, always, test “HIV+” more often than non-pregnant women.

Laugh, cry, or summon up pity for those caught in this “research” mess, who have to swallow absurdities in ever-increasing amounts in order to maintain their belief in HIV/AIDS theory.

Posted in clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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