HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Author Archive

Why skepticism about science and medicine?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2020/09/06

(cross-posted from scimedskeptic.wordpress.com)

My skepticism is not about science and medicine as sources or repositories of objective knowledge and understanding. Skepticism is demanded by the fact that what society learns about science and medicine is mediated by human beings. That brings in a host of reasons for skepticism: human fallibility, individual and institutional self-interest, conflicts of interest, sources of bias and prejudice.

I have never come across a better discussion of the realities about science and its role in society than Richard Lewontin’s words in his book, Biology as Ideology (Anansi Press 1991, HarperPerennial 1992; based on 1990 Massey Lectures, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation):

“Science is a social institution about which there is a great deal of misunderstanding, even among those who are part of it. . . [It is] completely integrated into and influenced by the structure of all our other social institutions. The problems that science deals with, the ideas that it uses in investigating those problems, even the so-called scientific results that come out of scientific investigation, are all deeply influenced by predispositions that derive from the society in which we live. Scientists do not begin life as scientists, after all, but as social beings immersed in a family, a state, a productive structure, and they view nature through a lens that has been molded by their social experience.
. . . science is molded by society because it is a human productive activity that takes time and money, and so is guided by and directed by those forces in the world that have control over money and time. Science uses commodities and is part of the process of commodity production. Science uses money. People earn their living by science, and as a consequence the dominant social and economic forces in society determine to a large extent what science does and how it. does it. More than that, those forces have the power to appropriate from science ideas that are particularly suited to the maintenance and continued prosperity of the social structures of which they are a part. So other social institutions have an input into science both in what is done and how it is thought about, and they take from science concepts and ideas that then support their institutions and make them seem legitimate and natural. . . .
Science serves two functions. First, it provides us with new ways of manipulating the material world . . . . [Second] is the function of explanation” (pp. 3-4). And (p. 5) explaining how the world works also serves as legitimation.

Needed skepticism takes into account that every statement disseminated about science or medicine serves in some way the purpose(s), the agenda(s), of the source or sources of that statement.

So the first thing to ask about any assertion about science or medicine is, why is this statement being made by this particular source?

Statements by pharmaceutical companies, most particularly their advertisements, should never be believed, because, as innumerable observers and investigators have documented, the profit motive has outweighed any concern for the harm that unsafe medications cause even as there is no evidence for definite potential benefit. The best way to decide on whether or not to prescribe or use a drug is by comparing NNT and NNH, the odds on getting benefit compared to the odds of being harmed; but NNT and NNH are never reported by drug companies. For example, there is no evidence whatsoever that HPV vaccination decreases the risk of any cancer; all that has been observed is that the vaccines may decrease genital warts. On the other hand, many individuals have suffered grievous harm from “side” effects of these vaccines (see Holland 2018 in the bibliography cited just below, and the documentary, Sacrificial Virgins. TV ads by Merck, for example in August 2020 on MSNBC, cite the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention as recommending the vaccine not only for girls but also for boys.

For fully documented discussions of the pervasive misdeeds of drug companies, consult the books listed in my periodically updated bibliography, What’s Wrong with Present-Day Medicine.
I recommend particularly Angell 2004, Goldacre 2013, Gøtzsche 2013, Healy 2012, Moynihan, & Cassels 2005. Greene 2007 is a very important but little-cited book describing how numbers and surrogate markers have come to dominate medical practice, to the great harm of patients.

Official reports may be less obviously deceitful than drug company advertisements, but they are no more trustworthy, as argued in detail and with examples in “Official reports are not scientific publications”, chapter 3 in my Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth (McFarland 2012):
“reports from official institutions and organizations . . . are productions by bureaucracies . . . . The actual authors of these reports are technical writers whose duties are just like those of press secretaries, advertising writers, and other public-relations personnel: to put on the actual evidence and conclusions the best possible spin to reinforce the bureaucracy’s viewpoint and emphasize the importance of the bureaucracy’s activities.
Most important: The Executive Summaries, Forewords, Prefaces, and the like may tell a very different story than does the actual evidence in the bulk of the reports. It seems that few if any pundits actually read the whole of such documents. The long public record offers sad evidence that most journalists certainly do not look beyond these summaries into the meat of the reports, given that the media disseminate uncritically so many of the self-serving alarums in those Executive Summaries” (p. 213).

So too with press releases from academic institutions.

As for statements direct from academic and professional experts, recall that, as Lewontin pointed out, “people earn their living by science”. Whenever someone regarded as an expert or authority makes public statements, an important purpose is to enhance the status, prestige, career, profitability, of who is making the statement. This is not to suggest that such statements are made with deliberate dishonesty; but the need to preserve status, as well as the usual illusion that what one believes is actually true, ensures that such statements will be dogmatically one-sided assertions, not judicious assessments of the objective state of knowledge.

Retired academic experts like myself no longer suffer conflicts of interest at a personal or institutional-loyalty level. When we venture critiques of drug companies, official institutions, colleges and universities, and even individual “experts” or former colleagues, we will be usually saying what we genuinely believe to be unvarnished truth. Nevertheless, despite the lack of major obvious conflicts of interest, one should have more grounds than that for believing what we have to say. We may still have an unacknowledged agenda, for instance a desire still to do something useful even as our careers are formally over. Beyond that, of course, like any other human beings, we may simply be wrong, no matter that we ourselves are quite sure that we are right. Freedom from frank, obvious conflicts of interest does not bring with it some superhuman capacity for objectivity let alone omniscience.

In short:
Believe any assertion about science or medicine, from any source, at your peril.
If the matter is of any importance to you, you had best do some investigating of evidence and facts, and comparison of diverse interpretations.

Posted in consensus, experts, prejudice, scientific literacy, unwarranted dogmatism in science, vaccines | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Unending Human Tragedy—and Scientific Scandal— of HIV/AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2019/03/08

The need to check facts carefully has become something of a shibboleth with respect to present-day political discourse in the United States. Only voices crying in the wilderness, however, have pointed to the need for fact-checking what society gleans from the scientific community — see my Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed (McFarland, 2017).

the title of this blog is also the title my review of How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France, A 2012 film and 2016 book, both of which received enthusiastic plaudits from the mainstream media and which repeat and thereby entrench the mistakes of HIV AIDS theory and practice.
The opening and closing paragraphs of my review reflect the fact that the journal in which it is published specializes in anomalistics — such topics as Loch Ness Monsters, Bigfoot, UFOs, psychic phenomenon — that are ignored and denigrated by the mainstream scientific community

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | 6 Comments »

The Unending Human Tragedy—and Scientific Scandal— of HIV/AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2019/03/08

The need to check facts carefully has become something of a shibboleth with respect to present-day political discourse in the United States. Only voices crying in the wilderness, however, have pointed to the need for fact-checking what society gleans from the scientific community — see my Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed (McFarland, 2017).

The title of this blog is also the title of my review of How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France, a 2012 film and 2016 book, both of which received enthusiastic plaudits from the mainstream media and which repeat and thereby entrench the mistakes of HIV AIDS theory and practice.

The opening and closing paragraphs of my review reflect that the Journal of Scientific Exploration, in which it is published, specializes in anomalistics which refers to such topics as Loch Ness Monsters, Bigfoot, UFOs, psychic phenomenon, that are ignored and denigrated by mainstream science.

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, uncritical media, unwarranted dogmatism in science | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

HPV does not cause cervical cancer; HPV vaccination can be deadly

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2018/09/16

(Cross-posted from http://scimedskeptic.wordpress.com/)

Evidence continues to mount that the presumed connection between HPV and cervical cancer is no more than a statistical association, not a causative relationship:

The Gardasil controversy: as reports of adverse effects increase, cervical cancer rates rise in HPV-vaccinated age groups

Annette Gartland

“The Gardasil vaccines continue to be vaunted as life-saving, but there is no evidence that HPV vaccination is reducing the incidence of cervical cancer, and reports of adverse effects now total more than 85,000 worldwide. Nearly 500 deaths are suspected of being linked to quadrivalent Gardasil or Gardasil 9.
As Merck’s latest human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil 9, continues to be fast tracked around the world, the incidence of invasive cervical cancer is increasing in many of the countries in which HPV vaccination is being carried out.”

Once again independent scientists without conflicts of interest are maltreated by bureaucratic organizations with conflicts of interest to commercial interests, drug companies in particular:

“This article was updated with information from the AHVID  on 14/09/2018.

Update 15/9/2018:

Peter Gøtzsche has been expelled from the Cochrane Collaboration. Six of the 13 members of the collaboration’s governing board voted for his expulsion.
. . . . .
‘This is the first time in 25 years that a member has been excluded from membership of Cochrane. This unprecedented action taken by a minority of the governing board . . . . ‘
In just 24 hours, Gøtzsche said, the Cochrane governing board had lost five of its members, four of whom were centre directors and key members of the organisation in different countries.
Gøtzsche says that, in recent years, Cochrane has significantly shifted more to a profit-driven approach. ‘Even though it is a not-for-profit charity, our ‘brand’ and ‘product’ strategies are taking priority over getting out independent, ethical and socially responsible scientific results,’ he said’”.

Posted in uncritical media, unwarranted dogmatism in science, vaccines | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

OFFICIAL!   HIV does not cause AIDS!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2018/03/22

The World Health Organization has issued a press release reporting that Swiss researchers have demonstrated that HIV cannot be the cause of AIDS because the so-called isolates of HIV routinely used in studies of HIV and of AIDS do not actually contain live infectious particles of a retrovirus.
Reporters have so far being unable to get responses to questions they have addressed to a variety of institutions and individuals:
The World Health Organization was asked why it had ignored its own sometime epidemiologist who had pointed to the fudging of data to create apparent epidemics [1].
Robert Gallo was asked where he regretted having described as flat-earthers [2] the scientists who had disagreed with him.
Anthony Fauci was asked whether he regretted threatening journalists who covered dissenting voices about HIV [3].
Dr. Nancy Padian was asked why she had not recognized the significance of her failure to observe during ten years any transmission of HIV among sexually active couples of whom one was HIV+ and the other not [4].
The Centers for Disease Control were asked to explain how they could have issued patently wrong statistical information.
The Food and Drug Administration were asked how they could have approved the use of toxic substances as purported medication for a non-existent virus.
The drug company Gilead Sciences was asked to explain how it had decided that its drugs were capable of killing a non-existent virus.
…………….

All that is a fable, of course, or rather a parable — it is not true literally but it points to important truths.
Perhaps it may serve to drive home the important insight that it is quite inconceivable, quite impossible, that any official institution would admit that HIV/AIDS theory is wrong, it would raise too many unanswerable questions.
And yet the evidence is so copious and clear-cut that the theory is in fact wrong (The Case against HIV).

That hugely important fact about the role of science in the modern world, that a wrong theory could become generally accepted, reflects what President Eisenhower warned against more than half a century ago, namely, that public policy could be captured by a scientific-technological elite.
That has now actually come to pass not only in the case of HIV AIDS but also over the theory of human-caused global warming and climate change (Anthropogenic Global Warming, AGW, and ACC).
For that latter case, Christopher Booker [5] recently offered Groupthink as explanation for how an elite group could come to believe and promote a faulty belief.
Booker came upon the concept of Groupthink in the work of psychologist Irving Janis [6], who had discussed the idea in explaining how disastrous failures in American foreign policy had come about, for example in Vietnam and the muffed invasion of Cuba.

A crucial part of the context that makes for Groupthink is that it would be fatal for the elite group if its belief were not accepted.

That’s the point of the fake news story with which I began this blog post: It illustrates that it would be an act of collective suicide for the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, innumerable charities and foundations, and many activist groups if they were to admit that they had been wrong in what they had vigorously promoted and defended for several decades and which had led to expenditures of tens of billions of dollars. The credibility of leading institutions would be shattered and innumerable individuals would be publicly shamed and their careers and livelihoods destroyed.

The analogy with high finance is straightforward: HIV/AIDS theory is simply “too big to fail”.

So that will not be allowed to happen. Rather, the mainstream HIV/AIDS behemoth will continue to sweep aside challenges by ad hominem polemics (labeling dissenters as morally despicable denialists) and by mis-direction on substantive points, for example, claiming that even temporary recovery of health by some sick HIV+ individuals proves that antiretroviral drugs are effective and that HIV had caused the illness.

———————————————

[1]    James Chin, The AIDS Pandemic, Radcliffe 2007

[2]    Robert Gallo, Virus Hunting: AIDS, Cancer, and the Human Retrovirus: a Story of Scientific Discovery, Basic Books, 1991, p. 297

[3]    Anthony Fauci, “Writing for my sister Denise”, AAAS Observer, 1 September 1989, p. 4

[4]    Padian et al., “Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Northern California: results from a ten-year study”, American Journal of Epidemiology, 146 (1997) 350–7

[5]    Christopher Booker, GLOBAL WARMING: A case study in groupthink — How science can shed new light on the most important ‘non-debate’ of our time, Global Warming Policy Foundation, GWPF Report 28, 2018. A summary is in “Groupthink on climate change ignores inconvenient facts”, 21 February 2018

[6]    Irving Janis, Victims of Groupthink (1972; Groupthink (1982), both Houghton Mifflin

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 31 Comments »