HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/22

One impetus for this blog was that I had set a Google Alert for “HIV” to keep up with new developments. Often this turned up stories that make no sense in terms of HIV/AIDS theory and which afford the opportunity to point that out. Instead, these reports can be understood readily once it is recognized that:

(1) HIV-positive does not mean infection by a virus. HIV–infectious particles, viruses–have never been isolated directly from an HIV-positive person or an AIDS patient.
(2) “HIV-positive” is just a sign that the immune system has been aroused in some fashion for any of some large number of reasons.

So, from today’s Google Alert:
Treatment of herpes lowers HIV in men:
“Treating herpes simplex virus type 2 appears to reduce HIV-1 plasma levels by more than 50% in men infected with both viruses”
WOW! What a mystery calling for further sophisticated research! The drug that treats herpes has no direct effect on HIV, yet when herpes is present as well as HIV, it eliminates some of the HIV! Maybe this offers a way of treating HIV/AIDS? Infect HIV-positive people with herpes, and then treat the herpes?
NONSENSE. “HIV-1 plasma levels” were not measured, that would mean measuring the amount of virus particles. Bits of RNA assumed to come from HIV were amplified by PCR and the amplified amount was taken to mean something about the amount of “HIV” supposedly present originally–even though the inventor of PCR, Kary Mullis, has pointed out that the technique cannot be used in this way. Moreover, those bits of RNA have never been proven to come from and only from HIV. Sheer nonsense.

(Zuckerman et al., “Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Suppression with Valacyclovir Reduces Rectal and Blood Plasma HIV-1 Levels in HIV-1/HSV-2-Seropositive Men” Journal of Infectious Disease 2007; 196: 1500-08)

Also today:
Russian health chief disputes UN’s HIV numbers
“The head of Russia’s health services [Gennady Onishchenko] on Wednesday accused the UN’s AIDS agency of publishing ‘incorrect’ statistics on the number of HIV infections in the country.

UNAIDS said in its 2007 report on Wednesday that Russia accounts for 66 percent of all new infections in the former Soviet Union… The total number of people living with HIV in the former Soviet Union has climbed to 1.6 million…
Onishchenko said some 403,000 HIV infections had been detected in Russia since the appearance of the virus in the former Soviet Union in 1987. Those still living number 314,000, he said.”

UNAIDS gets its numbers from computer models which incorporate any number of assumptions, for example, about under-reporting, about the type of epidemic in the country, and about much else; for details of those models and their failings, see Sexually Transmitted Infections 80 (2004, supplement 1); for a discussion that includes failings of the modeling used by the CDC, see “Guesstimates–getting the desired numbers”, pp. 203-10 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. But no matter how good or bad the models are, they must incorporate actual data in some fashion. Those data can only come from the region to which the model is to be applied. So UNAIDS takes reports from Russia, augments them with its own assumptions, and then UNAIDS tells the reporting country that they have 5 times as many HIV-positive people as they had actually counted.

Those bits of nonsense have to do with details. But some bits of nonsense pervade the whole apparatus of HIV/AIDS theory and practice, as illustrated by another of today’s Google Alerts:

HK group rolls out campaign to fight HIV stigma
“HONG KONG (Reuters) – Four Hong Kong celebrities and a politician threw their weight behind a campaign aimed at stamping out prejudice against people living with HIV/AIDS by asking: If I were HIV positive, would you still love me?
While HIV/AIDS is widely discussed in many Western countries, it is still an invisible blight in many places in Asia, where ignorance, fear and prejudice about the disease abounds.
‘Many of us are ignorant about the disease and some think they can be infected through shaking hands or having a meal together with a sufferer’”.

HIV cannot be transferred by casual contact, goes the dogma. The prime means, the way most people become infected, is through unsafe sex with an HIV-positive person, or by sharing an infected needle for the purpose of injecting illegal drugs. Why should that sort of behavior not be associated with social disapproval, that is, stigma? We say to our children, about drugs, “Just say NO!” More than half a century ago, long before HIV/AIDS, we were taught as children and young adults to be responsible and careful when engaging in sex with casual acquaintances, lest we contract gonorrhea, syphilis, or other venereal diseases. Why should there be no social stigma attached to irresponsible behavior?

Why should there not be “fear . . . about the disease”, when we have been bombarded for decades with propaganda to the effect that it is invariably fatal? Even if death can be staved off with treatments that restrict one’s activities, have debilitating side-effects, decrease greatly one’s quality of life?

I suspect that the present oxymoronic situation has its origin in the early days of AIDS, when that was taken as synonymous with gay. The attempt to avoid homophobia morphed into insisting that no stigma should be attached to having AIDS. The question was not explicitly argued out in the public arena, of how responsible–in both senses of the word–one might be if one indulged in the type of behavior that seems to carry the pertinent risk. People who tried to raise that question, for instance gay activists like Michael Callen and Larry Kramer, were excoriated by much of the gay media for advocating sensible behavior.

Be that as it may, nowadays the official line is oxymoron:
A: One becomes HIV-positive only through carelessly injecting illegal drugs with dirty needles or through unsafe sex with high-risk individuals who might well be HIV-positive.
B: Everyone is at risk and no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive.

Well, of course no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive, because one can become HIV-positive for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with irresponsible behavior: getting a flu vaccination or being ill from any one of many ailments ( But if HIV-positive were synonymous with drug abuse or carelessly promiscuous sex, why should there not be stigma attached?

Another HIV/AIDS oxymoron has to do specifically with injecting illegal drugs. One arm of many governments fights against the importing, selling, and using of heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and other “recreational” drugs, for the excellent reason that addicts become ill and may die from the effects of the drugs. At the same time, however, another arm of officialdom in various places seeks to institute, or actually has instituted, programs to hand out clean fresh needles so that the addicts can enjoy the ill-health benefits of the drugs rather than incur the risk of contracting HIV. Here the HIV/AIDS establishment behaves as though it were not known that drug abuse carries serious consequences for health, mental health as well as physical health.

There is only one way to get rid of this nonsense, and the vast amount of human suffering that this nonsense brings with it: It has to be acknowledged that “HIV” doesn’t cause AIDS and that, moreover, “HIV” isn’t an infectious agent (even though it can sometimes be a marker of an infection as little worrisome as flu or as worrisome as tuberculosis).

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