HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘HIV and herpes’

SEX, RACE, and “HIV”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/05/14

Proponents of HIV/AIDS theory claim that purported epidemics of “HIV” reflect primarily sexual behavior (except in Eastern Europe, where 85% of it is ascribed to drug abuse — see HIV/AIDS ILLUSTRATES COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, 29 April 2008 — implying a truly inconceivably prodigious sharing of infected needles).

Everywhere in the world, people test “HIV-positive” according to their race. People of African ancestry test positive far more often than others. Asians always test positive least frequently. Caucasians, Native Americans, and non-black Hispanics are in between, but much closer to Asians than to Africans.

Therefore, the orthodox view as to HIV/AIDS postulates, implicitly but inescapably, that members of different racial groups display characteristically different, race-determined sexual behavior.

So egregious is this assertion that I would have thought it sufficient, in and of itself, to disabuse anyone and everyone of the notion that “HIV” could possibly be a sexually transmitted agent. Consider and compare the furor over an oft-claimed association of IQ and race. The claim led to excruciatingly detailed dissection of what IQ tests actually measure. Even those who claim that there is an association between race and IQ also acknowledge that it is only probabilistic, not fully determinant (typically, heredity is said to be responsible for only about half of the variations in IQ). If there is indeed such an association of race and IQ, one could at least speculate about a possible physical or physiological and therefore genetic basis for it, by analogy with the folklore — favored by devotees of table tennis — that Asians tend to have faster reflexes, and that faster reflexes make for better IQ-test scores. But in the purported association of testing “HIV-positive” and race, no careful dissection of what the “HIV” tests measure has been carried through (except, of course, by HIV/AIDS rethinkers). In particular, it has never been shown that testing “HIV-positive” denotes active infection, as the orthodoxy maintains. Indeed, there’s a substantial prize ($25,000, plus a matching amount to charity) awaiting anyone who can produce a publication proving that “HIV-positive” means active infection (http://www.aliveandwell.org/, May 2007 under “News and Updates”). There is an even larger prize for proof of the very existence of “HIV”: the Michael Verney-Elliott Memorial Prize of £50,000 .

As to whether sexual behavior might be determined definitively by race-associated genetics, I am not aware that anyone has been so foolish as to suggest it explicitly. Behavior is determined by culture, learning, environment, within very wide limits set by human genetics. Sexual mores and sexual practices have changed dramatically over short periods of time in several individual cultures without any change in racial composition of the populations expressing those cultures. Monogamy and polygamy have been practiced at times within cultures whose members belong to different racial groups. The notion that any form of behavior is directly determined by race has been thoroughly undermined by understanding and knowledge accumulated in anthropology, sociology, developmental biology, psychology, and so on. Nevertheless, the orthodox view of HIV/AIDS implies such an association, for the racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” are at least as firmly reproducible as anything else about HIV/AIDS.

Not only does HIV/AIDS theory incorporate by clear implication the extraordinary claim that sexual behavior is characteristic of race, the sexual behavior it ascribes to Africans is implausible in the extreme.

Since the average probability of apparently transmitting “HIV” is about 1 per 1000, to produce an epidemic would seem to call for extensive and incessant orgies, a high rate of intercourse among continually changing sexual partners. In order to save the hypothesis of sexual transmission in the face of this implausible scenario, the speculation was ventured long ago (Anderson & May, Nature 333 [1988] 514-9) — and has since become generally accepted without proof — that when a person is first infected, there might ensue a short period of weeks, at most months, during which the infectivity must be much higher than 1 per 1000.

However, the highest estimates for this putative initial infectivity allowed by actual data on apparent transmission are only 1/50 to 1/250 (Cohen & Pilcher, Journal of Infectious Diseases 191 [2005] 1391-3). Such a rate still requires prodigious feats of sexual promiscuity to explain the levels of “HIV infection” reported for sub-Saharan Africa, which are greater than 20%, remember, sometimes even above 35%, in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe (21 April 2008, DECONSTRUCTING HIV/AIDS in “SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA” and “THE CARIBBEAN”).

James Chin, former epidemiologist for California and later for the World Health Organization, has carried out the requisite calculations (The AIDS Pandemic: The collision of epidemiology with political correctness, Radcliffe 2007): “epidemic HIV transmission requires a very high level of HIV risk behaviors” (pp. 44, 45). To achieve an epidemic spread over a period of “many years”, 20-40% of adults must have “multiple concurrent relationships” — several sexual partners at the same time, changing to new partners weekly or monthly, totaling to tens of different partners over the course of each year (p. 64, Table 5.1). (Chin does not seem specifically to consider the postulated short periods of higher infectivity. However, doing so would then require even more rapid change of partners to produce an epidemic since the window of opportunity for transmission is so brief.)

That, then — according to the official view — is what must have been going on in “sub-Saharan Africa” for many years. Also on the official view, as one travels from south to north one would observe the level of sexual activity steadily decreasing, until in North Africa promiscuity is at quite a low level, comparable to that in the civilized regions of the developed world; see the maps in DECONSTRUCTING HIV/AIDS in “SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA” and “THE CARIBBEAN”, 21 April 2008.

These staggering estimates, 20-40% of adults in multiple concurrent partner-changing relationships, are not usually cited, perhaps because they are so truly not worthy of belief. Instead, what HIV/AIDS theory implies — actually demands — is masked by abstract jargon not translated into concrete quantitative scenarios: it’s just said typically that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa results primarily from multiple concurrent relationships among heterosexuals in overlapping networks of partners. That sort of longwinded discourse in sociological jargon allows lay people’s eyes to glaze over and to defer to the experts who surely must know what they’re talking about. But the concrete fact behind that abstract jargon remains what Chin calculated: between 20% and 40% of adults having sex with several partners during the same period of time, all of them changing those partners every few weeks. It boggles the mind. Try to imagine that in your neighborhood: between 20% and 40% of men would have several mistresses, changing them every few weeks or months for new ones, and the women would be no less promiscuous. Just about everyone would have to be doing it, and certainly everyone would know about it.

Moreover, that degree of sexual activity would surely be causing to spread also the commonly known sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs) — gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, etc. Those are transmitted with probabilities that are far greater, ten times higher or more, than that of 1 per 50, the highest short-period rate postulated for HIV. Wherever “HIV” is spreading, therefore, the population should have been absolutely swamped by the common STDs. They are not. This in itself offers direct observational proof that HIV is not sexually transmitted, proof available to anyone who looks even cursorily at the evidence.

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Now that HIV/AIDS in the United States is acknowledged to have become a disease of black communities, similar feats of sexual activity as postulated for Africa have to be imagined there as well. A high rate of “multiple concurrent relationships” has indeed been offered explicitly as partial explanation for the purported epidemics now said to be endangering, in particular, young black women, notably in the Southeast and in Washington city, DC; see, among many available examples, Kulik et al., American Journal of Public Health 85 (1995) 1119-22; Hammett et al., Sexually Transmitted Diseases 33 (2006, July suppl.) 817-22; Adimora et al., Annals of Epidemiology 14 (#3, 2004) 155-60.

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The racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive” are clearly, obviously, inescapably incompatible with HIV/AIDS theory. If “HIV” were sexually transmitted, then the racial disparities in “HIV-positive” would mean that human racial groups differ characteristically and drastically in their sexual behavior and mores. Furthermore, if “HIV” were sexually transmitted, then wherever there is “HIV”, there would be vastly greater incidence of gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, etc.

The notion that “HIV” is a sexually transmitted infection is simply unsustainable in light of the actual data.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PICK A NUMBER — PICK **ANY** NUMBER

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/02/07

Statistics may seem to be plain information, but often they are issued in order to send messages. So the choice of numbers is naturally determined by what the desired message is.

Want to show that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is even worse than we thought?

“AIDS advocacy groups say the new figures [to be released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] will put the number of Americans infected with the AIDS virus each year close to 50 percent higher than previous estimates, at 55,000 instead of 40,000”
[WASHINGTON (Reuters) “Under 1 percent of U.S. adults have HIV: report”, by Maggie Fox; 29 January 2008]

Want to show that the epidemic is not as bad as we thought?

“The CDC has estimated in the past that more than 1 million Americans in total are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.”
“In 1999 to 2006, the prevalence of HIV infection among adults aged 18-49 years in the civilian noninstitutionalized household population of the United States was 0.47 percent . . . . [which means] anywhere between 447,000 people and 841,000 people, with 618,000 the middle number. . . . . [according to] the National Center for Health Statistics . . . . The agency’s snapshot of HIV infection in the United States shows the rate continues to be stable. . . . The report covers adults aged 18 to 49 and only people living in households — not prisoners, the homeless or patients in institutions” [emphases added]

Want to show that there’s still ample cause for concern, even though the HIV/AIDS epidemic is not as bad as we thought?

Even if overall the numbers are stable—“We can say the prevalence is basically stable in this U.S., household-based population”—, it’s always possible to pick out sectors where there are grounds for grave concern:

“We do see the disparities by race/ethnicity . . . confirms other surveys that show black men are far more likely than other Americans to be infected. . . . Black men aged 40 to 49 had the highest rate of infection, at close to 4 percent” [emphasis added].
Also, “2% of non-Hispanic blacks were HIV-positive, compared with 0.23% of whites and 0.3% of Mexican-Americans” (Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look At Race, Ethnicity And Health, 31 January 2008).

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Want to show that we must leave these important matters to the experts, because lay people can’t handle such complicated calculations?

Just try to put all the official numbers about HIV/AIDS together. The result will be great respect for the experts’ ability to remain unruffled in the face of blatant contradictions. For instance, the number of new infections is worse than we thought, more like 55,000 annually. Therefore the total number living with HIV/AIDS should have been rising at 55,000 per year. Yet we‘ve just had official assurance that the rate of HIV among Americans has been stable for something like a decade. What’s been happening to those 55,000 new cases annually?

A natural thought is that there have been 55,000 deaths from HIV disease per year. But if you look at the official statistics, you get the following (for 2004, from National Vital Statistics Report, 56 #5, 20 November 2007):

Deaths from HIV disease: 5608 white Americans, 7271 black, 84 Native American, 100 Asian Americans; the total of which is 13,063. (By the way: “HIV disease was also briefly among the top five killers for the black population during the 1990s” [emphasis added]).

Or by ethnicity: 1758 Hispanic deaths, 11,195 non-Hispanics: total is 12,953. (Again: “HIV disease was one of the top five causes of death for the Hispanic population in the mid-1990s but quickly dropped out of this group”.)

[13,063 minus 12,953 equals 110 people who are neither Hispanic nor non-Hispanic, apparently, but who died anyway.
The report does note, in very fine print, that reporting of ethnicity and race can be somewhat inconsistent, but annoying little inconsistencies like 110 apparently missing people could all be avoided if these reports didn’t claim more accuracy for the numbers than they deserve. Since uncertainties exist in the reporting of ethnicity and race, how about not giving numbers to 5 significant figures and just publishing “13,000”? That would be more honest as well as less annoying. Perhaps statisticians employed by federal agencies could take a short course in the use of “significant figures”—see MATHEMATICAL AND STATISTICAL LIES ABOUT HIV/AIDS, 2 December 2007.]

Anyway: About 13,000 a year die from HIV disease. About 55,000 newly contract it each year. Therefore the total number living with HIV/AIDS should be rising at the rate of about 42,000 per year. Yet the total number of Americans living with HIV/AIDS has remained stable since the mid-1980s, at about 1 million (references cited in the Preface, pp. 1-2, of The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory)—or maybe less, if you use numbers from the National Household Survey, above, rather than from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Perhaps, then, those 42,000 disappearing mysteriously each year represent people who eventually revert to HIV-negative after once having tested HIV-positive?
But of course the orthodox view is that seroreversion is exceedingly rare.
On the other hand, the evidence is that seroreversion is far from rare—see HIV “INFECTION” DISAPPEARS SPONTANEOUSLY, 22 January 2008).

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With deaths from AIDS or “HIV disease”, you can also pick just about any number:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likes to be on the safe side with its estimates. Where the National Vital Statistics Report (above) states 13,063 or 12,953 reported HIV/AIDS deaths for 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 18,099 for the same year (HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, volume 17, revised June 2007).

Leave aside this discrepancy between 13,000 and 18,000 and consider only the methodology for a moment. It indicates that I should moderate my criticism, above, about reporting 13,063 and 12,953 when all that’s relatively reliably known is “about 13,000”. I had been tempted to repeat it concerning the estimate of 18,099 which should obviously have been given instead as “about 18,000”. But then it occurred to me that these estimates originate in computer programs, whose capabilities stretch to a much larger number of digits than a mere 5. Quite likely the computer spat out not 18,099 but something like 18,098.783. Instead of criticizing the resident experts, I should congratulate them for rounding up the estimate to the nearest person.

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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