HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Hidden in plain sight: The damage done by antiretroviral drugs

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/07/25

What’s plain to those not indoctrinated
evades the consciousness of the HIV/AIDS gurus

“hid these things from the wise and prudent, and
. . . revealed them unto babes”
(Luke 10: 21)

One of the features of the HIV/AIDS phenomenon, seemingly astonishing and indeed incredible if one has trust in modern medical science, is that the mainstream literature is replete with documented, reproducible contradictions of standard shibboleths disseminated by mainstream sources.
Weiss & Cowan  point out that there’s no gold-standard HIV test, that there’s no such thing as a “confirmatory” test, that no HIV test can diagnose HIV infection, and that a large number of positive tests are false positives; yet mainstream practice continues to ignore these facts, and public defenders of the faith blather on about the desirability of universal testing.
Jay Levy  has enumerated all the things about HIV/AIDS that are not known — namely, all the central matters like how HIV could possibly do what it’s alleged to do.
And when antiretroviral drugs are mentioned, they are routinely described as life-saving — even though the literature is full of evidence that the drugs are anything but life-saving and instead are highly toxic. The Treatment Guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health — and which need modification several times a year! — admitted long ago that the majority of “adverse events” experienced by PWAs on antiretroviral treatment are non-AIDS events, namely, organ failures and cancers linked directly to the antiretroviral drugs (see “Death, antiretroviral drugs, and cognitive dissonance”, 9 May 2008). The toxicity of AZT was demonstrated in the very earliest clinical trial, and plaudits to the life-saving benefits of antiretroviral treatment judiciously omitted to claim benefits for the AZT and monotherapy era; yet practice continues to ignore the deadly nature of AZT and its ilk and they continue to be prescribed in the HAART cocktails; albeit not as AZT but as Retrovir or zidovudine or other NRTIs with even more exotic and unfamiliar names.
A very general type of damage done by antiretroviral drugs is to the mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of all our cells. Mitochondria have their own DNA, and damage to them is a life-long burden; it’s irreversible. It’s been known for a long time that the antiretroviral treatment of pregnant “HIV-positive” women, purportedly to prevent transmission of HIV, actually damages the mitochondria of the babies; see for instance the studies cited in “What HIV drugs do” (2007/12/15); “First: Do no harm!” (2007/12/19); “Poison in South Africa” (2008/10/26); “Protease inhibitors cause oxidative stress” (2009/04/25); “Human cancers (≥20% of them) are caused by viruses!” (2010/01/23); “HAART makes things worse: Elsevier journal publishes HIV/AIDS heresies” (2010/11/03).
In my anything-but-exhaustive files I find mention of damage to the mitochondria in many places. The central point is that antiretroviral drugs commonly used in HAART induce “mitochondrial toxicity . . . linked to severe side effects including lipodystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, hepatic steatosis, myopathy, cardiomyopathy, pancreatitis, bone marrow suppression, and lactic acidosis” — Hendrickson et al., “Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups influence AIDS progression”, AIDS 22 (2008) 2429-39; citing
— Kohler & Lewis, “A brief overview of mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicity from NRTIs”, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 48 (2007) 166-72
— Lewis, “Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, mitochondrial DNA and AIDS therapy”, Antiviral Therapy 10 (Suppl 2, 2005) M13–27
— Lewis et al., “Antiretroviral nucleosides, deoxynucleotide carrier and mitochondrial DNA: evidence supporting the DNA pol gamma hypothesis”, AIDS 20 (2006) 675-84
—Brinkman et al., “Mitochondrial toxicity induced by nucleoside-analogue reverse-transcriptase inhibitors is a key factor in the pathogenesis of antiretroviral-therapy-related lipodystrophy”, Lancet 354 (1999) 1112-5
— Chapplain et al., “Mitochondrial abnormalities in HIV-infected lipo-atrophic patients treated with antiretroviral agents”, JAIDS 37 (2004) 1477-88
— Brinkman et al., “Adverse effects of reverse transcriptase inhibitors: mitochondrial toxicity as common pathway”, AIDS 12 (1998) 1735-44
Other references in my files to mitochondrial damage by antiretroviral drugs include articles from as far back as 1995, indicting in particular the NRTIs that continue to be part of many HAART regimens:
— Lewis & Dalakas, “Mitochondrial toxicity of antiviral drugs”, Nature Medicine 1 (1995) 417-22
Later articles (including those already cited) indict not only AZT and other NRTIs but other components of HAART as well:
— Donovan (editorial), “A new challenge for the neuroradiologist: MR recognition of mitochondrial dysfunction in children born of HIV-seropositive mothers on antiretroviral therapy”, American Journal of Neuroradiology 26 (2005) 687-9, which cites the following 13 sources from as far back as 1989:
— Blanche et al., “A prospective study of infants born to women seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus type I: HIV infection in newborns — French collaborative study group”, New England Journal of Medicine 320 (1989) 1643-8
— Connor et al., “Reduction of maternal-infant transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type I with zidovudine treatment”, New England Journal of Medicine 331 (1994) 1173-80
— Munoz et al., “Mitochondrial diseases in children: neuroradiological and clinical features in 17 patients”, Neuroradiology 41 (1999) 920-8
— Blanche et al., “Persistent mitochondrial dysfunction and perinatal exposure to antiretroviral nucleoside analogues”, Lancet 354 (1999) 1084-9
— Culnane et al., “Lack of long-term effects of in utero exposure to zidovudine among uninfected children born to HIV-infected women: Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 219/076 Teams”, JAMA 281 (1999) 151-7
— Gerschenson et al., “Fetal mitochondrial heart and skeletal muscle damage in erythrocebus patas monkeys exposed to in utero to 3′-azido-3′-deoxythymidine [AZT]”, AIDS Research & Human Retroviruses 16 (2000) 635-44
— Perinatal Safety Review Working Group, “Nucleoside exposure in the children of HIV-infected women receiving antiretroviral drugs: absence of clear evidence for mitochondrial disease in children who died before 5 years of age in five United States cohorts”, JAIDS 25 (2000) 261-8
— Taylor & Low-Beer , “Antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy: a focus on safety”, Drug Safety 24 (2001) 683-702
— Mantovani & Calamandrei, “Delayed developmental effects following prenatal exposure to drugs”, Current Pharmaceutical Design 7 (2001) 859-80
— Barret et al., “Mitochondrial dysfunction in HIV uninfected children”, AIDS 17 (2003) 1769-85
— Shiramizu et al., “Placenta and cord blood mitochondrial DNA toxicity in HIV-infected women receiving nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors during pregnancy”, JAIDS 32 (2003) 370-4
— Poirier et al., “Long-term mitochondrial toxicity in HIV-uninfected infants born to HIV-infected mothers”, JAIDS 33 (2003) 175-83
— Tardieu et al., “Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging in children born to HIV seropositive mothers and perinatally exposed to zidovudine”, American Journal of Neuroradiology 26 (2005) 695-701.
And there are articles more recent than that survey as well, for example
— Saitoh et al., “Impact of Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors on mitochondria in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-infected children receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy”, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 51 (2007) 4236-42
“New chemical tool kit manipulates mitochondria, reveals insights into drug toxicity”, ScienceDaily.

Connoisseurs of how to design clinical trials to get the desired results may notice among these many titles reporting damage the couple that seek to downplay it: Culnane et al. claiming — in 1999!! — “lack of long term effects” for AZT damage to fetuses; and the Perinatal Group’s “absence of clear evidence” in children who died before age 5 [my emphases]. The Culnane study reported only for a median age of 4.2, which is hardly “long term”, and 3 of 122 of those children had already shown “unexplained” adverse ophthalmic or cardiac effects. An important point about the irreversible damage to mitochondria is that it’s irreversible, affects all cells in the body, and is best described overall as premature aging, bringing greater probability of just about every type of non-infectious ailment. Lack of “clear” evidence of harm before age 5 is neither here nor there insofar as mitochondrial damage is concerned. These poor children have been irremediably harmed and robbed of any chance of a long and healthy life.

I’ve cited so many articles for several reasons; it’s easy to do because there’s such a plethora of them. The HIV/AIDS vigilantes’ typical defense, that we Rethinkers cherry-pick the literature, is utterly impossible here. Moreover, the deluge of studies finding the same thing illustrates some of the dysfunction of modern medical “science” and practice. The same things are “studied” over and over again, because the purpose is to “do research”, to earn livings through getting grants and doing research, with the production of useful knowledge to improve medical applications merely an occasional byproduct. Also illustrated is that highly reproducible results do not alter medical practice when those results contradict mainstream dogma.
For a long time, many years if not a couple of decades, it’s been known that antiretroviral treatment causes damage to mitochondria. Nevertheless, untold numbers of people, including pregnant women and babies, continue to be subjected to this iatrogenic harm.
Even in terms of mainstream dogma, this life-long damage is inflicted for absolutely no reason in many cases since the “HIV” tests have so great an incidence of undoubted false positives. (Undoubted even in mainstream terms and accepting mainstream views that HIV is real, see Weiss &Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection”, chapter 8 in Wormser, AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, 2004).
It’s as though practice and “research” exist in parallel universes that rarely if ever communicate meaningfully with one another. Indeed, it seems that there’s not much meaningful communication even within the research community, since well known facts continue to be “discovered” and regarded as publishable. Thus Payne et al. appear to have discovered in 2011 that antiretroviral drugs damage the mitochondria: “Mitochondrial aging is accelerated by anti-retroviral therapy through the clonal expansion of mtDNA mutations”, Nature Genetics, published online 26 June 2011; doi:10.1038/ng.863. The 28 references given in this latest discovery of mitochondrial damage from antiretroviral drugs do not include any of those earlier discoveries of this effect that I’ve cited above.
What position does officialdom take? In particular, the Food and Drug Administration which is charged with approving drugs only if they are safe and effective? Does it act to withdraw drugs found to be toxic, to cause irreversible life-long damage that leads to premature aging and early organ failures?
Of course not:
“The problem of mitochondrial toxicity is now sufficiently well-recognized that the FDA recently released recommendations that all new antiviral drug candidates should be screened for toxicity to mitochondria” [emphasis added].
What’s needed, in other words, is more research. For example, to invent a test by which to screen potential drugs for mitochondrial toxicity:
MitoSciences announces  that it has just been awarded $590,000 by the National Institutes of Health to support the development of companion diagnostic tests for antiviral drugs. . . . Many of these drugs are known to cause toxic side effects, often due to inhibition of mitochondrial function. . . . MitoSciences has demonstrated that its tests can identify drug toxicity early, often before outward signs of the conditions can be observed clinically.”
In the meantime, drugs already known to damage mitochondria continue to be prescribed, and there are even continual calls to make more of them available to people and countries that cannot afford to pay for them.

15 Responses to “Hidden in plain sight: The damage done by antiretroviral drugs”

  1. More at:

  2. Jaime said

    About the tests…. I went to donate blood last month. In the information pamphlet they give people, it says that they test for HIV. They also say that the test “is not perfect.” That’s it. No other explanation needed, I guess.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Where was this? Did you keep the pamphlet?

      • Jaime said

        It was in Toronto. It wasn’t really a pamphlet,.It was a binder with some info in it. It was my first time donating and I haven’t been back yet, so I can’t remember if they gave it to me to read as a first-time donor.

  3. Henry Bauer, what’s your theory about all the homosexuals that died in the 80’s in NYC? They had no viral treatment but were diagnosed with HIV. I was a teenager back then and watch the gay community disappear…. They died of AIDS.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Stríða Höskulds:
      The best explanation I’ve come across is that these deaths were inadvertent suicides by individuals who had overindulged foolishly in unhealthy behavior to an excessive extent. Dr. Josef Sonnabend, who practiced in NY in the 1970s with many gay clients, warned them that they should not continue their lifestyle of incessant infections (syphilis, gonorrhea, etc. etc.) and incessant resort to antibiotics to cure those infections and even as prophylaxis; and excessive use of “recreational” drugs, and alcohol. Graphic descriptions of this lifestyle can be found in “Faggots”, a novel published **in 1978** by Larry Kramer who is a prominent gay activist; and in the documentary When Ocean Meets Sky. It is well known that nitrite “poppers” were very widely used in those years, to the extent that the ambient air in gay discos was virtually saturated with it.
      Tony Lance’s hypothesis of intestinal dysbiosis presents a plausible physiological mechanism for the fact that the initial “AIDS” diseases were fungal pneumonia and fungal yeast infections — in addition to the AIDS-Kaposi’s sarcoma that was almost certainly the direct result of nitrite inhalation.
      It’s quite misleading to say that those early victims had been diagnosed with HIV. Antibodies to the postulated “HIV” were found in many AIDS victims, but the virus itself has never been isolated from AIDS patients. As Rodney Richards has pointed out — Richards worked with Abbott Laboratories on the first HIV-antibody tests — “HIV” tests are actually **AIDS** tests: they detect substances commonly found in individuals who are ill, particularly individuals who are seriously ill with opportunistic fungal diseases. (Note that many Kaposi’s sarcoma patients are HIV-negative.) That’s why positive “HIV” tests are found in so many people ill for a large variety of reasons: tuberculosis, for instance; and even minor physiological challenges can generate positive “HIV” tests, for instance pregnancy or various vaccinations.

    • BSdetector said

      It’s called “Self-Destructive Lifestyle”. The lives these people were living were terribly destructive: drug addiction, alcoholism, poppers, constant treatment with antibiotics for STDs, constant activation of the immune system caused by semen in rectal canal, etc, etc, etc.

      This is nothing new. Have you heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald? Fitzgerald talks about how all his friends were dying of alcoholism, and he and his friends were only in their 20s and 30s. Have you heard of Allen Ginsberg and, William S. Burroughs? Many of their generation whined of how an entire generation was lost to heroin, alcoholism, and madness. There is NOTHING new about what was happening in the 1970s and early 1980s. The only thing new was that a bunch of retrovirologists at the NIH were about to be unemployed due to Reagan’s budget cuts and the fact that they could find NO relationship between cancer and retroviruses. Surprise, surprise! They “found” a retrovirus as the “cause” of what was killing those people. And they have been playing that scam for almost 30 years. Time to grow-up and take responsibility for one’s behavior.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Stríða Höskulds:
      It is also important to remember WHO died of “AIDS” in the early 1980s. It’s been commonly said that they were “young, previously healthy gay men” . However. Michelle Cochrane ( When AIDS began: San Francisco and the making of an epidemic [Routledge 2004]; relevant portions are cited in a number of places in my book The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory) re-examined the original medical records and found that fewer than 1/4 of the AIDS patients actually tested positive on HIV tests and that they were NOT previously healthy, nor were they particularly young, average age in the mid-thirties. That age makes quite plausible that they were suffering the effects of a decade or so of very unhealthy living, whereas the prime age for contracting sexually transmitted diseases is late teens and early twenties.

  4. Jesaka said

    I’ve been telling you guys this for years… 6 years to be exact. Mitochondrial DNA damage is behind all degenerative diseases and a direct result of ARV use. Please see for many mainstream studies on the matter… This argument is how I have protected three of my unborn children from drugs. They are all negative without ARV’s…

  5. Cristina said

    Jesaka, I’m pregnant and going through the same ordeal, I refuse the drugs for myself and my children and the doctors sent Child Protection after me. I need a good defence strategy for my lawyer. Please write me: kristy_nl (at) mail (dot) ru

  6. BSdetector said


    Have you read the July issue of Scientific American. There is an article in the issue entitled “The Best Medicine.” Some amazing quotes from the article:

    “As much as one third of our medical spending is for ineffective or unnecessary care.”

    “…that few patients realize and fewer doctors acknowledge: the scientific basis for many medical treatments is often flimsy or even nonexistent. More than half the guidelines issued by the Infectious Disease Society of America are based on “expert opinion” alone and not on actual comparative data, let alone a clinical trial.”

    But don’t worry about that HIV=AIDS thing, we got that one all buttoned up and proven with the same scientific rigor as gravity and the speed of light. Anybody who does not believe in the HIV=AIDS “hypothesis” is a nutcase, a DENIALIST, and should be locked-up as a threat to the health and safety of humanity. And furthermore, about those Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq…

  7. Collin said

    Thanks for your input i am interested in morefacts regarding arvs and intake just to let u know i am taking arvs for close on to 10 years. In the begining i was fine until about 2months ago i have tremendous spine pains and problems, unbearable pain was in hospital 3 weeks ago for 9 days. Did xrays, mri scan but thd doctors cant see a problem the scans, came back clear i was discharged with no medications but ths pain alternate between my lower back, neck, shoulders now recently my ankles and knees. Just curious to the facts i am in much pain daily and doctors cant find causes or remedy. The outcome of doctors were arithritis in the bones which i am doubting after reading your article. I dress up warm, with body heating inside clothes, jackets, shirts, hats sleep with heaters, electric blankets had a moovi prep cleaning done in hospital was bit relieved for 2 days or so but back to the pain

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