HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Doctors, nurses, dentists: Why no risk from HIV?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/02/17

The assertion that AIDS is caused by an infectious agent brought widespread panic, as anyone with memories of the 1980s can testify. As soon as HIV tests became available, everyone entering a hospital was asked to give “informed consent” to be tested. Teenagers were advised to get their prospective partners tested before having sex. Dentists started to wear masks and to put on new gloves in demonstrative fashion with each new patient. Police had themselves tested if any body fluids from another person came into contact with them, and some people were arrested and charged with attempting to infect others through spitting on them.

Eventually it was recognized that toilet seats were not a transmission route for HIV, and that the risk of contracting HIV via saliva — kissing, oral sex — was negligible. Those facts were not broadcast as continuously and intensively as the initial panicky warnings, though, so even now there are people who believe that “HIV” is readily acquired by almost any contact with almost anything from an “HIV-positive” individual.

Naturally, then, doctors and nurses were regarded as being at high risk from accidental contact with contaminated blood or other fluids, and there were occasional reports of apparent infection of healthcare workers, for example through accidental needle-stick. However, over the years and decades it became clear that doctors, nurses, medical orderlies, etc., are NOT at any perceivable risk of acquiring “HIV” — see sources cited at pp. 47-8 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. What remains are “urban legends” that will not die, like “the Florida dentist” who supposedly infected 5 of his patients, notably Kimberley Bergalis who subsequently died. In point of fact, that particular story has been thoroughly debunked by, for example, Root-Bernstein (pp. 46-7, 314-5 in Rethinking AIDS, 1993) and Stephen Barr (“Perspective: The 1990 Florida dental investigation: is the case really closed?”, Annals of Internal Medicine 124 [1996] 250-4). Bergalis died in a few short years of treatment with high-dosage AZT.

I was just alerted to an article I had not known about before, recalling in 2004 that dentists, too, have been found to be at no occupational risk of catching “HIV” or “AIDS” — E. J. Neiburger (Director, Center for Dental AIDS Research), “Dentists do not get occupational AIDS: An open letter to the profession — an evidence-based study on the AIDS epidemic in dentistry”, Journal of the American Association of Forensic Dentists, 26, #1-3, 2004:
“There are [not] (and never have been) any documented cases of dental workers getting occupational HIV/AIDS. (1, 2).”
(1) CDC. Health care workers with documented and possible occupationally acquired AIDS/HIV infection, by occupation, reported through June 2000, United States. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2001;12(1):24.
(2) Department of Labor-OSHA. Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens: final rule. Federal Register 1991;57 (235):64005-64157.

Incidentally Neiburger cites examples of how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exaggerates HIV/AIDS numbers, and he discusses CDC’s badly flawed actions concerning “the Florida dentist”. He points out that CDC likes to focus on the 25-44 age group because that’s where HIV/AIDS numbers and percentages are highest — remember that EVERYTHING about “HIV” and “AIDS” is at a maximum in that age range: age of first “HIV infection”, of first “HIV” test, of first “AIDS” diagnosis, and of deaths from “AIDS” or “HIV disease”. There’s no sign of the alleged latent period of a decade between “infection” and illness; and unlike any other disease, let alone an infectious one, let alone a sexually transmitted one, HIV/AIDS affects maximally adults in the prime years of life — “Incongruous age distributions of HIV infections and deaths from HIV disease: Where is the latent period between HIV infection and AIDS?”, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 13 [2008] 77-81; “No HIV ‘latent period’: dotting i’s and crossing t’s”, 21 September 2008; “HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?”, 17 September 2008; “How ‘AIDS deaths’ and ‘HIV infections’ vary with age — and WHY”, 15 September 2008.  Older people are less able to withstand any sort of stress, so death rates increase with age — except with “HIV/AIDS” (Table 1, “Age shall not wither them — because HIV really doesn’t kill”, 4 February 2009). Sexually transmitted infections are most common in teenagers and young adults.
The Neiburger article also cites interesting studies of how commonly people lie when asked about high-risk behavior. It mentions false-positive “HIV” tests but cites only a tiny portion of the supporting material. There are a few careless errors, like 1944 for a 1994 reference or Secretary Shalala instead of Secretary Heckler. But the meat of the piece, fully source-documented, is a deconstruction of the 7 cases mentioned by CDC as “’possible’ occupational HIV/AIDS transmission”. Overall, it’s evident that the designation “possible” should really have been “could not be ruled out”, because there were no positive data supporting transmission, just the observation that the dentists were “HIV-positive” in absence of definitively known personal risk factors.
In sum: There is not a single demonstrated case of a dental worker infected occupationally with “HIV”.

That does not prevent “researchers” from asserting, though, that “HIV transmission in the dental care setting continues to be of concern”. In an article published 2 years after Neiburger’s, Scully & Greenspan (Journal of Dental Research, 85 [2006] 794) make that assertion and cite Neiburger only for his mention of two “possible” cases, without telling readers of his deconstruction of those two cases. Further, Scully & Greenspan discuss “the Florida dentist” without even mentioning Barr or Root-Bernstein and their deconstructions, and Scully & Greenspan refer to “genetic similarity” as supporting evidence of transmission even though Barr had discovered, based on publications in Nature, “potentially serious flaws in the phylogenetic analyses used by the CDC to conclude that the dentist and his patients had the same strain of HIV”.
Here we have yet another example of a “peer-reviewed” publication that fails to mention centrally important prior publications. It is not overly cynical, I suggest, not in any way unfaithful to the facts, to recognize that any manuscript about HIV/AIDS whose conclusions fit the mainstream view of an ever-present danger will receive merely cursory “peer review” and approval, while manuscripts questioning the mainstream view are rejected irrespective of their substantive claims. Thus Duesberg has tried to point out that the Statistician General of South Africa has discussed in detail why the official count of about ~15,000 AIDS deaths per year is likely to be accurate within some tens of percent and why the estimates made by the Medical Research Council and UNAIDS of >300,000 is unacceptable; yet JAIDS, which published a political diatribe accusing President Mbeki , and by implication Duesberg, of guilt for some of those “300,000” deaths, refused to publish Duesberg’s correction, and in rejecting it did not even mention the official count of ~15,000 or the Statistician General’s published support for it, let alone argue why they should be ignored.

Bad as all that is, it’s still a subsidiary point compared to the mountain of evidence that “HIV” is not a transmissible infectious agent, illustrated for example by the fact that healthcare workers are at no occupational risk of acquiring “HIV”.
(Of course, the condition of “HIV-positive” may occasionally be contagious, in those circumstances where “HIV-positive” stems from a false-positive “HIV” test occasioned by such infectious agents as Epstein-Barr virus, flu, hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, or others that have been reported to cross-react on “HIV” tests.)

16 Responses to “Doctors, nurses, dentists: Why no risk from HIV?”

  1. Nokwindla said

    This must be the most absurd article I have ever read:

    • Henry Bauer said

      Nokwindla: It certainly seems absurd from this description, but we need to look at the actual data if they are ever published

  2. Francis said

    Henry, such is the state of unbiased medical research in the orthodox realm.

    The fact that you edit Aids and Behaviour is a great example of the failings of peer review. You could hardly call yourself objective on this subject.

    February 13, 2010 1:51 AM
    Seth Kalichman said…
    Geez Anonymous, you obviously understand publishing in science and medicine. And such an expert in peer review.

    Does an editor have to be ‘objective’ on a subject to accept papers in a journal? Or does an editor have to seek objective outside reviews and take them as advisement in making a fair and balanced decision? And what factors are weighed in that decision? Do you have a clue? Like rejection rates, impact, space, lag time, coverage? Why not reveal yourself so we can take a look in PubMed at your own publication record? While there, we could take a look at Rasnick, De Harven, Maniotis, and Bauer (who has none).

    Peter Duesberg and Rasnick think that what gets published in science and medicine should be determined by a public panel with no knowledge of the subject at all. The approximation of this model was Medical Hypotheses.

    I am accountable for what is published in AIDS and Behavior. So why not identify the flaws in the Chigwedere and Essex paper? Or Nicoli Nattrass’ AIDS Denialism paper ‘Still Crazy After all These Years’. Refute the facts they state and who knows, maybe the papers can be retracted. It has never happened at AIDS and Behavior. In fact, in my 20 year career of publishing in science an medicine I have never seen a paper retracted until Duesberg and Wakefield. It requires serious fraud for that to happen.

    Go ahead, call for the retraction of Chigwedere and Essex from AIDS and Behavior. Try to get me canned as Editor. Go ahead, make my day.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Francis: Can you explain your comment? Did you send Kalichman the second sentence and then receive his reply of February 13? I didn’t see them on his blog just now.

  3. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Excellent posting. It is quite frustrating to HIV rethinkers/skeptics like ourselves when the actual data which is usually very obtainable is ignored because it doesn’t support the paradigm. All of the celebrity AIDS deaths were from diseases unrelated to an allegedly contagious retrovirus. I’m curious, I just read that Matt Damon and Michael Douglas will be in a movie about Liberace who allegedly died from “complications of AIDS”. Do you know what diseases Liberace actually died of?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Martin: Sorry, I don’t know what befell LIberace. One would like to know also whether he was on medication.

    • cathy said

      According to this website he died on Feb 4th 1987 “His original cause of death was listed as “cardiac arrest due to cardiac failure, due to subacute encephalopathy, a contributing condition was aplastic anemia” – this information was apparently gleaned from another website called “celebritycollectibles” where for a fee you can view the autopsy document (macabre if you ask me).
      Aplastic anaemia is a well-recognised adverse effect of AZT even at lower dosages so you can bet your boots that the erstwhile entertainer did find a supply of the above for the so-called “AIDS” he was “suffering” at the time.

  4. Quyen said

    “Liberace’s final stage performance was at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on November 2, 1986. His final television appearance was on Christmas Day that same year on the The Oprah Winfrey Show TV talk show. He died at the age of 67 on February 4, 1987 at his winter home in Palm Springs, California due to complications from AIDS. His obvious weight loss in the months prior to his death was attributed to a “watermelon diet” by his longtime and steadfast manager Seymour Heller. He had been in ill health since 1985 with other health problems including emphysema from his daily smoking off-stage, as well as heart and liver troubles. How and when he became HIV-positive was not made public. He is entombed in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.”

    This is from wikipedia. As you can see he has a lot of health problems before his death, so dying of AIDS is a very rash conclusion.

  5. Francis said

    Hi Henry

    The comments are found at Kalichman’s Blogosphere under the heading of “Aids Denialists meet the press” (5 comments).

    I posted the question about objectivity, he responded with the rant about not having to be. My point is that if the editor of a mainstream journal (AIDS and Behaviour) openly states that he will publish anything he wants and has an obvious bias, then what is the chance for anything to be published that contradicts his pet dogma?

    And is this simply an example, albeit extreme, of the state of medical journals.

    I sometimes drop in on his site as I find the material posted by a professor of psychology to be at total odds with his qualifications, so I presume he is either openly guarding his and friends’ incomes or is plainly quite deranged.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Francis: Thanks. The date of February 13 had thrown me off, I see now it’s the date of the comment, not of the original story.

      Below is what I posted as a response to Geoff Watts, “Emasculating hypothetical oddities?” BMJ 2010; 340: c726, in which Watts deplores Elsevier’s meddling with the editorial process at Medical Hypotheses. It describes how editors are in fact able to do what they please — which is not to say that they should be blatantly and unashamedly biased like Kalichman. I think it’s analogous to the academic freedom that teachers are supposed to have: it presupposes that they will do their best to be unprejudiced and present fairly all sides of any controversial issue.

      [Read Rapid Response]
      Editorial judgments
      Henry H. Bauer (8 February 2010)
      Virginia Tech 24061 USA

      Editors use their judgment, whether a journal is peer-reviewed or not. Everyone who has published in scientific journals ought to know that acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is decided in practice by the editorial choice of “peer” reviewers. Any experienced editor can deliberately choose reviewers who will OK a MS, and others who will turn thumbs down. Moreover, editors can decide whether or not to accept the advice given by the reviewers, they are not obliged to accept it. They can always ask for further reviews, too. One indication of the ever-present danger of bias and lack of objectivity in peer review is the attempt by some journals to use “blind” reviewing, taking authors’ names off MSs before review, a usually quite ineffective device given that reviewers are familiar with the work of other researchers and given the inferences that can be drawn from the references cited in the MS. Some journals allow authors to suggest potential reviewers, and some even allow them to give names of individuals who should NOT be reviewers; and editors, of course and inevitably, decide whether or not to heed such suggestions. The greatest deficiency in peer reviewing is the typical practice that reviewers’ names are not revealed to the MS authors. By being anonymous, reviewers may be less careful than otherwise in how they judge and especially the terms in which they express their judgments. (Imagine how dysfunctional the legal system would be if witnesses could testify anonymously.) At any rate, Bruce Charlton is not the only editor whose decisions determine acceptance or rejection: that’s so with ALL editors, albeit not always as openly and directly.

      Competing interests: Co-author of the Duesberg article in Medical Hypotheses

  6. mo79uk said

    News yesterday:

    “At the CROI discussion session on Wednesday, moderator Peter Reiss from the University of Amsterdam began by noting that vitamin D deficiency can
    result in bone density loss, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and insulin resistance, kidney disease, and other metabolic conditions commonly seen in patients with HIV.”

    All these diseases can be found in people who are vitamin D deficient *alone.*
    But do people who are osteoporotic or diabetic get tested for HIV? If they do, they’d likely be told their condition makes them false positive.

    “In this cohort, 71.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 68.1 to 74.9) were deemed vitamin D insufficient, defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <30 ng/ml. In multivariable analysis, sex, age and bone mineral density (BMD) had no association with vitamin D levels. The following factors were independently associated with higher risk of insufficiency:
    black race (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.59 to 7.85),

    Hispanic ethnicity (aOR = 2.78, 95% CI 1.31 to 5.90),

    lower exposure to ultraviolet light, as estimated from National Weather Service data for the month of sampling (aOR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.40)"

    Perhaps this alone could explain why blacks and Hispanics test more positive. However, this would mean Asians (Eastern and Southern) should test positive more often too. Interestingly, poor Indians are likely to test positive (the Indian epidemic), so vitamin D deficiency coupled with actual poor health/access to healthcare could be attributed to testing HIV+.

    Another reason why HIV+ status becomes a likelihood in older age is lower skin cholesterol, meaning less converted into D.

    “Factors that decreased vitamin D levels were:
    injection drug use (-11.2, 95% CI -21.0 to -1.5, p=.02)”

    Cocaine use lowers cholesterol through carcinogenic liver effects.

  7. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Thanks for the other helpful postings of Cathy and Quyen. It makes sense given the Zeitgeist when AZT was given “full strength” to the hapless victims of medical quackery.

    Today I was at a Barnes and Noble books store and picked up a copy of Mental Floss. They had a feature article on Crazy Smart – where they profiled eccentric geniuses. Dr. Kary Mullis was one of them. Not content to focus on Dr. Mullis’ drug use and invention of PCR, they mentioned his AIDS criticism. They started out mentioning that he had nothing to do with AIDS – but that was inaccurate – he was working as a consultant for Specialty Labs setting up analytic routines for HIV. While he wasn’t a virologist, he had a sharp open mind asking innocent questions like what was the reference that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS. He never got a satisfactory answer from anyone including Dr. Luc Montaignier. I sent an email to the magazine commenting on this.

  8. beginner said

    I got this other one:
    the title is:
    Milk Mysteries: Why Are Women Who Exclusively Breast‐Feed Less Likely to Transmit HIV during Breast‐Feeding?

    a more detailed discussion is here:



    • Henry Bauer said

      beginner: That breast-feeding doesn’t transmit “HIV” has been shown by quite a few studies, but the mainstream refuses to draw the obvious conlclusion. See also my post, “Spontaneous generation of ‘HIV’”, 25 October 2009

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, For the mainstream to acknowledge that a positive result on an ELISA or Western Blot means exactly what the instructions on the test kit say — that a positive test does not necessarily indicate the patient is infected at all — would be heresy, like acknowledging to the public that ingestion of Nucleoside Analogues and Protease Inhibitors will kill the patients of the diseases caused by those drugs, curtailing their lives instead of extending them.

      • Beginner said

        Dr. Bauer,
        I can wonder how many children haven’t been breast fed because of the hiv-transmission-through-milk legend. And I can extrapolate some results on my own by thinking: hence the hiv-transmission rates are not significant when the mother completely breast feed their children, and it’s significant when they make a mix of breast-feed with something else… what about the children who’ve never been breast fed? More transmission?
        It seems that all the guys who are questioning the “standard point of view about hiv and aids” have something to teach in this cause. The standard point of view can’t.



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