HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Déjà vu all over again

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/07/17

I started this blog nearly 5 years ago, with the immediate aim of applying to continuing “news” about HIV/AIDS the insights I had gained from collating HIV-test results, namely, that what these tests detect or measure is not an infectious entity, nor is it correlated with the published numbers for “AIDS” (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
Comments from various quarters helped me to learn much more, especially about why gay men have been so much involved; and I was prompted to further analyses of official data, which revealed yet more flaws in HIV/AIDS theory:

  • Many confirmations have appeared from different countries and circumstances of the epidemiological regularities I had found in the largely USA data analyzed in my book, perhaps most strikingly the racial disparities and perhaps most mysteriously the correlation with population density.
  • I’ve noted a fine array of absurdities: pregnant women more likely to become “HIV-positive” than non-pregnant women; breast-feeding protective against becoming “HIV-positive” despite being a supposed avenue for transmission of HIV; mainstream activists urging that drug addicts be given fresh clean needles so that they could more safely kill themselves through drug abuse; assertions that HIV is transmitted in different ways in different parts of the world; and more.

As time has passed, fewer and fewer items appeared in the media that were both new and noteworthy and therefore worth blogging about. Microbicide and vaccine trials continue to fail — what more can be said about that except that it confirms over and over again the vacuity of HIV/AIDS theory? Official agencies continue to trumpet the danger of HIV/AIDS even as fewer and fewer people are affected by it — how often is that worth mentioning? Mainstream sources continue to applaud the lifesaving benefits of antiretroviral drugs even as the official Treatment Guidelines and primary literature continue to report the dangerous toxicity of antiretroviral treatment and the continual production of new drugs intended to be less toxic — how often is that worth writing about? And what more can be said about the continuing mis-direction by mainstream sources of labeling as “HIV-associated” ailments that are actually owing to antiretroviral drugs: lipodystrophy, kidney failure, heart failure, and much more (in addition to the re-labeling in Africa of well known diseases as “AIDS”: tuberculosis, malaria, and more).
So after a few years of blogging here, media coverage of HIV/AIDS has become for me déjà vu all over again (cr. Yogi Berra).
At the same time, I’ve become increasingly aware that what’s wrong with HIV/AIDS is no different in principle from what’s wrong with medical science as a whole. For example, the morphing of “AIDS” from a manifest clinical syndrome of Kaposi’s sarcoma and a couple of fungal infections into something defined by lab tests and numbers (“HIV-positive” and CD4 counts) is precisely what has happened in the last half century or so in medical practice as a whole: feelings of illness and diagnosis by a physician have been supplanted by lab tests and surrogate markers: blood sugar, clotting time, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, PSA, X-rays, CT scans, etc. (see e.g. Jeremy Greene, Prescribing by Numbers). The result has been over-testing and over-treatment and administering drugs to perfectly healthy people who don’t need them, don’t benefit from them, and may indeed be harmed by them, statins being a notable example of actual harm (see e.g.
Volumes could also be written about the mistakes made by medical science because of incompetent applications of statistics. Douglas Altman has been writing articles about it for a couple of decades, without apparent effect, for example, “The scandal of poor medical research” (British Medical Journal, 308 [1994] 283) or “Poor-quality medical research: what can journals do?” (JAMA, 287 [2002] 2765-7). John Ioannidis has even been featured in popular magazines for demonstrating the pervasive flaws in statistical analyses, for example that only 7 of the 35 most highly cited studies of drugs confirmed in use the favorable results claimed when the drugs were approved (Ioannidis and Panagiotou Ioannidis, JAMA, 305 [2011] 2200-10). Already 25 years ago, in Science magazine (242 [1988] 1257-63), Alvan Feinstein had discussed the rotten quality of epidemiologic studies relevant to matters of everyday life: “Despite peer-review approval, the current methods need substantial improvement to produce trustworthy scientific evidence”.
When articles like that in one of the leading scientific periodicals have made no difference, and incompetent statistics continues to be accepted for publication, what hope is there for improvement? No wonder that experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed a correlation between AIDS and HIV when their own cited data contradicted the claim (Curran et al., Science 239 [1988] 610-6; see p. 110 ff. in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory), or that those experts took a correlation as proving causation (Dondero and Curran, Lancet 343 [1994] 989–90; see p. 194 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory)?
The large lesson is that common sense should be applied whenever the media, or official press releases, or indeed the primary scientific literature asserts results that are patently absurd. This blog post was stimulated by this one:

Parents less likely to catch colds and flu,
New Scientist, 14 July 2012, Magazine issue 2873.
Children bring many things to their parents’ lives: happiness, sleepless nights… and viruses. But although parents do catch infections from their kids, it seems parents are also more resistant to colds and flu. Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reviewed three studies in which researchers put either a flu virus or a rhinovirus, which causes colds, into people’s noses, then tracked who fell ill. Cohen’s team found that parents were only 48 per cent as likely to develop an infection as people with no kids. The more children there were in the family, the more parents were protected against illness. But the kids did not need to be present: parents whose children had already left home were only 27 per cent as likely as the childless adults to get sick (Psychosomatic Medicine, DOI: 10.1097/psy.0b013e31825941ff). Levels of antibody to the viruses used were the same in the parents as in the childless subjects. So what could explain the results? Cohen’s team speculates that parenthood brings happiness and reduces stress levels, which can boost the immune system.
That, or parents just don’t have time to get sick — so they don’t.

The media are very adept at making cute comments like that last sentence. But they report such BS as though it might mean something. Parents overall are less likely to become ill by 52%, but those whose children have left home are less likely by 73%?
I suppose parents’ stress levels are even lower, and happiness even greater, after children have left home? And happiness boosts the immune system without changing antibody levels?
Possible, of course; just as it’s possible that the Sphinx was built by extraterrestrials.
But plausible? NO. Worth promulgating as breaking news? NO.

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