HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for the ‘HIV absurdities’ Category

HPV insanity

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/23

Number of Americans living with HPV: 79,100,000 (M and F about equally)
Number of new HPV infections annually: 14,100,000
(for 2008, cited in CDC Fact Sheet “Incidence, Prevalence, and Cost of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States”, February 2013)

In 2010 (the most recent year numbers are available)
11,818 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer.

So the risk of developing cervical cancer if infected with HPV is roughly 12,000 out of ~40 million (only women get cervical cancer)
In what sense can it be said meaningfully that HPV causes cervical cancer, if that happens to one HPV-infected woman in every 3000?

* * * * * * * *

Not only is the incidence of cervical cancer low compared to most other cancers, it has also declined steadily for many decades: from 14.79 per 100,000 in 1975 to 6.71 in 2010 (SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2010). Between 2001 and 2010, incidence decreased steadily at 1.9% per year (Gynecologic Cancers).

Despite the steady decrease in incidence of cervical cancer, official recommendations are that pre-puberty girls be vaccinated — a practice that carries more risks of harm than possible benefit:
CDC mongers fear and hawks deadly vaccineGardasil and Cervarix: Vaccination insanity

* * * * * * * *

“HIV” may be a role model for wrong inferences based on mistaken confusion of correlation with causation. (Refresher: Correlation never proves causation.)
Because “HIV-positive” is found in a great variety of conditions, “HIV” is being blamed for an increasing range of ailments, many of which are actually caused by antiretroviral drugs, for example heart failure — see The Case against HIV,  sections 3.2, 4.3, 5, 6.1
So HPV too is being credited with causing more and more things.
First there was a campaign to treat boys as well as girls with anti-HPV vaccine so that they would be less likely to suffer from genital warts, a practice whose risk/benefit ratio is even less desirable than for women and cervical cancer. Bear in mind that, once again, all that’s known is that there appears to be a correlation between some strains of HPV and genital warts.
Then “studies” have found that “HPV also has been associated with . . . vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, and some head and neck cancers” (The Link Between HPV and Non-Cervical Cancers).

Here’s another pertinent fact about statistics and correlations. The typical criterion of significance used by sociologists and medical researchers is p < 0.05, meaning that there is a 5% chance or less that the apparent correlation has no significance. Very roughly speaking, that means 5 of every 100 apparent correlations are purely random, chance occurrences.
Look at that another way. Assume there are a number of variables, and each is tested against each of the others to see whether there is a correlation. Purely by chance, 5% of all the tests will appear to show a correlation that is, however, spurious.
In other words: If a study tests 100 possible correlations and finds 5 statistically significant correlations, then all 5 are most probably spurious.
One trouble is that research articles report their “statistically significant” correlations, but don’t alert the reader to how many possible correlations were considered.

“HPV is a group of more than 100 related viruses” but only 2 — HPV 16 and 18 — are said to cause cervical cancer, or rather “about 70 percent of all cervical cancers”.
If just 40 strains of HPV had been tested for possible correlation with cervical cancer, purely by chance there would appear to be 2 correlations, spurious correlations.

Once an unwarranted theory has become mainstream, further research will turn up any number of intriguing things — intriguing because they make no sense. With HPV, for example, because there are so many strains one can come up with really mind-boggling results clearly demanding further research and research grants (HPV vaccines may be less effective in African American women, researchers find):
“Among women with mild cervical dysplasia, or early precancerous cells:
African American women: HPV types 33, 35, 58, 68
White women: HPV 16, 18, 56, 39, 66
Among women with moderate to severe cervical dysplasia, or advanced precancerous cells:
African American women: HPV types 31, 35, 45, 56, 58, 66, 68
White women: HPV 16, 18, 33, 39, 59”.

Since the presumption is that “mild cervical dysplasia, or early precancerous cells” lead to “moderate to severe cervical dysplasia, or advanced precancerous cells” on the way to actual cervical cancer, isn’t it intriguing (= makes no sense) that not the same sets of strains are “associated” with the first conditions as with the second?

What are the odds that these findings will be repeatable?
More likely, later studies will find equally spurious correlations with other strains.

And by the way: What inspiration was behind the hypothesis that cervical cancers would be caused by different strains of HPV in white women and in African-American women?

* * * * * * * *

I had been stimulated into this sidetrack into HPV and associated vaccines by something that popped up on my Goggle HIV Alert:

HIV drug used to reverse effects of virus that causes cervical cancer

This seemed so bizarre that I followed the suggestion that “For further information, please contact Alison Barbuti, Media Relations Officer | Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences | The University of Manchester Tel: +44(0)161 275 8383 Email: alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk”

An immediate response came that since I was not a journalist, my request had been forwarded to the authors. One of them e-mailed immediately that the material would be sent as soon as they were back home. That was a month ago. My paranoia is showing again: maybe they looked at my website and didn’t like my attitude toward HIV and antiretroviral drugs?
After all, for lopinavir (LPV) — the “HIV drug” of the title of the press release —one finds in the literature that all protease inhibitors have the following “side” effects (Table 13 in Treatment Guidelines, updated 12 February 2013):
Bleeding events
Cardiovascular disease
(Associated with MI and stroke in some cohort studies. . . .) . . . LPV/r: PR interval prolongation. Risks include structural heart disease, conduction system abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease, and coadministration with drugs that prolong PR interval.
Gastrointestinal (GI) effects
GI intolerance (e.g., diarrhea, nausea, vomiting); Diarrhea: . . . LPV/r > DRV/r and ATV/r
Hepatic effects
All PIs: Drug-induced hepatitis and hepatic decompensation (and rare cases of fatalities) have been reported with all PIs to varying degrees
Lipodystrophy
Trunk fat increase . . . ; however, causal relationship has not been established.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)/ toxic epidermal necrosis (TEN)
. . . LPV/r . . . : Reported cases

For LPV specifically (Lopinavir + Ritonavir LPV/r)/Kaletra:
“GI intolerance, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; Pancreatitis; Asthenia [weakness]; Hyperlipidemia (especially hypertriglyceridemia); Serum transaminase elevation; Hyperglycemia; Insulin resistance/diabetes mellitus; Fat maldistribution; Possible increased bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia; PR interval prolongation; QT interval prolongation and torsades de pointes have been reported; however, causality could not be established”.

Again with “HIV” as role model, the idea appears to be to administer dangerous drugs in absence of any substantial and proven risk.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, uncritical media | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

The Drug-AIDS hypothesis — a footnote

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/17

Peter Duesberg is usually credited with the “Drug-AIDS hypothesis”, namely, that AIDS was not and is not caused by HIV but is caused primarily by “recreational” and antiretroviral drugs [1].

Gordon Stewart had observed in the 1960s that drug addicts showed the same symptoms as were ascribed a couple of decades later to “AIDS” [2].

Nowadays, it is presumed that drug abusers contract “HIV” by sharing infected needles, as though the contents of the needles were harmless. My footnote refers to a review [3] of Breaking Night by Liz Murray: Murray’s parents were lifelong drug abusers who “usually burned through their monthly welfare check within a week, spending the money on cocaine”. Murray’s mother “died of AIDS at 42”. No “HIV” was needed, rather obviously.

So nowadays one cannot die just from drug abuse, it must be “AIDS”.

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[1] Duesberg, Koehnlein, & Rasnick, The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition, Journal of Bioscience, 28 (2003) 383-412
[2] Neville Hodgkinson, AIDS: The failure of contemporary science, Fourth Estate, 1996, p.103
[3] Tara McKelvey, Unsentimental education — review of Breaking Night, New York Times Book Review, 12 September 2012, p. 16

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, uncritical media | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

HIV/AIDS as pseudo-science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/15

A vast literature in science studies, philosophy of science, history of science, sociology of science, and a variety of popular media deals with “pseudo-science”; sometimes enumerating instances of pseudo-science, sometimes focusing on a single example (creationism, or UFOs, etc, etc.) and sometimes grappling with an issue over which no consensus has been achieved despite a century or more of discussion: How to define pseudo-science? How to distinguish pseudo-science from real science?

The simplest identification of pseudo-science, with which almost no one would disagree (“there’s always one ….”), is something totally incompetent but pretending to be properly scientific. Examples can rather easily be found in “HIV/AIDS research”, for instance that one person has staved off the disease since 1978, which is several years before AIDS had even been identified and half-a-dozen years before “HIV” had been suggested as its cause (Mainstream HIV PSEUDO-science).

A commonly advanced supposed criterion for pseudo-science, directed often particularly at parapsychology, is an inability to reproduce results exactly. By that standard, HIV/AIDS “science” again qualifies as pseudo-science (HIV/AIDS and parapsychology: science or pseudo-science?)  — as of course does all of sociology and almost all of psychology.

My own empirically-based suggestion for when mainstream sources treat something as pseudo-science is if it differs from mainstream science in all the three aspects of established method, currently accepted fact, and standard theory. Once again, HIV/AIDS “science” qualified as pseudo-science (Defining pseudo-science: Three strikes against HIV/AIDS theory)  — that is, before it came to be accepted as unassailable dogma, which it was for reasons of politics and social factors, not on scientific grounds.

Yet another common criterion for supposedly characterizing pseudo-science, again often directed at parapsychology, is that claimed phenomena or events are not accompanied by the offering of any reasonable mechanism that could possibly cause those events or phenomena; see, for instance, Erich Goode, “Paranormalism and pseudoscience as deviance”, chapter 8, pp. 145-164 in Philosophy of Pseudoscience, University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Once more, HIV/AIDS qualifies as pseudo-science under that criterion. For three decades suggestions have been put forward as to how the purported retrovirus “HIV” could act to destroy the immune system. First it was found that some sort of direct action on the supposedly most involved immune-system cells (CD4 T-cells) was not a viable explanation. Subsequently a variety of indirect or “bystander” mechanisms have been suggested, all of which are notably non-specific, mere names like “chronic inflammation” unaccompanied by specific mechanisms (The Pathogenesis of AIDS).

By every measure that has been suggested for distinguishing science from pseudo-science, HIV/AIDS qualifies as pseudo-science.

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P.S., after a useful comment sent to me privately:

As always, my intent here has been to undermine the pretensions of HIV/AIDS theory.
However, I also have quarrels with the very use of the term “pseudo-science”, because of the lack of agreed substantive meeting for the term; it is in practice not an objective label but a term of abuse. I’ve written a great deal about improper labeling of a number of matters as pseudo-science, and the fact that what was once called pseudo-science has sometimes become accepted science, and vice versa (Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies, University of Illinois Press, 2001).

That parapsychology in particular has been called pseudo-science under a couple of the above-mentioned criteria should not be taken to mean that I think it is pseudo-science. However, I do think HIV/AIDS theory is dead wrong and deserves all sorts of pejorative labels.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, uncritical media | Tagged: | 11 Comments »

Race, HIV, media pundits

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/09

People carrying black-African genes test “HIV-positive” at far greater rates than do people without that genetic ancestry. HIV/AIDS theory “explains” that by postulating greater rates of careless “not-safe-sex” promiscuity and infected-needle-sharing drug injection. Thereby HIV/AIDS theory postulates significant genetic determination of behavior, which in other contexts is dismissed as pseudo-science.

Moreover, actual observations and studies have repeatedly shown that the facts vitiate that proposed “explanation”: Africans and African-Americans indulge in risky behavior at lower rates than do white Americans (pp. 77-9 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
The conclusion is inescapable: HIV/AIDS theory is radically wrong about how “HIV-positive” is transmitted.

But that inescapable conclusion continues to escape mainstream practitioners and researchers and such media pundits as Donald G. McNeil Jr. of the New York Times (Poor Black and Hispanic men are the face of H.I.V.):

“The AIDS epidemic in America is rapidly becoming concentrated among poor, young black and Hispanic men who have sex with men”
NO. There’s nothing recent or rapid about it. The racial disparities have always been there (Chapters 5 & 6 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
Furthermore, it is black WOMEN who are most affected compared to others, 20 times more likely to be “HIV-positive” than white women, whereas for males the ratio is (“only”) 7.

“Nationally, 25 percent of new infections are in black and Hispanic men, and in New York City it is 45 percent”
Yes, of course, because it’s blackness that contributes overwhelmingly to testing “HIV-positive”. Hispanics in New York are primarily of black Caribbean-African stock, whereas West-Coast Hispanics are largely non-black, of Latin-American stock. Therefore national-average rates of “HIV-positive” among Hispanics are lower than East-Coast Hispanic rates of “HIV-positive” (pp. 57-8, 71-2 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).

“Nationally, when only men under 25 infected through gay sex are counted, 80 percent are black or Hispanic — even though they engage in less high-risk behavior than their white peers” [emphasis added]; “a male-male sex act for a young black American is eight times as likely to end in H.I.V. infection as it is for his white peers. That is true even though, on average, black youths in the study took fewer risks than their white peers: they had fewer partners, engaged in fewer acts of sex while drunk or high, and used condoms more often”.
So McNeil is even aware of this conundrum which falsifies the central axiom of HIV/AIDS theory, namely, that HIV is transmitted as a result of risky behavior. Yet he does not follow this statement of fact with any explanation of this paradox which contradicts and falsifies mainstream views.
Instead, McNeil passes on without comment the usual meaningless weasel-words about some unspecified “intervention”:
“Critics say little is being done to save this group, and none of it with any great urgency. ‘There wasn’t even an ad campaign aimed at young black men until last year — what’s that about?’. Phill Wilson, president of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, said there were ‘no models out there right now for reaching these men’”.
What conceivable use could any models be, when it’s acknowledged that these supposedly at-high-risk people already practice less risky behavior than the no-high-risk white folk?
Still, of course there’s no harm in asking for more money even in absence of any clue what to do with it:
“With more resources, we could make bigger strides”.

What the mainstream says about the high rates of black “HIV-positives” is pitifully, woefully inadequate; it misses the whole point. It suggests that although their behavior is less risky, black folk have “other risk factors. Lacking health insurance, they were less likely to have seen doctors regularly and more likely to have syphilis, which creates a path for H.I.V.”
But it’s yet another counterfactual canard that syphilis and other STDs make it more likely that someone will “contract” “HIV”, i.e. become “HIV-positive”: there is simply no correlation between incidence of STDs and of “HIV” (pp. 31-5, 109 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
As to insurance, what is the evidence that having health insurance makes for lower rates of being or becoming “HIV-positive”? This is simply hand-waving bullshit* emitted because no sensible explanation can be offered.
As to seeing doctors regularly, what is the evidence that seeing doctors regularly makes for lower rates of being or becoming “HIV-positive”? Quite the opposite, in fact: The largely white gay men who first contracted “AIDS” had mostly been seeing doctors very often because of their constant need for treatment after suffering all sorts of illnesses. Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, with a practice of largely gay clients in New York in the 1970s, had in fact warned his regular customers that if they did not change their lifestyle something drastic and awful would befall them.

And then, “Other risk factors include depression and fatalism” — What, pray, is the mechanism by which those conditions produce “HIV-positive”? Among people who are acknowledged to behave less riskily than those who are not at high risk of becoming “HIV-positive”?

Another popular non-explanation is that blacks become “HIV-positive” more often because “HIV-positive” is so much more common in the black community: It’s more common because it’s more common.

I cannot imagine a higher degree of hypocrisy, intellectual vapidity, sheer unwillingness to draw obvious conclusions from undisputed facts, than is demonstrated without fail and without end by mainstream researchers, doctors, and pundits when confronted with the plain fact that blackness makes for being “HIV-positive”.

Not that this perverse behavior is much different from behaving as though testing “HIV-positive” proved infection by “HIV” when standard authorities have long stated quite forthrightly that there is no gold standard “HIV” test, no test capable of demonstrating actual infection by “HIV”, and that the rates of false positives are inevitably high (Stanley H. Weiss & Elliot P. Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection”, chapter 8 in Gary P. Wormser (ed.), AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, 2004 (4th ed.).

No technical expertise is needed to recognize the sheer unadulterated nonsense of talking about “risk factors” when the known end-result is less risky behavior. How can any number of purported risk factors be alleged to heighten risk when the facts show that the risk is lower of the only behavior that supposedly transmits “HIV”?

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* Words uttered without regard to their truth — Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton University Press, 2005.

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, prejudice, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Babies, antiretroviral drugs, heart trouble

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/06

“HIV” is held responsible for innumerable ills labeled “HIV-associated” (4.3.4 in The Case against HIV), essentially anything that produces a positive “HIV” test-result. Of such false-positive “HIV” test-results there are scores of examples (3.1.7.3, 3.1.8, 3.2 in The Case against HIV). 

Many of the published articles fail to specify whether or not the described patients were on antiretroviral treatment, making it impossible for discerning readers to test the obvious possibility that the ills were caused by the antiretroviral drugs rather than by the “HIV”: All antiretroviral drugs have notably toxic “side” effects (section 5 and particularly 5.3 in The Case against HIV).

What’s more, prominent pundits like specialist medical correspondents at prominent media fail to understand this elementary point. Here’s a recent illustration brought to my attention by an independent investigative journalist who directs the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism:

“The chief New York Times HIV-AIDS Industry propagandist, Donald G. McNeil, Jr. has struck again, re-writing another Industry press release.
Heart Problems Linked to Those Born With H.I.V.

Donald has really outdone himself this time. Read the first paragraph of his story: ‘Children born with HIV are more likely to have heart problems later in life, even if they are treated early with antiretroviral drugs, a recent study has found’.

Now, read it again and pay extra close attention to these words: ‘…even if they are treated early with antiretroviral drugs.’

Even if !!! How could anybody–even Donald–be so dense as to miss the point that it’s the drugs, stupid, that cause the heart problems!

If it weren’t so serious, it would be funny.

Here’s the link to the ‘study’ which does at least allude to the role of the ARV’s….”

In fact, that original article acknowledges quite plainly that at least part of the cardiovascular risk stems from the antiretroviral drugs: “increased aggregate atherosclerotic CVD risk factor burden . . . [was] predicted by HIV disease severity and boosted protease inhibitor use . . . .
prolonged exposure to HIV and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been associated with long-term complications. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including hyperlipidemia, lipodystrophy, diabetes, and hypertension have increased in prevalence and severity with the advent of HAART.” [emphases added].
McNeil’s NY Times piece fails to acknowledge this significant aspect of the original article, which even mentions a dose-response effect of the antiretroviral drugs: “risk factor burden . . . . included longer duration of use of a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor” [emphasis added].

Failure to emphasize the harm done to babies by antiretroviral drugs is particularly culpable because it seems to be becoming fashionable to believe that “HIV-positive” babies can be “cured” by early intensive antiretroviral treatment (Early treatment is found to clear H.I.V. in a 2nd baby). Yet it has been known for decades that “HIV-positive” babies are most likely just carrying “HIV” antibodies transferred from the mother, and most “HIV-positive” newborns spontaneously revert to “HIV”-negative within a year (pp. 97-9 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

 
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