HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Medical students in Italy need not fear “HIV” when dissecting cadavers

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/03/06

Dissection is a necessary part of medical education, and medical students are as likely as others to suffer fear in consequence of the propaganda that HIV/AIDS is a threat to everyone, especially where contact with blood or bodily fluids or tissues is concerned.

Their fear is unjustified.

The evidence is that anatomical dissection presents no discernible risk of infection with “HIV”: three decades of the AIDS era have produced only a single claimed case of such infection — and a single unreproduced report of anything is most likely an artefact.

This record illustrates why the Italian Ministry of Health does not consider HIV or AIDS to be significant public-health threats. Moreover the Ministry acknowledges cases of AIDS in absence of “HIV”, and of “HIV-positive” that have not led to AIDS.

All this throws considerable doubt on the hypothesis that “HIV” causes AIDS, to say the least. The full story is published in the peer-reviewed Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, a long-established mainstream journal (which is of course abstracted by the National Library of Medicine). Here’s the abstract posted at PubMed:

“Ital J Anat Embryol. 2009 Apr-Sep;114(2-3):97-108.
On the risk of contracting AIDS at the dissection table.

Ruggiero M, Galletti MP, Pacini S, Punzi T, Morucci G, Gulisano M.

Department of Experimental Pathology and Oncology, University of Firenze, Italy. marco.ruggiero@unifi.it

Didactic dissection of the human body is still considered the best tool to teach and learn anatomy. Although the risk of being infected with pathogens during dissection has dramatically decreased, fear of infection is still widespread among medical students and health care professionals. The fear of contracting AIDS at the dissection table is of particular relevance because of the emotional implications accompanying the syndrome. In this study we analyze the actual risks of contracting AIDS during dissection in Italy by evaluating health policies and proportions of the epidemic. According to the Italian Ministry of Health, HIV infection and AIDS are not to be considered relevant threats to public health from the epidemiological point of view, and it is estimated that 99.7% of health care workers, who are exposed to HIV, will not be infected. In fact, there is only one well-documented case of an autopsy acquired HIV infection that happened in 1992 the United States. Furthermore, HIV infection is not necessarily associated with AIDS, and most HIV-positive subjects do not develop AIDS, provided that they do not assume toxic drugs or engage in risky behaviours. Conversely, according to the Ministry, AIDS can occur in the absence of signs of HIV infection. Taken together these considerations should help rationalizing the fear of contracting AIDS at the dissection table. The dissection hall can still be a dangerous place and the adoption of safe working practices and awareness of potential risks are mandatory; HIV serophobia, however, is unjustified.

PMID: 20198822 [PubMed – in process]”

Observers of the controversy over HIV/AIDS may be aware that the points made in this peer-reviewed article abstracted by PubMed were earlier made in an article that had been accepted by Medical Hypotheses and posted online, but which was later hastily withdrawn by a vice-president of the commercial publisher, Elsevier, after he received an e-mail asserting that the publication of articles questioning HIV/AIDS orthodoxy constituted “a potential threat to global public health”. (! The pen is, apparently, really mightier than the sword!)
The cabal of fanatical defenders of the mainstream orthodoxy who sent that protest also threatened to have libraries, including the National Library of Medicine, drop subscriptions to and abstracting of Medical Hypotheses.
In the event, the National Library of Medicine ignored the cabal’s demand to stop taking notice of Medical Hypotheses. Elsevier’s attempt to save face after its vice-president’s hasty, ill-advised action culminated in an in-house recommendation that the journal, which had been founded to publish controversial matters that would otherwise be censored by mainstream “peer review”, should become just another peer-reviewed house organ. That suggestion has been roundly criticized by, among others, an editorial in the British Medical Journal (Geoff Watts, “Emasculating hypothetical oddities?”, BMJ 2010;340:c726) and by numerous correspondents to the blog at Medical Hypotheses itself — see “Authors’ letters of support for Medical Hypotheses”, 19 February 2010: “I have received more than one hundred and fifty individual letters of support for Medical Hypotheses in its current form, mostly from scholars who have published in the journal in the past”.

It’s becoming abundantly clear that, when a wider audience learns of the antics of HIV/AIDS vigilantes who want to silence all questioning voices, the vigilantes find themselves to be an isolated little sect whose unscientific approach is deplored by all and sundry.

For a time this handful of dogmatists had things its own way, so long as their behavior did not become widely known, in some part because of their personal connections to a few gatekeepers. But publications like this one in the Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology can’t be censored.

Many centuries ago, the European Renaissance was born in Florence, Italy. The modern renaissance of evidence-based, non-dogmatic medical science may now be incubating there as well, with  deconstruction of the misleading HIV/AIDS hypothesis which represents a true danger to global public health.

8 Responses to “Medical students in Italy need not fear “HIV” when dissecting cadavers”

  1. mo79uk said

    The funny thing is, since orthodox HIV/AIDS reviews and studies vastly outnumber skeptical ones, for people to make a fuss about the needle in the haystack only serves to highlight such articles even more.
    Were I a crafty mainstreamer scientist the most effective thing I could do would be to create a rebuttal review which would ‘quietly’ diffuse the paper. Since most people believe in the orthodoxy this would be enough; much more stealthy than placards outside NLM.

    It’s not really dissimilar to when politicians attack their opponents more than spouting their own policies. And in the end the public sees the desperation and rewards the opponent.

    • Henry Bauer said

      mo79uk: You’re right. However, the mainstreamer scientists aren’t at all crafty when it comes to PR or other things outside their test-tubes. In any case, the real scientists aren’t spending any time harassing AIDS Rethinkers; it’s just a few assorted people who see this as their way to do something important — researchers who haven’t gotten anywhere, would-be scientists who couldn’t make it, and so on.

  2. Philip said

    I recall a story told to me by a pathology consultant at a nearby private hospital. Her resident was conducting an autopsy of a recently deceased AIDS patient when the resident tore into the resident’s finger with the suturing needle. I’m not talking about those little needles but the big round thick ones used to close wounds. We’re talking stitches on resident’s finger here.

    No transmission after repeated testing at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months.

  3. Dear Henry,
    Thank you for the generous review of our paper. I wish to add that the Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology is the official journal of one of the most prestigious and authoritative scientific societies, the Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology, founded in 1929. The journal is peer-reviewed and listed in major indexing systems including http://www.pubmed.org. The journal has no commercial purpose and does not host advertisements. All papers are written in English. In addition, as far as Renaissance is concerned, one of the key features of that period was freedom of thought and teaching, and we are experiencing these freedoms here in Firenze now. As you probably know, I am full professor of molecular biology at the University of Firenze and now I teach a course entitled “The chemical bases of AIDS”. In fact, this is an official course approved at the highest institutional level in one of the most prestigious PhD programmes of our university. You could find the slides of this year’s course in the official web site of the Faculty at
    http://www3.unifi.it/clsbio/CMpro-v-p-256.html
    under “Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche” (i.e. PhD programme in Chemical Sciences)
    Details of the courses (including “Chemical AIDS”) at
    http://www.unifi.it/drschi/corsi_proposti-2010.pdf

    Distinguished scholars (including professors at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and at the Department of Psychology of the University of Connecticut) could apply for admission in next year’s courses in order to learn the Italian way to cope with deconstructive analysis of dogmas.

    • Tony Lance said

      “Distinguished scholars (including professors at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and at the Department of Psychology of the University of Connecticut) could apply for admission in next year’s courses in order to learn the Italian way to cope with deconstructive analysis of dogmas.”

      Thanks for giving me a hearty chuckle this morning Marco!

    • Massimo Cross said

      Dr. Ruggiero, I would be interested to know the basic idea behind your course. Does it teach that AIDS is caused by the chemicals in the HIV drugs?

      Thanks very much for your time.

      • Not exactly: the course describes how different chemical compounds and/or other conditions may cause AIDS independently of HIV infection. ARVs are among the several compounds that may cause AIDS-like symptoms. You could see the slides in my website and in the Faculty’s web pages as described above.

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