HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Firenze 2011’

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):

————————————

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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Firenze 2011: the end of dissent

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/29

“The end of dissent” here refers to the acceptance of AIDS Rethinking as a legitimate part of mainstream discourse.

Several Rethinker contributions were presented at the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses sponsored by, among others, the International AIDS Society. This illustrates once again that when peer review is not under the control of vigilantes, it recognizes the soundness of a number of the critiques offered by Rethinkers; in this instance: the critique by Duesberg et al. of  unfounded claims of huge numbers of AIDS deaths in South Africa; the official figures cited by Branca, Pacini, & Ruggiero that demonstrate the lack of any “HIV/AIDS” epidemic in Italy; and the critique of “HIV” tests and “HIV” epidemiology by Galletti, Pacini, Morucci, & Bauer.

The following report from Professor Marco Ruggiero has been edited slightly for this posting:

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On March 27th – 29th, Firenze, Italy, hosted the Italian Conference on AIDS and Retroviruses under the High Patronage of the Italian President of the Republic, the Ministry of Health, the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Firenze, the Municipality of Firenze, the Universities of Firenze and Rome, the National Scientific Societies, the Public Health Service, several organizations involved in the fight against AIDS and, perhaps most notably, the International AIDS Society (IAS). This conference precedes the IAS conference to be held in Rome in July.

It is well known that for more than 25 years the opinions of such so-called dissident scientists as Professors Peter Duesberg and Henry Bauer were never allowed in mainstream conferences, and any voice questioning the role of HIV in causing AIDS has been systematically suppressed. Associations for the scientific reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis such as Rethinking AIDS were never invited or even allowed to participate.

This deplorable state of affairs officially came to an end in Firenze with the formal and official recognition of the contributions of such scientists as Duesberg, Fiala, Koehnlein, Pacini, Rasnick, Ruggiero, Bauer, Branca, Galletti, Mandrioli, Morucci, Nicholson, Punzi, all questioning the role of HIV in the aetiology and pathogenesis of AIDS. Their communications were accepted under the normal peer-review process, and the respective abstracts are now available in a special issue (volume 39, Supplement 1, March 201) of Infection, a peer-reviewed journal of infectious disease published by Springer and the official publication of the following societies:
German Society for Infectious Diseases
Paul Ehrlich Society for Chemotherapy
German Sepsis Society
Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (SIMIT)
Infection also cooperates with European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; European Society of Chemotherapy Infectious Diseases;
Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases
Infection is abstracted or indexed in:
Abstracts in Anthropology, Academic OneFile, AGRICOLA, ASFA, Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CAB International, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), CINAHL, CSA, Current Abstracts, Current Contents/ Life Sciences, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EBSCO, Elsevier Biobase, EMBASE, EMCare, Environment Index, Expanded Academic, Global Health, Google Scholar, Health Reference Center Academic, IBIDS, Index Copernicus, INIS Atomindex, Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, OCLC, PubMed/Medline, Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), SCOPUS, Summon by Serial Solutions

For the very first time in more than 25 years, statements such as “HIV by itself is not causing AIDS”“There is no gold standard for HIV tests”; “ARVs such as  AZT do not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS”, have been recognized by peer review as scientifically sound and worth being presented and discussed at a conference sponsored by the International AIDS Society.

The international Scientific Committee, which reviewed and accepted the communications  whose excerpts are quoted above, is to be lauded for scientific integrity and openness of mind. The Organizing Committee, too, deserves substantial credit for having accepted Rethinking AIDS as a legitimate association involved in the fight against AIDS. In fact, the Italian member of the board of directors of Rethinking AIDS, Prof. Marco Ruggiero, was accepted as a qualified representative of the HIV/AIDS community and granted free registration and access to all the events, including the sumptuous gala at the world-famous Palazzo della Signoria, seat of the Medici Family in Renaissance times.

It might be recalled that Firenze, renowned in the world for its artistic treasures, is also the city of Galileo, widely hailed as the founder of the modern scientific method and a martyr to the blind dogmatism that denies revolutionary ideas labelled as “heretical”. On the present occasion, Firenze demonstrated once again the supremacy of rational scientific thinking in declaring that the fight against AIDS cannot be deprived of such revolutionary ideas as have been blindly labelled heretical for so many years. From now on the hypotheses put forward by such scientists as Duesberg or Bauer cannot be dismissed lightly as “denialist delusions”, they now have their proper place in the history of AIDS. All those who question the central role of HIV in the aetiology or pathogenesis of AIDS need no longer fear being anathematized and excommunicated as denialists.

The wind of change blowing from Firenze will allow scientists to focus on the main culprit of AIDS, the immune system, with the obvious, but so far almost neglected, goal of restoring its function. A re-established immune system will get rid of the (probably harmless) virus “within a few weeks”, as Luc Montagnier has pointed out.

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