HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for February, 2013

Killing a baby

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/28

In the United States of America, a newborn baby is being killed by toxic drugs. The opinions and wishes of the parents are ignored as against the  authority of Social Services, who appear to believe that “HIV” tests diagnose infection even though they do not (S. H. Weiss and E. P. Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection”, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. G. P. Wormser, 2004).

The baby’s mother had also been so treated, but her (adopted) parents fled the jurisdiction, took her off antiretrovirals, and she grew healthily and normally thereafter, albeit probably of shorter stature than if she had never been fed AZT.

In the present case, the authorities made flight impossible.

Everyone should read this, even as it will make you sick.

 

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV tests, Legal aspects, prejudice | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Official statements about HIV/AIDS cannot be trusted

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/21

Here and in my book, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, I’ve given many examples of how untrustworthy is what we hear about HIV, about AIDS, about antiretroviral drugs, and more.
More recently I realized that what’s wrong with HIV/AIDS theory, research, and practice reflects what’s wrong quite generally  nowadays in medicine and science, so I started another blog to discuss that general situation. My most recent entry there is about how unreliable the information is that the public gets, including about HIV and AIDS  — You don’t get what you don’t pay for: Reliable information.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, uncritical media | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Denialism

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/16

Those who don’t accept that HIV has been proven to be the cause of AIDS are nowadays labeled “denialists” — as a substitute for answering their arguments and the evidence they point to.

The same has happened to people who do not accept that it has been  proven that human-caused emission of carbon dioxide appreciably adds to global warming.

In many fields of science and medicine, a mainstream consensus has become dogma, and dissenters are treated as heretics to be professionally excommunicated (Dogmatism  in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth, McFarland 2012)

It is worth pointing out that it is the so-called “denialists” who exemplify the skeptical conservatism that was a traditional safeguard of reliability, whereas the mainstream bandwagons of HIV/AIDS theory and human-caused-global-warming theory gained hegemony long before convincing evidence was at hand.

The media have failed dismally by not pointing out that the “denialists” are actually doing what scientists are supposed to do and that they comprise a large number of highly qualified and accomplished people with substantial credentials in pertinent disciplines; see “Denialism” — Who are the “denialists”?

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Junk HIV/AIDS science from Max Essex and others

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/10

A fellow Rethinker was interested in an article by Max Essex, “The Etiology of AIDS”, in the monograph AIDS in Africa, so I got it on Interlibrary Loan and made the mistake of glancing through it. The book is replete with factual errors. It illustrates much about the AIDS industry: researchers publish incessantly for no good reason, just for self-promotion; and this is abetted by publishers who know they can make a handsome living by producing high-priced tomes that all-too-many academic libraries feel obliged to purchase (AIDS in Africa is listed at $195 on amazon.com).

The following refers to the 2002 (second) edition of AIDS in Africa, which was first published in 1994. The Preface by Essex and co-editors (Souleymane Mboup, Phyllis J. Kanki, Richard G. Marlink, Sheila D. Tlou) raises a number of points worth pondering, for instance, that in some African countries “more than a third of young women are HIV-infected”. Recall that HIV crossed to humans from apes in Africa, some unknown time before it arrived in the USA via Haiti, according to the current mainstream fable. If there are now countries where so many young women are “HIV-positive”, it’s difficult to understand how there is any population there at all, at least 4 decades after the deadly virus first began to spread. Especially since “65% to 85% of teenagers in some countries will die of AIDS unless major changes occur now”. Again: Why weren’t they dying while HIV was spreading after its ape-to-human jump at least 4 decades ago?
During the 1980s, Essex at al. inform, the focus regarding AIDS was on the USA and Europe, it was largely ignored in Africa even by African governments. Evidently not too many Africans were dying of AIDS!? But “there has been a massive expansion of the AIDS epidemic in Africa . . . [o]ver the last eight years”. Again there’s something obviously wrong here. Where was HIV/AIDS in Africa hiding up to ~1994? Why has it exploded only since it did become of wide concern, including at least rudimentary provision of antiretroviral drugs and other interventions? Some of which have been praised for remarkable success in bringing down infection rates?

Why no vaccine, after “more than 15 years . . . of intent to develop a vaccine”? Essex et al. know why: resources have not been great enough, and in general “[p]reventive medicine has never been as popular as therapy”.
Balderdash.
There’s no vaccine because despite a variety of attempts, there have been nothing but failures — for which the most plausible reason is that “HIV” isn’t an infectious agent.

Essex et al. not only distort the past and present, they can even see into the future: “The new edition . . . reflect[s] the current and future epidemics” [emphasis added]. They may well be right, given that the AIDS epidemics are nowadays manufactured by the AIDS industry and its researchers.

Chapter 1, “The Etiology of AIDS” by Max Essex and Souleymane Mboup, begins in unpromising fashion if one cares for accuracy. The first identification of AIDS in 1981, they say, was in “young adults” and comprised “Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and Mycobacterium avium tuberculosis” as “the most frequently observed”.
But the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports specify only Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and “Other opportunistic diseases” up to 1988. For the first time in 1989 is Mycobacterium avium tuberculosis mentioned separately, and then it comprises only 1243 definitive plus 105 presumptive cases out of a total of 48,109. Even including M. tuberculosis and other mycobacterial disease only brings the total to 2770 (i.e., less than 6%) compared to 18,288 for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. In reality, TB has only comparatively recently become an “AIDS” disease. A cynic might suggest that Essex and Mboup want TB to have been a AIDS disease from the beginning because in Africa it is one of the most common manifestations of “HIV/AIDS”, that is to say one of the most common pre-existing diseases to be included under “AIDS” in order to boost the numbers.
As to “young adults”, Michelle Cochrane found in the original medical records that the average age of AIDS victims in the early 1980s was mid-to-late 30s, much more compatible with a lifestyle explanation than with a sexually transmitted disease (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, pp. 187-8).

Much else would be grist for criticism in “The Etiology of AIDS”, for example that the title does not describe the contents and that the cited references include more Essex publications than could be objectively justified. But instead of continuing this thankless and frustrating analysis, I’ll just refer to some egregious errors in the discussion of testing. There are no tests or combination of tests that can by themselves diagnose infection by HIV, inevitably so since there is no gold standard because pure HIV virions have never been isolated from an AIDS patient or an “HIV-positive” person (Stanley H. Weiss & Elliot P. Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection” in Gary P. Wormser [ed.], AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection). Yet here are some of the statements to be found in AIDS in Africa, Chapter 7, “Serodiagnosis of HIV Infection”, by Aissatou Guèye-Ndiaye:

“Serologic assays have been an established method for the clinical diagnosis of HIV infection since the early 1980s”, citing none other than Stanley H. Weiss for his 1982 paper on screening, which is not diagnosis. Then the crucial distinction between screening and diagnosis is explicitly muddied: “These techniques for detecting HIV infection have also been fundamental to the screening of blood donations, and to the epidemiologic monitoring of . . . the AIDS epidemic” [emphasis added]. Further, “direct detection is based on the identification of whole viral particles . . . . [T]he polymerase chain reaction (PCR) [is] . . . the most common direct detection assay”.
These gross mistakes are not ameliorated by admissions that the “genetic variability of HIVs” means that some strains may not be detected; the real problem is that none of the tests are a sound basis for demonstrating infection.
“[A] screening assay [is] followed by a supplementary or confirmatory assay . . . . [C]onfirmatory assays . . . distinguish true infections from nonspecific reactions” [emphasis added] — but supplementary is not the same as confirmatory, and no “HIV” test is confirmatory, indeed cannot be since there is no gold standard for these tests since pure HIV virions have never been isolated from an AIDS patient or from a person who is “HIV-positive”.
As is so often the case with the mainstream HIV/AIDS literature, reasonably close reading by any half-awake person would suffice to undercut the wrong assertions. Thus Guèye-Ndiaye mentions that interpretation of ELISA results hinges on setting cut-off values for color reactions, in other words “positive”, “indeterminate”, and “negative” are based on arbitrary decisions. And although Western Blot is called “the gold standard of HIV testing”, the subsequent Table 1 describes five quite different criteria for what constitutes a positive, according to the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the American Red Cross, France, and Japan. If there are five quite different criteria, none of them can be authoritative. (Not mentioned is Britain, where the Western Blot is used only for research purposes because it is not suitable for confirmation or diagnosis of HIV infection.)

Not surprisingly, Weiss and Cowan are not cited by Guèye-Ndiaye, even though their chapter is in a monograph first published in 1987 and now in its 4th edition (2004). Already the 2nd edition in 1992 described the unreliability of the Western Blot and that PCR is prone to false positives (as its inventor, Kary Mullis, has himself pointed out).

I read no more than these two chapters in any detail, recalling the long-ago words of  David Grahame, a singularly meticulous and ground-breaking electrochemist at Amherst College: It is not a productive endeavor to be spending time ferreting out mistakes in other people’s work.
The important point is made amply by the above-demonstrated flaws. The monograph AIDS in Africa contains plainly wrong, dangerously misleading material on central issues about HIV/AIDS; which is all the more disgraceful and inexcusable since this is its 2nd edition (the copy I borrowed gives Kluwer Academic/Plenum as publisher, but amazon.com credits it to Springer).

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV tests, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Altman on AIDS (and homosexuality)

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/05

“AIDS and homosexuality”  described how two of Dennis Altman’s books helped me get a better feel for the intensity of emotional release that “gay liberation” beginning with Stonewall had brought to some number of gay men; which made it even more plausible for me that the small proportion of gay men who contracted AIDS did so as a result of a decade or so of exuberant but unwise “fast-lane” living.

A few years after AIDS appeared, Altman published AIDS in the Mind of America, (Anchor/Doubleday, 1986). Neither there nor later has he expressed doubts about  HIV = AIDS; yet his writings continue to provide evidence for the lifestyle hypothesis. For example, Altman views sex and sexuality as central to his and others’ sense of identity:
He cites (p. 7) Richard Goldstein: “For gay men, sex, that most powerful implement of attachment and arousal, is also an agent of communion, replacing an often hostile family and even shaping politics. It represents an ecstatic break with years of glances and guises, the furtive past we left behind”. Another man put it like this: “Whenever I threw my legs in the air, I thought I was doing my bit for gay liberation” (p. 143).
Altman acknowledges, directly but also indirectly, that there was a great deal of unwise behavior: “Far too many of us assumed that modern medicine could cure any of the illnesses that seemed to accompany ‘fast-lane’ living” (p. 93). Some gay men were more interested in having fun than in the political activism of gay liberation: “We’d be out partying on Fire Island during the Gay Pride marches” (p. 104) — and for a sense of what partying on Fire Island in the 1970s meant, see the 2003 TV documentary, When Ocean Meets Sky. There were T-shirts saying, “So many men, so little time” (p. 142). For most heterosexual people, promiscuity might mean several extramarital partners during the life of a marriage, to some gay mean it meant more partners than several in a single night (p. 144). Being responsible was commonly interpreted as having frequent checks for syphilis and gonorrhea, and such “doubtful practices as taking a couple of tetracycline capsules before going to the baths” (p. 143) — practices that can wreak havoc on the intestinal immune system.

Altman also knew that the average age of the early AIDS patients was mid-30s (p. 20), surely a pointer to the result of years of burning the candle at all ends, rather than a sexually transmitted disease since the latter tends to strike at younger ages already. Altman knew that hepatitis and enteric parasites, not easily treatable, had become well known among gay men in the 1970s (p. 143), and Altman himself had experienced an opportunistic infection, toxoplasmosis, in the mid-1970s (p. 96).

I would guess that for those gay men for whom sexual freedom was a central feature of gay liberation, cognitive dissonance would be hard at work to avoid a lifestyle explanation for AIDS and to accept the virus hypothesis. Yet if Altman had followed the statistics, he would have learned that AIDS remained largely a phenomenon of gay men and drug abusers, with the addition — following on the re-definition of AIDS as “HIV-positive” — of TB patients and people of African ancestry. Surely such restriction to a few social sectors makes no sense for a sexually transmitted condition. Admittedly, the mainstream emphasis on AIDS in Africa muddies the waters by providing apparent support for the prevalence of heterosexually associated AIDS.

At any rate, Altman has been far from alone among gay men in failing to recognize the significance of the evidence for the lifestyle explanation; exceptions have been few indeed. A powerful incentive will have been the degree to which AIDS had been associated since the beginning with gay men, and a desire that the stigma of AIDS should not fall only on gay men. Official agencies had included representatives from gay groups in discussion from the earliest years (pp. 12-3). It was a shibboleth (p. 22) that the most characteristic gay activity of the 1980s was to examine the skin for signs of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Chapter 5, “The Gay Community’s Response”, recounts how prominent a role gay men played in everything to do with AIDS research and treatment, and they were the chief pressure groups for public funding (Chapter 6).

So AIDS in the Mind of America makes the lifestyle explanation for AIDS yet more plausible, and also illustrates how difficult it must nevertheless be for even highly intelligent, well-read, cultured gay men to take it seriously. The book is also of historical interest, not least for reminding how hysterical the popular reaction was to the notion of a fatal sexually transmitted disease (pp. 60-5, 184-5): medical personnel refusing to treat AIDS patients, airlines suggesting they might not load passengers suffering from AIDS, schools excluding “HIV-positive” students. In hindsight this makes remarkable reading: suggested measures to be taken included the possible quarantining of gay men, suggested by no less than James Chin, then epidemiologist for California and recently author of The AIDS Pandemic which makes the extraordinary suggestion that 20-40% of sub-Saharan adults are in concurrent sexual relations with about a dozen people at any given time and change those partners about annually.

We are reminded that the “HIV” tests encountered difficulties before finally being licensed, that it took nearly a year after Gallo’s claim to have identified HIV.

As in his earlier books, Altman mentions some of the uneasiness in the relations between lesbian groups and organizations of gay men. Cited is a complaint that “women’s health issues” were being ignored in favor of funding AIDS ventures (p. 94); one outcome of which was that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention looked intensely for some way to include women among at-risk groups and coming up with cervical cancer as an AIDS disease.

Given my interest in science, and how it has become increasingly unreliable and corrupt in recent decades (scimedskeptic.wordpress.com), I was struck by a citation (p. 180) from historian June Goodfield who recognized already around 1980 that “grantsmanship as much as discovery, has become the art form of American science” (An Imagined World, Penguin, 1982, p.105).

Once again I recommend Altman’s book as well worth reading. My interest in his work led me to get his autobiography and to learn of several similarities to my own history: son of German-speaking refugees, growing up in Australia, experiencing the University of Sydney at roughly the same time, continuing education in the United States.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, prejudice, sexual transmission | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

 
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