HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

VACCINE WORKS!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/09/24

“An experimental HIV vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection, researchers say. . . . The vaccine was a combination of two older vaccines that on their own had not cut infection rates. . . . The results found that the chances of catching HIV were 31.2% less for those who had taken the vaccine — with 74 people who did not get the vaccine infected and 51 of the vaccinated group infected. . . . ‘This result is tantalisingly encouraging. The numbers are small and the difference may have been due to chance, but this finding is the first positive news in the Aids vaccine field for a decade,’ said Dr Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet medical journal” [emphases added; “HIV vaccine ‘reduces infection’”].

“’Before this study, it was thought vaccine for HIV is not possible,’ Col. Jerome Kim, who is the HIV vaccines product manager for the U.S. Army, told CNN. Kim emphasized that the level of efficacy was modest, but given the failures of previous HIV vaccine trials, ‘yesterday we would have thought an HIV vaccine wasn’t possible.’ He called the results from the trial an important first step that will help researchers work toward a more effective vaccine. . . . ‘This shows a statistically significant effect,’ Kim said. . . . Researchers will announce details of their initial findings in October at the AIDS Vaccine Conference in Paris, France. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. According to Kim, the U.S. military was involved in the study because U.S. service members are at risk and ‘there’s a national security threat from HIV’” [emphases added; “Combo vaccine reduces risk of HIV infection, researchers say”].
Rhetorical questions:

What makes “HIV” a “national security threat”?

Why did the news media broadcast something that has yet to be announced?

Why the difference between the BBC’s report that the results may be due to chance and CNN’s report that they are statistically significant?

Who calculated “31.2%”? If the actual numbers had been 50 and 74 instead of 51 and 74, it would have been 32.4; if 52 and 74, 29.7%. Or — as anyone who ever learned about “significant figures” in math should know, or as common sense might also indicate, you can’t start with numbers that have only two digits in them, like 54 and 74, and calculate to an accuracy of 3 digits. The only proper description of the difference would be “about 30%”.

Might we expect some at least speculative discussion about how two vaccines that had no effect could have an effect when combined?

Perhaps, if this is published after the conference, some of those questions might become answerable. In  the meantime, the purpose has been served:
Unwarranted public kudos for the researchers and a further entrenchment of the notion that “HIV” is a threat to everyone.

An HIV Skeptic, on the other hand, might look at it rather differently:
125 people among 16,000 became “HIV-positive” over a period of 3 (CNN) or 7 (BBC) years: about 8 per thousand, so 1.1 (BBC) or 2.7 (CNN) per thousand per year.
“HIV-positive” rates of a few per thousand are common in many “low-risk” groups.
It is known that DOZENS of conditions — for example vaccinations, various infectious diseases (other than “HIV”!), pregnancy — can bring on an “HIV-positive” result.
The difference between 51 and 74 could very easily result from differences between vaccinated and placebo groups in rates of pregnancy, flu, anti-tetanus shots, abuse of steroids, or any number of other circumstances.

34 Responses to “VACCINE WORKS!”

  1. Tony said

    I had actually started to post a link to the BBC article on this when your posting appeared. Without more information it is difficult to understand the statistics behind these two statements (neither of which were made by the authors of the forthcoming paper, it would seem.)

    The findings were hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UN/Aids).

    They said while the results were “characterised as modestly protective… [they] have instilled new hope in the HIV vaccine research field”.

    I read this and had the sense of a drowning person grabbing ahold of a small piece of driftwood floating by them.

    Still, I try to keep an open mind. It will be interesting to see the actual paper and determine if the results are reproducible.

  2. mo79uk said

    In regards to it being a national security threat, do they mean to say HIV could be used as bio-terrorism?

    Poor choice of ‘infectious agent’ if it takes decades to take effect.

    • Henry Bauer said

      mo79uk: Somewhere long ago I saw a claim that President Clinton declared HIV a security threat because it could decimate some countries’ populations and destabilize them politically….

  3. Henry,

    There are more mysteries in Thailand and the question arises, why they placebo-vaccinate people into an “HIV”-positive status which they would not gain without vaccination.

    “The trend of HIV prevalence in military conscripts and antenatal care (ANC) attendees had reached a peak at 3.4% and 2.29% in 1995 and 1992, respectively, and reduced to plateau at 0.4% and 0.84% in 2007 and 2006, respectively. HIV prevalence has not declined in IDUs and MSM.” (Emphases added.)
    http://www.aidsdatahub.org/countries/profile/thailand/

    8,198 people who have been vaccinated with placebo became positive at a rate of about 0.9%.

    The same source continues:

    “The HIV situation in Thailand has illustrated the complexity of, and the strong national response to the epidemic. Despite the many obstacles, Thailand is one of the first countries that had demonstrated success in the nineties in slowing down the spread of HIV epidemic, with its policy of 100% condom use in commercial sex industry.”

    In 2008 a study has been published, saying:

    “Unprotected last sex with a partner of unknown or negative HIV status (unsafe sex) was common (33.2%) and more likely with casual, commercial or male-to-male sex partners than with steady heterosexual partners (p = 0.03).”
    http://sti.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/85/1/36

    Why do they consider unprotected sex with an “HIV”-negative partner as being unsafe in this study focusing on “HIV”-transmission via sex?

    And why do they praise themselves for their “policy of 100% condom use in commercial sex industry”, while the 33.2% of “HIV”-positives supposedly attracted their positivity via unprotected sex — commercial sex included?

    There is another confusing statement:

    “Unless past efforts are sustained and new sources of infection are addressed, the striking achievements made in controlling the epidemic could now be put at risk. Factors such as an increase in risky sexual behaviour and a rising number of STI cases have led to concerns that Thailand could face a resurgence of HIV and AIDS in coming years.” (Emphasis added.)
    http://www.avert.org/aidsthai.htm

    Further down the page there is this quote:

    “The general public need not be alarmed. Thai-to-Thai transmission is not in evidence.”

    Sounds like a real and deadly STI…

  4. Philip said

    “The vaccine was a combination of two older vaccines that on their own had not cut infection rates. . . . ”

    One vaccine by itself doesn’t “work”. Another vaccine by itself doesn’t “work”, but together they do?

    One HIV test by itself (ELISA) is unreliable that it needs to be “confirmed” by western blot. The Western blot by itself is unreliable unless earlier ELISA was positive.

    At least the “logic) is consistent.

    And how do these people claim that a vaccine works when the traditional method of claiming a vaccine works (presence of anitbodies) is what is looked for to indicate “disease”.

    Okay, the logic broke down there. I pointed out that last tidbit to a medical student and she went, “I never thought about it that way!” That’s because she just swallowed everything she was told hook line and sinker.

  5. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Gallo(w)’s original “scientific” paper indicated that 30% of the AIDS patients were “infected” based on the ELISA test he invented (and patented)- that apparently was sufficient to declare HIV the infectious cause of AIDS. The latest quackery tells us that approximately 30% of the patients who were given the anti-HIV poisons were “protected” from “infection” – that apparently was sufficient to declare a victory in the fight against HIV infection. 30% must be the magic number – with expectations set so low by these quacks and pseudo-scientists it scares me how absolutely stupid the general public is.

  6. heja said

    (I am reposting what I posted on another forum, if you do not mind).

    Good intuition all those who make a link with the swine flu vaccine!

    Proof: my radio alarm clock today woke me up with an interview with Luc Montagnier (French radio) on the breakthrough HIV vaccine and….. guess what…. the swine flu vaccine.

    Basically they devoted the same amount of time to what he thinks of the alleged breakthrough in the HIV vaccine research as they did to whether he thinks people should be taking the flu vaccine.

    As always he was balancing between the mainstream line and an “alternative”view. So he did mention the risks of accidents with vaccines and overall had some scepticism with respect to the new vaccine, but also said at the end that vaccines are very effective and that they did wipe out many diseases, including polio, etc.

    So as on many other occasions (see the House of Numbers trailer) he is trying to have it all!

    Let us watch this space closely — I think it does have to do with the particular climate with respect to vaccines but also with the mounting pressure on the Establishment with movies like the House of Numbers and the influence of all the logically reasoning independent thinkers!

    • Henry Bauer said

      heja: Thanks for sharing your post.
      Montagnier has been able for two decades to say much of what Rethinkers and Skeptics say without the media taking notice of it, or th NObel Committee apparently being aware of it.
      I agree that Skeptic-favoring news are on the increase, and hope for the best1

  7. Joe said

    I was reading with the TV on in the background when this was announced. I glanced up and saw that the vaccine was related to Thailand. I returned to reading and muttered “any effect they’ve seen is probably related to something common in Thailand but unusual in the west, like malaria.” A few seconds later the reporter on the TV said “This vaccine has only been shown to be effective against the Thai strain of HIV”.

    I was glad I hadn’t bothered to look up and listen to the whole report. It got about as much attention as it deserved.

    @Phillip – the “logic” continues with ARVs. One doesn’t work, two together don’t work – what the hell, let’s try three! Ah, there’s the sweet spot. We’ve no idea how it works, and it makes no sense, but hey let’s forget science – we got the result we wanted (for now…)

    • Philip said

      The “thai” strain of HIV, or perhaps a genetic sequence from cells from a particular strain of TB or malaria or whatever infectious disease is prevalent there.

  8. Vaccine does not work!

    Henry, I apologize for being 50% off topic:

    Germany just counted the first death from … possibly … probably … maybe … has yet to be confirmed … “swine flu”.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=aVCaG2WgdKOs

    “A 36-year-old woman suffering from several infections including swine flu died from multiple organ failure in a clinic in Essen, Germany…”

    She also suffered from 180 kilograms (397 pounds) and several infections, but is said to have died from swine flu.

    Axel, a German guinea pig in a swine flu vaccine trial said:

    “I felt totally beat. On the third day, my kidneys and head were aching and I got a fever. I then had a coughing fit – and the wash basin was suddenly red – it was blood!”

    The medical researcher who is in charge of the trials, said that “Axel’s symptoms could not possibly be related to the vaccine.”

    Of course not, they never do …

    But there is this denialist in France:

    “Dr. Marc Girard, a very highly respected authority on the side effects of drugs and a medical expert commissioned by French courts, has actually said on French television that the swine flu vaccine could cause as many as 60,000 deaths in France – especially among young children and pregnant women.”

    In a YouTube video he said:

    A vaccine is being developed in conditions of amateurism such as I have never seen. Lets take the pessimistic hypothesis: one death among every 1000 patients. There are plans to vaccinate 60 million people, and you so you already have 60,000 deaths, and this time, young people, children, pregnant women.” (Emphasis not mine.)

    http://thebirdflupandemic.com/archives/german-swine-flu-vaccine-trial-participant-coughs-up-blood

  9. Henry,

    Re the Thai vaccination hysteria I found some other “news” on the website of one of the most trustworthy daily newspapers in Germany, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” – a mainstream paper of course, because there is nothing else here. They write:

    “It is also confusing that the study subjects who have been infected despite the vaccination, had exactly as many AIDS-viruses [sic!] in their blood as the HIV-infected subjects who had only got placebo. Even from a vaccine with a weak impact one would expect that it reduces the number of viruses in the blood, even though it cannot prevent infection.”

    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/492/488885/text/4/

    The majority of their readers are very well educated with thirteen years of schooling, university degrees, and the like. Readers can comment on articles on their website.

    There was a reader who even became furious and criticized the researchers as to why on earth they didn’t instruct their subjects about safe sex. Now they are “infected with AIDS” [sic!] because of unsafe sex.

    Another reader who obviously had studied Statistics 101 said, the probability that the vaccine doesn’t work and the outcome happened purely by chance is at 0.3%, which – he claimed – would indeed be statistically relevant.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Sabine:
      Thanks, interesting. I hadn’t seen this before (New York Times, 24 September):
      “The vaccine had no effect on HIV levels in the blood for those who did become infected. ”
      That in itself makes the claim of a protective effect dubious.
      The same article has this:
      “‘It is conceivable that we haven’t even identified yet’ what really shows immunity, which is both ‘important and humbling’ after decades of research, Fauci said.”
      And elsewhere (Reuters, same date, also New York Times):
      “Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which paid for most of the $105 million trial, said the team was confused because people who got the vaccine and who became infected anyway had just as much virus in their blood and just as much damage to their immune systems as HIV patients who went unvaccinated. That meant the vaccine helped prevent infection but did nothing to affect the virus once it is in the body. In addition, the immune responses that were generated by the vaccine should not, in theory, have protected anyone” [emphasis added].
      Several comments the next day pointed out that a simple chi-squared test gave the probability that this was a chance, non-significant result at about 4%: about 1 in 25 vaccine trials would show a FALSE POSITIVE “SIGNIFICANT” RESULT in other words; and since there had been quite a few unsuccessful vaccine trials already, maybe this one, the first “positive” result, is actually a statistical fluke.

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, Isn’t funny that by changing the statistic, the interpretation changes. But, when making a claim on how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, first you have to believe in angels. Since I don’t believe anyone in their studies have ever been infected with the mysterious, non-existent retrovirus HIV, all of the “erudite” observations don’t really mean anything. Thomas Szasz has always remarked about psychiatric critics who are actually collaberators – I place Luc Monaignier in that category.

  10. Quyen said

    Dear Sabine Kalitzkus,

    I would like to correct you that the quote

    “The general public need not be alarmed. Thai-to-Thai transmission is not in evidence.”

    is used on

    http://www.avert.org/aidsthai.htm

    as a proof of Thai government’s ignorance of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. It’s nothing personal but since we attack the AIDS establishment on their bogus use of science and misinterpretation of test results, I think it helps that we quote as correctly as we can. Otherwise, we’ll become what we try to discredited.

  11. Henry,

    This New York Times article is so packed full with lies and garbage – I really don’t know where to begin.

    So this other guy from here became furious for no reason, because “all were given condoms, counseling and treatment for any sexually transmitted infections …”

    Your link took me to page 2 of the article, where “two of the infected participants who received the placebo died.” Automatically I thought, okay, these guys must have been fed with ARVs. Some minutes later page 1 told me: “Any who became infected were given free treatment with antiviral medicines.” Bingo!

    The story continues with exciting news: “It was the Army’s idea to test the combination, said Dr. Donald Francis, a former government scientist who helped identify HIV as the cause of AIDS …”

    Henry, could you please provide the readers of your wonderful blog with a link to THIS VERY STUDY? Please? Thank you!

    “… and now heads the nonprofit that holds the rights to AIDSVAX.”

    A nonprofit holds the rights to AIDSVAX? They must be joking.

    “AIDSVAX is aimed at prompting antibodies to HIV.”

    They are joking. What are these “HIV”-tests looking for? Wasn’t it for antibodies to “HIV”? Or did I miss something?

    “Even AIDS advocates agreed more research was needed.”

    Even? Who else needs more research?

    “Thailand had a burgeoning AIDS problem when the study began. Aggressive prevention efforts have dramatically cut the rates of new infections there …”

    Rubbish! The study began in 2006, when “HIV”-prevalence was at 0.84%, in 2007 it was at 0.4% (see comment #3 above).

    “The company’s Dr. Sanjay Gurunathan said a series of studies ‘that will take a few years’ are planned to see if the vaccine can be improved for licensing …”

    My prognosis would be some 20 to 25 years – to be realistic. And then the next surprising pseudo-vaccine would need another “few years” and another 200 or 300 million Dollars to see if …

    • Martin said

      Hi Sabine, Being that HIV more than likely has not infected anyone, vaccine testing should be superfluous. However, knowing that the AIDS establishment vampires need victims to stay alive, a vaccine search will continue till the end of time or as long as AIDS remains the fear topic par excellence. The government, all the other scoundrels involved don’t want to make an about face with respect to HIV and AIDS so they have to keep the lie going until everyone gets bored of it.

  12. Quyen and Martin:

    Yes, you are both right. “HIV” vaccination is as superfluous as a goiter. Quyen, I apologize for having missed this important point. Perhaps this was due to my ever increasing difficulties to take the emissions of these fanatical and ignorant zealots of this fundamentalistic religion seriously.

    Take for example this quote from AVERT’s Thailand page:

    “Between 1988 and 1989, the HIV prevalence among injecting drug users rose dramatically, from virtually zero to 40%. The prevalence among sex workers also increased, with studies in Chang Mai, northern Thailand, suggesting that 44% of sex workers were infected with HIV.”

    There are tens of thousands of tourists each year buying sex especially in Bangkok and Pattaya regions, where the “infection”-rate of sex workers has always been significantly lower than the rate in northern Thailand — which is part of the Golden Triangle, one of the world’s main opium-producing areas.

    Thanks a lot, Quyen, for encouraging me to look a bit deeper into the matters. Here is what I found:

    They say about themselves: “AVERT is an international HIV and AIDS charity, based in the UK, working to avert HIV and AIDS worldwide, through education, treatment and care.”

    At the end of this page they offer a link to a pdf of their “Trustees’ Report and Accounts” for the year ended 31 March 2008. Trustees were (among others) Peter J Kanabus (chairman) and his wife Annabel Kanabus, “who acts unpaid as the charity’s Chief Executive.” (p. 4 of the report.)

    On page 8 the report states: “The very small difference between incoming and expended resources was met by taking money from the expendable endowment as planned.

    This expendable endowment was given to AVERT by Peter and Annabel Kanabus in 1989. It is currently the trustees’ policy that in view of the severity of the AIDS epidemic, they are prepared to use up to 5% of the expendable endowment in any one year to meet any difference between total incoming resources and resources expended. It is anticipated that 5% might be needed in 2008/9.”

    Their proudly announced achievements (p. 5) are certainly not enjoyable for THE BODY, AIDSTruth & the like: “During the course of the year avert.org became the most popular HIV/AIDS related website in the world … By the end of the year more than 250,000 visits were being made to the site each week.”

    On page 8 they say: “It continues to be the policy of the trustees not to accept money from any pharmaceutical companies, or indeed from any source, where the taking of the money might prejudice or even appear to prejudice the impartiality of the HIV/AIDS information provided by AVERT, and hence might harm AVERT’s reputation.”

    Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Let’s have a closer look at the reputation of two of their trustees.

    On 24 September 1998 the Independent published a story titled “Cattle allowed to starve on Sainsbury family farm”:

    “THE SISTER of the supermarket chief Lord Sainsbury of Turville has admitted allowing cattle to starve, some almost to death, on her farm.

    Annabel Kanabus, her husband, Peter, and son, Jason, who run the farm in West Grinstead, West Sussex, faced criminal charges after inspectors from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found the cows, some of which were pregnant, emaciated, steeped in their own manure and too weak to walk. …

    The RSPCA filed charges against Mrs Kanabus, who works for an Aids charity, because it said she was fully aware by January this year that management of the farm had broken down and animals were being neglected.”

    Pet-abuse.com has this story:

    “Annabel Kanabus, 50, a sister of Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the Industry Minister, has blamed government policy over BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) after she was fined for letting her cattle starve. Kanabus was fined £1,000 after admitting 22 charges after allowing unnecessary suffering on the 400-acre farm she owned in West Grinstead, Sussex.

    Her husband, Peter, 49, and son Jason, 21, were responsible for the day-to-day running of the farm. They admitted to 43 offences of causing unnecessary suffering and were each fined £2,000 and banned from keeping cattle for two years. Costs of £41,000 were shared. …

    Inspector Bob Stevens of the RSPCA who brought the case against Kanabus, said the neglect should not be blamed on BSE. ‘It was quite simply the family’s failure to feed the animals. This is one of the most appalling instance of neglect I have had to investigate in ten years. It is clear the family had the resources to look after these animals.’

    All 400 cattle have since been destroyed.

    In 1997 and early 1998, forty-three cattle were found starving on two visits to the farm. Someone had notified the RSPCA after they saw a dead cow in a flooded field. The inspectors seized 20 cattle needing intensive treatment. Some of the cows were barely half of their normal weight.

    Even with visits from the RSPCA and repeated advice from the family veterinarian, the conditions at the farm worsened. RSPCA inspectors and police went back to the farm and seized another 20 animals. Two pregnant heifers had to be shot on the spot because they were so emaciated. There were 100s of cattle crammed into a shed, a dead calf was trampled into the ground.”

    But of course, it wasn’t the Kanabus family’s fault: “The Kanabus family issued the following statement after the case was ended, ‘The Kanabus family are the victims of government policy and inactivity arising from the initial BSE disclosures and subsequent developments. While the family deeply regrets ever having been brought before the courts in respect of any matter, the fact is that this BSE problem has affected a substantial number of other farmers, very often with tragic circumstances.'”

    Please note that they do not regret their unspeakable cruelty towards animals, neither deeply nor otherwise.

    Of course this has nothing to do with AIDS and could therefore be ignored (at least on this blog), if there were not this paragraph in the aforementioned report:

    “There was particularly close collaboration during the year between the advocacy work at AVERT and the grants program, as a result of the provision of a grant to Manguzi Mission to provide AZT for HIV positive pregnant women. When the doctor concerned, Dr Colin Pfaff, was informed that he might be disciplined by the KwaZulu Natal provincial government for providing this dual therapy for PMTCT, AVERT worked closely with a variety of organisations [sic] in South Africa to both support the Dr Pfaff and also to advocate for the provision of dual therapy for HIV positive pregnant women throughout South Africa, and the AZT funded by AVERT was no longer needed.” (p. 7, emphasis added.)

  13. MacDonald said

    Quyen and All,

    The statement from the Thai Government is perhaps portrayed as ignorance, but it is simply a standard Thai strategy to blame all their evils on foreigners. In this case it is implied that foreigners and their sexual practices are dirty and destroy the purity of Thai youth.

    It is for the same reason that we will probably never know for sure exactly under which circumstances David Carradine died.

    In Thailand, as in other places in the region, corruption and incompetence are simply the way business is conducted, so you can consider this an introduction to a quote-worthy Comment from Bauer’s link:

    Encouraging, maybe, but why exactly was this trial done in Thailand? As a general rule, clinical trials done in developing countries always show better results than clinical trials done in the US or EU (the FDA is generally unwilling to grant approval even based on EU trial results). Protocols, controls, admission criteria, etc., are less strictly enforced in less wealthy countries and (surprise!) this always works to the benefit of the experimental drug’s results.

    So, you have 3 players: NIAID, the US Military and a corrupt, incompetent, though not all that poor country.

    Hardly an ideal formula for unbiased, error-free research. Especially when the results are so close to the statistical insignificance threshold that they don’t deserve more than the shoulder shrug they have received in most places that are not heavily interested in a revival of clinical HIV vaccine research.

  14. Cytotalker said

    For whatever it’s worth, the view that HIV is a problem related to foreigners and sexual contact with them abroad prevails in European countries. In Norway, for example, a study claims:

    Secondary heterosexual HIV transmission is rare in Norway. Most Norwegians who acquire HIV heterosexually do so outside Norway. A large epidemic of locally acquired heterosexual HIV infection seems unlikely in Norway. The magnitude of the Norwegian heterosexual epidemic will be determined to a large extent by immigration and infections acquired abroad.

    The implication in this particular study seems to be that sexual contact with foreigners while traveling is the highest risk factor for Norwegian heterosexual “HIV infection.”

  15. In his 1984 piece about
    The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS
    Casper Schmidt wrote:

    Another frequently encountered finding is the fantasy that the poison which caused the epidemic was introduced from outside.

    This holds true for the “swine flu virus” as well — at least for Germany: The majority of the people with “confirmed infections” are said to having caught the virus during their holidays in Spain.

    Off-topic remark, but probably interesting for many readers of this blog:

    Germany voted for a new government yesterday. The Social Democratic Party achieved a historical low, losing more than 11% compared to 2005, thus they are shocked and no longer part of the government. Germany will now be governed by a coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Free Democrats. Both parties together will have 332 of 622 seats in our parliament. Chancellor remains Angela Merkel.

    Vice-Chancellor will be the head of the Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle, who lives openly gay – as does the mayor of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, and the very popular Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, who became famous for his phrase “I am gay, and that’s a good thing.”

    Following the tradition of vice-chancellors, it is highly probable that Westerwelle will become our new Secretary of State as well. The German Wikipedia-article has a photo of him with his partner.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Sabine: Thanks. That remark isn’t really off-topic, is it, when it follows a reference to Casper Schmidt. Others too have pointed to the long history of repression and persecution of gay men as a background for how “Gay Liberation” brought — briefly! — an exhilarated sense of utter freedom in which a small number of gay men engaged in exuberantly unhealthy lifestyles that led to “AIDS” and the HIV/AIDS disaster.

    • Philip said

      Sabine, even here in the Philippines, during the early part of the Whine Flu, er, Swine Flu “outbreak”, we (MDs) were instructed to consider the diagnosis of Whine Flu if there is, alongside the signs and symptoms a) contact with confirmed case of Whine Flu or b) travel abroad !!! Hence it is like a chain letter — it is ASSUMED that the bug is from abroad. So, once some cases with few if any apparent contact with people from out of the country came in, people were dumbfounded. Quite simply, it was ASSUMED that it is a new “outside” bug that came in and people apparently did not consider that this bug was already in the population, just causing the same symptoms as ordinary flu.

      Kind of like HIV — I remember that it is assumed that HIV is a new pathogen. Yet the pattern of spread, as cited by Culshaw and Duesberg, among others, showing otherwise.

  16. MacDonald said

    You are all right about the foreign/outsider scapegoats.

    We all know that HIV originated in the dark jungles of Africa, where Man and Ape do unspeakable things to each other –– and enjoy it.

    The reason I am commenting on the Thai example is that they are taking it one step further –– officially.

    They are saying whatever people of the Thai race do to each other cannot transmit HIV (they are right, but that’s another story), even if the couple is serodiscordant.
    [“The general public need not be alarmed. Thai-to-Thai transmission is not in evidence.”
    This comment from the Thai authorities, which Sabine quoted from Avert, is standard Thai (Asian) racism with the twist that whatever Thais do to each other it doesn’t transmit. Only foreigners are that dirty.]

    We say, once you’ve gotten the virus from a Black person or a gay, you can transmit it to your innocent partner.

    That can/could not happen in Thailand, according to official policy.

    Phillip: the spread of what pathogen?

    • Philip said

      MacDonald: the first paragraph I referred to H1N1. People assume it was newly introduced. My hypothesis is that it is clinically similar to some ordinary flus so perhaps it is already in the population – just not yet “detected”.

      As for “HIV”, assuming it is a pathogen (disease causing), and assuming (like Duesberg does) that it DOES exist, I think it has some parallelisms – it is assumed to be “new” because it was only “detected” recently. Duesberg claims it was there for a long long time. I see the similarity between that and H1N1.

  17. MacDonald said

    Philip,

    The assumption that any of the two is a pathogen is rather a large one.

    There’s a million things that cause “flu-like symptoms”, such as a toxic environment.

    Jim West, on his Swine Flu page, has this rather revealing quote:

    “Other factors… must be ruled out before toxicological causation can be established. If this obstacle can be hurdled… relationship… may break down when we talk about allergic reactions. (Principles and Practice of Toxicology in Public Health, Ira S. Richards,2008)

    Needless to say, your regular MD will almost never be able to rule out some virus or other when presented with unspecific “flu-like” symptoms (= relatively mild chemical poisoning).

    My first childhood memory from the doctor’s office was when I was diagnosed with “the flu”.

    “What is that?”, I asked.

    “It’s something we doctors say when we don’t really know, but are pretty sure it isn’t anything severe”, was the honest answer.

    http://www.harpub.co.cc/sflu/mainsflu.htm

  18. Does anyone smell something burning?

    — This reported on WSJ.com —

    Data Call Into Question HIV Study Results

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125511780864976689.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

    “But a second analysis of the $105 million study, not disclosed publicly, suggests the results may have been a fluke, according to AIDS scientists who have seen it.”

    Well I could smell it coming. It was only a matter of time.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Brian Carter: THANKS, that’s an important story: that the results were NOT statistically significant, and that (some of) the researchers are still trying to avoid admitting that,a nd that they deliberately withheld that information when they made their self-serving press release.

      • Not statistically significant sounds a lot like a soft sell; a way of getting around saying UTTER FAILURE, which was the term used to describe the Merck trials of recent history. Utter failure doesn’t seem to be in their vocabulary nowadays. What better way not to alert the public, another hundred million down the drain.

  19. That’s a thrilling study!

    Modified Intent to Treat: Efficacy 31.2%
    Per Protocol Analysis: Efficacy 26.2% (Probability that the result is due to chance: 16%.)

    We should probably ask Socrates to explain this …

    • MacDonald said

      Sabine,

      Nice observation.

      You might want to ask Socrates why the “intent to treat” was modified in the first place.

      It’s good (-;

  20. MacDonald, in answering your question Socrates said:

    “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”

    “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”

    For the AIDS warriors he offered two special ideas:

    “From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.”

    “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

  21. MacDonald said

    Haha, Sabine. Nice try, but no.

    What Socrates said was this:

    Multiple phase I and II clinical trials have revealed that the ALVAC vector is poorly immunogenic (2). The gp120 component has now been proven in phase III trials in the United States and Thailand to be completely incapable of preventing or ameliorating HIV-1 infection (1, 3). [HN8] There are no persuasive data to suggest that the combination of ALVAC and gp120 could induce better cellular [CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)] [HN9] or humoral (neutralizing antibody [HN10]) responses than either component can alone. Instead, the rationale for the [RV 144] trial is reported to have now shifted toward an exploration of the hypothesis that the combination ALVAC + gp120 vaccine might induce an improved CD4+ T helper (TH) cell response [HN11] that would enhance host defenses

    Since the trial concept was proven futile in advance, it would be unethical to go ahead, so to save their grand $119 million human experiment, they “modified” the rationale mid-stream.

    Nice eh? I told you it was good (-:

    • MacDonald said

      PS. In anticipation of a possible confusion caused by me, changed or modified trial rationale is of course not the same as a modified intent-to-treat analysis.

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