HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘T. Punzi’

Answering Cranks — THANK YOU, PERTH!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/04

I think it was Bertrand Russell, or perhaps it was Bernard Shaw, who wrote a classic piece about the frustrations of trying to engage in substantive discussion with a crank. The essay has been cited quite often by accomplished science writers like Jeremy Bernstein. The frustration is that it takes far longer to deconstruct the crank’s claims that it takes the crank to make them. The crank pours out undocumented assertions that are wrong not only in detail but that are wrong-headed in general principle, and each assertion then requires general background discourse to establish the correct principles as well as detail-specific answers; and all needs careful documentation and attention to nuance if the contretemps is to be not just a shouting match of opposing assertions.

Since HIV/AIDS theory is pseudoscience (Science Studies 102: Burden of proof, HIV/AIDS “science”, pseudo-science, 22 July 2008;  HIV/AIDS and parapsychology: science or pseudo-science?, 30 December 2008; Trying to think about the Unthinkable, 2 January 2009; Mainstream pseudo-science good, alternative pseudo-science bad, 25 February 2009; Circumcision pseudo-science, 2 September 2009), its proponents are cranks (crackpots, pseudoscientists), and frustration is a common experience for AIDS Rethinkers. The most vociferous of the HIV/AIDS vigilantes, say Jeanne Bergman or Seth Kalichman, show that they know nothing of history of science or philosophy of science or sociology of science, and have not even done any science themselves (unless one grants their idiosyncratic claim that economics or law or psychology are sciences). So their detailed statements are embedded in discourse that is ignorant of the very nature of science, and that needs correction before one even begins to address their detailed claims.

The HIV/AIDS groupies and vigilantes have been increasingly on the defensive after Medical Hypotheses accepted, and posted as in press on the journal’s website in July, a couple of articles striking at the very heart of HIV/AIDS blunders: the fact that the sovereign nation of Italy maintains its health without recognizing HIV as a dangerous infection or AIDS as an illness caused by it (Ruggiero et al.) and that an article in JAIDS found it necessary to multiply by a factor of 25 the deaths from AIDS in South Africa (Duesberg et al.) in order to maintain the fictions that AIDS is devastating Africa and that antiretroviral drugs save lives when delivered indiscriminately to “HIV-positive” individuals.

At the same time, The House of Numbers (documentary film by Brent Leung) as making the rounds of film festivals, gathering honors and plaudits as it showed through direct on-camera interviews the vacuity of HIV/AIDS theories and the disagreements among HIV/AIDS gurus over the most elementary aspects of the whole business.

The first response was a joint letter by some of the interviewed gurus disclaiming what they were seen to have said: just as convincing as Nancy Padian’s repeated assertions over the years that her observation of zero transmission of HIV was not evidence of no transmission. In other words, the first responses was the claim that a goodly number of the leading HIV/AIDS experts are unable to say what they mean.

Luc Montagnier’s remarks were, it was alleged, (1) taken out of context; (2) suffered from Montagnier’s lack of command of English; (3) reflected trapping through leading questions from the interviewer (though Montagnier himself did not sign the letter). The claim of taken out of context would seem to have dissolved when Leung posted an unedited clip of the relevant portion of the interview in honor of World AIDS Day.

The chief attempt to discredit the film appears to be a website devoted entirely to that task. When I learned of it and looked at it, I left again almost immediately because my intellectual stomach turned in revolt at seeing the assertions has Bergman posted in typically crank fashion, undocumented, wrong in detail and wrongheaded in its ignorance of the very nature of science in particular and disciplined logical argument in general.

But no matter how time-consuming and unrewarding it may be to develop properly supported answers to such crankish stuff, it serves as a valuable resource to which other Rethinkers can refer as they try to spread the truth, one acquaintance or friend or student at a time. So we should be exceedingly grateful to the Perth Group who have posted impeccably argued and documented material that demolishes utterly the Bergmanian flim-flam.
The first installment of the deconstruction exposes the dirty little secret that HIV/AIDS theorists nowadays regard immune activation and not immune-cell depletion as what goes wrong in “AIDS”, which among other things explains why antiretroviral treatment, if or when it “reconstitutes” the immune system also brings on AIDS diseases (the phenomenon swept under the carpet by being named, Immune Restoration Syndrome). The Perthers also make mincemeat of Bergman’s attempt to discount the role played by animal models in HIV/AIDS publications (I was about to write “research”).
The second installment of the deconstruction exposes Bergman’s incompetence to write about scientific matters. There is a useful list of the Perth Group’s seminal articles questioning HIV/AIDS theory, some e-mails illustrating J P Moore’s unwillingness to engage in substantive scientific discourse, and a reminder that Montagnier has been talking about oxidative stress for quite some time but without acknowledging the much earlier proposal by the Perth Group of which he had been fully aware. The way in which HIV/AIDS virologists have taken in vain the term “isolation” is described in convincing detail, together with the filmed evidence that David Baltimore, Robin Weiss, and other experts do not appear to be aware that “HIV” has never in fact been isolated in the proper meaning of the word. The claimed evidence for sexual transmission of HIV is demonstrated to be non-existent.
Perhaps the worst of Bergman’s assertions is that of 99.9% accuracy for a two-test protocol of ELISA plus Western Blot. Since she cites no source, one cannot contradict the source; but Perth does the job nicely even without that. Lacking a gold standard, “accuracy” or specificity cannot be known; and there is no gold standard for “HIV” tests (Weiss &Cowan, cited in “HIV” tests are self-fulfilling prophecies, 10 May 2009).

Thank you, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M Papadimitriou, David Causer. Well done! Yet another of your invaluable contributions to the Rethinking literature.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

HIV protects against cancer and cannot cause AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/01

That startling information was disseminated this week by Ruggiero, Punzi, Morucci and Pacini at the Annual Congress of the Italian Association of Cell Cultures (Italian branch of the European Association). A pdf of the program booklet is here; the Ruggiero abstract is at p. 17.

An HIV protein, VpR, detectable in the serum of HIV patients, “induces selective killing of rapidly dividing cancer cells”. HIV has been present in humans since at least the early 1900s and can hardly be responsible for AIDS, which first appeared around 1980. That, together with the cancer-killing propensity of the HIV protein VpR, suggests that a symbiotic relationship had been established between the human genome and HIV. In recent years, however, the tumor-killing activity of VpR may have been masked by the carcinogenic effect of HAART.

From Congress website:
1. Title of Ruggiero et al. presentation
2. Abstract
3. Full poster
4. Theme of Congress (Cell Death: physio-pathological and therapeutic implications) and sponsorship.
The meeting was hosted by the University of Firenze and sponsored also by the Ordine dei Medici, the only official organization that represents medical doctors and surgeons in Italy. Phoenix Foundation is a non-profit (“onlus”).
Since the full poster is too small to read from this screen shot, here is an easily readable version. Like the other presentations at the Congress, it had been accepted only after peer review.

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This complete documentation is provided because of the penchant AIDS groups and vigilantes have amply displayed in their attempts to denigrate or hide the overwhelming evidence that disproves HIV/AIDS theory. The Ruggiero presentation was accepted after peer review at a mainstream conference sponsored by impeccably authoritative institutions.

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The presentation by Ruggiero et al. not only brings the stunning news that “HIV” is protective against cancer, it also confirms the conclusion, perhaps most recently expressed by Montagnier, that HIV is readily fended off by robust immune systems: HIV is a passenger virus, a consequence and not a cause of immune deficiency.

This work reminded me of the suggestion by James Graham that the evolution of mechanisms for warding off cancer may have been crucial elements in the evolution of animals: see Graham’s website.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV does not cause AIDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 17 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.

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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.

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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 »

Official Italian data: no causal connection between HIV and AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/12

A remarkable coup has just transpired in publishing serious questions about HIV/AIDS in a mainstream journal. A press release describes the article concerned, which is currently in press at Medical Hypotheses (though already available on-line to subscribers). Here is the original press release for those who can read Italian (click on it to get full size), followed by an English translation.

PressRelease

Relationship between HIV infection and AIDS

An article published by researchers in Florence on “Medical Hypotheses”

The relationship between HIV infection and the syndrome of AIDS may be more distant than
currently believed, and not one of cause-and-effect. This view has influential supporters
in the international scientific community, first of all Peter H. Duesberg, professor of
molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, but also the 1993  Nobel
Laureate in chemistry, Kary B. Mullis, as well as Henry H. Bauer, professor emeritus of
chemistry and science studies at Virginia Tech.

That view is further supported by a group of researchers at the University of Florence,
coordinated by Marco Ruggiero, professor of molecular biology at the Faculty of
Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, who have published in the journal “Medical
Hypotheses” an analysis of epidemiological data and official regulations.

There are many unresolved problems with regard to AIDS, such as producing a vaccine or a
truly effective therapy. The greatest mystery concerns the pathogenesis of the disease,
and there are widely differing opinions over this among scientists.

“Our work is based on epidemiological data from the Italian Ministry of Health and the
Institute of Health”, says Ruggiero. These reveal a disconnect between infection by the
retrovirus (HIV) and the syndrome defined as AIDS. In fact, the statistics recorded by
the Ministry of Health show that AIDS may be diagnosed in the absence of signs of
infection by HIV; but if a disease can exist in the absence of a particular agent, then
that agent is hardly the disease’s cause.

Ruggiero adds that data from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Institute of Health) also show that more than one quarter of the cases of neonatal AIDS are not attributable to vertical (i.e.
mother-to-child) transmission of the putatively causal virus.

In summary, we conclude that the Ministry of Health acknowledges at least implicitly that
HIV is not the only cause of AIDS. That interpretation, based on official data and
documents, could of course be wrong, admitted Ruggiero, which is why they had asked the
Ministry to comment.

The team, composed of biologists and physicians from the Department of Experimental
Pathology and Oncology and Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine,
includes also a new graduate, Matthew Prayer Galletti, whose thesis degree in Biological
Sciences focused on this work.

Medical Hypotheses, M. Ruggiero, M. Prayer Galletti, S. Pacini, T. Punzi, G. Morucci, M.
Gulisano, “AIDS denialism at the ministry of health” (doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.06.002)

The news was reported by Marco Ruggiero, Department of Pathology and Experimental
Oncology, marco.ruggiero @ unifi.it

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV in children, HIV skepticism, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , , , , , | 23 Comments »

 
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