HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Evidence-based medicine? Wishful thinking

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/08/25

It is simply no longer possible to believe
much of the clinical research that is published,
or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians
or authoritative medical guidelines.
I take no pleasure in this conclusion,
which I reached slowly and reluctantly
 over my two decades as an editor
of   The New England Journal of Medicine
— Marcia Angell, “Drug companies and doctors: a story of corruption,”
New York Review of Books, 56 #1, 15 January

A corollary of Angell’s conclusion is that some part of contemporary medical practice, promoted or endorsed by mainstream institutions, is based on misleading information and thereby either medically harmful, or just medically useless but wasteful of time and money, or occasionally medically helpful but only by coincidental chance.
Proponents and groupies of mainstream medicine like to use the phrase “evidence-based medicine” as though it described contemporary practices. It doesn’t, far from it. Evidence-based medicine is a venture that was launched about a quarter century ago precisely because so little medical practice was based on sound evidence. There has been no appreciable improvement.
AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics are familiar with the discrepancy between the HIV=AIDS theory, promoted by all official bodies, and the actual data about HIV and about AIDS: “HIV tests” do not detect “HIV”; the epidemiology of positive “HIV” tests shows that “it” is not infectious and not sexually transmitted; there is no correlation between “HIV” numbers and “AIDS” numbers; etc. etc. etc. But this discrepancy between official pronouncements and the actual facts —findings published in the primary medical-science research literature — is not unique to HIV/AIDS. Rather, it illustrates the degree to which current medicine is misguided and often harmful.
For example, individuals with “high” cholesterol are routinely administered statins, in absence of evidence that “high” cholesterol is in itself harmful and actually bespeaks cardiovascular disease. Moreover the statins have such serious “side” effects as mental confusion, muscle weakness and eventually muscle wasting, and more:


A report from the Institute of Medicine (Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease, 2010) points out that all the measures currently used as indicators of cardiovascular disease are not valid measures of cardiovascular disease: blood pressure, cholesterol (total, “bad”, ratio . . . ), C-reactive protein, troponin — none of them is a valid indication of heart disease, still less are any of them causes of heart disease. Cholesterol does not cause cardiovascular disease, whether it be high, low, bad, good, or anything else. “High” blood pressure does not cause heart disease or heart attacks or strokes. It is just that all those things are correlated with one another — correlated primarily because all of them increase naturally, normally, with age. The Institute of Medicine report mentions that 243 risk factors have been identified for cardiovascular disease. Risk factors are correlations, symptoms, not causes. Therefore it should not be surprising that the presently routine treatments — blood-pressure lowerers (antihypertensives), cholesterol lowerers (statins), and more — have not been proved to be of benefit:

“there are no valid data on the effectiveness” of
“statins, antihypertensives, and bisphosphanates”
[the last are prescribed against osteoporosis]
Järvinen et al., The true cost of pharmacological disease prevention,
British Medical Journal, 342 (19 April 2011) doi: 10.1136/bmj.d2175

All this comes from the primary, peer-reviewed medical-science literature, and it is at odds with “what everyone knows”, and with what we hear from the doctors and the drug companies and the National Institutes of Health and the media. That’s an extraordinary thing to say, but anyone can confirm it for themselves by looking at the publicly available medical-science publications.

An impetus for me to do that was the experience of having planned surgery called off at the last moment because my blood pressure was said to be too high, about 190/90. My protests that stress has this effect, that my pressure goes up several tens of points just from being in a doctor’s office, fell on deaf ears. So for many weeks I monitored my blood pressure frequently, and found that it varies between 120 and 180 systolic and between 70 and 90 diastolic, during the day and from one day to the next, even without any unusual stresses that I’m aware of. Literature and Google searches soon delivered a wealth of information concordant with those observations, most notably that it is perfectly normal for blood pressure to increase with age. Indeed, some decades ago, the medical rule of thumb had been that systolic pressure approximates 100 plus one’s age — which would have made 180 normal for me.
Current data suggest a somewhat lower rate of age-induced increase, but the essential point is this: It has been known for more than a century that blood pressure normally increases with age, yet the official guidelines define hypertension — blood pressure too high — without taking this into account. The consequence is that perfectly healthy, symptom-free seniors are liable to be diagnosed with hypertension and subjected to medication: one third of Americans, and 75-80% of those aged 60 or more, are defined to suffer from hypertension and require treatment:

One of the pervasive and severely damaging problems with contemporary medical “science” and practice is the confusion of correlation with causation. The notion that high blood pressure, pre-hypertension or hypertension, means higher than the average healthy 25-year-old is absurd on its face, and reflects that pervasive confusion. EVERY ailment and disease becomes more prevalent with age, so all those are correlated with one another: hearing loss, dementia, heart disease, cancer, blood pressure, organ failure, etc. etc. etc. Those correlations are no basis for claiming that high blood pressure causes any of those things, any more than that dementia (say) causes cancer or that hearing loss causes heart disease.

Cholesterol and blood pressure, then, are two illustrations of Marcia Angell’s reluctant conclusion that “It is simply no longer possible . . . to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians
or authoritative medical guidelines”. So what does one do?

One has to search and digest the literature for oneself and weigh those data against official proclamations and doctors’ advice. That’s what M. Aziz did when circumstances of his own family led him to realize the neglected importance of vitamin D. He relates his experience in Prescribing Sunshine: Why vitamin D should be flying off the shelves, soon to be available in paperback, currently available at $2.99 for Kindle.
Some time ago, official guidelines for the recommended intake of vitamin D were increased considerably, but Aziz suggests that even more would be beneficial. His book is well worth reading for its cornucopia of citations from the medical-science literature, some of them revealing connections previously unknown to me, for example between vitamin D and immunity, and telomeres, and cholesterol, and HIV/AIDS; as well as the fact that vitamin D is a steroid and hormone-like. And the fact that under sunlight we manufacture vitamin D in the skin from . . .  cholesterol! By lowering cholesterol, we may even be accentuating deficiency of vitamin D. . . .
Of course one needs to be skeptical and judicious with all claims, those from alternative or complementary medicine as well as from mainstream sources. Thus one should not accept without further ado the claim that lowering cholesterol could even bring on Alzheimer’s disease, which is suggested by Henry Lorin because cholesterol is an essential component of all cell walls: Alzheimer’s Solved (www.booksurge.com; ISBN 1-4196-1684-6).

25 Responses to “Evidence-based medicine? Wishful thinking”

  1. mo79uk said

    Reblogged this on Repeat Prescription and commented:
    Henry Bauer, author of Dogmatism in Science and Medicine, and The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, has mentioned Prescribing Sunshine… in his latest blog post.

  2. Superiour Inttelecct said

    Dear Dr Bauer,
    A lot of highly controversial claims there. Do you have any actual evidence they are true? You don’t show us any in that text. And what qualifications have you got to express worthwhile opinions about these matters. If people were to just believe anything they’re told without checking qualifications first then they’d be hopelessly confused wouldn’t they?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Superiour Inttelecct:
      I don’t know what more you want than my citation of the Institute of Medicine report from 2010, the Jarvinen et al. in British Medical Journal, and spacedoc.com run by Dr. Graveline, a former astronaut and doctor who cites many sources, and the data from the World Health Organization. I’m just the messenger, I’m not making claims, I’m reporting what is in the mainstream medical literature.

      • Superiour Inttelecct said

        Dear Inferiour Inttelecct:
        Quite – if it’s supported by the IoM, BMJ, AND the WHO, isn’t it highly likely to be yet more medical establishment charlatanism? Don’t they all dismiss aids “rethinkers” are quacks for a start? Haha you didn’t see that coming…..

      • Henry Bauer said

        Superiour Inttelecct:
        The admittedly astonishing point is that the official statements promulgate conclusions and interpretations that are at variance with the data. The WHO data show that cholesterol and heart disease are not correlated, at least on a global scale; yet the official dogma continues to be that they are correlated. The Institute of Medicine report acknowledges that the data show that cholesterol, etc., are not valid measures of outcomes, but it does not draw the obvious conclusion that treatment guidelines are misguided. I invite everyone to read that report, which is available on-line from the National Academy Press (as is a later commentary on it): whether deliberate or not (and I think not, for incompetence is more common than malice), the report is almost unreadable, with endless repetitions and high-falutin jargon. I had to take it in very small doses.
        Another example of data at odds with official pronouncements is in the frequently revised Treatment Guidelines for HIV/AIDS: page after page of side effects, warnings, changes of recommendations from previous Guidelines, all clearly describing horrendous “side” effects of ALL antiretrovirals; yet the latest, supposedly least toxic ones continue to be recommended. Perhaps most striking is that the fatally toxic AZT continues to be prescribed in a number of cocktails, albeit it is called ZDV, zidovudine, no doubt in the attempt to disguise that it’s actually AZT.

      • Superiour Inttelecct said

        What you observe there is what I have also regularly noted, that rather than stating false data outright they just state conclusions (“opinions”) that are grossly contrary to those data. Because opinions have sacred High Priest expert status and are not considered to be true/false, they cannot be (in the mindset of laws and bureuratcracy) proved to be wrong.

        I sort-of agree with your point about incompetence more common than malice. But there’s a third way which is selective denialitis of personally inconvenient reality (such as denying that the nhs the denier has a job in are a load of charlatans.) Re the incomprehensible jargon, in my experience that sometimes represents a definite deliberate ruse to deceive: to browbeat with “this is above your head” and to avert the reader from noticing how slender or non-existent the real evidence is. At best it’s a symptom of writers who do not have a clear mission to inform, and consequently successfully fail at it. And that wouldn’t be surprising if their job depends on constant avoidance of the truth.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Superiour Inttelecct:
        “rather than stating false data outright they just state conclusions (“opinions”)”: note the comment from putinreloaded — the HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines are based on rankings of opinions
        “selective denialitis of personally inconvenient reality”: That’s also known as cognitive dissonance. NOne of us is free from the tendency not to see, not to grasp, evidence that contradicts our beliefs.

      • Superiour Inttelecct said

        Henry, I appreciate that you aren’t a superiour inttelecct, but nevertheless I’d hope you could avoid uttering an evidence-free assertion that “None of us is free from the tendency…..”. On the contrary one of the key qualities of a scientific genius (or any genuine genius) is the freedom from such bias such as to get an objective appreciation of, in the case of science, truth and reason, and, in the case of art, what is truly artistic rather than just what they’ve done themselves. That’s why sci geniuses tend to produce a whole series, and why Bachs and Beethovens are characterised by persistently high quality rather than just quantity. A few things by Mozart and Beethoven hang on the coat-tails of their father’s name, but very few mostly junior items.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Superiour Inttelecct:
        There may be differences in degree, but no human being is capable of perfect 100% objectivity.

  3. KC Blair said

    Excellent analysis and article, Henry.

    Thank you.

    • KC Blair said

      Hello.
      Ive got your evidence-based medicine.

      First, Marcia Angell questions modern medicine: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

      Then, Henry Bauer writes: “A corollary of Angell’s conclusion is that some part of contemporary medical practice, promoted or endorsed by mainstream institutions, is based on misleading information and thereby either medically harmful, or just medically useless but wasteful of time and money, or occasionally medically helpful but only by coincidental chance.”

      Finally, Henry reports examples: Others have found no relationship between HIV and AIDS and there is no evidence of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

      The findings of Angell and Bauer do not surprise me. Sometime ago I noticed things in modern medicine were not as they were purported to be. I searched and studied the overall relationship between changes in our exposure to allopathic medicine and changes in our overall health. The relationship is negative. I found seven cases when modern medicine went on strike but for emergency and trauma care. In every case (100%) when the strike started the death rate dropped only to return to the pre-strike level after the strike. The average decline in the death rate was 32%. The sources were obituary and funeral society data.

      From all of my findings on this subject I predict about 50% of all U.S. deaths every year are due to modern medicine. We expose ourselves to allopathic medicine for condition A and die of the unrelated condition B. Insiders use a Latin word for it: iatrogenesis or the iatrogenic effect, unintended consequences. I wrote and presented a paper on it: Modern Medicine: An Illusion http://www.goodsamiam.com/SSE-2006-Paper.pdf. There, you will find all of the research I could find. It is all consistent with the seven-strike findings. The Appendices are important.

      Later, when I read modern medicine’s profits were down and it was going to put more of its R&D and promotion dollars into pushing vaccines I searched for the relationship between vaccines and our overall health. Of all the historical diseases in which vaccines were introduced there is a clear pattern: The life-cycle graph of the incidence of deaths for each disease started up its curve, peaked, and started back down. About two-thirds of the way down the vaccine was introduced, resulting in no change in the rate of decline, as death rates continued down, approaching zero. While there is no positive relationship between vaccines and the diseases’ death rate life cycles, the M.D. researcher, whom was first to assemble the data, draw the graphs, and write the first book about them, concluded that vaccines cured us from these diseases because after introduction the death rates approached zero. It had to be obvious to any skeptical reader his conclusion was incorrect. http://www.goodsamiam.com/vaccination-and-disease.htm.

      That overall modern medicine, its invasive medicines, vaccines, procedures, and high-tech measuring devices enhance our overall health seems to be an effective and efficient meme without fact and definitely not evidence-based.

      One time Henry brought to my attention that no published theory of allopathic medicine has been found. Actually, anyone can develop a theory for allopathic medicine, as I have. It is negative. As to the lack of a published theory of allopathic medicine: Now you know the rest of the story.

      My articles can be found on my website: http://www.goodsamiam.com/.

      KC Blair

  4. I desperately need haart right now, please help said

    Evidence-defying “expertise”:
    http://www.bit.ly/foihg

    • Henry Bauer said

      I desperately….:
      There’s a little section about mercury and amalgam in my new book: the data presented by well-established chemist Boyd Haley is ignored.

      • I desperately need haart right now, please help said

        I’m clearly begging for help and yet all he does is turn on the sales operation….typical profiteering denialists while the “medical establishment” are hard at work just giving their time free trying to help everyone.

        Anyway thanks for saving me the bother of writing the book myself, so I’ll look into buying it and sue for misrepresentation if it doesn’t live up to the blurb.

      • Henry Bauer said

        I desperately…:
        Careful! Not everyone recognizes irony or satire…

      • Superiour Inttelecct said

        Careful! Not everyone recognizes irony or satire…
        Probably the same lot who don’t recognise honesty or truth.

  5. When is the WHO going to admit “there are no valid data on the effectiveness and safety of ARVs” ?

    For example, the Dutch guidelines for HIV treatment ( http://www.cbo.nl/Downloads/277/rl_antiretrov_2007.pdf ) classifies the strength of evidence as (page 28):

    – A1: systematic reviews of A2 studies,
    – A2: large randomized studies,
    – B: smaller randomized clinical trials
    – C: non-comparative studies
    – D: expert opinions

    They justify their guidelines for treatment of adults with an A1 document:

    Staszewski S, Hill AM, Bartlett J, Eron JJ, Katlama C, Johnson J, et al.
    Reductions in HIV-1 disease progression for zidovudine/lamivudine related to control treatments: a meta-analysis
    of controlled trials. AIDS 1997; 15: 477-83.

    Amazingly, the best piece if evidence they could find is just a comparison of ARVs with another ARV instead of a placebo:

    CONCLUSIONS:
    ZDV/3TC combination treatment delays the progression of CDC B/C disease compared with control treatments (ZDV or ZDV/zalcitabine (ddC)). In view of the low incidence of CDC C events, the results for progression to CDC C disease should be interpreted with caution.

    You can’t draw any conclusions of ARVs being more effective that no treatment or symptom-oriented treatments with such a study. It’s like Phillip Morris comparing its air-filtered cigarettes against Marlboro’s and Winston’s, then claim its product fights lung cancer because the observed incidence was lower. The non-smoking control group was absent!

  6. Matt said

    A non-infectious “AIDS-like” illness is occurring in Asia. How do you think the epidemiological study was conducted to determine non-infectiousness in this case versus what happened in the early eighties? Here is the link to the story.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57498764/mysterious-aids-like-disease-discovered/

  7. KC Blair said

    Hello, Henry.
    I hope you are excellent.
    This week I thought I sent a posting. If you rejected it, no problem. If you did not get it, I may modify it and send again.
    This is the only email I could find to contact you. Google and Wicky offered no help and I am not currently a dues-paying member of SSE so I could not use that email.
    KC

    • Henry Bauer said

      K C Blair:
      I don’t know about the earlier one. I’ve been having computer problems, with no end of them in sight

      • Denialophobe said

        Henry, I had no idea that wordpress’s websites were being run from your own computers. Puts a whole new perpective on internet power.
        By the way, one way of minimising computer problems is to stick to xp sp3 and office 2000 as your software. Less profits for MS, but far less bother for you. I hardly need to persuade you that change is not always progress.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Denialophobe:
        The WordPress site is fine but I do need my computer to work so I can moderate comments. One of my better decisions had been to make it a moderated blog, to keep the craziest and nastiest ones away.
        Re your BTW: It’s my beloved XP SP3 that has flummoxed my computer guru with frequent crashes; and I’ve kept my MS Office 2000, though augmented when necessary by the free OpenOffice which handles even the docx files

  8. cindey said

    love this…can’t wait to read the book.I was just having a discussion on the medical establishment ignoring so much evidence, anecdotal and otherwise that does not support current theories that lead to good big pharma jobs. they ignore nutrition and prescribe drugs requiring more drugs….sufferers of ills like multiple sclerosis, PD, Lyme, autism along with HIV/AIDs and victims of drugs need to start screaming from every country, from every forum that we want health not management and more drugs.

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