HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

South Africa needs Donald Rumsfeld

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/15

NO — I’m not suggesting that South Africa needs Rumsfeld because of his connection to the antiretroviral drugs-peddling Gilead, it’s because of his oft-quoted bon (?) mot that “you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want to have”.
In fact the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, not just South Africa, needs Rumsfeld so that it may feel comfortably safe with the state of its armies, since African soldiers are “HIV-positive” at rates of between 25 and 90%; as high as 90% in the Zimbabwen military, ≥50% in the Angolan and Congolese armies, and 40% in South Africa  “according to Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the deputy defense minister” (Stefan Lovgren, “African Army Hastening HIV/AIDS Spread”, Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies 1 [2001] 2).

I was apprised of this circumstance by the story, “South African troops with HIV win biggest battle” (1 December 2009, Karen Allen, BBC News, Durban).  Isn’t it curious that my Google Alert picked this up only from a British source? Why were not all the mass media thrown into a tizzy by this revelation? After all, the media all know that HIV is a fatal infection that can be staved off only by antiretroviral drugs, and that those have barely begun to be available in Africa and in nowhere near the needed amounts. Evidently the armies of sub-Saharan Africa must have seen their soldiers dying wholesale from AIDS.

But perhaps the media also know that African soldiers have not been dying of AIDS in any significant numbers. So if those scary percentages of “HIV-positive” soldiers are correct, being “HIV-positive” cannot have been leading to AIDS and death. But in that case, the media have been broadcasting incorrect information about HIV and AIDS for a couple of decades: what Winston Churchill liked to call terminological inexactitudes and an Australian would call bloody lies.

That BBC story was about the battle to enable HIV-positive South African soldiers to be deployed outside South Africa: “After a test case brought by one of South Africa’s military unions and the Aids Law Project, the government reviewed the evidence and agreed that in certain circumstances HIV-positive soldiers can be deployed overseas if they pass a battery of some 39 fitness tests.” (The story says “overseas”, but since one mentioned region is Sudan, the meaning is obviously outside the country of South Africa.)

This was obviously important, given that so many South African soldiers are HIV-positive:
“A staggering 30% of South African soldiers are infected with the Aids virus” — not quite the 40% stated by Lovgren but still, high enough to trouble anyone who thinks HIV causes AIDS.

How could this have come about? Is South Africa like Italy,  where the Ministry of Health behaves as though HIV were not the cause of AIDS and did not present a health problem? Apparently so, because “Aids testing for South African soldiers is voluntary”.

In the United States, by contrast, where the national prevalence of HIV is well under 1%, military personnel are HIV-tested at least every two years. In South Africa, where the national prevalence in 2007 was supposedly ~18% (CIA Fact Book and UNAIDS), HIV-testing has been voluntary. Evidently “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS” represents a clearer, more present danger in the United States than in South Africa? How could that be?

“Army surgeon general Lt Gen VJ Ramlakan says  . . . . ‘The fittest soldiers will go where the task is most demanding. If you are HIV-positive and sick, you will not be on the frontline. If you are fit and your CD4 [white blood cells which fight infections] count is above 500 then you may be considered’”.
Of course this does not sit well with people like “defence analyst Helmoed Roemer-Heitman” who “argues it is a massive breach of trust for ordinary soldiers . . . . we are now exposing them to a situation when one of their comrades could totally inadvertently infect them with a fatal disease’. The reality is that there are already HIV-positive soldiers operating in peacekeeping missions but their status simply is not formally acknowledged because of a lack of testing facilities in many African forces.”

Ah, yes. Since there is a lack of testing facilities in Africa, it is simply not known how many African soldiers have been HIV-positive for how long.
However, it is known — at least to the computer gurus at UNAIDS and the World Health Organization — that HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa is very high: from as low as 5% or so in the northern regions like Liberia or Nigeria to nearly 40% in southern regions like Botswana and Swaziland [“Deconstructing HIV/AIDS in ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ and ‘the Caribbean’”, 21 April 2008].

All this raises many intriguing questions that could be answered only by much data that may not be easy to gather, indeed may not exist, for example:
“What was the rate of HIV-positive in the South African Army in 1985 and in each subsequent year? What was the incidence of AIDS in each of those years? What was the rate of HIV/AIDS deaths in each of those years?”

In absence of those data, it may be enough to comment by way of a few rhetorical questions:

What is one to make of the (un)reliability of statements from mainstream sources about the prevalence of HIV? The BBC reports 30%. PlusNews reports “almost 25%”. Lovgren (above) had it at 40%.

Why has it not been newsworthy, that great swaths of South African soldiers have been dying of AIDS for many years, given that the Government refused to provide antiretroviral drugs until recently?
— after all, given the present 30% rate of infection, which could scarcely have come about overnight, the army ought to have been decimated several times over during the past decade or so. The AIDS Law Project “had been fighting the military ban on HIV for the last 13 years”, which implies that a significant rate of HIV-positive has existed for at least that long in the South African Army.

**********************

An interesting aspect of the high rate of “HIV-positive” in the South African military is that this rate is higher than in the general population there. The BBC story gives the Army rate as 30%, whereas the CIA Fact Book and UNAIDS had the population average at ~18% in 2007; South African sources had it even lower, 11% in 2008 (Human Sciences Research Council [2009], “South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey, 2008: A Turning Tide Among Teenagers?” ). So soldiers, selected presumably for physical fitness and lack of immediate illness, are 2 or 3 times more likely to be infected with a debilitating disease than is the general population from which they are drawn?!

This will seem strange only to believers in HIV/AIDS theory, however. Admittedly, recruits have not been routinely tested so “HIV-positives”  were not prevented from enlisting; but then the South African Army should reflect fairly accurately the state of “HIV-positive” in the South African population as whole, not be 2 or 3 times greater. Why is this?
The answer will be obvious  to readers of this blog and of The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory: the rate of testing “HIV-positive” in any given group varies with age in a characteristic, predictable fashion:

The exact “middle age” at which the maximum occurs varies somewhat by race and sex, but the same general variation is seen in every group, including that the female-to-male ratio of “HIV-positive” is at a maximum between childhood and mature adulthood — in babies and young children, males test positive significantly more often than do females, and from adult maturity into old age, males test “HIV-positive” about as often or more often than females, while in between those ranges females test “HIV-positive” more often than males. That’s one of the remarkable regularities which demonstrate that “HIV-positive” cannot be an indication of infection by a contagious agent, it reflects some universal physiological characteristic.

Now, the latest South African source reports the national rate as 11%, but for females it is highest in the age range 25-29 at 33%, for males highest at ages 30-34 at 25%. The reason that South African soldiers test “HIV-positive” at about 30% or more, a rate 2 or 3 times greater than in the general population, is that soldiers are typically within the range of ages — twenties and thirties — when Africans are most likely to test “HIV-positive”.

It is not only this extraordinary predictability of the age variations of “HIV-positive” that disprove HIV/AIDS theory; there is also the fact that the purported latent period between “HIV infection” and AIDS and death is not seen in the actual data.
In the case of South Africa, this is seen clearly albeit indirectly by comparing the relative rates among females and males of “HIV-positive” and of  AIDS deaths:

HIV data from
South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey, 2008

AIDS death data are the average for 1997 and 2004,
from Report No. 03-09-05. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa; available at www.statssa.gov.za

Under HIV/AIDS theory, the ratio for “HIV-positive” should predict by about the latent period of 10 years the future ratio for AIDS deaths. The data show nothing of the sort; the magnitude of the deaths ratio is often 2 or 3 times greater than the HIV ratio 10 years earlier.
Quibbles: Didn’t take into account that the HIV data are for 2008, AIDS deaths are for about 8 years earlier.
Answer: Whereas numbers and actual percentages have undoubtedly varied significantly over the last decade or more, there is no indication that the male-to-female ratios have. Moreover, any sampling errors are likely to apply equally to males and females — in a sense, using such ratios is a form of internal calibration. Even if overall rates of “HIV-positive” and AIDS deaths have varied significantly, there is no obvious reason why the female-to-male ratios will have. Indeed, those ratios are one of the regularities seen in most HIV/AIDS data from a variety of countries.
If the differences between the HIV ratios and the death ratios were small, perhaps that quibble would need further attention; but the differences are so great that no minor fiddling or adjusting could make them comport with HIV/AIDS theory.

******************

To summarize:
Under HIV/AIDS theory, it is absurd to find African armies with “HIV-positive” rates between 25 and 90% without any corresponding indication of high rates of AIDS deaths. This is yet another illustration of the failure of HIV/AIDS theory, and it is noteworthy and troubling that the mass media in the United States have failed to pick up on the story.
Male-to-female ratios for “HIV-positive” and for AIDS add yet another disproof of HIV/AIDS theory, and yet another confirmation of the remarkable regularity with which “HIV-positive” varies with age and sex, a regularity not seen in infectious diseases.

7 Responses to “South Africa needs Donald Rumsfeld”

  1. artwest said

    The story may not have been picked up in the US at all, but in the UK we aren’t much better. The odd story about AIDS in somewhere far off does appear but with zero credible analysis. They are probably just cut-and-paste from some press release by a charity or NGO, but there is no questioning — or even, oddly, much hyping. This is a big change from ten or more years ago.

    This semi-silence about AIDS in the Third World goes hand in hand with an almost total silence about AIDS in the UK or the rest of Europe.

    Not only are there no scare stories, there aren’t any journalists questioning why there are no scare stories.

    Before climategate I was beginning to think that AGW scares were going to go the way of the AIDS scare, at least in the UK — fading away without any mention in the media at all that once upon a time we were supposed to be clambering over piles of corpses in the street, leaving us to wonder if we dreamed the whole thing.

  2. Michael Geiger said

    I am sure that all have most likely heard that the previous health minister of South Africa, Manto Tshabalala Msmang passed away last week. She was the highly controversial health minister who took sides with the aids dissidents and recommended nutrition and dissed the aids drugs.

    The masses who yet believe in HIV as the cause of AIDS yet wonder “what made Manto do it. What made her unravel on HIV/AIDS?”

    Yet in contrast to the masses, here is Brent Leung’s recent interview with Dr. Luc Montagnier. As most here know, Montagnier received the Nobel prize one year ago for his discovery of HIV.

    In this video, we clearly hear the discoverer of HIV tell us EXACTLY what Manto herself said about HIV. That a good immune system is not susceptible to AIDS. That nutrition and clean water are primary to health in those at risk. We find in this interview that Manto and Thabo are fully vindicated by the discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier himself.

    When Mbeki called for the coming together of all scientists on all sides of the HIV debate, Manto was as cold as ice toward the dissident scientists, UNTIL she looked for herself at all of the data. Manto personally attended every meeting and personally read every study. What she found astounded her. She found that the HIV tests are nonspecific and can show as false positive for nearly seventy conditions that have nothing to do with HIV. She found there is NO WAY to verify anyone has HIV. She found there is NO EVIDENCE with any reasonable degree of proof, that shows that even if HIV is present, that it could possibly be the cause of AIDS. She found the AIDS drugs, particularly AZT, to be deadly toxic. She found that NONE of the AIDS drugs had ever been tested against placebo, and that all were fast-tracked through the American FDA by the drug companies. She found the orthodoxy of HIV beliefs could not support any of their claims.

    Yes, she was cold as ice to the dissidents UNTIL she herself read all of those studies and attended all of those meetings. After the meetings were finished, she found herself dancing the pata pata with the dissident side. But as the public itself was still entranced by belief in HIV as the culprit, she found herself on the outside of popular belief, and found herself to be demonized by all those who had not and would not look at the actual research and studies as she herself and as Thabo himself had done.

    Fools that men are, we the living fail to understand that history is written in the future. Again and again, all too often, history shows that what were once popular beliefs or even delusions were wrong, and that those who pointed out such wrongs while the delusions were active were all demonized at the time, then later canonized and made heroes by future historians for what they had done to try to wake up the very masses who rejected them. This will again be the case when history books are written about this issue in our collective future. The masses were wrong and deluded once again. HIV is not, was not, and could not be the cause of AIDS, and eventually history will vindicate the dissidents, and make even greater heroes of Manto and Thabo. Those who are not so easily deluded or overtaken by their own fears and paranoias, and who have been free of bias who have personally studied the issue and the science have been speaking out on this for 20 years. Manto and Thabo are indeed greater heroes than the current generations who demonize them could ever believe. They did their very best to wake the world up to this, and the world did nothing but demonize them in return.

  3. Michael,

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful comment!

    “Manto and Thabo are indeed greater heroes than the current generations who demonize them could ever believe.”

    Exactly.

  4. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, There was an obit in the N Y Times about Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang written by Bruce Weber — you would think she was second to Adolf Eichmann in “murders”. Statements
    like: “Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang advocated marshaling vitamin and nutitional forces against H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. She maintained that foods like garlic, lemon, African potatoes and beetroot were stauncher defenses than the antiretroviral drugs that had been proved to prolong the lives of H.I.V. positive patients and to help prevent the passage of the virus from pregnant women to their babies.”

    Lies! Is it true according to the obit that ” …South African AIDS policy was responsible for 365,000 premature deaths.” The sad thing about Mbeki and Dr. T is that we probably will never really know if their policies (logically) really saved lives. Any benefits that occurred from the nutritional policies will be well concealed from us.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Martin: Of course it isn’t true that 365,000 premature deaths can be attributed to lack of antiretroviral drugs in South Africa. The article alleging that was in JAIDS, which refused to print a short correction from Duesberg, then a somewhat extended deconstruction by Duesberg, Rasnick, Nicholson, Fiala, and myself. A full article showing the errors was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and posted online as “in press”, until the HIV/AIDS vigilantes discovered it and urged the journal publishers, Elsevier, to withdraw it. One of the authors is currently suing Elsevier, and the extraordinarily improper behavior on Elsevier’s part will be described in full when the whole affair has been finally settled.
      In the meantime, potential authors of articles in journals published by Elsevier, and editors of Elsevier journals, and members of editorial boards of Elsevier journals, should be aware that Elsevier executives may take such an action without consulting the editor, or the editorial board, or the authors of the article; and without even letting the authors know for several days, while broadcasting the news to others; and though the action was taken months ago, Elsevier has yet to inform the authors of their reasons for the action they took, what it was about the article that required them to take this precipitate action, or any details of the “review” they are currently claiming to be undertaking.
      Here is a pdf of the article as it had been posted as “in press”.

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, Thanks for the background info. However, when I tried to tet the pdf this is the error message I got: Error 404 – Not Found

      • Henry Bauer said

        Martin and others: Sorry, a bit of WordPress bloggery that I don’t understand Try this one or the blog entry I just posted, and it’s fixed in my earlier comment.

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