CRACK COCAINE CAUSES AIDS!
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/08/12
Peter Duesberg has adduced much evidence supporting the claim that abuse of recreational drugs can cause “AIDS”. Gordon Stewart noted “AIDS”-like symptoms in drug abusers before the AIDS era (p. 103f. in Hodgkinson, “AIDS; The Failure of Contemporary Science” ). A recent publication confirms that crack cocaine can cause AIDS:
“Persistent crack users were over three times as likely as non-users to die from AIDS-related causes, controlling for use of HAART self-reported at 95% or higher adherence, problem drinking, age, race, income, education, illness duration, study site, and baseline virologic and immunologic indicators. Persistent crack users and intermittent users in active and abstinent phases showed greater CD4 cell loss and higher HIV-1 RNA levels controlling for the same covariates. Persistent and intermittent crack users were more likely than non-users to develop new AIDS-defining illnesses controlling for identical confounds. These results persisted when controlling for heroin use, tobacco smoking, depressive symptoms, hepatitis C virus coinfection, and injection drug use. CONCLUSION: Use of crack cocaine independently predicts AIDS-related mortality, immunologic and virologic markers of HIV-1 disease progression, and development of AIDS-defining illnesses among women” (Cook et al., “Crack cocaine, disease progression, and mortality in a multicenter cohort of HIV-1 positive women”, AIDS 22  1355-63 ).
Of course the authors of this study don’t admit that it is the cocaine that causes the “HIV-1 disease progression” and “AIDS-related mortality”; they interpret the results as signifying that crack cocaine somehow enhances the evil effects of HIV.
Cook et al. controlled, commendably, for many conceivably confounding variables: heroin use, tobacco smoking, depressive symptoms, hepatitis C virus co-infection, injection drug use (crack cocaine is smoked, not injected). But they failed to control for the single most centrally relevant variable: “HIV-positive”. What would have been the findings had the comparison been between crack users who are HIV-negative and others who are “HIV-positive”?
But, of course, such controls might be very difficult to find, especially with comparable levels of drug intake, because drug abusers test “HIV-positive” as frequently as do TB patients and fast-lane gay men:
Whatever it is that stimulates an “HIV-positive” response–or rather, whatever “they” are, whatever range of molecular species it is that can produce an “HIV-positive” response–, evidently most or all “recreational” drugs are capable of doing so, as well as of causing illnesses that could be called “AIDS”.
Everything in this article by Cook et al., and in other literature cited there, is readily explained on the basis that crack cocaine and other drugs produce an “HIV-positive” response, ill health in general, and specific damage to the immune system. Cocaine has been shown to cause “immune alterations”, “decreasing operation of important immune responses”. It causes “membrane permeability” permitting passage across the “blood-brain barrier”—recall Tony Lance’s report (gay-related-intestinal-dysbiosis.pdf) that “leaky gut syndrome” seems able to produce an “HIV-positive” response as well as illness [WHAT REALLY CAUSED AIDS: SLICING THROUGH THE GORDIAN KNOT, 20 February 2008]. Cocaine has been shown to interfere specifically with the Th1-Th2 balance that seems involved in “HIV-positive” and in AIDS [Culshaw, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 11 (#4, Winter 2006) 101-5; Sacher, AIDS AS INTESTINAL DYSBIOSIS, 23 February 2008, and ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS FOR AIDS, 25 February 2008]. One cited study had already reported crack use as stimulating progression to AIDS. Another study had found “the risk of AIDS-related opportunistic conditions was greater for persistent users and intermittent users during periods of active use, with no difference during periods of abstinence” [emphasis added], consistent with reports that HIV-positive drug abusers revert to HIV-negative when they abstain (Moss et al., AIDS 8 (1994) 223–31). The cited finding that “hard drug use (i.e., cocaine, heroin, methadone, or injection drugs) was significantly associated with AIDS-defining illnesses, but not with change in CD4 cell count, HIV- RNA, or mortality” is consistent with the finding that CD4 counts, viral load, and clinical progression are not directly correlated (Rodriguez et al., JAMA 296  1498-1506). The cited fact from another study that “cocaine in combination with alcohol places individuals at increased risk of infection with a number of pathogens, due to additive or synergistic effects resulting in impaired immune function” will seem surprising only to people unaware that alcohol and cocaine are both bad for health.
Despite all the previous work referred to, despite the sheer common-sense knowledge that drugs are bad for you [COCAINE AND HEROIN AREN’T GOOD FOR YOU! — a Golden Fleece Award, 13 June 2008], the authors congratulate themselves on the ground-breaking nature of their work: “Ours is the first study to show that use of crack cocaine in a large, national cohort of HIV-positive women is longitudinally associated with subsequent deterioration in immune status, failure of virologic suppression, development of AIDS-defining conditions, and mortality due to AIDS-related causes, even among those who reported adhering to HAART regimens 95% of the time or more”.
Ample grounds for seeking research grants to take this knowledge even further.