HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘does HIV exist?’

How will the truth come out about HIV/AIDS?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/14

Several of my posts on this blog have grappled in one way or another with the central issue for Rethinkers: How might the general public, the media, the policy makers be awakened to the actual facts about “HIV” and about “AIDS”?  — Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09; Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers, 2010/12/21;  Follow the money: Is HIV/AIDS fading away?, 2010/12/12; Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02;  Defeating HIV = AIDS, 2010/10/17;  Not with a bang but a whimper, 2009/12/27;  The cases against HIV: Strategies for halting the bandwagon, 29 July 2008;  Stopping the HIV/AIDS bandwagon — Part II, 1 February 2008;  How can the HIV/AIDS bandwagon be stopped?, 27 January 2008.

There is no hint of a consensus on this question among Rethinkers. I among others have come to believe that working within the established forums of medicine and science offers only long-forlorn hope; but other Rethinkers continue to try storming the citadels with manuscripts for publication in Establishment journals, and I take my hat off to those who keep trying, even as I think such direct assaults are unlikely to pay off. I see more hope in indirect attacks like those described recently that seem to offer real possibilities of eventually changing the climate of opinion among disciplines that encircle the HIV/AIDS establishment (Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09;  Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02).
In commenting on the latter, Robin  made important points, notably that it takes different approaches to persuade different folks: for instance, while some (in my view, very few) are concerned primarily with the best objective evidence, others are likely to think more in terms of human values.
In “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”,  I argued that the necessary initial steps include making people understand that “HIV” and “AIDS” are two separate things, entirely separate things. Crucial to that first step is that “HIV” tests are highly non-specific tests, reacting “positive” to a range of physiological conditions that are not necessarily even health-threatening.
If someone can become persuaded that “HIV” tests do not detect a fatal virus, then the essential mission has been accomplished, because obviously then “HIV”, which can only be defined by means for detecting it, could never have become known to be the cause of “AIDS”. Even under the assumption that “HIV” exists, but that the tests detect many other things as well, any apparent correlation between positive “HIV” tests and AIDS would be spurious. As I point out in my book, relying on such highly non-specific tests would entail the absurd assumption that “true”-positive and false-positive tests always occur in the same proportion under all circumstances—with pregnant women, with gay men, with members of different racial groups, etc..

The fact that “HIV” tests do not specifically detect
an immune-system-damaging virus

suffices to disprove the claimed “HIV”-AIDS connection.

Purveying the truth about “HIV” tests is made easy by the fact that authoritative mainstream sources attest to it: for instance the manufacturers’ fine print that comes with test kits and the monograph chapter by  Stanley H. Weiss and Elliott P. Cowan, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. Gary P. Wormser, 4th ed., 2004.
Admittedly there remains the obvious question, why the whole apparatus of practicing physicians and researchers rests its activities on invalid tests. This raises far-reaching historical, psychological, sociological issues; but in relation to the central point, that the tests do not detect “HIV”, this obvious question is irrelevant. How something could happen can be an interesting question, but when that thing did actually happen, not understanding how it came about doesn’t make it un-happen.
Another obvious and valid question, “So what is AIDS?”, can be answered as in Point 1 of the post, “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”.

What I want to stress now is that the lack of validity of “HIV” tests suffices to make the Rethinking case, irrespective of the “existence” question, namely, whether such a virus as HIV even exists. Therefore I find it most regrettable that some number of Rethinkers insists that the existence question is central to Rethinking — and I find it more than unfortunate that disagreements over this have led to schisms and the squandering of much emotion and time.
Of course it is of great interest to find out whether “HIV” in some shape or form exists, and if so whether it is exogenous — at least on occasion — or endogenous; and if the latter, whether this makes “HIV” an HERV. But from the viewpoint of whether “HIV” tests detect an AIDS-inducing agent, these scientific questions are beside the point. The mistaken view that what the “HIV” tests detect leads to AIDS could have come about in a number of ways. For instance, if “HIV” exists, it might be a passenger virus, as Duesberg suggested. If “HIV” doesn’t exist, researchers might have been confused by HERVs and circulating DNA, as Etienne de Harven has pointed out. Either way, or any other way, it is not necessary to settle the existence issue in order to demonstrate that “HIV” tests do not diagnose “HIV infection” and do not presage AIDS.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: | 55 Comments »

PARENZEE AND THE PERTH GROUP: A Correction

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/12/20

A valued observer of this blog was horrified to see me repeat the inaccurate claim that the Perth group had tried to prove that HIV doesn’t exist (COMMUNICATING VIA PERSONAL E-MAIL, 17 December).

Had I gone first and straight to the primary source–the Perth Group’s website–I would have seen among the FAQs:

DOES THE PERTH GROUP REALLY BELIEVE HIV DOES NOT EXIST?
The Perth Group does not broker beliefs and has never claimed HIV does not exist. (Neither have we claimed AIDS does not exist although we and our colleagues are often referred to as ‘AIDS Denialists’). What we have argued on numerous occasions in our publications and presentations is there is no proof that a retrovirus HIV does exist. Not in test-tubes, not in AIDS patients and not in anyone who is ‘HIV’ positive. We freely concede that our assertion may be wrong but to date no HIV expert has responded with any argument that has convinced us otherwise. There is a tradition in science that those who propose theories provide the proof. According to this tradition it is up to the HIV protagonists to come up with proof that HIV does exist. A scientist cannot employ the ‘Martian’ argument. That Martians exist because there is no proof they do not exist. It is our long held view that the laboratory phenomena documented by Montagnier and Gallo in Science in 1983/84 (which are still the best papers on this particular topic) are not specific for retroviruses and do not constitute proof of isolation of a retrovirus. In regard to Montagnier’s ‘discovery of HIV’ please read our recent paper mhmont.pdf

I offer a sincere apology in all directions.

In case to understand is to excuse: several newspaper accounts asserted explicitly that Parenzee’s defense insisted that HIV doesn’t exist, for example “Shadow of doubters” (originally published by Ruth Pollard in the Sydney Morning Herald).

I was reminded by another friendly correspondent that perhaps one ought not to believe everything one reads in the newspapers.

* * * * * *

On the plus side:

1. PEER REVIEW

It’s extremely reassuring to me that alert and knowledgeable observers of this blog tell me about mistakes and other deficiencies.

I’ve been interested for many years in the role that heresies and heterodoxies play in the progress of science. A crucial point is that the orthodoxy is highly structured and organized whereas those who dissent from the orthodox view tend to be unorganized (not to say DISorganized). Tangible benefits accrue from belonging to mainstream organizations, whereas being a dissenter brings anything but benefits.

To the extent that science has been self-correcting and increasingly reliable, those virtues stem from mutual critiquing among researchers, in other words, “peer review”. Dissenters don’t usually have the benefit of peer review. The orthodoxy is dismissive and doesn’t offer constructive, substantive criticism. Individual dissenters may be reluctant to criticize details of other dissenters’ views because they are all “in the same boat”; and they may also be more interested in pursuing their own pet ideas than becoming familiar with and constructively discussing the ideas that other dissenters have. Whatever the reasons, it is rare that dissenters are able to organize for effective, unified action.

So I’m truly grateful to those who provide me the benefit of peer review by telling me of deficiencies and outright errors.

2. SETTING AN EXAMPLE

I would like to think that by striving for all possible accuracy, and by acknowledging and correcting errors, HIV skeptics can stand in stark contrast to the dogmatic defenders-of -HIV dogma-at-all-costs who stick by mutually contradictory assertions and refuse to acknowledge even the facts published in their own articles, say, the plain fact that Padian failed to observe even one instance of HIV transmission during the course of her study; “Over time, the authors observed increased condom use (p <0.001) and no new infections [emphasis added]” (Abstract); “We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study” (p. 354)—Padian et al., American Journal of Epidemiology, 146 [1997] 350-7.

* * * * * *

I remain with the central point in my discussion draft, canwelearnfromparenzee.doc : “the need to identify exactly what is necessary to establish sufficient doubt about HIV = AIDS dogma”, and to find some way of bringing those points effectively to the attention of the general public.

Another way of putting it: Keep it as simple as possible. Reporters find it difficult to recognize, or to write accurately about, such distinctions as between “has not been proven to exist” and “does not exist”.

* * * * * *
* * * * * *

FURTHER READING AND ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF:

That peer review constitutes the actual scientific method is discussed in Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. Scientific knowledge begins as hunches, which generate frontier research from which relatively reliable understanding eventuates after running the gauntlet of the knowledge filter, whose efficacy depends on how disinterested and conscientious peer review is.

The differences between orthodox scientific activity and the strivings of dissenters and heretics, and the corollaries and consequences of those differences, are discussed in Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies; The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery (especially chapter 6, The Quest, and chapter 10, Nessie, Science, and truth); Beyond Velikovsky (especially chapter 8, Pseudo-Scientists, Cranks, Crackpots, and chapter 15, Some realities about science).

Characteristics of science and of unorthodoxies are discussed in Fatal Attractions: The Troubles with Science.

Posted in HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

COMMUNICATING VIA PERSONAL E-MAIL

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/12/17

I’m happy to converse via personal e-mail, but please understand that I can only respond if the e-address you give, and that comes up when I use ”Reply”, is a valid one. For example, I had an e-mail from ”anonymous@anonymous.com” and my reply was rejected by the Internet delivery system.

************

After I had posted this,  textgenie wrote:
So Henry, don’t waste it. Put the exchange up here on your blog.

***********

Thanks, textgenie! Should have thought of it myself. “Anonymous” had said:

Hello, Dr. Bauer. I’m a writer and scientist (keeping a low profile) who’s been impressed by your HIV Skeptic blog and am curious about your thoughts on the Parenzee case. I have seen and reviewed HIV dissident arguments in the past and thought this case, as summarized below, was a particularly strong blow to the dissident argument. I’d be interested to know your response — perhaps, if I may be so bold, it could merit discussion in your blog? Thank you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Chad_Parenzee

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hhbauer replies:

(There remains at least one other possible avenue for an appeal on Parenzee’s behalf)

My thoughts on the matter are given in some detail in the attached, which I circulated soon after Judge Sulan’s rejection of the first appeal. I haven’t revised it since the later rejection by the full Court.

canwelearnfromparenzee.doc

In substantive terms, I think the case is irrelevant to the scientific arguments, because the criteria for judging are entirely different in science and in the law.

Parenzee’s legal defense team, when he was first on trial, was unaware of the existence of dissident views. Then it became aware of them through the Perth Group. The latter have published some very important material, BUT they insisted on being the only expert witnesses on Parenzee’s behalf AND committed the strategic mistake of trying to prove that HIV doesn’t even exist. Insofar as the scientific arguments could influence the legal considerations, this tack taken in the first appeal may make it impossible to bring in the scientific dissident case “from scratch”, though the defense did try to shift ground in the hearing by the full Appeals Court, from the grounds that HIV doesn’t exist to trying to show errors in Sulan’s decisions.

I don’t understand the legal situation well enough to venture a guess whether another appeal is possible or what grounds would be available and to what extent the scientific case would be relevant.

I’m glad you’ve found my blog worthwhile, and I will certainly keep the Parenzee case in mind for it. Just now I’m preoccupied with the question of antiretroviral treatments; when I read the whole of the official guidelines I was rather horrified; and there are a few other gross deficiencies in the orthodox views “champing at the bit” to be addressed!

If you can take the time, I urge you to go over the data from HIV tests in the US, which I’ve summarized in my book and in several earlier articles that can be downloaded from my website. There are so many aspects and complications–what IS AIDS? what IS HIV? etc etc, but one thing seems simple and clear: what HIV tests have detected in the US over the last quarter century is not an infectious agent, and it is not correlated with the incidence of AIDS. That means HIV was not the cause of AIDS, and all the subsidiary questions need to be re-examined in that light. Several of them cannot be answered without considerable new research; for example, why do gay men apparently test HIV-positive so frequently?

Best regards, anonymous!

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, Legal aspects | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »