HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Medical Hypotheses’

Left hand, right hand — Elsevier remains ignorant about science

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/06/25

Peer reviewers base their judgment on what they (believe they) know. People are asked to serve as peer reviewers because they have achieved solidly within the framework of the contemporary consensus. Peer review always favors the status quo and rejects the most promising novelties (examples galore in Bernard Barber, Resistance by scientists to scientific discovery, Science, 134 [1961] 596–602).

David Horrobin founded Medical Hypotheses to publish interesting novelties that could not pass peer review.

Elsevier fired Editor Bruce Charlton for publishing what could not pass “peer” review because those “peers” are dogmatists of HIV/AIDS theory.

Now Elsevier has issued the non-sequitur, oxymoronic announcement that it is going to maintain Horrobin’s vision by instituting peer review at Medical Hypotheses under a new editor.

It would be laughable, were it not so tragic, with tragic consequences for untold numbers of human beings, that so much of what passes for science, medical science, scientific publication, and science punditry is similarly lacking the most fundamental understanding of the character of everything to do with research, publication, and scientific activity in general.

New editor for Medical Hypotheses
. . .
First, we will retain the ethos, heritage and unique characteristics of the journal as they were proposed at inception, . . . . Second, we will engage a medically qualified editorial board to get members more involved in the review system to help ensure radical new ideas and speculations in medicine are given open-minded consideration while ensuring scientific merit.”

However, “most of the board planned to resign in response to Elsevier’s changes to the journal”: because they understand that “open-minded consideration” and “ensuring scientific merit” constitute an oxymoron when the judgment of scientific merit is to be made by people whose views are based on the prevailing mainstream consensus. And when the judgment is not based on that, then articles will be published like those withdrawn by Elsevier in response to protests from upholders of the mainstream consensus.

The new editor simply cannot do what he pledges to do, no matter how much he may imagine that he can. It’s just another case of imagining that “Saying so, makes it so”.

********************

Not only Elsevier or its new editor don’t understand science, of course. Neither do the editors of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences nor the authors of an article just published in that august periodical. It reports “research” finding that “Those who  believe  in  anthropogenic  climate  change  rank, on average, much higher in the scientific pecking order than do those who take issue with the idea” (“Critics are far less prominent than supporters”, Eli Kintisch, Science 328: 1622).
Aha! How extraordinary! Another of those rare cases of dog bites man; or of the finding that friends are friendlier toward each other than they are toward their opponents.

Posted in experts, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Ignoramuses at Elsevier and their Ignorant Advisers

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/04/10

Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens
(Even the gods are helpless in the face of stupidity)
—– Friedrich Schiller

Laughter would be as fitting as tears over Elsevier’s contortions in setting out to destroy the raison d’être of Medical Hypotheses without admitting to it. These people who control much scientific publishing have not the slightest understanding of the nature of science and how it progresses or regresses. What they do understand is that their profits depend on a cozy relationship with the powers that be, hence they act as shills for drug companies by publishing fake “medical” journals [“Elsevier published 6 fake journals”].  But publishing anything that questions the prevailing orthodoxy is taboo when it offends mainstream Pooh-Bahs.

Why did David Horrobin found the journal Medical Hypotheses? Why has its value been attested by innumerable people — many established scientists who could not have their best ideas published elsewhere, bystanders sending comments on stories about Elsevier-Gate, members of the Editorial Board, and others?

Anyone with even the most superficial acquaintance with the history of science and the work of philosophers and sociologists of science recognizes as axiomatic that peer review is inevitably informed by the prevailing paradigm. In other words, research proposals and manuscripts for publication are judged for their plausibility on the basis of what is already supposed to be known. Anything that doesn’t question the contemporary consensus sails through the process, even as it may never be found worthy of citation by others (most published scientific articles are never cited, except by their own authors). Anything that contradicts what the prevailing consensus imagines to be true is likely to be rejected.

In hindsight, but only in hindsight, universally lauded are the ideas that overturned a prevailing consensus.

**************

Human knowledge and human lack of knowledge have been nicely described as
1.  the known (= thought to be known);
2.  the known unknown:  Gaps in what’s thought to be known, and presumed to exist — so long as what’s thought to be known really is known;
3.  the unknown unknown, from which serendipity occasionally releases intellectual lightning strikes of immense significance for the expansion of human understanding.

Peer review serves to guard against the publication of such intellectual lighting strikes, embryonic scientific revolutions.

In that light, consider the absurdity of Elsevier’s attempted justification for its intended changes for Medical Hypotheses:

The proposed new arrangement should ensure “that potentially controversial articles receive especially careful review”! . . .  “reviewers would only judge the ‘premise, originality, and plausibility’ of hypotheses submitted”! (“May deadline set for controversial journal’s Editor”, Martin Enserink, 1 April 2010)

Perhaps it was a subtle message, that the reporting these idiocies emanating from Elsevier occurred on April Fool’s Day. Peer review finds objectionable precisely anything that questions the status quo because it judged such hypotheses not only implausible but beyond the pale, wrong.

********************************

Serendipity brings things to hand not only out of the unknown unknown. A long-delayed culling of my file cabinets turned up this just as I was composing this blog post:

“Disbelief greeted classics in top U.K. medical journals” [Bernard Dixon, The Scientist, 17 April 1989].
“Truly innovative science is often — perhaps usually — accompanied by skepticism, dismissal, and/or disdain from the ranks of established expertise. That proposition receives surprisingly strong support from a study of the top-ranking papers from Britain’s premier medical journals. . . . No less than four of the six papers most cited from The Lancet and the British Medical Journal during the years 1955-1988 record ideas that were initially rejected or disbelieved.”
The examples include:
— Marina Seabright’s discovery of stripes or bands in certain chromosome preparations, dismissed for four years; but then it became the most referenced report in The Lancet between 1955 and 1988 (2,643 citations).
— George Miller’s finding of an association between high-density lipoprotein and atherosclerosis.
— Martin Skirrow’s recognition of Campylobacter as responsible for more cases of food poisoning than Salmonella.
— Alice Stewart’s study of lymphatic leukemia leading to discoveries of the fetal origins of all childhood cancers and an understanding of the role of cancers of the immune system in other diseases.

Perhaps worth noting as well is that 50% of these wrongly rejected breakthroughs were made by women. Given that women have been historically greatly underrepresented in the ranks of scientists, this adds at least anecdotal evidence for Bernard Barber’s generalization that low status of the proponents is among the reasons why the Establishment pooh-poohs a given novelty.

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV skepticism, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 33 Comments »

Elsevier-Gate

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/03/20

The disgrace and fall of President Nixon had begun with an ill-advised, pointless little burglary at the Watergate, a group of office buildings. The attempts to COVER UP the burglars’ connections to Nixon’s staff involved so many lies and eventually embroiled so many people that Nixon could no longer govern, all credibility gone despite his astonishing TV assertion that “I am not a crook!”

The media have since that time appropriated the suffix “Gate” as shorthand for any scandal about an attempted, stupid, fumbled cover-up that threatens to bring down some house of cards that earlier had seemed impregnable. So when e-mails were discovered at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit showing that the climate gurus had been conspiring to suppress data contradicting their theories, the event was naturally enough publicized as “Climate-Gate”. The Director of that Climate Research Unit soon resigned, and an “independent” international panel was formed to consider the soundness or otherwise of what had been promulgated for many years by the IPCC — International Panel on Climate Change. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that “independent” panel will be genuinely independent enough to include such highly qualified dissenters from the mainstream dogma as Patrick Michaels, former climatologist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, or physicist Fred Singer, emeritus professor from the University of Virginia and from George Mason University.

Now comes Elsevier-Gate:

In August of 2009, HIV/AIDS vigilantes persuaded Nobelist Barre-Sinoussi to allege to Elsevier that questioning HIV as cause of AIDS represents a potential threat to global public health; which terrified Elsevier’s Vice-President Glen Campbell sufficiently that he had two articles already accepted by Medical Hypotheses, already posted on-line as in press, withdrawn — without bothering to inquire into the plausibility of Barre-Sinoussi’s assertion by, say, consulting the journal’s editor, or its editorial board, let alone the authors of the articles. Perhaps he was terrified less by the medical or scientific substance of the assertion than the threat to boycott Elsevier journals, and to have the National Library of Medicine cease abstracting Medical Hypotheses in PubMed.

The vigilantes had in fact also petitioned the National Library of Medicine to that effect, a petition that was carefully considered and then rejected — even though Medical Hypotheses had over the years published at least a couple of dozen articles questioning HIV/AIDS theory.

Someone at Elsevier must have realized that Campbell’s precipitate action was a blunder, so another V-P, Chris Lloyd, was given the task of fixing the mess. Lloyd’s actions, however, have been just as discourteous, ill-advised, and inept as those of Campbell — or those that led to the fall of Nixon. Lloyd set up “a panel” to look into, not the withdrawal of the articles, but the fact that Medical Hypotheses did not normally use peer review — which had been the chief reason why the journal had been founded in the first place! The whole point was to provide a forum where ideas that mainstream reviewers would not find publishable could be shared with the medical-scientific community, the nature of the ideas being described plainly enough by the journal’s title of HYPOTHESES. This was as plain when Elsevier took over the journal as when the journal had been founded by the distinguished biochemist David Horrobin, so it is crystal clear that this paneling was intended to cover up something (Campbell’s blunder) rather than to produce pearls of wisdom. To make the conspiracy even plainer, Lloyd kept the membership of the panel and its precise terms of reference secret. Unremarkably, the panel delivered the opinion — or so Lloyd said* — that some group of qualified people should consider whether peer review should be made a regular part of the operations of Medical Hypotheses — which had been founded precisely so as NOT to be constrained by the conservatism of peer review. One wonders whether the panel knew of that history and its rationale. The group of allegedly qualified people that Lloyd then enlisted were drawn from the staff of another Elsevier publication, and their identities were again kept secret. Unremarkably, they recommended — or so Lloyd claimed* — that peer review be instituted — in other words, that Medical Hypotheses no longer be Medical Hypotheses and become just another journal disseminating the current mainstream consensus.**

In the meantime, one of the authors of one of the withdrawn articles had sued Elsevier in a Dutch court, since the publicly posted description of reasons for the withdrawal of the already accepted articles represents a libelous statement. Suddenly Lloyd was able to produce unsigned “reviews” of the articles in question by 5 anonymous reviewers, unremarkably enough finding the articles unsuitable for publication — albeit for other reasons than that they constituted a threat to global public health or were potentially libelous, which were the originally stated reasons for withdrawal. In other words, even these “reviews” found that the withdrawal had not been justified on its own terms. Internal evidence in those “reviews” demonstrates how hastily they were composed with the single purpose of justifying withdrawal of the articles: there are not only typos signifying unseemly haste but also ad hominem remarks that should have no place in scientific discourse, and the “reviews” fail to address substantively the actual points made in the articles. Most particularly the reviews failed to address the fact that the Duesberg article presented evidence, data from mainstream sources, that claims of 300,000 unnecessary AIDS deaths in South Africa were based on computer modeling in which the number of South African AIDS deaths was said to be about 25 times greater than the numbers for AIDS deaths published by the official South African Statistics agency.

From the viewpoint of AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics, it is encouraging that Elsevier-Gate is beginning to attract wider attention:

— In January, at the Times Higher Education website, innumerable comments from people not previously engaged in HIV/AIDS matters spoke to the value of a journal like Medical Hypotheses that circumvents the traditional censorship of genuine novelties that is inevitably imposed by peer review: Zoë Corbyn, “Unclear outlook for radical journal as HIV/Aids deniers evoke outrage”, 14 January 2010; “Publisher attempts to rein in radical medical journal — Editor rejects proposal to have submissions peer reviewed”, 23 January 2010; “Implement peer review or resign, controversial journal’s editor told — Ultimatum spells end for Medical Hypotheses in its current form”, 10 March 2010.

— Now Nature’s website has also described the situation, giving us the opportunity to make public some of the details, like those mentioned above, that Elsevier has failed to disclose to enquiring journalists: Daniel Cressey, “Editor says no to peer review for controversial journal — Move demanded by publisher would ‘utterly destroy’ Medical Hypotheses”, 18 March 2010.

I posted the first comment there after having learned about the piece from Marco Ruggiero, who also promptly posted a comment. Several individuals not previously engaged in HIV/AIDS matters have added their views on peer review, interspersed by some inevitable know-nothing cries from an HIV/AIDS groupie; who will find, as J P Moore and others did at the Times discussions, that when a wider audience participates in these exchanges, the HIV/AIDS vigilantes find themselves clearly out-argued and out-numbered. A wide swath of non-scientists as well scientists understands that the way to discredit bad or false science is to point out in what way it is bad or false. That’s what the supporters of HIV/AIDS dogma cannot do, because it is their own science that is bad and false. After more than a quarter of a century of intensive, well-funded research, they cannot answer these fundamental questions:

1. When exactly was it proved that HIV cause AIDS?

2. What are the scientific publications that constitute this proof?

3. By what mechanism does HIV destroy the immune system?

__________________________
FOOTNOTES:
* A former Department Head in a certain Chemistry Department — in days when Heads were dictators and not chairpersons — was wont to chair meetings of the various Departmental committees. At subsequent business meetings of the whole faculty, he would then announce, “Committee A has met; and it has been decided that…”. All perfectly true, even though the decision would always be his alone and irrespective of what the committee members might have advised.
** Should anyone doubt the value of publishing hypotheses, they might ask themselves why distinguished people would find it valuable, for instance the contributors to The Scientist Speculates (ed. I. J. Good, Basic Books, 1963) who include not only Good himself, internationally renowned for reviving Bayesian statistics, but also (for further example) J. D. Bernal, David Bohm, Sir Cyril Burt, Arthur C. Clarke, Dennis Gabor, Arthur Koestler, L. S. Penrose, N. W. Pirie, Michael Polanyi, Harlow Shapley, R. H. Thouless, C. H. Waddington, Eugene Wigner, and more. The collection’s epigraph is “The intention of this anthology is to raise more questions than it answers”, in view of what everyone who really understands science knows, that the most important spur to progress is to ask the right questions. That was the value of Medical Hypotheses. It could point out that certain mainstream Emperors have no clothes, something that could never pass “peer review” no matter how obviously true it might be.

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Elsevier publishes another HIV-denialist article

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/01/13

“[T]here is extensive evidence that certain micronutrient deficiencies are associated with faster disease progression or increased mortality risk, and that dietary supplements . . . can prolong survival in HIV/AIDS. . . .
one aspect stands out in importance: the potential relationship to oxidative stress. . . . the antioxidant role of selenium in glutathione peroxidases . . . .
a daily supplement of 200 μg of selenium alone stopped progression of HIV-1 viral load increases, and lead [sic] to  improved  CD4  counts. . . . selenium status was reported to be 10 times  more  significant  than  CD4  cell  count  as  a  predictor  of   mortality. . . .
HIV infection is typically characterized by a dramatic decline in glutathione levels . . . [which] suggests an abnormal degree of biological oxidation, manifesting as elimination of cysteine sulfur as sulfate. A key feature of HIV disease is an apparent ‘antioxidant defect’ . . . [which] can be aggravated by co-factors such as malnutrition, co-infection with other microorganisms, and the use of various oxidant   drugs, such as nitrites. . . .
Intermediates of oxidative tryptophan metabolism have also been implicated in neurotoxicity, potentially contributing to AIDS dementia. . . .
oxidative   stress   can   induce niacin/NAD+ depletion. . . .
The oxidative stress-induced niacin sink (OSINS) model for HIV pathogenesis. . . . links oxidative stress and selenium to the observed tryptophan abnormalities and immunosuppression in HIV/AIDS. . . . [and] provides a mechanism whereby oxidative stress associated with HIV infection can contribute to immunosuppression via tryptophan deletion, as well as neurotoxicity via toxic tryptophan metabolites and ATP depletion. . . .
But whatever the source of oxidative stress, there would be a net effect towards niacin depletion and compensatory tryptophan oxidation. . . .
the need for certain nutrients in HIV infection may be largely secondary to an underlying defect that could be largely rectified by another nutrient, with antioxidants being the most fundamental to an effective regimen. . . .
whatever underlies or contributes to the antioxidant defect and increased oxidative stress . . . leads also to intracellular niacin depletion, and thereby to tryptophan depletion, with an end result of immunosuppression . . . and also T-cell loss” [emphases added].

It might seem natural to infer that this was written by the Perth Group, who have argued for upwards of two decades that “AIDS” results from oxidative stress, possibly with co-authorship by Rebecca Culshaw, who described the crucial role of glutathione, and by Harold Foster, who has long argued the central role of selenium, not to mention Matthias Rath, who has long spoken up for the value of micronutrients in treating AIDS patients.
But no. What’s more, none of those earlier publications are mentioned in this article by Ethan Will Taylor, “The oxidative stress-induced niacin sink (OSINS) model for HIV pathogenesis”, published on-line in Toxicology (Received 1 July 2009 — Received in revised form 10 October 2009 — Accepted 15 October 2009 — On-line at PubMed 24 October  [Epub ahead of print, PMID: 19857540, ).

(The review is described as “Hypothesis”, suggesting it might equally have been accepted by another Elsevier journal, Medical Hypotheses, were it not that the latter seems nowadays to bar anything that questions HIV/AIDS orthodoxy.)

At any rate, this article talks about “HIV-associated” oxidative stress and the benefits of nutritional supplements in “HIV-infected” people without demonstrating that “HIV” is actually involved. Essentially the same network of reactions and feedback applies in any situation of oxidative stress, as noted in the article: “whatever the source of oxidative stress . . . whatever underlies or contributes to the antioxidant defect and increased oxidative stress”. The only suggested involvement of HIV in the network of reactions is via a postulated stimulation of IDO (indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase) by tat and nef proteins and an increased level of interferon γ ascribed to viral infection and immune activation.

If it could be shown that under generalized oxidative stress, substances are released that are capable of yielding an “HIV-positive” response, that would combine with this comprehensive review of the literature to make oxidative stress an entirely plausible cause of AIDS, a worthy alternative to the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

In point of fact, it is already well and long known that “HIV-positive” is a condition that can be brought on by a large range of conditions and infections: hypergammaglobulinemia, tuberculosis, or vaccination against flu, and dozens more documented by Christine Johnson (“Whose antibodies are they anyway? Factors known to cause  false positive HIV antibody test results”, Continuum, #3, Sept./Oct. 1996, p.4, anti-tetanus shots (Saag et al., Nature Med 1996;2:625-9 and Gonnelli et al., Lancet 1991;337:731), and even pregnancy (Taha et al., AIDS 1998;12:197-203; Gray et al., Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;185:1209-17; Gray et al., Lancet 2005;366:1182-8). Drug abusers very often test “HIV-positive”. That the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included increasing numbers of conditions as “AIDS-defining” after “HIV-positive” became a criterion reflects the fact that many illnesses induce oxidative stress and the resulting “HIV-positive” status.

Here is a simple way of Rethinking AIDS:
There are two hypotheses.
1. AIDS is caused by a previously unknown retrovirus that first infected gay men simultaneously in several large metropolitan areas in the United States even though it had first crossed into humans in Africa. No vaccine or microbicide against it has been found after more than two decades of concentrated effort. Transmitted sexually, it is however very difficult to transmit, which is why it has remained within the original risk groups of promiscuous drug-abusing gay men and other drug abusers, except in Africa where 20-40% of the adult population has several sexual partners simultaneously and changes them frequently (James Chin, The AIDS Pandemic); however, the retrovirus has never actually been observed, in prospective studies, to be transmitted sexually. It kills T-cells by some unknown but certainly indirect as well as obscure mechanism. Though transmitted by breastfeeding, it is transmitted less, the greater the degree of exclusive breastfeeding. The presence of antibodies denotes active infection even when no actual virus can be detected. Some significant proportion of those infected remain healthy, even as no reason for this immunity has been discovered. One of the three original salient AIDS diseases supposedly caused by this retrovirus, Kaposi’s sarcoma, turns out not to be caused by it after all. Antibodies to the retrovirus appear after vaccination against flu, or after an anti-tetanus shot, and in a host of illnesses as well as natural conditions of some physiological stress like pregnancy. In an appreciable number of AIDS cases, no antibodies or retrovirus could be found, but this could be explained away as another new disease, idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia. Drugs that kill the virus do not correlate with restoration of the immune system nor with improved health. Indeed, purported restoration of the immune system with these drugs brings on another new ailment, “immune restoration syndrome”, a worsening of clinical condition with symptoms that mimic AIDS. The retrovirus mutates at unprecedented speed, so that infected individuals harbor not a single variant but a swarm of variants; and all variants and strains appear to be pathogenic to similar extents. Antiretroviral treatment is by toxic drugs whose side effects are so severe that non-compliance by patients has been observed or estimated at nearly 50%. Deaths from AIDS continue to occur in the same age-range as before, roughly mid-30s to late 40s. Although the retrovirus is latent for an average of a decade before causing illness, the age of first infection, of first AIDS diagnosis, and of death are all in that same age range.
2. AIDS is caused by oxidative stress. Proof: dietary supplements of antioxidants and essential minerals and vitamins restore health and extend life without dangerous side effects.

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, HIV absurdities, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, sexual transmission, vaccines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments »

Public Health Service of Italy accepts work of Ruggiero et al.

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/09/28

On 12 July 2009, this blog published a press release reporting the acceptance (on 3 June) by the journal Medical Hypotheses of an article by Professor Ruggiero and co-workers at the University of Florence pointing out that official policies of the Italian Ministry of Health implied a lack of necessary connection between HIV and AIDS [“Official Italian data: no causal connection between HIV and AIDS”, 12 July 2009].

Consternation ensued among HIV/AIDS vigilantes that so well established, indeed distinguished a research group had produced such a publication. AIDStruthers and other vigilantes organized a letter-writing campaign urging Elsevier — the current publisher of Medical Hypotheses — to withdraw this article which had already been posted on the journal’s website as “in press”. At the same time the letter-writing HIV/AIDS campaigners urged the withdrawal of an article by Duesberg et al. that had been accepted by Medical Hypotheses on 11 June, which pointed out that official South African statistics recorded AIDS deaths at about 12,000 annually while an article in JAIDS had alleged 25 times that number; Duesberg et al. noted too that JAIDS had refused to publish their rebuttal of the flawed article.

The HIV/AIDS vigilantes also sent letters to the National Library of Medicine urging that MEDLINE no longer abstract Medical Hypotheses.

Elsevier’s stated reasons why articles in press might nevertheless be withdrawn include “potentially libelous” content and “potential threat to global public health”. I invite anyone and everyone to judge for themselves whether either of those potentialities exists in those articles, and moreover to ponder what is common to those articles other than questioning HIV/AIDS theory on the basis of substantive evidence; and what about the articles warrants withdrawal after acceptance, by comparison to the 200+ articles still posted at the Medical Hypotheses website as “in press”.

Professor Ruggiero has now been able to point out that the Italian Ministry of Health has actually found helpful the work that he and his students have published, since they have revised some of their policies accordingly. Moreover, the Italian Public Health Service has officially recognized the work by making dissertations available from its website.

**********************

From Professor Ruggiero:

“The theses of Drs. Simone Scarpelli, Matteo Prayer Galletti, and Elda Muca, previously discussed and approved by the University of Firenze, Italy, received official recognition by the Italian Public Health Service and they are now available at the Center for Study and Research on Drug Abuse and AIDS, a Department of the Public Health Service.
It is worth noting that the thesis of Dr. Matteo P. Galletti (now available at request at http://www.cesda.net, in Italian with an English abstract) was the starting point of the article in Medical Hypotheses (M. Ruggiero, M. P. Galletti, S. Pacini, T. Punzi, G. Morucci, M. Gulisano, “Aids denialism at the ministry of health” (doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.002), as stated in the article.
We are grateful to the Region of Tuscany and the Department of drug abuse of the Public Health Service for providing official recognition to the results.”

Screen shots of the relevant Web pages are attached below: click them (or double-click, depends on browser) for a full-size image. There is at the end a downloadable pdf of this blog post.

PHS10SeptPHS14SeptGallettiURLGallettiText

PHS1PHS2PHS3

Here is a PDF of this blog post.

Public Health Service of Italy accepts work of Ruggiero et al.

On 12 July 2009, this blog published a press release reporting the acceptance (on 3 June) by the journal Medical Hypotheses of an article by Professor Ruggiero and co-workers at the University of Florence pointing out that official policies of the Italian Ministry of Health implied a lack of necessary connection between HIV and AIDS [“Official Italian data: no causal connection between HIV and AIDS”, 12 July 2009].

Consternation ensued among HIV/AIDS vigilantes that so well established, indeed distinguished a research group had produced such a publication. AIDStruthers and other vigilantes organized a letter-writing campaign urging Elsevier — the current publisher of Medical Hypotheses — to withdraw this article which had already been posted on the journal’s website as “in press”. At the same time the letter-writing HIV/AIDS campaigners urged the withdrawal of an article that had been accepted by Medical Hypotheses on 11 June, by Duesberg et al., which pointed out that official South African statistics recorded AIDS deaths at about 12,000 annually while an article in JAIDS had alleged 25 times that number; Duesberg et al. noted too that JAIDS had refused to publish their rebuttal of the flawed article.

The HIV/AIDS vigilantes also sent letters to the National Library of Medicine urging that MEDLINE no longer abstract Medical Hypotheses.

Elsevier’s stated reasons why articles in press might nevertheless be withdrawn include “potentially libelous” content and “potential threat to global public health”. Professor Ruggiero has now been able to point out that the Italian Ministry of Health has actually found helpful the work that he and his students have published, since they have revised some of their policies accordingly. Moreover, the Italian Public Health Service has officially recognized the work by making dissertations available from its website.

From Professor Ruggiero:

“The theses of Drs. Simone Scarpelli, Matteo Prayer Galletti, and Elda Muca, previously discussed and approved by the University of Firenze, Italy, received official recognition by the Italian Public Health Service and they are now available at the Center for Study and Research on Drug Abuse and AIDS (www.cesda.net), a Department of the Public Health Service.

It is worth noting that the thesis of Dr. Matteo P. Galletti (now available at request at http://www.cesda.net, in Italian with an English abstract) was the starting point of the article in Medical Hypotheses (M. Ruggiero, M. P. Galletti, S. Pacini, T. Punzi, G. Morucci, M. Gulisano, “Aids denialism at the ministry of health” (doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.002), as stated in the article.

We are grateful to the Region of Tuscany and the Department of drug abuse of the Public Health Service for providing official recognition to the results.”

Screen shots of the relevant Web pages are attached below. The difficulty of sizing these for the blog while retaining clarity made it desirable to extract screen shots of the relevant items. Reproductions of the full web pages follow, and finally there is a downloadable pdf of this blog post in which the full web pages are in legible form.


Here is a PDF of this blog post.

***************************************************************************

Categories:  HIV does not cause AIDS,  HIV skepticism,  Legal aspects

Tags Italian Public Health Service, Marco Ruggiero, University of Florence, Italian Ministry of Health, Medical Hypotheses, Elsevier, Elsevier withdraws already accepted articles, HIV/AIDS vigilantes pressure Elsevier, HIV/AIDS vigilantes pressure National Library of Medicine, AID deaths in South Africa, Simone Scarpelli, Matteo Prayer Galletti, Elda Muca, S. Pacini, T. Punzi, G. Morucci, M. Gulisano, Joshua M. Nicholson, David Rasnick, Christian Fiala

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »