HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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Archive for the ‘HIV/AIDS numbers’ 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.
[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 »

Antiretrovirals kill: Official data, peer-reviewed journal

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2015/08/10

(updated with full article)

HIV+ people in hospital who were on anti-retrovirals were more likely to die of non-AIDS conditions than HIV+ people NOT being treated with ARVs. The deaths were owing to known “side” effects of ARVs: cardiovascular, liver, various infections.

That is reported in the paper drawn to my attention by a comment from lukas. Note that the data covers a period of 16 years beginning with the introduction of “life-saving HAART cocktails” in the mid-1990s:

Journal of Hospital Medicine, 30 June 2015 doi: 10.1002/jhm.2409. [Epub ahead of print]

Here is the full paper, courtesy of David Rasnick:

Cowell 2015 copy

And here is just the abstract:

In-hospital deaths declined significantly from 1995 to 2011 (P < 0.0001); those attributable to non-AIDS increased (43% to 70.5%, P < 0.0001). Non-AIDS deaths were most commonly caused by non-AIDS infection (20.3%), cardiovascular (11.3%) and liver disease (8.5%), and non-AIDS malignancy (7.8%). Patients with non-AIDS compared to AIDS-related deaths were older (median age 48 vs 40 years, P < 0.0001), more likely to be on ART (74.1% vs 55.8%, P = 0.0001), less likely to have a CD4 count of <200 cells/mm3 (47.2% vs 97.1%, P < 0.0001), and more likely to have an HIV viral load of ≤400 copies/mL (38.1% vs 4.1%, P < 0.0001). Non-AIDS deaths were associated with 4.5 and 4.2 times greater likelihood of comorbid underlying liver and cardiovascular disease, respectively.
Non-AIDS deaths increased significantly during the ART era and are now the most common cause of in-hospital deaths; non-AIDS infection, cardiovascular and liver disease, and malignancies were major contributors to mortality. Higher CD4 cell count, liver, and cardiovascular comorbidities were most strongly associated with non-AIDS deaths. Interventions targeting non-AIDS-associated conditions are needed to reduce inpatient mortality among HIV-infected patients. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.
© 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.

This journal is not held by our library, and I’m waiting for Interlibrary Loan to get me a copy. IN the meantime, the abstract’s details given above seem to tell the story clearly enough.


Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV risk groups, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: | 19 Comments »

HIV/AIDS history and facts

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2015/08/08

Cardiac surgeon  Donald W. Miller has written a wonderfully comprehensive yet concise analysis of the genesis of HIV/AIDS and of the actual facts:

“HIV/AIDS: Unmasking Medical Falsehood…”.

It illustrates the feeling of alienation, of being relatively sane in an insane world, that I get periodically:

Who looks at evidence? Almost no one


Posted in antiretroviral drugs, consensus, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, global warming, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV/AIDS numbers, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, unwarranted dogmatism in science, vaccines | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Spam e-mail from a discredited source

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2015/07/18

This morning’s e-mail greeted me with this:

Murtagh spam


I don’t think I had ever corresponded with Murtagh, but the name was familiar: the Office of Medical & Scientific Justice has had dealings with him:
“he committed perjury, manipulated evidence, withheld discovery documents, and breached a settlement agreement with Emory University by impersonating Emory officials and sending defamatory emails
. . . .
Because of Murtagh’s notorious and ongoing behavior, OMSJ provides support to the website, which tracks lawsuits and will post public court documents filed on his behalf.”

I’m posting this on the presumption that many other people received this spam and may not be aware of Murtagh’s character (although the “causes” listed at the bottom of his e-mail do offer some clues).

* * * * * * * *

The “Good news!” promised in the e-mail is the attached description of the conference of the International AIDS Society in Vancouver. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the talking points, for example:
“UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that the goal of having 15 million HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2015 — the so-called 15 by 15 strategy — had been achieved in March, nine months early.”
Not everyone would agree that bringing toxic medication to healthy people is necessarily always a good thing.

The chief goal now is a world free of AIDS by 2030. This too has to be sold by a snappy slogan like “15 by 15”, this time “the 90-90-90 milestone”: “90 per cent of people aware of their HIV status, 90 per cent of those infected on antiretroviral therapy, and 90 per cent of those being treated showing undetectable viral loads”.
That milestone would need to be met five years from now to make the world free in 2030.

One can only marvel at the knowledge and understanding that allows such accurate predictions decades ahead. But then Bill Gates, who surely knows almost everything about computers and therefore projections, also told us not so long ago that there would be an HIV vaccine in 15 years from now. The IAS Conference blurb does mention vaccine: The 2030 goal is only
“the virtual elimination of the AIDS pandemic. We’re not talking about eradicating HIV — HIV will remain a low-level endemic condition going forward and we will need a vaccine and we will need a cure”.
So HIV/AIDS researchers and administrators can rest assured that even when 2030 arrives, there will still be jobs and research funds for them. In the meantime, drug companies can look forward to ever-increasing revenues from antiretroviral drugs.


Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers, uncritical media, vaccines | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

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).

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , , | 24 Comments »


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