HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘HIV and bone fracture’

Ignorance about HIV and AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/03/21

“[C]ontinuing, unaddressed public ignorance
about the routes and actual risks of HIV transmission
informs policy making at every level and
burdens the lives of people living with HIV”.

That, you might think, was said by a Rethinker, but it wasn’t. It comes from Rene Bennett-Carlson, managing attorney at  the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) in New York City: “This young man may lose 15 years of his life to a prison cell for being HIV positive. If he hadn’t gotten an HIV test he wouldn’t be facing these penalties.”
Bennett-Carlson’s appropriate comments were stimulated by the case of a Missouri man charged with “recklessly and knowingly exposing some one to HIV” — because he is alleged to have bitten a police officer (“Advocates alarmed by spike in Missouri HIV prosecutions — Contrary to medical evidence, Missouri law makes biting a felony”).
The Michigan advocates properly cast aspersions at Missouri laws that are based on ignorance about HIV. But they are blind to the mote in their own eyes: “Michigan’s law . . . criminalizes only sexual behavior without disclosure of an HIV-positive status” — which is also based on ignorance of the fact that “HIV-positive” has never been shown to be transmissible by sexual behavior any more than by biting.

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Possibly the most serious ignorance among adherents to HIV/AIDS theory is about the high prevalence of false-positive HIV test-results — many physiological conditions can deliver “HIV-positive” results: pregnancy and other conditions that are not unhealthy, and also tuberculosis and many other conditions that bespeak ill health. In other words, “HIV-positive” may indicate ill health for some reason or it may not, and the “not” probably corresponds to something like half of all reported “positives” (Medical students in Africa need not fear HIV; REPRINT of Galletti & Bauer).
[I am using “false-positive” here in this sense, that the “positive” does not reflect any sort of health threat. As I’m often reminded, all “HIV-positive” results are false in the sense that they do not demonstrate the presence of an AIDS-causing agent or the presence of an active retroviral infection.]
The virtually universal ignorance about the high frequency of false-positives on “HIV” tests undermines the credibility of a great deal of the technical literature. Since about half of all “HIV-positive” results are likely to be false-positive in every sense of that term, the statistical evaluation of possible correlations will be invalid in many instances; variables described as “HIV-associated” may actually be false-positive- associated; and correlations not statistically significant may turn out to be statistically significant.
Take the higher incidence of bone-density-loss and bone fracture among “HIV-positive” people. An awareness of the false-positive frequency would require a closer investigation of all the factors that could lead to bone loss and bone fracture and that might at the same time conduce to a false-positive “HIV”-test. Consider the most recent publication on “HIV-associated” bone fracture — Young et al., “Increased rates of bone fracture among HIV-infected persons in the HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS) compared with the US general population, 2000-2006”, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 10 March 2011 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21398272 (annoyingly cited incorrectly as “2010;52:1061-1068” on Endocrine Today).

The main point about the need to consider false positives is this:
If all the bone fractures occurred among the “HIV-positive” individuals whose positive test reflected some sort of health threat, then the rate of fracture among those health-threatened ones would be twice that reported here, and associations doubtfully significant might well be statistically significant.
Thus, according to the text of the article, there was no observed association between risk of fracture and “ART exposure”, which presumably corresponds to “ARV exposure” in the table above (extracted from the article’s Table 4) — no significant association with exposure among the 3856-4087 exposed or not known to be exposed. Yet there is an almost statistically significant association among the 3749 exposed to HAART.
Almost all the ARV-exposed were also HAART-exposed — 3749 out of between 3856 and 4087 — so it cannot be true that the association with ARV is so drastically different from the association with HAART.

This illustrates that the data, statistics, and inferences in this article are much less than confidence-inspiring for reasons beyond the neglect of false-positives. However, the data do clearly suggest that bone fracture is HAART-associated: there is a statistically significant association with diabetes, which is a known risk of HAART, and an almost statistically significant association with peripheral neuropathy, also a known risk of HAART. In any case, risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture were also found to be HAART-associated in earlier studies (HIV: It can do anything, everything . . . or nothing?); and  HAART components are known to cause osteonecrosis (bone death), see NIH Treatment Guidelines, 29 January 2008, pp. 23, 30, 67, 69, 80, 84, 101, 102.

The median age of the people studied by Young et al. was 40, far too young for any appreciable incidence of diabetes or peripheral neuropathy in absence of HAART. Note too that anti-depressants and proton-pump inhibitors and drugs used to treat diabetes II also show hints of contributing to the risk of bone fracture. Being diagnosed as “HIV-positive” is, of course, a strong reason why a person might be being subjected to treatment with anti-depressants.

Note further that there is a positive association of fractures with lower CD4 counts, but no association with viral load: yet HIV/AIDS theory demands that CD4 counts and viral load be strongly correlated. (That they are not was already shown by Rodriguez et al. — JAMA, 296 [2006] 1498-1506 —, something conveniently forgotten or ignored or invalidly explained away by true believers.)

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The ignorant belief that a positive HIV-test demonstrates infection, “having HIV”, continues to bring criminal charges against people who have sex, e.g. “Help available for victims of HIV-positive Vermilion [Ohio] man”.
The same ignorant belief underlies scare stories like “HIV infection passed via donated kidney: U.S. Report — Donor screening didn’t use most sensitive test, leading to infection of recipient, researchers say”: once again, “researchers” are cited about supposedly sensitive tests, which cannot be known in absence of a gold-standard test; and higher sensitivity is in any case produces a higher rate of false-positives on any test, in this case entirely non-health-threatening “positives”.

It’s often said that ignorance of the law is no excuse; but

Is there an excuse for laws that are ignorant of science?

Is there an excuse for researchers
who are ignorant of central facts pertinent to their research?

Is there an excuse for medical practitioners
who are ignorant of central facts
pertinent to their practices?

Is there an excuse for clinical laboratories
that issue reports of “HIV-positive” without pointing out
that this does not constitute a diagnosis of infection?

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV tests, HIV transmission, Legal aspects, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

TALKING OF HIV’S MAGICAL POWERS…

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/12/29

‘Twas only yesterday (“HIV DISEASE”, 28 December) that I remarked on HIV’s ability to act psychically or magically by way of its “bystander” mechanism. Immediately came this confirmation:

“HIV-Positive Women Have Higher Risk of Bone Fractures (POZ, 28 December):

HIV-positive women face a greater risk of bone fracture than HIV-negative women, despite . . . [being] similar in terms of age, bone mineral density, family history of osteoporosis, calcium intake and other factors known to affect bone health.

26 percent of the HIV-positive women had a history of a fragility fracture—a broken bone that occurs as a result of a fall from standing height or less—compared with just 17 percent of the HIV-negative women. This result was statistically significant, meaning that the difference was too great to have occurred by chance.

Dr. Prior’s team theorized that the difference in fracture rates, despite equal bone mineral density, may be due to the effect of HIV infection within the bone in a manner that does not show up on standard measures of bone health.”

* * * * * *

Missing from the report is such necessary information as whether the women had been HIV-positive when they suffered the fractures. As Kary Mullis points out in Robin Scovill’s must-see film The Other Side of AIDS, “infection” by “HIV” is the contemporary equivalent of possession by the devil; once possessed or infected, anything unpleasant that happens must be owing to that evil power.

For non-believers in Satanic possession, the thing to remember is that “HIV-positive” is not a sign of infection by a deadly pathogen, it is a sign that the immune system is reacting to something. What it’s reacting to may be trivial and temporary or serious.

“HIV-positive” signifies different things in different people.
—In those who inject drugs, it is probably a direct result of the physiological action of those drugs or of their debilitating “side” effects.
—In gay men, the testimony of many “long-term non-progressors” or “elite controllers” is that being HIV-positive is compatible with a healthy life provided one behaves in a reasonably sensible manner.
—When it comes to groups of people like those in the study cited above, who seem to be comparable in all manifest ways, yet some of whom test HIV-positive and others do not, it is a reasonable inference that the HIV-positive ones are experiencing some higher degree of physiological stress and may therefore have a more dubious prognosis; a search would be warranted for unsuspected ailments or genetic predispositions or earlier traumatic events.
For example, among people with tuberculosis, the HIV-positive ones have a poorer prognosis (“TB biggest threat to HIV positive”; “HIV, tuberculosis jointly kill 300 Peruvians every year” ). In one of the earliest studies in Africa, the poorer prognosis of HIV-positive youths led researchers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confuse correlation with causation (“One may realize the association between HIV infection and death even without believing that HIV causes AIDS”, Dondero and Curran, Lancet 343 [1994] 989-90).

The relationship of HIV-positive to physiological stress is evident when one compares reported rates among low-risk groups:

groupcomparison.jpg

For all groups except the top three, the rates of testing HIV-positive seem to correlate with the average state of fitness or good health: repeat blood donors have been screened for fewer health problems than first-time donors; active-duty military have been screened for fewer health problems than applicants for military service; runaway youths and people attending various clinics are likely to have some noticeable health problems.

For the top three groups, something else seems to be in play. Tuberculosis apparently is very likely to produce a positive “HIV”-test, as is the abuse of drugs. As already said above, for gay men, HIV-positive may not signify a serious challenge to health. My correspondent Tony brought to my attention some time ago the intriguing possibility, with considerable evidence to support it, that in many cases HIV-positive among gay men may be an outcome of disturbances of the intestinal flora; that’s been mooted by other people as well, for example by Vladimir Koliadin and at NotAIDS! (3 February 2007, “AIDS or Candida albicans?” ).

Among other than these “high-risk” groups, “HIV-positive” seems to mark the possibility of a poorer prognosis for some undetected reason, not because some devilish retrovirus is secretly at work: HIV-positive women are more likely to break bones, and it would be good to find out why—and especially whether the fracture perhaps came before the positive HIV-test and caused it, for there have been a number of reports showing a higher rate of HIV-positive tests among victims of trauma (references cited at p. 85 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).

Yet one must not link HIV-positive inevitably to a poorer prognosis, because the physiological reaction represented by “HIV-positive” is strongly influenced by individual factors and such attributes as sex, age, and race: for instance, within a group matched for all other known variables, people of African ancestry test HIV-positive 5 or more times–sometimes very many times more–than others.

Testing HIV-positive means that certain proteins or bits of RNA or DNA are present. What consequences that may have need to be explored in each individual case.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »