WHO SAYS that WE’VE BEEN VERY WRONG about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization)
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/10
“A 25-year health campaign was misplaced. . . . there will be no generalised epidemic of AIDS in the heterosexual population outside Africa. . . . outside sub-Saharan Africa [the threat of AIDS] . . . was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients.
… the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared. . .
Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia . . . That doesn’t look likely. . . .
In 2006, the Global Fund for HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis . . . warned that Russia was on the cusp of a catastrophe. . . . it is unlikely there will be extensive heterosexual spread in Russia. . . .
the factors driving HIV [are] still not fully understood. . . .
In the US , the rate of infection among men in Washington DC is well over 100 times higher than in North Dakota, the region with the lowest rate. . . . How do you explain such differences?”
No, these are not statements and questions from “deniers”, “dissidents”, “denialists”, rethinkers, or other outsiders. They are from Dr. Kevin De Cock, head of the World Health Organization’s department of HIV/AIDS (Jeremy Laurance, “Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits”, Independent.co.uk, 8 June 2008 [’ve changed the British usage, “aids”, to “AIDS” throughout]).
Not only does De Cock hold that authoritative position at WHO, he has been in the forefront of HIV/AIDS research from the very beginning. Indeed, he is at the forefront of those who are demonstrably culpable for promulgating a notion that underpins the whole HIV/AIDS house of cards, namely, the notion of a “virus out of Africa” which was created on the basis of zero evidence as well as high implausibility.
As the Chirimuutas* pointed out long ago, the conceit that 1980s outbreaks in a few American cities stemmed from a virus brought back to the United States by tourists ignores the fact that Africans had been transported to the United States long before that; that people from many parts of Africa had been visiting and residing in the United States for many decades; that the back-and-forth people traffic between Africa and colonial European powers had been far more intense, and had gone on far longer, than between Africa and America, so that an imported-from-Africa virus would have done its first damage in Europe, not America. And, after all, none of the early 1980s AIDS victims had ever been to Africa.
Furthermore, De Cock’s explanation, for why AIDS was not noticed or identified in Africa before it traveled to the United States, ignorantly indicted African medicine for incompetence in diagnosis of even such endemic diseases as malaria. De Cock also suggested that Africans had adjusted physiologically in some way to cope with the disease better than Americans could, which hardly explains why AIDS supposedly devastates Africa but not America or Europe.
The book by the Chirimuutas, chock-full of citations of peer-reviewed literature, is a stunning exposé of how early Belgian researchers in Africa—Peter Piot as well as De Cock—laid the groundwork for decades of misguided research through their thoroughly incompetent activities. More recent articles make many of the same points: “Is AIDS African?” (1997); “AIDS and Africa: A case of racism vs. science? AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean 1997”
Piot has been Executive Director of UNAIDS since its creation in 1995 as well as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Given his and De Cock’s role in creating it, perhaps HIV/AIDS should be known as “the Belgian disease”.
Reality has now intruded so forcibly that De Cock can no longer avoid the fact that AIDS epidemics have not happened, those epidemics that he and his cohorts prophesied with such overweening confidence for more than two decades. But— cognitive dissonance once again!—he also cannot recognize that this fact undermines the whole HIV/AIDS scenario. De Cock describes as “four malignant arguments” some certifiable truths cited by critics: that official data have inflated all HIV/AIDS estimates and that HIV/AIDS has diverted funds from such obvious needs as malaria prevention and the provision of clean water and food, building infrastructure, and sensible public-health programs; even then, plain reality forces De Cock to admit that there are “elements of truth” in these criticisms.
Nevertheless—recall what cognitive dissonance involves, HIV/AIDS ILLUSTRATES COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, 29 April 2008 —De Cock still asserts that AIDS “remains the leading infectious disease challenge in public health” , even as he knows that it is no threat outside Africa and in the face of at least equally authoritative assertions by others that malaria and malnutrition kill far more Africans than “AIDS” does (A SMALL HITCH IN THE BANDWAGON?, 29 May 2008; WHY UNAIDS SHOULD BE DISBANDED, 31 May 2008 ).
De Cock’s muddled state of mind manages only to recognize that something doesn’t fit:
“The biggest puzzle was what had caused heterosexual spread of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa—with infection rates exceeding 40 per cent of adults in Swaziland, the worst-affected country—but nowhere else. . . . Sexual behaviour . . . doesn’t seem to explain [all] the differences between populations.”
Yet having acknowledged that sexual behavior isn’t the explanation, he resorts to sexual behavior as an explanation:
“more commercial sex workers, more ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases, a young population and concurrent sexual partnerships. . . . Even if the total number of sexual partners [in sub-Saharan Africa] is no greater than in the UK, there seems to be a higher frequency of overlapping sexual partnerships”.
Regarding that shibboleth about multiple concurrent overlapping partnerships, not only is there no evidence for such multiple overlapping concurrencies, there is strong evidence against the assumption; see earlier posts, in particular RACE and SEXUAL BEHAVIOR: STEREOTYPE vs. FACT, 27 May 2008.
The epidemiology is so clear that even such insiders as James Chin++ and Kevin De Cock can’t make it jibe with HIV/AIDS theory. And since— remember, cognitive dissonance—they cannot admit to themselves that they have been utterly and entirely wrong, so too can they not find a way to admit publicly that they have been utterly and entirely wrong. But their attempts to cope with the evidence inevitably become more and more absurd, and the whole enterprise begins to crumble, as insiders from specialties that compete with them for funds begin to raise their voices (A SMALL HITCH IN THE BANDWAGON?, 29 May 2008; WHY UNAIDS SHOULD BE DISBANDED, 31 May 2008 ).
* Richard and Rosalind Chirimuuta, AIDS, Africa and Racism, Free Association Books (London), 1989 (2nd ed., revised). Rosalind Harrison (Chirimuuta) is a diplomate in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, specialized in ophthalmology, and presently a consultant with the British Health Service
++ Re Chin, see for example B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS, 4 March 2008
Acknowledgment: Many thanks to the several people who alerted me to the article in the Independent.