HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for the ‘clinical trials’ Category

Gay genes and HIV

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2015/10/06

Some 20 years ago, Dean Hamer reported an association between certain DNA markers and being gay [1]. The report was met with considerable skepticism. Now a new study [2] has reached much the same conclusion as Hamer. This may be relevant to the apparently greater frequency of “HIV-positive” among gay men.

Overall data are clear, that “HIV-positive” does not behave like an infectious condition [3]. More specifically, if “HIV-positive” is ever transmitted sexually then it is with essentially negligible probability, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

Heterosexual vaginal transmission is estimated as less than 1 per 1000, but receptive anal intercourse is estimated at 1.4%. This is still less by a large factor than the transmissibility of known venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Where does the estimate originate?

It cannot be based on observations in prisons since several such studies reported much lower rates there (p. 47 in [3]). Rather, the estimate likely comes from data on “HIV-positive” among gay men who frequently practice receptive intercourse. In other words, there is a correlation between being gay, receptive anal practices, and testing “HIV-positive”. In prisons, there is a significant amount of anal intercourse by men who are not gay, yet this apparently does not correlate with becoming “HIV-positive”. Evidently it is being gay, more than anal intercourse, that correlates with being “HIV-positive”.

If there is a genetic pre-disposition to being gay, as the Hamer and Sanders studies indicate, then perhaps there is also a genetic pre-disposition among gay men to testing “HIV-positive”.

That some genetic characteristics do predispose to testing “HIV-positive” is demonstrated by racial differences. Men of sub-Saharan ancestry test “HIV-positive” at rates about 7 or 8 times greater than with Caucasian men and about 10 times greater than with Asian men. There are also racial differences in the sensitivity of “HIV” tests to the p24 protein which is one of the “HIV” markers (section 3.4 in The Case against HIV).

I’m not suggesting, of course, that genes could be the sole reason why gay men are more frequently “HIV-positive” than others. Genetic pre-dispositions are probabilistic. Not all gay men test “HIV-positive”. In the earliest days of AIDS, only a small proportion of gay men became ill. Many gay men are both “HIV-positive” and healthy and never contract “AIDS”-type diseases.
Moreover, “HIV-positive” reflects any number of possible conditions, most of which are experienced equally by gay men and everyone else (section 3.2.2 in The Case against HIV).

Similarly, the Hamer and Sanders studies do not suggest that genetics determines sexual orientation, merely that it can bring a heightened tendency; it is explicitly a small effect, to the degree that genetic studies on infants or embryos could not have any useful predictive value [2]. It is widely agreed that behavioral characteristics in general arise from some combination of hereditary and environmental factors. Moreover, it remains to compare the frequent correlation of certain genetic factors with being gay to the overall frequency of those particular factors among all men, which would indicate how strongly those factors may predispose toward a preferred sexual orientation.

So explanations for the greater incidence of “HIV-positives” among gay men are obviously and necessarily partial and multiple. I believe that some proportion of “HIV-positives” among gay men, correlated with also becoming ill, can be explained by the intestinal dysbiosis theory. Here I am suggesting that one possible and additional reason why some gay men are “HIV-positive” may be a genetic pre-disposition, particularly when “HIV-positive” does not correlate with a high probability of illness. Since the markers identified by Hamer and Sanders are not exclusive to gay men, a linkage between those markers and testing “HIV-positive” could also explain some of the incidence of “HIV-positive” among men who are not gay.
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[1] Dean H. Hamer et al., “A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation,” Science 261 (1993) 321-7
[2] A. R. Sanders et al., “Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation”, Psychological Medicine 45 (2015) 1379-88
[3] Henry H. Bauer, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, McFarland 2007

 

Posted in clinical trials, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Manslaughter by PreEposure Prophylaxis

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/07/13

The HIV/AIDS Establishment — Big Pharma, NIAID, etc. etc. — is assiduously promulgating the idea that healthy individuals who engage in sex should imbibe highly toxic substances so that they will be less likely to become “HIV-positive”.

This illustrates how true believers and those with vested interests are able to bias clinical trials to deliver desired results even when much earlier data already established that the desired results cannot have been obtained honestly:  for example, several trials of tenofovir to prevent “HIV infection” managed to report that serious adverse events from tenofovir were no more common than from placebo, even as it has long been established that tenofovir causes kidney failure and other harm.

Since this illustrates general flaws in medicine and science, I posted the full analysis on my scimedskeptic blog rather than here; see When prophecy fails.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

AIDStruth.org and its origin

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/06/19

When a website labels itself as some sort of “truth”, it’s natural to wonder why its creators feel the need to do so. If it actually conveys truth, that would soon become obvious. In this case, the opposite soon became obvious. AIDStruth.org was set up by vigilantes determined to defend the indefensible HIV = AIDS dogma, which is perpetually endangered as “lifesaving” drugs disable and kill and as absurdities multiply.

The immediate impetus for establishing AIDStruth.org had been Celia Farber’s article, “Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science” (Harper’s, March 2006), which described the death of a pregnant woman, Joyce Hafford, who had been participating in a clinical trial of “antiretroviral” drugs to determine what the “treatment-limiting toxicities” might be. One wonders how any Human Subjects Review Board anywhere would approve such a trial, let alone a trial that enrolled pregnant women. In plainer words, such an experiment administers toxic substances in increasing amounts until signs of toxic harm become obvious.
The drugs being compared were Viracept (nelfinavir) and Viramune (nevirapine), which were used in combination with AZT (Retrovir, zidovudine) and Epivir (lamivudine). The toxicities of all those drugs were well known before Hafford was subjected to them in 2003.
The deadly toxicity of AZT was particularly well known. It was the first “antiretroviral” drug, and some 150,000 “HIV-positive” individuals had died under AZT “treatment” over about a decade (“HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?”).
As for “Nevirapine (Viramuneä)”, the NIH Treatment Guidelines (4 February 2002) had already described its life-threatening “side” effects:
“ • Severe, life-threatening hepatotoxicity, including fulminant and cholestatic hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure. Patients should be advised to seek medical evaluation immediately should signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.
• Severe, life-threatening, and even fatal skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and hypersensitivity reactions characterized by rash, constitutional findings, and organ dysfunction have occurred with nevirapine treatment”.

But vigilante defenders of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy were distraught that such a respectable mainstream magazine as Harper’s would bring to wide attention the truth about the reckless manner in which toxic “antiretroviral drugs” are tested on unwary individuals and subsequently prescribed to equally unwary “HIV-infected” individuals.

AIDStruth.org’s “website was developed in March, 2006, by Bob Funkhouser of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nathan Geffen of The Treatment Action Campaign, Dr. John P. Moore of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Dr. Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory. It is hosted by The Treatment Action Campaign” (Wayback Machine snapshot, 16 March 2006).

It is worth noting that these and other HIV/AIDS vigilantes habitually denigrate statements from people like Peter Duesberg by pointing out that they have never actually done research on HIV or on AIDS. But among the AIDStruth groupies, only Moore has the distinction of being an actual researcher in this field, and his accomplishments include a completely unsuccessful search for an HIV microbicide and the synthesis of an “HIV” that self-destructed spontaneously (Layne SP, Merges MJ, Dembo M, Spouge JL, Conley SR, Moore JP, Raina JL, Renz H, Gelderblom HR, Nara PL, “Factors underlying spontaneous inactivation and susceptibility to neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus”, Virology, 189 [1992] 695-714).

By 3 January 2007, there had been added to the AIDStruth team the economist Professor Nicoli Nattrass, Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, the activist Richard Jeffreys of the Treatment Action Group, the lawyer Jeanne Bergman of HealthGAP, and another activist, Gregg Gonsalves of the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (but still listed as developing the website in March 2006). More people who had not themselves done any actual research in this field.

By 27 January 2008, the “AIDS Truth team members” were listed as “(in alphabetical order):
· Dr. Nicholas Bennett, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse, New York
· Dr. Jeanne Bergman, The Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York City
· Martin Delaney, Founding director of Project Inform
· Dr. Brian Foley, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Bob Funkhouser, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Nathan Geffen, Treatment Action Campaign, Cape Town, South Africa
· Gregg Gonsalves, AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
· Dr. Bette Korber, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Dr. John P. Moore, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City
· Dr. Nicoli Nattrass, Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
· Ken Witwer, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland”

By 26 July 2009, designated as “past contributors” were Delaney (deceased), Jeffreys, Funkhouser, and Moore. Added was Eduard Grebe (AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa).

By 26 January 2010, Funkhouser was again a team member, and this remains the team except that former graduate student Witwer is now Dr. Witwer.

 

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

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 »