HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘breastfeeding’

Mainstream confusions: breast milk infects and also protects

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/06/16

If the HIV/AIDS blunder weren’t such a tangible, deadly tragedy for innumerable people, one could enjoy many laughs at the contortions of mainstream researchers as they pretend to explain the inexplicable and contradict their own long held dogmas without acknowledging it. For example, Kevin de Cock’s admission that there had never been  and would never be a global epidemic of sexually transmitted HIV [WHO SAYS that WE’VE BEEN VERY WRONG about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization)].
Then there’s the shibboleth that circumcision protects against transmission of HIV, despite the CDC’s own finding that it does not (Circumcision and condom idiocies).
One of the longest standing and most robustly asserted dogmas has been that “HIV-positive” mothers transmit HIV to their infants — despite the array of actual studies showing that this is not the case, since exclusively breastfed babies are the least likely to become “HIV-positive”. Now the experts have discovered, instead, that breast milk actually contains a substance that actually kills HIV:
“Human breast milk may block HIV, mouse study finds”.
Google reports that this earth-shattering news was disseminated in media all over the world, including for example Britain’s Daily Mail and India’s Hindustan Times.
The original research piece is Open Access, freely available: Wahl et al., “Human breast milk and antiretrovirals dramatically reduce oral HIV-1 transmission in BLT humanized mice”, PLoS Pathogens 8(6): e1002732. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002732.
This authoritative source doesn’t quite justify the avalanche of media trumpeting, though. Leave aside that the work was done on “humanized mice”. The authors still cite breastfeeding as a major way that babies become “HIV-positive”, merely say that breast milk strongly inhibits “HIV infectivity”, and they still laud antiretroviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis:
“Abstract
Currently, over 15% of new HIV infections occur in children. Breastfeeding is a major contributor to HIV infections in infants. This represents a major paradox in the field because in vitro, breast milk has been shown to have a strong inhibitory effect on HIV infectivity. However, this inhibitory effect has never been demonstrated in vivo. Here, we address this important paradox using the first humanized mouse model of oral HIV transmission. We established that reconstitution of the oral cavity and upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) mice with human leukocytes, including the human cell types important for mucosal HIV transmission (i.e. dendritic cells, macrophages and CD4+ T cells), renders them susceptible to oral transmission of cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Oral transmission of HIV resulted in systemic infection of lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues that is characterized by the presence of HIV RNA in plasma and a gradual decline of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. Consistent with infection of the oral cavity, we observed virus shedding into saliva. We then evaluated the role of human breast milk on oral HIV transmission. Our in vivo results demonstrate that breast milk has a strong inhibitory effect on oral transmission of both cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Finally, we evaluated the effect of antiretrovirals on oral transmission of HIV. Our results show that systemic antiretrovirals administered prior to exposure can efficiently prevent oral HIV transmission in BLT mice.”

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV in children, HIV transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Doing harm to babies

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2012/04/12

For me, the most harrowing consequence of HIV/AIDS theory is that babies are subjected to lifelong damage by antiretroviral treatments; even if they do not die early from immediate toxic effects of the drugs, they experience irreversible damage to the mitochondria which are the energy centers of all our cells (Hidden in plain sight: The damage done by antiretroviral drugs, 2011/07/25).

Babies are damaged in this way not only if they happen to be HIV-positive: they are subjected to antiretroviral toxins already in utero if their mothers happen to be HIV-positive — despite the evidence that pregnancy itself is likely to stimulate false-positive “HIV” tests (of course, ALL “HIV” positives are false positives, but pregnant women are much more likely than others to test poz — Why pregnant women tend to test “HIV-positive”, 5 October 2009).

The data show quite clearly that “HIV”-poz is more likely, the greater is physiological stress (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, in particular Figure 22 and associated tables and discussion). Furthermore, most newborns that test “HIV-poz” revert to negative within a year, in absence of antiretroviral treatment and simply because the mother’s antibodies that make for a poz test have dissipated (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, pp. 96-100).

Newborns lack effective immune systems and are safeguarded primarily by antibodies transferred from the mother and by the nutrition and safety from infection provided by breastfeeding. One of the major crimes committed by HIV/AIDS true believers is the advice to mothers, and the moral and legal pressures applied to HIV-poz mothers to avoid breastfeeding — in the face of hosts of studies revealing that exclusively breastfed babies do much better than others, “HIV” notwithstanding (HIV and breastfeeding again, 13 February 2008; More HIV, less infection: The breastfeeding conundrum, 21 November 2007).

David Crowe has just published a detailed, documented discussion of “The AIDS War on Breastfeeding”. Given that this is addressed to a general audience, the essay does not engage in argument about HIV/AIDS theory, it demonstrates that the pressure against breastfeeding is unwarranted and deleterious even on the mainstream’s own terms. This sad story, well into its third decade, illustrates how powerful a “mainstream consensus” is nowadays in the face of clear disproof. The only slightly cheering note is that the official sources are slowly retreating from their mistaken stance. At the same time, Crowe’s citations illustrate how deviously the mainstream tries to avoid admitting its mistakes.

Posted in experts, HIV in children, HIV transmission | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

MORE HIV, LESS INFECTION: THE BREASTFEEDING CONUNDRUM

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/21

Women who are HIV-positive may deliver HIV-positive babies, though in the majority of cases they do not. However, some HIV-negative newborns subsequently, within weeks or months, also become HIV-positive. In most of these cases, the only risk factor is the mother’s milk. So–“obviously”–HIV must have been transferred from mother to child via breastfeeding.

It follows that the more mother’s milk a baby ingests, the greater the likelihood that the baby will become infected.

Wrong! Some studies have reported, for example, that “Infants exclusively breastfed for 3 months or more had no excess risk of HIV infection over . . . those never breastfed” (Coutsoudis et al., AIDS, 15 (2001) 379-87); while other studies have even reported a lower rate of HIV infection among exclusively breastfed babies, for example, “Breastfed infants who also received solids were significantly more likely to acquire infection than were exclusively breastfed children” (Coovadia et al., Lancet, 369 (2007) 1107-16).

That’s puzzling enough, but matters become yet more puzzling when the babies’ health rather than HIV-status is considered: “Risk factors for death included not being breastfed (OR [odds ratio] 8.5, p=0.04 [p < 0.05 is usually taken as demonstrating statistical significance]) . . . . HIV status (maternal or infant) . . . [was] not associated with the risk of death” (HATIP [HIV & AIDS Treatment in Practice] #74, 12 September 2006).

So a deadly virus is less efficiently transmitted via mothers’ milk, the more a baby is fed nothing but mothers’ milk; and babies fed that deadly virus in their mothers’ milk are 8 or 9 times less likely to die in infancy than are babies not exposed to that deadly-virus-purveying fluid.

Once again, as with the fact that married women are at the greatest risk of contracting HIV (post of 18 November), if you believe that, then you will also be sending money to Nigeria to someone you had never heard of before and who offers by e-mail to share with you a large unclaimed inheritance. Or perhaps you already are part owner of a Brooklyn Bridge.

However, doctors and researchers and activists who follow HIV=AIDS dogma not only have to believe this nonsense, they are obliged to attempt to act on it. Little wonder that they are confused and that official advice to HIV-positive mothers covers the gamut of “never breastfeed” to “exclusively breastfeed”. In Botswana, “formula feeding among HIV-positive women is virtually universal . . . (~98% of infants in the HIV-transmission study were formula fed)” yet “mortality data shows that something isn’t working . . . . among HIV-positive women, Botswana should do more to support truly exclusive breastfeeding” (HATIP #74, as above). On the other hand, officials in Barbados consider breast-feeding “something no HIV positive mother should do” (“Breast-milk, HIV/AIDS linked”, 5/13/07, Barbados). At International AIDS Conference XVI in Toronto, 2006, “there were over one hundred presentations on infant feeding (mostly posters) – but if there was any unifying theme in the hodgepodge of studies, it was the recognition that safer infant feeding is a growing dilemma in desperate need of a solution. Misconceptions about safer infant feeding practices were common in many of the poster presentations, while frustration surrounding how best to counsel HIV-positive mothers was nearly universal” (HATIP #74, as above).

So the lack of correlation between breastfeeding and HIV “transmission” has occasioned much commenting to and fro. Some defenders of HIV/AIDS theory have tried to nitpick various details of protocol or practice in the reported studies, yet the findings have been confirmed by so many different investigators that the main conclusion seems unassailable. (See http://aras.ab.ca/transmission-BF.html for a collection of quotes about HIV and breastfeeding.) Consequently, most discussion has concerned itself, quite appropriately, with what might be best for mothers and babies in various geographic settings with their varying conditions of hygiene and availability of suitable milk formula. If there is any consensus, it may be this: “The nutrition and antibodies that breast milk provide are so crucial to young children that they outweigh the small risk of transmitting HIV, which researchers calculate at about 1 percent per month of breast-feeding” (“Anti-breast-feeding measure backfires in Botswana, causing more despair”, Craig Timberg, Washington Post. 22 July 2007).

But while it is laudable to make the immediate health of babies the prime focus of concern, that does not entail or permit or excuse any ignoring, sidestepping, evading of the fact that this phenomenon, that more exposure to “HIV” results in less infection, is strong evidence as to what “HIV-positive” signifies.

Earlier posts have pointed out that a positive HIV-test is no proof that virus is present, since virus has never been isolated directly from an HIV-positive person or an AIDS patient. The belief that HIV is transmitted from mother to child rests exclusively on observations that children of HIV-positive mothers are or become HIV-positive themselves, sometimes but far from always (probability about 1% per month, see above). Since this belief makes it necessary to believe also the almost unbelievable, namely, that more virus-containing milk leads to less transmitting, it would seem reasonable to look for an alternative way of coping with these puzzling facts. I say “almost” unbelievable because the suggestion has been made that something in milk formula makes babies more prone to infection when exposed to HIV. Believe that if you will.

A much more satisfactory alternative explanation is at hand. As discussed in earlier posts, “HIV-positive” reflects some sort of health challenge, not necessarily serious or permanent, rather akin to a fever, quite non-specific as to what the cause might be. Under this view, HIV-positive mothers reacted more vigorously to some unspecified health challenge–possibly pregnancy itself–than did HIV-negative mothers. Thus HIV-positive mothers are somewhat less likely to be in the best of health, and therefore somewhat more likely to deliver less-than-healthy babies–who are for that reason likely to test HIV-positive more often than newborns of HIV-negative mothers. That explanation permits breastfeeding to remain the unqualified good thing that it has long been known to be, because of the protection that components of that milk afford. That protection explains why exclusively breastfed children, whether of HIV-positive or HIV-negative mothers, are likely to be healthier–and less frequently HIV-positive–than children who are only partially breastfed or not breastfed at all. Among those not exclusively breastfed, “increased morbidity and mortality . . . was particularly pronounced when the infant was HIV-infected” (HATIP #74, as above)–in other words, HIV-positive infants, being health-challenged in some way, are particularly prone to sickness and death in absence of the benefits conferred by breastfeeding.

The copious literature on breastfeeding in relation to HIV adds further support to the view that “HIV-positive” correlates with a higher likelihood of ill health, but is not the cause of such a prognosis; nor does it demonstrate the presence of a virus that is responsible for the poor prognosis.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV transmission | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »