HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Curing AIDS? Curing “HIV”?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/04/17

A few days ago Michael Geiger sent an alert about a story in Vienna Review that is remarkably evenhanded about AIDS Rethinking and HIV Skepticism:

The ‘Berlin Patient’: Demystifying AIDS?

Vienna Review is by and for budding journalists, and it is very heartening to see such evidence-based writing in this type of publication.

The Berlin patient had been in the news some time ago, ballyhooed as pointing to a potential cure (!) for HIV/AIDS, albeit at the cost of bone-marrow transplant, which might well be worse — or at least more immediately fatal — than the disease. At any rate, last December David Crowe had written an insightful debunking of that ballyhooing:

HIV Cured with Stem Cells – What about AIDS?

As the title suggests, Crowe points to the need to distinguish between “AIDS”, which does exist albeit in differently defined guises over the years, and “HIV”, which may or may not exist but certainly doesn’t cause AIDS.

That essential distinction is continually and deliberately blurred by mainstream’s vigilantes, perhaps most obviously in their propaganda against “AIDS denialism”.

—————————————-

An ever-present difficulty is that there’s too much to try to keep up with. I have a  Google Alert set for “HIV”, and it brings about a dozen items a day on average, far too many of which deserve comment. The Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society news page mentions some of the most noteworthy items. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice (OMSJ) also comments on noteworthy news; and it has very heartening reports on its successes in defending individuals charged with “HIV”-related “crimes”.

But it’s necessary also to keep reading in the tidal waves of the mainstream HIV/AIDS literature whose many inadequacies deserve to be ferreted out. Just now I have a pile of stuff about “treatment” to wade through.

My background in science studies makes me also very interested in the wider context of HIV/AIDS matters. As I learn more about current circumstances as well as continuing trends in medical science and practice, it seems increasingly clear that the flaws in mainstream HIV/AIDS matters are mirrored in much of drug-centered practices in medicine. A correspondent led me recently to start reading about treatments of mental illness, and to look at the psychiatric Bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, now in its fourth edition (DSM-IV). Anyone who has wondered whether perhaps psychiatric practice might be based on pseudoscience will find the answer there, in the resounding affirmative. One reason so many kids are being prescribed Ritalin and the like nowadays is because the criteria for diagnosing “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” (pp. 83-85) read like an accurate description of what untutored lay people regard as the normal activity of healthily lively young boys.

16 Responses to “Curing AIDS? Curing “HIV”?”

  1. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Dr. Jeffrey Schaler said the DSM was a great work (slight pause) of fiction.

  2. Paul Vahur said

    Henry,

    in regards to ADHD you might find the blog Freedom To Learn very valuable. Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College and some while ago he wrote 4 entries on ADHD. Just scroll down on the blog’s front page to find these entries. The rest of the blog talks about learning and I have found it very illuminating as well.

  3. Robin said

    Henry, in your comments about psychiatry I think you get too close to throwing out the baby with the bathwater. One might equally wrongly cite HIV/AIDS to dismiss all virology and immunology as pseudoscience.

    Psychiatry has suffered much corruption by corporate agendas, and yet in my independent perception there is a lot that’s excellently right in the DSM, with such syndromes as schizophrenia, mania, autism, and the neuroses all quite properly described in their confusing ambiguity.

    Meanwhile I think you’ll find that most chinese or japanese children don’t meet the criteria for ADHD, and nor did I myself at the due age. And meanwhile many of us have long ago noticed that in the US it’s normal to be mad, but we have been too tactful to make a big issue of it.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Robin:
      I looked at DSM because of claims in Anatomy of an Epidemic (by Robert Whitaker, 2010) that:
      — the incidence of mental illness in the USA has exploded since the advent of drug treatment of mental disorders
      — DSM-IV (1994) distinguishes 297 distinct, diagnosable mental disorders (up from 265 in DSM-III of 1980).
      Looking at DSM confirms the latter. I refuse to believe that such a classification is properly grounded in empirical evidence. Moreover, the criteria for diagnosing ADHD depend on highly subjective judgments like
      — “maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level” [are not children to be allowed to develop at different rates??]
      — “often” re inattention in various cricumstances

      And so on. The most frightening part is Whitaker’s fully documented account of outcomes of drug treatments, which reveals that Ritalin and the like can produce lifelong dependence on various drugs whereas in the pre-drug era the great majority of mental disorders involved only short-term episodes.

      • Robin said

        Henry, I did say above that psychiatry (and by implication the DSM) has suffered much corruption, by exactly that sort of profitmaking agenda. I was not saying the whole of the DSM is excellent, just that the classic major syndromes are very well characterised in the context that they are exceptionally difficult concepts to actualise, due to being so close to the question of what is reality or unreality, and with the concepts of normal/pathological/good/bad/etc lying at the bounds of understanding. . . .
        Subjectiveness of criteria is not a good reason for decrying that which can only ever been criteriated subjectively anyway – which includes most of the things that are most important. I presume you never got married or chose a career as you would have had to make excessively subjective judgements in order to do so.

        Meanwhile the question of one or more epidemics of mental disorder is something I know too much about already and will get back here about once I’ve checked out the above citation.

      • realpc said

        It is horrifying to me that parents would allow their children to be treated with these drugs. There is too much blind faith in modern medicine and psychiatry. How can they not worry about the long term consequences? They warn their children about the dangers of drugs, and then say the same drugs are not dangerous if prescribed by an MD?

        I have heard that enormous numbers of children and young adults are now on psychiatric drugs. If you ever go see a psychotherapist, I’ve been told, for anything at all, they will write you a prescription.

        Our society has become infatuated with drugs. But the actions of the drugs are, very often, barely understood if at all. And the long term effects are simply not worried about. Do you think scientists really know how or why an anti-depressant can improve mood, for example?

        I know people who need psychiatric drugs and could not function without them. I am not saying they should never be used. But we should not be satisfied with that general approach to mental illness, and it should only be used when there is no alternative.

      • Henry Bauer said

        realpc:
        Read “Anatomy of an Epidemic”, it has answers to your questions and much more. It’s by Robert Whitaker, Crown Publishers, 2010.
        For many years I have bought for myself to keep only books I had already read and regarded as worth re-reading and consulting. This is one of those rare ones.

  4. Martin said

    Hi Robin, Schizophrenia is the sacred symbol of psychiatry. I wonder if you are familiar with Dr. Thomas Szasz? Have you read anything he wrote? He has written more than 30 books and more than 700 articles. I’ve read all of his published books and a good deal of his articles. I’m inclined to agree with him, and not with the Church of Psychiatry.

    • realpc said

      Psychiatrists describe and classify mental illnesses, but that does not mean they understand them. I don’t think they understand them well at all. They try out different drugs to see if the symptoms decrease. That approach does not require any understanding, and does nothing to correct the underlying causes. Schizophrenics are not restored to health by modern psychiatry.

      And mainstream psychiatry assumes that the brain equals the mind. They have a devoutly materialist world view. What if that world view is not accurate?

      There has been no progress in the past 100 years in understanding mental illness. The only progress has been the development of better mind-numbing drugs. Yes maybe the symptoms can be lessened, but is that really enough?

      Psychiatrists don’t, in general, think about the history of schizophrenia, or how it has been treated in other cultures. Their approach is exclusively western and modern, and materialist. Even if it leads nowhere decade after decade, they don’t question it. They are sure that better mind-numbing drugs are the answer.

  5. Gorky said

    Strange, I was just reading a book review here http://pelicanist.blogspot.com/ of Lawrence Krauss’s new book about one of the great genius physicists of the twentieth century Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s life in Science and the reviewer (there is no attribution, I assume therefore it is Peter Rogerson) pithily and pointedly writes:

    “His story is a [sic] also a salutary lesson in how madness and sanity are socially constructed. When Feynman received a very negative psychiatric report in 1947 he and a colleague Hans Bethe treated it as huge joke, and his behaviour seems to have been more or less tolerated, a suburban housewife of the same time and place exhibiting the same behaviour would almost certainly have been forcibly incarcerated into a psychiatric hospital, and today not even a college professor would have got away with it, without being pushed not very voluntarily into therapy or some upmarket clinic.”

  6. mo79uk said

    Interesting article today, though not specifically about HIV/AIDS.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1378732/Genes-mean-youre-destined-Yes-man.html

    “Researcher Michael Frank said: ‘People will distort what they experience to be perceived as more consistent with what they thought already.’

    It is thought the brain’s ‘default mode’ is to be guided by advice initially but then to merge it with knowledge gained with experience.

    The pre-frontal cortex initially heeds advice before a region called the striatum takes over.

    The striatum is deeper in the brain and takes into account experience before deciding if the advice is sound. A person’s genetic make-up affects how well, and how quickly, the striatum acts.

    The research team in Rhode Island said it was sensible for people to be hard-wired to follow advice at first because it allows them to quickly make sensible decisions.

    But blind trust could also leave them gullible and open to fraud.”

    • Henry Bauer said

      mo79uk:
      Frank’s “finding” is far from new. Novelists, detectives, historians, many others have been clear that we see what fits into our beliefs and find it difficult to see anything that contradicts our beliefs; we interpret everything in line with our beliefs. That’s why constructive criticism from trusted people is so invaluable, enabling us sometimes to transcend our prejudices and learn new things, and even change our minds about fairly basic matters. On the other hand, destructively and aggressively toned criticism is counterproductive because it discourages us from trusting the critic.

  7. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, In James Gleick’s book “Genius: the life and science of Richard Feynman”, an excerpt of his encounter with the psychiatrists at the draft board in 1946 is available on the net: I used Google to search “james gleick richard feynman psychiatrists” and it brought me right to that excerpt. It’s very funny.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Martin:
      Yes, it is.
      Somewhere recently — I’ve been reading about the history of psychopharmacology — it was suggested that if Feynman had been a youngster in school during the Ritalin era, he would have been life-long on “medications” and unable to accomplish what he did.

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