HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘HIV/AIDS and racism’

Least susceptible = most affected?! More HIV/AIDS nonsense

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/02/22

No one questions that people of African ancestry feature much more frequently in HIV/AIDS statistics than do others, be it in Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, or elsewhere.

Three chapters of my book deal with those facts and their interpretation, as do several posts on this blog. The issue is really quite straightforward: Is the prominence of Africans as to HIV/AIDS a reflection of riskier behavior with respect to sex or drugs?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other official bodies and activist groups in the United States accept that risky behavior is the culprit; they harp on behavioral change as the way to deal with and ideally to prevent this prominence of blacks in HIV/AIDS statistics. James Chin infers for sub-Saharan Africa an extraordinary degree of promiscuity.

I disagree. This official stance entails that African ancestry determines behavior. That’s wrong because genes don’t determine behavior so simply and directly. It’s also racist, replaying the fear-mongering about oversexed black men.

I’ve argued that the data cannot be legitimately interpreted in this fashion. Behavior varies by social group. If there is a disease that strikes some people more than others, and if its incidence is invariably linked to certain genes in every social group, then that disease is hereditary and not a contagious infection spread by particular behavior — for example, sickle-cell anemia. The racial disparities in prevalence and incidence of “HIV” are the same among blood donors, drug abusers, gay men, military cohorts, pregnant women, university students, and other social sectors, in all countries and cultures. Blacks are “HIV-positive” far more frequently than whites in all those social groups and in all countries for which I’ve seen data: USA, Britain, Germany, the Caribbean, Africa. Clearly, that phenomenon is not the result of a particular kind of sexual behavior that blacks practice more than others, anywhere and everywhere. The great tendency for blacks to acquire “HIV-positive” status is not a result of behavior. “HIV” is not an infection, a fortiori not a sexually transmitted infection.

There have been a few mainstream attempts to make the sexually transmitted hypothesis compatible with the facts which show that “HIV-positive” status is determined by some inherent, i.e. genetic property: suggestions that something in ancestral African genes renders CD4 cells more prone to infection by and killing by “HIV”. Those attempts are less than convincing, to put it mildly  [Racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive”: Is there a non-racist explanation?, 4 May 2008 ; Mainstream duffers clutch at Duffy straws: African ancestry and HIV, 26 July 2008 ; Dr. Frankenstein turns to CCR5, 31 July 2008 ].

In any case, the facts present an inherent contradiction about blacks and HIV/AIDS. On the one hand, blacks are (1) much more likely to test “HIV-positive” and (2) much more likely to die from “HIV disease”. On the other hand, they (3) become “HIV-positive” at older ages than others and (4) die at older ages than others. The first two facts indicate that blacks resist “HIV” less well than others do, the last two facts indicate that blacks resist “HIV” better than others do.

(1) That blacks test “HIV-positive” at far greater rates than others is not controversial. That these differences cut across social groups is documented from official sources and peer-reviewed journals and in great detail in my book and several blog posts.

(2) That blacks die at far greater rates than others from “HIV disease” is shown in the relative mortalities reported, for example, in data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Examples from 1999 and 2004 were given in an earlier post:

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(3) That blacks test “HIV-positive” at greater ages than whites was also shown in an earlier post:

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(4) The rate data in Table 1 show that the median ages of death are higher for blacks than for whites, especially for males. They are also quite significantly higher than for Asians, Native Americans, or Hispanics:

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People of African ancestry don’t contract “HIV” until they are on average older than others, and they survive that “disease” longer than others do — they are less susceptible to it, in other words, better protected against it in some fashion. At the same time, they are far more likely to contract the “disease”, and they die from “it” at a far greater rate than others — they are more susceptible to it, in other words.

Those are blatant mutual contradictions. Strangely enough, a similar contradiction is seen among blood donors:

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The highest rates for each group are in bold italics. The maximum rate for testing positive is much lower, and occurs at lower ages, among the repeat donors than among the first-time donors. Repeat donors have been screened more thoroughly than first-time donors, obviously, so it’s hardly surprising that the rate of “HIV-positive” is much higher among first-time than among repeat donors; but why then do those first-time donors who do become “infected” acquire that status at distinctly higher ages? Once again, as with the racial disparities: those who are most likely to have been “infected” by a sexually transmitted agent tend to be infected at older ages than those who are less likely to be infected?! Among both males and females?

This strikes me as one of the more memorable absurdities that HIV/AIDS theorists demand that we swallow. A sexually transmitted agent that infects maximally people in their mid-30s?! In all social groups! Year after year! And the more susceptible you are to this “infection”, the older you are likely to be before you get “infected”?!
And the more susceptible you are to becoming infected, the longer you’re likely to live before being killed by that infection?!

Selling a couple of Brooklyn Bridges ought to have been much easier than selling  HIV/AIDS theory.

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Here’s a PDF of blog posts from 7th to 22nd February inclusive.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV varies with age, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , | 57 Comments »

HIV/AIDS THEORY IS INESCAPABLY RACIST

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/05/19

Proponents of HIV/AIDS theory are on the classical horns of a syllogistic dilemma:
1. Racial disparities as to testing “HIV-positive” are pervasive, constant, and universally acknowledged. It is undeniable that people of recent African ancestry test “HIV-positive” many times more often than others, in all social groups and economic circumstances. Testing “HIV-positive” goes with recent African ancestry as inevitably as does dark-hued skin.
2. Under HIV/AIDS theory, the tendency to become “HIV-positive” is ascribed primarily to types of behavior that are widely disdained.
3. Thereby such disdained behavior is linked inevitably to race.

That conclusion is contrary to what’s nowadays well known about the independence of behavior and genotype, and it is blatantly racist. Point 3., what the syllogism presents as demonstrated, being ignorant as well as racist (but then racism is in any case a sub-category of ignorance) means that at least one of points 1. and 2. is wrong. Which one?

The evidence for 1. is, as already stated, undisputed. Many illustrative sources are cited in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. Others have been added in many earlier posts (HIV AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: IT JUST ISN’T SO, 28 November; “HIV DISEASE” IS NOT AN ILLNESS, 19 March 2008; REGULAR AS CLOCKWORK: HIV, THE TRULY UNIQUE “INFECTION”, 1 April 2008; HIV: THE VIRUS THAT DISCRIMINATES BY RACE, 11 April 2008; HIV: A RACE-DISCRIMINATING SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED VIRUS!, 16 April 2008; DECONSTRUCTING HIV/AIDS in “SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA” and “THE CARIBBEAN”, 21 April 2008 ). Perhaps the most striking demonstrations that it is biological, physical, race that determines rates of testing “HIV-positive” are the difference between Hispanics on the East and West coasts in the United States, and that in South Africa the “coloreds”, of mixed racial ancestry, test positive at rates intermediate between those seen with blacks and with whites.

Since point 1. is correct, and point 3. is wrong, therefore point 2. must also be wrong.

Indeed, the evidence against point 2. is just as solid as the evidence for point 1.; for sources and discussion, see WHAT “HIV” IS NOT: IT’S NOT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED, 6 January 2008 and Chapter 4 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.

What’s so difficult to accept, to comprehend, to explain, is that the conventional wisdom has ignored this evidence for so long and with such passionate determination.

In order not to admit that point 2. — that “HIV” is sexually transmitted — is in error , it is necessary to recast point 3. in a manner that masks its erroneous and racist nature. How to do this?

“The promiscuity, blind sexual trust and intravenous drug use that gave life to this incurable disease is just as prevalent today as when former NBA great Magic Johnson gave HIV/AIDS a recognizable face. Black people in Mississippi make up 70 percent of the new HIV/AIDS cases; black women make up 49 percent. No major study exists to tell us why, so we’re left with theories that have no scientific foundation” (Ronnie Agnew, “HIV’s new target: Black women”, Clarion-Ledger [Jackson, MS], 23 April 2006).

Political correctness offers a working model for obfuscating the matter: Accept that undesirable behavior is linked to race, but assert that this is only because race has meant discrimination and its after-effects of deprivation, poverty, lack of health care, etc. In other words, “their” behavior is admittedly despicable, but it’s not really their fault.

Thus, as Potterat pointed out recently, there has been “evidence and speculation that epidemic trajectories are shaped by demographic, social, economic and network configurations” (“Blind spots in the epidemiology of HIV in black Americans”, Int J STD & AIDS 19 [2008] 1-3).

The currently fashionable parlance among HIV/AIDS experts is “multiple concurrent relationships”. That abstract mouthful fails to reveal the magnitude of sexual activity required to explain the spread of HIV: 20-40% of the population must be having sex with several people during the same short period of time and all the people involved must be changing partners every weeks (B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS, 4 March 2008). A colloquial description of such behavior allegedly found among Africans and African Americans might be, “Those macacas screw around in ways that us civilized folks don’t”.

(For the expression “macaca” I am indebted to Republican Senator and former Governor of Virginia, George Allen, whose use of it on a public occasion is widely thought to have spelled the demise of his campaign for the presidential nomination of his party.)

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In any case, no one attempts to deny the statistical facts. Under HIV/AIDS theory, those facts must be interpreted in racist fashion, relying on racist stereotypes as to sexual behavior. The mainstream attempt to hide that inescapable fact, to obfuscate it, harnesses nice-sounding, politically correct, words like “cultural differences” and references to “minorities” in relation to “poverty”, “discrimination”, lack of access to health case, and the like. What that amounts to is admitting that “they”, the macacas, do behave that way, but it isn’t really their individual or collective fault. Here are some actual examples of this rhetoric:

“The marked racial and ethnic differences in HIV prevalence, even among persons treated in the same clinic, suggests that both behavioral norms and complex social mixing patterns within racial and ethnic groups are important determinants of HIV transmission risk” (emphasis added; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS surveillance report for 1992, p. 37).
Translating from jargon: “behavioral norms” = regarded as acceptable behavior; “complex social mixing patterns” = those who behave improperly are not sexually segregated from others “within racial and ethnic groups”.

Nor has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its belief since then, as they informed me in 2005: “The ‘characteristic differentiation by race’ that you note is compatible with a behavioral explanation” (emphasis in original, Shari Steinberg [Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, CDC], letter to Henry Bauer, 19 May 2005).

“The phenomenon of men on the down low has gained much attention in recent years; however, there are no data to confirm or refute publicized accounts of HIV risk behavior associated with these men. What is clear is that women, men, and children of minority races and ethnicities are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS … .
What steps is CDC taking to address the down low?
CDC and its many research partners have several projects in the field that are exploring the HIV-related sexual risks of men, including men who use the term down low to refer to themselves. The results of these studies will be published in medical journals and circulated through press releases in the next few years as each study is concluded and the data analyzed. CDC has also funded several projects that provide HIV education, counseling, and testing in minority racial and ethnic communities. CDC’s research and on-the-ground HIV prevention efforts will continue as more information about the demographics and HIV risk behaviors of men who do and men who do not identify with the down low becomes available” (emphasis added; unchanged since at least March 2006, accessed 11 May 2008).

Note the weasel-word “minority” used here, as so often in similar contexts. It doesn’t mean minority, it’s a euphemism for “black”. Asian-Americans are less affected by “HIV” than are whites, and at 4.5% of the population they surely qualify as a “minority”, certainly by comparison with about 13% African Americans. Perhaps the smallest recognized minority group in the United States is comprised of Native Americans, who are affected by “HIV” almost as little as are white Americans. The persistent usage of “minority” is intended to mask the fact that it is blacks who are so disproportionately affected, and simultaneously to suggest — in condescending and demeaning terms — that it isn’t their fault, because it’s so well known that “minorities” are devastatingly discriminated against.

It’s hard to believe that this usage of “minority” is other than deliberate. Its use implies quite clearly that the user accepts that “black” is the determining factor. The only way to explain that under HIV/AIDS theory is by differences in sexual behavior. But one mustn’t say that, even though it is evidently believed by those who resort to these euphemisms. In other words, these statements are made by people who harbor stereotypically racist beliefs — albeit they would likely be horrified if made aware of that subconscious or suppressed belief.

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