HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

The Lazarus Effect and the puzzle of delayed illness in “HIV-positive” gay men

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/05/06

Recent comments from CJ and some digging into the past (Reminiscing; not much new under the sun; why gay men and Africans are the predominant victims) brought to the forefront of my mind what has been lurking in the background for quite a long time, the puzzle that is of literally vital importance to some unknown number of gay men: those who are aware of the lack of proof that HIV causes AIDS, who are both “HIV-positive” and healthy for a long time, but who then suffer illness which, for one reason or another, is ascribed or ascribable to “HIV”.

The evidence that HIV does not cause immunedeficiency and AIDS is powerfully strong in a number of ways (The Case against HIV). What first convinced me personally was the accumulated data on “HIV-positive” tests: what those tests detected is neither infectious nor correlated with AIDS (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
But that is overall. Could some small proportion of all the cases nevertheless conform to the mainstream view? Is it possible that HIV is after all what the mainstream says it is, but is responsible for only a small proportion of AIDS cases?
That seems awfully unlikely. Similar arguments apply as against the possibility that data from “HIV-positive” tests might be invalidated by contamination of samples or false positives (p. 39 ff. in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory): the data show extraordinary regularities with respect to sex, age, and race, at all levels of average “HIV-positive” prevalence. There seems no room for a “real HIV” to be lurking in the mass of mistaken “HIV”: if there were, then one or more of those correlations should break down at low prevalence.
Further: Everything the mainstream says about HIV has turned out to be wrong: that it targets T-cells and somehow destroys them indirectly by some occult mechanism, that it’s sexually transmitted, that it hides somewhere during a latent period of a decade or so.

So it seems impossible that the mainstream view could be valid in a tiny proportion of all instances when it is definitely wrong in almost all cases.

If Duesberg is right and HIV is a “passenger” virus, could it be almost always harmless as Duesberg claims and yet harmful to some people some of the time?
If de Harven is right and “HIV” tests pick up circulating DNA and things from endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), could one of those HERVs occasionally become functional, active, harmful?

Such speculations seem unlikely to be true. What an astounding coincidence it would be that everything the mainstream claims has been shown to be unfounded or ill-founded in innumerable instances and yet could be correct in a tiny proportion of instances, so tiny that all the observed correlations are not significantly affected.
I can’t see it.

Doesn’t the lifesaving cART or HAART demonstrate that the mainstream is basically correct?
Not at all. Antiretroviral drugs are not life-saving (Section 7.1.3 in The Case against HIV), indeed the drugs are incredibly toxic. That mortality rates declined almost immediately when HAART was introduced showed not that HAART is good but that it is not as highly toxic as what it replaced (Section 5.1.6 in The Case against HIV).
Moreover, what HAART replaced continues in use, albeit in lower doses, within HAART. Components of that — AZT and its cognate NRTIs and probably NNRTIs and the other kinds of antiretroviral drugs — destroy bone marrow and mitochondria (among other nasty effects) to produce long-term, cumulative, damage, albeit perhaps so gradually that consumers might live for quite a long time, though uncomfortably and in increasingly fragile health.

The Lazarus Effect is hyped by mainstream propagandists as proof that antiretroviral drugs work and transform illness into health: there have been a number of anecdotal accounts over the years of people seriously ill with “AIDS” rising vigorously from their sick-beds within a day or two of starting antiretroviral drugs.
But the Lazarus Effect actually speaks against HIV/AIDS theory, not for it.
HIV is not claimed to cause any direct harm (Section 1.3 in The Case against HIV), only indirectly by supposedly destroying the immune system and allowing opportunistic infections to get a foothold. Antiretroviral drugs are designed to prevent replication of HIV, and there is no reason to expect that such an effect could bring rapid recovery from an illness. Rather, the “antiretroviral” is evidently acting against whatever opportunistic infection or inflammation a somehow weakened immune system allowed. Antiretroviral drugs are known to be magnificently toxic to living cells, and the Lazarus Effect actually demonstrates the antibiotic action of “antiretroviral” drugs. As Drs. Koehnlein and Sacher have pointed out, this gives grounds for prescribing antiretroviral drugs for short periods when it has not been possible to identify the specific cause of an illness. In no way does the Lazarus Effect support HIV/AIDS theory or the use of antiretroviral treatment over extended periods of time (let alone for so-called pre-exposure prevention, PrEP — see Poisonous “prophylaxis”: PrEP [Pre-Exposure Prevention]).

Mainstream shibboleths in relatively recent times have come to include the presumption that “HIV” can somehow cause damage directly to organs including the brain: publications refer to “HIV-associated” dementia, lipodystrophy, arthritis, and more. But those ailments have been “HIV-associated” only since the advent of antiretroviral treatment, and they are actually caused by the antiretroviral drugs (Section 4.3.4 in The Case against HIV); those drugs have legions of toxic effects and are anything but “life-saving” (Section 5 in The Case against HIV).

Another possible explanation for the Lazarus Effect is hormesis: Substances and types of radiation that are harmful at larger doses may actually be beneficial at low doses — the dose-response curve is U- or J-shaped. Thus an initial or short-term “antiretroviral” treatment might appear as life-saving. A common explanation for hormesis is that the poisonous stimulus brings the immune system into action to a degree that more than outweighs the poisonous effect.
The phenomenon of hormesis has been controversial, but it is being increasingly recognized as genuine. A useful review is “Defining hormesis” by Calabrese and Baldwin (Human & Experimental Toxicology, 21 [2002] 91-7 ). A specialist society is dedicated to the study of hormesis: the International Dose-Rresponse Society  which has published a journal for more than a decade.

A personal speculation: some of the adjuvants used in vaccines might work because of hormesis since such adjuvants as squalene and aluminum salts have been reported as harmful at large doses.

* * * * * * * *

How then to comprehend cases of gay men who have been both “HIV-positive” and healthy for a long time and who then suffer illness which, for one reason or another, is ascribed or ascribable to “HIV”?

Taking the dissident stance that “HIV” is not the cause of immunedeficiency, one recalls that there are innumerable possible cause for immunedeficiency (described comprehensively by Root-Bernstein in Rethinking AIDS—The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus, Free Press, 1993).
Furthermore, it is not only “HIV-positive” gay men who experience illness that their doctors cannot diagnose specifically (When doctors can’t tell you what’s wrong).  It is not impossible, after all, that when gay “HIV-positive” men become ill, that the illness has nothing to do with being gay or with being “HIV-positive”. As we go through life, all of us — women and men, heterosexual and bisexual and homosexual — sooner or later lose health and die.

Still, there is at least one reason why “HIV-positive” gay men may be especially prone to illness: the Nocebo Effect.
It has become generally understood that the Placebo Effect is very real, albeit its mechanism is not understood: Belief that one is being cured can in itself effect a cure *.
It is less widely understood that the same not-understood mechanism can have the opposite, nocebo, effect: Belief that one is going to become ill or to die can in itself bring about illness or death. Not widely enough understood, especially by doctors, is that what a doctor says to a patient can be very damaging when the doctor is simply trying to be straightforward and truthful about conveying bad news **.
This is clearly of great relevance with “HIV/AIDS”, as discussed in The AIDS Cult by John Lauritsen & Ian Young (ASKLEPIOS, 1997), and is clearly pertinent to the puzzle of “HIV-positive” gay men who consider themselves HIV/AIDS dissidents and have been healthy for a long time but then become ill with symptoms associated with AIDS.
It cannot be easy to thoroughly believe the dissident view if one is not a doctor or scientist widely read in the copious technical literature. Most gay men surely find themselves in the dilemma of having to choose who to believe, mainstream doctors and scientists or dissident doctors and scientists. It cannot be easy, when one’s own health and life are at stake, to make such a choice, to believe one group or the other without fully understanding the technical issues, having to take opinions on faith by trusting the expertise and honesty of people who are not known on a personal level.
Surely most gay dissidents have at least occasional doubts, perhaps only subconscious, that perhaps the mainstream could be right after all. That sort of doubting, worrying, would be prime ground for generating stress and a nocebo effect.

* * * * * * * *

This is an attempt to clarify the dreadful dilemma faced by some number of gay men.
In recent correspondence made available for wider distribution, one man in this situation wrote that antiretroviral drugs were effectively treating his cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis, at the cost of such “side” effects as : nausea, pain / headache (to the point of continual moaning and pacing), itchy groin/feet (scratched until I bled), insomnia, fatigue, bags under my eyes, bloated, swollen ankles, calves and thighs, diarrhoea, tingling hands, feeling cold”.
The fundamental unresolved problem is how to strengthen a weakened immune system, and medical science seems to offer no help in that direction: “I’ll wean myself off the medications over the coming year, but getting my immune system (specifically my cell-mediated immunity) operating well has been problematic. Let’s see if I succeed the third time around!”.
Dr. Christian Fiala commented that antiretroviral drugs are certainly effective against bacteria, more so than regular antibiotics, and also against viruses, “However you have to be careful that they kill the virus before they kill the patient”. Dr. Claus Köhnlein emphasized that antiretroviral drugs can be useful in extreme cases, but “HIV theory is still the reason for a massive overtreatment because most patients are being treated prophylactically”.

Clarification is needed, I believe; but what’s really needed is help in finding ways to strengthen immunity and to diagnose the actual underlying cause of the weakened immunity in each of these individual cases. That’s where research is needed most desperately.
* Howard Brody with Daralyn Brody, The Placebo Response: How You Can Release the Body’s Inner Pharmacy for Better Health (Harper Perennial, 2001); Arthur K. Shapiro and Elaine Shapiro, The Powerful Placebo: From Ancient Priest to Modern Physician (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000); Anne Harrington (ed.), The Placebo Effect: An Interdisciplinary Exploration (Harvard University Press, 1997).
** For a review of studies, see Nocebo phenomena in medicine: Their relevance in everyday clinical practice by Winfried Häuser, Ernil Hansen, & Paul Enck, Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 109 (2012) 459-65 (in English).  The Skeptic’s Dictionary gives a useful summary (nocebo and nocebo effect). A few anecdotes are cogently recounted on YouTube by Helen Pilcher (The nocebo effect — Helen Pilcher — nothing event).

24 Responses to “The Lazarus Effect and the puzzle of delayed illness in “HIV-positive” gay men”

  1. So many thoughts, since I know so many gay men who you are writing about.

    Consider the possibility that “HIV” is real, but is the consequence of disease, not the cause. Perhaps even a cellular distress signal. Think smoke detector. Eliminating smoke detectors may make for a quieter environment, as the house burns down.

    Interesting take on the Lazarus Effect, too.

    Here’s a catch, as I see it. Enough gay men presented as a cluster with similar symptoms to catch the CDC’s eye long before there had been enough time for any nocebo effect to take place with the rest of us. The rate at which the illnesses appeared before AZT was trialed was too phenomenal to be explained away as a hat trick.

    Keep in mind too that before “AIDS”, we were being warned about “Gay Bowel Syndrome” in the 1970s, so this disease did not manifest suddenly, let alone overnight. It had been stewing for at least a decade.

    I know of three gay men—AIDS dissidents all, and all who refused to take ARVs—who are currently hospitalized with KS and/or pneumonia, two of the original AIDS defining diseases. Another is possibly dealing with PML, which one never hears about outside of the Affected community. They are in countries widely distributed across the planet.

    All of them that I know of have extremely low CD4 counts… a correlation that was observed long before the Gallo/Heckler press conference. There is only one who has not disclosed that information to me, but I know odd when I see them.

    Those of us who have started or resumed some form of antiretroviral treatment are in much better shape. At least we’re not in the hospital. None of these dissident Affecteds with whom I stay in contact are reporting any serious adverse effects. Of course, we all worry about cumulative long term adverse effects, and some of us are going out of our way to minimize those by being creative with the dosing.

    Just refusing to accept the orthodox argument that HIV is the sole and sufficient cause of AIDS doesn’t seem to be enough for too many of us, and I am concerned about some of those who are seemingly so “healthy” today. The current brand of AIDS dissidents, in the name of avoiding the “bone pointing” are encouraging at risk individuals to refuse to test for antibodies, t-cells and PCR “viral load”.

    That’s the best we have to offer? Another common fable from Australia comes to mind: burying one’s head in the sand will protect them.

    Dissidents are all over the board about what the missing piece/s of the puzzle is/are, despite the fact that the leading AIDS dissident organization has spent nearly $1M since 2000. An organization that you serve as a board member. A board that lacks representation from a single Affected person.

    I’ll have to leave off with that for now, as I’m trying to get ready for a flight in the morning, but I would like to continue this conversation, Henry. Suggesting that all of those dissident Affecteds who are or were sick or dead got there solely because we were convinced to do so just isn’t a sufficient answer to me, though I am willing to consider it could be one of several co-factors for some men.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Jonathan Barnett:

      I appreciate your informative comments, which I know are based on much experience gleaned by many people.

      I do actually think that HIV is somehow a marker of disease, after all “HIV+” is found with a large variety of illnesses.

      In my view the early AIDS cases were lifestyle-induced as Sonnabend (initially), Callen, Lauritsen and others maintained. And I agree that it was coming over a period of time, indeed a lifestyle explanation just about requires a “latent” period of accumulating damage.

      I hope I didn’t come across as suggesting nocebo as sufficient explanation, I see it as only a possibly contributing factor in some cases.

      One of the salient problems overall is that individuals differ in what they are sensitive to, and to what extent. Some lifelong smokers reach healthy 80s and 90s without getting lung cancer, while many younger smokers die of it. Huge numbers of people take statins without apparent harm. but one of my acquaintances is sure she suffered leg damage from it, and I’m quite sure that one of my friends died from damage to his heart muscle.
      So I don’t think that the “fast-lane” lifestyle brought AIDS and death to all who practiced it, nor that the potential toxicities of ARVs affect everyone in the same way.

      As to Rethinking AIDS: What else should we be doing? I think the website(s) are surely useful, David Crowe’s has a great deal of useful data on it, I think the 2009 Oakland conference was well worth putting on — and it’s a shame that a hoped-for one in 2011 didn’t come off, in part because we didn’t raise enough money.

      I would like to continue the conversation. I was hoping for that with this blog post. That I can’t see where real help can come from is a reason to hope for input from everyone who has ideas and information and experience.

      To end on the lightest possible note: I think it’s South African ostriches that are supposed to hide their heads in the sand and not the Australian emus. (But ostriches don’t actually do it either).

  2. It’s a little late now to suggest what can be done, since RA is broke. But when the money was flowing would have been a good time to conduct some basic research of our own. The Perth Group had some proposals, I believe. I would have thought that would fit nicely into the goals of such a “scientific” organization.

    I’d like to see a trial of Affected gay men utilizing organic acid tests and comprehensive stool analysis. Six to ten gay men, HIV-positive, some sign of poor health or immune dysfunction. Will we find anything in common with them? These tests are rarely used by allopathic clinicians, but they can yield a wealth of information.

    It’s how I discovered I had fungal and bacterial overgrowth in my gut, despite no indication of that based on mainstream blood tests, including blood cultures.

    Such a modest proof-of-concept research trial could probably be done for $5-10K. Even if it was twice that, the potential for new information is substantial, imho.

    Gut health is probably the single most likely co-factor for “AIDS” in gay men, and to the best of my knowledge, no one is studying it in that context.

    A friend recently wrote something that I think is rather profound as we talked about the divisiveness in the dissident community:

    “You have to know by now that for some its not about clinical outcomes of the diagnosed! Its more about the bad science that irks them more than anything.”

    She hit the nail on the head. So much of the AIDS dissident leadership is intent on pointing out and proving how and why the orthodoxy is wrong, while their ranks are being diminished and credibility is being lost because of so many sick and dying dissident Affecteds.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Jonathan Barnett:
      Since I haven’t been in RA when “the money was flowing”, I can’t comment on that. But you seem to have a mistaken view of RA. Have a look at
      We’re an open-membership organization trying to bring to attention that HIV/AIDS theory is wrong and wanting scientific studies to be made, but we’re in no position to do such studies or to commission them. I’ve been sad for quite some time over the animus against RA apparent in your tone and in words from Perth and Brink and others. Everyone I’ve come to know on the RA Board is concerned only with substantive approaches toward combating the disastrously wrong HIV=AIDS dogma. Our webmaster does yeoman work; David Crowe keeps us active as well as having much useful stuff on his own website; RA’s publicity group is ably headed by Martin Barnes who has also hosted some meetings in France that people found useful. At the RA Oakland meeting there were quite a few Affecteds who seemed enthusiastic about the meeting and about RA.

      I think you underestimate the resources needed even for the sort of study you suggest: the infrastructure and people-time needed for results that could be disseminated as meaningful.
      I’m far from the only one in RA to be concerned about sick and dying Affecteds, but I have no means or talents to do anything except read, think, and write, hoping that the words will somehow fall on productive ground. I don’t think we project ourselves as a “scientific” organization although obviously we flaunt the credentials of many of our members since media and public seem to judge by formal credentials. But “scientific” organization woulds anyway not entail doing or being capable of doing research or funding it: AMA in’t and doesn’t, for example.

      I agree that gut health seems an important co-factor for both “AIDS” and testing “HIV+”, and I’ve featured Tony Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis a number of times on my blog and elsewhere.

      I can and do empathize with your evident frustration because I’m frustrated too through being unable to see how to penetrate or vitiate the mainstream hegemony.
      But conversing can turn up new ideas. Only when thinking about this exchange did it occur to me that some clues might be found through the matter of ICL, idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia, HIV-negative AIDS, which was discovered or invented in the early 1990s to describe HIV-negative AIDS without admitting that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. I’m going to search the literature looking for publications about how ICL patients are treated. These are HIV-, immune-deficient people with manifest symptoms like those of the Affecteds. If there have been successful treatments for ICL, perhaps the same approach would work for Affecteds.

      • David L said

        “Everyone I’ve come to know on the RA Board is concerned only with substantive approaches toward combating the disastrously wrong HIV=AIDS dogma.”
        That’s exactly the problem! They appear to be concerned only with combatting dogma, and yet just regurgitate their own contrarian dogma, while completely ignoring any practical therapeutic strategies for affected people. I used to be part of the choir but found it ineffective. I think RA would get much further if they spent time proving something right, rather than proving things wrong.
        “At the RA Oakland meeting there were quite a few Affecteds who seemed enthusiastic about the meeting and about RA.”
        I was at the RA Oakland meeting and I left feeling quite angry by the lack of anything useful for affected people. It was mostly a bunch of people tooting their horns and preaching to the choir. Giraldo blamed affected people for unhealthy thinking and lifestyle choices. Duesberg’s talk was full of outdated 1980’s science, and after talking with him I gave up any hope of useful discourse. I wish I had been given an opportunity to speak about Kremer’s work, which seems to be the only remotely useful thing for understanding actual pathophysiology and potential therapeutic strategies.

      • Henry Bauer said

        David L:
        I’m truly sorry at your disappointment.
        Like many such voluntary, amateur groups, RA does pretty much what is done by those members who are personally willing to do it. I’m sure that RA would welcome with open arms Affecteds who want to be members and to contribute to RA’s activities and to serve on the Board.
        As for Oakland, the program did include some Affecteds: Karri Stokely, Tony Lance, Lindsey Nagel. Had you offered to speak?
        The largest problem about “understanding actual pathophysiology and potential therapeutic strategies” is the lack of certified knowledge. Those of us who are not HIV+ can only gather information where it is available. Few Affecteds share their experiences publicly, and in those cases we have anecdotes that may or may not be useful to others. This difficulty is illustrated with respect to Kremer’s work: Your view that it is the “only remotely useful thing” for understanding and potential therapy is not universally shared.
        This blog is open to Affecteds who want to share and discuss.

      • CJ said

        @ David L, who said That’s exactly the problem! They appear to be concerned only with combatting dogma, and yet just regurgitate their own contrarian dogma, while completely ignoring any practical therapeutic strategies for affected people. I used to be part of the choir but found it ineffective. I think RA would get much further if they spent time proving something right, rather than proving things wrong.

        I find this to be very relevant/true. After a while, when you take into the account all the people who develop immune dysfunction, you can see a need for [action] something other than cerebral, political, The Great Science War, The Grand Schism, The Great Blunder, The Great Hoax, The Supreme Injustice. HIV sure as hell doesn’t seem to be able to do all it’s purported to do, but, meanwhile people are still getting sick, need care and absolutely, therapeutic strategies. Care that doesn’t cause liver failure, kidney failure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, oxidative stress, bone problems, bone marrow problems, lactic acidosis and cancer (CD4’s going and viral load going the right way seems to provide the immune reconstitution setting in which Hodgkin’s disease develops).

        It’s essential to point out that the conventional treatment is toxic, and the theories can’t explain all the wide variation in outcomes and the groups HIV/AIDS impacts or doesn’t impact. But it does little to mitigate the actual, real, can-kill-you impact on people by focusing on the debate rather than a solution and hands-on care. LDN is one thing that seems to help. Supplements and nutrition sure seem to help many. Would it be the worst thing in the world to have a symposium where people come to talk about what works and what doesn’t, and what might work by piecing together the knowledge that is there? If it’s done with cancer, and other diseases, it can be done with AIDS. HIV may truly be a pile of horse manure, but AIDS is nothing to dismiss in a finger-pointing in a frenzy of blame. It’s somewhat like the situation with drug addicts who get thrown in jail—do they need punishment, or do they need rehabilitation?

        If you take a moment, and pause, and remember there are real people suffering and left with bad choices to make—I think you’ll find the answer.

        I held the dissident theories in high regard, and stopped using meth years ago due to what I read. Yet it wasn’t enough, and some of what the dissidents are saying doesn’t account for everything that’s happening and what can happen. It’s somewhat relevant, but obviously, if Tony Lance had to resort to taking ARVs for a while, something is definitely going on. It’s real, and can’t be explained or debated away or into submission. And then there are straight women who are HIV+ and get sick. Do you think they douched and f*cked and s*cked their way from Gomorrah? Is that the most important aspect? Or is it finding a way to revitalize without destroying?

        I read an interview with Marco Ruggiero, and some scientists are experimenting with different things, gCMAF, dendritic therapy, etc. and even doing studies where people stop ARVs. They might not be providing the complete answer, but at least people are doing something, trying something. Noreen Martin is out there on the boards talking about how well she’s doing on LDN, CD4 count and viral load be damned.

        The Dissident Movement needs a Rick Simpson (see youtube “Run From the Cure”) or a Burzynski (antineoplaston treatment for cancer). and others like them. Tangible, therapeutic things. And people can look up to, and find inspiration. I don’t see that in Robert Giraldo almost saying “You got what you deserved for the way you lived!” I don’t see how that is always so relevant when straight and bi people live pretty wild lives too—it’s not just gay men with the sex and drugs.

        If a river is polluted, what do you do, jump up and down all day about who poured what and where? Not if you want the river to rebound and return to health—you get out there and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

      • Jonathan said

        Yes CJ, Marco seems to be the RA board member most involved with Affecteds. He also believes not only that HIV exists, but that there is a relationship between it and “AIDS”, along with co-factors. I’m not sure how he can reconcile the message being projected by RA with his own opinions.

        There are others who are pursuing alternative treatment options, mostly in Europe. Felix de Fries and Ralf Meyer come to mind. Google Cell Symbiosis Therapy, based on the work of Dr. Heinrich Kremer. They won’t touch RA with a ten-foot-pole.

        Henry has suggested that I have a peculiarly negative “tone” when I write about RA. I can assure you it is one that RA has worked hard to earn with me by continuing to support the president of the organization. How many of us have to tell you about our disaffection to get the board’s attention?

        RA, as represented by David Crowe, has not only NOT welcomed Affecteds with open arms, I’ll gladly share the email he sent me explaining why RA is not the place for us, Henry. It is for “scientists” only. A short time later, Joan Shenton was added to the board.

        This kind of deceptive and manipulative behavior is to be expected from a politician, which is one of Crowe’s most noteworthy accomplishments on his VC (as it is on mine as well). It does not bode well for RA. Crowe has got to go. It appears that he runs the board, rather than the other way around.

        Crowe has done more to alienate critically important people in this movement than anyone else, perhaps just shy of Anthony Brink. I’m not sure the damage he has done can ever be repaired at this point.

        As I shared with another person privately: “There are lives in the balance here. Move your egos to the side of the road and let the rest of us pass!”

        This is all veering wildly off-topic, but there is a need for someone on RA’s board to listen to us and take our message back to the rest of the board. (When did the board last meet, anyway? Where is the agenda posted? The minutes of the meeting?) Otherwise, RA will continue to be an irrelevant nuisance for most of us, and a threat to the health and well-being of many others.

        I mean, do you really support the sole piece of medical advice to Affecteds who might find themselves in a hospital ICU with PCP/PJP, as prominently presented on the home page of the RA website?! Where is the “science” behind this advice? It’s crap, plain and simple, from a rather questionable source. As a board member, you are also responsible for any consequences incurred by people hospitalized with a life-threatening condition taking Garrido Sotelo’s advice.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Jonathan and other critics of RA:
        Please read RA’s mission and history. It seems to me that RA is being criticized for not being something other than what it claims and aims to be.

  3. rummel morton said

    Dear Barney,
    I have visited your web site many times and it seems that you suffer from no less than 6 major illnesses that could kill you. Can you provide evidence that your low t-cells or poor health are not related to any one of those other 6 illnesses. Can you explain how these other illnesses you have are ALL related to “HIV”, Are these other men you speak of who have “Low T-cells” suffering from as many illnesses as you do. You talk of this tests (t-cell count, antibody, and viral load) as if they all mean anything. Are you sure about this. The saddest thing about you is that one day you will die from any one of those numerous illness you suffer from and EVERYONE will say it was “HIV”.

    • I’m really surprised you allow comments from unidentifiable posters, Henry. The only person I know who calls me “Barney” is J Todd DeShong, and somehow, I don’t think this comment was from him. Since the only “Barneys” in my family are one uncle and my now-deceased older brother, I consider the use of the nickname by a stranger to identify me to be derogatory and insensitive, so there will be no response from me to the rest of that comment.

      • Henry Bauer said

        Jonathan Barnett:
        My apologies. The comment was not anonymous to me, when such things are suspicious I send an e-mail to the e-address given to check whether it’s fake, this one was not; so I mistakenly thought, from the tone, that he was known to you and vice versa.

  4. CJ said

    I can only speak about my own experience. When I got sick, found out I had pneumonia (no bronchosopy done), had lost weight, was severely anemic. It took about 3 months until I got on ARV’s and antibiotic (Bacrtim). I also started taking probiotics and vitamins daily, and was put on steroids which made me eat constantly. Within a month I had gained about 30 pounds and was no longer anemic. They could attribute it to the ARV’s, but again, was put on other things. Meanwhile, I had lymhoma that went undiagnosed for four months (hematologist said “you have no cancer in your body”.) I see the problem with HIV is that 1) physicians put blinders on and don’t get to the root of the problem–everything and anything is caused by HIV, and outside of pharma drugs, cd4 counts and viral load, nothing else is done. I am a glaring example of medical incompetence. You’re so hyperfocused on HIV you let a cancer go undiagnosed and grow for 4 months? Unacceptable 2) when someone gets sick, and even someone like me, who knew all about the other side of HIV, I felt like I had no choice in the matter, no one was there to support me in trying something else, insurance doesn’t always cover other types of doctors, and I felt as though, well, I’ll give them a try, yet the worry over taking toxic drugs that have a short-term benefit but do long-term damage never leaves you. 3) Dissident scientists or activists need to somehow focus on/provide some kind of manual for what to do if you find yourself sick, and what physicians you can turn to. This needs to be integrated into all the discussions. Sure, there are those that test positive and remain healthy with no infections for years. They certainly do exist, yet people like me developed some problems. I don’t think there should be a fight over who is the Dissident Poster Child–non-progressors or those who fall ill. The fact that it’s 30 years later, billions of dollars spent, and all we have is ARV’s as a solution is appalling. The only way this is going to change is if the dissidents speak out more about other ways to treat immune deficiency, in the way people who have used alternative means to treat cancer have spoken up and have been more proactive about it. On some level, you can only equivocate and deliberate and debate and split hairs for so long. Real action is needed. I feel as though I had to do research on my own and am in the process of trying to wean myself of ARV’s. But the choices I am being given and even the physicians themselves are often subpar at best. The doctor I saw who got me a prescription for LDN admitted that the ARV drugs have side effects, but they’re worth putting up with (off the cuff remark). I felt like saying “Do you or does anyone in your family take them?” I feel as though I know more about everything than he did, and that’s pretty pathetic.

    Basically a new intersection of dissident scientists, activists, doctors, etc. needs to take place. Some renergizing. The debate is far from over, the struggle far from being overcome. I am not proof that the conventional theory is correct–am walking proof that theory has holes in it miles wide, and real MEDICAL GUIDANCE and CARE is needed. I’m not trying to blame anyone, or put anyone down. Just serving as a gentle reminder of where the other side needs to go! Take care Henry, thanks for all that you do. Someone needs to do it!

    • Henry Bauer said

      I agree. I think the single most essential thing is to find doctors who are willing and able to look for causes other than “HIV+”. Exchange of experiences with other “HIV+” gay men who become ill is also important to gather ideas to feed to doctors, at least those who are willing to interact honestly and respectfully with their clients (“patients”).
      As I look for clues in the literature about “HIV-negative AIDS”, idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia (ICL or ICTL), I’m increasingly being convinced that every individual case needs individual attention, care, inspired attempts at diagnosis and possible treatments.

    • James said

      “Dissident scientists or activists need to somehow focus on/provide some kind of manual for what to do if you find yourself sick, and what physicians you can turn to. ”

      In the UK my friend found he could turn to no doctor. They are all apparently legally forbidden from treating someone who has AIDS unless the doctor is herself one of the state-sanctioned AIDS specialists.

      One thing my friend has found which has greatly enhanced his health is MSM. Since taking that in the last 18 months he has not even had a cold (his job requires him to converse with 100s of strangers every day). He has to buy MSM from a veterinarian supplier. It seems horses are given this fairly routinely, but not humans.

      • Henry Bauer said

        MSM was much talked about a number of years ago, primarily because it seems to make other substances more readily absorbed. I’ve been taking glucosamine chondroitin with MSM for a decade or more, and my joint problems have at least not gotten appreciably worse, and obviously it hasn’t done me any significant harm. I had read in what I consider a reliable source, cited by someone I knew, of studies showing value for glucosamine chondroitin against arthritis.
        At a dissident conference in Vienna in 2010 I heard from more than one HIV+ individual about not being able to get treated for anything without accepting ARVs as well.

      • CJ said

        Thanks for the tip about MSM. I’m going to research it 🙂

  5. Rummel Morton said

    It is not JUST about “HIV”. There was an excellent article in the recent issue of Harpers about the sad state of medicine in general. The basis summary of the article was 1) Do not assume your MD knows everything, educate yourself 2) MDs either forget everything they learned in medical school or what they learned is now obsolete. 3) The way MDs are taught today causes them to immediately shoot down one path at the exclusion of all other paths when diagnosing a patient 4) MDs generally will go along with whatever MD in the past said was your problem, regardless of the facts they find 5) MDs are generally dismissive of patients who educate themselves. Sad to say but patients need to “manage” their MDs and not take anything they say as gospel. The article forgot to add how the pharma industry has corrupted medicine and science but I guess that is another article.

    • CJ said

      To Rummel: I was only speaking about my own experience, which you bulldozed over in a frenzy of know-it-all puffery. This is why this is has gone nowhere. Instead of providing real help, people want to huff and puff and blow each other’s houses down. I agree that medical science in general is not up to par–no argument there. But the fact that I could be dead right now because someone hyperfocused on HIV and let a cancer go undiagnosed either indicates that you’re a very unfeeling person, or a know-it-all that cares only about your own thoughts. My experience and trauma means nothing to you. On a board where the focus of the discussion is HIV. And it’s NOT all about HIV? I must either be incredibly stupid, or must be that meaningless. I apologize for being a complete waste of space.

  6. James said

    “The Lazarus Effect is hyped by mainstream propagandists as proof that antiretroviral drugs work and transform illness into health: there have been a number of anecdotal accounts over the years of people seriously ill with “AIDS” rising vigorously from their sick-beds within a day or two of starting antiretroviral drugs.
    But the Lazarus Effect actually speaks against HIV/AIDS theory, not for it.
    HIV is not claimed to cause any direct harm (Section 1.3 in The Case against HIV), only indirectly by supposedly destroying the immune system and allowing opportunistic infections to get a foothold. Antiretroviral drugs are designed to prevent replication of HIV, and there is no reason to expect that such an effect could bring rapid recovery from an illness. Rather, the “antiretroviral” is evidently acting against whatever opportunistic infection or inflammation a somehow weakened immune system allowed. Antiretroviral drugs are known to be magnificently toxic to living cells, and the Lazarus Effect actually demonstrates the antibiotic action of “antiretroviral” drugs.”

    My close gay friend underwent this Lazarus effect. He was at the point where he was in danger of dying from starvation – no doctor could explain what was wrong with his digestive tract, and he simply could not eat because of pain, acid reflux and nausea on eating. So, he ate less and less often, until he was half his normal bodyweight. Obviously, he then got opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. When he checked into the hospital as soon as they heard he was gay, they diagnosed AIDS (without a single test being performed).

    Having studied the syndrome and the science and politics around AIDS for decades, he put off taking these ARVs for about 6 months after he first got pneumonia. He thenreluctantly began on ARVs. And though he’d been feeling ill for a couple of years, within 48 hours of starting on ARVs all his digestive problems went away. He thought that he was so weak, that the toxicity of the ARVs might finish him off. He had no illusions about the side effects of these drugs.

    However, even he stated a few days later, that them working in this way was itself evidence that weighed against the HIV theory. If HIV had been destroying his immune system for years, then why would his digestive problems disappear in 2 days? We came to the conclusion that, given the hit-and-miss contradictory way in which “HIV science” had been conducted, it was very likely that they have sometimes hit upon a combination of medicines some of which are having an effect on some as yet unknown/undiagnosed condition/agent.

    Sadly, he is so gripped by fear that his ill health will return, he’s still taking ARVs some 8 years later. Annually I suggest to him that whatever was wrong might by now have been fixed, but he won’t know unless he stops taking the ARVs. I fear that some other serious damage is being done by the ARVs which he may be now taking unnecessarily.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Thank you for the informative comment.
      And very best wishes to you and your friend, it’s a brutal dilemma to be in.

      • james said

        I forgot to say: he has already had some strange side effects from taking the ARVs. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say these occurred some 6 months or so after taking them. They are so unusual that when he attends one of the world’s top 5 hospitals for this kind of medicine, there is a long line of doctors who want to examine his condition. They’ve never seen anything like it before. Thankfully that condition stopped worsening a few years ago, and his body now even seems to be healing it. This condition doesn’t stop him leading a very active and productive life, but he does at least have a constant reminder that something strange is going on inside his body.

        My friend is at least being monitored every 6 months for any changes in blood chemistry etc. No sign yet of any serious problem. However as one of the other commenters here noted, his doctor managed to ignore other serious problems for a very long time. My own experience of trying to get medical treatment for a condition that is uncommon but far less complex than AIDS has made me very skeptical and hostile to medical doctors. I know far too many people (without AIDS) who have been fobbed-off, being told there was nothing wrong with them, who then ended up in intensive care because the doctors ignored very serious conditions.

      • Henry Bauer said

        As in a response to CJ—-
        Submitted on 2014/05/24 at 9:33 pm | In reply to CJ.
        We all need to be our own doctors . . . .
        People who suffer from really rare conditions — PANDA, Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy — face similar dilemmas. Also those affected by conditions that officially don’t exist, like Chronic Lyme disease, or for which there is no agreed treatment, like Irritable Bowel syndrome or Chronic Fatigue syndrome; “When doctors can’t tell you what’s wrong”; “Encephalitis and Hashimoto’s Encephalitis”.

    • CJ said

      Thanks for posting that. It just goes to show how nothing is cut and dry with HIV/AIDS and what these drugs can do–good or bad. I wish I had a friend like you, with me wanting to taper off ARV’s in the near future. I do hope your friend will be ok. I didn’t explain my situation as articulately as you did about your friend, but smiling that we did reach the same conclusion. My gut tells me something about conventional HIV theory doesn’t add up. So many categories into which one can fall.

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