HIV/AIDS ABSURDITIES AND WORSE
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/12/09
HIV/AIDS dogma is absurd in innumerable ways, for example
—HIV is said to cause AIDS even though there is no correlation between their incidence (post of 12 November, and The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
—Married women are more at risk of contracting this supposedly sexually transmitted infection than are prostitutes (post of 18 November).
—Officially disseminated numbers about AIDS and HIV contradict one another and are revised retroactively (22 November, 29 November, 2 December).
—HIV rates are supposed to have declined more than the numbers of deaths makes possible (4 December).
A pertinent question: Why have the major media managed not to notice? After all, fresh instances of these absurd claims continue to be reported uncritically:
“NEW YORK, USA, 6 December 2007 – In Haiti, where 2.2 per cent of the adult population is living with HIV, according to the latest Demographic and Health Survey . . . ”
That report comes under the auspices of UNICEF, concerned especially to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. But the report should bring peals of joy rather than concern, because the rate has declined so amazingly, from the 5-to-6% where it had steadily remained from 1986 to 2003*:
On the other hand, the joy at this decreased incidence should be mitigated by the fact that between 2.8 and 3.8% of the population (5-to-6% less 2.2%) must have died of HIV-related causes between 2003 and 2007; that’s about 0.8% per year. Since the overall death rate in Haiti is only about 1.05% (CIA Fact Book), there is the same remarkable situation in Haiti as in Uganda and Kenya (post of 4 December): people would hardly be dying at all, were it not for HIV.
* (For 1986, see Nordheimer, New York Times, 28 July; for 1990, French, New York Times, 2 June; for 2001, US Census Bureau HIV/AIDS surveillance data base; for 2003, 7 February report from the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, Washington, DC, and CIA Fact Book).
“HIV/AIDS cases increasing among our young, married women” (Karachi Daily Times, 7 December):
Thus Pakistan joins the countries cited in our earlier post (18 November) in exhibiting this extraordinary–might one not say incredible?– behavior of a venereal (sexually transmitted) disease (STD). Those earlier-cited countries represented South-East Asia (Cambodia, India, Thailand), Pacific regions (Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Polynesia), Africa (Nigeria, Uganda), and the Americas (Mexico).
To heighten the incredibility, it turns out that the spread of this supposedly sexually transmitted HIV is not paralleled by the incidence of gonorrhea, syphilis, or other classic STDs; studies in South-East Asia found the incidence of the classic STDs and of “HIV” to run in opposite directions, one going up as the other went down (post of 28 November).
That this phenomenon is so widespread represents a possibly unprecedented instance of unvarying human behavior and a consequent unprecedented reproducibility social-science data. A central difficulty in studies of human behavior is that so many individual as well as shared variables affect it: personal drive and psychopathology, social environment, cultural heritage, ethnic allegiances, national characteristics. Here, astonishingly, we have a corollary of sexual behavior that subsists uniformly across all those divisions.
Believers in HIV=AIDS attribute the high risk suffered by married women to the unfettered extramarital promiscuity of their husbands owing to cultural norms that countenance such behavior and permit the wives no recourse. That explanation is supposed to apply in Catholic Mexico, Hindu India, Muslim Pakistan, Buddhist groups in many parts of South-East Asia, and Christian and also tribal communities in Africa and the Pacific. In its sweeping willingness to ascribe such behavior to all and sundry (other than those offering the explanation, of course), this view is reminiscent of 19th-century European colonial attitudes that lumped all non-Europeans together as relatively uncivilized.
But is there any other way to understand why the rate of testing HIV-positive tends to be higher among married women than among prostitutes?
Of course there is. “HIV-positive” is not the mark of infection by an STD, it is a non-specific sign that the immune system is reacting to something or other; and the tendency so to react to a given stimulus increases with age; and married women on average are likely to be older than the average prostitute (see 12 and 18 November posts). Moreover, pregnancy is one of the many stimuli that can produce an “HIV-positive” reaction (http://virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm), and married women are more likely than prostitutes to be or to have been pregnant.
Bureaucracies generate absurdities wholesale, of course, so perhaps it is superfluous to note HIV/AIDS-related absurdities that stem from government actions. Still, it seems worth laughing at the proposed revision of rules limiting the entry of HIV-positive people into the United States: “visits would be limited to two 30-day stays annually”, according to a draft that took the Department of Homeland Security 11 months to prepare (Kaisernetwork.org, Washington, DC, 6 December 2007).
The story did not mention whether the visitors would be required to abstain from sexual intercourse and the sharing of dirty needles during those 30-day stays. (I’m reminded that when I applied for my own visa half a century ago, the official form asked me to declare that I was not planning to enter the United States “for an immoral purpose”.)
Seriously, though: What could be the purpose of controlling the entry of HIV-positive people?
The only substantive reason would be, obviously, to prevent Americans from becoming infected by the aliens. Given that the first AIDS epidemics broke out in the United States, this might be labeled as closing the barn door too late–or perhaps as incredible gall fed by the ignorance of history that has been too often an unhappy aspect of American foreign and internal policies.
If protection of Americans were the reason, then surely the limitation to a couple of 30-day stays wouldn’t begin to be adequate. For that, one would need to have some way by which unwary and innocent Americans could immediately identify the foreigner as HIV-positive. The current practice is that a “visa waiver results in a permanent– and stigmatising– passport stamp” (which reminds me that when we left Nazi-occupied Austria, my parents’ passports were adorned on the cover with a large “J” for Jewish). However, stamping passports is not an adequate safeguard, because those documents are not always shown when an alien encounters an American; perhaps HIV-positive aliens should be provided with lapel pins or brooches bearing the necessary warning. But since one could not be sure that the alien would always display the warning in this manner, something more inescapable is needed. Further, the danger incurred by interaction with the foreigner would obviously not be the same for all Americans, depending on the foreigner’s sex and sexual orientation and drug habits. So the only foolproof way to protect ourselves would be to engrave tattoos on the foreigners’ foreheads, using some method that makes the tattoo irremovable for 30 days and self-destroying immediately thereafter (or perhaps there could be, at all exit points, machines capable of removing such tattoos). The brand would obviously take different forms for different dangers: for drug abusers, perhaps the image of a needle; for HIV-positive heterosexuals, perhaps a Cupid with bow and arrow, the latter pointing to a male or a female form as appropriate; for gay people, perhaps a pink triangle, vertex up or down for gay men and lesbians respectively, since physical appearance and garb do not always distinguish unambiguously between lesbians and gay men.
Beyond the flippancy: Since the proposed restrictions cannot possibly prevent transmission of HIV from the affected person, the purpose must simply be to treat these people as clearly and undesirably different from the rest of us.
The following comment was submitted in error to the “Re Comments” page, but it seems to belong here:
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 2:13 pm e
Interesting. I cannot remember such a high number of infections in this group. If I understand you right, you claim that this is because of accumulated exposure to different immune stressors in married or middle-aged woman, so HIV is a factor of time and number of immune stressors; not an actual virus–but why is it that the same pattern hasn’t shown up in all other countries as well? Also, married woman are not necessarily elderly, maybe this is true in Western countries, where more educated women may marry in their late 20 to early 30’s on average, but I don’t believe in those countries described in your article, where marriage is more a matter of survival and other options are limited. Also, I assume that the curve in your diagram works for every other infectious disease, since, as time passes by, chances increase to get infected by one or the other pathogen–so I cannot see why this is an argument against the viral theory of AIDS?
On another front, though, it’s interesting that HIV does not seem to co-vary with other STDs. But also, diseases are very complex, so my question is if it can be reliably shown that, in epidemiological studies, there are co-variations between every other STDs, but not HIV?
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 2:56 pm e
Roland, thank you for insightful comments. I think you were responding to the post on “Getting Married” of 18 November?
My view is that HIV-positive may reflect any one of a large number of stresses, not necessarily an accumulation–see the diagram in “HIV TESTS, 16 November.
I don’t know how many countries would show this pattern, because there have never been truly population-wide studies done. Different countries and different researchers carry out tests for different reasons. All we can do is to try to interpret the data that happen to be available.
Certainly the age at which women get married can be very young in many of the countries from which these reports come. But on average they will stay married until death, whereas on average prostitutes tend to leave that profession before they are at the end of their lives. So married women on average will be older than prostitutes and, under my view, more likely to test HIV-positive at some time or other for some reason or other–especially pregnancy (HIV ABSURDITIES, 9 December).
I don’t believe that the age variation in that diagram is the same for other infectious diseases. As to STDs, adolescents and young adults are generally at highest risk; and certainly children below teenage are hardly at risk for STDs. Non-STD infectious diseases do not show a characteristic difference between males and females. So the fact that these variations of “HIV” show up in every group for which data are available, indicates that “HIV” is some non-specific physiological response.
I have a longer discussion in my book about differences between “HIV” and other STDs, including geographic variations. I don’t know about co-variation of STDs in general, I’m afraid.