REGULAR AS CLOCKWORK: HIV, THE TRULY UNIQUE “INFECTION”
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/04/01
Astonishment, disbelief, incredulity would merely begin to describe my feelings when I began collecting published data about HIV a few years ago.
I got started because I couldn’t believe the assertion, in Harvey Bialy’s book about Peter Duesberg’s work, that (in the mid-1980s, no less) teenage females from every part of the United States were as likely as teenage males to be “HIV”-positive. But I verified the correctness of the assertion in the original source; whereupon I expected to find contradictions in other studies, and so I kept looking. I jotted notes on how rates of testing positive varied with all the factors mentioned in the various reports. And my head swam, or spun, or rebelled, because it made no sense: testing “HIV”-positive seemed to be as regular as clockwork, not at all like the incidence of something infectious or contagious, which sweeps back and forth, here and there, as the opportunity offers itself.
—“HIV”-positive was always greater among men than among women: except in the teenage years, where it was often higher among females.
—“HIV”-positive always increased with age from the teens into the 30s or 40s, and then declined again.
—Most extraordinary of all, so far as age was concerned: children below teenage tested “HIV”-positive more than teenagers did, and increasingly so, the younger they were! The rate of testing positive among newborns rivaled the highest rates among adults in their 30s and 40s!
I was looking at the wealth of data based on tests in the United States, but also came across some reports from elsewhere, published by the same reliable researchers. That strange variation with age, including young children, had been reported also from Africa!
US data of all sorts are typically reported by racial category. Regular as clockwork, rates of testing “HIV”-positive always increased from among Asians to among white Americans to among Hispanic Americans to among black Americans. Whether it was blood donors or gay men, injecting drug users or newborns or their mothers; whether it was military personnel or prisoners, people at STD clinics or women at pre-natal clinics—there were simply no reports that did not fit into that progression of testing “HIV”-positive according to racial category. What sort of infection is it that discriminates consistently and regularly by race?
Whenever there’s discussion of racial disparities between blacks and whites in the USA, the first resort is to explanations based on slavery, Jim Crow laws, racial discrimination in general and their lingering after-effects: high rates of poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, criminality, and so on. But analogous circumstances have been the lot of Native Americans, displaced from their homelands, traditional practices disrupted, never integrated into the American mainstream. So one would expect that Native Americans might test “HIV”-positive about as often as African Americans. But they don’t. Every published study finds that Native Americans test “HIV”-positive at rates closer to those of white Americans than to those of any other group; somewhere between the rates of whites and those for Hispanics, but generally closer to those of whites. HIV is very race-sensitive indeed, and it discriminates by broad racial genetic category as no other infection does.
In South Africa, the same racial disparities in testing “HIV”-positive were reported as in the United States. Whites always much lower than blacks, and coloreds—mulattos—tested in between. “HIV”-positive rates even reflect miscegenation!
Similarly, within the United States, the ethnic category of Hispanic delivers “HIV”-positive rates that are distinctly higher in the East than in the West—in the same manner as the racial proportions among Hispanics differ, higher proportion of Caribbean and African descent in the East than in the West. HIV is adept at recognizing human racial genetics.
HIV is regular as clockwork in other respects, too. The same number of Americans has been “HIV”-positive from when testing began in the mid-1980s right up to the present; about 1 million, give or take whatever uncertainty the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is prepared to admit at any give time.
Who dies of “HIV disease”, the latest obfuscating term devised by CDC? Always the highest rate is among adults in their 30s and 40s, steadily from 1987 to date; no sign of any change in the distribution of deaths by age, no sign that treatments have had any effect, that they have shifted deaths to later ages (“HIV DISEASE” IS NOT AN ILLNESS, 19 March 2008). HIV is regular as clockwork. You can bet on it.
HIV is distributed in the United States in a pattern that hasn’t changed in two decades. Just as the total number of “HIV”-positive Americans has remained the same, so their geographic location hasn’t changed. It’s highest in the Northeast, next highest in the Southeast, and lowest in the North Central and Midwest. That applies to military personnel, new mothers and their infants, members of the Job Corps, blood donors—every tested group shows that same geographic distribution. Like no other infectious agent, HIV knows its place and sticks to it. Regular as clockwork. You can bet on it.
I put one and one together. Constant geographic distribution, constant racial disparities—maybe the geographic distribution merely reflects the racial proportions of the American population in the different parts of the country?
Yes. Calculate what the geographic distribution of HIV would be if it depended only on the racial make-up of the population and the relative rates at which the different races test positive, and you get a very good fit with the maps of “HIV”-positive rates.
There was one regularity in the data I collected that was, if possible, even more puzzling than the others. Quite a few reports made a point of noting that “HIV”-positive rates were higher in urban areas than in rural regions; always that same progression, and always higher, too, in the large urban areas than in the smaller ones. So regular was this that it seemed quantitative: in the largest metropolitan areas, rates of testing “HIV”-positive were about 4 times as high as in rural areas, and in “semi-urban” regions the rates were about half those in the largest cities.
Leave aside “why”, I thought. Clearly, the calculation of geographic distribution should be modified by taking also this factor into account. Doing that, the fit between the calculated and the actual geographic distributions of HIV is even better.
So HIV is this unique, unprecedented, even magical infection that hides itself not only in human bodies (because none of it has never been isolated in live form from an “HIV”-positive person), it hides itself also in its demographic characteristics, by behaving just like something endemic! It doesn’t go up and down in incidence like other infections or contagions. It doesn’t skip, hop, and jump around regions and countries and the world like other viruses or bacteria. It’s just there. It mimics DNA, in fact, because it distributes itself according to racial category. It mimics physiology: it varies according to the age of its host— regular as clockwork, it’s lowest in the teens and highest at birth and in middle age. You can bet on it.
I’ve mentioned before, on this blog (for instance, HIV DEMOGRAPHICS FURTHER CONFIRMED…, 26 February 2008), how reassuring it has been to find that these regularities, described and documented in my 2007 book (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory), continue to be reported in newer studies. Reassuring because it emphasizes that the regularities I had discerned were not artefacts of those particular samples—which was unlikely a priori, in any case, given that those “samples” included just about all the published data and represented upwards of 60 million tests; including some, like blood donors and military cohorts, in which all members of those groups were tested, not just sampled; and moreover tested regularly throughout the era of AIDS.
The present little essay was stimulated by finding confirmation of that most puzzling of the regularities, the variation of “HIV”-positive rates with population density. In gathering data for my book, I had not come across a piece in the Journal of Rural Health by Steinberg and Fleming of the CDC, “The geographic distribution of AIDS in the United States: Is there a rural epidemic?” (16  11-19). Maybe I had missed it because I focused my searches on “HIV”, not “AIDS”.
Despite its title, that paper is about the distribution of “HIV”. CDC has added to its many sins by conflating, since the late 1990s, HIV and AIDS in such a manner as to make it difficult if not impossible to know what their statistics refer to. In this instance, “AIDS” is said to include “HIV-related severe immunodeficiency”—healthy, asymptomatic people who test “HIV”-positive and have low CD4 counts. So the numbers given in this publication represent “HIV”-positive rates. The article reports specifically on data for 1996; and it confirms rather strikingly the regular trends, including the variation with population density, that are published in my book, for data collated from the mid-1980s to the later 1990s.
Northeast > South > West > Midwest (49.4 to 34.2 to 28.6 to 13.5 per 100,000)
Black-to-white ratio, 7.2 (in my book, 5.5 ± 3.4)
Hispanic-to-white ratio, 3.4 (in my book, 2.7 ± 2.1)
Variation with population density:
Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) >500,000, 41.6; 50,000 – 500,000, 17.7; non-MSA, 10.1
In my book, 4 to 2 to 1
Regular as a clock that keeps good time.