HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

HIV scare in St. Louis School—a footnote

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/11/12

I had concluded my post about this with the words, “Those facts cause me to dread the further ‘news’ and rumors that will be leaking out from those ignorant, panicked, ‘everything is normal’, school administrators and health officials in St. Louis.” The foreboding was warranted:

“November 9, 2008 — H.I.V. Scare Unnerves a St. Louis High School — By MALCOLM GAY
ST. LOUIS — Walking the halls of Normandy High School between classes, Mya McLemore, a senior, pays close attention these days to the faces of her fellow students. She keeps an eye out for those who avert their gaze, whose lips quiver or who allow a telltale tear to roll down their cheeks.  ‘I’ve been observing people, trying to see who’s acting different,’ said Mya, 16. . . . Life, . . . has been far from normal for students at this struggling high school in suburban St. Louis since they learned last month that as many as 50 of their classmates may have been exposed to H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. . . . Ninety-seven percent of the students chose to be tested. Results are expected this week. . . .
‘It’s the only thing we talk about,’ said Jamar McKinney, a junior. ‘Who could have H.I.V., who started it, how many people may have it. We always agree on who we think has it. . . . I don’t trust nobody until I see the results,’ he said, adding that he plans to display his negative test results on a T-shirt. . . .
Stephen Perkins, 16, a Normandy junior . . . said that whenever he meets girls at the mall, ‘the first thing they ask is, “What school do you go to?” . . . After I say Normandy, . . . “The H.I.V. School? AIDS High?” Normandy’s got a bad name.’”

One can only hope that McKinney’s T-shirt idea doesn’t catch on; but it’s exactly the sort of thing that is all too likely to become a fad.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, “an individual may test positive after being vaccinated against flu, or taking an anti-tetanus shot, or having TB, or for a large number of other reasons . . . . We also know that the probability of testing positive for any of those reasons is far greater for people of African ancestry than others; black females in particular are typically 20 times as likely to test positive under one of those numerous conditions. We also know that in the lower teenage years, females are more likely to test positive than males — perhaps under the physiological stress of menarche, the onset of menstruation.”
But I hadn’t then known that the “student population is 99 percent black”.

The school superintendent can of course be excused for swallowing HIV/AIDS dogma, but someone in his position ought to be more adept at dealing with such a situation. “We didn’t have a playbook,” he was reported as saying. That strikes me in about the same way as when the (briefly) head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, tried to defend his appointment of his lover to a highly paid position. It’s simply an admission of being unfit for the job.

The media, again of course, find ways to further stir the troubled waters by re-emphasizing the falsehood that HIV is a threat to the whole United States:

hivoverusa

(from NBC’s Channel 7 News, Boston, cr. Awareness Blog)

6 Responses to “HIV scare in St. Louis School—a footnote”

  1. CathyVM said

    My…heart…hurts… for these school-kids, and also for their community. We all know how we feel; preaching to the choir is just redundancy. Has anyone else read Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”? We now have fiction imitating life (or death) imitating fiction. Sometimes I just want to stay under my duvet and yell “go away” at the outside world — sadly, this is one of those times.

  2. Henry Bauer said

    CathyVM:

    You do what you can. Preaching to the choir isn’t just redundancy, because as we exchange messages, sometimes a new idea gets generated; and it’s also very important to know that you’re not alone! And the preaching — in books, on the Internet, in talks in different places — is actually available to and sometimes heard beyond the choir, and sometimes the choir gets enlarged that way.

    I understand discouragement, but it’s irrational, because we’ve got the facts on our side, and we’ll have the last laugh (though there’s nothing funny about it all). I even dare to hope that the last laugh will not have to be a posthumous one.

  3. laura said

    I agree that knowing you’re not alone is very important, because I get frustrated and discouraged as well. But, the more alternative information there is on the Internet, the more it will come up when people are Googling …

  4. CathyVM said

    Sorry for the negativity, Dr Bauer.
    I am struggling to articulate why some of these reports and studies outrage me so much. I guess it is because “preventive medicine” has abandoned lifestyle and diet for the far more lucrative “preventive drugs”; the poisonous polypharmacy that passes for modern medicine these days. This paradigm shift has been driven by the pharmaceutical industry; we now live in an all-pervasive Orwellian “drugspeak” world with 99.9999% of the population unaware that anything untoward has happened. And the coup has been far from bloodless. It puts me in mind of a cheesy Zombie movie from my teens. Nubile young women are frolicking at the edge of a lake, and one by one, the women are picked off, dragged screaming underwater by a zombie right under the noses of the others without them noticing a thing. Yes, it feels like medicine has become a dire B movie in which the most ridiculous, mendacious and preposterous assertions stand unchallenged.

  5. Henry Bauer said

    CathyVM:

    Please don’t apologize! One way in which I combat periodic discouragement is by telling myself that providing this blog forum is worthwhile, and I can only do that because of exchanges like those with you.

  6. Marcel said

    Well, bad as it is to get people suspicious of one another, and turn people into outcasts because of rumors that are based on someone being viewed shedding a tear, at least Aids Inc. have spared the St. Louis teens the horrors now being openly proposed in Indonesia. Microchips for the positive, anyone?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE4AN3U620081124

    This nicely illustrates how the Hiv/Aids meme was adopted because it met many needs among various power sectors in society: the doctors’ and scientists’ need for money and power, the drug industry’s need for profit, the media’s need for lurid and sensational stories, and the government’s and religion’s need to frighten people in order to control them. Now the monster they created is out of control and wreaking havoc beyond what even its inventors had probably desired.

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