Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/01/27
Further to IS TUBERCULOSIS AN APHRODISIAC? (4 January 2008):
“Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS: Twin Harbingers of Death”, 22 January 2008
“Health experts assert that effectively treating tuberculosis will not solve the worldwide HIV/AIDS crisis, but it will significantly reduce its burden. This is the strategy of a local body as it battles these twin agents of death through its health centres scattered throughout Nigeria. Godwin Haruna writes . . .
Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS epidemics fuel one another and health experts say they are inextricably linked. According to Dr. Nanshep Daniel Gobgab, director of primary health care system and programmes of the Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN), the weakened immune system of an individual living with HIV increases the likelihood of developing tuberculosis. Gobgab adds that the development of active TB accelerates the progression of HIV disease towards full-blown AIDS.”
It would be uncharitable, of course, to ask for an explanation of the mechanism by which active TB accelerates the progression of HIV disease, if for no other reason than that the mechanism by which HIV causes disease is itself an enduring mystery. Montagnier’s lab showed that, in vitro, CD4 cells are not killed by HIV in the presence of antibiotic, which marks the killer as a microbe and not a virus (Lemaître et al. Research in Virology 141  5-16; Infection and Immunity 60  742–8). The mainstream has long abandoned the view that HIV kills immune-system cells directly, and a number of suggestions have been made, none of them substantiated to the level of general acceptance: antigenic diversity; super antigen; T-cell anergy; apoptosis; Th1-Th2 switch (Chapter 7, Principles of Molecular Virology).
“ ‘Most TB cases in people with HIV are from reactivation of old infections. However, since tuberculosis is spread by casual contact, people with HIV/AIDS can also contract new or primary TB infection. These new infections can progress rapidly to active disease, rather than follow the typical course of years of dormancy’”
Since “people with HIV/AIDS” means “HIV-positive”, in other words, already exposed to a health challenge of some sort, of course they will be more prone to succumb to some additional health challenge
“TB is the leading killer of people with AIDS. In fact, tuberculosis is the first manifestation of AIDS in over 50 percent of cases in the developing world. According to her, people who are infected with TB and are HIV positive are 3 to 10 times more likely to develop TB than people without HIV infection.”
Exactly. Those TB patients who are HIV-positive are the ones who are more seriously ill. Note that “AIDS” was discovered because people were coming down with opportunistic infections—fungal pneumonia, yeast infections—not with common diseases like TB. AIDS nowadays is an entirely different thing than 1980s AIDS.
“ . . . one-third of HIV-infected people worldwide are co-infected with TB, and TB is responsible for the death of one out of every three people with HIV/AIDS worldwide.”
Exactly. One-third of HIV-positive people are HIV-positive only because they have TB.
“Escalating tuberculosis rates over the past 10 years in many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Southeast Asia are largely attributable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
The so-called AIDS epidemic in Africa and Asia is largely a TB epidemic.
“Much of TB’s resurgence is directly connected to the explosive spread of HIV, especially in Africa, where two-thirds of HIV patients carry tuberculosis.”
But there hasn’t been an explosive spread of HIV. Its prevalence has remained the same in every region for which UNAIDS and CDC have been giving estimates; see for example Preface, Figure 26, and Tables 20 & 31 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory (McFarland 2007).
Activists don’t hesitate to use the supposed connection between TB and HIV/AIDS to their own advantage, of course:
“Campaigners against TB and AIDS Urged to Co-operate”, by Miriam Mannak (10 November 2007)
“Tuberculosis (TB) in Africa cannot be dealt with while TB and HIV/AIDS organisations refuse to set aside their differences, health experts said Friday during the 38th Union World Conference on Lung Health. ‘So far, many TB and HIV programmes in Africa—or anywhere in the world—do not co-operate with one another, despite the strong connection that exists between HIV and TB’ . . . . ‘In some African countries for instance, 75 percent to 80 percent of the people living with TB are co-infected with HIV’”
Again: TB is one of the conditions that can cause a positive HIV-test
“HIV has always been the big kid on the block, with TB being the little brother. HIV programmes and organisations seem to be afraid that TB takes away attention and funding.”
Of course; that’s what it’s all about, who gets the money.
“ ‘In 2005, only seven percent of HIV patients worldwide were tested for TB,’ said Alasdair Reid, HIV/TB advisor to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. ‘That is shocking. By testing people living with HIV for TB we can save thousands and thousands of lives each year. And, it is feasible. The problem is the lack of co-operation between the different organisations that deal with TB or HIV.’ new model for distribution of funds is also required, Reid added. “Currently, money is raised for either HIV or TB, and funds dedicated for HIV can’t be used for TB or vice versa.’”
Exactly; it’s all about who gets the money. And these officials don’t hesitate to talk utter rubbish:
“When you want to tackle HIV you need to tackle TB, especially in Africa where so many people are co-infected.”