HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for December, 2009

Remembering Christine Maggiore

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/28

At RA2009, the Rethinking AIDS conference in Oakland in November, there was shown  a short film-and-music remembrance of Christine Maggiore, produced by Celia Farber. The film can now be viewed by everyone, at http://forum.thetruthbarrier.com/, and Celia’s introduction to the film can also be read there.

Christine was so central a figure in the good fight. I had known her only via e-mail, and had admired her work long before even that, and had always planned to meet her in person. I left that too late, but I was very appreciative that I could at least get these glimpses of her in Celia’s film. I suspect many others beside me will feel that way.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Not with a bang but a whimper

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/27

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

That’s the conclusion of one of T. S. Eliot’s best known poems, “The Hollow Men”, which begins,

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together

End and beginning seem very appropriate respectively to HIV/AIDS theory and to its creators. Those creators and their camp followers lean together, excluding any evidence that doesn’t fit their theory; they are empty of any wider perspective than their little bailiwick, and their failure to respond to substantive criticism makes all their statements hollow; and they are certainly stuffed: with self-importance and with dollars from drug companies and research agencies.

There’s been much speculation over the years as to when and how this house-of-cards theory will implode: Will it be with a bang when a Congressional Committee asks what we’re getting for $20 billion a year? Or why HIV tests are used to diagnose HIV infection despite the fact that  those tests are not able to do so and are not officially approved to do so? Or why a greater number of serious adverse non-AIDS events than “AIDS” events strike and kill people who are given the benefit of “life-saving” antiretroviral drugs?
Or will it end with a whimper, as HIV/AIDS fades even further into public indifference? — as it already has begun to do in the developed world, where not many besides grant-receiving researchers and politicians take it seriously.

Presaging a whimpery implosion may be this recent piece in the British Independent newspaper:

“Aids: the pandemic is officially in decline . . . . UN and World Health Organisation hail steep fall in number of new HIV infections” (2009/11/25, by Health Editor Jeremy Laurance)

The failure of the media to trumpet this article’s obvious implications is of a piece with the media’s failure to ask how HIV/AIDS theory could be compatible with a 25-90% “HIV infection” rate in African armies (South Africa needs Donald Rumsfeld, 15 December 2009):

“The HIV pandemic which started 28 years ago is officially in decline . . . . The number of new HIV infections peaked in the mid-1990s and has since declined by almost a third, according to the annual update on the pandemic for 2009, published yesterday by the Joint United Nations programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) and the World Health Organisation.
It is the first time that UNAids and the WHO have confirmed that the pandemic is on a downward trend and represents a landmark in the history of the disease. In their 2008 report, they said suggestions the epidemic had peaked were ‘speculation’ and that it was ‘difficult to predict the epidemic’s future course’” [emphasis added].
The number of new infections peaked about 13 years ago, yet by last year the official gurus had not yet admitted it?! That certainly inspires confidence in anything that those official gurus have to say on the subject.

“‘The latest epidemiological data indicate that globally the spread of HIV appears to have peaked in 1996 when 3.5 million new infections occurred. In 2008 the estimated number of new HIV infections was approximately 30 per cent lower than at the epidemic’s peak 12 years earlier.’”
OK, in 2008 there were 30% fewer than in 1996. How many fewer than in 1996 were there in 2007? Was the difference not statistically significant, so that the gurus did not need to admit it? In which case the drop would have had to be nearly 30% in the single year from 2007 to 2008; the likelihood of that is easily equal to that of all the other extreme absurdities that HIV/AIDS aficionados seem able to swallow without even a grain of salt. Why were the gurus still calling it “speculation” a year ago, that the pandemic had peaked a dozen years earlier? Is a dozen years the latent period required to overcome cognitive dissonance on the part of HIV/AIDS believers?

“in sub-Saharan Africa — the worst-affected region — new infections in 2008 were ‘approximately 25 per cent lower than at the epidemic’s peak in the region in 1995’.”
In the meantime, since 1995, the population had grown appreciably and the supply of antiretroviral drugs has been far below what was needed to decrease the infection rate, according to the (ir)responsible officials. What on Earth can then explain this decline in heterosexual transmission of a sexual infection in a region where 20-40% of the adult population is used to having several partners at the same time and changing them frequently? (James Chin, “The AIDS Pandemic”, calculated that this level of promiscuity is needed to explain the numbers — the estimated numbers — disseminated by UNAIDS over the years; James Chin, former epidemiologist for the World Health Organization, that is.)

“Despite the fall in new infections, the number living with HIV increased last year to 33.4 million as people are surviving longer with the roll-out of antiretroviral drug treatment. Greater access to drugs has helped cut the death toll by 10 per cent over the past five years.”
Of course one must not forget the continuing need for more resources, so the overall increase in “HIV-positive” persons must be reiterated. But one should also bear in mind that all these numbers come out of computers, not from data “on the ground”. The increase to 33.4 million is a computerized guess, just like the guess of 33 million a couple of years ago, reduced at that time from an earlier computerized guess of 40 million; all these guesses are just as reliable as you would expect from gurus who can recognize a 30% decline after 13 years but not a decline of 25% or more after 12.
Not only that, these gurus are somehow able to discern that the “roll-out” of antiretroviral drugs is the reason for the purported — guessed, believed, held on faith — increase in survival and lower death rate. I’ve noted before that HIV/AIDS theory satisfies the criteria for pseudo-science usually directed at parapsychology; so perhaps the gurus discerned these reasons by extrasensory perception? But they didn’t really need that. Like the number of infections, that death toll is not a count, it’s a computer output; and THE COMPUTER COULD NOT HAVE SPAT THAT OUT UNLESS IT WAS PROGRAMMED IN A WAY THAT WOULD SPIT OUT SUCH A PURPORTED INCREASE IN SURVIVAL; and of course the computer model includes the assumption of benefit from antiretroviral treatment.
Any computer model is captive to the assumptions built into it. In South Africa, the registration of deaths is better than 50% complete; the official count of annual AIDS deaths has been on the order of 10,000-15,000 for the last half-a-dozen years; but UNAIDS’ computers have been estimating on the order of 300,000 AIDS deaths annually, a factor of 20 greater than the actual count; see — from the Statistician General of South Africa — Lehohla P.: (2005) Difficulties in attributing deaths to HIV/AIDS.
There’s not even need for the Statistician General of South Africa to point out that UNAIDS numbers are unbelievable, UNAIDS does it by and for itself. Its report for 2009 states, “Greater access to drugs has helped cut the death toll by 10 per cent over the past five years”; yet in the 2008 report, AIDS deaths in sub-Saharan Africa were given as 1.3 million for 2001 and 1.5 million for 2007, an INCREASE of 15% in 6 quite recent years. Did the number shoot up rapidly from 1.3 million in 2001 to 1.56 million in 2003 so that “in the last five years”, by 2008, it could decline by 10% to 1.4 million?

“There are now 4 million people on the drugs worldwide, a 10-fold increase in five years. The report says 2.9 million lives have been saved since effective treatment became available in 1996 but less than half the patients who need them are currently getting them.”
Again: Doesn’t anyone THINK about these numbers?
Since 4 million are now getting the lifesaving drugs, why have not 4 million lives been saved? (Clue: the 2.9 million is a computerized guess based on innumerable assumptions and extrapolations to decades in the future.)

Parenthetically, note that “effective treatment became available in 1996”, which acknowledges that before 1996 the treatments were NOT effective. Yet when AIDS Rethinkers state directly that for a decade AZT was killing rather than curing, the AIDS apologists and the AIDS vigilantes will insist that AZT and its ilk were quite appropriate treatments; at best they may say, like Daniel Kuritzkes, “in retrospect the dose we started with, with AZT, was a dangerous and poorly tolerated dose”. Nothing wrong with AZT so long as the right dose is used, according to Kuritzkes. Same with arsenic, of course, or any other poison.

“The reasons for the decline in new infections are disputed.”
And well they might be. Any claim to have effected behavioral change among adults, 20%-40% of whom have an established tradition of high promiscuity with continually changing partners, ought to be based on some rather concrete evidence; for a priori, one might be inclined to doubt the efficacy of “sex education, HIV awareness campaigns and distributing condoms”, given, for instance, the failure of such programs to curb pregnancies among unwed teenagers in the United States. What we’re offered instead of substance is a pabulum of unsupported self-serving assertions:
“We have evidence [not revealed, however] that the declines we are seeing are due, at least in part, to HIV prevention. However, the findings also show that prevention programming is often off the mark and that, if we do a better job of getting resources and programmes to where they will make most impact quicker, progress can be made and more lives saved.”
But one might hesitate to provide more funds given that “Ties Boerma, a WHO statistics expert, said countries whose HIV prevalence declined dramatically, like Zimbabwe, were not always those that got the most HIV cash”, which would indicate that the interventions have not done any good. But don’t let facts get in the way of self-interested propaganda.

Perhaps the whimpering fade into neglect of HIV/AIDS theory will be hastened by those who have long been asking why more aid is not being directed into Africa’s more salient ills:
“Philip Stevens of International Policy Network . . . said with HIV declining it was time to rethink global spending priorities . . . . Globally, HIV causes about 4 per cent of all deaths, but gets [23% of what is] spent on development aid for health  . . . . In most countries HIV is a relatively minor problem compared with other conditions such as malaria and diarrhoeal disease” [emphasis added].

Those vested in HIV/AIDS careers will not retrench willingly, of course:
“Dr Karen Stanecki, senior adviser to UNAids, said repeated studies in different parts of the world, comparing the reduction in new infections with what happened where there was no intervention, had demonstrated the effectiveness of prevention programmes. ‘The decline was over and above the natural decline in the epidemic. They showed it could only have been explained by behavioural change.’”
So there was already a natural decline of the epidemic?
Connoisseurs of statistical legerdemain will recognize “could only have been explained by behavioural change” as a rather desperate and wishful assertion that could not possibly be based on concrete observational evidence and competent statistical analysis. Since there was already a natural decline, cause unknown and therefore unpredictable in future magnitude, how could it then be calculated that the rate of this natural decline had been substantially augmented by “intervention”?

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Important legal win

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/25

I don’t want to “bury” in the Comments section this important and highly encouraging news, discussed in detail by Clark Baker:

Eneydi Torres, 42, faced up to fifteen years in prison for allegedly exposing four men to HIV.  However, defending attorney Baron Coleman demanded prosecutors provide proof of hearsay that Torres had been HIV-positive for years, and, best of all, said he would call such experts as Gallo, Moore, Padian to explain and defend HIV/AIDS theory under oath.

Prosecutors reduced their initial offer of fifteen years in state prison
to essentially five days of unsupervised probation

Please broadcast this information widely.

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Science, media, and Loch Ness “monsters”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/24

In memoriam, Robert H. Rines

Long ago — in the 1930s— “The Loch Ness Monster” became an icon of foolishness,  hoax, tourist-trapping by canny Scots Highlanders, and the like. And so it has remained for some 7 decades for everyone whose knowledge comes only from media sound-bites and shibboleths. The opportunity to become better informed, a potential stimulus to trying to become better informed,  is afforded by the article by Charles Siebert in the New York Times Magazine for 27 December, “The Lives They Lived — Robert Rines: Monster Hunter, 1922-2009”.

I had the privilege of knowing Robert Rines, an extraordinarily accomplished individual; he held patents for inventions in sonar and radar, among other things; first a physicist, later a patent attorney, he was also a musician and composer. He founded the Academy of Applied Science which supported inventors and novel investigations and managed for a federal agency a program to interest young people in science. He founded the Franklin Pierce Law Center. Perhaps above all, he enthused and stimulated untold numbers of people. The many tributes to his life in a range of publications, and the many respectful obituaries after he died on 1 November, attest Rines’s remarkable record of achievements; see for example “Robert H. Rines ’42 — Patent attorney and inventor started MIT the bumpy way” by Sharron Kahn Luttrell, Technology Review, Dec. 2005/Jan. 2006; “Robert H. Rines, Esq. — Pierce Law Founder: A True Renaissance Man”; “Pioneering Loch Ness Monster researcher dies”; obituaries in the Daily Telegraph (UK); in Physics World;  in Huffington Post.

As a potential cure for closed minds, I recommend in particular that last one, by Ben H. Winters, coauthor of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters:
“Sure, the mainstream scientific community felt (and feels) there’s no plesiosaur in Loch Ness; but Rines had seen the damn thing with his own eyes, he trusted his own mind, and by God he was going to get to the bottom of it.
So, yeah, maybe there’s no Loch Ness monster.
Okay, probably there’s no Loch Ness monster.
But it’s worth pausing for a moment to celebrate Robert H. Rines, and the one in a million chance that there is.”

It’s the one in a million chances that have brought genuine progress. Pre-Einstein, for instance, the chances were one in a million or less that Newton’s long-confirmed, long “proved” laws would ever be found wanting. To paraphrase Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, you can spend your life catching and dining on minnows, or you can go after the really big fish, knowing your chances are low but that any success would be a feast for all humanity. Having the courage to risk being wrong makes for progress; as George Bernard Shaw pointed out, progress depends on the unreasonable man. As Jack Good liked to point out, geniuses are cranks who happen to be right and cranks are geniuses who happen to be wrong — they all follow their muse despite the disdain of the multitudes who are too afraid to venture outside what “everyone” believes.

The cranks who happen to be right are often honored only posthumously, for a mainstream consensus defends itself vigorously; as Max Planck pointed out, new ideas take hold only as their opponents die off — science progresses funeral by funeral.

In some part, a mainstream consensus is able to persist so long because media and public seem afraid to look at the evidence for themselves. Once the media have labeled something, that label is likely to stick for a long time; in preparing new stories, time-pressured reporters check newspaper archives and they hesitate to diverge from the received wisdom of the past. So with Loch Ness monsters, the media do not remind the general public that Robert Rines was accomplished enough that he should not have been written off when he became interested in the possible existence of Nessies; the media do not remind the general public that other highly accomplished people had joined in Rines’s searches at Loch Ness, people like Harold Edgerton, inventor of strobe photography and recipient of a Medal of Freedom; Marty Klein, successful entrepreneur, expert in side-scan sonar; Charles Wyckoff, photographic guru at Kodak. The media do not usually accompany mentions of  “The Loch Ness Monster” with reference to the underwater photos of flippers and a long-necked creature that Rines obtained, and which led Nature — at the joint instigation of Rines and the renowned wildlife activist Peter Scott — to publish a scientific name (Rhombopteryx nessiteras) for the creatures.

Nor do the media accompany standard sneers about “cold fusion” with reference to the 15 or so international conferences at which a variety of confirmations of and extrapolations from the Fleischmann-Pons effect have been reported by researchers employed at such places as Los Alamos, the Navy Research Establishment, White Sands, SRI, and official as well as private research institutions in Israel, Italy, Japan, and many other countries as well.

Nor, of course, do the media mention that HIV/AIDS theory has disproved itself in countless ways and has maintained itself only through vested interests and not scientific evidence. I think there really are “Loch Ness monsters” — a reproducing population of large and unidentified critters of some sort in Loch Ness, with cousins probably in Loch Morar and in the oceans; but I’m not quite, 100% sure about it, because you can never prove anything like that 100% unless you have captured a living specimen or found a carcass. But you can definitively, 100%, disprove a theory, and HIV/AIDS theory has been definitively, 100% disproved in a variety of ways. There are innumerable observations that do not fit the concept of a sexually transmitted, immune-system-destroying retrovirus. That evidence is seen, however, only by people not blinded by a mainstream consensus.

Robert Rines is sorely missed, even as we celebrate his achievements and feel grateful for having known him, for the excitement he brought to everything he turned to and the encouragement he gave unstintingly to all who wanted to try something new.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Censored by Elsevier

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/20

In a reply to a recent comment, I referred to an article accepted by Medical Hypotheses, posted as “in press”, and then withdrawn by Elsevier bureaucrats without consulting the journal’s editor or editorial board or the article’s authors. I gave a URL for that article that didn’t work.

Here’s the article:  DuesbergMedHypothesesSA

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | 8 Comments »

 
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