HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

What’s next for the HIV/AIDS vigilantes at Treatment Action Campaign?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/02/14

Just a couple of months ago, I noted that the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa had urged the Gates Foundation not to proceed with trials comparing stavudine to tenofovir because stavudine is so much more toxic and should simply be replaced by tenofovir forthwith. I noted too how strange this seemed, given that the toxicity of tenofovir is high and well known, as I had noted in several posts; see “HAART is toxic: Mainstream concedes it, in backhanded ways” (2011/12/30).
What will TAC do next, given that the toxicity of tenofovir is becoming talked about increasingly?


“In their analysis of comprehensive VA electronic health records, the study authors found that for each year of exposure to tenofovir, risk of protein in urine — a marker of kidney damage — rose 34 percent, risk of rapid decline in kidney function rose 11 percent and risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) rose 33 percent. The risks remained after the researchers controlled for other kidney disease risk factors such as age, race, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and HIV-related factors. . . . Patients were tracked for an average of 1.2 years after they stopped taking tenofovir. They remained at elevated risk for at least six months to one year compared with those who never took the drug, suggesting that the damage is not quickly reversible . . . . ‘We do not know the long-term prognosis for these patients who stop tenofovir after developing kidney disease’”.
(Of course the authors of the reported study pointed out that HIV itself increases the risk of kidney damage. HIV itself is blamed by HIV/AIDS believers for every ill that antiretroviral drugs bring, for example “HIV-associated lipodystrophy”. Strange that all this supposed harm done by “HIV” was first noted only after antiretroviral drugs came into use.)

I confess that my query, what’s next for TAC, is replete with unashamed and undisguisable Schadenfreude.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in South Africa exemplifies as actively virulent a set of HIV/AIDS groupies and vigilantes as one could find anywhere. It is not too easy, though, to find out who exactly are the individuals who staff TAC. The website identifies only the “Leadership” of Vuyiseka Dubula, TAC General Secretary, and Nonkosi Khumalo, TAC Chairperson; and the Contact page gives the name only of the PR person (“Media Comment”), Caroline Nenguke. In this type of organization, these positions are figureheads, the real work being done by full-time staff.
The Annual Report for 2010 like the website gives no names of staff, not even who wrote the Report. It does mention — as had earlier news items — that funding has declined in a way that has made it necessary to retrench. Were I a donor, I would be unhappy at the Annual Report’s acknowledgement that the budget shows “General and Administrative” expenses at 21.7 million, not much below what was spent on “Programmes and Projects” at 27.6 million (currency is not indicated, presumably SA Rand). However, the Report does give a link  for the full financial reports, and the 2011 one has the names of 5 directors: NAC Khumola, V Dubula-Majola, N Geffen, MJ Heywood, and TT Diamini, as well as two who had resigned in 2010: A Achmat and TGP Klaas. Compensation for the 5 directors is shown as 777,019 (if in South African Rand, a bit over US$100,000), a very small part of the 21,700,000  “General and Administrative” expenses. What were the other parts?
Nathan Geffen is a member of “AIDStruth.org”, co-authored Edwin Cameron’s book, “Witness to AIDS”, and himself has written “Debunking Delusions: The Inside Story of the Treatment Action Campaign” (2010). He is active not only in HIV/AIDS matters but also politically, active among Jews who are critical of Israeli policies and actions. Mark Heywood is Director of the AIDS Law Project, whose website is as lacking in individuals’ names as is the TAC website.
I am irrevocably suspicious of organizations that do not give up front the names of all their significant staff and that do not in public documents itemize expenditures on salaries and associated benefits, just as I’m not interested in the views of bloggers and commenters who hide their identities. When things are not revealed, it seems reasonable to infer that revealing those things would discredit whoever wants them to remain hidden.

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4 Responses to “What’s next for the HIV/AIDS vigilantes at Treatment Action Campaign?”

  1. While there are no doubt some very few exceptions, it is generally considered unpleasant to contemplate those things that prefer to live in the dark, out of sight. Sunshine, on the other hand, is considered mostly healthy and beneficial, if you get my meaning.

  2. AnthonyL said

    A very fine post. A racehorse running circles around a bunch of plodding carthorses whose method of winning is to kick if they can, and cut off if possible – anything to avoid a straight race. But the racehorse still comes in first.

  3. Gorky said

    Nathan Geffen is probably the most loud-mouthed (and bullying) figure within the TAC leadership. He teaches computer science at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He appears to have supplanted the ‘HIV positive’ Zackie Achmat in this role (the co-founder of the TAC), but word is Achmat’s um tactical style wasn’t always appreciated even by TAC staffers. This is all on the record.

    To give an idea of how utterly harebrained Geffen is, if you read his book, ‘Debunking Delusions’ (if you can stomach it, a lot of it can be read at Google Books), we get this:

    Geffen admits (pg 136 in allusion to a Matthias Rath ad campaign that ran in a local SA paper in 2004) that AZT comes with a skull and crossbones logo and a bright red toxic warning label!! Geffen writes:
    “This was a liquid form of AZT not distributed to patients. It is used by a research company called Sigma-Aldrich.”

    Come again?! So Geffen clearly implies that the GlaxoSmithKline (among other companies) AZT (for ‘HIV positive’ patients) is just fine because it comes in pill form, not as a liquid!

    This is equivalent to saying if you smoke/freebase heroin rather than inject it into your veins, well you know that would make it okay, because then it is somehow a different drug or it has a different effect on you, a healthy one; whereas admittedly the latter form of heroin ingestion is harmful and potentially fatal.

    This is the ‘mind’ of Geffen at work. Even by the standards of the AIDS orthodoxy it is almost unbelievably mad and idiotic, and that is saying a lot. Most all of the orthodoxy (when going after dissidents) would never be so stupid as to let the ‘killer fact’ (pun intended) re AZT out. They are the ones censoring it of course. Yet Geffen lets the cat out of the bag and doesn’t even begin to recognize that he has done it.

    It simply boggles the mind.

    Also it is worth adding the culpability of the South African (and international) media in promoting the TAC and their iatrogenic Inquisition (yes with a capital I). This cannot be stressed enough.

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