HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

AIDS and homosexuality

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/01/10

AIDS Rethinking can hardly ignore questions about homosexuality, because the alternative explanation to a viral cause of AIDS is lifestyle. The AIDS era began among gay men, and correspondingly the “new” disease was initially called Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). Inevitably one asks whether the causative lifestyle had something to do with being gay.

However, the GRID designation and diagnosis rested on an invalid statistical categorization. As John Lauritsen (1)  pointed out at the very beginning of the AIDS era, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) had incorrectly identified the first AIDS sufferers as homosexuals (some of whom happened to abuse drugs) instead of as drug abusers, many of whom happened to be homosexual.
That drug abuse can bring on the symptoms of early-1980s AIDS was pointed out by, for example, Gordon Stewart (2). That the early years of gay liberation saw a proportion of gay men overindulging in unhealthy drug-abusing lifestyles has been remarked by, among others, Larry Kramer (3), Michael Callen (4), and Josef Sonnabend (5). Altman (1982, below, p. 80) remarked  on the ubiquitous smell of amyl [nitrite, poppers] in gay venues.

I found it easy to accept that exuberant feelings of new-found freedom after lifelong oppression could lead some people to such health-damaging actions, but without any real feel for just what the oppression of homosexuality entailed and entails. I tried to imagine it as essentially analogous to racist or anti-Semitic oppression. But two recently read books make that analogy less appropriate. They have been eye-openers for me on several levels, and I recommend them unreservedly. Both are by Dennis Altman:
HOMOSEXUAL: Oppression and Liberation,
Outerbridge & Dienstfrey, 1971 (ISBN 0-87690-039-2); and
The Homosexualization of America, the Americanization of the Homosexual,
St. Martin’s Press, 1982 (ISBN 0-312-38888-8)

One point of high interest is the changes in society — and in the author’s experience —  in the decade between the writing of those books. In the 1982 book he doubted that he would live to see change in established churches, so he’s been pleasantly surprised, and no doubt about gay people in military service as well. Altman deplored the German government’s refusal to compensate homosexual men who had been in concentration camps (1982: 112); but that changed after 1985 (6).

Further of general interest  is that the second book was written just before AIDS appeared (there is no mention of GRID, AIDS, HIV). Thereby the discussion is not biased by interpretations based on later events.

Perhaps above all, Altman offers a comprehensive, uninhibited discussion of what it has meant to be homosexual, primarily in Western society and with the United States as exemplar; what it meant to live through so-called gay liberation; and what actual and perhaps final liberation might look like.

Though I had not questioned that nominal liberation could lead to irrational exuberance, I did have qualms or reservations about the enormity of the apparently AIDS-inducing behavior. Altman’s insights have helped me to bury those qualms by gaining some feel for the nature and intensity of the oppression that needed to be lifted (and in some ways still needs to be).
It should be recognized, too, that the lifestyle being blamed would not have typically produced seriously debilitating manifest illness rapidly. Contrary to the oft-cited shibboleth that AIDS was first seen in young, previously healthy gay men, in point of fact their average age was mid-to-late thirties and they had histories of  health issues (7).

Growing up homosexual in a society that forces homosexuals to closet themselves has a number of damaging consequences:
→   One mis-learns that the world is nothing but heterosexual
   Thereby one is hindered from acknowledging or accepting one’s own identity
  Thus society’s influence works like a self-fulfilling prophecy,
tending to mold homosexuals into society’s stereotypes of them,
even into accepting that there’s something wrong with being homosexual (1982: 112-3)
  Homosexuals tend to be conflicted and to feel guilty about their own feelings
which conduces to counterproductive behavior including drug abuse;
some are likely to harbor self-hatred, usually unconscious,
and may over-react to behave in violently homophobic ways

The strength of societal oppression of homosexuals was manifested not only by perpetual brutal police harassment but by such signs as “the Tiffany’s notice — ‘We do not, nor will we in future, carry earrings for men’” (1971: 69).
  Altman does not address the long history of homosexual oppression or acceptance over the millennia in various societies. One source for that is David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality (8).
  Western 19th-century designation of homosexuality as illness, maladjustment, perversion reflects and is owing to the development of medicine as both science & ideology.
  Sociological designation of homosexuality as “deviance” was just as stigmatizing as the medical designation. It was pejorative not descriptive; it doesn’t just mean different: nuns aren’t called deviant.

Gay Liberation is widely associated with the Stonewall riot of 1969, but while that was certainly a landmark of progress, genuine liberation remains to be fully attained:
   The considerable gains in tolerance experienced in the last several decades are not the same as the acceptance that true liberation would represent.
  Oppressed minorities do not necessarily appreciate one another’s situation and form common cause. There are black homophobes and gay white racists, for example.
  Just as there is homophobia among heterosexual people, there is heterophobia among homosexual people.

The 1982 title, The Homosexualization of America, refers to the manner in which widespread behavior has come to resemble what was long charged against homosexuals: young, educated, urban Americans frequent singles’ bars, wife-swapping was common at least for a time; casual & recreational sex is increasingly accepted [e.g. nowadays in college students’ “hooking up” and “booty calls” (9)]. The 1971 book cited Tiffany’s ban on selling earrings to men; for years now, quite a number of heterosexual men have been wearing earrings.

Genuine gay liberation has the huge task of creating ab initio guidelines and role models for all aspects of human interaction:
  Homosexual behavior and homosexual identity are two distinct matters. In Moslem countries, for example, homosexual behavior is quite common but homosexual identity is strictly taboo. Homosexual identity is largely a Western urban 19th-century development, and with it the concept of a gay community or sub-culture.
   “Gay community” is not a natural kind, it exists solely because of societal oppression, it’s a pseudo-community.
  Altman and many others believe that polymorphous sexuality, most simply bisexuality, is universal. If so, creation of an homosexual identity requires also acknowledging possibly repressed heterosexual attractions.

Altman’s discussion is meaningful far beyond homosexuality, with insights pertinent to everyone:
  As with all individuals and groups, there is an inevitable tension between expressing uniqueness and acknowledging human universality.
   The liberation of gay men and lesbians is at the same time a liberation of humankind.
  Sex is burdened with excessive and unrealistic expectations of self-fulfillment and personal actualization; and this is exploited commercially via massage parlors, sex shops, porno movie houses. [Add in recent years the salacious TV ads for Viagra, Cialis, and their ilk.]

Chapter 6 (1982) focuses on societal disapproval of sex for its own sake. It is dispassionate and logical and courageous in its discussion of matters rarely spoken of in public: the sexuality of children, including adult/child sex; sadomasochism; interplays of promiscuity and long-term commitments. I doubt that anyone could read this without learning something new or being reminded of something often forgotten, for example, that most child abuse is heterosexual; or that “most studies suggest that men involved in s-and-m are likely to be personally gentle, liberal, and of above-average education”; or  that “rape by self-acknowledged homosexuals is very rare — though male rape by those who deny their homosexuality is, of course, widespread” (pp. 196-7).

These are among the chief points that I’ve gained from these books, but such a brief survey cannot do justice to Altman’s comprehensive and nuanced discussions. My hope is to stimulate others to read the books themselves. Little of consequence in them has been superseded after 40 and 30 years respectively, and the last sentence of the 1982 book needs no modification at all:

“In the long run
it would be nice to hope
that we can escape the limitations
on individual identity and diversity
that all categories impose”

In the meantime, Altman’s insights have fleshed out for me how long oppression and the iconic  Stonewall presaged AIDS. The sense of freedom brought by Stonewall did not bring with it a viable conception of what normal, i.e. non-oppressed, homosexual life might be like. It is only since the fits and starts of gay marriages that everyone, gay people as much as others, have discovered that there have always been quietly closeted long-term gay partnerships and families. That’s the context in which many gay men mis-interpreted “liberation” to call for excessive indulgence in what had previously been forbidden. Ironically they foreshadowed “HIV’s” latent period: the 10-15 years between Stonewall and AIDS represent the average incubation period for the “side” effects of promiscuous drug abuse and irresponsible sex to result in destruction of the immune system.

***************************************************************************
(1) John Lauritsen, The AIDS war: propaganda, profiteering and genocide from the medical-industrial complex, ASKLEPIOS, 1993; ISBN 0–943742–08–0.
(2) Cited in Neville Hodgkinson, AIDS: The failure of contemporary science, Fourth Estate, 1996, p. 103.
(3) Larry Kramer, Faggots, Random House, 1978.
(4) Michael Callen, Surviving AIDS, HarperCollins, 1990.
(5) Henry H. Bauer, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, McFarland, 2007, pp. 119-20
(6) Homocaust: The gay victims of the Holocaust.
(7) Michelle Cochrane, When AIDS began: San Francisco and the making of an epidemic, Routledge, 2004.
(8) David F. Greenberg, The Construction of Homosexuality, University of Chicago Press, 1988.
(9) http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=booty%20call

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24 Responses to “AIDS and homosexuality”

  1. Tom said

    This is so true. I lived it in the gay community in the 1980s. The friends I knew that were diagnosed with AIDS had been indulging in the fast lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, poppers and late nights. I saw this connection then. There were however cases of friends I knew who, did not live the fast lifestyle but, were diagnosed with AIDS. In these cases I felt they were misdiagnosed. It was sad to see them killed by AZT.

  2. Isn’t an underlying assumption of this post that homosexuality, longing and actions, are without problems in and of themselves and all problems experienced by homosexuals is solely due to lack of societal acceptance/acceptance of themselves etc.? As a natural law person, I don’t think there is anything here or anywhere that would refute my stance that there are inherently disordered activities which work against human flourishing of which homosexuality is one. Now I am not saying that society in general or Christians in specific have acted properly and lovingly towards homosexuals, but I see no reason for the position that full acceptance will lead to wonderful lives for homosexuals in the future. The best, most rigorous, and fair article on the subject that I have read can be found here – http://www.wheaton.edu/CACE/CACE-Print-Resources/~/media/Files/Centers-and-Institutes/CACE/articles/Sexual%20Orientation%20and%20Reason%20%201-9-20122.pdf

    • Henry Bauer said

      christiantrader:
      “Isn’t an underlying assumption of this post that homosexuality, longing and actions, are without problems in and of themselves and all problems experienced by homosexuals is solely due to lack of societal acceptance/acceptance of themselves etc.?”

      YES

      That’s my reading of Altman’s discussions, and I find it quite plausible. But he doesn’t suggest, nor do I, that “full acceptance will lead to wonderful lives for homosexuals in the future” — any more than that all heterosexuals lead “wonderful lives”. Just that their sexual orientation would not bring disadvantages that other people don’t face.

      I’m agnostic about most of the assertions in that interesting article. I think it’s plausible that some homosexuals are genetically programmed that way while others are socially programmed that way while others are influenced to different degrees by those factors. I’m sure, though, that the simplistic argument sometimes made is wrong, that homosexuality is unnatural because evolution would flush out the genes for it because it doesn’t help reproduce the species. I’m also sure that no matter what the causes might be, they do not or should not determine what society does.

      • James said

        “I’m sure, though, that the simplistic argument sometimes made is wrong, that homosexuality is unnatural because evolution would flush out the genes for it because it doesn’t help reproduce the species.”

        Which is why sociobiologists are so intrigued by homosexuality. Genetically it should have wiped itself out, yet it continues to occur. From this they look for what benefits a species as a whole might gain from there being some members who are homosexual.

        I guess as long as a society enforces heterosexual pairing & reproduction, then provided (in a time before turkey basters) that homosexual men could still manage some arousal and ejaculation, they would still be producing offspring (some of whom would carry the genetic determinants of homosexuality). After recognising I was gay some 40 years ago, I still haven’t been able to form a conclusion about whether or not homosexuality is biologically determined or an effect of social interplay.

        It does seem that homosexual behaviour is to be found in many species. Unfortunately, even in animal science as much as medicine, the observers could not produce value-free observations (many naturalists refused to record/publish their observations of the natural world when it went against their preconception of what must be natural).

      • Henry Bauer said

        James:
        Re “the simplistic argument sometimes made is wrong, that homosexuality is unnatural because evolution would flush out the genes for it because it doesn’t help reproduce the species”: The argument is wrong because (1) evolution by natural selection cannot always select for individual genes or sets of them because of physical associations. If gene A codes for a VERY favorable protein, that might carry along with it genes B, C, … simply because they are physically close to A on the genome; and (2), genetic traits that are somewhat unfavorable might nevertheless be selected for if they also have a specific advantage—the classic exemplar being sickle-cell anemia, which is a chronic disability yet was selected for in Africa because it provides protection against malaria. Embryos that inherit 2 s-c genes do not survive, but those with an s-c from just one parent survive malaria better than those with no s-c genes.
        The general lesson is, we don’t understand genomics and evolution well enough to be able to predict what evolution would or would not do.

  3. mo79uk said

    Rising drug use after the Vietnam War allied with the rising of gay liberation – a disaster waiting to happen.

  4. What can we as a society do? What can I individually do? How long do you think it will be until it carries less stigma just as AIDS and homosexuality are no longer such big ‘secrets’ as it was years ago?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Stalina Dsouza:
      As individuals I think we can talk with friends and acquaintances and try to help them understand. Write letters to newspapers, comment on blogs, take every opportunity to speak truths.
      As I mentioned briefly, Altman will have been surprised at such changes since 1980 as homosexual clergy, openly homosexual people in the military, recognition of gay marriage in an increasing number of countries and USA states. I’ve been quite astonished at how many prominent people have, like me, changed from accepting the old psychiatric opinion to being active supporters of full civil rights including marriage. So I think talking to and writing to media may help to hurry things along even more.

      • christiantrader said

        I think one problem with simply using the works by Altman as the final word is that there is now data on the experiences of homosexuals in places/countries that don’t stigmatize such behavior. Not every place in this country or the world is South Carolina. Yet there seems to remain a greater risk of substance abuse and various mental illnesses in people who live such lifestyles than the populations at large.

        If one does not assume apriori that any increases in mental problems etc in homosexuals in comparison to the general populations are due to increased levels of stigma, is there any reason to believe that such is the only explanation?

        If such is not the only explanation, then shouldn’t we have a vigorous discussion before attempting a full court press in favor of normalization?

      • Henry Bauer said

        christiantrader:
        I said nothing about “final word”. Altman’s contemporary insider perspective helped me understand just how “liberating” Stonewall and subsequent events will have been and consequently why some small proportion of gay men went overboard in celebration.
        I don’t know of any place in the world where nothing about homosexual behavior or professed identity is not stigmatized to some degree. Where do you mean?
        The burden of proof is not on those who regard homosexual behavior, whether occasional or exclusive, as a normal aspect of human beings—the burden of proof is on you to explain why there’s something wrong with it, given that it has existed in every society for which we have information, and since such behavior is also observed among other mammals and among birds.

      • christiantrader said

        If Altman is not the final word, then homosexuals continuing to test higher for hiv/aids (accepting that such is an indication of an immune response and not a sexually transmitted disease), still must be explained at this late date after Stonewall. Same sex relationships are still typically shorter etc. To attempt to say that all such differences are due to lack of acceptance, does not make sense.

        I mean places like the Netherlands where equivalent marriage rights go back 15 years while full marriage rights go back 12. Do the various problems faced by same sex couples start to fade over time? The answer is no.

        Lastly, there are many activities that have existed in all cultures that we do not welcome today. Homosexual relationships are not the only one being shunned.The issue is the same with other mammals. From an evolutionary perspective, why does it makes sense to put the burden of proof on those who stand with the consensus over all human history that same sex relationships are not the equivalent to heterosexual sexual relationships?

      • Henry Bauer said

        christiantrader:
        “AIDS” nowadays is an entirely different thing than in the early 1980s. After acceptance of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis, every condition that yielded an appreciable number of positive “HIV” tests came to be re-defined as an AIDS disease; perhaps most absurdly, cervical cancer and tuberculosis.
        The rate of “AIDS” in the Netherlands is very low, indeed in every part of the world except USA, Caribbean, and southern Africa; which illustrates that false HIV+ results are most common with people of African genetic ancestry.
        There has not been the “consensus over all human history” that you allege. Just read about ancient Greece, for instance. You’re wrong on too many factual matters. The original AIDS did not affect long-term monogamous homosexual couples any more than anyone else, see Michelle Cochrane’s book.

      • James said

        For some years I have been involved with a political organisation which is mostly made up of uneducated working-class men and women. They abhor political correctness. Yet they are overwhelmingly indifferent to whether or not someone is gay. I’m just saying this as I think that the lack of acceptance (in Britain at any rate) has mostly gone. In opinion polls some 60% of the general population express tolerance of homosexuality (alas, that is not the case with muslims in Britain, who are almost 100% hostile to homosexuality).

        As I grasped to come to terms with being gay as a teenager in a small town in the 1970s, I never thought in my lifetime I’d see politicians talking about legalising same-sex marriage. The social change has been extraordinary.

      • Henry Bauer said

        James:
        Yes, the change has been enormous. Part of the reason is the widespread coming out of the closet, so that both gay and straight people could realize that the old stereotypes were based on a very skewed sample.

  5. Francis said

    If we are going to spruke about “Consensus”, Christiantrader, then we should ask the Moslems, Hindus and Bhuddists among others what they think about your religion; as you are clearly a minority, does that make you wrong? And let’s face it, there is not a single shred of scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that a single sentient being created the universe……….still wrong?

    A belief in anything, no matter by how many does not make it true.

    The history of humanity is replete with examples of mass delusions which eventually fade away, sadly only to be replaced with others. It appears a tragic human trait to follow what is popular rather than correct; worse is the tendency to shun those who deviate from the popular culture of the time. Something as inane as clothing fashions are a prime example, or haircuts and facial hair even. Hard to accept we are no better than animals with such a herd mentality.

    Is homosexuality wrong? Biologically for the purposes of species reproduction for sure. Socially, dependent on which culture you come from and indeed what phase of that culture you live in, but wrong? That’s a truly biased call. Let’s face it, there was a time when it was the accepted norm to put Christians to death. That is until they got the upper hand and returned the favour.

    That gay marriages tend not to last the distance is more likely the product of social stigmas, the constant pressure on “out” couples is intense and not just from the heterosexual community. Many gays quietly question their own sexuality from time to time as do some heterosexuals; biology or psychology? “Traditional” marriages aren’t doing that much better these days though, with divorce rates on a steady incline and accelerating rapidly as the stigma of divorce fades away. Be honest, how many long-term marriages would survive if there was no penalty either social or financial to pay for opting out? My experience is that most males in long-term marriages only stay either “for the kids” or because they can’t afford to take a minimum 50% hit on their superannuation whilst losing the house and most of their friends. From listening to others moan at social events it seems a large proportion of marriages become asexual in any event.

    Should gays have the right to be married in churches? I doubt it. But should gays be allowed to marry or commit to a serious long-term relationship that is recognised by and offers the protections and benefits of law, certainly. It wasn’t that long ago that interracial marriages were shunned by church and state, and most hard-line churches won’t allow marriage outside their religion, let alone outside the sexual norm. Why anyone wants to be a member of that club is beyond me.

    I can ask, what makes a human believe in God? Is that biologically programmed or a product of social norms? And why are the numbers of “believers” in religion on the decline in Western societies, is God becoming less popular?

    On a lighter note, did you hear about the dyslexic, insomniac, agnostic? He lays awake at night wondering if there really is a Dog.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Francis:
      I agree with just about all your cogent points. Just one caveat re species reproduction: There have been interesting discussions, that if evolution proceeds at least in part by kin selection, group selection, then societies containing some proportion of homosexual individuals might well be more successful, e.g. by having a certain number of adults who can mentor and care for children without sexual conflicts of interest re mates and competition for mates.

  6. Louis Hissink said

    Henry,

    Years ago I did a “Google” search to find the publication of experiments involving rats and casein hydrolysate (my late physician/surgeon father discovered it’s efficacy in treating physical trauma/shock during WWII involving the lymphatic system but they never really extracted the active ingredient out of the casein hydrolysate economically afterwards in Australia) in order to see if anyone else was researching this particular substance as treatment for shock and surgical trauma. Close to his passing away considerable interest continued in his discovery but recent discoveries in medical plasma etc. tells me that my father was on the wrong track and should have looked for an electrical explanation for the lymph system behaviour. Easy being wise after the event :-) But that’s science.

    Early days for internet searching, I quickly discovered from the irrelevant results that initial search produced, but I did come across one article that mentioned a Swedish(?) study on rats and overpopulation stress development. That experiment showed that over-crowding caused the female rats to start producing homosexual male offspring in order to reduce the pregnancy rate, a sort of biological feedback mechanism. The physical mechanism was excess generation of androgen during the first trimester of pregnancy that then caused the male thalamus to become more female like and which produced homosexual male rats. Those rats had smaller thalami than heterosexual male rats.

    At the time it was considered too controversial a result for mass dissemination but these days things have become less controversial and perhaps this aspect could be publicised a bit more. Of course it would be interesting if that experiment was replicated as well.

    But it does seem a useful topic to explore here given the expected reactions from the usual suspects. That is if homosexuality is a biological feedback mechanism to regulate population numbers, then it could be concluded that it’s a natural biological response.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Louis Hissink:
      Interesting, thanks, worth exploring.

      • Louis Hissink said

        Yes, but given the historical population estimates of pre Roman times, perhaps a misguided hypothesis. (The Etruscans).

  7. tyler said

    I believe the most overlooked cause or contributor to “AIDS” is lack of nutrition. This is caused by repeated rinsing of the lower intestine thereby causing incomplete absorption of nutrients into the body.
    Although the person may not look “thin” as you would associate malnourishment with. Nevertheless, the vital nutrients are not given time to process. The person doesn’t know they are starving, because the body is being fooled into believing it’s had food digested through the stomach. Combine that with techniques like rimming and excessive indulgence without giving the body time to rest and death could most certainly occur.
    To contrast this, if a moderately healthy person can die from lesser health issues, I would suggest that the extreme homosexual lifestyle can take its toll.
    It’s my opinion that the idea of “HIV’ has created a huge amount of harm to many people and contributed to thousands of deaths and death sentences.
    It’s pure negligence by any doctor that continues to believe such hype that A “new” virus passed off from monkeys has torn through, the gay community and nobody can seem to figure it out. But it sure is profitable!,, so they carry on with the status quo.

    • Henry Bauer said

      tyler:
      Part of your suggestions seems very like the intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis.

      When you mention “the extreme homosexual lifestyle” I trust you mean the “fast-lane” life-style practiced by a small proportion of gay men during the 1970s and early 1980s. That this became increasingly rare is indicated by the decline in incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma which was (almost certainly) owing to the use of poppers.

      I don’t think profit motive is the reason HIV=AIDS continues to hold sway, it’s much more complicated than that, see my The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory and Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth

  8. I have a response to make to one of Christiantrader’s comments. He wrote,

    “then homosexuals continuing to test higher for hiv/aids (accepting that such is an indication of an immune response and not a sexually transmitted disease), still must be explained at this late date after Stonewall.”

    Henry gave probably the most pertinent response. However, I think there is another angle we could take to explain why homosexuals test higher for HIV. I think it’s simpler than you might think.

    HIV tests, just as most pathology I imagine, require figures for specificity and sensitivity. These form part of what I recently learned about, called Positive Predictive Value (PPV). One variable in PPV is prevalence (how many people overall in a given population have a given disease).

    And AFAIK, HIV tests have questionnaires, and one of the questions might be about sexual orientation. The variable for prevalence increases if the answer to that question is ‘homosexual’.

    Therefore, the PPV goes up if the patient being tested is gay. Of course there is circular reasoning going on, but if I’m right, then that puzzle (of gays testing higher for HIV) has been solved from at least two angles now.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Karim Ghantous:
      You are quite right. The same degree of reaction on an “HIV” test might cause a black gay man to be told he is positive and a white woman to be told she is not positive; see ““HIV” tests are self-fulfilling prophecies”

      • James said

        I have had a 10 year problem with pain, and have been at my wits end in the last year or two. At the end of the road for analgesics, and at the end of the road for all the other bizarre off-label remedies they’ve thrown my way (anti-epilepsy drugs, anti-depressants, etc.) I have even been considering going for a HIV test, but I would have told them I was heterosexual, specifically because I did not want them making the discrimination to which Henry refers. Whether or not the test came back “positive” would not have meant that a skeptic like me would have believed it indicated the presence (current or past) of HIV. But it would have been another indicator for me to consider.

        As luck would have it, I seem to have found the answer to my problems. It is early days yet, and I’m ready to be disappointed (I might be undergoing a placebo effect, although strange that I don’t get any placebo response from the range of off-label things they have thrown at me).

        It appears I have a sulphur deficiency. And I discovered it by chance, and then refined my discovery to isolate the pain-reduction to NAC, which is a major source of sulphur. I’ve moved on from NAC to other sulphur containing compounds (specifically, MSM). On doing my research on the safety/effects of MSM (and DMSO) I found there were very few scientific papers on it. But one of the few does specifically mention it for people with chronic pain.

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