HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for the ‘prejudice’ Category

Race, HIV/AIDS, peer review

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/02/16

Reading recently a critique of peer review reminded me of the experience I had with the DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race [1], and it also reminded me that I continue to regard the race-associated epidemiology of “HIV” as a salient Achilles’ Heel of HIV/AIDS theory.

The mainstream has completely avoided, refused, to face an inescapable dilemma: If HIV/AIDS theory is correct, that “HIV” spreads primarily by sexual intercourse and secondarily via infected needles, then adults who become “HIV-positive” did so in one of those ways. If an identifiable social or ethnic or racial group is always “HIV-positive” more than other groups, then the members of that group are more carelessly sexually promiscuous or more addicted to drug-injecting than are other human beings.
People of African ancestry test “HIV-positive” at a higher rate than others, always and everywhere [2] — in Africa, in the Caribbean, in Europe, in the USA. In the latter, most noteworthy is that Hispanics on the East Coast, who are largely of African ancestry, test “HIV-positive” at rates comparable to those of African-Americans, whereas West-Coast Hispanics, who are predominantly Central and South American, test “HIV-positive” at the much lower rates found among Native Americans. So African ancestry determines being “HIV-positive” even within a socially defined cultural or ethnic or language group like American Hispanics.

Therefore, if HIV/AIDS theory were correct, then African ancestry would significantly determine behavior that includes a much higher rate of careless promiscuity or drug-injecting addiction than is seen in people of non-African ancestry. “Much higher” might better be “extraordinarily higher”: a factor of more than 20 in Africa [2], and in the USA a factor of 20 for black females compared to white females and 7 for black males compared to white males [3]. Furthermore, since the observed or calculated rate of sexual transmission of “HIV” is so low, a phenomenal rate of promiscuity would be called for: 20-40% of adults having something like a dozen sexual partners concurrently and changing them about annually [4].

Never before has sexual behavior been ascribed by mainstream science to genetic determination in this fashion. Nor has any other behavioral characteristic ever been acknowledged to be so genetically determined and race-associated. Indeed, the very notion of behavior being significantly influenced by genetic factors (“sociobiology”, “evolutionary psychology”) remains highly controversial. HIV/AIDS theory is at odds with the mainstream consensus on the relationship between genes and behavior, moreover in a way that is consistent with now-largely-repudiated racial stereotypes.

I was taken aback, therefore, when the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention insisted to me that racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” could be explained on behavioral grounds (p. 75 in 2]). In any case, the conundrum is quite plain, irrespective of theories about genetic determination of behavior:
Either African ancestry determines extraordinarily careless promiscuity of an extraordinarily high rate, possibly also an inconceivably high rate of sharing infected needles, or HIV/AIDS theory is plain wrong.

I continue to believe that this ought to be of prime significance to African-Americans. Official explanations try to skirt the issue and thereby make no sense, for example [3]:
“The greater number of people living with HIV in African American communities and the fact that African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity means that they face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter” — In other words, a classic tautology: there’s more HIV because there’s more HIV. But why are more African Americans “living with HIV” in the first place?
“African American communities have higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared with other racial/ethnic communities in the United States. Having an STI can significantly increase the chance of getting or transmitting HIV” — First, it is simply not true that African Americans always and everywhere have higher rates of STIs. Second, it is simply not true that rates of STI incidence correlate with rates of “HIV-positive” (p. 31 ff. in [2]), and anyway the racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” are seen even among people who have STIs (Figure 12, p. 42 in [2]). Third, even if STIs and “HIV” did correlate, the same conundrum would apply of apparent racial determination of carelessly promiscuous sexual behavior.
“The poverty rate is higher among African Americans — 28% — than for any other race. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty — including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education — directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection” — This is waffling, no real explanation, simply bullshit [5]. In Africa, “HIV-positive” rates are greater among the higher economic strata of Africans [6].

Current official statements and practices emphasize that “HIV/AIDS” has become largely a problem for African-Americans and their communities. That is damaging in several ways: increasing the pressure on black Americans to be tested and thereafter subjected to toxic antiretroviral drugs; causing untold harm to people and their families who happen to test “HIV-positive”, for which there are innumerable possible causes (see The Case against HIV); and providing apparent support for racist stereotypes;

Half-a-dozen years ago, such considerations led me to submit a manuscript posing this conundrum or dilemma to what would seem the most obviously appropriate journal, the DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race. I’ve already described briefly the fate of that MS. [1]. I said there that the journal did not give me permission to reproduce the reviewers’ comments verbatim, but looking back on the e-mail correspondence, I see that they did not refuse permission, they simply did not respond to my query. Furthermore, the reviewers’ comments were not marked confidential, neither was my e-mail correspondence with the journal. So I’ve decided that the full story might interest some of my readers, and I post here copies of my manuscript, of the reviewers’ comments, and of my correspondence with the journal.

[1] Pp. 49-50 in Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth
[2] The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory
[3] Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “HIV among African Americans”, February 2013, February 2014
[4] James Chin, The AIDS Pandemic, Radcliffe, 2007, p. 64
[5] Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton University Press, 2005
[6] Theo Smart, “Structural Factors — PEPFAR: Greater wealth, not poverty, associated with higher HIV prevalence in Africa, according to survey”, nam-aidsmap, 2 August 2006

Posted in HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, prejudice, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Arguing with HIV/AIDS believers

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/11/03

To help others realize that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS is the same sort of task that teachers face.

Little experience of teaching is needed to learn that what works with one student may not work with another. Every individual has a unique background, upbringing, level of general knowledge, ability to think critically, willingness or otherwise to accept authority, capacity to re-examine beliefs, degree of proneness to cognitive dissonance . . . .
Therefore there is no single approach that best helps everyone to learn, and similarly there is no single approach that best serves to re-educate HIV/AIDS believers and help them realize the error of their belief.

Some people, especially those with a scientific background, tend to imagine that drawing attention to the facts is all that’s needed. Numerous books and other material produced over several decades testify to the actual fact that the evidence alone doesn’t do the job.
One major barrier to surmount is the widespread belief that “Science” is absolutely trustworthy and that official representatives of Science and Medicine know the truth and want only to disseminate it. Breaching that barrier calls for a fairly comprehensive education about the history and sociology of science and medicine, demonstrating that they are human activities with all the fallibility that comes with that: much error along the way of apparent progress, periodic “revolutions” in which pre-existing beliefs are turned upside down, consistent official, apparently authoritative resistance to new ideas, some of which later turn out to become generally accepted.

Because different approaches best serve the needs of different misguided believers, I thought it would be useful to have a concise summary of the innumerable reasons why HIV/AIDS theory is wrong, and that led me to put together The Case Against HIV,  which illustrates how much ground has to be covered:
1. HIV does not cause AIDS.
2. The plain evidence about AIDS.
3. The plain evidence about HIV.
4. Failings of HIV/AIDS theory.
5. What antiretroviral drugs do.
6. Damage done by HIV/AIDS theory and practice.
7. Hindrances to making the case against HIV.
8. How could such a massive blunder come about and persist?
9. FAQs: Questions — sometimes rhetorical only — posed by adherents to HIV/AIDS theory.

I’ve been involved, at first hand and at second- and even third-hand, in dialogues where defenders of HIV/AIDS theory keep coming up with isolated references or statements as purportedly argument-ending coups. For example, concerning my blog posts mentioning that pure “HIV” virions have never been isolated from an AIDS patient or an “HIV+” individual, I’ve been cited the availability of “isolates of HIV” from a government repository, or an article with electron micrographs of material from a culture, and more.
My experience is that nothing can be gained by entering into to-and-fro on such terms. The HIV/AIDS literature is so vast that one can find in it just about anything — albeit not so much that is competent, reliable, reproducible, and above all relevant to the only important question: Does “HIV”, an exogenous infectious immune-system-killing retrovirus, cause fatal illness?

I suggest that one insist to proponents of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy who attempt to debunk HIV skepticism and AIDS Rethinking that the discussion be clearly relevant to the main issue.
The first point might well concern onus of proof: What is the evidence for the HIV/AIDS hypothesis?
That should bring the discussion to a rather rapid close. Or rather, it will divert it to the question, can authorities or a mainstream consensus be believed without further ado? The answer to that is an obvious “No”, but most HIV/AIDS groupies need quite a bit of educating to become aware of that.
Plan B might be to ask, “How did you come to believe that HIV causes AIDS?”
That too is likely to divert to argument over reliance on authority and consensus.

I don’t really expect that this strategy would be effective in a large proportion of cases, but I think it is potentially superior to attempting to argue technical intricacies which the two sides both typically don’t understand as they argue by citing opposing authorities and cherry-picking the literature.

Just how difficult it is to bring the average person to even question HIV/AIDS dogma may be illustrated by how difficult it was for me — see “Confession of an “AIDS Denialist”: How I became a crank because we’re being lied to about HIV/AIDS”. I had read enough — many of the books listed at the old Virusmyth website  — to become open to the possibility, but it took my own digging into “HIV” epidemiology to convince me (see in particular p. 7 and chapter 1 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
That was about 10 years after I first became aware that there exist dissidents from orthodox HIV/AIDS belief. And it has taken me further years to understand that “HIV” may not even exist, and that “HIV” tests are perhaps the central issue in the whole business.
My long-standing interest in Loch Ness Monsters and all sorts of other offbeat matters testifies that I am significantly more open to unorthodox views than most people are, so my own difficulty in recognizing the errors of HIV/AIDS theory might serve as a warning that the task of bringing others to that understanding is an extraordinarily difficult one.

I should add that arguing with HIV/AIDS proponents, even as it is unlikely to bring them to change their belief, can be valuable in forcing us to learn more. When I first started this blog, comments and queries from HIV/AIDS groupies led me to much useful further study and analysis, so that I was able to discover that the so-called “latent period” does not exist, and that mortality rates demonstrate that the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is wrong, and that “HIV” tests aren’t, and more.


Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

HIV and AIDS: Context and perspective

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/04/01

I became an AIDS Rethinker through reading and looking at data long after the AIDS era had started. So there’s much about the early days that I still don’t know, which is unfortunate for me. What’s even more debilitating is that I’ve known so few of the people who have suffered personally from the monstrous mistake of HIV = AIDS. Just now, a correspondent reminded me of a useful way to broaden my understanding: looking at some videos.

In particular, my friend sent me a link to a 2-hour program assembled by Gary Null from earlier videos. It touches on most of the salient issues, gives glimpses of the early days, and covers in some detail the central issue that positive “HIV” tests do not and cannot diagnose infection. For me, though, the most useful parts were the many appearances by HIV+ people talking about their dilemmas and their various ways of coping under circumstances where the medical dogma was and is to give them toxic drugs.

When mentioning videos about HIV/AIDS, one should always bear in mind the splendidly informative collection  that Joan Shenton makes available at the Immunity Resource Foundation  and her recent documentary, “Positively False — Birth of a Heresy”. The wealth of other material at the Foundation’s website  includes a long list of pertinent websites and many links to pertinent articles as well as an archive of Continuum magazine*.

I had come to learn about Peter Duesberg’s dissent from HIV/AIDS orthodoxy in the mid-1990s because my academic interest has long been in scientific unorthodoxies. I was impressed by the strength of the case against HIV as cause of AIDS, and read more useful books: by Hodgkinson, Lauritsen, Root-Bernstein, Shenton, and others. Then around 2005 I came upon Harvey Bialy’s scientific bio of Duesberg, useful in several respects but mainly because one of his remarks would not stop bugging me, that testing of military recruits in the mid-1980s showed male and female teenagers from all across the country to be testing HIV+ at about the same rate. That is so obviously impossible in light of official HIV/AIDS theory that Bialy must surely have got the source wrong, I thought, or else had cited something that had later been superseded. That led to my collating the mainstream data on HIV test-results and discovering that the epidemiology of positive HIV tests is incompatible with the spread of an infectious agent. Not only that “HIV” doesn’t cause AIDS, it isn’t even an infection (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). (It took me longer and more reading to realize that “HIV” has not even been shown to exist in the form of free virions.)

In high school I had become fascinated with chemistry, and worked as a chemist in academe for a couple of decades. I also became interested in learning about things that science seemed to ignore utterly, like Loch Ness Monsters and UFOs and psychic phenomena. But I never lost my enthusiasm for science as THE way to gain understanding of how the world works, and I never lost faith in the ability of science to gain reliable, trustworthy understanding.
So HIV/AIDS theory struck me as an extraordinary, unprecedented, unique aberration. In these modern times of superb technological resources and evidence-based, scientific medicine, it seemed incredible that such a blunder could not only be perpetrated but could remain uncorrected for so long.

Well, that would indeed be incredible, if medicine were actually evidence-based and if science were still a basically truth-seeking enterprise. But I had learned about an increasing number of specialties in which mainstream dogmatism was increasingly suppressing competent dissent (Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels) and slowly came to realize that the “HIV/AIDS blunder is far from unique in the annals of science and medicine”.

The reason lies in the way modern science has changed, from truth-seeking by passionate amateurs to a vast enterprise intertwined with commercial, political, and social forces and subject to innumerable conflicts of interest (From Dawn to Decadence: The Three Ages of Modern Science). Contrary to popular belief, contrary to what most pundits and science writer and journalists say, science nowadays is not self-correcting. Science has emerged from its erstwhile ivory tower and stepped down from its erstwhile disinterested pedestal to become, like other social institutions, at the mercy of commercial and other sociopolitical forces. It matters who you know rather than what you know. The situation is encapsulated by one of Peter Duesberg’s younger colleagues — that’s a misleading term, I mean someone who is employed quite non-collegially in the same university as Duesberg:
“I don’t think Peter is necessarily wrong . . . . He may well be 3,000 percent right . . . . [But] he was overturning generally held views. . . . Political savvy is intrinsic to a scientific career. . . . There’s no such thing as totally right or totally wrong. . . . He would have been OK if he had just done things as convention dictates. . . . Peter may be right about HIV. . . . But there’s an industry now . . . . He’s like a child” (Celia Farber, Serious Adverse Events, pp. 54-6).
That colleague did not wish to be identified, but I fear it was for the wrong reason; not that she’s ashamed of her views, she just wants to remain hidden within what convention dictates and make a good career doing “what everyone does”.
Had science and scientists half a century ago been like that faculty member at Berkeley, my peers and I would not have been attracted into wanting to be scientists. We had thought we were joining a community of truth-seekers working for the public good.
Peter Duesberg, by contrast, believes that science and scientists should follow the evidence wherever it leads and that researchers are duty-bound to tell others what they find.

The manner in which Duesberg has been treated by his Department and his university demonstrates that the bulk of his “fellow” faculty acquiesce in the disgusting sentiments cited by Farber. With the present and future of science in the hands of such people, in what is still regarded as one of the leading institutions of science in the so-called free world, every critique in Dogmatism  in Science and Medicine  can only understate the parlous condition of 21st-century science.

That faculty member is right, though, on one point: Peter Duesberg is in some ways like a child. He is naively innocent of the evils and nastiness all around him, and has the qualities that cause all human beings to love children: innocence, enthusiasm, and because they represent the real hope for better futures.

Things are just as bad in medicine as in science. Practicing physicians gain their knowledge from sources that are just as unreliable as the careerists masquerading as scientists at Berkeley, namely careerists in universities generally and bureaucratic careerists at institutions like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Dozens of books have been published in the last couple of decades describing how medicine has been commandeered by profit-seeking institutions and individuals, with drug companies playing a lead role (Critiques of the Commercialization of Science, Medicine, Academe). Yet nothing has been done to ameliorate the situation.

The HIV/AIDS blunder is not an aberration unique in the annals of science and medicine, rather it is a microcosm of 21st-century circumstances. AZT may have killed about 150,000 people, and various antiretroviral drugs continue to maim or kill untold numbers; but so do statins,  and doctors continue to prescribe blood-pressure-lowering drugs  and cholesterol-lowering drugs  even though there is no sound evidence for doing so, so that the risks of the “side” effects outweigh by a large margin any possible benefit. Medicine does not practice what it preaches in the Hippocratic oath, “First, do no harm”.

* The Continuum archive at Immunity Resource Foundation is missing a few issues. Comparing this archive with the list at virusmyth, seemingly missing are volume 1 #1, December 1992; volume 1 #2, February 1993; volume 1 #6, October/November 1993; volume 2 #1, February/March 1994 and #3-#6, June/July 1994, August/September 1994, November/January  1994/95.
Continuum will remain of considerable importance to historians of medicine and of science, so I hope anyone who has copies of those will let Joan or me know about it. In the meantime, browsing in the available issues can only add to one’s astonishment that so much evidence against HIV/AIDS theory, and against the use of AZT and its analogues, was simply ignored by the mainstream.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Killing a baby

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/28

In the United States of America, a newborn baby is being killed by toxic drugs. The opinions and wishes of the parents are ignored as against the  authority of Social Services, who appear to believe that “HIV” tests diagnose infection even though they do not (S. H. Weiss and E. P. Cowan, “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection”, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. G. P. Wormser, 2004).

The baby’s mother had also been so treated, but her (adopted) parents fled the jurisdiction, took her off antiretrovirals, and she grew healthily and normally thereafter, albeit probably of shorter stature than if she had never been fed AZT.

In the present case, the authorities made flight impossible.

Everyone should read this, even as it will make you sick.


Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV tests, Legal aspects, prejudice | Tagged: | 4 Comments »


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/02/16

Those who don’t accept that HIV has been proven to be the cause of AIDS are nowadays labeled “denialists” — as a substitute for answering their arguments and the evidence they point to.

The same has happened to people who do not accept that it has been  proven that human-caused emission of carbon dioxide appreciably adds to global warming.

In many fields of science and medicine, a mainstream consensus has become dogma, and dissenters are treated as heretics to be professionally excommunicated (Dogmatism  in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth, McFarland 2012)

It is worth pointing out that it is the so-called “denialists” who exemplify the skeptical conservatism that was a traditional safeguard of reliability, whereas the mainstream bandwagons of HIV/AIDS theory and human-caused-global-warming theory gained hegemony long before convincing evidence was at hand.

The media have failed dismally by not pointing out that the “denialists” are actually doing what scientists are supposed to do and that they comprise a large number of highly qualified and accomplished people with substantial credentials in pertinent disciplines; see “Denialism” — Who are the “denialists”?

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »