HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Elsevier publishes another HIV-denialist article

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/01/13

“[T]here is extensive evidence that certain micronutrient deficiencies are associated with faster disease progression or increased mortality risk, and that dietary supplements . . . can prolong survival in HIV/AIDS. . . .
one aspect stands out in importance: the potential relationship to oxidative stress. . . . the antioxidant role of selenium in glutathione peroxidases . . . .
a daily supplement of 200 μg of selenium alone stopped progression of HIV-1 viral load increases, and lead [sic] to  improved  CD4  counts. . . . selenium status was reported to be 10 times  more  significant  than  CD4  cell  count  as  a  predictor  of   mortality. . . .
HIV infection is typically characterized by a dramatic decline in glutathione levels . . . [which] suggests an abnormal degree of biological oxidation, manifesting as elimination of cysteine sulfur as sulfate. A key feature of HIV disease is an apparent ‘antioxidant defect’ . . . [which] can be aggravated by co-factors such as malnutrition, co-infection with other microorganisms, and the use of various oxidant   drugs, such as nitrites. . . .
Intermediates of oxidative tryptophan metabolism have also been implicated in neurotoxicity, potentially contributing to AIDS dementia. . . .
oxidative   stress   can   induce niacin/NAD+ depletion. . . .
The oxidative stress-induced niacin sink (OSINS) model for HIV pathogenesis. . . . links oxidative stress and selenium to the observed tryptophan abnormalities and immunosuppression in HIV/AIDS. . . . [and] provides a mechanism whereby oxidative stress associated with HIV infection can contribute to immunosuppression via tryptophan deletion, as well as neurotoxicity via toxic tryptophan metabolites and ATP depletion. . . .
But whatever the source of oxidative stress, there would be a net effect towards niacin depletion and compensatory tryptophan oxidation. . . .
the need for certain nutrients in HIV infection may be largely secondary to an underlying defect that could be largely rectified by another nutrient, with antioxidants being the most fundamental to an effective regimen. . . .
whatever underlies or contributes to the antioxidant defect and increased oxidative stress . . . leads also to intracellular niacin depletion, and thereby to tryptophan depletion, with an end result of immunosuppression . . . and also T-cell loss” [emphases added].

It might seem natural to infer that this was written by the Perth Group, who have argued for upwards of two decades that “AIDS” results from oxidative stress, possibly with co-authorship by Rebecca Culshaw, who described the crucial role of glutathione, and by Harold Foster, who has long argued the central role of selenium, not to mention Matthias Rath, who has long spoken up for the value of micronutrients in treating AIDS patients.
But no. What’s more, none of those earlier publications are mentioned in this article by Ethan Will Taylor, “The oxidative stress-induced niacin sink (OSINS) model for HIV pathogenesis”, published on-line in Toxicology (Received 1 July 2009 — Received in revised form 10 October 2009 — Accepted 15 October 2009 — On-line at PubMed 24 October  [Epub ahead of print, PMID: 19857540, ).

(The review is described as “Hypothesis”, suggesting it might equally have been accepted by another Elsevier journal, Medical Hypotheses, were it not that the latter seems nowadays to bar anything that questions HIV/AIDS orthodoxy.)

At any rate, this article talks about “HIV-associated” oxidative stress and the benefits of nutritional supplements in “HIV-infected” people without demonstrating that “HIV” is actually involved. Essentially the same network of reactions and feedback applies in any situation of oxidative stress, as noted in the article: “whatever the source of oxidative stress . . . whatever underlies or contributes to the antioxidant defect and increased oxidative stress”. The only suggested involvement of HIV in the network of reactions is via a postulated stimulation of IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) by tat and nef proteins and an increased level of interferon γ ascribed to viral infection and immune activation.

If it could be shown that under generalized oxidative stress, substances are released that are capable of yielding an “HIV-positive” response, that would combine with this comprehensive review of the literature to make oxidative stress an entirely plausible cause of AIDS, a worthy alternative to the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

In point of fact, it is already well and long known that “HIV-positive” is a condition that can be brought on by a large range of conditions and infections: hypergammaglobulinemia, tuberculosis, or vaccination against flu, and dozens more documented by Christine Johnson (“Whose antibodies are they anyway? Factors known to cause  false positive HIV antibody test results”, Continuum, #3, Sept./Oct. 1996, p.4, anti-tetanus shots (Saag et al., Nature Med 1996;2:625-9 and Gonnelli et al., Lancet 1991;337:731), and even pregnancy (Taha et al., AIDS 1998;12:197-203; Gray et al., Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;185:1209-17; Gray et al., Lancet 2005;366:1182-8). Drug abusers very often test “HIV-positive”. That the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included increasing numbers of conditions as “AIDS-defining” after “HIV-positive” became a criterion reflects the fact that many illnesses induce oxidative stress and the resulting “HIV-positive” status.

Here is a simple way of Rethinking AIDS:
There are two hypotheses.
1. AIDS is caused by a previously unknown retrovirus that first infected gay men simultaneously in several large metropolitan areas in the United States even though it had first crossed into humans in Africa. No vaccine or microbicide against it has been found after more than two decades of concentrated effort. Transmitted sexually, it is however very difficult to transmit, which is why it has remained within the original risk groups of promiscuous drug-abusing gay men and other drug abusers, except in Africa where 20-40% of the adult population has several sexual partners simultaneously and changes them frequently (James Chin, The AIDS Pandemic); however, the retrovirus has never actually been observed, in prospective studies, to be transmitted sexually. It kills T-cells by some unknown but certainly indirect as well as obscure mechanism. Though transmitted by breastfeeding, it is transmitted less, the greater the degree of exclusive breastfeeding. The presence of antibodies denotes active infection even when no actual virus can be detected. Some significant proportion of those infected remain healthy, even as no reason for this immunity has been discovered. One of the three original salient AIDS diseases supposedly caused by this retrovirus, Kaposi’s sarcoma, turns out not to be caused by it after all. Antibodies to the retrovirus appear after vaccination against flu, or after an anti-tetanus shot, and in a host of illnesses as well as natural conditions of some physiological stress like pregnancy. In an appreciable number of AIDS cases, no antibodies or retrovirus could be found, but this could be explained away as another new disease, idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia. Drugs that kill the virus do not correlate with restoration of the immune system nor with improved health. Indeed, purported restoration of the immune system with these drugs brings on another new ailment, “immune restoration syndrome”, a worsening of clinical condition with symptoms that mimic AIDS. The retrovirus mutates at unprecedented speed, so that infected individuals harbor not a single variant but a swarm of variants; and all variants and strains appear to be pathogenic to similar extents. Antiretroviral treatment is by toxic drugs whose side effects are so severe that non-compliance by patients has been observed or estimated at nearly 50%. Deaths from AIDS continue to occur in the same age-range as before, roughly mid-30s to late 40s. Although the retrovirus is latent for an average of a decade before causing illness, the age of first infection, of first AIDS diagnosis, and of death are all in that same age range.
2. AIDS is caused by oxidative stress. Proof: dietary supplements of antioxidants and essential minerals and vitamins restore health and extend life without dangerous side effects.

45 Responses to “Elsevier publishes another HIV-denialist article”

  1. Cathy said

    As I read the study excerpt, I really did think the Perth Group must have written it! Then you said it anyway.

    Bravo for the brilliant and concise summation of the orthodox theory.

    They did omit the oxidising nature of ARVs themselves –– especially in those with haemoglobinopathies –– you know, those blood abnormalities that are remarkably common in both black Africans and those from whom they descend.

    The tryptophan connection is intriguing –– I’ve been following a line of inquiry with this in cardiovascular disease –– is Medical Hypothesis also rejecting anti-establishment ruminations in CVD?

    Now I’d like to see apologies from the establishment attack dogs (and you know who you are) for the egregious character slurs against Drs Rath and Rasnick for conducting the “illegal vitamin” trials. For myself I hope I won’t be going to prison for suggesting vitamins and supplements including selenium and NAC to a certain family (and which have worked splendidly).

    Thanks Prof. Bauer –– I’m still chuckling.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Cathy: The background to my remark about Elsevier and Medical Hypotheses has now been described in the Times Higher Education Supplement.
      As for the attack dogs, it would be entirely out of character for them to do a decent thing. However, they are doing a great long-term job for “denialists” by their egregious actions and ill-thought-out communications.

  2. Brad Pritt said

    So the cure for HIV/AIDS is just simple as having dietary supplements of antioxidants and essential minerals and vitamins?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Brad Pritt: There’s no overall simple answer, because there are so many different circumstances under which people may test HIV-positive, and so many different illnesses that have come to be called “AIDS”. What the Toxicology article points out is that there is an enormous body of reliable literature attesting improvements in health and life expectancy of “AIDS” patients through use of dietary supplements. Anyone who tests “HIV-positive” should first try to find out what caused that, with the knowledge that such “positive” tests may not indicate any health threat, especially in individuals who know themselves to be at low risk. Anyone who feels ill and is given a “positive” on an “HIV” test should try to find a doctor who will look for the actual cause of illness, with the knowledge that the very existence of “HIV” has never been established. Anyone and everyone should make themselves aware of what proper nutrition calls for, especially since so many processed foods and eating habits make it easy to become malnourished in some way or other. Many dietary supplements can be taken safely without fear of overdose, but caution should be exercised with fat-soluble vitamins like A, which can accumulate to undesirable extents, or minerals, some of which are deleterious in excess. Selenium in particular has a relatively narrow range between minimum requirement and toxic effects.
      A little learning is a dangerous thing, and generalizations should not be applied automatically to individual cases.

      • Henry,

        Thanks for confronting these types of trained (canned) responses used to try to dismiss the importance of nutrition and supplements.

        Of course taking supplements alone is not likely to “cure” a multifactoral illness like “AIDS”. Nor is quitting ARVs alone a sufficient approach.

        Both of these actions, are important parts of a comprehensive program of restoring balance and health, which also requires a view of both an individual’s big picture regarding lifestyle and unique conditions.

        Another great analysis, btw.

    • Brad Pritt: If you are sick, find out what’s wrong and fix it and get good food and clean water and exercise and a few other things.

      If you get HIV, dance or go to a movie or shake hands with three people. Any of those things, (or nothing at all), will cure that, eventually.

      Bauer’s book shows that the incidence of HIV+ test results is reduced after middle age in adults. It is reduced in only a year or three in infants. What if that doesn’t occur and you’re still said to be HIV positive? Near as we can tell, nothing happens. HIV+ just does not predict anything.

      You see, there is a simple answer. In fact there are lots of simple answers, Especially if you don’t demand a correct answer.

  3. mo79uk said

    I find it amazing that, for example, when the UK government recommends eating five portions of fruit and/or veg a day to prevent cancer, people laud it.
    Suggest similar measures to prevent or fight AIDS and you’re laughed at.

  4. Philip said

    If it’s said by ‘friends’, it’s science. If it’s not, it’s ‘quackery’. I remember you mentioning this before as well.

  5. Philip said

    And as follow up to the statement that HIV positivity can be caused by many diseases, have you seen the study from africa where 70% of false positives occur in patients who have been exposed (note, EXPOSED to, not necessarily sick of) to mycobacterium tuberculosis or mycobacterium leprae? I forgot where I read it but will google it later.

  6. “….none of those earlier publications are mentioned in this article by Ethan Will Taylor.”

    Rightfully so, because doing that would have meant sudden death, although I believe there’s a very high probability that EW Taylor had to know about PG’s work, most likely before he embarked on this study research. Odd, but not surprising, that publishing the natural has to mean one keeps one foot in the snake pit; “The OSINS model can be used to guide the design of nutraceutical regimens that can effectively complement antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS.” (abstract)

    Got to have that plug in there for those miraculous life saving anti-HIV protocols.

    The related article menu alongside EW’s PubMed abstract page gives us another equally noteworthy tid bit: “Advances in nutrition support for quality of life in HIV+/AIDS.” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl 1:318-22. PMID: 17392127

    “Studies consistently show that serum antioxidant vitamins and minerals decrease while oxidative stress increases during AIDS progression. The optimization of nutritional status, intervention with foods and supplements, including nutrients and other bio-active food components, are needed to maintain the immune system.” … But like the one foot in, one foot out, the abstract’s opening regurgitates the old and sickening statement; “Globally, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an epidemic, severe and fatal disease.”

    Therefore, the question; When are these good people going to actually stop and think?

  7. In my power point presentation “The profit-driven invention of health needs: from useless imaging testing to AIDS scam”, I said: “Probably worse than unnecessary irradiation, however, is the AIDS scam, driven by profit-oriented drug companies that sell dubiously accurate diagnostic kits and CARCINOGENIC ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUGS.” I would never have expected to be supported by The Governor of California. Please see this link that a friend let me have:

    Is this the trailer of “Terminator 4, the Denialist”?

    • Sabine Kalitzkus said

      “Terminator 4, the Denialist” will probably become the title of Arnie’s next movie, which will be about the Terminator (Arnie) hunting folks like sck, jtd, et al. and trying to terminate their ongoing smear campaign against “denialists” like former President Thabo Mbeki or governmental agencies “in denial” like the Italian Ministry of Health or the State of California, which has just libeled a life saving and life extending drug as known to cause cancer. Co-starring Brad Pitt (the real one) and Angelina Jolie. Brad Pitt, by the way, will play a teacher explaining to his students the difference between Austria and Germany, thereby disproving sck’s next claim that the events in Arnie’s Government are proof of the “German connection” of “denialists”. Hopefully Hollywood is following this blog as religiously as the folks Arnie will be hunting in his next movie.

  8. Tony Lance said

    The only thing I see that distinguishes Taylor’s excellent article from something written by, say, the Perth Group is that he waves his hand in the general direction of HIV to acknowledge its assumed role as a cause of oxidative stress.

    We should take heart that the orthodoxy increasingly recognizes (without giving credit) things that dissidents have been saying for years, decades even. Oxidative stress, nutrition, intestinal health—all of these are increasingly a part of the mainstream discussion of “HIV/AIDS”. In the minutes of the Oct. 24, 2008 meeting of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, the following statement is recorded: “…the new paradigm for HIV pathogenesis includes the role of nutrition (under-nutrition and over-nutrition) and the effects of gut microflora and intestinal integrity on microbial translocation.”

    This new paradigm is old news to us.

  9. realpc said

    “Drugs that kill the virus do not correlate with restoration of the immune system nor with improved health.”

    I am an HIV skeptic. so I am not trying to give you a hard time. But I am sure I have seen many claims by the AIDS industry that the drugs have been shown to improve health. Can you direct me to evidence showing that the AR drugs do not improve health?

    In other words, are you saying the only “benefit” of the drugs is a decrease in signs of HIV infection? And the assumption is that decreasing HIV presence will improve health? But they have no evidence for that hypothesis?

    That would be pretty shocking, if it can be demonstrated to be true. Or is it one of those things where there is no clear evidence one way or the other?

    • Henry Bauer said

      realpc: Please SEARCH my blog for “HAART”, “antiretroviral”, “survival”, etc. I’ve cited mainstream articles that conclude no decrease of mortality, no correlation between CD4 and viral load, NIH Treatment Guidelines that find it necessary to distinguish virologic failure from immunologic failure from clinical progression. I pointed out that the halving of mortality from 1996 to 1997 cannot be a result of HAART conquering virus, that could have only a slow effect of allowing immune-system recovery, whereas it is plausibly explained by ceasing the highly toxic monotherapy and replacing it with a less toxic one in which the doses of each ingredient are lower.
      Note my reports and official statements about high rate of non-compliance with treatment because of the “side” effects.
      Of course there are innumerable articles claiming benefits, and I’ve deconstructed a few of them. Look at them for yourself, and note the proliferation of assumptions and reliance on computer models of disease progression.
      As in general, once a theory has been established one can find innumerable supports for it by sticking to the original range of observations. But it takes only one definitive finding to disprove a theory. People on HAART who die do so in the same age-range as AIDS patients have always died, mid- or late 30s to mid- or late 40s. For a deconstruction of the very slight and slow annual increase in median ages, see my blog post about that: age of first positive test, of AIDS diagnosis, of PWAs, and of deaths among PWAs have all drifted upwards over the years.

      • realpc said

        Thanks Dr. Bauer, I will look for the info on this blog. I have read your post about age of death, will look for the ones about HAART. It fascinates me that so many people could be convinced of the effectiveness of a treatment that has no actual benefit. I am sure I have seen many claims of dramatic improvements in AIDS survival, credited to the AR drugs. I have always been skeptical because I know that the drugs are extremely toxic.

        I knew that the new drugs are compared to older drugs, such as AZT, rather than being compared to no drugs. Patients do better on the new drugs simply because they are a bit less toxic, probably.

        However, it is also true that many people died of a mysterious disease that seemed to be sexually transmitted. And that this is no longer happening in the US, as far as I know. And of course the drugs are credited.

        I agree with you that the AR drug success appears to be an illusion. But I can’t help wondering if there is some kind of contagious disease that causes immune deficiency. It seems to me there must be at least a tiny shred of truth that started the mass HIV delusion.

      • Henry Bauer said

        realpc: If you find proof somewhere that AIDS is contagious, or that HIV is contagious, please share the reference on this blog.
        Regarding benefit, I should perhaps have mentioned anecdotes about the Lazarus effect: people at death’s door as a result of “AIDS” suddenly getting up and about AS SOON AS they begin antiretroviral treatment. Just like with teh one-year drop in mortality, this cannot be owing to virus-killing; rather, it means that some sort of occult, undiagnosed inflammation or infection has been resolved. Dr Julian Sacher and Dr Claus Koehnlein, who treat AIDS patients by attending to the specific manifest illnesses, sometimes using “complementary” or “alternative” medicine, have both mentioned such SHORT-TERM use of “antiretrovirals” as a last resort, because they are so powerfully bio-toxic, .

  10. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, One of the things that keeps bothering me when AIDS Rethinkers discuss AIDS is the basic paradigm that this amalgam of unrelated diseases was declared to be an immune system failure. I looked up the case of the Bubble Boy with SCID — that’s (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) — people with that die of stuff we wouldn’t even sneeze at. People with AIDS on the other hand may not even get a cold! That’s because the original cases involved diseases like PCP, Kaposi these may not be weakened immune-system diseases. Thrush can be, but it is also caused by overuse of antibiotics. As I have observed in previous posts, the Rethinkers are using the language of the adversary (the AIDS establishment). AIDS is metaphorically infectious — in the way that a yawn is infectious. Your exhaustive statistical analysis of the CDC (and others’) data revealed the non-infectious nature of the disease. When I say metaphorically infectious, I mean that the hegemony defines it as spreading like a contagious epidemic. Recreational drug use is also an “epidemic” but it is contagious only in a metaphorical way. Just because it looks like a contagious epidemic doesn’t mean it really is one. AIDS has never really behaved like a real contagious epidemic as much as its promoters have wished it to be by publishing estimates of its spread and morbidity instead of the actual numbers (it’s unfortunate that your brilliant analysis of the data will not be heeded by the major media because by being honest they would probably be put out of business because of their lifeline dependence on the omnipotent pharma industries. The amount of drug ads in both the print media and TV is flabbergasting. Just at this time I’m watching the 6:30 pm news on (antenna) TV and there were during the station break 4 drug company ads in a row! A recent Time Magazine had an ad for Seroquel XR that was 6 pages long! In fact, the Jan 18th issue of Time had 13 pages of drug ads — out of 70 — that’s 19% of the entire magazine! Every one of those companies make drugs for AIDS patients including test kits, primary treatment and treatments for the treatment. Advertising revenue is down down down — and last time I checked, Time would fold if it dared step on big Pharma’s toes. (In a similar fashion, Obama is treading very carefully with respect to Google in China — they might just call in the loan!).

    • Henry Bauer said

      Martin: That’s a very interesting comparison. Indeed, KS is not an opportunistic infection. PCP and thrush (candidiasis) are fungal, and I’m convinced by Tony Lance’s hypothesis, supported by OODLES of mainstream citations, that those gained a hold primarily in people who had seriously damaged the intestinal microflora that are an outpost of the immune system and SPECIFICALLY GUARD AGAINST FUNGI, and which are also prone to damage by antibiotics, which were also excessively resorted to in the “fast-lane” lifestyle. As you are doubtless aware, John Lauritsen and others have shown that KS — “AIDS” KS — was the result of excessve inhalation of nitrites.

  11. realpc said

    And I read some articles last night that try to explain why some (all??) AIDS patients get sicker after going on HAART. Supposedly, the immune system starts to recover, which causes an inflammation response, resulting in some terrible brain infections, etc.

    HUH? In other words, the researchers never consider that maybe the HAART drugs are poison? No, the drugs are good, it’s the patients’ response to the wonderful treatment that is wrong.

    I always knew human beings had a great capacity for irrationality. But this is beyond irrational.

    • Sabine Kalitzkus said

      “Realpc”, please kindly allow me to express my very subjective opinion that your other names are more inspiring. I understand why you were looking for a change, but you must concede that this new one isn’t one of your best choices.

      You said: “And I read some articles last night that try to explain why some (all??) AIDS patients get sicker after going on HAART.”

      I’m truly impressed. You read “some” articles “last night”, articles that “try” to explain why “some” or even “all” AIDS patients get sicker after going on HAART.

      Perhaps you should invest a little bit more of your precious time to read scientific articles and then invest even more time to think about what you’ve read. All this would certainly put you in a position where other people would get the impression that you knew what you were talking about.

      As this one of your adventures failed, why don’t you consider some more successful activities for your sleepless nights?

      • Martin said

        Hi Sabine, I completely agree. “Realpc” should be specific when he (she?) reports on articles read : give references so others in this blog can read it for themselves. That would be professional.

      • realpc said

        Maybe you have something against HIV skeptics? I never had any other names here. I have been reading about this subject for years, because I have always been interested in medical science. I think that HIV/AIDS is a good example of medical science going astray, and that is why I have been following it. I don’t stay up all night reading about it, can’t imagine why you think so.

        I have a theory about why medical science has become so absurd regarding HIV/AIDS and AR drugs, which might be of interest to other HIV skeptics:

        The infectious disease model has had some great successes in fighting bacterial infections and in preventing some viral infections. The discovery of penicillin, and the discovery of vaccines for polio and smallpox have inspired great faith in modern medicine.

        Therefore, the infectious disease model is being applied to cancer and AIDS, which are not really infectious diseases, at least not usually. Chemotherapy for cancer and AR drugs for AIDS use highly toxic chemicals that try to destroy the “invaders” without destroying the patient’s health.

        Antibiotics are poison, they are “anti-life.” But for certain kinds of diseases — where the patient’s otherwise healthy system has been attacked by an invading bacteria is does not know how to kill — this approach is often life-saving.

        Modern medical science has marched down the infectious disease road in its effort to cure cancer and AIDS.

        Yes, there is a degree of corruption involved, since the drug companies benefit tremendously from selling their poison. And AIDS patients are never cured, which is even better, since they need the “medicine” all their lives.

        But I do not think the problem is entirely corruption and the drug companies. I think that many medical researchers sincerely believe they are on the right path. If they can just figure out better ways to kill cancer cells and HIV, prolonging life just a little more, and a little more, then cancer and AIDS will become diseases that people can live with.

        It is a horribly wrong philosophy, and they have completely misunderstood cancer and AIDS. The treatments are dreadful and destroy what little health the patients have, and cause terrible suffering.

        But this is not because of cruelty, greed and stupidity. At least not entirely. This is because of an incorrect medical model.

        I think my theory helps to explain why the two sides in this controversy are each so sure they are right and the other side is crazy and/or evil.

        Our medical science is stuck in its past success. It has not been able to move forward because of its past success.

  12. David said

    Dr. Bauer,

    I want to respectfully disagree with you about poppers being THE cause of KS, though, I agree that they probably are A cause of KS for many people. The Perth Group, in fact, cites both poppers, and anal exposure to semen, as contributing factors leading to KS.

    I have a friend who developed KS about eight years ago, and he only did poppers once! My friend was a dissident, but did not buy the Perth Group’s theory about causation. He thought that drugs were the only cause, and after years of receptive anal and unprotected intercourse promiscuity, he developed KS. It almost killed him. Eight years later, he is symptom free and on the meds, though he retains at least some suspicion about the HIV paradigm, though he remains closed to the Perth Group’s theory of Oxidative stress. The chemotherapy, not the AIDS meds, and his lifestyle changes, saved his life IMO. He no longer frequents bathhouses, or has sex with multiple partners. Prior to coming down with KS, he would have numerous unprotected exposures from a variety of sexual partners, some of whom did do poppers, in just one day!

    I know some might suggest that my friend was not telling me the truth about his non use of poppers, but this person hated poppers and loathed all drug use. It wasn’t in his character to deny personal things like that, as he felt free disagreeing with me about a variety of things, and had no need to lie to me. I believe that some of us in the dissident community overplay the Drug theory when we insist that all people who have denied drug use are liars. Not saying that you have done that, but I know many who have.


    • Henry Bauer said

      David: Of course there’s pre-AIDS KS, partly a genetic predisposition. The mainstream view currently seems to be that the cause os HHV-8 (also called KSHV). However, there were several pubications in the early AIDS days showing correlation of nitrites and KS. Moreover, nitrites are known to affect blood vessels and KS is a condition of blood vessels. Lauritsen and Wilson, “Death Rush”, makes a very convincing case. The incidence of KS among gay men declined very rapidly over the space of a few years, as did use of poppers.
      It may be also that 1980s AIDS-KS is a different disease than the original KS. Purple skin blotches need not be the classic KS cancer, after all, and I don’t know how many of the early KS cases were confirmed by histology: I imagine that any gay man who presented with purple skin blotches was diagnosed on that basis.
      There are quite a few anecdotal accounts like the one you cite, for example Richard Berkowitz. What’s needed is a thorough complete physical and laboratory work-up of each case.
      Overall, I think the evidence is very strong that most 1980s AIDS-KS was brought on by poppers, and that many AIDS-KS patients have been HIV-negative with high or normal CD4 counts.

  13. Sabine Kalitzkus said

    “Realpc”, you are not a skeptic. You are an orthodox fundamentalist pretending to be a skeptic. There are many folks like you and you’re all making the same mistakes. It’s quite easy to detect it. Just for starters: I cannot imagine someone calling themselves a skeptic after having read “about this subject for years“.

    “I don’t stay up all night reading about it, can’t imagine why you think so.”

    Your own words made me think so:

    “And I read some articles last night that try to explain why some (all??) AIDS patients get sicker after going on HAART.”

    You read some articles that night. Since you used the word “some”, I understand that you read at least three of them. You cannot read at least three scientific articles, think about them, and try to understand them within half an hour.

    “The discovery of penicillin, and the discovery of vaccines for polio and smallpox have inspired great faith in modern medicine.”

    Get yourself updated on the “discovery of vaccines for polio” and the like: Better yet: Stop your brainless propaganda.

    “Therefore, the infectious disease model is being applied to cancer and AIDS, which are not really infectious diseases, at least not usually.”

    Cancer is never infectious. Tuberculosis (one of the AIDS-defining diseases) is always infectious.

    “Chemotherapy for cancer and AR drugs for AIDS use highly toxic chemicals that try to destroy the “invaders” without destroying the patient’s health.”

    Chemotherapy for cancer has never been used to destroy “the invaders”.

    “Antibiotics are poison, they are “anti-life.” But for certain kinds of diseases — where the patient’s otherwise healthy system has been attacked by an invading bacteria is does not know how to kill — this approach is often life-saving.”

    A patient’s “otherwise healthy system” is perfectly able to “kill” “invading bacteria” without antibiotics. This is what is meant by the term “health”.

    “I think that many medical researchers sincerely believe they are on the right path.”

    Of course they believe this. Otherwise they would choose another path.

    “I think my theory helps to explain why the two sides in this controversy are each so sure they are right and the other side is crazy and/or evil.”

    There’s only one side in this controversy which is so sure “they are right and the other side is crazy and/or evil”. They keep repeating it each and every day. Hint: Read the Moore rants on The Times Higher Education.

    “Our medical science is stuck in its past success. It has not been able to move forward because of its past success.”

    A completely ridiculous claim. Void of any logic and basic knowledge on the history of medicine. Above all: A real skeptic would never uncritically and almost triumphantly claim that medical science had some “past success”. This reveals beyond any doubt who you really are.

    • Henry Bauer said

      realpc, Sabine: If you want to continue this exchange, perhaps it would be more productive to do it privately. I’ll be glad to forward e-mails.

  14. David said

    Dr. Bauer,

    Thanks for your response. I agree that there is strong evidence implicating poppers. But I just think its important that the dissident community not make blanket statements that only alienate potential allies like my friend. I don’t know how to explain my friend’s KS, other than his extreme unprotected promiscuity. He is of WASP extraction, which does not have a genetic predisposition to KS (arent Mediteranean’s at slightly higher risk?). Perhaps he was exposed to the semen of men who did poppers, and/or were not healthy, thus making him even more vulnerable. I know he was severely depressed in the months leading up to his first symptoms, so I think that hurt his immune system as well.

    Also, gay men are still doing poppers, though not as much as before. Still, I am surprised that more do not come down with KS. That has puzzled me. Many of the HIV poz men continue to do lots of poppers and never seem to develop KS. If poppers are a major cause, why aren’t more gay men coming down with KS? Or maybe the KS specific treatments are simply better at hiding the lesions or nipping them in the bud. KS remains a mystery to me.

    • Henry Bauer said

      David: Some things are almost bound to reamin mysteries because we can’t go back and do all the needed tests. BTW, it may not have been necessary to use poppers in those days, just to spend time in clubs where the air was full of the odors. And perhaps an incipient weakening of blood vessels could, years later, succumb to some other additional influence.

      • Cathy said

        That is actually a good point Dr Bauer; just a couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with my (gay) neighbour – he is also from the UK and even went to the same gay nightclub in Coventry despite him being from Liverpool. We were reminiscing about the ever-present amyl nitrite fumes!
        On the KS front though – I strongly suspect it was most probably synergy between poppers and something else – possibly rapamycin, aka sirolimus (because it was initially used in the treatment and prophylaxis of CHLAMYDIA – oh, you know, the one they used to think was VIRAL) as it would certainly fit the timeframe. Since its immunosuppressive effects (and the full data sheet USED to read like a shopping list for AIDS but has strangely and recently been rewritten) became known (hence the name and indication change) it was no longer used as a “general” antibiotic.
        I just realised I used to work with a doc that wrote a veritable treatise in the mid eighties on Chlamydia – I might just track him down.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Cathy: I think there’s still the question of wheter all “KS” cases are actually the same condition, and in any case whether immunedeficiency is a necessary precondition, or a complementary cause, or an irrelevancy.

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, Yes, I think you’re on to something with KS. KS may be caused alone by amyl or butyl nitrite inhalants but the condition may be exacerbated by not only prescription drugs including antibiotics and interactions of the plethora of recreational drugs (their bodies were chemical dumps) taken by a relatively small segment of the gay community. Because of the complexity of their unhealthy lifestyle which also included poor nutrition and poor sleeping patterns — they were nocturnal party animals, it’s difficult to tell specifically what made them sick.

      • Philip said

        Good point Henry. I remember the XMRV people wondering if CFS in Europe is the same as CFS in the USA, in an attempt to explain why XMRV is nowhere to be found among CFS patients in the UK. The problem with cartesian worldview is that it assumes there must be a single cause for a single phenomenon.

      • Cathy said

        Actually – there’s a challenge for our “friend” JP Moore – perhaps instead of trying to introduce “HIV infection” via the fiddling with the private parts of hapless macaques, he could subject them to simultaneous ingestion of rapamycin/sirolimus and amyl nitrite – and John, if you get an animal model of AIDS from this I want commission.

      • Philip said

        Kaposi’s sarcoma is linked to a herpesvirus. Before that, it was seen to be a result of HIV for whatever reason. Either way, it was seen to be the result of infection via fluids. Thus, I’m guessing that, poppers or not, people are more careful about having unprotected sex with people with visible KS, hence the lower transmission rate and thus, lower incidence?

        This does not mean that AIDS is necessarily sexually transmitted though. Poppers still ruin the immune system. The scenario I imagine is this: Poppers ruin immune system. Will you get KS? Only if exposed to the aforementioned herpesvirus. Conversely, if you are exposed to the herpesvirus, do you automatically get KS? Only if you are immunocompromised.

        Hence, you get this picture: people doing poppers, getting immunocompromised, getting KS, and apparent sexual transmission. Sounds like early 80s AIDS eh?

        Unfortunately some bits of protein (or a passenger virus, if you ask Duesberg) get blamed for something behavioral in origin.

    • Sabine Kalitzkus said

      David, you said:

      “But I just think its important that the dissident community not make blanket statements that only alienate potential allies like my friend.”

      I agree with you. To this end we should explain things appropriately and correctly. In your first comment you said:

      “My friend was a dissident, but did not buy the Perth Group’s theory about causation. He thought that drugs were the only cause, and after years of receptive anal and unprotected intercourse promiscuity, he developed KS.”

      Please kindly note that the drug theory is a subset of the Perth Group’s oxidative stress theory as they have repeatedly stated – like recently in a letter which I published in English and German. Drugs cause oxidation. Thus, your friend did partially buy the PG’s theory about causation.

      Another part of their oxidative stress theory is semen, which is oxidative and immunosuppressive in itself. The Perth Group did not say that semen was oxidative only if the donors were doing poppers or other drugs or weren’t healthy. But of course with semen it is like with everything else: the dose makes the poison. Just try to imagine how much semen your friend’s body was receiving during “years of receptive anal and unprotected intercourse”. Contrary to vaginal intercourse, semen donated anally connot easily leave the body because of the sphincter muscle. And because of the very thin and permeable layer of cells which seperates the rectum from the blood stream semen could easily enter where it shouldn’t go.

      Unprotected promiscuity is a problem when it comes to STDs. But regarding the oxidative and immunosuppressive properties of semen it is irrelevant whether semen is being donated by one or by one hundred men.

      In your first comment you also said:

      “Eight years later, he is symptom free and on the meds, though he retains at least some suspicion about the HIV paradigm, though he remains closed to the Perth Group’s theory of Oxidative stress. The chemotherapy, not the AIDS meds, and his lifestyle changes, saved his life IMO.”

      It seems as if you also remain “closed to the Perth Group’s theory of Oxidative stress”, because chemotherapy is extremely oxidizing. As are the “AIDS meds”.

      Above you said:

      “Also, gay men are still doing poppers, though not as much as before. Still, I am surprised that more do not come down with KS.”

      You’ve given the answer yourself: “though not as much as before”. Oxidizing the body into a state of illness is a cumulative process which takes years to become dangerous. Every oxidizing agent you add to the fatal mix makes matters worse.

      • David said

        Interesting comments, though I don’t see how 100 donations of semen is no worse than just one. Also, why do you think I doubt the PG Theory? I never said Chemotherapy was great long term. The chemo I wrote about was specific for his KS. I understand the AIDS cocktail is chemo too, but I was simply using the popular terminology for each. He only took the KS chemo for a brief period, till the KS cleared. Seems like it was good for him. Dont know why he tolerated the AIDS meds chemo so well.

        at 12:42am | In reply to Sabine Kalitzkus.

        One more thing. The popper-vapors-in-the-clubs theory sounds plausible to me too, though my friend did not practice his promiscuity solely in sex clubs or bathhouses.

        Also, the Perth Group does reference the possibility that semen is more oxidizing if it comes from older men, or men who are under oxidative stress. I don’t remember the exact reference, but I know it’s there. Thus, while semen from any man may not be safe for anal exposure, semen from oxidized men is even more dangerous.

      • Sabine Kalitzkus said


        Thank you for your important comment.

        I couldn’t find any studies on older men, but one study on older mice is mentioned in Reappraisal of Aids: Is the Oxidation Induced by the Risk Factors the Primary Cause? by Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, published in Medical Hypotheses No. 25, 151-162, © 1988. In this paper she says:

        Of pivotal significance to the present discussion is the finding of Hurtenback that mature sperm is much more effective in producing immunosuppression than immature sperm (43). Since the significant difference between sperm derived from the semineferous tubules and mature ejaculated sperm is its degree of oxidation, it is highly probable that this property determines its immunosuppressive effects. This is reinforced by the finding that sperm from older animals, whose tissues are known to be more oxidized, is more effective in inducing immunosuppression (43).

        43. Hurtenbach U, Shearer G M. Germ cell-induced immune suppression in mice. Effect of inoculation of syngeneic spermatozoa on cell-mediated immune responses. J. Exp. Med. 155: 1719, 1982.

        Even more important in respect of your friend is the paper Kaposi’s Sarcoma and HIV by E. Papadopulos-Eleopulos, V. F. Turner, J. M. Papadimitriou, published in Medical Hypotheses (1992) 39, 22-29.

        This study clarifies that poppers or other nitrites are not necessary to develop KS; semen alone suffices:

        Abstract – Recently published informed debate affords strong indication that in patients with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, HIV cannot, directly or indirectly, be the cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma. This paper provides reasons for disallowing a current alternative theory that Kaposi’s sarcoma is due to an unidentified sexually transmitted infectious agent and proposes instead that Kaposi’s sarcoma is the result of prolonged and repeated exposure to nitrites and/or semen. If this alternative hypothesis is strengthened by confirmation of its predictions then the relationship of HIV to Kaposi’s sarcoma, one of the principal AIDS-associated diseases, becomes somewhat remote. This may facilitate a shift of emphasis and encourage the development of alternative therapies. (…)

        Sexual practices.

        A second factor directly relating to the development of KS is sexual intercourse. While this may suggest that the disease at least in homosexuals is caused by a sexually transmitted agent there are data available from numerous large,well designed studies that strongly support the hypothesis that semen itself has a direct causal role. All these studies have shown that in homosexuals, the only sexual acts directly related to both the developement of AIDS and Kaposi’s sarcoma is passive anal intercourse (30,39,40). (…)

        In the passive partner KS could be caused by a non-infectious agent found in semen acting either alone or synergistically with nitrites. That this is the case is strongly supported by the following data:-

        1. Apart from nitrite abuse the second factor which changed in the lifestyle of homosexuals in the mid 1970’s was the high promiscuity rate (35). There are also many examples from clinical practice of homosexual men who admit to approximately one thousand partners per year. At 2-3 ml per ejaculate this provides evidence that deposition of unusually large amounts of semen into the rectum of an individual can occur, and that as a consequence, semen may interact with and be absorbed by the intact or traumatised bowel.

        2. Unlike all the other sexually transmitted diseases, where the possibility of infection is directly related to the number of sexual partners, in homosexuals the number of sexual partners is only a risk in relation to the number of episodes of passive anal intercourse (40).

        3. Homosexuals have a relatively high incidence of gastrointestinal cancers other then KS and several researchers have implicated semen in the developement of these neoplasms (41,42).


        7. Extracts of pooled human semen are potent promoters of skin tumour production in the skin of mice previously treated with topical carcinogen (47).

        8. Injection of sperm suspensions directly into the anterior prostate of experimental rats can produce carcinoma of the prostate with metastases (48).

        9. Intratesticular injection of autologous spermatozoa in the rat can produce malignant testicular neoplasms (49).

        10. Seminal plasma is especially rich in polyamines, a group of positively charged substances which have a significant role in cellular proliferation (50,51). Moreover in human semen the polyamine spermine is present in higher concentrations than in any other tissue or body fluid and it, like other seminal polyamines, is oxidized by enzymes derived from seminal vesicle secretion. The presence of polyamines in higher than normal concentration in malignant tissue has prompted their assay as a diagnostic aid in cancer patients and serial measurement has been suggested as a treatment marker during chemotherapy. (Interestingly it appears that polyamines are essential for optimal growth of most microorganisms and inhibitors of their biosynthesis have been successfully employed for the treatment of protozoal diseases including Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (52)). (Emphases added.)

        Please note that in my comment I did not imply that “100 donations of semen is no worse than just one”. I said that it is irrelevant of how many men are donating. One liter of semen is one liter of semen, it’s no matter whether this liter has been donated by one man or by 100 men. I certainly concede that it is practically difficult to receive 1000 shots a year by only one man, though theoretically it is possible. Of course I agree with you in that semen is even more unhealthy when it comes from an oxidized donor. This is just logical.

        I did not know that your friend took the chemo for a short period only, because in your first comment you said “Eight years later, he is symptom free and on the meds …”

  15. Theodore M. Van Oosbree said

    There is another disease which has increased to epidemic proportions since the 1980s that is also associated with oxidative stress: autism. The most effective therapies (according to physicians who specialize in treating autistics) are toxic-metal detoxification, anti-oxidants and dietary modification. Toxic metals are strong promoters of oxidative reactions. They can also injure the GI tract and make it permeable to harmful substances (mercury is a particular offender). Although this disease now affects about one in every 100 children born in 2004, the medical establishment has been relatively apathetic about finding causes or effective treatments for the disease. They spend most of their time and research budgets either looking for genes associated with autism (as though an epidemic could be caused by genes alone!) or rationalizing away the increase in the numbers of those affected.

  16. David said


    I didn’t see a way to reply directly to your last post. Thanks so much for the great references! As a gay man, this issue of how unhealthy semen exposure really is is very important. I wish we knew. If the oxidative stress comes mainly from regular exposure to large quantities of sperm, then the implication is that gay men must moderate exposure. If, on the other hand, a single anal exposure to semen from a relatively healthy man is dangerous, then it’s really very depressing to say the least, as most gay men love to be intimate with at least one other man, in that way, at some point in their life. Would regular consumption of therapeutic dosages of antioxidants stave off oxidative stress among men who were exposed to regular, but small amounts of semen, from one or more partners? Perhaps research into this would clarify these questions. Of course, this discussion is very un-PC in the gay community, but personally, I’d rather know the facts, and know how to protect myself as a red-blooded gay man than not know and risk experiencing immune suppression from oxidative stress.

    • Henry Bauer said

      David, Sabine: Since AIDS is recent, and homosexuality is not, it seems unlikely that non-excessive anal intercourse could be a significant danger to health, doesn’t it?

      • Sabine Kalitzkus said

        David and Henry,

        I think you would agree that one cup of coffee a day is nice. Two cups of coffee are even better. But you would certainly also agree that 20 cups of coffee a day were too much –– even if you were completely healthy. And I think you would even agree that it doesn’t change the impact of caffeine on your body whether you use only one brand or three or four different brands to make your 20 cups. Probably you wouldn’t even drink one cup of coffee if you suffered from a flu and had a temperature, because you know coffee would make you feel even more hot. Most of us know how coffee works, therefore we are able to handle this fluid in a responsible and non-damaging manner.

        The same holds true for semen. Knowledge of the oxidizing and immunosuppressive properties of semen enables us to handle this fluid as responsibly as we handle coffee. The problems which occur when we allow semen to enter our rectum do not only affect gay men –– women who practise anal intercourse are facing exactly the same problems. They also face several other problems should they expose themselves to more semen than their bodies could cope with. In the PG’s papers I quoted from in my previous comment, women are mentioned several times.

        Though I wouldn’t regard homosexuality and anal intercourse as synonyms, I’m aware that these facts have an enormous impact on gay life. However, ignoring the oxidizing and immunosuppressive properties of semen doesn’t change these properties.

        Homosexuality is as old as mankind, but the problems occured with the so-called sexual revolution and with the gay liberation movement. Prior to the sixties and seventies homosexuality was widely and openly despised and/or illegal. The majority of gay men were married. Finding and meeting partners was much more difficult than today –– thus only little exposure to semen.

        After all the vast majority of gay men has been and is healthy. A healthy lifestyle is the best antioxidant.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Sabine: I agree completely. The excesses that a small group of people fell into after gay liberation are described, for example, in Larry Kramer’s novel, “Faggots” (and Kramer excoriated his fellow gay men by asking, “Where’s the LOVE?” by contrast to the sex), and in “Between Ocean and Sky”, a documentary film shown periodically on the LOGO channel and probably available on DVD.

  17. Nick Naylor said

    “The only suggested involvement of HIV in the network of reactions is via a postulated stimulation of IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) by tat and nef proteins and an increased level of interferon γ ascribed to viral infection and immune activation.”

    So let’s tell it straight Henry.

    These two proteins are CELLULAR as has been documented in paper after paper on so-called HIV accessory proteins by official researchers who get JP Moore approved “peer review”.

    Thank you for putting this article up for comment.


  18. Nick Naylor said

    “The retrovirus mutates at unprecedented speed, so that infected individuals harbor not a single variant but a swarm of variants; and all variants and strains appear to be pathogenic to similar extents.”

    However, consider the essay at where a distinction is made: “HIV/AIDS no longer leads inevitably to death” because some strains are “amenable to treatment”.(pg732)

    In the footnotes of this “NOTE” are the peer-reviwed articles that support “it is no longer clear that HIV infections are inevitably fatal.”(pg 732)

    Thus, orthodoxy itself as represented by Elselvier’s Toxicology and cutting edge legal analysis provides ammunition to debunk the mathematical guessing of “lost lives” contained in Chigwedere et al.

    It now means that anyone is a liar who continues to proclaim as certainty that 300,000 lives were lost by a presumed faulure to provide toxic ARVs – equivalent to a “Holocaust” – in South Africa.

    We are now free to consider the obvious – peer review supports the notion of potent ALTMED COMBOS* that erase “viral load”.

    Thanks for a wonderful site,

    *essentially using protocols that have been developed for preventing oxidative-stress induced heart disease (includes essential fatty acids, NAC, selenium, CoQ10 or reduced Co Q10).

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