HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Charles A. Thomas’

Believing and disbelieving

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/03

(This is a long post. HERE is a pdf for those who prefer to read it that way).

“How could anyone believe that?” is a natural question whenever someone believes what is contrary to the conventional wisdom, say, that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, or that Loch Ness monsters are real animals.

Since the role of unorthodox views in and out of science has been the focus of my academic interests for several decades, I had to think about that question in a variety of contexts. My conclusion long ago was that this is the wrong question, the very opposite of the right question, which is,

“How does anyone ever come to believe differently than others do?” (1)


It’s a widespread illusion that we believe things because they’re true. It’s an illusion that we all tend to harbor about ourselves. Of course I believe what’s true! My beliefs aren’t wrong! It’s the others who are wrong.

However, we don’t acquire beliefs because they’re true, we acquire them through being taught that they’re true. For the first half-a-dozen or a dozen years of our lives, before we have begun to learn how to think truly for ourselves, as babies and children we almost always believe what parents and teachers tell us. Surely that has helped the species to survive. But no matter what the reason might be, there’s ample empirical evidence for it. For instance, many people during their whole lifetime stick to the religion that they imbibed almost with mother’s milk; those who reject that religion do so at earliest in adolescence.

That habit of believing parents and teachers tends to become ingrained. Society’s “experts”  — scientists and doctors, surrogate parents and teachers — tend to be believed as a matter of habit.

So how do some people ever come to believe other than what they’ve been taught and what the experts say?


I was prompted to this train of thought by receiving yet again some comments intended for this blog and which were directed at minor details, from people whom I had asked, long ago, to cut through this underbrush and address the chief point at issue: “What is the proof that HIV causes AIDS?”

Whenever I’ve asked this of commentators like Fulano-etc.-de-Tal, or Chris Noble, or Snout, or others who want to argue incessantly about ancillary details, the exchange has come to an end. They’ve simply never addressed that central issue.

And it’s not only these camp followers. The same holds for the actual HIV/AIDS gurus, the Montagniers and Gallos and Faucis. Fauci threatens journalists who don’t toe the orthodox line. Gallo hangs up on Gary Null when asked for citations to the work that made him famous.

Why can’t these people cite the work on which their belief is supposedly based?

Finally it hit me: Because their belief wasn’t formed that way. They didn’t come to believe because of the evidence.
The Faucis and Gallos came to believe because they wanted to, because a virus-caused AIDS would be in their professional bailiwick, and they were more than happy to take an imperfect correlation as proof of causation.
The camp followers came to believe simply because they were happy to believe what the experts say and what “everyone else” believes. Who are they to question the authority of scientific experts and scientific institutions?


To question “what everyone knows”, there has to be some decisive incentive or some serendipitous conjunction. I’ll illustrate that by describing how I came to believe some things that “everyone else” believes and some things that “everyone else” does not believe.

The first unorthodox opinion I acquired was that Loch Ness monsters are probably real living animals of some unidentified species. How did I come to that conclusion?
Serendipity set the stage. Reading has been my lifelong pleasure. I used to browse in the local library among books that had just been returned and not yet reshelved, assuming that these would be the most interesting ones. Around 1961, I picked from that pile a book titled Loch Ness Monster, by Tim Dinsdale. I recall my mental sneer, for I knew like everyone else that this was a mythical creature and a tangible tourist attraction invented by those canny Scots. But I thumbed the pages, and saw a set of glossy photos: claimed stills from a film! If these were genuine . . . . So I borrowed the book. Having read it, I couldn’t make up my mind. The author seemed genuine, but also very naïve. Yet his film had been developed by Kodak and pronounced genuine. Could it be that Nessies are real?
I was unable to find a satisfactory discussion in the scientific literature. So I read whatever other books and articles I could find about it. I also became a member of the Loch Ness Investigation, a group that was exploring at Loch Ness during the summers, and I followed their work via their newsletters — I couldn’t participate personally since I then lived in Australia.
A dozen years later, on sabbatical leave in England, I took a vacation trip to Loch Ness. More serendipity: there I encountered Dinsdale. Later I arranged lecture tours for him in the USA (where I had migrated in 1965). Coming to know Dinsdale, coming to trust his integrity, seeing a 35mm copy of his film umpteen times during his talks, brought conviction.
It had taken me 12-15 years of looking at all the available evidence before I felt convinced.

The unorthodox view that underwrites this blog is that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. How did I come by that belief in something that “everyone else” does not believe?
More serendipity. Having concluded in the early 1970s that Nessies were probably real, I became curious why there hadn’t been proper scientific investigations despite the huge amount of publicity over several decades. That led eventually to my change of academic field from chemistry to science studies, with special interest in heterodoxies. So I was always on the lookout for scientific anomalies and heresies to study. In the mid-1990s, I came across the book by Ellison and Duesberg, Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS (interesting info about this here ; other Ellison-Duesberg articles here).
Just as with Dinsdale’s book, I couldn’t make up my mind. The arguments seemed sound, but I didn’t feel competent to judge the technicalities. So, again, I looked for other HIV/AIDS-dissenting books, and wrote reviews of a number of them. Around 2005, that led me to read Harvey Bialy’s scientific autobiography of Duesberg. For months thereafter, I periodically reminded myself that I wanted to check a citation Bialy had given, for an assertion that obviously couldn’t be true, namely, that positive HIV-tests in the mid-1980s among teenage potential military recruits from all across the United States had come equally among the girls as among the boys. The consequences of checking that reference are described in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
As with Nessie, it had taken me more than ten years of looking into the available evidence to become convinced of the correctness of something that “everyone else” does not believe.

So am I saying that I always sift evidence for a decade before making up my mind?
Of course not. I did that only on matters that were outside my professional expertise.

Studying chemistry, I didn’t question what the instructors and the textbooks had to say. I surely asked for explanations on some points, and might well have raised quibbles on details, but I didn’t question the periodic table or the theory of chemical bonding or the laws of thermodynamics or any other basic tenet.

That, I suggest, is quite typical. Those of us who go into research in a science don’t begin by questioning our field’s basic tenets. Furthermore, most of us never have occasion to question those tenets later on. Most scientific research is, in Kuhn’s words (2), puzzle-solving. In every field there are all sorts of little problems to be solved; not little in the sense of easy, but in the sense of not impinging on any basic theoretical issues. One can spend many lifetimes in chemical research without ever questioning the Second Law of thermodynamics, say, or quantum-mechanical calculations of electron energies, and so on and so forth.

So: Immunologists and virologists and pharmacologists and others who came to do research on HIV/AIDS from the mid-1980s onwards have been engaged in trying to solve all sorts of puzzles. They’ve had no reason to question the accepted view that HIV causes AIDS, because their work doesn’t raise that question in any obvious way; they’re working on very specialized, very detailed matters — designing new antiretroviral drugs, say; or trying to make sense of the infinite variety of “HIV” strains and permutations and recombinations; or looking for new strategies that might lead to a useful vaccine; and so on and so forth. Many tens of thousands of published articles illustrate that there are no end of mysterious puzzles about “HIV/AIDS” waiting to be solved.

The various people who became activist camp followers, like the non-scientist vigilantes among the AIDStruth gang, didn’t begin by trying to convince themselves, by looking into the primary evidence, that the mainstream view is correct: they simply believed it, jumped on the very visible bandwagon, took for granted that the conventional view promulgated by official scientific institutions is true.

It is perfectly natural, in other words, for scientists and non-scientists to believe without question that HIV causes AIDS even though they have never seen or looked for the proof.

What is not natural is to question that, and the relatively small number of individuals who became HIV/AIDS dissidents, AIDS Rethinkers, HIV Skeptics, did so because of idiosyncratic and specific reasons. Women like Christine Maggiore, Noreen Martin, Maria Papagiannidou, Karri Stokely, and others had the strongest personal reasons to wonder about what they were being told: since they had not put themselves at risk in the way “HIV” is supposedly acquired, and since they were finding the “side” effects of antiretroviral drugs intolerable, the incentive was strong to think for themselves and look at the evidence for themselves.
Many gay men have had similar reason to question the mainstream view, and some unknown but undoubtedly large number of gay men are living in a perpetual mental and emotional turmoil: on one hand much empirical evidence of what the antiretroviral drugs have done to their friends, on the other hand their own doctors expressing with apparent confidence the mainstream view. So only a visible minority of gay men have yet recognized the failings of HIV/AIDS theory.
One of the first to do so, John Lauritsen, was brought to question the mainstream view for the idiosyncratic personal reason that, as a survey research analyst, he could see that the CDC’s classification scheme was invalid.
Among scientists, Peter Duesberg recognized some of the errors of HIV/AIDS theory because he understood so much about retroviruses and because he had not himself been caught up in the feverish chase for an infectious cause of AIDS. Robert Root-Bernstein, too, with expertise in immunology , could recognize clearly from outside the HIV/AIDS-research establishment the fallacy of taking immunedeficiency as some new phenomenon. Other biologists, too, who were not involved in HIV/AIDS work, could see things wrong with HIV/AIDS theory: Charles A. Thomas, Jr., Harvey Bialy, Walter Gilbert, Kary Mullis, Harry Rubin, Gordon Stewart, Richard Strohman, and many others who have put their names to the letter asking for a reconsideration.


To summarize:

Mainstream researchers rarely if ever question the basis for the contemporary beliefs in their field. It’s not unique to HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS researchers and camp followers never cite the publications that are supposed to prove that HIV causes AIDS for the reason that they never looked for such proof, they simply took it for granted on the say-so of the press-conference announcement and subsequent “mainstream consensus”.

The people who did look for such proof, and realized that it doesn’t exist, were:
—  journalists covering “HIV/AIDS” stories (among those who wrote books about it are Jad Adams, Elinor Burkett, John Crewdson, Celia Farber, Neville Hodgkinson, Evan Lambrou, Michael Leitner, Joan Shenton);
—  directly affected, said-to-be-HIV-positive people, largely gay men and also women like those mentioned above;
—  individuals for a variety of individual reasons, as illustrated above for John Lauritsen and myself;
—  scientists in closely related fields who were not working directly on HIV/AIDS.

That last point is pertinent to the refrain from defenders of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy that highly qualified scientists like Duesberg or Mullis are not equipped to comment because they have never themselves done any research on HIV or AIDS. But that’s precisely why they were able to see that this HIV/AIDS Emperor has no clothes — scientists working directly on the many puzzles generated by this wrong theory have no incentive, no inclination, no reason to question the hypothesis; indeed, the psychological mechanism of cognitive dissonance makes it highly unlikely that scientists with careers vested in HIV/AIDS orthodoxy will be able to recognize the evidence against their belief.
More generally, this is the reason why the history of science contains so many cases of breakthroughs being made by outsiders to a particular specialty: coming to it afresh, they are not blinded by the insider dogmas.

So there is nothing unique about the fact that the failings of HIV/AIDS theory have been discerned by outsiders and not by insiders, and that the insiders are not even familiar with the supposed proofs underlying their belief. Nor is it unique that the dogma has many camp followers who never bothered to look for the supposed proofs of the mainstream belief. What is unique to HIV/AIDS theory is the enormous damage it has caused, by making ill or actually killing hundreds of thousands (at least). The annals of modern medicine have no precedent for this, which is another reason why thoughtless supporters of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy may feel comfortable with it despite never having sought evidence for it.

So here’s the question to put to everyone who insists that HIV causes AIDS:


(1) Henry H. Bauer, Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, University of Illinois Press, 1984; chapter 11, “Motives for believing”.
(2) Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 1970 (2nd ed., enlarged; 1st ed. 1962)


Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, prejudice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Collateral damage from HIV/AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/12/06

Enormous harm has been caused by the mistaken view that “HIV-positive” signifies infection with a fatal retrovirus that can only be held in check by highly toxic medication to be administered until the patient dies.

By now, millions of people have been subjected to this iatrogenic damage; including some unknown but large number of babies, whose mitochondria (central to cellular energy processes) have been irreparably debilitated. We know of people who tested positive only because of anti-tetanus shots, or flu vaccination, or surgical procedures, or many other conditions having nothing to do with a putative immune-system-destroying virus, and those people suffered long periods of ill health and low quality of life until they stopped taking the antiretroviral drugs and regained something like their previous state of sound health.

Physical harm to innumerable people is not, though, the only collateral damage from this medical pseudo-science. Sociopolitical harm is no negligible aspect of this tragedy. For example:

Discrimination against gay men:
Russia Mayor Links HIV To Gay Rights
Just days after the world presented an united front against HIV during Monday’s 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov has linked HIV to the gay rights movement . . . . Luzhkov, speaking at a conference in Moscow titled “HIV/AIDS in Developed Countries”, said that his administration would continue to ban the progress of gay and lesbians rights, citing the notion that greater visibility for the gay community was responsible for an increase in HIV in Moscow. ‘We have banned, and will ban, the propaganda of sexual minorities’ opinions because they can be one of the factors in the spread of HIV infection,’ he said.”
[Admittedly, this is not the only threat to freedom of speech in present-day Russia]

Panic in schools:
How much harm has been done to how many people and to which social interactions and to what degree, by the announcement of possible HIV infections in a St. Louis school, can never be known:

Too early to know if Mo. school had HIV outbreak
ST. LOUIS (AP)— Six weeks after someone with HIV said dozens of students at a St. Louis high school might have been exposed to the virus, it remains unclear whether an outbreak has occurred.
Missouri health authorities say preliminary October test results for St. Louis County show two new cases of HIV among people 24 and under.
It isn’t clear whether those cases are even connected to Normandy High School, where students were tested voluntarily in late October. An infected person told county health officials that as many as 50 teens might have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.
The county plans a second round of HIV testing in January. Antibodies to the virus can take three to six months to appear. A final assessment isn’t expected for at least six months.”

As I said when reporting on the initial publicity from Normandy High School:
“Perhaps the best way of instilling fear and producing mass hysteria is by innuendo and vague suspicions, being unspecific and secretive”.

Here, six weeks later, the uncertainty is predicted to persist for at least another six months, during which time students and parents primarily, but teachers and officials too, will be on tenterhooks, wondering who might have unknowingly contracted the fatal virus; after all, as I cited earlier, “The Health Department also will not say how any exposure might have occurred”.

In a previous “footnote” to the story,  I could unfortunately already illustrate — as now, once again — that “further ‘news’ and rumors . . . will be leaking out from those ignorant, panicked, ‘everything is normal’, school administrators and health officials in St. Louis.”

Racist attitudes:
Derailing a disease: With new infections here far outpacing the national average, routine HIV testing should be a priority” [Houston Chronicle, 4 December 2008]

“Unfortunately, the human immunodeficiency virus continues its insidious spread in the population. Earlier this week Houston Health Department officials released a grim set of figures to mark World AIDS Day: About 1,700 people became infected with the virus in Harris County in 2006, nearly twice the national rate for new cases. A disproportionate number of those cases occurred among blacks and Hispanics” [emphasis added].
Despite all the high-falutin talk about removing stigma and not blaming victims, how could the continuing stories that Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by this supposedly sexually transmitted disease not fuel racist beliefs about irresponsible behavior by minorities, particularly in sexual matters?

Breaking up of relationships:
“Hellsing wrote [commenting on the Houston story above]:
When I found out my former husband had a few girlfriends, I got tested immediately. I also had an attorney to call and another residence in which to move while the divorce went through.”

“The urban legend of ‘the down-low’ has brought about circumstances where any woman who tests HIV-positive and who has ever slept with a black man automatically attributes that condition to him, without further ado and without any corroborating evidence. ‘My fault was that I slept with my husband’ (now her ex-husband), says one black woman, who tested HIV-positive when she was pregnant . . . . ‘I let my guard down with the wrong person,’ says yet another . . . . A 20-year-old was ‘the victim of unprotected sex with a guy she thought was her soulmate’ . . . . It seems more than likely that some black men have found themselves unjustly judged guilty of practicing the down-low, and that otherwise stable or potentially long-lasting relationships have thereby been disrupted” [pp. 246-7 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory ]

Imprisoning innocents:
Around the world,  an increasing number of individuals are in jail, declared guilty of infecting others with something that is not transmissible.

Bringing science and medicine into ill repute:
For the time being, it is only a relatively small number of people who are aware of how drastically medical practice and medical science have gone. When the knowledge becomes widespread, the exact nature of the fallout can hardly be predicted, but it will certainly be enormously consequential. It may well do for medical science, and even science generally, about what Enron did for energy de-regulation and what the present global financial meltdown is doing for the world’s way of trading, banking, and trying to regulate economies.


Altogether, HIV/AIDS theory has been responsible for disasters individual and social, including professional and career damage to the few scientists and doctors who refused to accept the official view. Once the realization becomes sufficiently widespread, that the theory is not only wrong but was never even a well supported hypothesis, there will be further calamities befalling innumerable people and institutions, some no doubt well deserved but many of them afflicting people who simply trusted authorities that they had no reason not to trust.

It seems pertinent to repeat this from an earlier post:

This thing is going to be studied long after our time. . . .
Because this is a major historical event
that is going to be studied for 100 years —
how the United States gave AIDS to the world

—   Charles A. Thomas

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, Legal aspects, prejudice, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

State of HIV/AIDS Denial: Carcinogenic HAART

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/11/21

“Cognitive dissonance” is the social scientists’ way of saying, “Not seeing what we don’t wish to see”. “Being in denial” has crept into common usage to describe the same phenomenon; “State of Denial” is Bob Woodward’s book about that situation in the Bush White House.

The HIV/AIDS scene is replete with illustrations [“True Believers of HIV/AIDS: Why do they believe despite the evidence?, 30 October 2008; “’SMART’ study begets more cognitive dissonance”, 11 June 2008; Death, antiretroviral drugs, and cognitive dissonance, 9 May 2008; HIV/AIDS illustrates cognitive dissonance, 29 April 2008]. The mainstream refuses to see that what HIV tests detect is not infectious (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). It ignores the death statistics which show that life spans are not being lengthened by “highly active antiretroviral treatment” [“HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?“, 17 September 2008]. Somehow, publications and propaganda laud “lifesaving HAART” even though it is the very opposite, causing organ failures and cancers:

“In the era of combination antiretroviral therapy, . . . the risk of several non-AIDS-defining conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, liver-related events, renal disease, and certain non-AIDS malignancies [97-102] is greater than the risk for AIDS” [emphasis added]; see p. 13 in the 29 January 2008 version of the NIH Treatment Guidelines.

In states of denial, the same unwished-for discovery is made, reported — and then ignored; over and over again. The cited statement was already in the 1 December 2007 version of the Treatment Guidelines, citing a presentation made in February 2007 (Reference 102 in the quote is D’Arminio Monforte et al., “HIV-induced immunodeficiency and risk of fatal AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining malignancies”, 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, 25-28 February 2007, Los Angeles, CA, Abstract 84). It’s been known, in other words, at least since early 2007, that anti-retroviral treatment significantly increases the incidence of certain cancers. Yet in November 2008, the HIV/AIDS scene and the media reporting that scene treat it as “news” when a meta-analysis re-confirms this fact:

“Higher Risk of Certain Cancers Being Recorded in HIV-Positive People” [Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 19 November  2008]

“Meta-analysis” means the collation and analysis of previously published studies; in this case, no fewer than 11 from around the world:  “Shiels and her colleagues drew their conclusions by analyzing 11 U.S. and international studies comparing cancer rates of HIV patients and the general population”. The meta-analysis merely dots i’s and crosses t’s on what was already rather evident from study after study.

Note too the same misleading reportage as with “HIV-associated” lipodystrophy [“Misleading is worse than lying . . .”, 10 November 2008]. It is misleading to speak of a higher risk of cancer in “HIV-positive” individuals: that risk has not been found among the long-term non-progressors, the elite controllers, or the many healthy HIV-positive individuals who have managed to stay clear of the official HIV/AIDS system; the increased incidence of cancer is only among those individuals who are receiving HAART. Not that this should be any surprise, for oncology has long recognized that individuals successfully “cured” of a given cancer by chemotherapy or radiotherapy incur an increased risk of contracting some other cancer by about a decade later. The biological effects of HAART chemicals are rather similar to those of cancer chemotherapeutics, so it is only to be expected that, about a decade after the introduction of HAART, an increased incidence of various cancers begins to show up among people receiving HAART.

“Physicians in the U.S. are reporting a higher risk for certain types of cancers — such as liver, head, neck and lung — in people living with HIV/AIDS, raising concerns that a cancer epidemic is imminent in the population, the Baltimore Sun reports. According to the Sun, Meredith Shiels, a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, presented a paper on Tuesday at the seventh annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research that said people living with HIV [again: instead of “people on HAART”] are twice as likely as the general population to develop cancers not previously linked with the virus. Other studies have found that people living with HIV have as much as a 10 times greater chance of developing certain cancers compared with the general population. William Blattner, an associate director of the University of Maryland Institute of Human Virology, said researchers are ‘really at the first stages of systematically looking at the epidemic and fully looking at cancer.’ He added that ‘[b]efore, you died from AIDS, so you didn’t have time to develop cancer. … The unusual observation is the cancers are occurring at a much younger age’” [emphasis added].

Yes. “Unusual” for HIV-positive individuals, but not unusual for people being fed cytotoxic drugs for a decade. Then comes yet more denial and cognitive dissonance:

Although researchers do not know the exact reasons for the increased risk of developing some cancers, there are several theories as to why HIV-positive people are more susceptible, such as the increased life expectancy due to antiretroviral drugs” [emphasis added]: but that — living longer — has just been excluded, in the immediately preceding sentence, no less: these cancers are, “unusually”, occurring at a young age, in other words, not because people are living to the ripe old ages where these cancers are normally encountered.

The real reason creeps in only as a subordinate clause: “weakened immune systems related to the virus or the effects of antiretrovirals” [emphasis added].
Could this unobtrusiveness be other than deliberate? In any case, it’s followed by a truly bizarre suggestion:
the likelihood of increased high-risk behaviors in people living with HIV”[emphasis added]. Can they be serious? How can a Kaiser Report disseminate something like this? What sort of high-risk behavior, by HIV-positive people or by anyone else, can bring on cancers at an unusually young age?! Continually inhaling nitrites (“poppers”), perhaps?
Of course, there is a high-risk behavior that HIV-positive people are very likely to display: accepting anti-retroviral treatment. But I doubt that this is what was meant.

“The Sun reports that a well-known researcher ‘wonders’ if antiretrovirals could be a carcinogen” [emphasis added]. I suppose that any mainstream researcher who is aware of the facts and is trying to draw attention to them without being excommunicated and losing his grants might put it like that; it would be too personally dangerous to point out that anti-retroviral drugs are known carcinogens.

It ought to be common knowledge that the “war on cancer” nurtured virologists looking for viral causes of cancer for a couple of decades before this became recognized as a wild-goose chase, and mainstream views turned toward “oncogenes” as cancer-causing. Somehow, though, HIV/AIDS pundits have managed to turn the fact that viruses have NOT been found to cause human cancers into its very opposite:

many cancers found in people living with HIV are known to be caused by viruses, such as anal, head, neck and cervical cancers — which have been linked to the human papilloma virus — and liver cancer, which has been linked to hepatitis”. Words simply failed me at this barefaced lie. At least, until I came to the next sentence, and saw wherefrom these assertions apparently stemmed:

“Mark Wainberg, director of the McGill University AIDS Center in Montreal”: The guy who wants to put AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics into jail [The Other Side of AIDS; “Flight from the AIDS police”]. The guy who wants them to be fired from their jobs (“AIDS and the dangers of denial”, Globe and Mail, 4 July 2007). The guy responsible for introducing one of the AZT-analog carcinogens (3TC, lamivudine).

When you have a fundamentally wrong theory, facts become quite difficult to explain, and an endless variety of conundrums are generated — all of them suitable topics for grant proposals, of course [“The Research Trough — where lack of progress brings more grants”, 10 September 2008]. Thus, the notion that the normal immune systems offers some protection against cancer leads to the suggestion that HIV-positive people tend to get cancers at a higher rate because they are immune-compromised:
“However, people with HIV who develop cancer do not ‘always have the weakest immune systems, further confounding researchers,’ . . . Eric Engels, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute studying HIV/AIDS and lung cancer, said research into how the immune system and cancer interact could provide a wider application than just helping people living with HIV. ‘This research has implications for people who have a healthy immune system, too’”.

“ . . . cases of lung cancer among people living with HIV are increasing, and a 2003 study . . .  found 80 cases of HIV-positive lung cancer patients out of a total 12,000 lung cancer patients . . . . people living with HIV have a three to five times higher risk of developing lung cancer than the general population, with a high risk even when controlled for smoking. He [Engels] also said the median age of lung cancer patients who are living with HIV is 46, compared with 64 among the general population. ‘The deaths here were overwhelmingly cancer-related. They were not due to AIDS . . . these patients die and they die quickly,’ with an average period of six years between HIV diagnosis and lung cancer diagnosis. . . . although the cancer is not caused by a virus, it could be the result of an unknown infection, scarring of the lungs or some type of inflammation, which could explain why it is increasingly being found in people living with HIV” — WHO ARE BEING FED TOXIC CHEMICALS THAT ALSO ACT AS CARCINOGENS!

Recall that infection by HIV is supposed to be followed by an average period of a decade or so before any signs of illness evidence. That estimate of the “latent period” grew longer over the years because experience showed that HIV-positive people simply weren’t becoming more quickly ill; THEY WERE NOT GETTING CANCER, EITHER, WITHIN 6 YEARS. That’s been happening only in the era of “lifesaving” HAART.

“Shiels said that the trend in cancer development in HIV-positive people might have been detected earlier if antiretrovirals were developed sooner. ‘Perhaps if they had lived longer, we would have seen this 10 years ago’”.
But HIV-positive individuals who avoid anti-retrovirals have been living longer (see, for example, The Other Side of AIDS; Christine Maggiore, What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong? ) They are not the ones getting these cancers at “unusually” young ages.

And here’s another delicious conundrum that was reported in only some of the media:
“Men with HIV were 2.3 times more likely, while women with the virus are about 1.5 times more likely to develop these other cancers . . . . However, people with AIDS have similar incidence rates of these cancers as the public at large” [emphasis added] (“Non-AIDS Cancer Risk Higher for Those With HIV”).

“Kevin Cullen, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, said that 10 or 20 years ago ‘virtually no one [living with HIV] who developed cancer could survive rigorous cancer treatment,’ but antiretrovirals have allowed people to successfully undergo cancer treatment” — thus contradicting directly what was just cited from Eric Engels, that these lung-cancer patients were dying “quickly”.


This mish-mash brought me, as so often, to the realization that no one is apparently keeping a global, overall watch on the HIV/AIDS scene; least of all, unfortunately, the media, be it the mainstream organs or those specializing (like the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report) in medical matters. Almost daily, certainly weekly, there come these mutually inconsistent, ignorant-of-recent-history, cognitively dissonant pronouncements, at odds with published facts, replete with disproved shibboleths — for example, that “HIV used to be a death sentence. Now, with the advent of highly effective antiretroviral drug therapy, people with HIV can be expected to live nearly as long as the general population” (“People with HIV at increased risk for cancer, study finds”; “As life span has increased”). The latter source also asserts that “some cancers have been linked to HIV, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and cervical cancer” — when it’s been accepted for more than a decade that HIV is NOT the cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma or cervical cancer, which are (currently) blamed respectively on HHV-8 (or KSHV) and HPV.

The whole business is an utter disgrace to several professions. As Charles A. Thomas said many years ago:

“This thing is going to be studied long after our time. This is so much greater than the Lysenko Affair [which had set Soviet agriculture and biology back decades]. I’m urging all of my colleagues to save all of their papers and make the historical record as complete as possible. What was the dynamics of the events that led to poisoning people with AZT? Because this is a major historical event that is going to be studied for 100 years — how the United States gave AIDS to the world” (HIV = AIDS: Fact or Fraud?).

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV absurdities, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »