HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘AIDS deaths in South Africa’

Duesberg and AIDS deaths in South Africa

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/31

The previous post noted that “the critique by Duesberg et al. of  unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa” had passed expert peer review for presentation at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses held this month. The text of the abstract, published in the Springer journal Infection, is copied below, as is the actual poster exhibited at the meeting and some photographs of the poster displays. Here is a brief reminder of the substantive issue dealt with in Duesberg’s critique:

Chigwedere et al. had published in JAIDS (49 [2008] 410-5) the assertion that >300,000 South Africans had died annually of AIDS during 2000-5. That number originated in computer-modeled estimates that had already been thoroughly discredited by Rian Malan (“AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003). Even more strikingly, those extraordinary assertions by Chigwedere et al. exceeded by a factor of about 20 the official counts of ~15,000 annual AIDS deaths published by Statistics South Africa.
JAIDS refused to publish a corrective comment by Duesberg et al.
An expanded version   of that correction was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and published on-line in advance of print publication.
AIDS vigilantes associated with AIDStruth.org protested to Elsevier, publisher of Medical Hypotheses, and asked the National Library of Medicine to stop abstracting Medical Hypotheses. The National Library snubbed the protesters, but Elsevier caved in and withdrew the article as “potentially damaging to global public health” (PMID 19619953), without consulting the journal’s Editor, or its Editorial Board, or allowing the authors of the article to respond to the criticisms. Elsevier went further, sacking the Editor and replacing him with someone so ignorant as to claim it feasible to “not to get into controversial subjects” but still “publish radical new ideas” (Martin Enserink, “New Medical Hypotheses Editor promises not to stir up controversy”, ScienceInsider, 25 June 2010).
Oddly enough, having sought to hide Duesberg’s critique from public view, the vigilantes have continued to draw attention to it by publishing responses, for instance in a journal edited by one of the leading vigilantes (Chigwedere & Essex, “AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice”, AIDS and Behavior 14 [2010] 237-47) and in a social-science periodical (N. Nattrass, “Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga”, Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01312.x. [Epub ahead of print]).
The vigilantes’ obsession with the Duesberg critique is fully warranted, of course, because the critique is sound enough to withstand disinterested expert peer review, as illustrated by its recent acceptance at the Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses. Here is the text of the abstract:

————————————

PO 90
META-ANALYSIS AND UPDATE ON THE GENERAL AIDS  EPIDEMICS PREDICTED FOR AFRICA
P. H. Duesberg  [1], D. Mandrioli  [1], A. McCormack  [1], J. M. Nicholson [ 2], C. Del  Popolo*  [3], D. Rasnick [4], C. Fiala  [5], C. Koehnlein [6], H. H. Bauer  [7]
[1]  University of California, Berkeley, USA;  [2]  Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA;  [3]  Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Florence, Italy;  [4]  Oakland, California, USA;  [5]  Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria;  [6]  Internistische Praxis, Kiel, Germany;  [7]  Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

Since the discoveries of a presumably new AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia by 2010. Recently, however, Chigwedere et al. ‘‘estimated’’ that between the years 2000 and 2005, the new AIDS virus, now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) (J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2008). Here we investigate the evidence for these claims in view of the paradoxes that (1) HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, and that (2) it would cause a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic, self- limited by immunity like all other new pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, we found that the WHO does not even list any South African AIDS case from 1996 until 2007, and that Statistics South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005, and thus 30-fold less than those reported by Chigwedere et al. In a further effort to find independent evidence for the reportedly new AIDS epidemic, we searched for losses of lives in South African population growth curves. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 extending a steady growth rate of 500,000 per year, based on statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank. This gain was an integral part of a monotonic growth trajectory from 29 million in 1980 before the AIDS era to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV. We deduce that the predicted epidemiological pattern of a new killing virus never showed up in Africa, and that HIV cannot be considered a killer virus from the demographic point of view.

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Here is the poster itself (click on it for full view):

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Here is a picture of the poster on display:

and here are photographs giving a sense of the ambience:

 

———————————–

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Heartfelt thanks to Professor Marco Ruggiero and his colleagues and students for their efforts in preparing for the Conference, for their work at the Conference, and for providing these illustrations

Duesberg and AIDS deaths in South Africa

 

The previous post noted that “the critique by Duesberg et al. of unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa” had passed expert peer review for presentation at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses held this month. The text of the abstract, published in the Springer journal Infection, is copied below, as is the actual poster exhibited at the meeting and some photographs of the poster displays. Here is a brief reminder of the substantive issue dealt with in Duesberg’s critique:

 

Chigwedere et al. had published in JAIDS (49 [2008] 410-5) the assertion that >300,000 South Africans had died annually of AIDS during 2000-5. That number originated in computer-modeled estimates that had already been thoroughly discredited by Rian Malan (“AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth”, Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003). Even more strikingly, those extraordinary assertions by Chigwedere et al. exceeded by a factor of about 20 the official counts of ~15,000 annual AIDS deaths published by Statistics South Africa.

JAIDS refused to publish a corrective comment by Duesberg et al.

An expanded version https://hivskeptic.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/duesbergmedhypothesessa1.pdf of that correction was accepted by Medical Hypotheses and published on-line in advance of print publication.

AIDS vigilantes associated with AIDStruth.org protested to Elsevier, publisher of Medical Hypotheses, and asked the National Library of Medicine to stop abstracting Medical Hypotheses. The National Library snubbed the protesters, but Elsevier caved in and withdrew the article as “potentially damaging to global public health” (PMID 19619953), without consulting the journal’s Editor, or its Editorial Board, or allowing the authors of the article to respond to the criticisms. Elsevier went further, sacking the Editor and replacing him with someone so ignorant as to claim it feasible to “not to get into controversial subjects” but still “publish radical new ideas” (Martin Enserink, “New Medical Hypotheses Editor promises not to stir up controversy”. ScienceInsider, 25 June 2010; http://j.mp/cLdck7).

Oddly enough, having sought to hide Duesberg’s critique from public view, the vigilantes have continued to draw attention to it by publishing responses, for instance in a journal edited by one of the leading vigilantes (Chigwedere & Essex, “AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice”, AIDS and Behavior 14 [2010] 237-47) and in a social-science periodical (N. Nattrass, “Defending the boundaries of science: AIDS denialism, peer review and the Medical Hypotheses saga”, Sociology of Health & Illness, 2011 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01312.x. [Epub ahead of print]).

The vigilantes’ obsession with the Duesberg critique is fully warranted, of course, because the critique is sound enough to withstand disinterested expert peer review, as illustrated by its recent acceptance at the Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses. Here is the text of the abstract:

 

————————————

 

PO 90

META-ANALYSIS AND UPDATE ON THE GENERAL AIDS EPIDEMICS PREDICTED FOR AFRICA

P. H. Duesberg [1], D. Mandrioli [1], A. McCormack [1], J. M. Nicholson [ 2], C. Del Popolo* [3], D. Rasnick [4], C. Fiala [5], C. Koehnlein [6], H. H. Bauer [7]

[1] University of California, Berkeley, USA; [2] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA; [3] Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Florence, Italy; [4] Oakland, California, USA; [5] Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria; [6] Internistische Praxis, Kiel, Germany; [7] Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

 

Since the discoveries of a presumably new AIDS virus in 1984 and of millions of asymptomatic carriers in subsequent years, no general AIDS epidemic has occurred in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia by 2010. Recently, however, Chigwedere et al. ‘‘estimated’’ that between the years 2000 and 2005, the new AIDS virus, now called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), had killed 1.8 million South Africans at a steady rate of 300,000 per year, based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) (J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 2008). Here we investigate the evidence for these claims in view of the paradoxes that (1) HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, and that (2) it would cause a steady rather than a classical bell-shaped epidemic, self- limited by immunity like all other new pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, we found that the WHO does not even list any South African AIDS case from 1996 until 2007, and that Statistics South Africa attributed only about 10,000 deaths per year to HIV between 2000 and 2005, and thus 30-fold less than those reported by Chigwedere et al. In a further effort to find independent evidence for the reportedly new AIDS epidemic, we searched for losses of lives in South African population growth curves. Surprisingly, we found that South Africa had increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005 extending a steady growth rate of 500,000 per year, based on statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank. This gain was an integral part of a monotonic growth trajectory from 29 million in 1980 before the AIDS era to 49 million in 2008. During the same time Uganda increased from 12 to 31 million, and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole doubled from 400 to 800 million, despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV. We deduce that the predicted epidemiological pattern of a new killing virus never showed up in Africa, and that HIV cannot be considered a killer virus from the demographic point of view.

 

————————————

 

Here is the poster itself:

 

 

————————————

 

Here is a picture of the poster on display:

 

 

and here are photographs giving a sense of the ambience:

 

 

 

———————————–

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

Heartfelt thanks to Professor Marco Ruggiero and his colleagues and students for their efforts in preparing for the Conference, for their work at the Conference, and for providing these illustrations

 

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Categories: HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV/AIDS numbers

 

 

Tags Duesberg and AIDS deaths, AIDS deaths in South Africa, Firenze 2011, Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses

 

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Picking cherries in South Africa

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/01/13

When Rethinkers cite the many published peer-reviewed mainstream reports of the toxicity of HAART, or demonstrating the lack of any direct evidence for sexual transmission of “HIV”, or showing the lack of correlation between “AIDS” and “HIV”, a common riposte from the AIDS groupies and vigilantes is to accuse us of cherry-picking the literature, in other words ignoring an allegedly much larger amount of literature — not cited, however — that supposedly says something different.
Of course the riposte is intellectually invalid, because it takes only one good study to disprove a theory, no matter how many flawed or incomplete or inconclusive ones had seemed to support that theory. It’s entirely normal in science that theories are inferred from early studies and that they are later overturned as better or more sophisticated studies are reported.
In any case, when it comes to cherry-picking the literature, mainstream HIV/AIDS researchers are certainly in their element and could serve as role models. Even the specialist computer modelers are honest about the flaws in their models (Sexually Transmitted Infections 80, Suppl. 1, 2004), and retired mainstreamers like James Chin or retiring ones like Kevin de Cock acknowledge that official statistics are grossly inflated  and that there’s never going to be a sexually transmitted HIV epidemic outside Africa or the Caribbean or perhaps African-American communities; yet the HIV/AIDS literature continues to be replete with claims and reports that ignore the lack of validity of the models and the lack of evidence for epidemic spreads.
South Africa is an outstanding example. Nearly a decade ago, Rian Malan exposed the errors of UNAIDS models that claimed “AIDS” deaths to be a multiple of what they actually were. Duesberg et al. (cited by Chigwedere & Essex, AIDS Behavior, 14 [2010] 237-47)  pointed out that for about a decade Statistics South Africa has reported AIDS deaths at about 15,000 per year while UNAIDS computers would have the number at about 300,000. Yet cherry-picking “AIDS” “activists” and mainstream camp-followers keep insisting on this unfounded, absurd number, which entails ascribing something like half of all deaths in South Africa to AIDS as well as multiplying the official numbers from Statistics South Africa by 20.
For some reason, the professionals at South Africa Statistics have been unmoved by this nonsense. Their latest published report on “Mortality and causes of death in South Africa, 2008: Findings from death notification” (P0309.3, released 18 November 2010) notes that the completion of reporting of deaths has been at around 80%, and that deaths from “AIDS” or “HIV disease” were a little over 15,000 in 2008, ranking 7th among causes of death, responsible for just 2.5% of all deaths. The UNAIDS model is once more officially declared to be wrong by a factor of 20 or so.
The director of Statistics South Africa, Lehohla (2005; cited in Galletti & Bauer) has explicated the errors committed by those who rely on the UNAIDS models, for example by using long chains of inferences based indirectly on a host of doubtful claims that jump to farfetched conclusions based on changes in the age distributions of deaths and ignoring rises in political and criminal violence that account for those changes. By contrast, Chigwedere and other mainstream doom-purveyors have simply cherry-picked the invalid UNAIDS numbers and ignored the official Statistics South Africa reports. Those who attempted to defend the UNAIDS numbers coould only assert, without a shadow of evidence, that causes of death must have been misreported to the extent of almost half of all deaths; yet they have not even attempted to show how or why Statistics South African is wrong about its estimate of 80% completeness of counts and accuracy of reporting.
Among the mainstream culprits is the Medical Research Council (MRC) of South Africa itself. For details of the sleight-of-evidence used to multiply by a factor of 20-25 the numbers reported by Statistics South Africa, see “The impact of HIV/AIDS on adult mortality in South Africa” by Dorrington, Bourne, Bradshaw, Laubscher & Timaeus (September 2001; Burden of Disease Research Unit, Medical Research Council). Even as it concedes that reporting of adult deaths around 2000 covered 89% of cases , it then asserts that deaths of children are under-reported (p. 5), and asserts the ASSA 600 model (p. 6) to be “largely consistent” with empirical data. It even ventures the extraordinary claim that “statistical modeling of epidemiological and mortality data adds a fifth component to the art of diagnosis” (p. 3).
That would be arguable in any case, but here the modeling and statistics are demonstrably unsound, not to be used for any purpose at all. That ASSA 600 model had claimed 143,000 AIDS deaths in 1999. Rian Malan had pointed out that this was an improvement over MRC’s earlier Epimodel which had estimated 250,000 deaths in that year, but that “Towards the end of 2001, the vaunted ASSA  600 model was replaced by ASSA 2000, which produced estimates even   lower than its predecessor: for the calendar year 1999, only 92,000  Aids deaths in total” (Malan, “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator [London], 14 December 2003).
So just a few months after Dorrington et al. of the MRC were using ASSA 600, the MRC was abandoning that model and issuing estimates lower by some 36%, having earlier abandoned a pre-ASSA-600 model and reducing estimates by 43%.
Malan also cited computer-modeled estimates of 9.5% “HIV-positive” for college students at Rand Afrikaans University when a large sample of them (nearly 1200) tested poz at only 1.1%; and a computer-modeled estimate of bank employees at 12% when actual testing of 29,000 employees revealed a rate of only 3%.
The model is thoroughly discredited, in other words — as its own creators have admitted forthrightly (Sexually Transmitted Infections 80, Suppl. 1, 2004).
Still, the MRC released a report (by Bradshaw et al.) for South Africa’s province of Gauteng  asserting that 33% of deaths in 2000 were owing to HIV/AIDS, some 35,000 in total. Now Gauteng’s population is about 1/5 of South Africa’s, whose TOTAL number of deaths from HIV/AIDS in 2000 was reported by Statistics South Africa as 10,500: thus MRC’s estimate is exaggerated by at least an order of magnitude, probably by a factor of about 20.
To provide a perfect illustration of cherry-picking, this report about matters in Gauteng relies on — cites — data from Statistics South Africa about population numbers, yet fails to cite and contradicts blatantly, by an order of magnitude or more, what Statistics South Africa says about AIDS deaths.
Perhaps “cherry-picking” is too kind a description for the persistent, continuing promulgation of numbers based on a computer model that the issuing agency itself abandoned because of its obvious disagreement with the facts, disagreement by an order of magnitude of more.
However, HIV/AIDS activities in South Africa are supported by copious funds from other countries and from drug companies, so HIV/AIDS research and HIV/AIDS activism are very desirable means of “earning” a living in a country where the unemployment rate is so high (in Gauteng in 2000, 36% of those between 15 and 64 years of age).
If these HIV/AIDS camp-followers and groupies weren’t picking cherries, what could they be doing for a living?

Posted in experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Not with a bang but a whimper

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/27

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

That’s the conclusion of one of T. S. Eliot’s best known poems, “The Hollow Men”, which begins,

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together

End and beginning seem very appropriate respectively to HIV/AIDS theory and to its creators. Those creators and their camp followers lean together, excluding any evidence that doesn’t fit their theory; they are empty of any wider perspective than their little bailiwick, and their failure to respond to substantive criticism makes all their statements hollow; and they are certainly stuffed: with self-importance and with dollars from drug companies and research agencies.

There’s been much speculation over the years as to when and how this house-of-cards theory will implode: Will it be with a bang when a Congressional Committee asks what we’re getting for $20 billion a year? Or why HIV tests are used to diagnose HIV infection despite the fact that  those tests are not able to do so and are not officially approved to do so? Or why a greater number of serious adverse non-AIDS events than “AIDS” events strike and kill people who are given the benefit of “life-saving” antiretroviral drugs?
Or will it end with a whimper, as HIV/AIDS fades even further into public indifference? — as it already has begun to do in the developed world, where not many besides grant-receiving researchers and politicians take it seriously.

Presaging a whimpery implosion may be this recent piece in the British Independent newspaper:

“Aids: the pandemic is officially in decline . . . . UN and World Health Organisation hail steep fall in number of new HIV infections” (2009/11/25, by Health Editor Jeremy Laurance)

The failure of the media to trumpet this article’s obvious implications is of a piece with the media’s failure to ask how HIV/AIDS theory could be compatible with a 25-90% “HIV infection” rate in African armies (South Africa needs Donald Rumsfeld, 15 December 2009):

“The HIV pandemic which started 28 years ago is officially in decline . . . . The number of new HIV infections peaked in the mid-1990s and has since declined by almost a third, according to the annual update on the pandemic for 2009, published yesterday by the Joint United Nations programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) and the World Health Organisation.
It is the first time that UNAids and the WHO have confirmed that the pandemic is on a downward trend and represents a landmark in the history of the disease. In their 2008 report, they said suggestions the epidemic had peaked were ‘speculation’ and that it was ‘difficult to predict the epidemic’s future course’” [emphasis added].
The number of new infections peaked about 13 years ago, yet by last year the official gurus had not yet admitted it?! That certainly inspires confidence in anything that those official gurus have to say on the subject.

“‘The latest epidemiological data indicate that globally the spread of HIV appears to have peaked in 1996 when 3.5 million new infections occurred. In 2008 the estimated number of new HIV infections was approximately 30 per cent lower than at the epidemic’s peak 12 years earlier.’”
OK, in 2008 there were 30% fewer than in 1996. How many fewer than in 1996 were there in 2007? Was the difference not statistically significant, so that the gurus did not need to admit it? In which case the drop would have had to be nearly 30% in the single year from 2007 to 2008; the likelihood of that is easily equal to that of all the other extreme absurdities that HIV/AIDS aficionados seem able to swallow without even a grain of salt. Why were the gurus still calling it “speculation” a year ago, that the pandemic had peaked a dozen years earlier? Is a dozen years the latent period required to overcome cognitive dissonance on the part of HIV/AIDS believers?

“in sub-Saharan Africa — the worst-affected region — new infections in 2008 were ‘approximately 25 per cent lower than at the epidemic’s peak in the region in 1995’.”
In the meantime, since 1995, the population had grown appreciably and the supply of antiretroviral drugs has been far below what was needed to decrease the infection rate, according to the (ir)responsible officials. What on Earth can then explain this decline in heterosexual transmission of a sexual infection in a region where 20-40% of the adult population is used to having several partners at the same time and changing them frequently? (James Chin, “The AIDS Pandemic”, calculated that this level of promiscuity is needed to explain the numbers — the estimated numbers — disseminated by UNAIDS over the years; James Chin, former epidemiologist for the World Health Organization, that is.)

“Despite the fall in new infections, the number living with HIV increased last year to 33.4 million as people are surviving longer with the roll-out of antiretroviral drug treatment. Greater access to drugs has helped cut the death toll by 10 per cent over the past five years.”
Of course one must not forget the continuing need for more resources, so the overall increase in “HIV-positive” persons must be reiterated. But one should also bear in mind that all these numbers come out of computers, not from data “on the ground”. The increase to 33.4 million is a computerized guess, just like the guess of 33 million a couple of years ago, reduced at that time from an earlier computerized guess of 40 million; all these guesses are just as reliable as you would expect from gurus who can recognize a 30% decline after 13 years but not a decline of 25% or more after 12.
Not only that, these gurus are somehow able to discern that the “roll-out” of antiretroviral drugs is the reason for the purported — guessed, believed, held on faith — increase in survival and lower death rate. I’ve noted before that HIV/AIDS theory satisfies the criteria for pseudo-science usually directed at parapsychology; so perhaps the gurus discerned these reasons by extrasensory perception? But they didn’t really need that. Like the number of infections, that death toll is not a count, it’s a computer output; and THE COMPUTER COULD NOT HAVE SPAT THAT OUT UNLESS IT WAS PROGRAMMED IN A WAY THAT WOULD SPIT OUT SUCH A PURPORTED INCREASE IN SURVIVAL; and of course the computer model includes the assumption of benefit from antiretroviral treatment.
Any computer model is captive to the assumptions built into it. In South Africa, the registration of deaths is better than 50% complete; the official count of annual AIDS deaths has been on the order of 10,000-15,000 for the last half-a-dozen years; but UNAIDS’ computers have been estimating on the order of 300,000 AIDS deaths annually, a factor of 20 greater than the actual count; see — from the Statistician General of South Africa — Lehohla P.: (2005) Difficulties in attributing deaths to HIV/AIDS.
There’s not even need for the Statistician General of South Africa to point out that UNAIDS numbers are unbelievable, UNAIDS does it by and for itself. Its report for 2009 states, “Greater access to drugs has helped cut the death toll by 10 per cent over the past five years”; yet in the 2008 report, AIDS deaths in sub-Saharan Africa were given as 1.3 million for 2001 and 1.5 million for 2007, an INCREASE of 15% in 6 quite recent years. Did the number shoot up rapidly from 1.3 million in 2001 to 1.56 million in 2003 so that “in the last five years”, by 2008, it could decline by 10% to 1.4 million?

“There are now 4 million people on the drugs worldwide, a 10-fold increase in five years. The report says 2.9 million lives have been saved since effective treatment became available in 1996 but less than half the patients who need them are currently getting them.”
Again: Doesn’t anyone THINK about these numbers?
Since 4 million are now getting the lifesaving drugs, why have not 4 million lives been saved? (Clue: the 2.9 million is a computerized guess based on innumerable assumptions and extrapolations to decades in the future.)

Parenthetically, note that “effective treatment became available in 1996”, which acknowledges that before 1996 the treatments were NOT effective. Yet when AIDS Rethinkers state directly that for a decade AZT was killing rather than curing, the AIDS apologists and the AIDS vigilantes will insist that AZT and its ilk were quite appropriate treatments; at best they may say, like Daniel Kuritzkes, “in retrospect the dose we started with, with AZT, was a dangerous and poorly tolerated dose”. Nothing wrong with AZT so long as the right dose is used, according to Kuritzkes. Same with arsenic, of course, or any other poison.

“The reasons for the decline in new infections are disputed.”
And well they might be. Any claim to have effected behavioral change among adults, 20%-40% of whom have an established tradition of high promiscuity with continually changing partners, ought to be based on some rather concrete evidence; for a priori, one might be inclined to doubt the efficacy of “sex education, HIV awareness campaigns and distributing condoms”, given, for instance, the failure of such programs to curb pregnancies among unwed teenagers in the United States. What we’re offered instead of substance is a pabulum of unsupported self-serving assertions:
“We have evidence [not revealed, however] that the declines we are seeing are due, at least in part, to HIV prevention. However, the findings also show that prevention programming is often off the mark and that, if we do a better job of getting resources and programmes to where they will make most impact quicker, progress can be made and more lives saved.”
But one might hesitate to provide more funds given that “Ties Boerma, a WHO statistics expert, said countries whose HIV prevalence declined dramatically, like Zimbabwe, were not always those that got the most HIV cash”, which would indicate that the interventions have not done any good. But don’t let facts get in the way of self-interested propaganda.

Perhaps the whimpering fade into neglect of HIV/AIDS theory will be hastened by those who have long been asking why more aid is not being directed into Africa’s more salient ills:
“Philip Stevens of International Policy Network . . . said with HIV declining it was time to rethink global spending priorities . . . . Globally, HIV causes about 4 per cent of all deaths, but gets [23% of what is] spent on development aid for health  . . . . In most countries HIV is a relatively minor problem compared with other conditions such as malaria and diarrhoeal disease” [emphasis added].

Those vested in HIV/AIDS careers will not retrench willingly, of course:
“Dr Karen Stanecki, senior adviser to UNAids, said repeated studies in different parts of the world, comparing the reduction in new infections with what happened where there was no intervention, had demonstrated the effectiveness of prevention programmes. ‘The decline was over and above the natural decline in the epidemic. They showed it could only have been explained by behavioural change.’”
So there was already a natural decline of the epidemic?
Connoisseurs of statistical legerdemain will recognize “could only have been explained by behavioural change” as a rather desperate and wishful assertion that could not possibly be based on concrete observational evidence and competent statistical analysis. Since there was already a natural decline, cause unknown and therefore unpredictable in future magnitude, how could it then be calculated that the rate of this natural decline had been substantially augmented by “intervention”?

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »