HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘school panic over HIV’

HIV scare in St. Louis School—a footnote

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/11/12

I had concluded my post about this with the words, “Those facts cause me to dread the further ‘news’ and rumors that will be leaking out from those ignorant, panicked, ‘everything is normal’, school administrators and health officials in St. Louis.” The foreboding was warranted:

“November 9, 2008 — H.I.V. Scare Unnerves a St. Louis High School — By MALCOLM GAY
ST. LOUIS — Walking the halls of Normandy High School between classes, Mya McLemore, a senior, pays close attention these days to the faces of her fellow students. She keeps an eye out for those who avert their gaze, whose lips quiver or who allow a telltale tear to roll down their cheeks.  ‘I’ve been observing people, trying to see who’s acting different,’ said Mya, 16. . . . Life, . . . has been far from normal for students at this struggling high school in suburban St. Louis since they learned last month that as many as 50 of their classmates may have been exposed to H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. . . . Ninety-seven percent of the students chose to be tested. Results are expected this week. . . .
‘It’s the only thing we talk about,’ said Jamar McKinney, a junior. ‘Who could have H.I.V., who started it, how many people may have it. We always agree on who we think has it. . . . I don’t trust nobody until I see the results,’ he said, adding that he plans to display his negative test results on a T-shirt. . . .
Stephen Perkins, 16, a Normandy junior . . . said that whenever he meets girls at the mall, ‘the first thing they ask is, “What school do you go to?” . . . After I say Normandy, . . . “The H.I.V. School? AIDS High?” Normandy’s got a bad name.’”

One can only hope that McKinney’s T-shirt idea doesn’t catch on; but it’s exactly the sort of thing that is all too likely to become a fad.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, “an individual may test positive after being vaccinated against flu, or taking an anti-tetanus shot, or having TB, or for a large number of other reasons . . . . We also know that the probability of testing positive for any of those reasons is far greater for people of African ancestry than others; black females in particular are typically 20 times as likely to test positive under one of those numerous conditions. We also know that in the lower teenage years, females are more likely to test positive than males — perhaps under the physiological stress of menarche, the onset of menstruation.”
But I hadn’t then known that the “student population is 99 percent black”.

The school superintendent can of course be excused for swallowing HIV/AIDS dogma, but someone in his position ought to be more adept at dealing with such a situation. “We didn’t have a playbook,” he was reported as saying. That strikes me in about the same way as when the (briefly) head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, tried to defend his appointment of his lover to a highly paid position. It’s simply an admission of being unfit for the job.

The media, again of course, find ways to further stir the troubled waters by re-emphasizing the falsehood that HIV is a threat to the whole United States:

hivoverusa

(from NBC’s Channel 7 News, Boston, cr. Awareness Blog)

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Posted in experts, HIV and race, HIV in children, HIV risk groups, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

St. Louis School HIV Crisis: Wrong Theory Causes Havoc

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/10/24

“Midwest high school copes with HIV scare”

“Infected person tells health officials as many as 50 teens might have been exposed
Normandy High School in St. Louis, Missouri, consults national AIDS groups
Students being tested for HIV at six stations in the high school gymnasium
Fallout: Sports rival initially balks at playing team; relationships strained”

“Officials refused to give details on who the person was or how the students at Normandy High School might have been exposed”
thereby providing fertile grounds for the wildest rumors.
“but the district is consulting with national AIDS organizations as it tries to minimize the fallout and prevent the infection — and misinformation — from spreading” — the misinformation for which they are responsible through not revealing the actual facts.

“’There’s potential for stigma for all students regardless of whether they’re positive or negative,’ Normandy School District spokesman Doug Hochstedler said Thursday” — NO. The stigma was ensured by the manner in which this “news” was released.

“A teacher in a neighboring district singled out a girl who dates someone at Normandy High and instructed her to get tested, Hochstedler said” — thereby intensifying the stigma and lending more specificity to the rumors. Why was that girl “instructed” to get tested? What right has a teacher — or anyone else — to give such instructions? I sense some trial lawyers sharpening their pencils and scribbling on legal pads in anticipation of some very lucrative “work” opportunities.

“Hochstedler said that as far as he knows, no other district has had to handle a similar situation” — maybe because they didn’t accept the word of one HIV-positive person that 50 others might have been infected and didn’t make the allegation public?

“Students at the school of 1,300 are being tested, and the district is getting advice on the best ways to support kids in crisis” — but it will not be the actual best way of supporting the kids, namely, admitting that “HIV” is not infectious and doesn’t cause AIDS.

“Sophomore Tevin Baldwin said that many of his classmates in this working-class city of about 5,000 residents want to transfer out of the district, which encompasses other towns. ‘Nobody knows what’s going on,’ he said. The district declined to respond to his assertion.”
It’s like déja vu  all over again, as philosopher Joe Six-Pack might say. Hasn’t it been obvious for almost 3 decades that “HIV” hasn’t spread in the United States?!

“Normandy Superintendent Stanton Lawrence agreed that students remain focused on learning, despite concerns and distraction. There’s no hysteria or panic, and school is running routinely, he said” — at total odds with the preceding parts of this news report. Lawrence should be selling Brooklyn Bridges. “’They recognize this situation is what it is, and doesn’t mean school is over . . . . Their concern is heightened, but we have to face it and do the responsible thing’” — which might begin with not making such idiotic pronouncements.

Perhaps the best way of instilling fear and producing mass hysteria is by innuendo and vague suspicions, being unspecific and secretive [emphases added]:
“The St. Louis County Health Department said last week that a positive HIV test raised concern that students at Normandy might have been exposed. The department is not saying whether the infected person was a student or connected with the school, only that the person indicated as many as 50 students may have been exposed. . . .  The Health Department also will not say how any exposure might have occurred. Health Department spokesman Craig LeFebvre has said the possibilities include sexual activity, intravenous drug use, piercings and tattoos. . . . Hochstedler said the district doesn’t know the person’s identity, or even whether he or she is a student. ‘We do know there was some potential exposure between that person and students . . . . We don’t know the individual or the route of transmission.’ . . . Students are being tested at six stations in the high school gymnasium, one class at a time. Only representatives from the Health Department are with the students, who are offered educational materials and a chance to ask questions before they are given an opportunity to be tested with a mouth swab, Hochstedler said. They may decline. They exit through a separate door, and no one in the school would know who did or did not get tested. ‘It’s entirely up to the student’ . . . . The district will never know whether or how many of its students tested positive . . . . ‘Once they’re tested . . . it’s an issue between the department and the child and his family”.

Of course, the only sensible interpretation of all this high-level security and secrecy is that the authorities think the situation is as serious as, say, a terrorist threat or suspicion that a mass shooting is being planned.

A friend had e-mailed me the link to this story with the sole comment, “Madness”. Yes, madness indeed. And the “news” media lose no opportunity to add to the madness. Thus Yahoo News spices it up with an AP photo of the school and the caption, “At least 50 students at the school …” [emphasis added], going not responsibly, not fact-checkingly further than the story’s “as many as”.

What we know from the demographics of “HIV-positive” in the United States is that an individual may test positive after being vaccinated against flu, or taking an anti-tetanus shot, or having TB, or for a large number of other reasons having nothing to do with a life-threatening sexually transmitted virus (e.g., Figure 22, p. 83, in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). We also know that the probability of testing positive for any of those reasons is far greater for people of African ancestry than others; black females in particular are typically 20 times as likely to test positive under one of those numerous conditions. We also know that in the lower teenage years, females are more likely to test positive than males — perhaps under the physiological stress of menarche, the onset of menstruation.

Those facts cause me to dread the further “news” and rumors that will be leaking out from those ignorant, panicked, “everything is normal”, school administrators and health officials in St. Louis.

Posted in experts, HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »