HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

More De COCK AND BULL stuff and nonsense

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/15

In the face of undeniable facts about HIV/AIDS, cognitive dissonance and passionate defense of vested interests are eliciting from official sources statements that call for the talents of comedians in the tradition of Mort Sahl, Tom Lehrer, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, for appropriate commentary.

Kevin De Cock, for example, chief white-coated HIV/AIDS guru at the World Health Organization, said that “Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia . . .  That doesn’t look likely” [emphasis added] (Jeremy Laurence, “Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits”, Independent.co.uk, 8 June 2008 ).

What’s comical here is that De Cock and his cohorts at WHO and UNAIDS were themselves this “lot of people”, and that they were not only saying it but strenuously insisting on it, trumpeting it, repeating it incessantly and brooking no contradiction.

De Cock’s mention that Swaziland suffers an infection rate of  40% also deserves at least a snigger if not a belly laugh. He bemoans that fewer than one third of people in those African countries are getting the antiretroviral drugs they need. Of course even fewer were getting them until quite recently. Since Swaziland and other sub-Saharan countries have had these high rates for a decade or more in absence of treatment, there should by now be few people left alive there. Where then are all the corpses? Rian Malan (1) looked and couldn’t find them. And how did Africa’s population manage to continue to grow at a few percent per year despite all this carnage?

De Cock’s admission that HIV/AIDS is not going to spread outside Africa might have reflected his encounter with reality as co-author of the review article featured in HIV/AIDS ILLUSTRATES COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, 29 April 2008. A colored graph in that article incorporates the assertion that HIV is disseminated by quite different means in different parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, marital sex is indicted for more than 50% of the spread while commercial sex is responsible for only about 10%, whereas in Eastern Europe about 85% of transmission is owing to injection by drug addicts and only about 10% is ascribed to each of “casual sex” and sex between men—no noticeable amount from marital sex or from commercial sex, which latter is indicted in other parts of the world for between 10% and 20% of transmission. Aren’t some of the drug addicts in the former Warsaw pact countries married? Don’t they have sex with their wives? Are there no sex workers there? Don’t the injecting drug addicts there ever have sex with anyone, or do they have only homo-sex?

In both Latin American and the Caribbean, sex between men is supposed to be responsible for about 60% of the spread—but the overall rate in Latin America is twice that in the Caribbean. Is the proportion of gay men in the Latin American population twice that in the Caribbean?

One shouldn’t in any case speak of any spread at all in those regions, given that there has been no reported increase for at least a decade. UNAIDS in its Global Reports and Updates reported for HIV in Latin America, 0.5% for both 1997 and 2007; in the Caribbean, 1.9% in 1997 and only 1.0% for 2007.

Mother-to-child transmission, according to that review article, accounts for 15% of all transmission in sub-Saharan Africa but is barely noticeable in Latin America and the Caribbean and is not even mentioned for Asia and Eastern Europe. Yet in Asia, 25% of transmission is supposed to be via marital sex. How does it come about that all those married women infected via marital sex never pass their infection on to their newborns?

Someone like De Cock who collaborated in authorship of this review article would, I suggest, find unbidden doubts making themselves felt about the whole business of HIV/AIDS epidemics; albeit those doubts might express themselves only in dreams—or nightmares.

Expressing such doubts in the light of day, and from within the World Health Organization, is tantamount to treason. No surprise, then, that WHO and UNAIDS quickly issued a joint “correction” (“Correction to AIDS story in Independent article 8 June 2008; Joint Note for the Media WHO/UNAIDS – Wed, 11 Jun 2008”).

This correction reiterates that “the global HIV epidemic is by no means over. . . . AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Africa. . . . Worldwide, HIV is still largely driven by heterosexual transmission. The majority of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa occur through heterosexual transmission. We have also seen a number of generalized epidemics outside of Africa, such as in Haiti and Papua New Guinea.”

But this in no way speaks to, let alone contradicts, De Cock’s admission that there are not and will not be heterosexual epidemics in the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe. That takes all the wind out of the sails of this “correction”; and the last assertion in this press release deserves to be laughed off the stage:
“AIDS remains the leading infectious disease challenge in global health. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible and misleading.”

As already pointed out in our earlier post (WHO SAYS that WE’VE BEEN VERY WRONG about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization), 10 June 2008 ), numerous official sources have presented evidence over and over again that more people even in Africa die of malaria and other scourges traditionally present there, than die of AIDS.

Peter Piot, collaborator with de Cock in creating “the Belgian disease” of HIV/AIDS in Africa, seems to have acted with better self-preservation instincts than De Cock: “In a little noticed statement in April, Piot said he would step down when his term ended at the end of this year” (“June 11, 2008: First shoe at UN drops: Peter Piot resigns”  and “Liam Scheff at GNN: The Aids machine grinds to a halt” ). When a Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary of the United Nations steps down with a “little noticed statement”, something is awry. Why not the traditional press-release citing his desire to spend more time with his family after having accomplished all that he had aimed to accomplish? That no successor was announced amplifies the smell of fish here, in  its indication of haste and confusion rather than orderly transition at the normal end of a term of service.

The cat is out of the bag. HIV is not fueling heterosexually transmitted epidemics—at least not in most of the world. Outside sub-Saharan Africa, heterosexual epidemics are apparent only among other dark-skinned people, according to WHO/UNAIDS in Haiti and Papua New Guinea. It’s just shameful what those black people do in the way of sex—particularly those married ones in sub-Saharan Africa, see TO AVOID HIV INFECTION, DON’T GET MARRIED, 18 November; HIV/AIDS ABSURDITIES AND WORSE, 9 DECEMBER 2007; B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS, 4 March 2008.
———————-

Citation:
(1) Rian Malan, “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.

6 Responses to “More De COCK AND BULL stuff and nonsense”

  1. Excellent summary, Henry. The UNAIDS “correction” (as in “political correctness”?) notes that the majority of HIV cases are among women. In fact, a major South African country-wide survey found more than 3.5 times the rate of HIV seropositivity among young black women than among young black men. This is clearly inconsistent with a heterosexually transmitted disease. Clearly men are more promiscuous than women just about everywhere (and this same survey shows that men, surprise surprise, are more promiscuous than women). And why, in the sex-obsessed culture of North America and Europe, has there been no heterosexual explosion? And why not in India where high rates of HIV seropositivity were observed among prostitutes in Mumbai in the early 1990s?

  2. Laura said

    “In fact, a major South African country-wide survey found more than 3.5 times the rate of HIV seropositivity among young black women than among young black men. This is clearly inconsistent with a heterosexually transmitted disease.”

    Might it be argued that receptive partners are more at risk for HIV infection?

  3. hhbauer said

    When I was looking for comparisons with HIV+, I found instances of STDs that impact men more than women—at least at some times and in some places, syphilis and gonorrhea—but others where women are infected at higher rates, e.g. chlamydia. Figure 7, p. 33 in my book shows syphilis more prevalent in men than women from 1981 to the early 1990s, rates comparable in both sexes in the mid-1990s, then higher again among men. P. 199 cites data for 2004: women were 3.5 times more likely than men to have chlamydia, and 10% more likely to have contracted gonorrhea.

    So with diseases known beyond doubt to be sexually transmitted, there’s no general rule for male-to-female ratio.

    For years the mainstream HIV/AIDS gurus were citing a 1-to-1 male-to-female HIV+ ratio in Africa as proof that it was sexually transmitted!

  4. B Carter said

    I would call this latest Cock and Bull retraction “hanging on to HIV” as long as one still can. I was surprised, quite frankly, that the retraction statement did not say a thing about those prevention and treatment efforts that include male circumcision. They really like to use that one a lot.

  5. MacDonald said

    Crowe is right. As a general rule, the more traditional a society is, the less likely women are to be wildly promiscuous. South Africa is more traditional than the US or Europe.

    The exceptional ratios Prof. Bauer has dug up for chlamydia are probably due to more testing of women — antenatal clinics, etc. The same circumstance is likely part of the explanation for the SA HIV ratios. The reason for the pliant statistics here is that both “infections” are largely asymptomatic, meaning you have to go looking for them. Both “infections” are said to be perinatally transmitted, so, again, antenatal clinics is a convenient place to go looking.

    But, Laura, the indisputable absurdity arises when we are told that 1. Women are a high-risk group, and 2. Married women are an even higher-risk group (there are plenty of examples of this. See for instance Bauer’s link at the end of his post). Twist and turn this any way you want, on the sexual-transmission model, the married woman needs to be infected by someone, and in just about every society on the planet, that statistically significant someone has got to be her husband. That makes it very difficult to invent explanations for a countrywide 1:3.5 ratio. Furthermore if by “young” men and women is meant unmarried, we should expect the female-to-male ratio to increase as they marry.

    Or from another perspective: for the female-to-male ratio to be significantly higher than 1:1, the infected men in the male minority would have to have sex with several women in order to spread the “infection”. That could conceivably occur in a brothel, for instance. Just a couple of lively male customers could theoretically infect the whole brothel. But the “outbreak” would remain localized because, even though the promiscuous men have multiple partners, their activities are confined to a certain group of women (the prostitutes in the brothel), which means they share their multiple partners. Respectable men and women do not enter into the scenario. So if you want to expand such a transmission model from a localized hypothetical to a whole country—a singled-out country since it doesn’t happen in the US and Europe—you would pretty much have to postulate that that country is one big brothel. There is no other way to explain such disparities in sexual transmission ratios between whole countries.

  6. hhbauer said

    MacDonald:

    To explain the “AIDS epidemics”, you point out, “you would pretty much have to postulate that that country is one big brothel”.

    That’s exactly how the mainstream describes conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, as overlapping networks of multiple concurrent sexual relationships. James Chin, epidemiologist formerly for WHO, calculates that 20 to 40% of the adult population is engaged in such networks of promiscuity, see “The AIDS Pandemic”. Without citing Chin’s numbers, the mainstream accepts that conditions in some African-American communities are like those in sub-Saharan Africa, in terms of HIV/AIDS spread.

    As I’ve pointed out in a number of posts as well as in my book, this willingness to postulate such behavior bespeaks deep-seated, not necessarily conscious racist stereotyping.

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