HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for June, 2008

“SMART” STUDY BEGETS MORE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

Posted by Darin Brown on 2008/06/11

Someone recently alerted me to a 2006 paper comparing adverse events on “continuous” vs. “interrupted” ARV therapy:

“CD4+ Count-Guided Interruption of Antiretroviral Treatment: The Strategies for Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (SMART) Study Group”, NEJM, Volume 355:2283-2296, November 30, 2006, Number 22

The study was trumpeted in the media as the death knell for so-called “interrupted” or “intermittent” ARV therapy, following the conclusion:

“Episodic antiretroviral therapy guided by the CD4+ count, as used in our study, significantly increased the risk of opportunistic disease or death from any cause, as compared with continuous antiretroviral therapy, largely as a consequence of lowering the CD4+ cell count and increasing the viral load. Episodic antiretroviral therapy does not reduce the risk of adverse events that have been associated with antiretroviral therapy.”

The original study was intended to last 6-9 years:

“We calculated that 6000 patients would need to be enrolled for the study to have a statistical power of 80% to detect a 17% relative reduction in the rate of opportunistic disease or death from any cause in the drug conservation group as compared with the viral suppression group, with a two-sided alpha level of 0.05. Follow-up was to continue until 910 primary end points had occurred (estimated to be at least 6 years for each participant), assuming an event rate in the viral suppression group of 1.3% in each of the first 2 years and 2.6% per year thereafter.”

but was stopped short after a mean patient follow-up of just 16 months, for “ethical reasons”:

“On January 10, 2006, at its sixth meeting, the board recommended stopping enrollment in the SMART trial because of a safety risk in the drug conservation group and because it appeared to be very unlikely that superiority of the drug conservation treatment would be shown. On January 11, 2006, investigators and participants were notified of these findings, enrollment was stopped, and participants in the drug conservation group were advised to restart antiretroviral therapy.

What I found most revealing about this study was:

“Only 8% of deaths were due to opportunistic disease.”

The cognitive dissonance here is astounding.

Among all patients, grade 4 events occurred about 3.5 times as often as opportunistic disease: a total of 89 patients experienced any type of opportunistic disease; by contrast, a whopping 321 patients experienced grade 4 events.

Even more shocking is the following: out of all 85 patients who died, more than 5 times as many experienced grade 4 events as compared to opportunistic diseases, because 37 of the 85 patients who died experienced grade 4 events, compared to only 7 who experienced opportunistic diseases.

Opportunistic diseases did occur about 3.5 times as often in the DC (drug conservation) group as in the VS (viral suppression) group (69:20), but only 7 of these 89 patients died (8%), 4 from the DC group and 3 from the VS group. By contrast, grade 4 events occurred slightly more often in the DC group as in the VS group (173:148), but 37 of these 321 patients died (12%).

This also means that out of all patients who died, between 41 and 48 patients (48-56%) died due to causes that were either unknown or not related to either opportunistic diseases or grade 4 events. I wonder why the researchers didn’t stop to ponder this incredibly bizarre finding.

Let’s put these numbers into perspective: We have a study on giving ARV to HIV patients, and 5 times as many have drug reactions as AIDS defining illnesses, and this fact doesn’t even register with the authors of the paper? HALF of all deaths have nothing to do with AIDS or ARVs, and this bizarre fact doesn’t register with the researchers either?

The half of all deaths having nothing to do with AIDS or ARVs is several times higher than the average national mortality rate for all Americans among that age group. Why are they dying so much? They can’t blame their low CD4 counts, because their deaths weren’t AIDS related. They can’t even blame the drugs! Obviously, simply being told you’re HIV positive and have a low CD4 count greatly increases your probability of dying from things that have absolutely nothing to do with HIV or CD4 counts… very strange.

Never mind that the whole explanation why this study supports “continuous” therapy is prima facie absurd. The reasoning goes something like this: After controlling for other factors, lower CD4 counts and higher viral load were associated with higher risk of adverse events, and so the reason the patients on “interrupted” therapy had more adverse events was because they weren’t getting enough ARVs to keep HIV viral load in check, to keep their CD4 counts high enough to stave off the adverse events caused by the ARVs in the first place.

Try wrapping your mind around that one!

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

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.

Posted in experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV/AIDS numbers, prejudice, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/06

HIV/AIDS has an unparalleled ability to generate grants and gifts.

The Global Fund has approved nearly $29 million, and actually disbursed already $16 million, to help fight HIV/AIDS in the hard-hit land of Kyrgyzstan.

According to the CIA Fact Book, by 2003 there were in Kyrgyzstan an estimated 3900 people living with HIV/AIDS, there had been fewer than 200 HIV/AIDS deaths, and the prevalence was estimated at < 0.1% (as low as anywhere in the world). So the Global Fund’s allocation to Kyrgyzstan, at $29 million, represents about $150,000 per death and about $7000 per patient.

While that may seem excessively generous, perhaps it was guided by the budgeting of the National Institutes of Health, which called in 2007 for about $180,000 per AIDS death in the United States (allocations for other diseases were, for example, just under $10,000 per cancer death and $2600 per cardiovascular death—see STOPPING THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON—-Part II, 1 February 2008.

The threat to Kyrgyzstan from HIV/AIDS is further illustrated by the suspected infection of 26 babies in two hospitals (HIV-POSITIVE CHILDREN, HIV-NEGATIVE MOTHERS, 25 November 2007) and the even more terrifying fact that these babies might then infect their mothers through being breast-fed (BABIES INFECT MOTHERS; CRAZY THEORY RUINS LIVES, 12 April 2008 ).

Posted in Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

TALKS SCHEDULED: HIV does NOT cause AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/05

On Monday next, 9th June, 11 am to noon Eastern time, I’ll be talking with George Whitehurst Berry about my book

The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory

and additional evidence that “HIV” is not the cause of AIDS. The talk can be heard at hearitonline: click on the pink box, top right, “HEAR IT ONLINE! Listen to CRASH!…”.

I plan to mention the data on deaths from “HIV disease” and from HIV tests that show

(1) There is no sign of life-extending effect of antiretroviral treatment

(2) There is no sign of a “latent period” between “HIV infection” and symptoms of AIDS followed by death.

Those data are in my blog post of 19 March 2008, “HIV DISEASE” IS NOT AN ILLNESS, and form the basis a forthcoming talk, “Disproof of HIV/AIDS Theory”, at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration, Boulder CO, 26-28 June.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

ANTHONY FAUCI EXPLAINS RACIAL DISPARITIES IN “HIV/AIDS”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/03

(Several references below — euphemism, minority, macacas — are more fully explained in the earlier post, HIV/AIDS IS INESCAPABLY RACIST, 19 May 2008 ).

Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, has appeared often on the public-radio Diane Rehm show. For example, on 27 November 2007, he was introduced thus (“HIV/AIDS Worldwide”, transcript by Soft Scribe LLC):

“Racial and ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic here in the U.S. New figures show that African Americans are among those who are most at risk. Here in Washington, D.C. 1 in 20 residents is thought to have the HIV, and 1 in 50 to have AIDS.”

Once again (see HIV/AIDS IS INESCAPABLY RACIST), that euphemism “minority”. Already the following sentence shows that actually meant is black. (In Washington, DC, blacks comprise a majority of the population.)

Fauci said that “in the District, about 37 – 39 percent [of ‘HIV-positive’ results from] heterosexual transmission, 20-some-odd percent men who have sex with men, and about 14 percent injection-drug users. . . . [This] resembles in some respects . . . what we see in third world countries. And the confluence of an inner city area with poverty, lack of healthcare access, injection-drug use which keeps a core of infection in the city, and then that’s spread heterosexually and then from there you get secondary and tertiary heterosexual spread” [emphasis added].

Once more: “complex social mixing patterns” (see HIV/AIDS IS INESCAPABLY RACIST) are postulated in these “minority” communities whose conditions happen to resemble those in Third-World countries (euphemism for sub-Saharan Africa).

Another remark by Fauci illustrates how content the mainstream is to assert as fact what cannot be known: “there is a disproportional amount of transmission from people who do not know that they are infected”.
STOP.
THINK.
They don’t know they’re infected. No one told them. Why not? Because no one else knows, either.
What Fauci asserts could only be assumed, not actually known; and it is also and first assumed that there’s a short period of undetectable infection but high infectivity just after being infected; because that’s the only way to cope with the undeniable fact that the average probability of apparently transmitting the “HIV-positive” condition is only about 1 per 1000 acts of unprotected intercourse, far too low a probability to sustain any sort of epidemic (14 May 2008, SEX, RACE, and “HIV”).

(“Don’t know they’re infected” reminded me of the study that found “Nine in 10 students who experienced hazing . . . did not think they had been hazed”; Chronicle of Higher Education 21 March 2008, p. A21)

Fauci again: “disproportional amount, more of poverty, lack of access to medical care, a lack of access to counseling for prevention, proximity in locations in inner city for example where there are pockets of injection-drug use . . . . among blacks … being gay and having gay sex is not as accepted … as it is in the society as a whole”.

Again: it’s so but it ain’t “their” fault.

More Fauci: “a misconception that because women get infected in this community that they are leading promiscuous lives. That’s certainly not the case in general. Very often it’s someone who is being monogamous with someone who happens to be infected”.

“Very often”: How often must a monogamous woman have sex with an infected partner to become positive, when the probability is about 1 per 1000? James Chin, epidemiologist, says the contrary. To produce the alleged levels and rapidity of spread, 20-40% of people must be engaged in multiple concurrent relationships with frequent partner change (4 March 2008, B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS). Doesn’t that qualify as quite promiscuous?

Over and again, Fauci pretends to believe that it’s not their fault, it’s their culture — “very often women want their male sexual partner to use a condom, but they won’t do it. And in certain cultures it is not easy for a woman to assert herself and say, ‘No, this is the way it’s going to be. We don’t have a condom, I’m not having sex.’ They can wind up getting abused as it were. Those are the kind of cultural barriers that we need to overcome” (emphasis added).
(1) How does Fauci know that this happens “very often”?
(2) Again it’s those macaca cultures, which are apparently ensconced just as powerfully in Washington, DC, among people whose ancestors left Africa many generations ago, as among those still now living in Africa.

Fauci: “68 percent of the infections in the world occur in southern Africa. . . . it has to do with cultural and other factors. Poverty, dissolution of the family units, post-colonization where people would leave the family and go and work in mines, go on the trucking routes, get exposed to commercial sex workers, bring the infection back to their family, infect their wives, lack of prevention modalities. . . . some very good studies about sexual activities that in certain cultures, including those in Southern Africa there is what’s called overlapping concurrent multiple sexual partners. If you have a society that has sequential sexual partners, it is much less likely to have explosive transmission than when you have people who have simultaneously multiple sexual partners that you share.

there is a degree of disenfranchisement . . . There is discrimination . . . communities in which there is crime, there is murder . . . .”

Once more, it’s those other cultures that do sex differently than “we” do; and those cultures in Washington DC and in southern Africa share the common factor of people with dark-hued skin. As documented in my book, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, Native Americans suffer even more than African Americans from violent crime and disenfranchisement and abuse of alcohol and drugs, but their rate of testing “HIV-positive” is far below that of blacks and not much higher than among whites. It’s the biological race that matters, not the “minority” “culture”.

Note once again the asserting, as fact, matters that are speculative. “Overlapping concurrent multiple sexual partners” have been postulated to explain spread of “HIV” among heterosexuals. I await citation of those “very good studies” that actually found that sort of situation which — recall James Chin’s calculations (14 May 2008, SEX, RACE, and “HIV”) — require 20-40% of adults to be behaving in this fashion if “HIV” is to spread. Such a rate of promiscuity would be evident to the most casual observer, yet it has not been reported by any observers.

Fauci virtually confessed his belief that race and cultural determinants of sexual behavior go together:

FAUCI: it’s very difficult when you have societies whose cultural approach to life has been going on for centuries that you are going to all of a sudden change sexual practices.
REHM: But I don’t think we ought to single out sub-Saharan Africa.
FAUCI: No, not, of course not, anywhere.
REHM: I mean, here in Washington —
REHM: — that kind of promiscuous sex —
FAUCI: Right, and —
REHM: — is going on.
FAUCI: Right, exactly.

*************

Anthony Fauci and many others, including those who speak for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, appear willing to ascribe racial disparities in “HIV-positive” to “cultural” factors, even though those disparities transcend all social milieus and all geographic boundaries and all age groups and are seen in both sexes. Would they also ascribe to “cultural” factors characteristic of Caucasians that whites always test “HIV-positive” anywhere from 50% to 300% more often than Asians? Could it be that Caucasians are inherently more given to “multiple concurrent sexual relationships” than Asians are?

Posted in experts, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, prejudice, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »