HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Fighting to save a baby

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/03/07

There are more details about what has happened and is happening to Lindsey Nagel’s baby in this story; and in this one, which also has links to much more.

From one of our Board members who has been in touch with the family comes this:
The Nagels ask: “JOIN us at Mower County Courthouse – April 1st & 2nd – 9am”.

Bear in mind that Lindsey Nagel was saved from death-by-antiretroviral-drugs because her parents fled with her.

The fact that she has been healthy for 2 decades, while still HIV+, indicates that a positive HIV+ test on a baby does not mean an inevitable death sentence.
Of  course there’s a whole lot of other evidence, in the mainstream archive,  that HIV+ does not necessarily mean infection; and that there are “long-term non-progressors” or “elite controllers” who never become ill while HIV+.

See also the data in my earlier comment: Most HIV+ babies revert spontaneously to HIV-, because theybtested HIV+ only as a result of ANTIBODIES transferred from the mother.

Under those circumstances, it seems to me to be criminal medical malpractice to subject a newborn baby to antiretroviral treatment just because the mother may be HIV+ and a quick test on the baby also came up positive.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens.

Should ignorance of medical facts be an excuse for doctors?
For social workers and lawyers who trust what the doctors say?

I’m reminded of a couple of decades ago when quite a number of British parents lost custody of their children on the grounds that they had been sexually abused. Eventually a Royal Commission, long demanded by the parents, found that the only evidence of sexual abuse was measurements made on the childrens’ anal muscles together with the hypothesis, initially by a single doctor, that those measurements could establish the occurrence of sexual abuse.
So much for late-20th century evidence-based medicine.

The Lindsey Nagel and baby Rico case illustrates that early-21st-century medicine is no more evidence-based than medical practice was a few decades, or a few centuries, or a few millennia ago.

3 Responses to “Fighting to save a baby”

  1. mo79uk said

    If I were local I’d be there. A very upsetting case.
    I’m going to break Godwin’s Law and have no inhibition in calling this medical Nazism.

  2. it seems to me to be criminal medical malpractice to subject a newborn baby to antiretroviral treatment just because the mother may be HIV+ and a quick test on the baby also came up positive.

    Newborns to HIV+ mothers are medicated right away, no “rapid testing” required. Check out the protocols for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

    Regarding the ethical question, it is brought up in the following paper (1991):

    Children born to women with HIV-1 infection: natural history and risk of transmission

    On page 258, top of right-hand column, it says:

    “…this implies a positive predictive value of only 80% and may therefore not be an indication for therapies with side-effects”

    HIV infection of the mother is a predictor of HIV infection in the newborn. Its positive predictive value is ca. 15% (if we credit official sources). With such a low ppv and applying the same criteria, is it unethical to treat these newborns with box-warning ARVs on the sole basis of their mother’s infection.

    Under these conditions, chemotherapy will cause unnecessary iatrogenic injury to a baby that has more than 85% chances of being born HIV- with no intervention at all. From a purely ethical point of view, it’s hard to justify inflicting permanent injury to 8 healthy children to try and prevent the infection of 2.

    In the case of Lindsey, not having progressed to AIDS in 20 years calls into question the accuracy of her diagnosis. This uncertainty further lowers the ppv for her baby, and we can be almost certain to be recklessly applying “cowboy medicine” to a baby at no risk.

    This same ethical objection had been raised in 1994 regarding AZT for babies:

    Ethical Challenges Posed by Zidovudine Treatment to Reduce
    Bayer, Ronald
    November 17, 1994
    New England Journal of Medicine (11/03/94) Vol. 331, No. 18,

    Despite the prospect of great benefits from the study showing that the use of zidovudine (AZT) can help reduce maternal- infant transmission of HIV, many ethical questions remain unanswered. The most important issue is whether AZT will put at risk the 70 to 80 percent of children who, though born to infected women, would not have been infected themselves.

    I hope these references can help the Nagels make their case somehow.

  3. Maternal antibodies make ELISA and Western Blot diagnosis impossible for newborns. This is used as a justification for testing them with PCR, which has now become standard (mal)practice. But PCR is the least specific of all HIV tests, producing an extremely high rate of false positives, especially in babies:

    2004: Diagnosis of Perinatal Transmission of HIV-1 Infection by HIV DNA PCR
    “In our study we had a very high incidence of false positive HIV DNA PCR (75%) especially in younger infants though there were no patients with a false negative HIV DNA PCR.”

    Faced with the impossibility of a proper diagnosis, AIDS doctors are just happy to lower the standards of testing as far as it takes. They just can’t just forgo the dubious privilege of misdiagnosing and over-medicating baby at any cost.

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