HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘HAART causes premature aging’

Human cancers (≥20% of them) are caused by viruses!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/01/23

— at least so says Robert Gallo, co-non-discoverer of the non-AIDS-causing “HIV”.

In “HAART, heart disease, & lying with statistics” (2010/01/19)  I pointed out that Lo et al. (2010) claim statistical significance for an association between coronary disease and “HIV” without benefit of the proper control group, “HIV-positive” people who had never been fed antiretroviral drugs.

One of the earliest instances of the “bait and switch” tactic of ascribing to “HIV” what is actually caused by “treatment” against “HIV” was with lipodystrophy, which became prominent only upon introduction of protease inhibitors (PIs), a fact that doesn’t prevent mainstreamers from talking about “HIV-associated” lipodystrophy instead of PI-associated lipodystrophy. This attempted legerdemain of ascribing to “HIV” what is caused by antiretroviral drugs is widespread and will continue to be so, since an increasing proportion of “HIV-positive” people will suffer “treatment” as it is being extended to people with higher and higher CD4 counts, and is even proposed as prophylaxis in healthy, “HIV”-negative  people whose only “risk factor” is being an African woman. By the time every “HIV-positive” person is on antiretroviral drugs, every “side” effect of the drugs can be asserted to be “HIV-associated”.

Robert Gallo is engaged in an analogous attempted legerdemain by ascribing to viruses, without benefit of evidence, certain human cancers. According to Gallo, history teaches that the importance of infectious agents has been discounted for a century or so, despite periodic reminders: Spanish flu, polio, HIV: “ ‘I arrived in the National Cancer Institute in 1965 and there was a serious search for viruses involved in human cancer and a serious respect for infectious disease as potentially new epidemic disorders . . . . By 1975 the virus cancer programme had been killed and people had come to the conclusion that no virus was involved in human cancer and almost certainly would never be.’” Yet a few years later, those biases had been smashed. “Viruses are now known to be involved in about 20 per cent of all human cancers, maybe more, and we now have one of the great epidemics of all time in our face: HIV” (emphases added; “Keeping focused on eradicating a life-long and killer disease”).

Actually the virus-cancer program was not killed, it self-destructed because no human-cancer-causing viruses had been discovered, despite a mistaken claim by Gallo followed by his continuing insistence that HTLV is a retrovirus that causes leukemia — even as he writes that HTLV “tended to be transmitted within families and to stay within families for generations” (p. 114, Gallo 1991). To most people, even medical scientists and perhaps even virologists, something that stays within families for generations is a heritable genetic factor and not an infectious disease. But Gallo is quite ready to re-write medicine and science just as he feels entitled to re-write history: he ascribes medical advances from the beginning of the 20th century to “an increased understanding of and reliance upon the scientific method” (p. 2); and “over the last fifty years, I see few examples in which the scientific-medical establishment arrived at an important conclusion about a disease and was later shown to be wrong” (p. 297; maybe only “few”, but they’ve been fairly significant, like prions mistakenly thought to be lentiviruses, or bacterially caused ulcers ascribed to psychological stress, or shock treatments and lobotomies); and he describes interferon and cytokines as “non-chemical” (p. 301), as though Wöhler had not destroyed the basis for such distinctions in 1828.

Just a few weeks ago, before I had seen this latest Gallo emission, I’d commented that “ ‘HIV’ has infected virology with cancer-causing viruses” (2010/01/08)  in connection with XMRV, the allegedly “xenotropic” (species-jumping) mouse virus allegedly involved in prostate cancer because SOME prostate cancers can yield bits of “non-chemical” substances that might be interpretable as originating in a virus related to XMRV: HIV/AIDS has provided the precedent for regarding something as a cause just because bits of what might be from it can be found in some proportion of cases. Of course, if there’s a “statistically significant” correlation at the p<0.05 level, calculated by use of a ready-made statistics software package, that proves it scientifically, because in HIV-virology correlation proves causation. After all, the fact that a couple of strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) are correlated with genital warts is clear proof that HPV cause the cancers that are sometimes correlated with such warts.

Gallo is anything but shy, though his memory may be conveniently short. Twenty-five years ago he assured the Secretary for Health and Human Services that an anti-“HIV” vaccine would likely to be ready in a couple of years. Now, more than two decades of nothing but failed vaccine trials later, he interprets the latest failure of such a vaccine quite positively: “ ‘It worked, but all the positive data are in the first six months and after that there’s no protection. So whatever worked stopped working, and we have a good idea of what that might be . . . . I think it’s down to a special category of antibodies that were induced, and it fits with some ideas that we are working on.’ Gallo is understandably reserved about predicting the outcome of research in train, but he believes it could produce interesting results.”  He would obviously make a champion seller of Brooklyn Bridges, not to speak of snake oil; perhaps I should say, he has already shown himself to be such a champion.

The State of California has just added AZT to its list of recognized carcinogens. AZT was administered for more than two decades to “HIV-positive” individuals, and during this time an association was noticed between certain cancers — for example, cervical cancer — and “HIV-positive”. Should not Gallo point out to Governor Schwarzenegger that it isn’t the AZT that causes cancer, it’s the HIV against which the AZT is administered?

But Gallo’s (unsupported and unsupportable) claim that ≥20% of human cancers are virus-caused is far too modest. He unaccountably failed to realize that “HIV” can be indicted for an even more widespread condition that negatively affects human beings, namely, aging. The logic is simply the increasingly common syllogism by which HAART-associated equals “HIV”-associated:

Aging is caused in some part, perhaps very large part, by accumulation of mitochondrial mutations and increasingly poor mitochondrial function (Linnane et al. 1989).
Antiretroviral drugs cause mitochondrial damage.
“HIV-positive” people consume antiretroviral drugs.
QED: “HIV-positive” is associated with mitochondrial damage which leads to aging.

This is not a purely theoretical deduction, moreover: it has been noticed that “HIV-positive” individuals often seem to age very prematurely: “A striking number of HIV patients are living longer but getting older faster — showing early signs of dementia and bone weakness usually seen in the elderly” (David France, “Another kind of AIDS crisis”, New York Magazine, 1 November 2009):
“patients who contracted the virus just a few years back are showing signs of what’s being called premature or accelerated aging. Early senility turns out to be an increasingly common problem . . . . One large-scale multi-city study released its latest findings this summer that over half of the HIV-positive population is suffering some form of cognitive impairment. Doctors are also reporting a constellation of ailments in middle-aged patients that are more typically seen at geriatric practices, in patients 80 and older. They range from bone loss to organ failure to arthritis. Making matters worse, HIV patients are registering higher rates of insulin resistance and cholesterol imbalances, and they suffer elevated rates of melanoma and kidney cancers and seven times the rate of other non-HIV-related cancers. Whether this is a result of the drugs or the disease itself, or some combination, is still an open question . . . .”

It’s an open question only for people who don’t remember the past. Whether “non-HIV-related cancers” are a result of “HIV” is not an open question, it’s an attempt to obfuscate. Under HIV/AIDS theory, the average time from “HIV-positive” to any symptoms of illness is 10 years. Now, “patients who contracted the virus just a few years back are showing signs of what’s being called premature or accelerated aging” [emphasis added].

The determined defenders of the orthodox faith speak in hand-waving fashion which ignores that chronology (among other things). The official line is that the life-saving drugs are enabling HIV/AIDS patients to live longer than ever before, and so to become prone to ailments of old age. What that attempted explaining-away does not explain is that the ailments “of old age” are affecting people in middle age; HAART-treated individuals are not living into old age and getting those ailments. Moreover, in the past, in the early days of actual AIDS, people died from opportunistic infections, not from cancers or other typically old-age conditions.

Gallo 1991: “Virus Hunting: AIDS, Cancer, and the Human Retrovirus: A Story of Scientific Discovery”, BasicBooks

Linnane 1989: Linnane AW, Marzuki S, Ozawa T, Tanaka M. “Mitochondrial DNA mutations as an important contributor to ageing and degenerative diseases”, Lancet 25 (8639) 642-5

Lo et al.: Janet Lo, Suhny Abbara, Leon Shturman, Anand Soni, Jeffrey Wei, Jose A. Rocha-Filho, Khurram Nasir, and Steven K. Grinspoon, “Increased prevalence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis detected by coronary computed tomography angiography in HIV-infected men” AIDS 24 [2010] 243-53

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