HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for October, 2009

AIDS activists are immune!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/30

AIDS Activists Issue Grades to Drug Companies, by Duff Wilson; 10 September 2009
“Merck won the highest grade and Abbott Laboratories flunked in a report card being issued Thursday by a prominent group of AIDS treatment activists after a yearlong study of the actions of nine major pharmaceutical companies to address the contagion in the United States. . . . the report card graded the drug makers overall with a below-average C-minus and recommended improvements. . . . The companies were scored on research and development, pricing, patient assistance programs, marketing, and community relations. . . .
The coalition was to some degree biting the hand that feeds it. It receives all of its financing from drug companies, mostly for activists to travel to meetings with them. The executive director, Edward T. Rewolinski, disclosed specific amounts to The New York Times for the last two years. ‘None of our members has the wherewithal to afford this activity,’ he said.
‘People like that would never be influenced by the flow of money,’ Jennifer Flynn, managing director of an unrelated AIDS group, Health GAP, in New York, said.
The top fund provider was Gilead with $100,000, followed by Pfizer, $63,000; Bristol-Myers Squibb, $50,000; Tibotec, $45,000; Merck, $15,000; and Boehringer, $5,000. Abbott gave no money.
Mr. Huff said the grading group was insulated from financing requests. . . . [Bob Huff is antiretroviral treatment director of the Treatment Action Group in New York and a board member of the rating group.]
The coalition was formed in 2001 partly to coordinate contacts with drug companies instead of letting the industry decide whom to invite to meetings” [emphasis added].

Financial conflicts of interest, we’re asked to believe, have no influence on AIDS activists. They’re immune.
We’re not told, however, how they acquired that immunity, which is normally reserved for the gods.

As to the matter of biting the hand that feeds, social activists of various stripes trade on the fact that political correctness has made certain forms of blackmail openly acceptable. Once a group has attained the status of victim-hood, it is not only free to indulge in hyperbolic criticism of mainstream institutions but is actually rewarded for it.

In the present instance, the drug companies profit more than handsomely from the activists’ incessant propaganda for more funds for AIDS treatment. Criticisms like the present ones, that they should do more to develop yet more antiretroviral drugs, are a valuable basis for claiming the need for even higher profits in order to support even more research. If it weren’t all so blatantly open and obvious, one might be tempted to talk of a conspiracy between drug companies and AIDS activists.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Spontaneous generation of “HIV”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/25

In places where claimed outbreaks of “HIV” have had “infected needles” as the only possible source of the supposedly infecting agent, the large but unaddressed question is, how did those needles become infected in the first place? And then remain infected long enough to pass on that infection when the purported contagious agent is supposed to survive for only a brief time outside bodily fluids? [HIV/AIDS in Italy — and “NEEDLE ZERO”, 11 October 2008; “Needle ZERO” again; or, HIV pops up magically out of nowhere, 15 November 2008].
It’s as though this “HIV” were spontaneously generating itself. That would not have seemed absurd a couple of centuries ago, when spontaneous generation of living organisms was an acceptable theory, but HIV/AIDS theory is supposed to be scientifically up-to-date.

An even more direct instance of “HIV-positive” in absence of “HIV” is that of certain elite controllers who have no detectable “viral load” (Compounding HIV/AIDS absurdities, 11 October 2009).

There are at least two other situations where “HIV-positive” pops up without any sign that “HIV” was present in the first place: In clinical trials of circumcision as a means of preventing “HIV-positive” status, and in a prospective study of acquisition of “HIV” by pregnant women.


Two clinical trials of circumcision both reported that participants in both control and intervention groups acquired “HIV-positive” status during the trial even while abstaining from intercourse:

“there were seven early seroconverters . . . : four in the circumcision group and three in the control group. Three of the four in the circumcision group reported no sexual activity in the month after circumcision. We cannot exclude the possibility that any of these individuals were actually HIV positive at baseline, and that their infection was not detected. Two of the three early seroconverters in the control group also denied sexual activity in the period before seroconversion” [emphases added; Bailey et al., “Male circumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial”, Lancet, 369 (2007) 643-56].

circumcision  was not protective against HIV acquisition in the few men  who  reported  no  sexual  activity in  a  given  follow-up  interval. There were six incident cases (three in each group)  during periods of reported abstinence. None of these six  participants reported receipt of injections or transfusions  during the follow-up interval of HIV seroconversion; these  participants probably under-reported their sexual activity” [emphases added; Gray et al., “Male circumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised trial”, Lancet, 369 (2007) 657-66].

The mainstream explanation, then, is that the individuals concerned lied, or that they had been “HIV-positive” at enrolment but failed to be detected by those highly specific “HIV” tests. Sherlock Homes might have agreed in general that when all the likely possibilities have been excluded, one must accept those of high improbability — but Holmes would never have come to believe HIV/AIDS theory in the first place. What a coincidence, that about the same number of men in all four groups became “HIV-positive” in absence of sexual activity. Or, alternatively, what a coincidence that the number who not only lied about sexual activity but also became “HIV-positive” should be the same in all four groups.

HIV Skeptics and AIDS Rethinkers, however, understand that “HIV-positive” does not necessarily bespeak an infection transmitted sexually or by other means. These facts are perfectly compatible with the copious data that show “HIV-positive” to be a condition inducible by any number of stimulating influences. Moreover, the tendency to test “HIV-positive” increases with age from the teens into middle age:


Therefore it is only to be expected that in any group of young men observed for any substantial length of time, a few will become “HIV-positive” — perhaps as a result of flu, or malaria, or a vaccination, etc.


Consistent with these occasional real-time observations of “HIV-positive” incidence among people who have had no sexual activity, no blood transfusions, and no injections is the finding in a large clinical trial carried out over many years that pregnant women become “HIV-positive” at a greater rate than do those who have already given birth and are lactating or those who are neither pregnant nor breastfeeding:


Lest one attempt to explain this away by postulating, counter to common sense, that pregnant women have more sex or more unsafe sex than do non-pregnant women, Gray et al. note that
“The  mean  monthly  frequency  of  intercourse  was  lower  during  pregnancy  (6·7  acts  per month) than during breastfeeding (7·5 acts per month) and  during  non-pregnant  and  non-lactating  intervals (8·0 per month; p<0·05). Therefore, we also estimated the  rate  of  HIV  acquisition  per  coital  act,  which  was higher during pregnancy than in the non-pregnant and non-lactating group (incidence rate ratio 1·42, 95% CI 0·37-3·82). . . . [P]regnant women were  significantly  less  likely  to  report  multiple  sexual partners  than  were  non-pregnant  and  non-lactating women,  and   in   married   couples   the   husbands   of pregnant  women  reported  significantly  fewer  sexual partners  than  husbands  of  non-pregnant  and  non- lactating women. Although there could be misreporting of  sexual  behaviours,  the  results  are  unlikely  to  differ between the three exposure groups, so both female and male  sexual  behaviours  are  unlikely  to  account  for  the excess risk of HIV during pregnancy. . . . [W]e  conclude  that  behavioural  factors  are unlikely  to  explain  why  the  HIV  incidence  rate  is increased  during  pregnancy,  and  we  speculate  that biological factors might have a role. . . . . Hormonal  contraception  has  been  associated  with  increased  risks  of  HIV acquisition   in   some   but   not   all   epidemiological studies” [emphases added].
In overall summary, Gray et al. state:
“Interpretation The risk of HIV acquisition rises during pregnancy. This change is unlikely to be due to sexual risk behaviours, but might be attributable to hormonal changes affecting the genital tract mucosa or immune responses. HIV prevention efforts are needed during pregnancy to protect mothers and their infants.”

How close they come to recognizing the fact of the matter, that “HIV-positive” signifies any one or more of a wide range of physiological conditions, of which pregnancy has long been known to be one. They even cite a study from Malawi that reported higher incidence of “HIV-positive” in pregnancy than post-partum, by a factor of 2.19, and another from Rwanda that reported higher incidence of “HIV-positive” early post-partum compared to later. In South Africa, “HIV-positive” prevalence is persistently higher among pregnant women than among women as a whole [HIV demographics are predictable; HIV is not a contagious infection, 27 August 2008].


But perhaps most remarkable of all is the quite direct evidence in the Gray article that “HIV” can be “caught” in absence of “HIV”. During the study, 338 seroconversions were observed: 23 among pregnant women, 40 among lactating women, and 275 among the others. The article also reports on discordant couples — male partner “HIV-positive”, wife “HIV”-negative — and in those cases there were 77 seroconversions: 6 among pregnant women, 11 among lactating women, and 60 among the rest. The inference is clear that 261 (338-77) seroconversions occurred among couples not known to be discordant — in other words, one partner “caught” “HIV” though the other partner didn’t have it.

Of course, “partners not known to be ‘HIV-positive’” is not the same as “partners known not to be ‘HIV-positive’”. But since the investigators explicitly sought to ascertain the “HIV” status of partners, and were confident enough of their data that they reported separately on “transmission” among discordant couples, it seems unlikely that they would have missed a large enough number to explain all the seroconversions observed in the study; therefore it does seem that as many as 77% (261/338) of the women in the study who became “HIV-positive” did so without any evidence of sexual intercourse with an “HIV-positive” male, indeed, with implicit evidence of LACK of such contact.

Lest this line of inference not be convincing, consider this clear statement in the article’s Summary:
“In married pregnant women who had a sexual relationship with their male spouses, the HIV incidence rate ratio was 1·36  (0·63-2·93).  In  married  pregnant  women  in  HIV-discordant  relationships  (ie,  with  HIV-positive  men)  the incidence rate ratio was 1·76 (0·62-4·03).”
Thus the rate of seroconversions in discordant relationships was very little higher than overall; evidently the rate of seroconversion in non-discordant relationships was appreciable. “HIV” was appearing in absence of “HIV”.

AGAIN: The obvious inference, consistent with large amounts of other data, is that pregnancy per se is a condition that conduces to testing “HIV-positive”. Pregnancy is one of many conditions that conduce to testing “HIV-positive” (see Why pregnant women tend to test “HIV-positive”, 5 October 2009).


Under mainstream HIV/AIDS theory, then,


An irreverent observer might express this as


or as Axel put it,

the virgin birth of “HIV”


P.S. re condoms:
Alert and wary consumers of data will have noted in the Table above not only that pregnant women become “HIV”-positive more often than others, but also that women who used condoms (regularly or irregularly) became “HIV”-positive more often than those who never used condoms.
Just another unacknowledged self-contradiction in HIV/AIDS theory.

Posted in clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV varies with age, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Public Debate about Leung film

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/25

On 28th October, the SPECTATOR magazine (London UK) arranged a debate on the occasion of a screening of Brent Leung’s “House of Numbers”.

I await with high interest a report on that debate, which featured Professor Beverly Griffin (Imperial College London), Dr Joe Sonnabend (founding editor of AIDS Research), Rt. Hon. Lord Norman Fowler (former UK Secretary of State for Health), Charles Geshekter (emeritus, California State University) as well as Brent Leung, Director/Producer.

In the meantime, one can read this preview of the debate by Neville Hodgkinson already published at the SPECTATOR.

STOP PRESS, 26 OCTOBER:  Screening and debate were cancelled at very short notice, will be rescheduled.

I am writing to inform you that, with much regret, the event on “Aids – realism or denial” due to take place on Wednesday 28 October,  has been cancelled due to several members of the panel having pulled out at the last minute, leaving us with an unbalanced panel which would not make for a rounded discussion on the film.

The purpose of the event was to have a rational and balanced discussion in an area of science too often characterised by hysteria. House of Numbers is a controversial film and we wanted it scrutinised by leading authorities and to follow its showing with real debate encompassing a wide spectrum of opinion. It has proved very difficult to put together a panel which could do this. We thought we had managed but several last-minute defections have defeated us. We will look at staging this event at a later date with another, more dependable panel.

We apologise to you who signed up to attend, however, we have been left with no option but to cancel.

We will be fully reimbursing your ticket fees today and can confirm that the refund should show in your accounts by the end of the week.  We will be in touch should we manage to stage this event in the future.  In meantime, we would like to thank you for your support and encourage you to visit our website on to view our forthcoming events which may be of interest.

Yours sincerely

Phoebe Vela
Head of Corporate Affairs and Events

Events Team
Press Holdings Media Group
22 Old Queen Street
T – +44 (0)20 7961 0044
F – +44 (0)20 7961 0100

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Outsourced testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/23

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been lobbying for universal “HIV” testing; they appear to have outsourced successfully to India and UNAIDS:

Soon, mandatory for pregnant women in India to undergo HIV test
NEW DELHI: Passing AIDS from mother to child is a human rights violation and soon all pregnant women in India will have to undergo a mandatory HIV test, the parliamentary forum on HIV and AIDS said on Friday. . . . [T]he forum met UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe Thursday and discussed the issue with him. . . . Sidibe, on his first visit to India, has held a series of meetings with government authorities. He has emphasised the role of the political leadership in ensuring that the country’s universal access goals to HIV prevention, care and treatment are achieved” [emphasis added].

Note that Sidibe heads the institution, UNAIDS, which has persistently overestimated HIV/AIDS numbers, as attested by the former epidemiologist for the World Health Organization, James Chin (The AIDS Pandemic). A few years ago, UNAIDS had implicitly acknowledged this when it reduced its estimates for India by more than 50%.

The assertion that something is a human rights violation is becoming so common that it will soon lose its force, if it hasn’t already.

It’s a perpetual irritation for me that people high and low declaim with dogmatic assurance about things they don’t understand. Almost everyone who learns that I was a chemistry teacher conjures up memories of “hating” chemistry, not understanding it, finding it removed from anything relevant to daily life — even as these same people will carry on about proteins and minerals and vitamins needed in the diet. An increasingly common expression is “carbon footprint”: how many of those who utter it, I wonder, could explain exactly what it means? Not so long ago, the heads of umpteen governments warned of disasters ahead if we did not curb carbon emissions: how many of them, I wonder, could state even approximately the relative contributions to global warming exerted by water vapor, methane, and carbon dioxide?

The proliferation of ignorant assertions about HIV/AIDS is far from a unique phenomenon. Nevertheless it remains deplorable that the executive director of UNAIDS should not know that pregnancy carries the risk of testing “HIV-positive” in absence of contact with any conceivable source of “HIV infection” (Why pregnant women tend to test “HIV-positive”, 5 October 2009).

Posted in experts, HIV in children, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Vaccines and vested interests

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/21

After dozens of failed AIDS vaccine trials, a press release triumphantly announced success — before the actual data had been made public, let alone submitted for peer-reviewed publication (VACCINE WORKS! , 24 September 2009).
No sooner were the data looked at by independent observers than it became obvious that the trial had been no more successful than all the previous ones (HIV/AIDS vaccine trial questioned as experts check data) — unless, of course, one resorts to the HIV/AIDS-style sleight-of-evidence stratagem in which a non-significant difference is referred to as though it were significant (Abuses of statistics in HIV/AIDS research, 14 September 2009).

Perhaps as an alternative to fudged and misinterpreted statistics, the President and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Seth Berkley, pleads that we “Have Faith in an AIDS Vaccine”
(A version of this article appeared in print on October 19, 2009, on page A27 of the New York edition)

That reminded me of the oft-cited “I believe BECAUSE it is absurd”, the popularly misquoted and misinterpreted phrase attributed to Tertullian (see David Lindberg, “Science and the early Church”, chapter 1 in GOD AND NATURE, ed. Lindberg & Numbers, University of California Press, 1986, at p. 26).

In the present instance, however, despite what Berkley wrote, it is not faith that’s at work but cognitive dissonance necessitated by the very existence of IAVI, an enterprise involving hundreds of people whose livelihoods depend on finding donors for AIDS vaccine research.

I had sketched the enormity (in both the correct and incorrect meanings of the word*) of the HIV/AIDS industry in Chapter 15 of my book, especially pp. 143 & 212-215. Tens of billions of dollars annually support publicists, money grubbers (“development officers”), “activists”, and other hangers-on of that ilk in addition to doctors and researchers, including such parasitic ventures as journals about “AIDS” and such diseases as cancer, hepatitis, TB; “AIDS” and Behavior, and Florida Law, and Health News, and Public Policy; “AIDS” Action Policy Brief, Alert, Analysis Africa, Care, Clinical Care, Education & Prevention, Info, Law & Litigation Reporter, Literature & Law Review, …. I didn’t try to count all the journals specializing in something or other connected to “AIDS” or “HIV” that are listed in the Ulrich’s compendium.

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is a representative microcosm of this huge industry — if “microcosm” is an appropriate term for an enterprise whose Senior Executive Team reporting to CEO and President Seth Berkley includes three Senior Vice Presidents (General Counsel; CFO; Research & Development) and four ordinary Vice Presidents (Communications; Human Resources; Country & Regional Programs; Public Policy). The many donors include governments, foundations, corporations, and individuals.  Ten open positions are currently being advertised,  for a Development Coordinator and three Directors as well as research associates and technicians. The Job IDs are numbered between 1338 and 1369, though that does not necessarily indicate the number of people on the payroll. Indeed, it must be less than 1300-odd since IAVI’s annual expenditures in 2008 were less than $100,000,000, very small cheese compared to the interest that drug companies, say, have vested in the HIV/AIDS business. Still, not so bad for a “non-profit” organization that has been in existence since 1996 without a single concrete and relevant accomplishment to its name. Admittedly, only 16% of $96.3 ($15.4 million) spent in 2008 went to administration, though one cannot know from the snapshot budget in the Annual Progress Report (nota bene, “progress”!) how much in the way of salaries, benefits, travel, etc., is hidden within the categories “Vaccine advocacy and education” and “Research and development”.

Let me now stop being snide; I lapse into it periodically because of anger over the HIV/AIDS travesty. Instead, let me emphasize the SHEER ALL-AROUND TRAGEDY of the HIV/AIDS business. These people believe in what they’re doing. Berkley has no option but to have faith. That’s what cognitive dissonance is about. How could he ever face the fact that over more than a dozen years he has been supervising the collecting and spending of a billion or two dollars on a phantom quest? Hundreds of individuals who share his faith, whom he has surely encouraged in that faith, rely on his leadership for their livelihood. If he could acknowledge the truth, it would be spiritual if not physical hara-kiri.

So it’s only natural that Berkley wrote that OpEd piece and meant what he said:
“[A] storm has erupted over the announcement last month that an experimental AIDS vaccine tested in Thailand proved modestly effective”
[It didn’t. There was NO significant effect.]
“But now the trial has been called into question in a way that is overblown and possibly destructive. . . . Even before this controversy erupted, it had been an effort to maintain sufficient support for AIDS vaccine research and development. In 2008, private and public spending on this vital mission declined by 10 percent from the year before. A few fanatical AIDS activists have even called for ending the American government’s considerable support for AIDS vaccine research, and spending the money instead on AIDS treatment. . . . The Thai study was the largest AIDS vaccine trial yet . . . . (The organization I head, a nonprofit that conducts vaccine research and development but was not involved and has no commercial interest in the candidates tested.) The trial partners initially announced that the vaccine combination reduced the risk of infection by 31.2 percent in a statistically significant analysis. A few days later, . . . a second type of analysis . . . indicated the vaccine regimen had been slightly less effective than the first analysis suggested”
[NO. The analysis revealed that the trial showed no significant effect at all.]
“[C]hance, rather than the protective effect of the vaccine candidate, might explain why fewer volunteers in the vaccinated group than in the placebo group were infected with H.I.V.”
[EXACTLY. The statistical analysis found no significant effect, in other words, there were no meaningful results in favor of the vaccine.]
“[W]ith news outlets reporting that the trial results may be a fluke, there is a risk that they will be forever tainted, whatever the final analyses show. What’s more, the stain of dubiousness may remain on all AIDS vaccine research and development. That would be a shame. Although the candidate duo tested in the Thai trial did not prove to be a vaccine ready for the market, it may provide an unprecedented opportunity to learn how an AIDS vaccine can work. A comparison of blood samples from volunteers could indicate what specific immune responses the combination may have activated to provide protection. If so, this knowledge could help scientists improve upon the more promising candidates . . . . Moreover, other noteworthy advances featured at the Paris conference this week will offer fresh hope for an AIDS vaccine. Years of investment and dogged science are providing leads for solving one of today’s most pressing research challenges. . . . no public health intervention is more powerful or cost-effective against infectious disease than a vaccine.”


In 1984, Gallo had predicted an AIDS vaccine in a couple of years. Yet by 1995, a decade of attempts was summarized as, “Nobody can say the data were encouraging. It’s all smoke and mirrors. There’s nothing there” (John P. Moore, cited by Cohen, at p. 275 in Shots in the dark: the wayward search for an AIDS vaccine, 2001). Another decade on, there had been at least 80 unsuccessful trials of at least 30 vaccines (Ending AIDS: the search for a vaccine, PBS TV, December 2005). Nevertheless, every failed trial has been described by vested insiders as an advance: giving clues, affording important information for further research — there was “great promise in the field of HIV vaccinology” (Berkley, “International perspectives on HIV vaccine development”, Chapter 12 in AIDS Vaccine Research, 2002, ed. Flossie Wong-Staal and Robert C. Gallo) — although somehow one is never told exactly what those clues were, what that information or the gained knowledge was. Promises, promises, nothing but promising promises.

They can never admit that it’s a wild goose chase. They can’t AFFORD to admit it — and I mean they can’t afford it psychologically. They are not especially venal, they are just fanatically wrong. And so they have to keep spouting absurd nonsense about how non-significant differences somehow mean something. Non-significant means not significant, despite the spin artists of the vested interests:
AIDS Vaccine Seen as Modest Help, AP, 20 October
“’This study becomes a landmark. You can put it on a map and begin to figure out where you go from here,’ said Col. Jerome Kim, the U.S. Army doctor who co-led the trial.”
But, as usual, he doesn’t share the secret of where it is on the map and where it points.
“’The bottom line is that those results are real,’ even though they are not good enough to justify using this vaccine now, said Dr. Alan Bernstein, executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise”.
No one is questioning whether the results are real, they are just saying that non-significant means not significant; signifying nothing, in other words.
“’We, for the first time, have evidence of protection, and the nitty gritty (arguments) to me don’t matter a damn,’ Bernstein said.”
Non-significant means there is NO evidence of protection.
“’There seems to be some effect. And I think it is an important study. It redirects the field to look at a different kind of vaccine and different kinds of immune responses’ . . . said Dr. Lawrence Corey of the University of Washington. He heads the HIV Vaccine Trials Network”.
But if THIS trial had some effect, why does it “redirect” elsewhere?
“The vaccine appeared nearly twice as effective among those at low or moderate risk for HIV, versus people who share needles, have contact with prostitutes or engage in other risky behaviors. But those results were not statistically significant, meaning they could have occurred by chance.”
How could it appear twice as effective when the difference could be a random, chance occurrence?

Once again:

Don’t bring statistics into it if you’re not going to abide by its conclusions. Something not significant is simply not significant.
The potential value of statistics is that it can prevent us from fooling ourselves, because human beings generally have a very poor intuitive sense of what chance can bring about.
The vaccine fanatics reject that help and substitute intuitive wishful thinking for statistical science.

* OneLook® Dictionary Search puts it nicely: enormity means an act of extreme wickedness, the quality of extreme wickedness, the quality of being outrageous; “In careful usage the noun enormity is not used to express the idea of great size”.

Posted in clinical trials, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, vaccines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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