HIV IN SEMEN: SOLVING A NON-EXISTENT PROBLEM
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/12/14
Here’s today’s little HIV nonsense:
“Semen boosts HIV transmission”, reported Nature News on 13 December. “Fibres may be more important than viral load in determining transmission rates. A component found in semen can enhance HIV transmission by as much as 100,000-fold, researchers have found. The results, if verified in a clinical setting, could identify a new way to help prevent the spread of the disease.”
And so on and so forth. “Over 80% of HIV infections are acquired through sexual intercourse, primarily via semen from HIV-positive men. . . . peptides clustered together into long fibres may be more important for HIV transmission than viral load.”
They don’t need to try verifying this “in a clinical setting”, because several dozen real-world investigations of the rate of sexual transmission of HIV have already been carried out over the years, in Africa, Haiti, and the United States. All have found probabilities of transmission on the order of 1 per 1000 acts of unprotected intercourse–in other words, negligible transmission via sexual intercourse; see peer-reviewed scientific publications cited in chapter 4, “HIV is not an infection”, in “The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory”.
This asserted new discovery about HIV in semen also contradicts the long-standing tenet of HIV/AIDS theory that viral load is the prime determinant of transmission probability. Soon after HIV had been anointed as cause of AIDS, alert observers had noticed that the average rate of sexual transmission is too low to produce epidemics of the extent of the apparent outbreaks of AIDS. It was suggested that while the average rate of transmission might be too low to support an epidemic spread, perhaps a burst of viral replication soon after a person was infected might make transmission during this initial period of infection more probable owing to a higher viral load (Anderson & May, Nature, 333  514-9). Over the course of time and without the benefit of evidence, this guess has become accepted dogma. It entails certain corollaries about the sort of sexual behavior that is necessary for epidemic spread, corollaries that will be discussed in detail on some appropriate future occasion.
For the moment, as regards the claim that a component of semen may enhance transmission of HIV as much as 100,000 fold, note that without such a boost, the average transmission probability would only be 1 per 100,000,000, since with this boost it’s still only 1 per 1000. Consider also that if this component is needed to boost transmission up to the 1 per 1000 level, how could HIV ever be transmitted via infected needles that never came into contact with semen?