HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Sine’

Compounding HIV/AIDS absurdities

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/11

HIV/AIDS theory and practice have covered much ground in nearly 3 decades, without reaching a coherent understanding of where “HIV” came from, how it destroys the immune system, or how the supposed benefits of antiretroviral drugs are achieved and how those purported benefits are supposed to outweigh the drugs’ toxicity.

Instead, a host of mutually contradictory tenets are held simultaneously. A recent instance to come to my attention concerns the ability of “elite controllers” to infect others despite an absence of “virus”:

“the viral loads of elite controllers range from a scant 50 down to levels so small that even the most sensitive tests can’t detect them. Doctors know these people have the virus only because separate tests have revealed the presence of antibodies to HIV in their systems. In other words, elite controllers aren’t HIV-free; they may still be able to pass the virus to others, to whom it may be deadly” (Charles Slack, “Researchers hope ‘elite’ group holds clues for others”, Washington Post, 7 July 2009, pp. E1, 4; a longer version is in PROTO Magazine, Winter 2009, pp. 22-7; PROTO is a quarterly biomedical magazine published by Massachusetts General Hospital ).

Thus the presence of antibodies has become, in the conventional wisdom, proof of the presence of virions, even when no virions are to be found.

That virions may be transmitted even in their absence also runs directly counter to another tenet of the conventional HIV/AIDS wisdom, namely, that the likelihood of transmitting “HIV” increases with the magnitude of the “viral load”, i.e. the purported number of virions:
“blood HIV load, which is higher during the postseroconversion period and during advanced disease, is the principal predictor of heterosexual transmission [5-8]” (Wawer et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, 191 [2005] 1403-9).

Kissing was early declared not to be a risky behavior insofar as transmitting “HIV” was concerned, because of the (relative) absence of “HIV” in saliva. Nevertheless, transmission of “HIV” has been officially recognized as having occurred from mother to child through pre-chewing food [CHEW ON THIS, 7 February 2008] as well as from child to mother through biting [HIV: IT MUST HAVE BEEN TRANSMITTED BY BITE!, 24 April 2008].

Then there’s the universally accepted HIV/AIDS “fact” that “HIV” is responsible for the disappearance of CD4 cells, even as there is no correlation between amount of “HIV” — “viral load” — and the subsequent course of CD4 counts [Rodriguez et al., JAMA 296 (2006) 1498-1506].

There is also no explanation for how “HIV” might accomplish this disappearance of CD4 cells:
“It is not clear how much of the pathology of AIDS is directly due to the virus and how much is caused by the immune system itself. There are numerous models which have been suggested to explain how HIV causes immune deficiency: Direct Cell Killing . . .  Antigenic Diversity . . . . The Superantigen Theory . . . . T-cell Anergy . . . . Apotosis [sic] . . . . TH1-TH2 Switch . . . . Virus Load and Replication Kinetics . . . .” [MicrobiologyBytes: Virology: AIDS I — Updated 8 April 2009;  see also Henry et al., JAMA 296 (2006) 1523-5].

A currently faddish shibboleth is that “AIDS” results from “chronic immune activation”, a fine example of the sort of “explanation” that, in other circumstances, is laughed at for being a “hand-waving” evasion of specifics: Exactly what sort of “activation” is it that apparently can’t deal with the activating stimulus and instead accomplishes suicidal self-destruction? When the typical reaction of the immune system to a stimulus is the very opposite?

We are also treated continually to new discoveries of where and how “HIV” originated in humans, discoveries based on careful analysis of “HIV” genomes and their change over the decades and centuries — even as in other contexts it is emphasized that “HIV” mutates at so incredible a rate that
“Within a single . . . host, HIV-1 population represents a complex mixture, or swarm, of mutant virus variants . . . [whose] prevalence . . . is changing . . . on almost a daily basis (intrahost evolution). Moreover, infected individuals within a human population harbor distinct viruses (interhost or populationwide heterogeneity). Finally, the global HIV-1 pandemic is composed of many local epidemics, which generally differ in . . . virus genotypes in circulation (global variation)” [V. V. Lukashov, J. Goudsmit, & W. A. Paxton, “The genetic diversity of HIV-1 and its implications for vaccine development”, in AIDS Vaccine Research, ed. Flossie Wong-Staal and Robert C. Gallo. Chapter 3, 93-120, Marcel Dekker, 2002].
That’s why it’s so difficult to manufacture a vaccine: “This isn’t just one virus . . . . You’re talking about tens of thousands of different viruses” [Dennis Burton, immunologist at Scripps Research Institution, cited by Charles Slack, cited above].

So “HIV” is sufficiently stable that one can trace its ancestry over many decades, yet at the same time so unstable that one cannot manufacture a vaccine. Leave aside the extraordinary ability of this chameleon to mutate and mutate and mutate and remain deadly in each of its variants.

On the one hand, it’s extraordinarily rare that “HIV-positive” people don’t progress to AIDS and remain extraordinarily healthy; that’s why they are called “elite controllers”, a term that seems to have replaced the earlier “long-term non-progressors”. There are “no more than one in every 300 cases, or perhaps 5,000 of the more than 1 million infected Americans” (Slack, cited above).
On the other hand, about 1 million Americans have been “HIV-positive” in each year since the mid-1980s at least [specific sources for an estimate of 1 million for 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2003 are cited at pp. 1-2 & 108 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory]; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continually urge universal testing because about one quarter (A) or perhaps one third (B) of all “HIV-positive” people don’t know that they are “HIV-positive”, in the United Kingdom (C) as well as in the United States.
[(A): “One of out of three people infected with HIV in the U.S. doesn’t know it, according to the CDC. Many of them are unknowingly spreading the disease to people they love” — Richard Sine, “Braving an HIV Test” (reviewed on 14 August 2006 by Charlotte Grayson Mathis, MD) ;
(B) MMWR 56 (2007) 1233-7;
(C) Michael Carter, “HIV testing in gay social venues is viewed as inappropriate”, 22 December 2007]

So ever since the mid-1980s there have been 250,000-333,000 “HIV-positive” Americans who didn’t know they were positive; and who therefore were also not known to the authorities to be positive. How many of those, one is allowed to wonder, are “elite controllers” who have never been tested and who have remained perfectly healthy, for as much as two decades or more?

Of course, the fact that the number of “HIV-positive” Americans has been steady at about 1 million throughout the AIDS era is in itself an obvious disproof of the notion of a spreading epidemic.

The latest estimate postulates an annual rate of about 55,000 new “HIV-positive” cases (Hall et al., JAMA 300 [2008] 520-9). There is no reason to imagine that the 1 million “HIV-positives” in 1985 generated fewer new cases than the 1 million “HIV-positives” in recent years, so 1 million have been augmented at an annual rate of 55,000 or so for more than two decades, without exceeding appreciably that steady total of about 1 million. That makes no sense.

Deaths from “AIDS” or “HIV disease” can’t be invoked as balancing out those extra 55,000 annually, because the officially reported numbers of deaths are much smaller, beginning with 430 in 1982, rising to 42,000 in 1994, and declining to 13,000-14,000 by 1996, remaining there ever since [Table 3 in HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?, 17 September 2008].  Cumulatively through 2007, just over 583,000 “AIDS” deaths have been reported (Table 8 in HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2007; vol. 19, 2009).
For more than 20 years, about 55,000 “HIV-positives” have been added to the initial 1 million, so by 2007 there should have been something like (1 + 0.055 x 20) million minus 583,000, in other words about 1.52 million living “HIV-positive” or with “AIDS”.
However, the CDC reports 264,000 “Living with HIV infection” and 469,000 “Living with AIDS” at the end of 2007 (Table 14 in cited report), a total of 733,000.
The difference between 1.52 million and 733,000, namely 787,000, represents plausibly the number of people who, at one time or another, were “HIV-positive” but have never been tested nor become ill from anything that would occasion an “HIV” test: in other words, “elite controllers”.
The number of elite controllers, then, is plausibly on the order of 800,000, comparable in magnitude to the number of those who have been diagnosed with “HIV” or “AIDS”. Half of all “HIV-positives” may well be “elite controllers”.

That last calculation illustrates not only how baseless is the asserted rarity of “long-term non-progression” or “elite controlling” but also that one can prove just about anything on the basis of official HIV/AIDS data.

Perhaps the most direct hard data on elite controllers and long-term non-progressors comes from the Armed Services, whose members are typically “HIV”-tested annually. TACC (Tri-Services AIDS Clinical Consortium) found 382 such individuals among 4574 who had been followed for up to 20 years, that is, 8.4% of all the “HIV-positives” [Okulicz J, Marconi V, Dolan M. 2008. “Characteristics of elite controllers, viremic controllers, and long-term nonprogressors in the US Military HIV cohort.” Keystone symposium on HIV pathogenesis, Banff (Alberta, Canada)].
This means that on average about 8% of “HIV-positive” people will derive only harmful “side”-effects and no benefit at all from antiretroviral treatment.

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Scan the “HIV absurdities” category on this blog to relish further examples of the mutually contradicting, common-sense-insulting things that HIV/AIDS believers must stand firm on, like marriage as a risk factor for “HIV” but being a porn star as one of the surest ways to avoid “HIV”; more breast feeding producing less “transmission”; “HIV-disease” deaths not the same as “AIDS” deaths and mutually contradictory numbers from two different administrative units within CDC; prison as a hotbed of spreading “HIV” and yet no appreciable spread of “HIV” in prisons; black Americans both more affected by “HIV/AIDS” and yet surviving better; death rates from “HIV/AIDS” not varying much by age; and much, much more.

Okulicz J, Marconi V, Dolan M. Characteristics of elite controllers, viremic
controllers, and long-term nonprogressors in the US Military HIV cohort.
Keystone symposium HIV pathogenesis. Banff, Alberta, Canada; 2008.

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