HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for April, 2014

Reminiscing; not much new under the sun; why gay men and Africans are the predominant victims

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/04/27

For different reasons I recently re-read Joan Shenton’s Positively False (1998; an updated version is in publication) and a review I wrote in 1996 of five HIV/AIDS dissident works (Lauritsen, Poison by Prescription [1990] and The AIDS War [1993]; Fumento, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS [1990]; Root-Bernstein, Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus [1993]; Ellison & Duesberg, Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS [1994]). That brought home how compelling was the evidence, already very early in the AIDS era and from a considerable variety of viewpoints and phenomena, that HIV is not the infectious cause of AIDS.

Root-Bernstein in particular — as befits the immunologist that he is — pointed out how many reasons there can be for immunedeficiency. Any number of challenges can weaken the immune system: infections of all sorts, drugs, blood transfusions, age that is too young or too old; and the opportunistic infections that characterized 1980s-AIDS had long been observed — albeit rarely — as resulting from those conditions. Data from antibody surveys revealed that Africans and gay Americans had typically been exposed to a considerably greater number of different infections than had heterosexual Americans; and immune systems are weakened especially by multiple and concurrent challenges. If AIDS and “HIV-positive” both (independently) reflect immunedeficiency, here is cogent reason why Africans and gay men have been and continue to be the prime victims.

Semen is “One of the oldest identified alloantigens known to cause immune suppression . . . if it obtains access to the bloodstream or lymph”. Receptive anal intercourse risks such access, and such intercourse in both women and men was early identified as a risk factor for AIDS (p. 115 in Root-Bernstein).

That last point offers a possible, at least partial answer to the troubling, unresolved question, why “HIV-positive” continues to be more prevalent among even those gay men who never indulged in the “fast-lane” lifestyle of drug abuse and extraordinary promiscuity that brought about the initial “AIDS” “epidemic”. Systematic data are lacking, but there are a handful of anecdotes of gay men being “HIV-positive” and healthy for decades but then becoming more or less suddenly ill with some sort of “AIDS-like” symptoms. Perhaps a consequence of a long-standing but sub-acute weakness of the immune system? It is frustrating in the extreme that these anecdotes lack full information about all aspects of the individuals’ health histories and of what diagnostic attempts attending doctors may not have made: one knows that, quite routinely, doctors take an “HIV-positive” test as providing all the diagnosis they need.

—————————————————————–

That the fast-lane life bears primary blame for the 1980s epidemic seems clear enough. Larry Kramer’s novel Faggots and the documentary Where Ocean Meets Sky describe the scene quite graphically. Josef Sonnabend cautioned his gay clients during the 1970s that their continuing behavior would bring drastic consequences. Gordon Stewart saw AIDS-like symptoms among (heterosexual) drug abusers in the 1960s (Hodgkinson, AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science [1996] p. 103 f.).

It may be difficult to appreciate the impetus that led a small proportion of gay men to such self-destructive behavior unless one obtains some inkling of the intense persecution gay men routinely experienced, and the correspondingly intense sense of relief brought by so-called “gay liberation” following the “Stonewall” events of 1969. Among the books that have opened my eyes a bit about those things are Edmund White, States of Desire and City Boy. I recommend them highly, also Dennis Altman’s AIDS in the Mind of America and The Homosexualization of America; and Early Homosexual Rights Movement, 1864-1935 by John Lauritsen and David Thorstad. I’ve mentioned often before that Andrew Sullivan’s Virtually Normal is for me the most cogently reasoned argument I’ve read, deservedly credited for priming the road toward marriage equality.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

British premiere of “I won’t go quietly”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/04/15

Here’s an announcement showing about the documentary mentioned in The HIV assault on women and children

British premiere of

I WON’T GO QUIETLY

6 women, one diagnosis ? HIV positive, yet healthy

a film by Anne Sono

British premiere of

I WON’T GO QUIETLY

6 women, one diagnosis ? HIV positive, yet healthy

a film by Anne Sono

followed by a panel discussion with Anne Sono, Joan Shenton (award winning journalist) and Mike Hersee of HEAL London

Friday April 25th, 2014 at 6 pm

SOAS, School for Oriental and African Studies, Khalili Lecture Theatre, lower ground floor of Main College Building

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Entrance: 
£5
For online reservations please visit: www.ticketor.com/bluebell.de

Press release: http://www.pressdispensary.co.uk/releases/c993809/preview.html

 

 

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | Leave a Comment »

Poisonous “prophylaxis”: PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prevention)

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/04/08

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has ballyhoo-ed “PrEP: A New Tool for HIV Prevention”  because Truvada has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing HIV infection. Truvada — tenofovir (TDF) plus emtricitabine (FTC) — had been earlier approved (in 2004) for treating HIV infection.

The 4-page CDC Fact Sheet contains no adequate warning of toxicity; the closest is this recommendation: “Disclose to women that safety for infants exposed during pregnancy is not fully assessed but no harm has been reported”.

Media coverage included “Gay men divided over use of HIV prevention drug”; but the reported division was not over the feeding of toxic drugs to healthy people but over whether such prophylaxis might induce people not to use condoms. The story said nothing about the toxicity of Truvada.

But the official Treatment Guidelines, freely available from the National Institutes of Health, have much to say about toxicity:

Adverse Effects of Antiretroviral Agents (Last updated February 12, 2013; last reviewed
February 12, 2013)
Adverse effects have been reported with use of all antiretroviral (ARV) drugs; they are among the most common reasons for switching or discontinuing therapy and for medication nonadherence. . . . However, because most clinical trials have a relatively short follow-up duration, the longer term complications of ART can be underestimated. In the Swiss Cohort study, during 6 years of follow-up, the presence of laboratory adverse events was associated with higher rates of mortality, which highlights the importance of adverse events in overall patient management (page K-7). [In clearer language: these are deadly drugs that can and do kill]

TDF may cause kidney injury in some patients, particularly in those who have pre-existing renal disease or are receiving concomitant nephrotoxic drugs. In addition, TDF induces a greater decline in bone mineral density than other ARV drugs (page F-2).

Renal impairment, manifested by increases in serum creatinine, proteinuria, glycosuria, hypophosphatemia, proximal renal tubulopathy, and acute tubular necrosis, has been associated with TDF use. . . .
participants receiving TDF/FTC experienced a significantly greater decline in bone mineral density than ABC/3TC-treated participants page (F-14).
TDF/FTC — Potential for renal impairment, including proximal tubulopathy and acute or chronic renal insufficiency (Table 6)

[TDF and FTC are both NRTIs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors)]
Table 13. Antiretroviral Therapy-Associated Common and/or Severe Adverse Effects
Hepatic effects — reported for most NRTIs
Lactic acidosis —NRTIs
Nephrotoxicity/urolithiasis — TDF: ↑ serum creatinine, proteinuria, hypophosphatemia, urinary phosphate wasting, glycosuria, hypokalemia, non-anion gap metabolic acidosis
Osteopenia/osteoporosis — TDF: Associated with greater loss of BMD than with ZDV, d4T, and ABC.

Even Truvada’s own website acknowledges the serious risks of taking this drug:
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA?
TRUVADA can cause serious side effects:
Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach-area pain, cold or blue hands and feet, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or fast or abnormal heartbeats.
Serious liver problems. Your liver may become large and tender, and you may develop fat in your liver. Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach-area pain.
You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking TRUVADA for a long time [emphasis added. PrEP implies extended use, but the CDC Fact Sheet says nothing about long-term use increasing the risk of iatrogenic harm]. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.
Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and take TRUVADA, your hepatitis may become worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider. If your healthcare provider tells you to stop taking TRUVADA, they will need to watch you closely for several months to monitor your health. TRUVADA is not approved for the treatment of HBV.”

Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include:
New or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to take TRUVADA less often, or to stop taking TRUVADA. [But the CDC Fact Sheet warns that failure to take Truvada consistently may vitiate its PrEP benefit]
Bone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones.
Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines.
Changes in your immune system. If you have HIV-1 infection and start taking HIV-1 medicines, your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. This may cause minor symptoms such as fever, but can also lead to serious problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking TRUVADA.
The most common side effects of TRUVADA are:
In people taking TRUVADA with other HIV-1 medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, common side effects include: diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, headache, dizziness, depression, problems sleeping, abnormal dreams, and rash.
In people taking TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection, common side effects include: headache, stomach-area (abdomen) pain, and decreased weight.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away”.

And of course there is the usual
“You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit http://www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088”.
The ultimate purpose of this statement is to safeguard a drug’s manufacturer against lawsuits stemming from the drug’s toxicity, by pretending concern for patients.

Summary:

A drug with known serious toxic effects,
which become more serious over time,
is being recommended for continuous use
and unlimited use in healthy people.

This would be bad enough

if HIV were actually an infectious agent causing serious illness,
which however it isn’t (see The Case against HIV

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , | 22 Comments »

Antiretroviral drugs: Reading between the lines about toxicity

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/04/01

All attempts to vaccinate against “HIV” have failed, despite Gallo’s three-decade-old promise of a vaccine within a couple of years.
All attempts to prevent “HIV infection” by means of microbicides have failed despite a couple of decades of attempts.

Unbiased observers might well infer that there is something wrong with HIV/AIDS theory.

Biased observers and interested parties, on the other hand, might experience cognitive dissonance and continue to put more of their efforts into “managing HIV infection”. Indeed, prominent spokespeople like AIDS-Tsar Anthony Fauci have been crowing for quite some time about the wonders of contemporary antiretroviral treatment which has allegedly turned the dreaded disease into a manageable, chronic ailment.

On the other hand, most “HIV-positive” individuals tell quite a different story, as do the official Treatment Guidelines, provided one reads between the lines of those Guidelines and notes that they are revised several times a year, that once-recommended treatment protocols get de-recommended and even recommended-against as time goes by, and that the Guidelines are replete with descriptions of hideous “side” effects of all the drugs and their combinations and their interactions with other medications — see “Antiretroviral drugs lead to normal life?”

Another instance of needing to read between the lines about antiretroviral drugs comes in the recent hyping of HIV/AIDS “cure research”:

Congressman Henry Waxman meets on Cure for HIV
Those taking “HIV treatment medications . . . are saddled with side effects and can die at a higher rate than non-HIV people. . . . David O’Dell . . . reported on his 27-year battle with HIV/AIDS [including] . . . . his many ongoing side effects of medications and complications from the HIV, including a stroke and extreme neuropathy, due to general inflammation caused by HIV and the treatment medications themselves have resulted in disability requiring governmental financial assistance. This was gripping testimony about a stark life with what is popularly called a ‘chronic controllable disease’ or the ‘new HIV normal.’”

Antiretroviral treatment does not make for a normal life and normal life-span, no matter the ballyhoo in advertisements by drug companies and in public statements by the likes of Fauci.
Furthermore, the “complications from the HIV” and “general inflammation caused by HIV” are ascribed to HIV only since the advent of antiretroviral drugs; there is no genuine evidence that HIV causes general inflammation, it is a speculation invented only because researchers have been unable to find a mechanism by which HIV can do what it is alleged to do.

A similar acknowledgement of the horrors of antiretroviral treatment is hidden in plain view in the Press Release from the International AIDS Society about “New cure HIV research”:
“HIV-infected individuals who harbour drug-susceptible virus, who have access to antiretroviral drugs, who can tolerate the drug side effects, toxicities, and other complications, and who are able to adhere to therapy can maintain control of HIV infection indefinitely. . . .
[One may wonder how many “HIV-positive” individuals satisfy all those caveats]
[T]hese therapies have limitations. They do not eradicate HIV, requiring people to remain on expensive and potentially toxic drugs for life. They do not fully restore health as patients still experience co-morbidities such as increased cardiovascular disease, bone disorders or cognitive impairment” [emphases added].

So cure research is certainly called for, with the sky the limit in terms of the resources that should be devoted to it:
“NIH recently awarded the Martin Delaney Collaboratories, large grants for research toward a cure, as well as a series of targeted funding initiatives to support this area of research. These programs are in addition to the substantial portfolio of ongoing basic and clinical HIV research of research related to the elimination of viral reservoirs and other research toward a cure.
Other traditional government-based funders of biomedical research like the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and viral hepatitis (ANRS), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the United Kingdom are also increasing their commitment to cure research, and a number of non-government groups are raising and spending considerable amounts of money on cure research. Many of the pharmaceutical companies that invested heavily in antiretroviral drugs are now also allocating some of their resources to address this question.
The investment now going to cure research is substantial but almost certainly not
sufficient”[emphasis added; researchers are not known to consider resources and investments sufficient, no matter how large they happen to be].

And once again, reading between lines may raise some eyebrows:
“ The profound regulatory issues that surround the testing of novel drugs (many with high potential for toxicities) in a population that is generally doing well will need to be addressed, and a regulatory pathway for advancing candidate therapies through the clinical trial process identified;
 Strong community support is needed to advocate against complacency and to ensure that patients and their communities are fully engaged and informed about the risks and benefits of curative studies” [emphases added].

The second point acknowledges that “cure” research is risky, something that might not seem obvious to the uninitiated. The first point says that some way must be found to sidestep the normal regulations that safeguard human subjects from being enticed into dangerous trials that may not offer them any benefit. My guess would be that ways will be found to carry out such trials in Africa.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, Legal aspects, uncritical media, vaccines | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »