HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for the ‘sexual transmission’ Category

Manslaughter by PreEposure Prophylaxis

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/07/13

The HIV/AIDS Establishment — Big Pharma, NIAID, etc. etc. — is assiduously promulgating the idea that healthy individuals who engage in sex should imbibe highly toxic substances so that they will be less likely to become “HIV-positive”.

This illustrates how true believers and those with vested interests are able to bias clinical trials to deliver desired results even when much earlier data already established that the desired results cannot have been obtained honestly:  for example, several trials of tenofovir to prevent “HIV infection” managed to report that serious adverse events from tenofovir were no more common than from placebo, even as it has long been established that tenofovir causes kidney failure and other harm.

Since this illustrates general flaws in medicine and science, I posted the full analysis on my scimedskeptic blog rather than here; see When prophecy fails.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Poisonous “prophylaxis”: PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prevention)

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/04/08

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has ballyhoo-ed “PrEP: A New Tool for HIV Prevention”  because Truvada has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing HIV infection. Truvada — tenofovir (TDF) plus emtricitabine (FTC) — had been earlier approved (in 2004) for treating HIV infection.

The 4-page CDC Fact Sheet contains no adequate warning of toxicity; the closest is this recommendation: “Disclose to women that safety for infants exposed during pregnancy is not fully assessed but no harm has been reported”.

Media coverage included “Gay men divided over use of HIV prevention drug”; but the reported division was not over the feeding of toxic drugs to healthy people but over whether such prophylaxis might induce people not to use condoms. The story said nothing about the toxicity of Truvada.

But the official Treatment Guidelines, freely available from the National Institutes of Health, have much to say about toxicity:

Adverse Effects of Antiretroviral Agents (Last updated February 12, 2013; last reviewed
February 12, 2013)
Adverse effects have been reported with use of all antiretroviral (ARV) drugs; they are among the most common reasons for switching or discontinuing therapy and for medication nonadherence. . . . However, because most clinical trials have a relatively short follow-up duration, the longer term complications of ART can be underestimated. In the Swiss Cohort study, during 6 years of follow-up, the presence of laboratory adverse events was associated with higher rates of mortality, which highlights the importance of adverse events in overall patient management (page K-7). [In clearer language: these are deadly drugs that can and do kill]

TDF may cause kidney injury in some patients, particularly in those who have pre-existing renal disease or are receiving concomitant nephrotoxic drugs. In addition, TDF induces a greater decline in bone mineral density than other ARV drugs (page F-2).

Renal impairment, manifested by increases in serum creatinine, proteinuria, glycosuria, hypophosphatemia, proximal renal tubulopathy, and acute tubular necrosis, has been associated with TDF use. . . .
participants receiving TDF/FTC experienced a significantly greater decline in bone mineral density than ABC/3TC-treated participants page (F-14).
TDF/FTC — Potential for renal impairment, including proximal tubulopathy and acute or chronic renal insufficiency (Table 6)

[TDF and FTC are both NRTIs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors)]
Table 13. Antiretroviral Therapy-Associated Common and/or Severe Adverse Effects
Hepatic effects — reported for most NRTIs
Lactic acidosis —NRTIs
Nephrotoxicity/urolithiasis — TDF: ↑ serum creatinine, proteinuria, hypophosphatemia, urinary phosphate wasting, glycosuria, hypokalemia, non-anion gap metabolic acidosis
Osteopenia/osteoporosis — TDF: Associated with greater loss of BMD than with ZDV, d4T, and ABC.

Even Truvada’s own website acknowledges the serious risks of taking this drug:
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA?
TRUVADA can cause serious side effects:
Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats.
Serious liver problems. Your liver may become large and tender, and you may develop fat in your liver. Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain.
You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time [emphasis added. PrEP implies extended use, but the CDC Fact Sheet says nothing about long-term use increasing the risk of iatrogenic harm]. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.
Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider tells you to stop taking TRUVADA, they will need to watch you closely for several months to monitor your health. TRUVADA is not approved for the treatment of HBV.”

Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include:
New or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to take TRUVADA less often, or to stop taking TRUVADA. [But the CDC Fact Sheet warns that failure to take Truvada consistently may vitiate its PrEP benefit]
Bone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones.
Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines.
Changes in your immune system. If you have HIV-1 infection and start taking HIV-1 medicines, your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. This may cause minor symptoms such as fever, but can also lead to serious problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking TRUVADA.
The most common side effects of TRUVADA are:
In people taking TRUVADA with other HIV-1 medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, common side effects include: diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, headache, dizziness, depression, problems sleeping, abnormal dreams, and rash.
In people taking TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection, common side effects include: headache, stomach-area (abdomen) pain, and decreased weight.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away”.

And of course there is the usual
“You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088”.
The ultimate purpose of this statement is to safeguard a drug’s manufacturer against lawsuits stemming from the drug’s toxicity, by pretending concern for patients.

Summary:

A drug with known serious toxic effects,
which become more serious over time,
is being recommended for continuous use
and unlimited use in healthy people.

This would be bad enough

if HIV were actually an infectious agent causing serious illness,
which however it isn’t (see The Case against HIV

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , | 18 Comments »

“HIV” is NOT sexually transmitted — yet more clear evidence

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/03/27

Recent Nobelist in biology, Randy Schekman, launched a venture to improve publication of valuable research (Science rewards hucksters and spin artists, not soundly tested science): the Open Access on-line eLIFE.

Straightforward evidence that “HIV” is not sexually transmitted — in particular, not by heterosexual intercourse in Africa — is present in “Earlier menarche is associated with a higher prevalence of Herpes simplex type-2 (HSV-2) in young women in rural Malawi”, Glynn et al., eLife 2014;3:e01604, 28 January 2014.

The article’s main point is less than surprising: “girls with earlier menarche tend to have earlier sexual debut and school drop-out, so an association might be expected” with being more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs).
That expectation was confirmed by a close-to-linear relationship between age at menarche and prevalence of herpes (HSV-2) infection:

menarcheF3.large

By contrast, there was no correlation at all between “HIV-positive” and age at menarche.

Furthermore, prevalence of “HIV” was much lower than that of HSV-2, contrary to yet another shibboleth of HIV/AIDS theory, namely, that infections by an STD like HSV-2 makes “HIV-positive” more likely:

HSV-HIVmenarcheF2.large

In an earlier article (Glynn et al., “Assessing the validity of sexual behaviour reports in a whole population survey in rural Malawi”, PLoSONE, 27 July 2011) the ratio of “HIV-positive” to HSV-2 infection had been reported as 4/31 for females and 2/52 for males, again confirming that “HIV-positive” is much less prevalent than HSV-2.

Not, of course, that this further evidence that “HIV” isn’t an STD will make any difference, more-than-ample evidence has been around for many years.

Posted in clinical trials, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV varies with age, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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”?

———————————
* 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 »

Race, HIV/AIDS, peer review

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/02/16

Reading recently a critique of peer review reminded me of the experience I had with the DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race [1], and it also reminded me that I continue to regard the race-associated epidemiology of “HIV” as a salient Achilles’ Heel of HIV/AIDS theory.

The mainstream has completely avoided, refused, to face an inescapable dilemma: If HIV/AIDS theory is correct, that “HIV” spreads primarily by sexual intercourse and secondarily via infected needles, then adults who become “HIV-positive” did so in one of those ways. If an identifiable social or ethnic or racial group is always “HIV-positive” more than other groups, then the members of that group are more carelessly sexually promiscuous or more addicted to drug-injecting than are other human beings.
People of African ancestry test “HIV-positive” at a higher rate than others, always and everywhere [2] — in Africa, in the Caribbean, in Europe, in the USA. In the latter, most noteworthy is that Hispanics on the East Coast, who are largely of African ancestry, test “HIV-positive” at rates comparable to those of African-Americans, whereas West-Coast Hispanics, who are predominantly Central and South American, test “HIV-positive” at the much lower rates found among Native Americans. So African ancestry determines being “HIV-positive” even within a socially defined cultural or ethnic or language group like American Hispanics.

Therefore, if HIV/AIDS theory were correct, then African ancestry would significantly determine behavior that includes a much higher rate of careless promiscuity or drug-injecting addiction than is seen in people of non-African ancestry. “Much higher” might better be “extraordinarily higher”: a factor of more than 20 in Africa [2], and in the USA a factor of 20 for black females compared to white females and 7 for black males compared to white males [3]. Furthermore, since the observed or calculated rate of sexual transmission of “HIV” is so low, a phenomenal rate of promiscuity would be called for: 20-40% of adults having something like a dozen sexual partners concurrently and changing them about annually [4].

Never before has sexual behavior been ascribed by mainstream science to genetic determination in this fashion. Nor has any other behavioral characteristic ever been acknowledged to be so genetically determined and race-associated. Indeed, the very notion of behavior being significantly influenced by genetic factors (“sociobiology”, “evolutionary psychology”) remains highly controversial. HIV/AIDS theory is at odds with the mainstream consensus on the relationship between genes and behavior, moreover in a way that is consistent with now-largely-repudiated racial stereotypes.

I was taken aback, therefore, when the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention insisted to me that racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” could be explained on behavioral grounds (p. 75 in 2]). In any case, the conundrum is quite plain, irrespective of theories about genetic determination of behavior:
Either African ancestry determines extraordinarily careless promiscuity of an extraordinarily high rate, possibly also an inconceivably high rate of sharing infected needles, or HIV/AIDS theory is plain wrong.

I continue to believe that this ought to be of prime significance to African-Americans. Official explanations try to skirt the issue and thereby make no sense, for example [3]:
“The greater number of people living with HIV in African American communities and the fact that African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity means that they face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter” — In other words, a classic tautology: there’s more HIV because there’s more HIV. But why are more African Americans “living with HIV” in the first place?
“African American communities have higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared with other racial/ethnic communities in the United States. Having an STI can significantly increase the chance of getting or transmitting HIV” — First, it is simply not true that African Americans always and everywhere have higher rates of STIs. Second, it is simply not true that rates of STI incidence correlate with rates of “HIV-positive” (p. 31 ff. in [2]), and anyway the racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” are seen even among people who have STIs (Figure 12, p. 42 in [2]). Third, even if STIs and “HIV” did correlate, the same conundrum would apply of apparent racial determination of carelessly promiscuous sexual behavior.
“The poverty rate is higher among African Americans — 28% — than for any other race. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty — including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education — directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection” — This is waffling, no real explanation, simply bullshit [5]. In Africa, “HIV-positive” rates are greater among the higher economic strata of Africans [6].

Current official statements and practices emphasize that “HIV/AIDS” has become largely a problem for African-Americans and their communities. That is damaging in several ways: increasing the pressure on black Americans to be tested and thereafter subjected to toxic antiretroviral drugs; causing untold harm to people and their families who happen to test “HIV-positive”, for which there are innumerable possible causes (see The Case against HIV); and providing apparent support for racist stereotypes;

Half-a-dozen years ago, such considerations led me to submit a manuscript posing this conundrum or dilemma to what would seem the most obviously appropriate journal, the DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race. I’ve already described briefly the fate of that MS. [1]. I said there that the journal did not give me permission to reproduce the reviewers’ comments verbatim, but looking back on the e-mail correspondence, I see that they did not refuse permission, they simply did not respond to my query. Furthermore, the reviewers’ comments were not marked confidential, neither was my e-mail correspondence with the journal. So I’ve decided that the full story might interest some of my readers, and I post here copies of my manuscript, of the reviewers’ comments, and of my correspondence with the journal.

———————————————————————————–
[1] Pp. 49-50 in Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth
[2] The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory
[3] Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “HIV among African Americans”, February 2013, February 2014
[4] James Chin, The AIDS Pandemic, Radcliffe, 2007, p. 64
[5] Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton University Press, 2005
[6] Theo Smart, “Structural Factors — PEPFAR: Greater wealth, not poverty, associated with higher HIV prevalence in Africa, according to survey”, nam-aidsmap, 2 August 2006

Posted in HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, prejudice, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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