HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘HIV and cancer’

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?).

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