HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

COCAINE AND HEROIN AREN’T GOOD FOR YOU! — a Golden Fleece Award

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/13

My generation of scientists was familiar with the Golden Fleece Awards bestowed by Senator William Proxmire on federally funded research to find answers that were already known or on topics of no importance. Proxmire would certainly have given an award for the work described by the headline,

HIV-positive illicit drug users have increased risk for opportunistic infections, death, study says (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8 March 2006)

When Google Alerts delivered me this headline, I naturally inferred that the study had found that “HIV”-positive drug users had a poorer prognosis than HIV-negative drug users. That would have made this just another study showing that if you were “HIV”-positive you were more likely to be ill than if you were HIV-negative, given that testing “HIV”-positive is a sign of physiological stress, albeit not necessarily serious enough to worry about unless your physician decided that you needed to take antiretroviral drugs. Moreover it would have been consistent with several reports that “HIV”-positive drug addicts reverted to HIV-negative, as well as to better health, upon conquering the addiction.

Imagine my delight, not to say surprise, on finding that my inference was dead wrong:

“HIV-positive users of cocaine and heroine have an increased risk for opportunistic infections and death compared with HIV-positive nonusers, according to a study published in the January 4 on-line edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology, Reuters reports. Gregory Lucas of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues surveyed a total of 1,851 HIV-positive individuals every six months starting in 1998. Researchers grouped the participants into different categories: 1,028 ‘nonusers’; 588 ‘intermittent users,’ who had used illicit drugs an average of 14 days in the last six months; and 235 ‘persistent users,’ who had used illicit drugs an average of 27 days in the last six months. After three years, researchers found that the approximate survival rates were 87% for nonusers, 80% for intermittent users and 68% for persistent users. After adjusting for various factors — including age, race, gender and CD4+ T-cell counts — researchers found that the risk of death was almost double in intermittent users and almost triple in persistent users. During periods when users abstained from illicit drug use, the risk of opportunistic infections decreased to the level associated with nonusers, according to the study.”

Imagine that!

Congress, The National Drug Enforcement Agency, indeed all law enforcement entities, as well as the NGOs that preach “Just say NO to drugs”, will be greatly relieved at this proof that their work has actually had a genuinely substantive basis. No longer need they worry, whether they have an objective basis for their animus against cocaine, crack, crystal, heroin, etc., etc.—now it’s been scientifically proven at last that those substances are health-threatening.

“The observed increase in risk might be attributed to the effect illicit drugs have on the immune system…”
Well. Yes, that seems plausible enough.

But let us not overlook that this whole study involved “HIV”-positive people. So the really major question is, how do cocaine and heroin interfere with treating HIV? So, as Jon Stewart of the Daily Show would say, “Here’s your moment of Zen”:

“The observed increase in risk might be attributed to … failure to adhere to antiretroviral therapy”.

So therefore:

Effectively targeting and treating active substance abuse in HIV treatment settings may provide a mechanism to improve clinical outcomes”.

Would anyone disagree?

Would anyone have disagreed before this study was ever done??

10 Responses to “COCAINE AND HEROIN AREN’T GOOD FOR YOU! — a Golden Fleece Award”

  1. umber said

    Roth et al. showed already in 2002 that cocaine increased the replication of “HIV”.

    Roth communication

    They all seek to find an explanation linking cocaine to “HIV”, without finding it, of course.

    And yet, if they raised the question of a link between cocaine and peroxynitrites (see my post), they would understand better.

    Cocaine and heroin are tertiary aliphatic amines, which are certainly easily oxidized in cells to N-oxide, which is transformed by the Cope-rearrangement to hydroxylamine, known to be a NO-donor.

  2. Dave said

    Do drugs cause AIDS? [Wrong question]

    So, what are the right questions?

    1. What does cocaine do to a person’s immune system?

    2. Does cocaine cause any clinical physical symptoms? Do these overlap with any of the 29 AIDS-defining diseases?

    3. Does cocaine alter one’s T-cell count?

    Now, subsitute “poppers”, “heroin,” “crystal meth” and “crack” for cocaine and repeat the same questions.

    Finally, one of my favorite all-time studies is Brown et al, Immunological dysfunction in heroin addicts, Arch. Intern. Med, 134:1001-6.

    In Brown, several heroin addicts in NY are described with various immune deficiencies and opportunistic infections, including the dreaded, signal disease — Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

    The problem? Brown was published in 1974 — 7 years before AIDS.

  3. Martin said

    Umber, I read the extract above from the “Roth communication”; how did these “scientists and doctors” determine that they actually had “HIV”? I guess that’s a moot point. I would gather that in order to get an article published in a “peer-reviewed” journal, when they are writing about AIDS, they had to include “HIV” or they wouldn’t have gotten published. It’s sad, because of this zombie-like mindset (“the AIDS Meme” has been used on other blogs), we know less about what is called AIDS than we did when the first gay people got sick in the early ’80’s.

  4. hhbauer said

    Martin:

    I think we know more now about what caused AIDS. Tony Lance’s hypothesis concerning intestinal dysbiosis is supported by a great range of evidence from a variety of published sources—see WHAT REALLY CAUSED AIDS: SLICING THROUGH THE GORDIAN KNOT, 20 February 2008, https://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/what-really-caused-aids-slicing-through-the-gordian-knot/

  5. hhbauer said

    Dave and others:

    Neville Hodgkinson cites the observations of Gordon Stewart in 1967 of illnesses, clinically similar to AIDS, among drug addicts—“AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science”, pp. 103-4

  6. Martin said

    Lance and Hodgkinson and other dissident scientists are correct about what caused disease in those people in each risk group. Putting everyone under the umbrella of AIDS was a big mistake. When I said we know less, what I meant was the official information which the general public is told time and time again (like the New York Times: HIV the virus that causes AIDS).

  7. umber said

    The journal Nature itself recognizes the importance of peroxynitrites in cellular apoptosis, which is now the mechanism to which more and more researchers adhere to explain the fall in the number of immune cells.

    Shacka et al.

    I therefore agree with Tony Lance when he says that the multifactorial hypothesis is not correct : indeed, in my hypothesis, the common denominator is the peroxynitrite.

    And the intestinal dysbiosis would then be just one effect of peroxynitrite excess in the gut.

    And why would they be the common denominator? Well, because, as they are formed very quickly when there is a little nitric oxide (NO), they will appear in large quantities in the “seropositive”, because used substances and certain practices increase the rate of cellular NO.

    I even think that the formation of a small quantity of peroxynitrites is needed to eliminate deficient cells in a healthy individual.

    That is why the famous “HIV” markers, which I call peroxynitrite markers, are found in small amounts in each of us. That is what Roberto Giraldo has shown.

    In fact, the appearance 50 years ago of substances that may release large amounts of NO, marked the beginning of the exagerated emergence of these markers. These substances have been used in large quantities in high-risk groups.

    It should be noted that these peroxynitrites have several effects:
    – First they are nitrating agents, and training of nitrotyrosine is associated with the destruction of the cell membrane.
    – Secondly, they are powerful oxidants which invariably turn the thiol (-SH due to cysteine) into sulfate, unless the presence of Glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) is sufficient.

    The Gpx allows you to react together peroxynitrites and mercaptans (glutathione) to give disulfides (oxidized glutathione), which are recyclable through glutathione reductase.

    But Gpx need selenium, and rightly, peroxynitrites, if they are too much, will also oxidize the -SeH group of selenocysteine in selenates, which behave as sulphates. Indeed, selenium has virtually the same chemical properties as sulphur.

    That is also why the “seropositives” have a shortage of selenium. We see that it is snowballing.

    As long as there is enough sulphur and selenium, excess NO is controlled and the person is not ill. She becomes ill that when these two elements have disappeared. One can even see an improvement in the rate of CD4 with some NO-donors because, as the amount of sulphur is sufficient, they serve rather to protecting against apoptosis.

    Nitric oxide as a bifunctional regulator of apoptosis.

    Finally, as well as what I just described is found in the literature, but so disparate, literature shows us what are the compounds that are NO-donors. And these are just all compounds where nitrogen is linked to a more electronegative atom (see Linus Pauling) that the carbon : fluorine, oxygen, chlorine, bromine … and nitrogen itself.

    Some examples of compounds with N-O bond :
    – Nitrates (chloramphenicol, nitrofurantoin, flagyl ,… )
    – Nitrites: poppers
    – Isoxazoles (bactrim)
    – Oximes (cefixime ,… )
    – Hydroxylamines, obtained by cellular oxidation of secondary (methamphetamine) and tertiary (cocaine) amines.
    With liaison N-N
    – AZT
    – Isoniazid

    And the list is not closed

    It was also shown that the semen of people suffering from infertility is rich in peroxynitrites. Doubtless there are other reasons causing this excess in semen. One can therefore understand that this sperm can cause an exaggerated appearance of the peroxynitrite markers (“HIV markers” ) by example in the rectum.

    The production of peroxynitrite by human spermatozoa…

    All this is of course a hypothesis, which I conceived after I read the texts by Heinrich Kremer.

  8. Martin said

    Don’t forget Viagra as a source of NO. I learned that from reading an interview with Dr. Stefan Lanka.

  9. umber said

    Absolutely!

    And you will find the impact of viagra (crystal and poppers …) in this study.

  10. orlando said

    @ Dave: I respond to Question 3 from your post above — in view of the Roth et al. paper proposed by Umber.
    Results

    In vivo exposure to cocaine did not affect B or T cell implantation
    in huPBL-SCID mice. In the absence of HIV infection,
    huPBL-SCID mice were treated daily with either saline or cocaine
    (0.1, 5, or 10 mg/kg) 10–21 days after huPBL implantation.
    Levels of human IgG were followed as a measure of B
    cell engraftment and function. Cocaine had no effect on the
    spontaneous rise in human IgG titers that occurred during the
    first 2 weeks after implantation or on the plateau level that
    was maintained through day 21 (figure 1A). Cocaine- and saline-
    treated huPBL-SCID mice were sacrificed after 10 days
    of treatment, and peritoneal lavage was done to recover implanted
    human cells. Similarly, exposure to cocaine did not significantly
    affect either the number or viability of recovered
    human CD4+ or CD8+ cells.

    …and…
    In vivo cocaine administration, in combination with HIV,
    significantly increased HIV replication and expression of the
    murine HSA reporter construct in huPBL-SCID mice. In both
    cocaine-treated and untreated HIV-infected animals, CD45+
    human cells represented 67:4% ^ 9:5% (mean ^ SD) of total
    recovered peritoneal cells. Although cocaine had no independent
    effect on PBL implantation, administration of cocaine, in
    combination with HIV, significantly increased the percentage
    of peritoneal cells expressing murine CD24 as a marker of
    HIV infection (figure 2A). This augmentation was associated with a marked loss of CD4+ cells (figure 2B) and a resulting decrease
    in the CD4:CD8 ratio. (…)

    addendum: The full text of the Roth et al. paper can be found here: http://rapidshare.com/files/124405923/6207350.pdf.html

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