HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for the ‘HIV absurdities’ Category

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 »

HOW does HIV kill the immune system?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/12/24

An alien from another planet, or a naïve believer in the objective nature of science, might imagine that the central, single most important issue of HIV/AIDS theory is the mechanism by which HIV does what it is supposed to do, namely, destroy the CD4 T-cells whose subsequent absence leaves the unfortunate host helpless against opportunistic infections like Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or candidiasis.

“We probably know more about how HIV produces its pathology than about the pathological mechanism of virtually any other microbe”, Robert Gallo asserted already in 1991 (p. 296 in Virus Hunting: AIDS, Cancer, and the Human Retrovirus: A Story of Scientific Discovery).
That alien and that naïve observer would naturally conclude that by 1991 it was fully understood, how HIV kills T-cells. As a stark matter of fact, though, two decades after Gallo’s assertion, it remains an unsolved enigma, how HIV could possibly do what HIV/AIDS theory demands of it.

Duesberg [1] first posed the conundrum of how HIV could damage the immune system when it is present in only 0.1-1 % of the lymphocytes it supposedly kills, and is expressed in only 1% of those in which it is present. There have been many imaginative speculations about how the tiny minority of infected cells could somehow cause the whole immune system to collapse [2], but those have been countered by Duesberg [3], and in any case none of the suggested mechanisms has been established by actual evidence. A continually updated website [4] mentions a number of possibilities, again none of which has been definitively established.
The current consensus, such as it is, seems to be that cells are killed by an unspecified “bystander” mechanism under conditions of “chronic inflammation” or “chronic activation”. In absence of any specific description of actual processes, those phrases deserve to be described and dismissed as “hand-waving”, the scientific euphemism for bullshit [5], utterances made without regard for their possible truth value. Insofar as chronic activation or inflammation might be interpreted as a high rate of turnover of immune-system cells, it should be recalled that this notion — the basis for introducing combination antiretroviral therapy, Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment, in the mid-1990s — was shown to be faulty [6].

In any case, as of December 2013, after three decades of belief that HIV kills the immune system, there is no agreement over how it could possibly do so. Thus “Despite more than three decades of study, the precise mechanism(s) underlying the demise of CD4 T cells during HIV infection remains poorly understood and has been highlighted as one of the key questions in HIV research” [7].
Note that the common scientific euphemism “poorly understood” stands for “completely unknown”.

Such a stunning admission of the failure of HIV/AIDS theory is, of course, made only in the context of putting forward a new proposed mechanism, in this case “pyroptosis triggered by abortive viral infection”, which also raises “the possibility of a new class of ‘anti-AIDS’ therapeutics targeting the host rather than the virus” [8].

This latest breakthrough was significant enough to be broadcast to the media even before the actual publications had appeared. [8] was even marked “NOT FINAL PROOF”. Observers of the cutthroat competitiveness in research will also note the skill with which much the same work has been published simultaneously in Nature and in Science, and how the media fell right in by parroting the extravagant claim: “How HIV destroys immune cells” [9] — forgetting, apparently, that half a year earlier an entirely different mechanism and potential treatment had been ballyhooed: “Scientists discover how HIV kills immune cells; findings have implications for HIV treatment” [10].

Fauci pronounced the pyroptosis stuff “really elegant science . . . . It goes a long way to explaining what has been an enigma for practically 30 years” — acknowledging once again that the mainstream hasn’t had a clue for 30 years about the central issue in HIV/AIDS theory; and “going a long way” remains far from actually reaching a goal.

Not that this new understanding, with its implication of an entirely new approach to treatment, would actually supersede anything: “Fauci said such an approach would not replace antiretrovirals (ARVs), which suppress HIV replication and halt disease progression. But it could be used in combination in people who are dealing with highly resistant HIV strains . . . . One of the things about blocking the host response is that it’s very difficult for the virus to mutate to counteract it” [9a].

The lead investigator on the pyroptosis work was suitably modest even as he raised highly unlikely possibilities: “If we get rid of chronic inflammation, will we stop the homeostatic proliferation and degrade the latent reservoir? . . . If it does, caspase-1 inhibitors might — and I emphasize might — become a component of a curative cocktail”.

No matter, really. Ample grounds here for lots more research and the associated research funds.

I venture a prediction: None of these hopes and possibilities will pan out, and nothing more will be heard about them in the future.

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[1] Peter H. Duesberg, “Retroviruses as carcinogens and pathogens: Expectations and reality”, Cancer Research, 47 (1987)1199-1220
[2]Anthony A. Fauci, “The Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Infectivity and mechanisms of pathogenesis”, Science, 239 (1988) 617-22; Alfred S. Evans, “Does HIV cause AIDS? An historical perspective”, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2 (1989) 107-13
[3] Duesberg, “Does HIV cause AIDS?”, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2 (1989) 514-7
[4] http://www.microbiologybytes.com/virology/AIDSI.html
[5] Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton University Press, 2005
[6] Craddock, “HIV: Science by press conference”, pp. 127-30 in AIDS: Virus or Drug-Induced?, Kluwer, 1996; Duesberg & Bialy, “Duesberg and the right of reply according to Maddox-Nature”, pp. 241-70 in AIDS: Virus or Drug-Induced?, Kluwer, 1996; Roederer, “Getting to the HAART of T cell dynamics”, Nature Medicine, 4 (1998) 145-6; Yates et al., “Understanding the slow depletion of memory CD4+ T cells in HIV infection”, PLoS Medicine, 4 (2007) e177
[7] Monroe et al., “IFI16 DNA sensor is required for death of lymphoid CD4 T cells abortively infected with HIV”, Sciencexpress, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/recent / 19 December 2013 / Page 1/ 10.1126/science.1243640
[8] Doitsh et al., “Cell death by pyroptosis drives CD4 T-cell depletion in HIV-1 infection”, Nature, 2013, doi:10.1038/nature12940
[9] 19 December 2013: [a] Dan Cossins, The Scientist; http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/38739/title/How-HIV-Destroys-Immune-Cells;
[b] Anna Azvolinsky, “HIV’s killer tactics revealed, new therapy approach found”, http://www.livescience.com/42101-how-hiv-kills-white-blood-cells-self-destruction.html;
and more
[10] 5 June 2013, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605144435.htm

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 30 Comments »

 
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