HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Testing and race

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/10/25

The good news:
“More than 70% of people getting care at a major Midwest clinical center had never been tested for HIV despite numerous encounters with the healthcare system”

How to make matters worse?
“The low numbers persisted despite 2006 CDC recommendations for universal HIV testing . . . . ‘there are no teeth in the recommendations and, in fact, in some states in the U.S. it’s still illegal to follow them, because you need informed written consent.’”
How long before a reason is found not to require informed consent? In the interests of public health, perhaps?
In the meantime, “a solution might be to make patient knowledge of HIV status a measure of quality of care”.

The orthodoxy has achieved something, though, if not yet universal testing. The incessant propaganda that minorities (blacks and Latinos) are especially at risk seems to be paying off:
“Black and Hispanic men were more likely to have been tested than white men, with odds ratios of 1.34 in 2008 and 1.41 in 2009. . . .
Black and Hispanic women were also more likely to have been tested than white women, with odds ratios of 1.46 in 2008 and 1.56 in 2009.”
So the absolute numbers of blacks and Hispanics testing “HIV-positive” will rise far more than those of white Americans, confirming the propaganda. And so the predictable results will be used for another twirl of the vicious cycle by which blacks and Hispanics will be subjected to toxic “medications” in ever-increasing numbers.
Yet that “HIV” tests are racially biased is known to anyone who has looked at the literature. No matter what the condition may be that produces a positive “HIV”-test-result — pregnancy, TB, whatever — blacks are 5-to-≥20 times more likely to test poz than are whites.
There will come a time when historians of medicine rank this episode with the Tuskegee and Guatemalan syphilis trials.

6 Responses to “Testing and race”

  1. Actually, given that medications for syphilis were toxic, based on heavy metals, one could argue that the Tuskegee experiments, although evil in concept, perhaps didn’t harm the black men as if they had been enrolled in tests of therapy!

    • Henry Bauer said

      David Crowe:
      I enjoy gallows humor, but not everyone does………
      But more seriously: wasn’t the heavy-metal (arsenic? mercury?) treatment topical? I think heavy metals are dangerous only if in a form that can be absorbed, typically as an organo-metal compound, and ingested

      • Guy said

      • Henry Bauer said

        Guy, Gorky:
        Thank you for the corrections to my ignorant comment, and the interesting extra information!

      • Gorky said

        I have often thought the same thing about the Tuskegee experiments! Gallows humour yes, of course with AIDS that would be Gallo’s humour (groooan I know). Actually the treatment protocols at the time of Tuskegee did treat syphilis patients with mercury and arsenic injections.

        Also it is worth pointing out that at least some of the Tuskegee patients did apparently receive treatments in breach of the dubious racist protocols anyhow (even though they were better off without them!). Deborah Hayden’s history of syphilis ‘Pox’, a thorough well-researched history of the disease and its evolution (and featuring some famous case studies) reveals this interesting little-known fact about Tuskegee. Even though Hayden’s work is entirely orthodox she inadvertently raises several red flags about both the treatment and the nature of the disease itself (or is that diseases? Syphilis is a whole other thing and it has its own controversies..). She acknowledges the dubious and dangerous mercury and arsenic treatments for example.

        As far as topical mercury applications are concerned, they are dangerous and recognised as such, especially with long-term and chronic usage. Mercury compounds can indeed be absorbed through the skin. Differing mercury compounds have differing effects, all toxic though.

        Dimethylmercury, one of the deadliest toxic forms of mercury (and one of the deadliest most potent toxins ever synthesized) can cause death even if only minute drops fall on the skin, even latex gloves are no protection. Merbromin aka mercurochrome, a topical antiseptic which contains mercury was banned in the States in the late 90s. It is still as far as I know sold in the Europe and UK (am not sure though and can’t be bothered to check), yet because it does contain mercury, the risks of mercury poisoning saw it get an FDA ban. Of course ARVs are hunky-dory but that’s the FDA for you. Mercury is banned in topical cosmetics in the US because of the perceived risks of mercury poisoning. One of the ‘side-effects’ of long-term use of ammoniated mercury ointment is peripheral polyneuropathy.

        Let’s not forget that much of the early “treatment” for syphilis entailed the use of mercury vapour baths, people breathed in the mercury. Mercuric chloride was also ingested in liquid form and in the latter half of the 19th century mercuric chloride injections were introduced, and mercury pills were around for an age. As far as arsenic goes, remember pregnant women were given arsenic injections because they were believed (based on the dubious Wasserman test) to be suffering from syphilis, their babies were born with severe developmental disorders. This about a century ago. Nowadays AZT is ingested by pregnant women because they are believed to be infected by the demon sex virus HIV. Le plus ce change..

      • Very interesting information on syphilis. Just bought a book on Tuskegee and will be reading it looking for clues that the author, probably clueless about infectious disease controversies, may have left in place.

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