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”.
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 47 253-257, 10 April 1998). In 1985, a little over 22,000 cases of TB had been reported (MMWR 35 699-703, 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.