HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for December, 2009

AIDS Rethinking and other suppressed science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/19

A friend in Estonia who is a keen reader of  LewRockwell.com suggested that I use the theme of my talk at RA2009 as a basis for essays to submit to Rockwell. At Oakland I had met Jim Foye, who recently had two excellent HIV/AIDS pieces at LewRockwell.com, so I asked Jim’s advice, and his help was invaluable in getting my essays posted this week:

Suppression of Science Within Science
“Time To Rethink AIDS
But official-enforcers must stop suppressing science, says Henry Bauer”.

The New World Order in Science
“Time to reevaluate HIV and all other official stories, says Henry Bauer”.

I’m exceedingly grateful to Paul and Jim for the impetus and the advice, and to Llewellyn Rockwell for accepting the submissions and coupling them handsomely with icons for and links to several of my books.

The Rockwell web-site is a very popular one, and the postings there brought several hundred extra visits to my blog as well as a host of interesting e-mails.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

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.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV varies with age, HIV/AIDS numbers, M/F ratios, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

“Denialist” web-sites outrank mainstream Dogmatists

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/12

It appears that web-sites featuring dissident, AIDS Rethinking, material attract far more interest than do the web-sites dedicated to attempting to discredit Rethinking. In the main list shown below, there are a total of 81 sites  in order of higher to lower rank: 73 dissident and only 8 dogmatist, with 8 of the top 10 being dissident sites.

Jason Erb prepared this ranking of the top dissident and dogmatist sites (sites that regularly attack dissidents) on the web, as per Alexa.com, on Sunday, December 6, 2009. In the following, the site is dissident unless otherwise indicated. The numbers indicate how they rank out of all ranked sites on the web. If you know of a site that isn’t listed, please let us know.

424,644      houseofnumbers.com
489,749      virusmyth.com(and .net)
541,094      aidsmythexposed.com
783,578      duesberg.com
945,901      aras.ab.ca
964,517      scienceguardian.com
973,128      karymullis.com

1,364,456     gimpyblog.wordpress.com(dogmatist)
1,347,930   hivskeptic.wordpress.com
1,489,590     aidstruth.org(dogmatist)
1,594,009    denyingaids.blogspot.com(dogmatist)
1,690,929   hivwave.gr
1,803,479   rethinkingaids.com
1,994,219    elmaltes.blogspot.com
2,226,810   robertogiraldo.com
2,227,175   aliveandwell.org
2,254,859   exlibhollywood.blogspot.com
2,293,437   liamscheff.com
2,482,004   ra2009.org
2,560,560   fearoftheinvisible.com
2,714,665    notaids.com
2,727,493   magickdragonfly.com

2,815,096     michaelspecter.com(dogmatist)
2,844,268   marcoruggiero.org
3,011,778     whatisaids.com
3,030,115     healtoronto.com
3,103,144     hiv-aids-factorfraud.com
4,069,554   paganpressbooks.com
4,323,510    wearelivingproof.org
4,406,053   helpforhiv.com
4,523,733   livingwithouthivdrugs.com
4,632,710    tig.org.za
4,826,344   sparks-of-light.org
5,053,719    theperthgroup.com
5,060,772   heallondon.org
5,546,414     cwbpi.com
5,396,768    reviewingaids.com
5,583,846    arv-facts.com
7,028,076   aliveandwellsf.org
7,346,722    theothersideofaids.com
7,843,232    immunity.org.uk
8,587,789    toxi-health.com
8,701,300    thetruthbarrier.com
8,790,425    aidsmyth.blogspot.com
9,342,996    reducetheburden.org
9,592,591     resistanceisfruitful.wordpress.com
11,233,072    actupsf.com
13,094,028  hivmisdiagnosis.com
13,332,062  aidsfraudvideo.com
13,612,644    peaceandlove.ca
14,961,582    healaids.com
15,303,065   theaidstrial.com
15,382,233    truthaboutaids.com
15,805,139     rethinkaids.com
15,849,562    aidsmisdiagnosis.com

17,391,913      dissidents4dumbees.blogspot.com(dogmatist)
17,494,670   areyoupositive.org
17,812,444    dissidentdating.com
19,024,622    pharmharm.com

19,122,876      snoutworld.blogspot.com(dogmatist)
22,596,391    aidsisover.com
22,621,062    hivaidspoliticaldenialism.blogspot.com
23,477,899    positivelyfalse.com
24,675,363   henryhbauer.homestead.com
25,522,645   howpositiveareyou.com
no data      davidrasnick.com
no data      harveybialy.org
no data      myspace.com/rethinkaids
no data      drbroxmeyer.netfirms.com
no data      aidsindictment.com
no data      aidsisover.blogspot.com
no data      apart.libsyn.com
no data      hiv-aids.ca
no data      helpforaids.com
no data      magickdragonfly.blogspot.com
no data      newaidsreview.com
no data      rethinkaids.info
no data      rethinkersworldwideforum.aimoo.com
no data      theaidstrial.blogspot.com

no data         aids-dissidents.blogspot.com (dogmatist)
no data         snoutselk.blogspot.com(dogmatist)

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Useless imaging tests and the AIDS scam

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/11

On Friday, 11 December,  the Italian Democratic Party (the second-largest political party in Italy) held a meeting to discuss issues associated with profit-driven health care.

As the poster shows, one of the featured invited speakers was Professor Marco Ruggiero. He discussed two issues: useless imaging tests and the AIDS scam, in particular  the lack of benefit from HAART, Luc Montagnier’s view that HIV is a consequence and not a cause of immunedeficiency, and the recent recognition that an HIV protein can be protective against cancer.

The audience of more than a hundred was, by all accounts, interested and receptive. Here is the PowerPoint file of Ruggiero’s talk.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Corruption in medical science: Ghostwriting

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/10

Not so long ago,  I said:
“In my memoirs of deaning, I had written, ‘I would find myself thinking, Now I’ve seen everything; nothing can surprise me anymore, only to experience a novel surprise the next day or the next week’”.
That was in connection with an FDA panel recommending that the purported but unproven anti-cervical-cancer vaccine, which has been reported as responsible for some serious “side” effects including deaths, should be made available to vaccinate young boys to protect them — supposedly, unprovenly — against the less-than-worrying possibility of genital warts. I say “unproven” because the vaccine is only claimed to protect against HPV, the human papilloma virus (and not even all of its strains), and the connection between HPV and cervical cancer or genital warts is purely a matter of association, correlation: no causative relationship has been established. As I find myself repeating ad nauseam, correlation doesn’t prove causation.

So that FDA recommendation surprised even this cynical observer. But almost immediately I found myself gagging over a story (by Paul Basken) in the Chronicle of Higher Education of 18 September 2009, p. A10: “Ghostwriters Haunt the Integrity of Medical Journals — Company-sponsored contributors enhance, without disclosure, university researchers’ papers”.
The story also reveals that “enhance” is a misleading euphemism: the unnamed individuals actually did all the meaningful work.
Dr. Lisa M. Shulman, newly appointed assistant professor of neurology at the University of Miami and serving a fellowship on Capitol Hill “was overworked and under-resourced”. She accepted an offer of help in writing research articles from DesignWrite, a business employed by (among others) the drug company Wyeth. DesignWrite “select[ed] background information on connections between estrogen and Parkinson’s disease, and . . . draft[ed] a proposed summary of the existing data” whereupon Shulman “wrote” “her” article which failed to mention DesignWrite or Wyeth, which happens to sell estrogen pills.

There could hardly be a more obvious case of deceitful publication — excluding, that is, such corporate deceit as Elsevier’s publishing of no fewer than 6 “journals” that were actually “sponsored” by drug companies (“Merck published fake journal”; “Elsevier published 6 fake journals”).

If a student were to do what Dr. Shulman did, it would be labeled unequivocally as plagiarism or fraud, and it would lead at a minimum to failing the relevant course, at worst to suspension or even dismissal from the college. Yet this sort of thing has become so common in “medical science” as to be routine. “A study presented last week . . . found that in The New England Journal of Medicine, at least 11 percent of the articles had ‘ghost’ authors. Another study tracked attempts in the late 1990s by Parke-Davis, now a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., to get articles published concerning its medication Neurontin. The pharmaceutical company succeeded in placing 11 articles in seven journals, none of which disclosed its role in authorship and only two of which acknowledged its financial support” (Basken, op. cit.).

Those who participated in these deceptive, potentially damaging practices emit “apologies” and “excuses” reminiscent of the words of politicians: use of the passive voice (“mistakes were made”) and failure to acknowledge wrongdoing, calling it mere negligence. Thus Dr. Shulman called her transgressions “an oversight”. She “sees little harm in accepting outside professional help, since she takes full responsibility for the published contents. Her article, she says, is a dispassionate examination of whether estrogen has any connection with Parkinson’s disease. The article opens by stating that ‘increasing evidence’ supports the use of estrogen for guarding against Parkinson’s, although it notes conflicting findings based on variations in age and dosage. ‘There is nothing in my paper that is favorable to Wyeth,’ says Dr. Shulman, who denies that her actions constituted ghostwriting” [emphases added].
Shulman might do well to bear in mind that when you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging. Even better, she should find a job she can do without outside help.

Barbara B. Sherwin, a psychology professor at McGill University, lent her name to an article written by a freelance author working for Wyeth: “I made an error in agreeing to have my name attached to that article without having it made clear that others contributed to it”.
NO: her “error” was in not doing the work that the article tried to disseminate.
If Shulman or Sherwin were to have given proper acknowledgment, they would not be able to cite those articles on their vitae as personal accomplishments. Indeed, their names would not appear in the authorship line at all; or if they did, it would be stated clearly in footnotes that their actual contributions were at most editorial.

Another attempt to make black seem white came from Matthew R. Weir, director of nephrology, University of Maryland Medical Center, who tried to minimize the fraud by saying that “such articles typically appear only in lower-tier medical journals, which are recognized as less reliable”. Again it’s not clear how that is supposed to be an excuse. “Dr. Weir has himself been . . . accused in a lawsuit against the drug maker Merck of signing his name to an article that played down the chances that the company’s Vioxx medication might raise the risk of heart attacks. The co-author on the report was a scientist employed by Merck. Dr. Weir says he stands by the data in that article”. It is nowadays common knowledge that VIOXX does indeed raise the risk of heart attacks.

Then there’s the attempted evasion that such “articles don’t mention specific drugs by name, and instead just give a general endorsement of a particular therapeutic approach that happens to align with the medication offered by the company”. Right; just happens to. Would the article ever have been conceived otherwise?

“Rogerio A. Lobo, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, says DesignWrite contributed work, unattributed, to one of his published papers. But the company’s role was limited to assembling existing research on a subject, providing statistics and charts, and copy editing. He says he substantially changed the final version by cutting out entire sections and eliminating the endorsement of a particular product. ‘I don’t consider that ghostwriting,’ he says. ‘I’m the responsible person, and I stand by it, and I wrote it’” (emphases added; Basken, op. cit.). Thus Lobo admits clearly that his only contribution was editorial or secretarial, not the central and essential work of getting the data.

“Both ghostwriting’s detractors and its alleged participants agree that the difficulty of defining the practice makes it tough to eliminate”.
The only proper characterization of that statement, as of the “apologies”, is BULLSHIT — statements made without regard for their truth. Everyone who contributes to an article must be identified, and best practice has long been that on multi-authored papers the contributions of each individual are spelled out. In that case, the question of ghostwriting cannot even arise. No need to try to define it; just don’t do it. As pointed out by “Steven E. Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic . . .  ‘No amount of editing,’ . . . can justify an author’s using an undeclared contributor”.

DesignWrite, a “medical-communications company”, “regards its service as providing a public benefit. ‘We stand behind the accuracy of every article we have been involved in,’ says the company’s president, Michael Platt”.
No surprise there. If the articles are accurate in every detail of their data but failed (happened to fail) to include existing but contrary data, his statement would remain technically correct while misleading in the most important way. Brings to mind the point made by Paul Halmos that lying is sometimes OK, but misleading never is (see p. 168 ff. in To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean).

Present practices raise “the specter of hidden bias in published papers that favor the effects of the company’s drugs. Doctors rely on such papers when making life-or-death choices about treating their patients” (Basken, op. cit.).
There’s nothing trivial about this, and no lame excuses should be countenanced. Faculty who plagiarize and deceive in this manner should be disciplined even more harshly than students who plagiarize. Students do it often enough through ignorance rather than deliberately, but that cannot be said of these senior miscreants who even seek to justify their misdeeds. These people are a disgrace to the profession of medicine and to the scholarly academic profession.

The larger significance is that “research” nowadays is an activity engaged in by people who don’t belong there. Honest original research is very hard, and the rewards are few, far between, and anything but guaranteed (just ask Peter Duesberg, say). The only good reason for getting into it is because of an overwhelming desire to help gain new knowledge.
Publication should follow work, not precede it. It is preposterous for people like Lobo, Shulman, Sherwin, Weir, to be employed and described as researchers since their primary aim is clearly careerist, to amass publications rather than to advance knowledge. “Preposterous” in the sense Jacques Barzun explained:

That is preposterous which puts the last first and the first last. . . .
Valuing knowledge, we preposterize the idea and say . . .
everybody shall produce written research in order to live,
and it shall be decreed a knowledge explosion.

— Jacques Barzun, The American University (Harper and Row, 1968) 221

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Though there is no mention above of “HIV” or “AIDS”, the connection ought to be obvious enough: The manifold misdeeds of HIV/AIDS “researchers” are part and parcel of an overall corruption of medical “research”. People like Lobo et al., above, are, in the words of Susan Haack, “fake reasoners” who don’t care about the truth-value of what they put their names to; they emit bullshit. Mainstream HIV/AIDS “researchers” are what Haack calls “sham reasoners“, people who seek only to support a pre-existing belief (Susan Haack, “Science, scientism, and anti-science in the age of preposterism“, Skeptical Inquirer 21 #6, November/December 1997).

Posted in clinical trials, experts, Legal aspects, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »