HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/03/04

A few years ago, Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton, earned his 15 minutes of popular fame by publishing a little chapbook with the captivating title, “On Bullshit”. I avoided it on the general principle that anything which attracts that sort of media attention cannot be worth spending time over. But a year later, a trustworthy friend gave me a copy of the book. Its first sentence told me nothing new:

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.”

But I read on, and am glad that I did, because I found Frankfurt’s definition of B***S*** genuinely enlightening: B***S*** is not a matter of lies or deception, it is a lack of concern with the truth; B***S***ers just don’t care whether what they say is true or untrue or neither.

“Spin”, incessantly emitted by politicians and corporations and advertisers is B***S*** in this sense; what Presidential Press Secretaries say is B***S*** in this sense.

One corollary is that “Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about”. And that, of course, is a sufficient explanation for why there’s so much B***S*** in our culture.

Assertions about HIV/AIDS by activists and in the popular media are rife with B***S***, because so many of the speakers don’t know what they are talking about and don’t care that they don’t know. They have accepted without question, taken on trust, what the white-coated gurus have told them, and believe they are serving the greater good by “empowering”, “mobilizing”, spreading “awareness”, urging “prevention”, and so on, doings that have an undeniably feel-good ring to them even as they defy attempts to understand what is meant in terms of tangible actions or tangible results.

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The foregoing diatribe was stimulated by an Editorial in a newspaper that isn’t always nor typically in the business †:

Married to HIV: President Bush’s Africa plan doesn’t acknowledge that often it’s husbands who infect wives”[Los Angeles Times, 22 February 2008]
“Religious groups are fixated on the need to stop HIV transmission through premarital and extramarital sex, but what’s killing African women by the millions is unprotected sex with their husbands. . . . Roughly 10 million African girls under the age of 18 are married each year, many to older men who seek HIV-free brides. To those wedded to HIV-positive men, marriage often means a death sentence. . . . they are more likely than young men to contract HIV.”

The UNAIDS “AIDS Epidemic Update” of December 2006 asserts that in 2004 and 2006, there were attributable to HIV/AIDS 2 million deaths of adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. The L. A. Times, by stating “millions” of unfortunate wives in the present tense (“what’s killing”), is implicitly attributing most of these annual 2 million to unprotected sex among married couples. This is patently absurd. The editorial ghost-writer need not have read our blog (TO AVOID HIV INFECTION, DON’T GET MARRIED, 18 November 2007) to realize just how absurd this is, it would have been enough to have a concern for what the truth is, which might have led to looking at the official and readily available statistics. A concern for what the truth is might also be a stimulus to engage in thought.

I wonder on what data is based the assertion of “often means a death sentence”? How many such marriages and how many such deaths?
This typifies the B***S*** that “HIV/AIDS activists” indulge in habitually: the aim is to arouse emotion, no matter that the assertions are based on nothing but belief and guesswork.

I wonder, too, whether that ghost-writer saw any problem in asserting the dangers of sex with older men who are anxious to avoid HIV while also asserting that young men are less at risk of infection than are young women. If those older men are anxious to avoid contracting HIV, and have managed to do so during evidently long years of sexual activity, and were in any case less likely than their young female peers to contract HIV, what possible reason could there be to indict them as a class for posing any danger to their young brides? As we said on 18 November 2007, “we are being asked to believe . . . [that] the very same generation which as unmarried singles enabled the infection rate to decrease because of their scrupulously careful sexual behavior became, a few years later and when married, riotously and carelessly promiscuous”.

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The on-line version of this Editorial has a link to DJSmith.pdf, a document devoid of authorial by-line that bears the title “Modern Marriage, Men’s Extramarital Sex, and HIV Risk in Southeastern Nigeria”. The clue given by the file-name, however, permitted me to discover that this was published in the American Journal of Public Health (97 [2007] 997-1005) by Daniel Jordan Smith of the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. The abstract is a run-of-the-mill example of postmodern academic B***S***:

“For women in Nigeria, as in many settings, simply being married can contribute to the risk of contracting HIV. I studied men’s extramarital sexual behavior in the context of modern marriage in southeastern Nigeria. The results indicate that the social organization of infidelity is shaped by economic inequality, aspirations for modern lifestyles, gender disparities, and contradictory moralities. It is men’s anxieties and ambivalence about masculinity, sexual morality, and social reputation in the context of seeking modern lifestyles—rather than immoral sexual behavior and traditional culture—that exacerbate the risks of HIV/AIDS.”

Try to think of specific actions or connections that might warrant the generalizations expressed in the last two sentences (provided you can even detect what their meaning is intended to be). Of course, if you are a postmodern academic, you don’t need to concern yourself with evidence to support such generalizations, you just need to frame your writings in the contexts of “race, class, and gender” to ensure publication. If you think that’s an exaggeration, please read up on the Sokal affair, where an absurd parody passed muster for publication in the journal Social Text ‡.

At any rate, the scholarly publication that the L. A. Times ghost-writer apparently relied on suggests that married women in Nigeria are at particular risk of catching “HIV” because of the prevailing cultural milieu. A skeptic about how much reliance can be placed on “participant observer” reports and face-to-face interviews about sexual behavior (“Marital case studies were conducted with 20 couples”) might question the data and venture doubts about the conclusions, but that is really beside the point since the descriptions of those matters seem entirely applicable to Western cultures where married women are not at particular risk of catching HIV:

“In southeastern Nigeria marriage is sacred, and yet men’s infidelity is common”
think certain prominent American televangelists

“a pronounced double standard with regard to extramarital sexuality”

“marriage remains the single most important marker of moral adulthood in Nigeria, [and therefore] both policymakers and ordinary citizens remain resistant to the idea that marriage must be understood as a risk factor for HIV infection”

“Most couples seek to portray their marriages to themselves and to others as being modern but also moral, and this is crucial to explaining the dynamics of men’s extramarital sexual relationships, married women’s responses to men’s infidelity, and the risk of HIV infection in marriage”

“Many men were ambivalent about their extramarital sexual behavior, but in most cases men viewed it as acceptable given an appropriate degree of prudence so as not to disgrace one’s spouse, one’s self, and one’s family”
[note “prudence”]

“[that] a significant proportion of extramarital sex in southeastern Nigeria involves relationships that have emotional and moral dimensions—they are not just about sex—means that men imagine these relationships, their partners, and themselves in ways that are quite distanced from the prevailing local model that the greatest risk for HIV/AIDS comes from ‘immoral’ sex”
in other words, “a significant proportion” of marital infidelity is not the supposedly really risky behavior with prostitutes or “on the down-low”. What’s described is more reminiscent of the French tradition of essentially life-long lovers or mistresses than it is of the rampant promiscuity with multiple concurrent but changing partners that is ascribed to 20-40% of the sub-Saharan population in order to explain the purported spread of “HIV” (see “The AIDS Pandemic” by James Chin, formerly epidemiologist for the State of California and the World Health Organization).

Indeed, the article admits that “On its face, marriage in southeastern Nigeria seems to be changing in ways that make it increasingly similar to marriage in Western societies”, hardly a promising direction in which to pursue an explanation for a high risk of catching HIV by marrying.

Smith’s article begins, “Data from around the world, including Nigeria, suggest that married women’s greatest risk of contracting HIV is through having sex with their husbands”; but the cited reference is a Nigerian document, which in fact shows a higher rate of HIV-positive among single women than among married ones in every region of Nigeria (Figure 11, p. 45, 2003 National HIV Sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey, April 2004).

Apart from those objective flaws, the text has similar postmodern usages as the Abstract, for example:

“Male extramarital sexual practices are situated in economic, social and moral contexts, showing how the social organization of extramarital sexuality is itself located at the intersection of economic inequality, aspirations for modern lifestyles, gender disparities, and commanding and contradictory moralities….The data demonstrate that married men’s risky sexual behavior and their wives’ inability to protect themselves can be understood and explained without resorting to blaming the victims.”

The conclusions in Smith’s article are not only ironic but also repeat the usual self-contradictions that are inseparable from mainstream discourse about HIV/AIDS:

“Ironically, the HIV epidemic has further complicated possibilities for condom use because, in a context where the risk of HIV is popularly associated with sexual immorality, suggesting a condom is tantamount to asserting that one’s partner is risky and, hence, guilty of sexual impropriety. . . . Perhaps the most important step is to design interventions that help reduce the popular association of HIV risk with immoral sexual behavior”.

Once again that extraordinary breach of logic:
“X” is spread by unsafe promiscuous sex, which society regards as immoral. The way to stop “X” from spreading is to persuade people that there’s nothing immoral about the behavior that leads to its spread.
In many other contexts, this same idiocy is expressed by talking about the need to remove the stigma associated with testing HIV-positive (see, for instance, HIV NONSENSE: TODAY AND EVERY DAY, 22 November 2007).
When will we hear propaganda to that effect about gonorrhea or syphilis?

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Footnotes:

† The L. A. Times does not typically engage in B***S***ing . . . except regarding HIV/AIDS, that is to say; recall, for example, its scurrilous and unsubstantiated stories about Christine Maggiore

‡ Instructive articles about the Sokal hoax include Paul Boghossian, Times Literary Supplement, 13 December 1996, 14-15 and Steven Weinberg, New York Review, 8 August 1996, 11-14. The hoax article itself is “Transgressing the boundaries: Toward a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity”, Social Text 46-47, Spring/Summer 1996, p. 217 ff. Sokal revealed the hoax as soon as it was published, in “A physicist experiments with cultural studies”, Lingua Franca, May/June 1995, 62-64.

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Postscript:
As happens to me so often, checking a source brings unforeseeable benefits. One of the most curious regularities in rates of testing HIV-positive is the apparently universal trend to higher rates at higher population densities, which I first noted in the US data (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory)http://failingsofhivaidstheory.homestead.com/ and then found reported also in Rwanda (see HIV DEMOGRAPHICS FURTHER CONFIRMED: HIV IS NOT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED, 26 February 2008). It popped up again in Nigeria, where this trend was found in six of the country’s seven regions, with ratios for urban/rural rates averaging 1.7 (0.87 to 3.8, Figure 2 in “2003 National HIV Sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey”).

10 Responses to “B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS”

  1. Henry,

    You said,

    “…the descriptions of those matters seem entirely applicable to Western cultures where married women are not at particular risk of catching HIV:…”

    and then listed some examples. I decided to look for myself, and I found some other examples:

    “The fact that modern marriage in southeastern Nigeria remains a resolutely social endeavor creates contradictions for younger couples, who must navigate not only their individual relationships, but the outward representation of their marriages to kin and community.”

    “Men whose work takes them away from their wives and families are more likely to have extramarital relationships, and they frequently attribute their behavior to the opportunities and hardships produced by these absences.”

    “Most often, a man’s relationship to his female lover included an expectation that the man provide certain kinds of economic support. Men frequently view extramarital relationships as arenas for the expression of economic and masculine status.”

    “In popular discourse, the most common form of economically driven extramarital relationships are said to be so-called ‘sugar daddy’ relationships, wherein married men of means engage in sexual relationships with much younger women with the expectation that the men will provide various forms of economic support in exchange for sex…. [A] closer look at these relationships suggests that they are much more complicated than portrayed in the stereotypical image of rich men exchanging money for sex with impoverished girls. Young women frequently have motives other than the alleviation of poverty. Indeed, typical female participants in these sugar daddy relationships are not the truly poor, but rather young women who are in urban secondary schools or universities, and who seek and represent a kind of modern femininity. They are frequently relatively educated, almost always highly fashionable, and while their motivations for having a sugar daddy may be largely economic, they are usually looking for more than money to
    feed themselves. For married men, the pretty, urban, educated young women who are the most desirable girlfriends provide not only sex, but the opportunity, or at least the fantasy, of having more exciting, stylish, and modern sex than what they have with their wives.”

    “In male-dominated social settings such as social clubs, sports clubs, sections of the marketplace, and particular bars and eateries, Igbo men commonly talk about their girlfriends, and sometimes show them off. Male-peer groups are a significant factor in many men’s motivations for and behaviors in extramarital relationships.”

    “Many men reported that they enjoyed the feeling of taking care of another woman, of being able to provide her with material and social comforts and luxuries.”

    “The ultimate irony is that for women in the most modern marriages, where the conjugal relationship is primary and romantic love is often an explicit foundation of the relationship, the possibility of confronting a man’s infidelity or insisting on condom use may be even more difficult. In such marriages a woman challenging her husband’s extramarital behavior or asking for a condom may be undermining the very basis for the marriage, and threatening whatever leverage she has with her husband by implying that the relationship itself has been broken.”

    There was a particular passage that reminded me of some of Orwell’s observations in his timeless “Politics and the English Language”:

    “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: ‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’”

    The offending passage which brought this observation to mind was the following:

    “The implications of these findings for designing appropriate public health interventions to reduce the marital transmission of HIV are complex. In the longer term, the structural underpinnings of economic and gender inequality that undergird a significant proportion of extramarital relationships require social and economic transformations beyond the scope of conventional public health programs…. Despite the scale of the problem, the findings here suggest other measures that can be implemented in the shorter term, interventions that take into account the changes associated with modern marriage, the social organization of extramarital sex, and the centrality of powerful and often contradictory moralities in people’s assessments of marriage, extramarital sex, and HIV/AIDS…. [R]educing the moral stigma of HIV/AIDS must go hand in hand with taking advantage of powerful moralities that guide people’s conduct…. If undertaken in combination with wider efforts to reduce the association HIV/AIDS with immoral behavior, efforts to reach men with messages that capitalize on their sense of moral responsibility for the families (and for their extramarital partners) could be effective. Specifically, men could be encouraged – and peer group pressure could be created – to treat their duty to prevent the transmission of HIV with the same obligatory imperative that they see in taking care of their dependents. In short, condom use in extramarital sexual relationships must be associated with demonstrating masculinity.”

    Rendered in plain English, this might read:

    “I believe in bullying and social pressure to achieve behavior modification, so long as the results are considered good for public health.”

  2. MacDonald said

    “It is men’s anxieties and ambivalence about masculinity, sexual morality, and social reputation in the context of seeking modern lifestyles—rather than immoral sexual behavior and traditional culture—that exacerbate the risks of HIV/AIDS.” (Smith)

    “Try to think of specific actions or connections that might warrant the generalizations expressed in the last two sentences (provided you can even detect what their meaning is intended to be).” (Bauer)

    Hehe. As a postmodern expert myself, allow me to explain what the meaning is: “This study’s overriding imperative is to draw the politically correct conclusions that Nigerians are not immoral and not guilty of causing their own predicament; even better, traditional Nigerian culture is not immoral or guilty of causing the spread of AIDS”. To wit:

    “The data demonstrate that married men’s risky sexual behavior and their wives’ inability to protect themselves can be understood and explained without resorting to blaming the victims.”

    I’m sure it’s a great relief to all of us that an angle has been found from which we can continue to patronize those poor, confused Third Worlders “at the intersection of economic inequality, aspirations for modern lifestyles, gender disparities, and commanding and contradictory moralities” without having to blame anybody.
    Unfortunately our poor PC eager friend, Dr. Smith, in spite of being an anthropologist himself, must have missed both structuralist Claude Levi-Strauss and the postmodern icon Jaques Derrida’s use of him:

    “Levi-Strauss will always remain faithful to this double intention: to preserve as an instrument that whose truth-value he criticizes.” (Derrida: Structure, Sign and Play http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/sign-play.html)

    Dr. Smith does it one better than Levi-Strauss since he preserves as an instrument the basic moral-immoral binary opposition, but without much in the way of criticizing it. This amounts to a conceptual regression to unavoidably judgmental language effectuated by the resurrected prejudices inherent in the HIV/AIDS paradigm where “immoral” sex is made identical with sexual practices carrying a higher risk of infection and death. Caught in this regression to moralistic language, PC anthropologists like Smith (political correctness apparently being the only thing they have learned from a century and a half of fads and revolutions in the study of language) now desperately scramble to save “the victims” from “blame”, when the very institution of respectability and morality, marriage, is suddenly accused of being immoral by the capricious logic of HIV statistics:
    Marital sex should not be blamed, young girls doing “the right thing” should certainly not be blamed, therefore the guilt is transferred to the African husbands regardless of fact. This is as Victorian as it gets, which is reassuring, but it is still only semi-PC. Husbands have to be absolved of guilt as well; the convicted perpetrators must become hapless victims of cultural and economic turmoil. The point is not whether this is all true, it might very well be; the point is that the logic, the language and the politics of HIV/AIDS will dictate that conclusion regardless of empirical observation.

    At the point in Smith’s analysis when sin, the parent and child of morality, has been transferred onto factors that are incapable of moral agency, the instrument, the moral-immoral opposition, is now finally seen as meaningless. But it cannot be discarded or transcended because the HIV/AIDS discourse inherently demands the opposition. To transcend this opposition is to transcend HIV/AIDS theory itself — which is unthinkable. Hence an impossible dilemma has arisen at the centre of the discourse (belief system); a dilemma which will continue to produce variations of the involuntarily comical breach of logic pointed out by Prof. Bauer in his concluding paragraph:

    “”X” is spread by unsafe promiscuous sex, which society regards as immoral. The way to stop “X” from spreading is to persuade people that there’s nothing immoral about the behavior that leads to its spread.”

    This simple equation marks the place where self-critique of HIV-AIDS discourse takes its first step only to stumble and founder on the still unthinkable.

    For those who would like to compare this with the analogous dilemma so famously discussed by Levi-Strauss and later Derrida, please go to the Culture-Nature opposition and the “scandal” arising when the logic of this conceptual model is ruptured:

    http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/sign-play.html (paragraphs 9-12)

  3. hhbauer said

    Darin, MacDonald:

    Thank you for extremely informative comments.

    MacD:
    You reveal yourself as truly an expert on postmodernism, able to write (satirically) in their vein as well as to deconstruct their writings!

  4. “At the point in Smith’s analysis when sin, the parent and child of morality, has been transferred onto factors that are incapable of moral agency, the instrument, the moral-immoral opposition, is now finally seen as meaningless. But it cannot be discarded or transcended because the HIV/AIDS discourse inherently demands the opposition. To transcend this opposition is to transcend HIV/AIDS theory itself — which is unthinkable. Hence an impossible dilemma has arisen at the centre of the discourse (belief system).”

    Exactly! It can’t be said better.

    This dilemma is really nothing new in HIV/AIDS theory. Echoes of this moral-immoral opposition go back at least to Ryan White and Kimberly Bergalis in the late 1980s, so-called “innocent victims” of HIV. They became poster children for transforming AIDS from a “gay plague” into “something that can strike anyone”. But why must this moral-immoral opposition both exist and simultaneously be denied in the case of HIV/AIDS?

    I believe I found a possible answer hidden in Schmidt’s early 1984 paper “The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS”. I have italicized the final two sentence, which seem extremely relevant here:

    “A particular form of shame is that which is felt for others who have been shamed and with whom one has identifications, especially in field-dependent subjects. The prototype of this reaction and its resolution is found in an account by Sack. In former times it seems that when a woman had been shamed only her death could remove the shame. I interpret this as a pathway by which already-existing matricidal impulses can be discharged through a fantasy of ‘killing the shamed’. This is confirmed by the fact that it was usually the woman’s own son who led the killing party. It is my contention that this mechanism of ‘killing the shamed’ is one of the most powerful, though deeply repressed, dynamics of the AIDS epidemic: that which is enacted in real murder in the tribal culture, becomes a more sublimated but nevertheless equally venomous outpouring of death wishes towards drug addicts and homosexuals. It is as if the shame of the offenders’ misconduct were acutely felt by the rest of the group, so that only their elimination can remove the painful effects of the shame. These identifications are based on an unconscious resonance between the shamed ones and the rest of the group.

    HIV/AIDS discourse demands the moral-immoral opposition because “the shamed must be killed”. Yet at the same time, because the shame itself is a projection of shared group-fantasy guilt (i.e. those who are identified as “HIV infected” carry the burden of everyone‘s sexual and addictive guilt), the moment one “blames the victim”, one subconsciously blames oneself under the “identification between the shamed ones and the rest of the group”. And this is psychologically unbearable. The inevitable result is the type of cognitive dissonance displayed in the Smith paper.

  5. Martin Kessler said

    One of the most poignant B***S*** statements is “life-saving drugs” — truly Orwellian. Let’s give them “showers” to remove the lice. They weren’t concentration camps, they were “autonomous Jewish territories”. If Hitler hadn’t been interested in world domination but just in eradicating the “Jewish Problem”, there would be no Jews left in Europe.

  6. MacDonald said

    A recent article on Gaywired.com admirably illustrates the group fantasy shame Casper Scmidt talks about, and the way in which it is projected onto immoral scapegoats.

    The headline says it all:

    “Bill Duke Pulls Back ‘Cover’ on Down Low Men and HIV/AIDS”

    Bill Duke has made a movie about black men on the “down low”. He explains:

    “There was [an] incident in my extended family where a woman was disrespected by a man living on the DL and that really provoked me”.

    OK, fair enough, so what does that have to do with AIDS? The amazing answer is, we’re not told!

    The journalist, who has apparently never seen an actor, or a black man who could relate to numbers — or maybe he is just not very bright himself, your choice, praises Duke’s intellectual capabilities thusly:

    “Surprisingly, on the subject of HIV/AIDS, Duke has become something of [a} walking catalog of statistics”

    There is an astounding total of 3 entries in the walking catalog:

    “Then seeing all the stats –– the fact of the matter is that one in seven Black men in DC is infected with HIV, that of the newly reported cases of HIV/AIDS among women, 70% are black women, and that the majority of those women are infected by men who know they have the disease.”

    It is indeed remarkable that thousands of women are knowingly infected by their partners every year, but if Duke says so, we’ll take his word for it. However, where is the link between the immorality of knowingly infecting one’s wife or girlfriend with a deadly disease and the DL? Again, we’re not told. It’s just assumed as part of the beyond-question inventory of common knowledge that Black HIV statistics are fully explained by immoral fellows who engage in bisexual behaviour. For some reason they get tested, but since they are immoral anyway they simply don’t care; they just rush straight back home to pass on the death sentence to their partners.

    In fact, the assumption is so strong that Bill Duke and the interviewer (journalist may be too strong a word) in effect use the HIV/AIDS statistics to prove that black men are on the DL. All the talk about HIV/AIDS is introduced by this description of Bill Duke’s new film:

    “Cover is a film that steadfastly refutes the notion that the down-low phenomenon is a thing of the past. In fact, if anything, Cover is both a wake-up call and reminder that the issue of men living on the down-low is one that had best not be forgotten.”

    HIV/AIDS statistics and the story about Duke’s extended family member are the only reasons offered for the importance of this urgent “wake-up call”. The link between loathful, immoral, cowardly BLACK, BISEXUAL characters and HIV/AIDS is so strong it needn’t even be elaborated in spite of the fact that this is a BLACK filmmaker, interviewd by a GAY publication.

    http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?id=18357&section=67

  7. Alex van Deelen said

    Great website.

    I would like to bring to your attention another anomaly of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

    For years, there have been claims about the massive death toll from AIDS. However, like in Europe, there is absolutely no evidence for this. One example:

    The US Census Bureau has two models of the population of South Africa. One without AIDS, one with AIDS. It is interesting to compare both against the results from the Community Survey carried out last year by Statistics South Africa, the country’s official statistics office.

    With AIDS: 43.9 million
    without AIDS: 49.3 million
    Community Survey: 48.5 million

    The community survey population (mid-year 2007) of 48.5 million is a lot closer to the without-AIDS model of 49.3 million (- 0.8 million) than the with-AIDS number of 43.9 million (+ 4.6 million).

    In other words, presuming there was no HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa resulted in a much more accurate projection of population size in 2007 than presuming the country was in the grips of a killer epidemic.

    (These two models were sent to me in private communication. I can e-mail them to you. The ‘without AIDS’ model number is availble on the US Census Bureau website, and the community survey number on the link listed below.)

    Second: For years UNAIDS claimed that many hundreds of thousands of people every year were dying of AIDS in South Africa. At one time, they even stated that 480,000 people died in a given year, even though the total number of reported deaths was well below that. In other words, everyone (literally) who died in South Africa, died of AIDS — and then people who didn’t die, died of AIDS too.

    Third: The causes of death, as listed on the death notification forms and its survey, seem to be exactly the same as before HIV/AIDS started in 1996 (why that year, I don’t know). However, in 1994, British television did a program on environmental pollution in South Africa, and it was clear that a lot of people came down with respiratory ailments, because of coal-fired power stations and the lack of electrification in the townships, which resulted in a dense smog during the winter from wood stoves.

    Not surprisingly, according to the Death Notification Forms Survey, 25% of all deaths in South Africa today are linked to infections of the lungs — bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc. A lot more are heart-related.

    Contrast that with the about 2.5% of deaths that are blamed on HIV/AIDS diseases.

    Of course, the orthodoxy comes up with all kinds of fancy and implausible rationalisations — doctors don’t mention a patient has died of HIV/AIDS ‘to spare the family’s feelings’. Forget that virtually all doctors in South Africa are orthodox believers. It is a crime in South Africa to fill in a false cause of death, that at least will result in the revocation of their license to practice medicine. We are asked to believe that in hundreds of thousands of cases, doctors are more comfortable about losing their license than they are about offending the family’s feelings by listing ‘HIV/AIDS diseases’ as the cause of death. And doctors can list more than one cause of death, by the way, so there is nothing stopping them checking off ‘tuberculosis’ and ‘HIV/AIDS diseases’ as well (for instance).

    Fourth: There has already been a massive write-down of HIV infection rates in South Africa, when they switched from Antenatal Clinic Surveys (ANCs — surveys of pregnant women only) to household surveys (DHS or Demographi and Health Surveys — surveys of representative population samples). South Africa went from 19% national infection, to 11% national infection rates.

    Estimates on HIV called too high
    New data cut rates for many nations
    By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | June 20, 2004

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/06/20/estimates_on_hiv_called_too_high/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/05/AR2006040502517.html?sub=new

    SA’s HIV/Aids rate lower than expected, but higher for whites
    December 06, 2002 Edition -1
    By Anso Thom

    http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=24628

    ” The good news is that the overall infection rate in the country is 11.4%, lower than the previously estimated 19%. ”

    Death Forms Notification Survey (2007)
    http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/statsdownload.asp?PPN=P0309.3&SCH=3937

    Community Survey by Statistics South Africa (2007)
    http://www.statssa.gov.za/community_new/content.asp

    Nancy Padian, on the lack of transmission of HIV between heterosexual couples:

    Padian, N. and Pickering, J., “Female-to-male transmission of AIDS: a re-examination of the African sex ratio of cases”, JAMA 256:590

    Padian, N.S., Shiboski, S.C., Glass, S.O., Vittinghoff, E. (1997), “Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in northern California: Results from a ten-year study”, Am. J. Epidemiol. 146:350-357.

    Sometimes HIV epidemically behaves like a sexually transmitted virus, but a lot of times it does not:

    Mounting anomalies in the epidemiology of HIVin Africa: cry the beloved paradigm
    http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/brewer1/

    From this page: ” Discontinuity between HIV and STIs… During the 1990s HIV propagated rapidly in Zimbabwe, increasing at an estimated rate of 12% annually. At the same time, the overall sexually transmitted infections (STI) burden declined an estimated 25% and while there was a parallel increase in reported condom use by high-risk persons (prostitutes, lorry drivers, miners, and young people)1. “

  8. Alex van Deelen said

    US Census Bureau vs Statistics South Africa (Appendix E)

    Notice that they believe the population of South AFrica in 2007 to be 43.9 million (Statistics South Africa Community Survey: 48.5 million).

    Also notice that they divined that in 2005, South Africa had a whopping 945,000 deaths, when the Death Notification Forms Survey has All Causes Of Death (2005) at 591,213.

    That is a difference of 354,000 deaths.

    Total deaths in South Africa for 2005:

    945,000 – US Census Bureau, ‘with AIDS’ model
    591,000 – Statistics South Africa, Death Notification Forms Survey

    That is a massive discrepancy, and it’s the presumptions made about deaths from AIDS that makes the difference.

    But it’s the Statistics South Africa data that are based on actual surveys, not projections from models.

  9. hhbauer said

    Alex:

    Thank you for those data.

    It seems incredible, and yet it’s clearly so, that these discrepancies should be ignored by official institutions, and that the media seem to remain unaware of them, even though Rian Malan had articles about this in Rolling Stone Magazine and the Spectator (London): “AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator (London), 14 December 2003.

  10. Gene said

    It should be clear from the literate contributions above that any “qualified academic” can say just about anything and get away with it so long as the prose is sufficiently convoluted.

    I once heard that it is the acidheads who are the CEOs of Big Pharma, but the guy telling me this was all wavy … Before “waving out” he told me that postmodern philosophy was started by the CIA as a form of psyop …

    It’s true that Prof Henry Bauer’s brilliant statistical deconstruction of HIV/AIDS can be “answered” using the very postmodern tricks exposed here.

    Here’s a postmodern joke that tops the Sokal Hoax: HIV love-festers apply ingenious pretzel logics to current research findings on programmed cell- death, the immune system, genomics, etc. With nods and winks to Derrida and co., the spin-meisters invent fantastic new properties for magical HIV that, of course, defy all the rules that squares would impose on virus “behaviour”.

    Academic baffle-gab is the perfect cover for what commonsense would say are discoveries that continue to reveal the innate healing capacities of the human organism. And since there are these “nuggets” of truth within techno-speak — even Derrida makes sense every tenth paragraph or so — all of these qualities that would enable care-free humans must be reduced to a virus that follows nobody’s rules … officially living in an age where “health” or living a care-free life is actually “disease” (and “immoral”) for spreading the deadly virus of the month that no one can see (because it’s existence is unbounded, of course). It doesn’t even matter which virus one is talking about, so long as the population realizes: no one is safe anymore; therefore, nothing within an individual’s capacities can be trusted to maintain the public health.

    Beloved HIV is the choice entry-point for any opportunist windbag like D J Smith, since expertise on the people of Africa can move him up in the food chain. Getting published in a respectable journal dedicated to social control is a meal ticket for those seeking advancement in the post-colonial, post-industrial infotainment imperium. The most talented can with a straight face condemn as postmodernists those scientific squares (called dissidents) who don’t follow the agenda.

    So the joke is on us? Because the end game IS social engineering? Does it remain to be seen how many people can slap themselves awake in time to short-circuit the “project”? Or is there no “space” from which I can make this critique?

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