HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Nick Hellmann’

HIV/AIDS in Italy — and “NEEDLE ZERO”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/10/11

Professor Marco Ruggiero, University of Florence (Italy) kindly forwarded a copy of a PhD thesis presented on October 8. He tells me that it is now “freely available for consultation in the Library of the Department of Experimental Pathology and Oncology of the University of Firenze, Italy (www.patgen.eu)”; the citation is

Scarpelli S. “HIV infection and AIDS in Italy: results supporting the chemical hypothesis”.
PhD Thesis in Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, University of Firenze, Italy, October 8, 2008. (www.patgen.eu)

I can’t read Italian, but the thesis has an Abstract in English with some fascinating information:

There is no “Italian registry of HIV cases; there are no data concerning the number of new HIV infections in Italy”. The Ministry of Health does issue estimates, but “the lack of data does not allow to support the statement that there is (or that there has ever been) a HIV/AIDS epidemic in Italy; neither it allows to establish whether HIV is the cause of AIDS in Italy. This regrettable absence of surveillance is due, among other considerations, to the so called Privacy Law that, should AIDS be caused by HIV, evidently protects the individual’s right to privacy more than public health. Thus, if a laboratory finds out that an individual is HIV-positive, this information cannot be disclosed to anybody but the individual, who is then free to disregard the information and spread the virus. In fact, the Law states ‘L’identificazione del malato di HIV deve essere effettuata con modalità che non consentano l’identificazione della persona’ (art. 5, comma 2, l n. 135/1990), i.e. ‘identification of the HIV patient has to be performed with modalities that do not allow identification of the person’.”

I was struck particularly by the official recognition that HIV/AIDS is not a threat to public health. AIDS (not HIV infection) is classified “only as a third class [least dangerous or harmful] disease”, whereas influenza is in the first class and hepatitis (A, B, and C) are in the second.

Simone Scarpelli “tested the chemical hypothesis by analysing the data obtained by the rehabilitation centres for drug abuses (SerT, Servizi per le Tossicodipendenze). The data show that there is a good correlation between recreational drug abuse and AIDS cases in Italy.”

While the rate of heroin confiscation has not varied much, the pattern of consumption has changed from high usage by relatively few addicts to lower average use by a larger number of people who do not regard themselves as addicted and don’t seek treatment. The data are consistent with “a linear-quadratic model for heroin effects on the immune system and the development of AIDS” similar to that for “the biological effects of ionizing radiations and it could explain the bell-shaped curve of AIDS, the flat curve of heroin confiscation and the decreasing curve of heroin addiction in Italy. In fact, at high doses (such as in the eighties and the early nineties) the effects of heroin on the immune system are deterministic and drug addicts developed AIDS; at lower doses, however, the effects are stochastic i.e. there is only an increased probability of impairing the immune system and this might account for the decreasing AIDS incidence. According to this interpretation of the only available data for Italy, the AIDS epidemic paralleled the severe heroin abuse of the past. Nothing could be said about HIV since no data are available. This interpretation is also consistent with the recent meta-analyses that demonstrate the failure of anti-retroviral drugs in increasing survival of HIV-positive subjects (Lancet 2006; 368: 451-58), and with the statement that an AIDS vaccine could never exist (N. Engl. J. Med. 2007; 357: 2653-55).”

Scarpelli’s work supports Duesberg’s “drug-AIDS hypothesis”, for which massive evidence is collected in Duesberg, P., Koehnlein, C. and Rasnick, D., “The Chemical Bases of the Various AIDS Epidemics: Recreational Drugs, Anti-viral Chemotherapy and Malnutrition”, J. Biosci. 28 [2003] 383-412.

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In the early days of “AIDS”, a certain airline steward was identified as the “Patient Zero” whose profligate promiscuity supposedly seeded AIDS around the USA. That story is inconsistent with the current belief that illness follows infection only after an average interval of about 10 years, for the claimed victims of Patient Zero’s exploits became ill within months of their contact with him, that’s how they could be identified or traced — see Shilts, And the Band Played On: p. 130, “long latency period” of 10 and 13 months in two cases. I’m not aware that this inconsistency has been remarked on in mainstream discussions, any more than the myriad other facts inconsistent with HIV/AIDS theory. I mention Patient Zero because he exemplifies the mystery of the origin of the supposed HIV/AIDS epidemics — most particularly, perhaps, those epidemics supposedly spread primarily by the sharing of needles. How does such an epidemic get started, let alone continue to spread?

Recall the authoritative recent review that I described as a textbook instance of cognitive dissonance, “The spread, treatment, and prevention of HIV-1: evolution of a global pandemic”, by Myron S. Cohen, Nick Hellmann, Jay A. Levy, Kevin DeCock, and Joep Lange, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 118 [2008] 1244-54; doi:10.1172/JCI34706, whose authors are heavyweight mainstream HIV/AIDS gurus — Levy and  DeCock have been in this business from the beginning, though DeCock blotted his copybook somewhat by admitting that there had not been and never would be heterosexual epidemics outside Africa — “WHO Says That We’ve Been Very Wrong about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization)”, 10 June 2008.

According to that authoritative review, different regions of the globe see HIV spreading by dramatically different pathways:

Figure A

“The HIV-1 epidemic in Western Europe is diverse but was initially fueled by infections among MSM and injecting drug users, the latter especially in the southern part of the continent (3). Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom have been most heavily affected (3). Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 in Europe has slowly increased, and many infections today are found among immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa (3). In Eastern Europe, where brisk and severe epidemics emerged among injecting drug users in the late 1990s, the most affected countries are the Russian Federation and Ukraine (3)” — (3) is UNAIDS, “AIDS epidemic update: December 2007”.

Now, the postulated “HIV” can’t survive for long outside bodily fluids, so the needle that supposedly transfers it must have been wetted and “infected” not much earlier. Try to construct a scenario in which that’s compatible with the regional situations in Figure A. Let’s say an infected male, Patient One — gay, bisexual, or heterosexual — enters Eastern Europe and infects a drug addict; whereupon the “virus” spreads like wildfire via the necessarily postulated orgies of needle sharing, but the infection doesn’t spread much to people who just have sex without sharing needles. What happened to Patient One? Did he leave the country again? Or did he become much less inclined to have sex, at least with people who are not needle-sharing addicts?

The absurdity is illustrated by several stories from Kyrgyzstan. “According to the CIA Fact Book, by 2003 there were in Kyrgyzstan an estimated 3900 people living with HIV/AIDS, there had been fewer than 200 HIV/AIDS deaths, and the prevalence was estimated at < 0.1% (as low as anywhere in the world)” — “SMART” Study Begets More Cognitive Dissonance, 11 June 2008. In that land where HIV is so rare, “’at least 26 people, mostly children, [were] infected in two local hospitals’. . . and medical personnel were fired” [HIV-Positive Children, HIV-Negative Mothers, 25 November 2007] because, obviously, these HIV-positive children of HIV-negative mothers could only have become HIV-positive via infected needles. How did those needles become infected in the first place? Of necessity, not long before the babies were supposedly stuck with them . . . . Were the babies all injected with the same dirty needle in rapid succession, or were there 26 different sources of infection, each of them contributing a dirty needle just in time for a baby to get stuck immediately thereafter?

See also “Babies Infect Mothers; Crazy Theory Ruins Lives”, 12 April 2008: Those babies were then apparently capable of infecting their mothers as they suckled — and this in Kyrgyzstan, which doesn’t have the vampire tradition of Transylvania — or, at least, there have so far been no reports of baby vampires in Kyrgyzstan, only a wild woman or perhaps a monkey  [Kyrgyzsylvania,  Thursday, June 19, 2008].
Of course, if it was a monkey, then the source of HIV in Kyrgyzstan becomes immediately obvious — it’s an African monkey of the ilk that first infected humans with HIV decades ago (supposedly in the knee of Africa, where there’s not nearly as much “HIV” as in southern Africa, where “HIV” is rampant — Deconstructing HIV/AIDS in “Sub-Saharan Africa” and “The Caribbean”, 21 April 2008 ).

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV in children, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

HIV/AIDS ILLUSTRATES COGNITIVE DISSONANCE

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/04/29

Oh that one would hear me! … and that mine adversary had written a book
King James Bible, JOB 31:35

As a target of debunking, a review may serve as well as a book, especially when it happens to be a review of what’s [not!] known about HIV/AIDS: “The spread, treatment, and prevention of HIV-1: evolution of a global pandemic”, by Myron S. Cohen, Nick Hellmann, Jay A. Levy, Kevin DeCock, and Joep Lange, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 118 [2008] 1244-54; doi:10.1172/JCI34706. The authors are heavyweight white-coated HIV/AIDS gurus, at least two of whom (Levy, DeCock) have been in this business from the beginning. The review is a textbook case of cognitive dissonance or, using Thomas Kuhn’s term, incommensurability (1).

Cognitive dissonance is the inability to “see”, or to comprehend the implications of, evidence that—objectively speaking—disproves a belief. Popular parlance might describe it as a state of denial. In Festinger’s classic study (2), when the predicted end of the world did not come on the calculated date, the believers concluded only that they had gotten something in the calculations a bit wrong, and their basic belief hardened rather than weakened.

“Incommensurability” signifies that researchers get so vested in the prevailing paradigm (i.e., dogma) that they cannot understand—quite literally cannot understand—how data could be interpreted in any other fashion than the one dictated by their belief.

Imre Lakatos (3) identified a strategy researchers use quite routinely to preserve belief in the face of contradictory evidence: they invent ad hoc explanations for each new piece of data that their theory cannot accommodate. They do not modify at all the basic belief (the “core theory”); rather, they attach to it ad hoc extensions that are not genuine corollaries because they are not inherently demanded by the theory, and they are not necessarily consistent in any natural way with other such ad hoc extensions of the theory.

This aspect of science is not part of the conventional wisdom about “science”; the popular myth, oversimplified and reverential, holds science to be trustworthy under all circumstances (4, 5). But illustrations of the fallibility of science abound, and HIV/AIDS dogma offers some cogent examples of cognitive dissonance, for example:

— The prediction that the AIDS outbreaks in major American cities would be followed by a spread into the general population was almost immediately falsified; yet the belief that HIV is sexually transmitted hardened rather than weakened.

— The prediction that a vaccine would be available within a couple of years after 1984 has been falsified over and again, despite the deployment of every conceivable strategy for design of such a vaccine, not to speak of untold millions of dollars expended. These failures have brought only increasingly strident calls to continue the attempts.

— The finding that the observed apparent rate of sexual transmission is far too low to explain the observed distribution of “HIV-positive” people was met by the ad hoc postulate that there must be some higher rate of infectivity during short periods; and this unobservable and unobserved infectiousness is nowadays dogma without the benefit of proof.

The cited review by Cohen et al. of the state of the art of HIV/AIDS offers further illustrations of accepting as fact, and disseminating as fact, things that are plainly not true, or that are unproven or unprovable, or that border on the absurd. As well, interpretations are invoked or implied that in other contexts would be immediately recognized as unwarranted, and racist to boot.

Simply wrong:

“[M]ale circumcision provides substantial protection from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-1”
Four references are given, but left unmentioned is the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (6), which found no such effect.
Even were such an effect to be suggested by correlations (which are the only available evidence), one might question a causal interpretation for its extreme implausibility with respect to “HIV-1”: how could circumcision protect males from an agent whose apparent transmission from female to male is already significantly lower than the apparent transmission from male to female, which itself is only about 1 in 1000? And given those almost immeasurably small apparent rates of transmission, how massive a set of trials would be needed to gather potentially convincing evidence?
As to circumcision protecting against known STDs, there is controversy extending over centuries and still not resolved to the satisfaction of all researchers, see http://www.circumcision.org/. For example, Professor Andrew Grulich (National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research [Australia]) reported recently at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference (Gold Coast, 11 October 2007) that there was no association between infection and circumcision status for any disease apart from syphilis (Thaindian News, 14 November).

Hardened belief in face of contrary facts:

“28 years after AIDS was first recognized…, HIV-1 requires continued global focus and investment”
Required, presumably, only because researchers want the money; for in the very same paragraph, Cohen et al. acknowledge that “global HIV-1 prevalence seems to have been stable since around the turn of the 20th century; and HIV-1 incidence peaked worldwide in the late 1990s and has been declining ever since”.

“Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is the unequal spread of HIV-1”
Exactly; “surprising” because no infectious agent behaves like that.
On the one hand, “HIV-1 does not respect social status or borders”—because no sexually transmitted agent does—yet on the other hand, “racial and ethnic minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics, are disproportionately affected… in Europe … many infections today are found among immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa”. The obvious contradiction between “no borders” and “racially discriminatory” can only be resolved by recognizing that HIV is not sexually transmitted; but those hewing to the dogma are incapable of that recognition, as Festinger, Kuhn, and others have pointed out.

“Africa has witnessed the full devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic”
but the population there has continued to grow at an annual rate of a few percent!

Swallowing improbabilities:

“DNA sequences of viruses in distinct clades can differ by 15%-20%”
and yet all of them are supposed to do about the same thing, with only minor differences in efficiency of transmission and “pathogenic potential”.
But in other contexts we’re told that human and chimp genomes differ by less than 1%, which suffices to produce quite major differences in the products of those genes.

“In Eastern Europe … brisk and severe epidemics emerged among injecting drug users in the late 1990s”
Grant—for the moment—that HIV can be transmitted via infected needles: how to conceive “brisk and severe epidemics” from shared needles? Try to picture the orgies of needle-sharing that would be required, particularly when two decades of experience have revealed that catching “HIV-positive” from needle punctures is even less probable than the 1 in 1000 chance via unprotected intercourse.

How HIV is transmitted in different parts of the world:

Since this figure sports precise percentages, the casual observer might be tempted to regard this as scientifically established fact, instead of pausing to recognize how absurd it is on its face. Marital sex responsible for half of all infections in the most affected area, and for a quarter of them in Asia—but not at all in Eastern Europe? Casual sex more significant in Eastern Europe than transmission among men who have sex with men, who remain in the United States the group most regarded as at risk?! Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) virtually unknown outside Africa, including in Asia where “marital sex” represents a quarter of all transmission?? Doesn’t marital sex in Asia ever lead to pregnancy?!? Medical injections, too, virtually unknown outside Africa; and in Africa allowed just a few percent, ignoring the numerous publications by Gisselquist, Potterat et al. that indict such injections as a more plausible source of the “pandemic” than sexual intercourse?!?! Sex workers a substantial risk in Asia and Latin America, but far less dangerous than marital sex in Africa, and no risk at all in Eastern Europe?!?!?
To believe all this, one would have to also believe that these various regions of the globe are characterized by cultures and lifestyles so different as to bespeak the presence of altogether different species of Homo.
The text of the review article notes that “the US epidemic remains a paradigm of HIV/AIDS in the developed world”, indicates that sex among males is the greatest source of infections there, and suggests something similar for Western Europe. Those are the regions for which the data are most copious and reliable; and moreover North America is the region where HIV/AIDS originated, the veritable “mother of all HIV/AIDS regions”; so why are Western Europe and North America absent from the figure, whose source is “Bringing HIV prevention to scale: an urgent global priority”?

Subterranean racism:

“even in settings of generalized epidemics [i.e., self-sustaining in the population], the risk of infection with HIV-1 is … increased in persons with higher rates of partner change or who acquire classical … STDs … [or] who experience other significant exposure(s) to HIV-1, such as injection drug use”
— those people who also happen to be endowed with black skin, in other words, because all our data has shown for a couple of decades that they, everywhere in the world, are the most likely to test “HIV-positive”: “In the US, racial and ethnic minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics… in Europe … many infections today are found among immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa”.

Note how the term “minorities” is deployed as a euphemism in mainstream discourse about HIV/AIDS (and in many other contexts too). In the United States, Asians constitute a much smaller numerical minority, and Native Americans an even smaller minority again, than either blacks or Hispanics. But Asians are significantly less affected by “HIV” than are white Americans, and Native Americans are affected not much more than Caucasians and significantly less than Hispanics, let alone blacks. “Minorities” serves as a euphemism for both “liable to reprehensible behavior” and “black”.

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This review article constitutes a goldmine of additional opportunities to debunk HIV/AIDS theory. It is replete with unproven assertions, for instance about “acute viral syndrome”, and contains the occasional nugget of acknowledgment that the most fundamental, central, matter of all remains as mysterious as when it was first declared that HIV destroys the immune system:

“To date, the destructive properties of HIV-1
have not been completely unraveled”
.

If one omits the misleading euphemistic weasel-word, “completely”, this statement is demonstrably true. None of the many suggested mechanisms have stood the test of reality. No plausible mechanism for the destruction of the immune system by HIV has been discovered in a quarter century, following more than $100 billion spent on research.

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References:
(1) Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press (1970, 2nd ed., enlarged; 1st ed. 1962)
(2) Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, & Stanley Schachter, When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of A Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World, University of Minnesota Press (1956)
(3) Imre Lakatos, “History of science and its rational reconstruction”, pp. 1-40 in Method and Appraisal in the Physical Sciences, ed. Colin Howson, Cambridge University Press (1976)
(4) Henry H. Bauer, Fatal Attractions: The Troubles with Science, Paraview Press (2001)
(5) Henry H. Bauer, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, University of Illinois Press (1992)
(6) Millett GA et al., “Circumcision status and HIV infection among Black and Latino men who have sex with men in 3 US cities”, JAIDS 46 (2007) 643-50

Posted in Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , | 38 Comments »