HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

HIV-POSITIVE CHILDREN, HIV-NEGATIVE MOTHERS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/25

Children not infected by their mothers, and not victims of pedophiles, could become HIV-positive only via infected needles or transfused blood, according to the orthodox view of HIV/AIDS. But a number of reported instances cannot plausibly be explained in this fashion. Instead, they support once again the interpretation of “HIV-positive” as a non-specific marker of physiological stress or challenged health.

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Gisselquist recently cited 42 instances of HIV-positive babies born to HIV-negative mother in South Africa (“Not investigating HIV riddles puts lives at risk”, Business Day (Johannesburg), 4 October 2007). He ascribes these infections to unhygienic medical procedures.

In Britain, 5 of 25 mothers of HIV-positive newborns had tested HIV-negative when entering antenatal care (Struik et al., Arch Dis Child., 12 September 2007 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 17855439). It was speculated that they must have become infected while they were pregnant.

No explanation was offered about the 4-month-old baby in India who was found to be HIV-positive while neither parent, nor the child’s older sibling, was HIV-positive (www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200611260312.htm, accessed 21 December 2007).

Allegations that children became infected with HIV in hospitals or orphanages as a result of unhygienic procedures have also been made in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Romania, and Russia. The Libyan case was widely reported because foreign medical personnel were charged with deliberately infecting children–400 of them in a single hospital (for much detail, see Wikipedia). In Kazakhstan, “at least 78 children have been infected with the HIV virus through the negligence of healthcare workers” (Joanna Lillis, “Government in Kazakhstan Addresses HIV-Infection Scandal” 10/25/06 ); later investigations reported that in 3 hospitals, more than 100 children had become infected in 2006 (cited by Gisselquist, see above). In Kyrgyzstan, “at least 26 people, mostly children, [were] infected in two local hospitals” (Daniel Sershen, “Kyrgyzstan: Officials Grapple with HIV Outbreak”, 10/30/07 ) and medical personnel were fired (“Four more toddlers infected with HIV in outbreak in Kyrgyzstan”, http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHtqc41vfE3uhmKP2XE2RGAemS2A, accessed 26 October 2007). (For further details regarding Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, see the Archives at www.eurasianet.org.)

Gisselquist (above) describes the following events in Romania and Russia. In Romania, one HIV-positive child of an HIV-negative mother led to further testing, whereupon 12 of 30 children in the same hospital were found to be HIV-positive; widespread testing then found, within a couple of years, 1300 infected–few of them with HIV-positive mothers–among the 12,000 tested. In Russia, it was believed that a single HIV-positive child had led within a couple of years to the infection of 260 children in the same hospital.

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The worldwide consensus over the Libyan affair exonerated the medical personnel from having deliberately infected those 400 children. But how likely is it that these hundreds were all infected accidentally? Could there be so much HIV around in the first place to contaminate the medical instruments? Could the failure to sterilize be really so pervasive? Could conditions have been similarly risky in the hospitals of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Romania, when the prevalence of HIV in those countries is so very low, at ≤0.1% (UNAIDS 2006)? Most of the HIV-positive people in those countries are injecting drug abusers; do hospital personnel perhaps use needles borrowed from drug addicts?

Bear in mind that, no matter what the official propaganda says, the official data make clear that it is extraordinarily difficult to transmit the “HIV-positive” condition via infected needles–see pp. 47-48 of The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory for citations of the peer-reviewed literature reporting, for example, that “HIV-positive” was 34% among injecting drug users (IDU) who did not share needles and only 19% among those who did; an independent study in Montreal found that clean needles were associated with a ten-fold increase in the odds of seroconverting to HIV-positive; there was no spread of HIV among IDU prisoners in Maryland during 2 years; medical personnel have not contracted HIV or AIDS through needle-stick accidents–the risk was estimated at about 0.3% (whereas for hepatitis the risk is > 10%) and only 57 possible instances had been reported by December 2001, when the count of AIDS cases stood near 800,000.

A large unknown is this: For how long can HIV particles remain infectious outside a living body? Long enough for hundreds of children to have been infected within a few short years? That seems extremely unlikely. But if not dirty needles , then what can explain these epidemics of HIV-positive children?

As already suggested, a ready explanation is that “HIV-positive” is the sign of physiological stress having nothing to do with infection by a human immunedeficiency virus. Strong evidence for this comes from the manner in which HIV-positive varies with age (for further details, see Tables 25-27 and associated text in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). The following schematic diagram, shown also in the post of 18 November,

agevariations.jpg

is based on a large number of individual reports. For ages below the teens, there are four sets of data from public testing sites across the USA (1995-98), one from hospital patients in New Jersey (1988), and one from healthy subjects in Africa (1984-86). Remarkably enough, all showed a similar decrease of the rate of HIV-positives after birth, a decline of about 3/4 in the first year or so. As reflected in the diagram, the rate among newborns was not far from the highest rates recorded at any age, and the lowest rate was in the early teens in all cases.

It seems inconceivable that rates of infection by some contagious agent would show such similar variations with age in such different groups of subjects. On the other hand, this is precisely what one would expect if HIV-positive is a marker of physiological stress. Newborns are immediately challenged to cope with circumstances less friendly than the womb–as noted in an earlier post, Nature has formulated mothers’ milk in a way that helps the infant ward off infections. Over the years, the child’s immune system adapts and the child becomes better able to ward off environmental insults and infections–so, signs of physiological stress become less evident, and the rate of “HIV-positive” declines.

The CDC’s data sets from public testing sites show separately the rates of HIV-positive for females and for males: the latter is greater, by 50% or more. That is again consistent with an explanation in terms of physiological stress, for the natural mortality of male children is higher than that of females. By contrast, it would not be so easy to conjure an explanation of why mothers transmit an infection to male babies 50% more often than to female babies.

Other evidence that HIV-positive marks physiological stress are cited at p. 85 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, for example: critically ill patients, particularly those in emergency rooms, had higher rates of HIV-positive than others, and unexpectedly high rates of HIV-positive were also found in autopsies.

Once it is accepted that “HIV-positive” is a marker of physiological stress, it becomes rather obvious why it is reported from hospitals in many countries that a significant number of children test HIV-positive even as their parents test negative: the reason is the same as the reason why they are in hospital in the first place, they are experiencing a challenge to health, some degree of physiological stress from any of a variety of possible sources. Surely this is a more plausible line of reasoning than one that has to envisage HIV-infected instruments in large-scale use in several countries, even those where the rate of HIV-positive in the general population is as low as 0.1%; or reasoning that has to envisage that, in Britain, 20% of HIV-positive newborns have that infection because their mothers practiced unsafe sex or drug-injecting even while they were pregnant.

These data about HIV-positive children of HIV-free parents confirms what one can learn from studies of HIV and breast-feeding and from the reports that married women in many places are at the greatest risk for becoming HIV-positive: “HIV-positive” does not signal infection by a deadly virus.

Data about AIDS as well as HIV-positives among children also throws direct doubt on the orthodox view that “HIV-positive” presages progression to AIDS. According to the CDC’s 2005 Surveillance Report, for every 137 adults “living with HIV” in 2005, there were 174.5 “living with AIDS”; among children below 13 years of age, for every 7.4 “living with HIV” there were 2.7 “living with AIDS”. That seems to indicate that the chances of a child progressing from HIV to AIDS is much less than the chance of an adult doing so: for every HIV-positive child, there is only one in three (2.7/7.4 = 0.36) with AIDS, whereas for every HIV-positive adult, there is more than one with AIDS, 137/174.5 = 1.27. Is it conceivable, does it make sense, that children could be 3½ times (1.27/0.36) better able to resist progression to disease than adults?

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