HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Tony Lance’

Intestinal Dysbiosis theory confirmed

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/11/05

The thread on Questioning AIDS mentioned in the previous post is not only about oxidative stress and that HAART adds more such damage, it refers also to a number of articles that lend considerable support to Tony Lance’s hypothesis of intestinal dysbiosis:  damage to the intestinal microflora destroys safeguards — in particular against fungal infections — and allows leakage of certain substances from gut to blood which in turn leads to testing “HIV-positive”.
Mainstream work seems increasingly to be edging toward accepting this view. For example:
“the gastrointestinal tract plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of acute HIV-1 . . . infections”
— Mehandru et al., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116 (2005) 419-22.
“The gastrointestinal pathology associated with HIV infection comprises significant enteropathy with increased levels of inflammation and decreased levels of mucosal repair and regeneration”
— Brenchley & Douek, Mucosal Immunology, 1 (2008) 23-30
“Why and how HIV makes people sick is highly debated. Recent evidence implicates heightened immune activation due to breakdown of the gastrointestinal barrier as a determining factor of lentiviral pathogenesis. . . . Translocation of microbial products from the gut, in turn, correlates with increased immune activation in chronic HIV infection and may further damage the immune system . . . . Maintaining a healthy GALT [gut-associated lymphoid tissue] may be the key to reducing the pathogenic potential of HIV”
— Hofer & Speck, Seminars in Immunopathology, 31 (2009) 257-66.
“Reducing the pathogenic potential of HIV” by maintaining a healthy GALT is quite like Montagnier’s assertion, captured in the House of Numbers film,     that a healthy immune system can stave off damage from “HIV” (some discussion here). In practical terms — no theorizing about causes — these mainstream statements mean and recommend  precisely the same as Lance does:
You have more chance of staying healthy, whether you are “HIV-positive” or “HIV”-negative, if you don’t do anything to harm your beneficial gut microflora. Be sensible in terms of lifestyle. Pay special attention to diet, and by all means use probiotics.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

The mainstream has been unable to identify specific mechanisms by which “HIV” is supposed to kill off the immune system. The currently favored idea seems to be that “HIV” somehow brings about chronic systemic immune activation:
“the increased CD4+ and CD8+ cell death and proliferation is a consequence of virus-induced immune activation, not virus-mediated killing”
— Douek, PRN Notebook, 10(#3) (2005) 9-12.
“Chronic activation of the immune system is a hallmark of progressive HIV infection and better predicts disease outcome than plasma viral load” [emphasis added]
— Brenchley et al., Nature Medicine, 12 (2006) 1365-71
“HIV infection is characterized by chronic immune system activation” (review article)
— Nixon & Landay, Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS, 5 (2010) 498-503.

But how does “HIV” produce that condition?
“circulating microbial products, probably derived from the gastrointestinal tract, are a cause of HIV-related systemic immune activation. . . . These data establish a mechanism for chronic immune activation in the context of a compromised gastrointestinal mucosal surface”
— Brenchley et al., Nature Medicine, 12 (2006) 1365-71
“Microbial translocation has been linked to systemic immune activation during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection. Here, we show that an elevated level of microbial translocation . . . correlates with AIDS”
— Nowroozalizadeh et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, 201 (2010) 1150-4.
So, again, precisely the Lance hypothesis: Damage to the gut’s protective functioning allows leakage into the blood of substances not normally there, producing chronic activation so long as the leakage persists. Eventually serious illness can result.

The salient difference between the Lance theory and the mainstream belief is this:
— If Lance is right, then damage to the gut microflora precedes whatever markers may be used to detect what is thought to be “HIV” or to diagnose what is considered “AIDS”.
— If the mainstream view is correct, then “HIV infection” causes the damage to the gut.

Now, according to Sankaran et al., Journal of Virology, 82 (2008) 538-45:
“HIV-induced pathogenesis in GALT [gut-associated lymphoid tissue] emerges at both the molecular and cellular levels prior to seroconversion in primary HIV infection, potentially setting the stage for disease progression by impairing the ability to control viral replication and repair and regenerate intestinal mucosal tissues. . . . deterioration of the intestinal mucosa may initiate rapidly following infection . . . . HIV-induced enteropathy is well established within the first few weeks of infection, potentially even prior to seroconversion” [emphases added].
The examined biopsy samples had been obtained “at 4 to 8 weeks following HIV infection”; 3 of the 4 patients were then HIV-negative, and the 4th seroconverted 2 days before the biopsy. “Four highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naive patients in the primary stage of HIV infection (4 to 8 weeks postinfection)” were studied. However, it is not explained how these individuals happened to be enrolled in this study and to be under observation even before seroconversion. The only mentioned reason for assuming “HIV infection” were “flu-like” symptoms, and at that time they tested HIV-negative. Cited earlier studies by the same authors give no more specific information about these individuals; the only clue is that the work seems to be associated with the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services in Sacramento (CA): so perhaps gay men enroll who are concerned that they might be exposed to “HIV” and might at some time seroconvert?
At any rate, it seems permissible to doubt that the date of “HIV infection” could have been accurately known. But in any case this is immaterial for the present purpose. What is clear is that at some time prior to testing “HIV-positive”, these four individuals had experienced damage to the mucosal lymphoid tissue of the sort seen in “HIV disease” or “AIDS”.
That is precisely what Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis theory predicts.
The mainstream belief is that “HIV infection” immediately — albeit it not always! — produces “flu-like” symptoms, but that antibodies do not appear for several weeks. It seems at least equally plausible that damage to the gut’s immune system brings gut leakage and immune activation that immediately causes “flu-like” symptoms. After all, those symptoms — fever in particular — are the direct result of activation of the immune system as it responds to foreign presences.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

When Tony had first told me of his theory, it came as the answer to what had been for me the most puzzling aspect of the HIV/AIDS story, from the viewpoint of one who had already seen that “HIV” is not what it’s said to be. The puzzle was, why gay men tested “HIV-positive” at such high rates; even though many of them remained seemingly healthy; and why testing positive seemed maximally probable at ages in the thirties or early forties. The intestinal dysbiosis theory explains those: A certain degree of dysbiosis can produce a positive “HIV” test without causing significant ill health; but continuing damage to the gut microflora over a decade or two could bring ill health as well as testing “HIV” positive.

At the Oakland Conference, Tony described how he came to his theory. The abstract, slides, audio, and video of his talk are available at the Conference website.
(The YouTube version of Part 2 seems  to stop before the end of Tony’s talk.)
Watching that video, one must surely be impressed by the strength of character this man has displayed. He disclaims expertise in science, but Tony Lance has demonstrated the single most important feature of doing science properly: an unwavering determination to look at all the evidence and then to seek explanations for it.

Posted in clinical trials, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: , | 32 Comments »

The Family of Rethinking AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/15

[Here’s a pdf of this post]

 

RA2009, the conference held by Rethinking AIDS (RA) in Oakland, 6-8 November, was an extraordinary success in every possible way. It exceeded wildly any reasonable expectations.

That’s not just my opinion. The RA Board meeting on Sunday evening, the later get-together for speakers at the Duesberg’s, various “au revoir”s on Sunday, all assured me that my own feelings were fully shared by many others. In the last few days, e-mails and Facebook threads and the like have further underscored how many of us remain incredulous over the blessing of having participated in this unforgettable bit of human history. RA2009 was a success not just from a scientific or intellectual point of view but also in its demonstration of deeply shared commitment and in the exhilaration felt at such unstinted commonality of purpose among so large a contingent of people representing the full spectrum of humankind.

We will be digesting the experience for a long time to come, but one insight came to me already on the Monday morning after the meeting. As I woke up, my mind was buzzing “The Family of Man!” Subconsciously while asleep, I had evidently encapsulated, this extraordinary occasion by a reminder of the book of photographs titled “The Family of Man” which had brought enthusiastic encomiums 50 years ago for its stunning photographs of people of all ages from around the world, portraying the universality of human experience that underlies superficial differences.
(I’ve been unable so far to lay my hands on the copy of the book that’s somewhere on my disorganized shelves, so I refreshed my memory from a copy  in the university library. Though the book had been published more than half a century ago, there are still 4 or 5 copies of it in the open library stacks, not in the remote storage area used for material that’s rarely accessed; and a couple of those copies are currently out on loan. The book’s sales have been in the millions. It had its source in a photographic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art arranged by Edward Steichen in 1955, of more than 500 pictures by more than 250 photographers from dozens of countries.)

At any rate, RA2009 achieved what Steichen’s exhibition of the Family of Man had aimed for. People of all ages and backgrounds mingled and shared civilly — more than that, empathetically, in passionately demonstrated mutual good will. I’ve never before seen so many tears of empathy shed so freely and appropriately. I startle easily from sound or touch, yet while I was listening intently to a talk, when a hand suddenly descended on my shoulder, it didn’t startle, it somehow conveyed companionable reassurance. I’ve never before experienced an occasion where intellect, emotion, and spirit were so much in harmony.

Registered for the conference had been in total about 150 people from every inhabited continent. In age we ranged to my knowledge from 19 to 77, and there may well have been some outside that range. Personalities ranged from shy and retiring to effusively outgoing, from deadpan to demonstrative. Appearances ranged from old-fashioned coat-and-tie conservatism to every type of contemporary exuberance including cosmetic adornments, from stunning examples of elegant Italian style to illustrations of Hollywood grunge and sloppiness. Skin colors ranged over the spectrum. There were traditional families present and there were gay people, some announcing that preference in obvious ways and others not. There were people revealing in private or in public their “HIV-positive” status, and there were physicians who attend without discrimination equally to “HIV-positive” individuals as to others — with the vital exception that they have a special understanding, an empathy, and an awareness of when to use and when not to resort to antiretroviral medication. There were people who have suffered in dreadful, tangible ways from being “HIV-positive” (and not only because of physical iatrogenic damage), and there were friends and relatives of people who have so suffered; and there were others again, like me, who came to Rethinking for intellectual, abstract reasons and came to understand and feel only later the human aspect, the personal impact of the colossal human tragedies that HIV/AIDS theory has brought. There were writers and scientists and students and people from all sorts of work experience. There were several shades of “libertarians” and of “conservatives” and of “liberals”. There could not be a more convincing demonstration that the endless diversity among human beings need be no barrier to productive commitment to a shared purpose.

I had previously met in person only two of those present, but I had exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and written material with several dozen whom I had come to regard as valued colleagues. After just a few minutes or a few words face to face, e-mail acquaintances have become firm personal friends — something that others too experienced, as remarked in e-mails, on blogs, and elsewhere in recent days. We discovered ourselves to be members of a very large and very close-knit FAMILY.

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

Much about the program bears discussion, and the proceedings will be disseminated and analyzed and critiqued in a variety of venues and ways for quite some time. Here I want to make just a few observations.

The most powerful presentations, by common agreement, were those by individuals who have most directly experienced horrors stemming from HIV/AIDS madness. The Nagel family, featured in the film House of Numbers, were at the conference throughout and made themselves available for comments and questions after the film’s showing; how can words capture the miracle of meeting Lindsey, now healthy and beautiful because her courageous parents had defied and evaded the AZT mafia? Celia Farber’s images-with-music in memory of Christine Maggiore brought a standing ovation. Karri Stokely and Tony Lance shared to the full their experiences — 11 years of devastating “side” effects of antiretrovirals for Karri, for Tony the isolation experienced by a gay Rethinker who lost to AZT some hundred friends and acquaintances. Karri and Tony honored us greatly by allowing us to learn from their lives, sharing details frankly in public that most people might hesitate to discuss even with their doctors or their priests.

All the formal and informal proceedings showed people at their sincere best: honest, open, trusting, uninhibited. No bullshit. I was struck by the contrast with the mainstreamers appearing in House of Numbers, who display the robotic hypocrisy of automata who emit only what they have been trained to emit in their designated social roles — nothing original, nothing from personal experience, everything abstracted from human reality by dishonest euphemisms like Kuritzkes’s comment that  “in retrospect the dose we started with, with AZT, was a dangerous and poorly tolerated dose.” What a way to talk about something that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and done untold permanent damage to God only knows how many more — which Kuritzkes surely knows at least subconsciously, for otherwise not even so evasive an admission would have come from him. “In retrospect”?! Many ignored voices were protesting the toxicity from the beginning and throughout.

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

So RA2009 was a resounding success. No forethought or planning could have ensured that, but it also could not have happened had not the opportunity been created through splendid organizational groundwork by Siggi Duesberg, insightful first-rate program arrangements by David Rasnick, and necessary fundraising as well as instigation by David Crowe. Exemplifying the unplanned is what occurred at the banquet. Crowe had arranged for a few toasts; what could not have been foreseen was the stampede to the microphone by the many people who wanted to make explicit their gratitude for the occasion, their particular role in Rethinking, their own thoughts and feelings. I’ve been at many occasions where everyone has been positively urged to join in like this, usually to little or no effect; I’ve never seen so widespread and spontaneous a desire to share publicly.

It’s only natural that in recalling this occasion we will wonder just what made it so remarkable. Cynics might even suggest that it wasn’t really unique, just that those in attendance hadn’t much experience of similar get-togethers. For me personally, no such explanation could hold water. I’ve been to innumerable professional conferences on chemistry and history of science or science studies, where there has sometimes been excitement over specific items or topics, but nothing like the communal atmosphere and impact of RA2009. I’ve been to meetings where a single purpose was passionately shared — the wish to preserve academic standards and integrity — but we were always a noticeably homogeneous crowd of largely white, male, senior professors. I’ve participated in several other organizations of contrarian bent, for example several of the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences which brought together people of all stripes and disciplines and beliefs from all over the world, but the actual proceedings were in small groups and little different from academic seminars; enjoyable as interdisciplinary discussions freed from the blinders of the traditional fields of knowledge but no more than that. The Society for Scientific Exploration was established precisely to enable disciplined discussion of matters ignored or shunned by the mainstream disciplines, and its meetings have some of the characteristics that RA2009 displayed — wide range of intellectual backgrounds, joint experience of struggling against mainstream dogma, the making of friends through shared endeavor — but, again, not the extraordinary symbiosis of intellect, emotion, spirit, and very specific common purpose evident at RA2009. In the proper meaning of that much-misused word, RA2009 was UNIQUE in a very meaningful way.

We come away from RA2009 with renewed determination, as well as with a number of new ideas and plans for constructive action (plans for actions DEstructive of HIV/AIDS theory and practice). I found myself wondering what might have happened if some mainstreamers had been in attendance; surely their baseless and mistaken beliefs would have become somewhat unsettled, at the very least subconsciously.

I am by nature less than an optimist, and my instinctive reaction to optimistic plans and forecasts is “Yes, well, maybe, … BUT ….”. Nevertheless, RA2009 convinces me that we cannot be stopped, and that we will not be stopped.

Yes, we can.

Yes, we will.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Why pregnant women tend to test “HIV-positive”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/05

Sabine Kalitzkus drew to my attention this plausible explanation for the tendency of pregnant women to test “HIV-positive”:
1. Pregnancy brings a Th1→Th2 shift in the immune system.
2. “HIV-positive” is associated with a Th1→Th2 shift.

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

It is vital to bear in mind — always, not only in this connection! — that testing “HIV-positive” does not signify the presence of a specific agent, still less the presence of an human immunodeficiency virus. There are several lines of proof for that:
First: a great variety of conditions can bring about an “HIV-positive” test-result. For empirical proof, see Christine Johnson, “Factors known to cause false positive HIV antibody test results”, Continuum 4 #3, Sept/Oct 1996, www.healtoronto.com/testcross.html or www.virsumyth.com/aids/hiv/cjtestfp.htm); or The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory; or a large number of posts on this blog in the category “HIV tests”. (Quite recently, a correspondent told me of testing “HIV-positive” after having abused steroids, which I have not seen mentioned elsewhere as inducing “HIV-positive”. After changing his lifestyle, he now tests negative again. Was Magic Johnson perhaps one of the many athletes who [ab]used steroids?)
Second: For a priori proof, note that the ELISA and Western Blot tests respond to many combinations and magnitudes of 2 or more among 10 separate proteins, none of which has been proven to be unique to the hypothesized “HIV” — virions of which have never been isolated directly from “HIV-positive” people or from AIDS patients, even though the latter are postulated to experience overwhelming viremia in the later stages of their illnesses [HIV tests: Danger to life and liberty, 16 November 2007].
Third: Again empirical and entirely consistent with and illustrative of the first two: Surveys of “HIV” “prevalence” show a continuum of rates of “HIV-positive” test-results among different groups. The progression from low to high rates appears to correlate with the likelihood that some sort of health challenge is present. Note in particular that pregnant women (pre-natal clinics) test positive at a higher rate than the general average of the population (National Health and Nutrition Survey), and quite significantly more often than women at family planning clinics:

groupcomparison

Not only do surveys of “HIV” prevalence find it higher among pregnant women, a full-scale prospective clinical trial in Africa actually found a higher incidence of “HIV-positive” during pregnancy [Gray et al., “Increased risk of incident HIV during pregnancy in Rakai, Uganda: a prospective study”, Lancet 366 (2005) 1182-8].

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

Among the variety of circumstances that can stimulate an “HIV-positive” response is “AIDS”, and in AIDS, “A gradual shift from Th1- to Th2-dominance is observed. . . . This Th1-to-Th2 shift perfectly explains some of the major conundrums of the AIDS clinical syndrome. . . . Furthermore, elevated levels of antibodies, including autoantibodies, are characteristic of all AIDS patients — a finding consistent with a decrease in the Th1 subset coincident with an increase in the Th2 subset. . . . HIV is expressed primarily in Th0 and Th2 cells, and is scarcely to be found in the Th1 subset. 38-40 This is curious indeed, since it is the Th1 cells that decline, whereas the cells in which HIV prefers to reside do not decrease” [Culshaw, “Mathematical Modeling of AIDS Progression: Limitations, Expectations, and Future Directions”, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 11 (#4, Winter 2006) 101-5].

Notoriously, gay men are more likely than others to suffer an “AIDS” condition, and — independently — they are more likely to test “HIV-positive” without necessarily becoming ill: many “HIV-positive” gay men have remained healthy for upwards of two decades. As Tony Lance has pointed out, much evidence indicates that gut dysbiosis can induce gut leakage, testing “HIV-positive”, and in severe cases the most characteristic of the AIDS illnesses, namely, the fungal infections Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and candidiasis; and gut dysbiosis is also associated with a shift in the Th1-Th2 balance:
“T-cell abnormalities — There appears to be a connection to be elucidated between gut dysbiosis, glutathione deficiency, and T-cell anomalies thought to be characteristic of HIV/AIDS. . . . A direct connection between the composition of gut microflora and the balance of Th-type cells has been reported by several authors: . . . ‘What typically happens in a person with gut dysbiosis is that two major arms of their immune system, Th1 and Th2, get out of balance with underactive Th1 and overactive Th2. . . ’ (35)” [emphases added; Tony Lance, “GRID = Gay Related Intestinal Dysbiosis?
Explaining HIV/AIDS Paradoxes in Terms of Intestinal Dysbiosis”, pdf at “What really caused AIDS: Slicing through the Gordian Knot”, 20 February 2008].

Testing “HIV-positive”, then, correlates with a Th1→Th2 shift, under some circumstances at least.
The immune system is of course much more complicated than just these two categories of cells. There are a variety of Th1 cells and of Th2 cells, so a shift in the overall balance might mask more specific differences; in other words, a given Th1/Th2 ratio in healthy gay men may bespeak functionally different circumstances than the same numerical ratio in AIDS patients, or in TB patients, or in pregnant women. The mere fact of a Th1→Th2 shift does not necessarily signify a dangerous health condition, any more than an “HIV-positive” test necessarily signifies a dangerous health condition or that an “HIV-positive” test always signifies the presence of the same combination of two or more of those ten proteins.

So: the fact that pregnant women are more likely to test “HIV-positive” does not necessarily signify a health challenge more serious than normal pregnancy.
As to a Th1→Th2 shift in pregnancy, Sabine Kalitzkus sent a link to impfreport, Zeitschrift für unabhängige Impfaufklärung, 56/57, July/August 2009 [vaccination report, magazine for independent vaccination education; editor, Hans U. P. Tolzin]. Pages 4-5 report information for doctors and pharmacists that was issued by the Paul Ehrlich Institute on 4 September 2009. What follows is free translation from German:

————

Vaccinating pregnant women during the swine-flu pandemic
The immune system has broadly speaking two arms. Cellular immunity is mediated largely by Th1 “killer” cells which attack “foreign” cells, i.e. those not recognized by their protein coating as belonging to the host. The other arm is mediated by Th2 cells which are responsible for generating antibodies to foreign proteins.
A fetus is at least partly “foreign” to the mother since its genes, and consequently the generated proteins, come partly from the father. To prevent aborting of the fetus, pregnancy causes a partial Th1→Th2 switch. [In other words, such a shift is perfectly normal in healthy pregnancies, but it will also tend to be associated with an “HIV-positive” test]
The [European] swine-flu vaccine contains adjuvants to stimulate the Th1 arm, which may increase the risk of spontaneous abortion. Indeed, it is known that spontaneous abortion is associated with a shift towards Th1.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute’s release minimizes this risk in bureaucratic weasel-word fashion:
Altogether, a harmful effect on pregnancy of adjuvant-containing vaccines seems rather unlikely. But since data from clinical trials are lacking, such an effect is not impossible.
[Insgesamt erscheint ein negativer Effekt von squalenhaltigen Influenzaimpfstoffen auf die Schwangerschaft eher unwahrscheinlich. Da jedoch umfangreiche Daten bei Schwangeren in klinischen Studien fehlen, kann ein Effekt auch nicht vollständig ausgeschlossen werden.]

————————————

To paraphrase this “conclusion”: We have no relevant data, hence no evidence. What we know about the immune system and pregnancy would incline one to be concerned. However, in our opinion the risk is negligible, though we can offer no evidentiary basis for that judgment.

That evidence is totally lacking for this Micawber-ish, Panglossian or Pollyanna-ish failure to be concerned is obvious, since pregnant women are (at least in developed countries) not eligible for enrolment in clinical trials — except, of course, in the case of HIV/AIDS and the attempt to find out how high a dose of antiretroviral drugs can be tolerated by “HIV-positive” pregnant women [Celia Farber, “Out of control: AIDS and the corruption of medical science”, HARPER’S MAGAZINE, March 2006, 37-52].

To recapitulate:
Empirical fact: Pregnant women test “HIV-positive” more frequently than others.
Empirical fact: In several groups, Th1→Th2 shift is associated with a tendency to test “HIV-positive”.
Empirical fact: Normal, healthy pregnancy induces a Th1→Th2 shift.

The higher frequency of “HIV-positive” tests among pregnant women
may be nothing more than a natural consequence of pregnancy

Posted in HIV as stress, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, vaccines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments »

More MAINSTREAM ALTERNATIVE treatment for “HIV/AIDS”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/09/28

“A nutritional formula . . . may help slow CD4 cell decline and reduce immune activation” [Liz Highleyman, reporting on  “Reduced CD4+ T cell decline and immune activation by NR100157, a specific multi-targeted nutritional intervention, in HIV-1 positive adults not on antiretroviral therapy (BITE)” by J. Lange et al., presented at the 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Francisco, 12-15 September 2009; Abstract H-1230b].
“Pedro Cahn and colleagues with the international BITE study aimed to determine whether a combination nutritional formula could reduce CD4 cells loss in people on ART. The randomized controlled trial was designed to include 800 HIV positive participants in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. Half were randomly assigned to take the nutritional formula, known as NR100157, for 1 year, while the other half received a control product containing the same amount of calories and protein, but without the active ingredients. NR100157 contains several components that individually have demonstrated beneficial effects on immune function in previous studies: Prebiotic oligosaccharides: chains of simple sugars that help maintain healthy flora, or balance of bacteria in the gut; N-acetyl cysteine: a modified amino acid that helps maintain the body’s supply of glutathione, a key antioxidant; Bovine colostrum: nutrient- and antibody-rich fluid produced prior to milk; Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: molecules shown to improve the integrity of the gut, which prevents bacteria from leaking out and triggering systemic immune activation; Micronutrients including vitamins and minerals.
The study was stopped early after a planned interim analysis showed significant immunological benefit in the NR100157 arm and no notable safety concerns. . . .
Participants in the NR100157 arm lost significantly fewer CD4 cells per year than those in the control arm (-28 vs -68 cells/mm3, respectively; expected loss for untreated people with HIV 50-70 cells/mm3 annually). There were no significant differences between the 2 arms with regard to CD4 percentage, CD8 cell count, or CD4/CD8 ratio. Plasma viral load remained stable, and similar, in both groups” [emphases added].

Comments:
1. Maintaining healthy gut flora benefits immune function: that’s what Tony Lance discussed in his intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis, including the aspect of gut leakage, systemic immune activation, and potentially testing “HIV-positive” [“What really caused AIDS: Slicing through the Gordian Knot”, 20 February 2008].

2. The “viral load” was stable while CD4 counts varied: in other words, once again, changes in CD4 counts do not correlate with “viral load” [Rodriguez et al., JAMA, 296 (2006) 1498-1506].

3. HIV/AIDS mainstreamers are much more critical of clinical trials of alternative remedies than they are of mainstream endeavors. When mainstreamers publish at “statistical significance” of p<0.05 — wrong once in 20 times —, that’s good; but when an alternative treatment is significant at p=0.03 —  wrong only once in 33 times — that’s cause for HAART enthusiasts and HIV/AIDS believers to be “stunned” that anyone would accept it (“Gut-shielding mix slows CD4 drop in people not taking antiretrovirals”) :
“The data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) recommended stopping BITE early because of a significant difference in CD4 decline between groups and lack of safety concerns. An intention-to-treat analysis at 52 weeks showed a significantly slower annual average CD4-cell drop in the NR100157 group, 28 versus 68 cells/mm(3) with placebo (P = 0.030). . . . In a question-and-answer session after Argentina’s Pedro Cahn presented these findings, Harvard’s Daniel Kuritzkes claimed to be ‘stunned’ that the DSMB would stop the trial of an apparently safe agent when the statistical difference between treatment arms reached only 0.03. He also questioned the investigators’ decision to take the DSMB’s advice. Kuritzkes felt stopping a trial at such a low level of significance leaves open the possibility of bias toward a positive finding” [emphases added].
I suppose Kuritzkes would have been even more astonished that researchers stopped trials of circumcision early on the basis of the usual “95% confidence interval” — i.e., wrong once in 20 times; or that they were ecstatic over the first apparent success of a vaccine trial after many failures, even though one would have expected such an APPARENT success sooner or later at that usual “p<0.05”, “wrong once every 20 times”, criterion.

To be quite clear:
I agree that a single clinical trial is inconclusive, no matter what level of statistical significance may be reached.
I agree that p=0.03 is not in itself a particularly convincing result; still less so, of course, are all the mainstream trials that accept the weaker p<0.05; not to speak of the statistical ignorance that allows researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and elsewhere to confuse correlation with causation and to say such things as “nonsignificantly lower” [“Abuses of statistics in HIV/AIDS research”, 14 September 2009].
My point here is just that alternative treatments are criticized while even worse examples of mainstream contentions are given free passes or even praised.

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, clinical trials, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

“HIV” and illness: Which comes first?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/23

According to HIV/AIDS theory, “HIV” — whatever it is that is detected by “HIV” tests — precedes damage to the immune system and consequent illness.

Rethinkers and Skeptics, however, claim the opposite:
According to the Perth Group, “HIV-positive” is merely a symptom of oxidative stress.
According to Duesberg, the presence of “HIV” indicates a condition by which “HIV” is generated as a harmless “passenger” side-effect.
A comparison of “HIV-positive” frequency across population sub-groups indicates that the general state of health or fitness correlates with the tendency to test “HIV-positive”
(The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, Figure 22, p. 83)

Specific observations that support the Rethinker view include:
Flu vaccination can lead to a positive “HIV” test
Anti-tetanus likewise
and more such instances in Christine Johnson’s classic enumeration.

A recent article not only adds further confirmation to the Rethinker case, it lends considerable specific support to Tony Lance’s hypothesis that intestinal dysbiosis can lead to testing “HIV-positive”, to dysfunction of the immune system, and to the fungal infections that were the first opportunistic infections described as “AIDS”:
Melinda Wenner, “A cultured response to HIV”, Nature Medicine, 15 (2009) 594-7.

A summary of that article is on-line at TheBody. Have a look at Liang’s comment: “I was very prone to diarrhea and gum infection before being hiv positive.”

In the Nature Medicine article, there’s something similar:
“’It’s almost like the gut is a magnet for the virus early on. [It] becomes compromised in weeks,’ says Bill Critchfield, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California–Davis.”
A diagnosis of “HIV-positive” will typically follow some signs of illness that led to a doctor’s visit. However, there will rarely or never be any prior knowledge of the condition of the gut. According to the orthodoxy, “HIV” does its work very slowly, not “within weeks”. Ergo: this too is eminently consistent with the hypothesis that damage to the intestinal flora precedes testing “HIV-positive”.
The mainstream has increasingly acknowledged the relation between gut and “HIV”, without yet realizing that this supports the dysbiosis hypothesis and not the HIV/AIDS one.
It’s also worth noting that CD4 counts in the blood continue to be cited by mainstream researchers even as they begin to glimpse that it’s the gut where the action is. As Juliane Sacher (among others) has pointed out, immune-system cells move around the body according to where they’re needed, and the level in the blood cannot be taken as an indication of depletion or increase overall.

Note, too, that when Western sources advocate a natural — dare I say naturopathic? — treatment for “HIV”, in this case probiotic yogurt, it isn’t immediately greeted with cries of “pseudo-science”. That’s reserved for non-Westerners who make similar suggestions and for individuals like Matthias Rath, MD, one-time research colleague of Linus Pauling.

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