HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for March, 2011

Duesberg and AIDS deaths in South Africa

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/31

The previous post noted that “the critique by Duesberg et al. of  unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa” had passed expert peer review for presentation at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses held this month. The text of the abstract, published in the Springer journal Infection, is copied below, as is the actual poster exhibited at the meeting and some photographs of the poster displays. Here is a brief reminder of the substantive issue dealt with in Duesberg’s critique:

Chigwedere et al. had published in JAIDS (49 [2008] 410-5) the assertion that >300,000 South Africans had died annually of AIDS during 2000-5. That number originated in computer-modeled estimates that had already been thoroughly discredited by Rian Malan (“AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003). Even more strikingly, those extraordinary assertions by Chigwedere et al. exceeded by a factor of about 20 the official counts of ~15,000 annual AIDS deaths published by Statistics South Africa.
JAIDS refused to publish a corrective comment by Duesberg et al.
An expanded version   of that correction was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and published on-line in advance of print publication.
AIDS vigilantes associated with AIDStruth.org protested to Elsevier, publisher of Medical Hypotheses, and asked the National Library of Medicine to stop abstracting Medical Hypotheses. The National Library snubbed the protesters, but Elsevier caved in and withdrew the article as “potentially damaging to global public health” (PMID 19619953), without consulting the journal’s Editor, or its Editorial Board, or allowing the authors of the article to respond to the criticisms. Elsevier went further, sacking the Editor and replacing him with someone so ignorant as to claim it feasible to “not to get into controversial subjects” but still “publish radical new ideas” (Martin Enserink, “New Medical Hypotheses Editor promises not to stir up controversy”, ScienceInsider, 25 June 2010).
Oddly enough, having sought to hide Duesberg’s critique from public view, the vigilantes have continued to draw attention to it by publishing responses, for instance in a journal edited by one of the leading vigilantes (Chigwedere & Essex, “AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice”, AIDS and Behavior 14 [2010] 237-47) and in a social-science periodical (N. Nattrass, “Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga”, Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01312.x. [Epub ahead of print]).
The vigilantes’ obsession with the Duesberg critique is fully warranted, of course, because the critique is sound enough to withstand disinterested expert peer review, as illustrated by its recent acceptance at the Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses. Here is the text of the abstract:

————————————

PO 90
META-ANALYSIS AND UPDATE ON THE GENERAL AIDS  EPIDEMICS PREDICTED FOR AFRICA
P. H. Duesberg  [1], D. Mandrioli  [1], A. McCormack  [1], J. M. Nicholson [ 2], C. Del  Popolo*  [3], D. Rasnick [4], C. Fiala  [5], C. Koehnlein [6], H. H. Bauer  [7]
[1]  University of California, Berkeley, USA;  [2]  Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA;  [3]  Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Florence, Italy;  [4]  Oakland, California, USA;  [5]  Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria;  [6]  Internistische Praxis, Kiel, Germany;  [7]  Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

Since the discoveries of a presumably new AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia by 2010. Recently, however, Chigwedere et al. ‘‘estimated’’ that between the years 2000 and 2005, the new AIDS virus, now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) (J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2008). Here we investigate the evidence for these claims in view of the paradoxes that (1) HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, and that (2) it would cause a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic, self- limited by immunity like all other new pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, we found that the WHO does not even list any South African AIDS case from 1996 until 2007, and that Statistics South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005, and thus 30-fold less than those reported by Chigwedere et al. In a further effort to find independent evidence for the reportedly new AIDS epidemic, we searched for losses of lives in South African population growth curves. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 extending a steady growth rate of 500,000 per year, based on statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank. This gain was an integral part of a monotonic growth trajectory from 29 million in 1980 before the AIDS era to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV. We deduce that the predicted epidemiological pattern of a new killing virus never showed up in Africa, and that HIV cannot be considered a killer virus from the demographic point of view.

————————————

Here is the poster itself (click on it for full view):

————————————

Here is a picture of the poster on display:

and here are photographs giving a sense of the ambience:

 

———————————–

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Heartfelt thanks to Professor Marco Ruggiero and his colleagues and students for their efforts in preparing for the Conference, for their work at the Conference, and for providing these illustrations

Duesberg and AIDS deaths in South Africa

 

The previous post noted that “the critique by Duesberg et al. of unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa” had passed expert peer review for presentation at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses held this month. The text of the abstract, published in the Springer journal Infection, is copied below, as is the actual poster exhibited at the meeting and some photographs of the poster displays. Here is a brief reminder of the substantive issue dealt with in Duesberg’s critique:

 

Chigwedere et al. had published in JAIDS (49 [2008] 410-5) the assertion that >300,000 South Africans had died annually of AIDS during 2000-5. That number originated in computer-modeled estimates that had already been thoroughly discredited by Rian Malan (“AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003). Even more strikingly, those extraordinary assertions by Chigwedere et al. exceeded by a factor of about 20 the official counts of ~15,000 annual AIDS deaths published by Statistics South Africa.

JAIDS refused to publish a corrective comment by Duesberg et al.

An expanded version http://hivskeptic.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/duesbergmedhypothesessa1.pdf of that correction was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and published on-line in advance of print publication.

AIDS vigilantes associated with AIDStruth.org protested to Elsevier, publisher of Medical Hypotheses, and asked the National Library of Medicine to stop abstracting Medical Hypotheses. The National Library snubbed the protesters, but Elsevier caved in and withdrew the article as “potentially damaging to global public health” (PMID 19619953), without consulting the journal’s Editor, or its Editorial Board, or allowing the authors of the article to respond to the criticisms. Elsevier went further, sacking the Editor and replacing him with someone so ignorant as to claim it feasible to “not to get into controversial subjects” but still “publish radical new ideas” (Martin Enserink, “New Medical Hypotheses Editor promises not to stir up controversy”. ScienceInsider, 25 June 2010; http://j.mp/cLdck7).

Oddly enough, having sought to hide Duesberg’s critique from public view, the vigilantes have continued to draw attention to it by publishing responses, for instance in a journal edited by one of the leading vigilantes (Chigwedere & Essex, “AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice”, AIDS and Behavior 14 [2010] 237-47) and in a social-science periodical (N. Nattrass, “Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga”, Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01312.x. [Epub ahead of print]).

The vigilantes’ obsession with the Duesberg critique is fully warranted, of course, because the critique is sound enough to withstand disinterested expert peer review, as illustrated by its recent acceptance at the Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses. Here is the text of the abstract:

 

————————————

 

PO 90

META-ANALYSIS AND UPDATE ON THE GENERAL AIDS EPIDEMICS PREDICTED FOR AFRICA

P. H. Duesberg [1], D. Mandrioli [1], A. McCormack [1], J. M. Nicholson [ 2], C. Del Popolo* [3], D. Rasnick [4], C. Fiala [5], C. Koehnlein [6], H. H. Bauer [7]

[1] University of California, Berkeley, USA; [2] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA; [3] Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Florence, Italy; [4] Oakland, California, USA; [5] Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria; [6] Internistische Praxis, Kiel, Germany; [7] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

 

Since the discoveries of a presumably new AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia by 2010. Recently, however, Chigwedere et al. ‘‘estimated’’ that between the years 2000 and 2005, the new AIDS virus, now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) (J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2008). Here we investigate the evidence for these claims in view of the paradoxes that (1) HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, and that (2) it would cause a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic, self- limited by immunity like all other new pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, we found that the WHO does not even list any South African AIDS case from 1996 until 2007, and that Statistics South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005, and thus 30-fold less than those reported by Chigwedere et al. In a further effort to find independent evidence for the reportedly new AIDS epidemic, we searched for losses of lives in South African population growth curves. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 extending a steady growth rate of 500,000 per year, based on statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank. This gain was an integral part of a monotonic growth trajectory from 29 million in 1980 before the AIDS era to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV. We deduce that the predicted epidemiological pattern of a new killing virus never showed up in Africa, and that HIV cannot be considered a killer virus from the demographic point of view.

 

————————————

 

Here is the poster itself:

 

 

————————————

 

Here is a picture of the poster on display:

 

 

and here are photographs giving a sense of the ambience:

 

 

 

———————————–

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Heartfelt thanks to Professor Marco Ruggiero and his colleagues and students for their efforts in preparing for the Conference, for their work at the Conference, and for providing these illustrations

 

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

 

Categories: HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers

 

 

Tags Duesberg and AIDS deaths, AIDS deaths in South Africa, Firenze 2011, Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses

 

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Firenze 2011: the end of dissent

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/29

“The end of dissent” here refers to the acceptance of AIDS Rethinking as a legitimate part of mainstream discourse.

Several Rethinker contributions were presented at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses sponsored by, among others, the International AIDS Society. This illustrates once again that when peer review is not under the control of vigilantes, it recognizes the soundness of a number of the critiques offered by Rethinkers; in this instance: the critique by Duesberg et al. of  unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa; the official figures cited by Branca, Pacini, & Ruggiero that demonstrate the lack of any “HIV/AIDS” epidemic in Italy; and the critique of “HIV” tests and “HIV” epidemiology by Galletti, Pacini, Morucci, & Bauer.

The following report from Professor Marco Ruggiero has been edited slightly for this posting:

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

On March 27th – 29th, Firenze, Italy, hosted the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses under the High Patronage of the Italian President of the Republic, the Ministry of Health, the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Firenze, the Municipality of Firenze, the Universities of Firenze and Rome, the National Scientific Societies, the Public Health Service, several organizations involved in the fight against AIDS and, perhaps most notably, the International AIDS Society (IAS). This conference precedes the IAS conference to be held in Rome in July.

It is well known that for more than 25 years the opinions of such so-called dissident scientists as Professors Peter Duesberg and Henry Bauer were never allowed in mainstream conferences, and any voice questioning the role of HIV in causing AIDS has been systematically suppressed. Associations for the scientific reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis such as Rethinking AIDS were never invited or even allowed to participate.

This deplorable state of affairs officially came to an end in Firenze with the formal and official recognition of the contributions of such scientists as Duesberg, Fiala, Koehnlein, Pacini, Rasnick, Ruggiero, Bauer, Branca, Galletti, Mandrioli, Morucci, Nicholson, Punzi, all questioning the role of HIV in the aetiology and pathogenesis of AIDS. Their communications were accepted under the normal peer-review process, and the respective abstracts are now available in a special issue (volume 39, Supplement 1, March 201) of Infection, a peer-reviewed journal of infectious disease published by Springer and the official publication of the following societies:
German Society for Infectious Diseases
Paul Ehrlich Society for Chemotherapy
German Sepsis Society
Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (SIMIT)
Infection also cooperates with European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; European Society of Chemotherapy Infectious Diseases;
Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases
Infection is abstracted or indexed in:
Abstracts in Anthropology, Academic OneFile, AGRICOLA, ASFA, Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CAB International, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), CINAHL, CSA, Current Abstracts, Current Contents/ Life Sciences, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EBSCO, Elsevier Biobase, EMBASE, EMCare, Environment Index, Expanded Academic, Global Health, Google Scholar, Health Reference Center Academic, IBIDS, Index Copernicus, INIS Atomindex, Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, OCLC, PubMed/Medline, Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), SCOPUS, Summon by Serial Solutions

For the very first time in more than 25 years, statements such as “HIV by itself is not causing AIDS”“There is no gold standard for HIV tests”; “ARVs such as  AZT do not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS”, have been recognized by peer review as scientifically sound and worth being presented and discussed at a conference sponsored by the International AIDS Society.

The international Scientific Committee, which reviewed and accepted the communications  whose excerpts are quoted above, is to be lauded for scientific integrity and openness of mind. The Organizing Committee, too, deserves substantial credit for having accepted Rethinking AIDS as a legitimate association involved in the fight against AIDS. In fact, the Italian member of the board of directors of Rethinking AIDS, Prof. Marco Ruggiero, was accepted as a qualified representative of the HIV/AIDS community and granted free registration and access to all the events, including the sumptuous gala at the world-famous Palazzo della Signoria, seat of the Medici Family in Renaissance times.

It might be recalled that Firenze, renowned in the world for its artistic treasures, is also the city of Galileo, widely hailed as the founder of the modern scientific method and a martyr to the blind dogmatism that denies revolutionary ideas labelled as “heretical”. On the present occasion, Firenze demonstrated once again the supremacy of rational scientific thinking in declaring that the fight against AIDS cannot be deprived of such revolutionary ideas as have been blindly labelled heretical for so many years. From now on the hypotheses put forward by such scientists as Duesberg or Bauer cannot be dismissed lightly as “denialist delusions”, they now have their proper place in the history of AIDS. All those who question the central role of HIV in the aetiology or pathogenesis of AIDS need no longer fear being anathematized and excommunicated as denialists.

The wind of change blowing from Firenze will allow scientists to focus on the main culprit of AIDS, the immune system, with the obvious, but so far almost neglected, goal of restoring its function. A re-established immune system will get rid of the (probably harmless) virus “within a few weeks”, as Luc Montagnier has pointed out.

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Selling antiretroviral drugs

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/27

I hadn’t realized how cutthroat is the competition between drug companies until I read about Glaxo vs. Abbott (UPDATE 2-Glaxo versus Abbott case handed to the jury):
“A jury began deliberating on whether Abbott Laboratories . . .  should pay GlaxoSmithKline . . . hundreds of millions of dollars over allegations of unfair HIV drug pricing.  . . . Abbott is accused of improperly hiking the price of one drug to help it preserve sales growth of one of its other HIV blockbusters. . . . [in other words] anti-competitive behavior regarding the drugs Norvir and Kaletra.
Norvir plays a key role in AIDS-fighting cocktails because it can boost the effectiveness of other drugs. Glaxo accuses Abbott of raising Norvir’s price by 400 percent in 2003, as part of an effort to harm competitors whose drugs were dependent on being used in combination with Norvir.”

Huh?! Doesn’t Abbott benefit because Norvir is used with other companies’ drugs??

“Glaxo attorney Brian Hennigan said that if more patients used Norvir, then fewer would use Kaletra, leading to the Norvir price hike. ‘Norvir was just being used in the background as a weapon to protect Kaletra’ . . . . “

Aha! Quite subtle!

“But Abbott attorney James Hurst said patients had begun taking fewer doses of Norvir, so Abbott hiked the price to make up for the revenue loss.”

No nonsense here about pricing drugs according to what it costs to invent and produce them, in other words, it’s all about selling them for as much as the market can bear.
That admission might be usefully cited in the future under various circumstances.

What is aimed for in the search for new drugs, as companies vie to capture markets for patentable drugs as their patents expire on existing drugs?
Is the aim to bring patients something better?
Not at all. Just more of the same:
Gilead HIV drug meets study goal
Gilead Sciences Inc. said Wednesday its potential HIV treatment elvitegravir met its key goals in a late-stage study.
Its shares rose 41 cents to $40.85 in morning trading.
Patients received once-daily doses of the drug candidate over a 48-week period or a twice daily dose of raltegravir, which is made by Merck & Co. under the name Isentress. Elvitegravir met the primary goal of ‘non-inferiority’, or working as well as Isentress.”

Posted in antiretroviral drugs | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Ignorance about HIV and AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/21

“[C]ontinuing, unaddressed public ignorance
about the routes and actual risks of HIV transmission
informs policy making at every level and
burdens the lives of people living with HIV”.

That, you might think, was said by a Rethinker, but it wasn’t. It comes from Rene Bennett-Carlson, managing attorney at  the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) in New York City: “This young man may lose 15 years of his life to a prison cell for being HIV positive. If he hadn’t gotten an HIV test he wouldn’t be facing these penalties.”
Bennett-Carlson’s appropriate comments were stimulated by the case of a Missouri man charged with “recklessly and knowingly exposing some one to HIV” — because he is alleged to have bitten a police officer (“Advocates alarmed by spike in Missouri HIV prosecutions — Contrary to medical evidence, Missouri law makes biting a felony”).
The Michigan advocates properly cast aspersions at Missouri laws that are based on ignorance about HIV. But they are blind to the mote in their own eyes: “Michigan’s law . . . criminalizes only sexual behavior without disclosure of an HIV-positive status” — which is also based on ignorance of the fact that “HIV-positive” has never been shown to be transmissible by sexual behavior any more than by biting.

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Possibly the most serious ignorance among adherents to HIV/AIDS theory is about the high prevalence of false-positive HIV test-results — many physiological conditions can deliver “HIV-positive” results: pregnancy and other conditions that are not unhealthy, and also tuberculosis and many other conditions that bespeak ill health. In other words, “HIV-positive” may indicate ill health for some reason or it may not, and the “not” probably corresponds to something like half of all reported “positives” (Medical students in Africa need not fear HIV; REPRINT of Galletti & Bauer).
[I am using “false-positive” here in this sense, that the “positive” does not reflect any sort of health threat. As I’m often reminded, all “HIV-positive” results are false in the sense that they do not demonstrate the presence of an AIDS-causing agent or the presence of an active retroviral infection.]
The virtually universal ignorance about the high frequency of false-positives on “HIV” tests undermines the credibility of a great deal of the technical literature. Since about half of all “HIV-positive” results are likely to be false-positive in every sense of that term, the statistical evaluation of possible correlations will be invalid in many instances; variables described as “HIV-associated” may actually be false-positive- associated; and correlations not statistically significant may turn out to be statistically significant.
Take the higher incidence of bone-density-loss and bone fracture among “HIV-positive” people. An awareness of the false-positive frequency would require a closer investigation of all the factors that could lead to bone loss and bone fracture and that might at the same time conduce to a false-positive “HIV”-test. Consider the most recent publication on “HIV-associated” bone fracture — Young et al., “Increased rates of bone fracture among HIV-infected persons in the HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS) compared with the US general population, 2000-2006”, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 10 March 2011 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21398272 (annoyingly cited incorrectly as “2010;52:1061-1068” on Endocrine Today).

The main point about the need to consider false positives is this:
If all the bone fractures occurred among the “HIV-positive” individuals whose positive test reflected some sort of health threat, then the rate of fracture among those health-threatened ones would be twice that reported here, and associations doubtfully significant might well be statistically significant.
Thus, according to the text of the article, there was no observed association between risk of fracture and “ART exposure”, which presumably corresponds to “ARV exposure” in the table above (extracted from the article’s Table 4) — no significant association with exposure among the 3856-4087 exposed or not known to be exposed. Yet there is an almost statistically significant association among the 3749 exposed to HAART.
Almost all the ARV-exposed were also HAART-exposed — 3749 out of between 3856 and 4087 — so it cannot be true that the association with ARV is so drastically different from the association with HAART.

This illustrates that the data, statistics, and inferences in this article are much less than confidence-inspiring for reasons beyond the neglect of false-positives. However, the data do clearly suggest that bone fracture is HAART-associated: there is a statistically significant association with diabetes, which is a known risk of HAART, and an almost statistically significant association with peripheral neuropathy, also a known risk of HAART. In any case, risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture were also found to be HAART-associated in earlier studies (HIV: It can do anything, everything . . . or nothing?); and  HAART components are known to cause osteonecrosis (bone death), see NIH Treatment Guidelines, 29 January 2008, pp. 23, 30, 67, 69, 80, 84, 101, 102.

The median age of the people studied by Young et al. was 40, far too young for any appreciable incidence of diabetes or peripheral neuropathy in absence of HAART. Note too that anti-depressants and proton-pump inhibitors and drugs used to treat diabetes II also show hints of contributing to the risk of bone fracture. Being diagnosed as “HIV-positive” is, of course, a strong reason why a person might be being subjected to treatment with anti-depressants.

Note further that there is a positive association of fractures with lower CD4 counts, but no association with viral load: yet HIV/AIDS theory demands that CD4 counts and viral load be strongly correlated. (That they are not was already shown by Rodriguez et al. — JAMA, 296 [2006] 1498-1506 —, something conveniently forgotten or ignored or invalidly explained away by true believers.)

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The ignorant belief that a positive HIV-test demonstrates infection, “having HIV”, continues to bring criminal charges against people who have sex, e.g. “Help available for victims of HIV-positive Vermilion [Ohio] man”.
The same ignorant belief underlies scare stories like “HIV infection passed via donated kidney: U.S. Report — Donor screening didn’t use most sensitive test, leading to infection of recipient, researchers say”: once again, “researchers” are cited about supposedly sensitive tests, which cannot be known in absence of a gold-standard test; and higher sensitivity is in any case produces a higher rate of false-positives on any test, in this case entirely non-health-threatening “positives”.

It’s often said that ignorance of the law is no excuse; but

Is there an excuse for laws that are ignorant of science?

Is there an excuse for researchers
who are ignorant of central facts pertinent to their research?

Is there an excuse for medical practitioners
who are ignorant of central facts
pertinent to their practices?

Is there an excuse for clinical laboratories
that issue reports of “HIV-positive” without pointing out
that this does not constitute a diagnosis of infection?

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV tests, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

How will the truth come out about HIV/AIDS?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/14

Several of my posts on this blog have grappled in one way or another with the central issue for Rethinkers: How might the general public, the media, the policy makers be awakened to the actual facts about “HIV” and about “AIDS”?  — Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09; Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers, 2010/12/21;  Follow the money: Is HIV/AIDS fading away?, 2010/12/12; Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02;  Defeating HIV = AIDS, 2010/10/17;  Not with a bang but a whimper, 2009/12/27;  The cases against HIV: Strategies for halting the bandwagon, 29 July 2008;  Stopping the HIV/AIDS bandwagon — Part II, 1 February 2008;  How can the HIV/AIDS bandwagon be stopped?, 27 January 2008.

There is no hint of a consensus on this question among Rethinkers. I among others have come to believe that working within the established forums of medicine and science offers only long-forlorn hope; but other Rethinkers continue to try storming the citadels with manuscripts for publication in Establishment journals, and I take my hat off to those who keep trying, even as I think such direct assaults are unlikely to pay off. I see more hope in indirect attacks like those described recently that seem to offer real possibilities of eventually changing the climate of opinion among disciplines that encircle the HIV/AIDS establishment (Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09;  Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02).
In commenting on the latter, Robin  made important points, notably that it takes different approaches to persuade different folks: for instance, while some (in my view, very few) are concerned primarily with the best objective evidence, others are likely to think more in terms of human values.
In “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”,  I argued that the necessary initial steps include making people understand that “HIV” and “AIDS” are two separate things, entirely separate things. Crucial to that first step is that “HIV” tests are highly non-specific tests, reacting “positive” to a range of physiological conditions that are not necessarily even health-threatening.
If someone can become persuaded that “HIV” tests do not detect a fatal virus, then the essential mission has been accomplished, because obviously then “HIV”, which can only be defined by means for detecting it, could never have become known to be the cause of “AIDS”. Even under the assumption that “HIV” exists, but that the tests detect many other things as well, any apparent correlation between positive “HIV” tests and AIDS would be spurious. As I point out in my book, relying on such highly non-specific tests would entail the absurd assumption that “true”-positive and false-positive tests always occur in the same proportion under all circumstances—with pregnant women, with gay men, with members of different racial groups, etc..

The fact that “HIV” tests do not specifically detect
an immune-system-damaging virus

suffices to disprove the claimed “HIV”-AIDS connection.

Purveying the truth about “HIV” tests is made easy by the fact that authoritative mainstream sources attest to it: for instance the manufacturers’ fine print that comes with test kits and the monograph chapter by  Stanley H. Weiss and Elliott P. Cowan, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. Gary P. Wormser, 4th ed., 2004.
Admittedly there remains the obvious question, why the whole apparatus of practicing physicians and researchers rests its activities on invalid tests. This raises far-reaching historical, psychological, sociological issues; but in relation to the central point, that the tests do not detect “HIV”, this obvious question is irrelevant. How something could happen can be an interesting question, but when that thing did actually happen, not understanding how it came about doesn’t make it un-happen.
Another obvious and valid question, “So what is AIDS?”, can be answered as in Point 1 of the post, “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”.

What I want to stress now is that the lack of validity of “HIV” tests suffices to make the Rethinking case, irrespective of the “existence” question, namely, whether such a virus as HIV even exists. Therefore I find it most regrettable that some number of Rethinkers insists that the existence question is central to Rethinking — and I find it more than unfortunate that disagreements over this have led to schisms and the squandering of much emotion and time.
Of course it is of great interest to find out whether “HIV” in some shape or form exists, and if so whether it is exogenous — at least on occasion — or endogenous; and if the latter, whether this makes “HIV” an HERV. But from the viewpoint of whether “HIV” tests detect an AIDS-inducing agent, these scientific questions are beside the point. The mistaken view that what the “HIV” tests detect leads to AIDS could have come about in a number of ways. For instance, if “HIV” exists, it might be a passenger virus, as Duesberg suggested. If “HIV” doesn’t exist, researchers might have been confused by HERVs and circulating DNA, as Etienne de Harven has pointed out. Either way, or any other way, it is not necessary to settle the existence issue in order to demonstrate that “HIV” tests do not diagnose “HIV infection” and do not presage AIDS.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: | 55 Comments »

 
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