HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

TB: an opportunistic infection

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/01

“HIV” has accomplished a great deal during its relatively brief existence: it has been responsible indirectly for a great many deaths (from mis-diagnoses and iatrogenic drug-induced damage); it has addled countless brains, not least among doctors and medical scientists; it has brought wasted expenditures over the years that cumulatively exceed the $170 billion that  AIG “bail-outs” have cost; and, far from least, “HIV” has sapped from the media any remaining vestiges of common sense and everyday skepticism (investigative reporting?  What’s that?!).

Despite these notable achievements, perhaps the greatest accomplishment of decades-old “HIV” has been to convert the millennia-old scourge of tuberculosis (TB) into an “opportunistic infection”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a “Global TB Control Report”, which just happened to coincide with “World TB Day”; and the world’s media rushed to display their intensely compassionate feelings for all humanbeings by lapping up and passing on every absurdity issuing from the self-interested bureaucrats of WHO. Thus during the week of 22-26 March, Public Television ran 3 programs describing the havoc being wrought by HIV/AIDS in South Africa, in particular the dreadful effects of rampant co-infections by HIV and by TB.

Surprising no one, WHO regards the situation as grim or grimmer and calls for a great increase in expenditures to combat these burgeoning threats. The NEWSWEEK headline summarizes it nicely:
“WHO issues pessimistic tuberculosis report as funding gap grows, coincidence with HIV rises” (24 March 2009, cr. [?!] Associated Press, Bradley Brooks Writer)

Britain’s BBC was far from behind [emphases added] :
“One in four TB deaths is HIV-related, twice as many as previously recognised, experts say. Co-infection remains a major challenge and more efforts are needed to spot and treat the two conditions in tandem, says the World Health Organization.
HIV and tuberculosis services must be joined up if we are to achieve global disease control, warn disease experts.
Despite TB killing more people with HIV than any other disease, in 2008 only 1% of people with HIV had a TB screen. . . .
HIV disables the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to opportunistic infections like TB.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV has caused TB incidence to triple since the 1990s and in some countries 80% of TB patients are co-infected with HIV. In 2007, worldwide there were an estimated 1.37 million new cases of TB among HIV-infected people and 456,000 deaths.
. . . .
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, said: ‘These findings point to an urgent need to find, prevent and treat TB in people living with HIV and to test for HIV in all patients with TB.’
. . . .
The UK Coalition to Stop TB is urging Gordon Brown and world leaders attending the forthcoming G20 meeting to deliver on their funding pledges to stop TB and to scale up a coordinated and coherent response to TB-HIV. It estimates that an investment of US$14 billion would reduce TB deaths in people living with HIV by 80-90%.
Dr Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, said: ‘The financial crisis must not derail the implementation of the Global Plan to Stop TB.   Now is the time to scale-up financing for effective interventions for the prevention, treatment and care of TB worldwide.’

Among the highlighted points, consider first and foremost the matter of TB as an “opportunistic infection”.
Since when?
Was TB an “opportunistic infection” during the pre-“HIV” centuries when sanatoria were being built and populated in the mountains of Europe? What was causing the massively widespread immunedeficiency that allowed TB to be so prevalent during the past several millennia? Here are just a few pertinent snippets:

“TB has a lineage that can be traced to the earliest history of mankind.   The tubercle bacillus, the organism that causes TB disease, can be traced as far back as 5000 BC . . . . Evidence of TB appears in Biblical scripture, in Chinese literature dating back to around 4000 BC, and in religious books in India around 2000 BC.  In ancient Greece around 400 BC, Hippocrates mentions TB, as does Aristotle, who talked about ‘phthisis and its cure’  (ca. 350 BC).
It was thought that Columbus brought TB to the new world in 1492…. [but] . . .  scientists . . .  identified TB bacterium DNA in the mummified remains of a woman who died in the Americas 500 years before Columbus . . . .
The ‘Great White Plague’ which started in Europe in the 1600’s and continued for 200 years was Tuberculosis. . . .
In 1882 . . . TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, killing one in seven people . . . .
By 1938 there were more than 700 sanatoriums throughout the U.S., yet the number of patients outnumbered the beds available. . . .
Each year there are 2 million TB-related deaths worldwide. . . .
An estimated 2 billion people are infected with TB
8 million people around the world become sick with TB each year.”

“AIDS” was first recognized and named in the early 1980s, characterized by one non-opportunistic condition, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and two opportunistic fungal infections, candidiasis and Pneumocystis carinii (now called P. jiroveci). In 1997, the last year in which CDC Surveillance Reports published such detailed information, fewer than 10% of “AIDS” cases, some 2100 individuals, were classified as TB; in the same year, CDC reported nearly 20,000 cases of TB overall (MMWR 47[13] 253-257, 10 April 1998). In 1985, a little over 22,000 cases of TB had been reported (MMWR 35[45] 699-703, 14 November 1986).

Here again, as has been pointed out so often by many Rethinkers, the “opportunistic infections” constituting AIDS are wildly different in different countries. In Africa, TB is the chief one, whereas in countries like Europe and the United States, where TB caused a high proportion of infectious illnesses in past centuries, TB barely features among the “opportunistic infections” supposed to be induced by “HIV”-weakened immune systems.

This is nonsense. The only basis for connecting TB to “HIV” is that TB is among the many conditions that are capable of producing a so-called “positive” on an “HIV”-test. The cumulative data on “HIV” tests in the United States shows — and has shown quite clearly for many years — that 3 groups of people test “HIV-positive” at high rates: drug abusers, drug-abusing gay men, and TB patients. I’ve remarked before [Is tuberculosis an aphrodisiac?, 4 January 2008; Tuberculosis again, 27 January 2008] on the oddity that TB should be such a strong aphrodisiac that even TB patients summon the strength for prodigious feats of promiscuous unsafe sex.

The claimed association between TB and HIV illustrates the power of “HIV” to addle brains and attract funds. Substantively and in terms of evidence, it’s nonsense.

  • ***************

The other words and phrases highlighted from the BBC report illustrate other types of  nonsense routinely encountered in the uncritical media. Unnamed “experts” who may not exist or, if they do, may have no pertinent expertise — they are expert because they are famous for being expert, to paraphrase someone or other. Numbers that are ESTIMATES, which usually means self-interested guesses. All “needs” are urgent and require “investment” — not expenditure — of increasing amounts of moolah. “Coordinated responses” and “universal testing” represent typical empire-building initiatives by bureaucracies.

As to “in some countries 80% of TB patients are co-infected with HIV”: a 1991 review of “HIV-positives” among TB patients found the rate of “co-infection” as high as 58% in some groups in the United States (Dondero & Gill, AIDS 5 [suppl. 2, 1991] S63-69).

Wall Street has no monopoly on self-serving scams.


8 Responses to “TB: an opportunistic infection”

  1. lahuesera said

    Here’s what concerns me about this. As you say:

    “The only basis for connecting TB to ‘HIV’ is that TB is among the many conditions that are capable of producing a so-called “positive” on an ‘HIV’-test.”

    Wasn’t it Max Essex himself who found that mycobacteria can trigger false positive results?

    “The data suggest that mycobaterial cell wall antigens may share common cell wall epitopes with HIV. Caution should be exercised when interpreting HIV-1 ELISA and Western blot data from regions where leprosy and other mycobacterial diseases are endemic.” (Oscar Kashala, et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1994;169:294-304)

    Isn’t TB caused by mycobacteria? How will they be excluding all those false positives?

  2. Martin said

    Lahuesera asked: Isn’t TB caused by mycobacteria? How will they be excluding all those false positives?
    Dr. Bauer already said in his posting that TB (which stands for Tubercle Bacillus) is the cause of TB. Max Essex and Oscar Kashala were engaging in smoke an mirrors trying to draw links between mycobacteria, TB, and HIV through data correlation a typical epidemiological statistical trick. Another thing, there is no such thing as a false positive — how can there be? None of the so-called HIV tests have been validated because HIV has never been isloated from a single human being from the time when AIDS was first identified. So, a positive result means absolutely nothing with respect to infection with the mysterious retrovirus HIV. If you cannot even establish whether or not the test does what it’s supposed to do, how can you ascertain its accuracy? This is why it’s so important to rethink what’s really going on here.

  3. pat said

    “Surprising no one, WHO regards the situation as grim or grimmer and calls for a great increase in expenditures to combat these burgeoning threats. The NEWSWEEK headline summarizes it nicely:
    “WHO issues pessimistic tuberculosis report as funding gap grows, coincidence with HIV rises” (24 March 2009, cr. [?!] Associated Press, Bradley Brooks Writer)”

    Only two things are certain in life:

    Death and taxes.

    Add one more:

    Ever increasing health care costs (to thwart certain death).

    Next year, they say there will be an additional 10% increase in medicare costs over the last in Switzerland. What that correlates with I don’t know. More researchers? Whatever is; at this rate in five years (or so) life will become unaffordable.

    You want to save money? Fake a murder (for the life insurance’s sake) and shoot yourself in the face and donate your body to science (to save on burial costs). Forget leasing a car (lemon).

  4. David said

    Dear Dr. Bauer,

    I apologize for raising a question not pertinent to TB. But I am trying to respond to a wildly inaccurate article on my alma mater’s website about HIV among Senior African Americans in the South. If you read it, you will be shocked by the inaccuracies. I already have most of the references I need, but I can not find a reference for the almost constant HIV prevalence in the US since 1985. Can you help me out? Thanks so much!


    David Blake Jones

    • Henry Bauer said

      David (Blake Jones):
      From pp. 1-2 of the preface of my book:
      A second instance is the press release of June 2005 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcing that “for the first time” the number of HIV-positive Americans had passed the million mark (CDC 2005). Equally authoritative estimates, most of them from the CDC itself, had estimated about 1 million Americans as being HIV-positive ever since testing began: “In 1986 … between 1 and 1.5 million persons were infected” (MMWR 1987a). In 1987 (MMWR 1987b), “The estimate obtained by incorporating these revisions into the 1986 calculation…—945,000 to 1.41 million—differs little from the earlier figure.” “In mid–1988 it was estimated that 1.5–2 million Americans had been infected,” according to Donald Francis, AIDS Adviser, California Department of Health Services, and Richard Kaslow, Chief of Epidemiology and Biometry, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Kaslow and Francis 1989, 93). In 1989, “Currently about 1 million persons in the United States are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)” (CDC 1989). For 1993, in a policy forum in Science it was estimated that >1 million in North America were HIV-positive (Merson 1993, fig. 1). “In 2003, more than 1 million persons in the United States were estimated to be living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection” (Glynn and Rhodes 2005). There is no basis in fact for saying, in 2005, “for the first time.”
      Here are the sources:
      CDC 1989 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ¡990. Current trends estimates of HIV prevalence and projected AIDS cases: Summary of a workshop, October 31–November 1, 1989. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 39 (7):110–2, 117–9.
      CDC 2005 Press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; see for example Associated Press, Atlanta, Updated: 3:05 p.m. ET, 13 June 2005;, accessed 3 August 2005; also heard on CBS News, 13 June 2005, 6.30 p.m. EST, including that there are 50,000 new infections annually
      Glynn and Rhodes 2005 Glynn, M. K., and P. Rhodes. 2005. Estimated HIV prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003 [Abstract T1-B1101]. Presented at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 14; reprinted in Journal of the American Medical Association, 294:3076–80.
      Kaslow and Francis 1989 Kaslow, R. A., and D. P. Francis 1989. The epidemiology of AIDS: expression, occurrence, and control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
      Merson 1993: Merson, M. H. 1993. Slowing the spread of HIV: agenda for the 1990s. Science 260:1266–8.
      MMWR 1987a Human immunodeficiency virus infection in the United States. 1987. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 36 (#49, 18 December): 801–4.
      MMWR 1987b Human immunodeficiency virus infection in the United States: A review of current knowledge. 1987. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 36 (suppl. 6, 18 December): 1–20.

    • Henry Bauer said

      David (Blake Jones):

      P.S. I didn’t find inaccuracies in that story so much as the (to me incredible) self-contradictions that are present whenever mainstream publications address the concept of “the stigma” attached to “HIV/AIDS”. On the one hand, we’re told you can only get it by injecting illegal drugs with dirty needles that have previously been used by an “HIV+” person or by having unprotected sex with someone who is “HIV+”, meaning THEY have been guilty of promiscuity or careless unprotected sex or injecting illegal drugs with a dirty needle. Any of those behaviors is rightly to be criticized, isn’t it? There SHOULD be a stigma attached to them. People shouldn’t do that sort of thing, especially when the propaganda about the associated risks has been heavy and widespread fo 25 years.

      The dilemma for the mainstream is that they increasingly encounter people who have NOT engaged in risky behavior and yet find themselves “HIV+”. We Rethinkers understand why that is: There’s an epidemic of testing, especially in recent years among African Americans, because from the beginning they have tested positive at rates much higher than others; and this epidemic of testing African Americans is tantamount to a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      The only way out is to recognize that testing “HIV+” doesn’t mean infection by “HIV”; it can result from vaccinations, TB, or many other conditions including pregnancy or previous pregnancies. Whatever the substances are that make for a positive “HIV” test, they are present in people of African ancestry much more commonly than in others.

      There will always be STIGMA attached to being “HIV+” so long as the present belief persists that “HIV” is an infectious AIDS-causing virus. It isn’t.

  5. David said

    I guess you missed the part where it was reported that 190,000 Southerners had died from AIDS between 2001 – 2005! According to the CDC’s reports, only around 80,000 people in the entire nation died of AIDS between those years. Even if one was to place half of the AIDS deaths in the entire US in the South, that would only be about 40,000 deaths. The 190,000 figure was found in by the reporter in a report by the Southern AIDS Coalition. I plan on calling them later today to find out how that figure was derived.

    Then later, it is reported that there is an increasing number of Americans living with HIV infection, due to ARVs. Maybe they meant to say increasing numbers living with AIDS.

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