Are the best things free?
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/10/16
“The best things in life are free” applies, like all other such generalizations, in some cases but not in others.
When it comes to information about HIV/AIDS, the best information is available from AIDS Rethinkers, and much of it is available entirely free over the Internet. Some in professional journals may require the help of Interlibrary Loan, and some books may need to be borrowed or bought, but none of this is particularly expensive.
One point of considerable importance is the mainstream-asserted HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. That the official UNAIDS and WHO numbers are greatly exaggerated has been asserted authoritatively by the former WHO epidemiologist, James Chin, in The AIDS Pandemic (2007). The fact had been noted years earlier by the South African journalist Rian Malan: “AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator (London), 14 December 2003.
Despite that, Chigwedere et al. published the absurd claim, based on the highly exaggerated UNAIDS estimates, that failure to provide antiretroviral drugs had caused ~300,000 unnecessary deaths (“Estimating the lost benefits of antiretroviral drug use in South Africa”, JAIDS 49  410-5). Duesberg et al. pointed out that the official government agency, Statistics South Africa, reported deaths from AIDS that were 1/25 of the UNAIDS estimate, ~12,000 annually rather than ~300,000, but JAIDS refused to publish the correction. It was later accepted by Medical Hypotheses, published on-line, but later withdrawn by Elsevier Publishers at the behest of mainstream vigilantes (Elsevier-Gate). The same facts were later published by Galletti and Bauer (“Safety issues in didactic anatomical dissection in regions of high HIV prevalence”, Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 114 #4  179-92).
Rethinkers were pleased, then, that recognition of these facts appeared to have become common knowledge, as indicated by a press release trumpeting a new report, “Where are the bodies? — HIV/AIDS statistics in South Africa —— New report recalculates AIDS-related death estimates with powerful policy implications”:
“• Pharmaceutical companies investing $300 million into developing HIV/AIDS drugs while anticipating a global market of 40+ million people will be competing for a market only a fraction of the size.
• AIDS/HIV research consumes 42% of government, corporate, and philanthropic research funding while the two largest killers in the third-world (pneumonia and diarrhea) receive less than 6 per cent combined; tuberculosis remains the biggest killer in the third world.
• Only a tiny fraction of the 5.6 million people in Africa who are receiving anti-retroviral drugs actually have HIV infection. Not only are the anti-retroviral drugs potentially toxic, ‘the frightening scenario looms that widespread, but curable, diseases are wrongly classified as AIDS-related complex, thereby foregoing appropriate treatment. . . .
UNAIDS estimated that the Republic of South Africa had 360,000 HIV/AIDS deaths in 1997. However, after tabulating all deaths for 1997, South Africa attributed only 6,635 deaths to HIV/AIDS. . . .
The supposed HIV seroprevalence rates in the Republic of South Africa exceed all plausible limits of heterosexual HIV transmission’”.
We were naturally interested to learn more about where this report originated. The press release mentioned that HIV/AIDS Statistics in the Republic of South Africa could be ordered from http://www.MarketResearch.com and http://www.ResearchandMarkets.com. We couldn’t find it there, though an earlier report was listed, Redefining the Size, Scope, and Scale of the AIDS Epidemic
by Forensic Review of the Medical Literature. The press release had been issued by Health Alert Communications, and its website does offer both reports. Each is offered at the same price of $5,995 for Online Download or $14,995 for a Global Site License.
“You get what you pay for” is another of those common generalizations whose opposite is often the case. For just under $6000, information is available from Health Alert Communications that was earlier available for free in several places.
These Reports illustrate how huge and lucrative has become the HIV/AIDS BUSINESS, the HIV/AIDS INDUSTRY. Tens of billions of dollars are expended annually on research, treatment and associated social activities, so it becomes feasible for entrepreneurs to attempt to market publicly available information in dressed-up format in a manner that seems to offer commercial benefit: “Pharmaceutical companies investing $300 million into developing HIV/AIDS drugs while anticipating a global market of 40+ million people will be competing for a market only a fraction of the size”.
We face a dilemma:
Is it worth investing $5995 in order to determine whether Health Alert Communications could be sued for plagiarism or for violating the copyrights of the journals and books that have previously published these analyses?
Or perhaps Rethinkers should no longer cast valuable pearls freely before the unappreciative public and instead offer their services, at modest fees, to Health Alert Communications.