HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for January, 2011

HIV/AIDS and African Americans

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/30

African Americans are particularly damaged by the misguided belief that “HIV” tests reliably detect an AIDS-causing virus. In reality, these tests react “positive” to a wide variety of physiological conditions, including pregnancy; and people of African ancestry are prone to test “positive” far more than others; in the USA, African American males typically test “positive” between 7 or 8 times more often than white males, and maong females the ratio is typically 20 or so.
Testing “positive” is then likely to lead to “treatment” with toxic drugs that afford no benefit.

I hope these facts will be thoroughly aired at the Second Harlem AIDS Forum. The inclusion of Dr. Nancy Banks and of Celia Farber among the speakers gives me confidence that the truth will indeed be on display.

Here is the notice of the event that I just received:

THE HARLEM AIDS FORUM 2
PRESENTED BY THE SCHOLAR’S COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK
REVEREND AL SHARPTON FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

On Saturday, February 12, 2011 beginning at 4 p.m, the National Action Network will have a major forum on HIV/AIDS. A panel of experts will bring the community up to date on the latest information on HIV/AIDS and address many of the questions that people have. Each of the speakers have been researching and speaking about this subject for many years. What are the latest statistics on HIV/AIDS, especially in the Black Community and Africa, and what do those numbers mean? Who should get tested and how reliable are the tests? Which treatments are safest and most effective? What is the latest information on sexual transmission? These and many other questions will be addressed. The audience will also be
able to ask questions of the panel. This will be a dynamic event which you don’t want to miss! Tell family members
and friends that they must attend.
Admission is free!

Deborah A. Levine – Vice President for Community Development. -National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS
Attorney Tracie Gardner – Director of New York State Policy for the Legal Action Center
Dr Nancy Turner Banks – MD Harvard, Author, Lecturer
Celia Farber – Journalist, Author
Dr. Ann Brown – PhD Microbiology, Author, Lecturer
Reverend Dr. Michael Ellner – President of HEAL NYC, Author, Lecturer
Tommy Morrison – Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion and was diagnosed as HIV Positive
Dr. Jack Felder – Bio-Chemist, Author and Lecturer
Tom D. Fernando – Researcher and Lecturer
Dennis Levy – President of the Black and Latino AIDS Coalition
Sister MAAT – Wife of Dr. Sebi, Co-Founder of the Fig Tree, Holistic Practitioner
Princess Little Flower – Holistic Practitioner
Curtis Cost – Author and lecturer

For More Information Contact: Curtis Cost – President of the Scholar’s Committee
(646) 701 – 3230

Location:
The National Action Network
106 W. 145th Street (Between Malcolm X Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)
New York, NY 10039
(212) 690-3070

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | 5 Comments »

HAART causes strokes

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/26

“Over the last decade in the United States, there has been a substantial and significant rise in patients hospitalized for stroke with coexisting HIV infection” — Ovbiagele and Nath, “Increasing incidence of ischemic stroke in patients with HIV infection”, Neurology, 76 (2011) 444-50 (published on-line ahead of print, 19 January 2011).
Among the general population, the rate of strokes declined whereas among “HIV-positives” it increased. (The red dotted lines were inserted by me to emphasize the opposing trends, otherwise as in the original article).
The increase among “HIV-positives” was only in ischemic strokes, those caused by blockages in arteries; there was no change in incidence of hemorrhagic strokes, those caused by bleeding from ruptured blood vessels.
As David Crowe pointed out in a Comment to this post, it is confusing that the vertical axis in both graphs has the same label. For the HIV-negative case, the numbers are about three times as large as for the HIV-positive case because
1. The HIV-negatives include all types of strokes, and their frequency rises sharply with age, being quite rare at ages below the 60s.
2. The HIV-positives include only ischemic strokes,  experienced by people in their 40s who would not normally be at significant risk of stroke. Their strokes are brought on by HAART.

The data are for 1997 to 2006 “from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), . . . which approximates a stratified 20% sample of all non-Federal, short-term, general, and specialty hospitals serving adults in the United States” — thus as comprehensive and representative as one could wish. The changes in incidence were said to be significant at the p <0.0001 level.
Throughout the article there is discussion to-and-fro as to whether the increased incidence of stroke stems from HIV or from antiretroviral therapy. To us, of course, it seems obvious that it’s the antiretroviral drugs:

1.    Among “HIV-positive” patients, HAART increased risk of stroke by a factor of 10.5; “CART should be considered a strong, independent predictor for the development of subclinical atherosclerosis  in  HIV-infected  patients,  regardless  of  known  major  cardiovascular  risk  factors” — Jericó et al., Stroke, 37 (2006) 812-817. This is even cited in Ovbiagele and Nath, who do not suggest that it might be inaccurate.

2.    “The median age for stroke in this population [HIV-positive] was the fifth decade, which is much lower than that of the non-HIV-infected population”.
Ovbiagele and Nath try rather desperately to find reasons other than HAART (which they refer to as “combination antiretroviral therapy”) for the increased incidence of ischemic strokes. For example, they suggest it might be because ARV is keeping people alive longer so that they experience adverse events that are found at advanced ages. But their own statement cited above already disproves that suggestion.
In any case, it is not true that people with AIDS are dying at later ages than before the introduction of HAART. The median age for everything to do with HIV and with AIDS — first positive test, first AIDS diagnosis, death — has increased almost linearly from the early 1980s on, plausibly owing to re-definitions and to the increased testing of increasingly healthy populations, and there is no discontinuity in median age of death following introduction of HAART —  World AIDS Day: Black Stars and “life-saving” HAART, 2010/12/01;  Italy: Demographics of HIV and AIDS, 2010/01/02;  Deaths from “HIV disease”: Why has the median age drifted upwards?, 18 February 2009.

3.    “Factors independently associated with higher odds of comorbid HIV diagnosis were Medicaid insurance, urban hospital type, dementia, liver disease, renal disease, and cancer” [Ovbiagele and Nath, emphasis added].
Liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, and dementia are acknowledged typical “side” effects of antiretroviral drugs, see the NIH Treatment Guidelines. Moreover, those were never “AIDS” diseases in the 1980s. Furthermore, quite a few studies have found specific evidence for the fatal toxicity of HAART, for example:
—    “CART [combination antiretroviral therapy] increases the risk of CCVD [cardio-  and  cerebro-vascular disease] . . . consistent with the hypothesis that atherosclerosis is a side-effect of CART” — D:A:D: Study Group, AIDS 18 [2004] 1811-7.
—    “Toxicities of Antiretroviral Therapy” focuses on lipodystrophy and associated matters but mentions also osteoporosis and liver damage — Mallon, Cooper, & Carr, chapter 33 in Gary P. Wormser, AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, 4th ed., Elsevier 2004).

4.    “HIV-positive” black South Africans never treated with antiretroviral drugs experienced stroke at the same rate as HIV-negative controls — Mochan, Modi, & Modi, Stroke, 34 (2003) 10-15. A similar result was reported by Patel et al., “Ischemic stroke in young HIV-positive patients in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa”, Neurology, 65 (2005) 759-761.

5.    Cerebral vasculopathy among “HIV-positive” people was independent of viral load — Connor et al., Stroke, (2000) 2117-2126.

Ovbiagele and Nath remark that “we were unable to evaluate use or duration of antiretroviral therapy”. Their findings therefore represent a lower bound to the risk of stroke brought about by antiretroviral drugs: If some of the “HIV-positives” who experienced strokes had been on HAART only for a short time, or not at all, then the increased overall incidence will have been owing more to those who had been on the “therapy” for the longest times; in other words, the actual risk of stroke from HAART is likely to be significantly greater than the average disclosed by this survey. But even that average represents a trend significant at the p < 0.0001 level, which is far more convincing than the misguided p < 0.05 criterion that is so often misapplied. Moreover, a Bayesian analysis would readily confirm the significance of the results, since the prior probability is already high, given all that’s known about toxicity of HAART.

Ovbiagele and Nath exemplify the determined mainstream’s persistent labeling as “HIV-associated” what is actually HAART-associated. They suggest feebly, for example, that “the precise reasons for the rise in patients hospitalized for stroke with coexisting HIV infection are not immediately clear”; it might not be HAART but “evolving circumstances unique to HIV-infected patients”, whatever that might mean. “HIV infection can cause stroke via several mechanisms including HIV-stimulated endothelial activation (predisposing to accelerated atherosclerosis), opportunistic infections, neoplasia, HIV-induced cardiac disease, HIV-associated cerebral vasculopathy, HIV-induced systemic vasculitis, prothrombosis, and  metabolic derangements. 4-8”.  But an examination of those references 4-8 reveals that those “HIV”-associated things are actually HAART-associated, though in at least one case there was not even a comparison of HAART-treated and untreated patients (Brilla et al., Stroke, 30 [1999] 811-813).

Mainstream HIV/AIDS researchers suffer from HAART denialism.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Academic freedom and HIV/AIDS dissent in Italy

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/24

A fascinating interview with Professor Marco Ruggiero is very informative about academic freedom in Italy, the very low incidence of HIV or AIDS  there, and Ruggiero’s views about the nature of HIV. Highly recommendede reading.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, sexual transmission | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

HIV/AIDS Dissent in mainstream venues

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/20

We mentioned some time ago that Professor Marco Ruggiero contributed at the mainstream XVIIIth International AIDS Conference (Vienna 2010) — see “Two AIDS conferences in Vienna” and “Denialism within the XVIIIth International AIDS Conference”.
Ruggiero’s presentation together with those of other Italian contributors is now posted on a mainstream website that deals with infectious diseases in Italy and the world.
HIV/AIDS dissent is becoming increasingly visible in increasingly mainstream quarters. Not only that; as Ruggiero’s report from the Vienna Conference  demonstrated, quite a few of the presentations reported observations that contradict orthodox shibboleths:
♦♦♦  The “HIV” epidemic in Africa cannot be explained by multiple concurrent sexual partnerships
♦♦♦  Patients who discontinue HAART feel better and do better
♦♦♦  Continuing present practices means death
♦♦♦  Doing nothing causes less harm than testing and treating
♦♦♦  Circumcision does not prevent “HIV”
♦♦♦  The “epidemic” is expected to continue until at least 2031

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV transmission, sexual transmission | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Science journalism ignorant of science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/17

When Michael Specter’s book Denialism was launched to a dazzle of ballyhoo, I agreed to review it for the Journal of Scientific Exploration. That turned out to be an onerous task, far from enjoyable because the book is so dreadfully bad: a staggering degree of ignorance about science is everywhere on display, deplorable in the extreme since Specter is an award-winning science journalist.
Not long after Specter’s book appeared, the New Scientist carried a series of essays as a “Special Report: Denial” (15 May 2010). Those essays are on the whole as ignorance-based as is Specter’s book. For a thorough debunking of both book and Special Report, see my essay-review just published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
The principal flaw in these writings is the underlying belief that on any given issue the prevailing scientific consensus, the Establishment view, is unquestionably correct. Such a belief illustrates ignorance of the history of science, which is a continuing record of Establishment views proven wrong and being replaced by what then becomes the new Establishment view.
Misplaced faith in science as the source of absolute, permanent truth stems from the ideology of scientism, which holds that science and only science can offer true answers. Few people admit to that unsupportable belief when challenged, but by their actions and unguarded words a great number of people show themselves to hold that belief.
Specter is far from the only science journalist or science writer tainted by scientism; Natalie Angier is another. In her review of Specter’s book in the American Scholar (“Science Doubters”, 79 #1, Winter 2010, pp. 102-5) she perpetrates fallacy upon fallacy and indulges in semantic sleight-of-phrase in the attempt to mask her dogmatism. For example, she mimics Specter to the effect that the “overwhelming weight of evidence” favors vaccination, it’s “remarkably safe”, adverse reactions are “rare” — which attempts rhetorically to lull the reader into rejecting the well-based qualms that critics have expressed about the use in vaccines of organic-mercury-based additives and toxic adjuvants like squalene.
Angier approves Specter’s assertion that denialists “replace the rigorous and open-minded skepticism of science with the inflexible certainty of ideological commitment”. But no science writer should remark “the rigorous and open-minded skepticism of science” without mentioning that this is an unachieved ideal and that scientists frequently display “inflexible certainty” about their own views. Angier’s ignorance goes so far that she actually credits Specter with coining the term “denialism”! She deplores that the Internet favors “popularity over p-value”, when it is actually the use of p-values that is responsible for the misguided acceptance as significant of many apparent correlations that are not significant *. Angier follows Specter in dismissing chiropractic as quackery even as mainstream studies have shown that it has a better record of treating lower-back pain by manipulation than does mainstream medicine with drugs and surgery.
Angier differs from Specter in denying that there’s been a loss of faith in science, citing a Harris poll in which 60% of respondents rate the prestige of doctors and scientists as high or very high. That’s what the problem really is; most people have too much faith in what the public spokespeople for science and medicine assert nowadays.

* Matthews, R. A. J. 1998. “Facts versus Factions: The use and abuse of subjectivity in scientific research”, European Science and Environment Forum Working Paper; reprinted (pp. 247–282) in J. Morris (ed.), Rethinking Risk and the Precautionary Principle, Butterworth, 2000.

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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