I’ve recommended the Science and Democracy conferences and website before — “Italy, a new Renaissance, and the need for slower science” (2011/07/12) and “SELENIUM: Mainstreamers again follow rethinkers as to dietary supplements” (2008/07/14).
Their third collection of essays has now been published: Science and the Citizen: Contemporary Issues and Controversies, ed. Marco Mamone Capria, lulu.com, 2013, $25.99 (ISBN 978-1291446838); also available from amazon.com.
Of particular interest concerning HIV/AIDS is David Rasnick’s “AIDS drugs cause AIDS and death”, which contains striking documented facts, for example that even properly prescribed drugs kill 100,000 a year in the USA — and that did not consider the deaths and damages done by antiretroviral drugs. Rasnick surveys the toxicity of antiretrovirals, and provides a much-needed discussion of Immune Reconstitution Syndrome (IRS) or Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS) or Immune Reconstitution Disease (IRD) which had been invented to explain why AIDS patients became more ill rather than less after taking antiretroviral drugs: supposedly the immune system in reconstituting itself causes toxic inflammation through hyperactivity.
I had been aware that IRS/IRIS/IRD is a self-serving paradox, a colleague of ICL, Idiopathic CD4-T-cell Lymphopenia, a.k.a. HIV-negative AIDS, invented to protect the status of HIV as cause of AIDS. But I had not done any further reading about IRS/IRIS/IRD, so Rasnick’s article is an eye-opener. He cites 14 articles reporting the incidence of IRS in between 4 and 66% of patients receiving antiretroviral drugs, with a crudely calculated (by me) average of 28%: thus more than a quarter of people give antiretroviral treatment suffer life-threatening reactions.
My subsequent search at PubMed for more information delivered 2715 citations for Immune Reconstitution Disease, 1470 for Immune Reconstitution Syndrome, 1010 for Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome, and 550 for Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Disease.
On the other hand, the NIH Treatment Guidelines make no big deal about IRIS, mentioning it only as a possible outcome when patients with certain opportunistic infections receive antiretroviral treatment.
Rasnick’s article is one of five in the book’s section titled “Corporate Medicine”; the other articles are “Medicine and democracy”, “Evidence-based medicine? Wishful thinking”, “The bigger the lie — the Wakefield case”, and “Ethics, surgeons, and transplantation”.
Other sections of the book are:
Brave new science and its discontents
Experts and participatory democracy
Public opinions, official lies, and whistleblowers
and there is a concluding essay by Anthony Liversidge which describes the ambience of these Science and Democracy conferences.
There is much in this book to interest anyone who is at all skeptical about what mainstream sources and mass media promulgate.