HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Tony Lance’

Recent HIV/AIDS tidbits in the “news”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/06

My initial purpose for this blog was to comment on the perpetual stream of “news” that continually underscore the fact that HIV/AIDS theory is wrong, incapable of giving satisfactory explanations for so many reported happenings. As it turns out, I’ve also been delighted at the new things I’ve learned from readers: Tony Lance, for example, provided a sorely needed understanding of what precisely about the “fast-lane” lifestyle could lead to life-threatening fungal infections of PCP or candidiasis.

A distraction came recently with the publication of Seth Kalichman’s extraordinarily bad book. My first impulse was to ignore it in the same way as I ignore the red herrings and  intemperate flaming of bloggers who are no less ignorant about science, its nature and history, than Kalichman is. But then I decided that a thoroughgoing exposé of his unethical behavior as well as his factual mistakes would have some value for the Rethinking cause, and quite a few recent blog posts reflect that decision. There are a lot more to come, because the depth of his duplicity hasn’t yet been plumbed, let alone the startlingly gross errors of fact in his book. But I thought I’d get back also to some commenting on recent “news”:

Uganda:
“Health experts last week warned that in addition to people mistakenly taking only one test, conditions for misuse of rapid diagnostic HIV test kits exist in the country [Uganda] and can lead to deceptive results.”

Not only “can”, but do and have for a long time. Moreover, the same media that are apparently aware of this continue at the same time to disseminate absurdly and obviously wrong “data”, for example, in the same story,
“Uganda has managed to reduce the HIV/Aids prevalence form [sic] 18 percent in the early 90s to 5 percent by 2000 and now ranging between 6 -6.4 percent.”

The only way to reduce the “infection rate” of a fatal incurable disease is to kill off “infected” people and not replace them via new infections; or, to increase the population; or both. Therefore, a reduction from 18% to 5% during the 1990s means that 13 percent of the population died, or the total population increased 3.6 fold (annual rate of  ~14 %!), or some combination of those two — provided there were no new “infections”, which in itself could not be expected.

In actual fact, however, the growth rate of the population was estimated at only 3.37% in mid-2008.  The crude birth rate of about 5% was only comparable to other countries in the region (Country Studies/Area Handbook Series, U.S. Department of the Army ) and the death rate of 1.8% was also comparable to that of other countries in the region. The only rational — and eminently plausible — explanation of the decreased “HIV infection” rate during the 1990s is the unreliability of the statistics. Nevertheless, Uganda’s “success” in decreasing “HIV infections” through educational and prevention and behavioral-change initiatives has become a shibboleth of HIV/AIDS dogma. It has also served to make Uganda a favored place to send dollars to fight HIV/AIDS.

“HIV” tests reflect — something, but not a pathogenic virus
:
The epidemiology of “HIV” tests among different population groups demonstrates that testing  “HIV-positive” may reflect a variety of physiological conditions, many of them by no means health-threatening, let alone life-threatening (for example, Figure 22, p. 83,  in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory) . The classic review by Christine Johnson identifies dozens of conditions that can produce misleading  “HIV-positive” indications (“Whose antibodies are they anyway? Factors known to cause false positive HIV antibody test results”, Continuum 4 [#3, Sept./Oct.] ).

One can therefore predict that an endlessly increasing range of things will be found to conduce to “HIV infection”. A recent such triumph is the discovery that “periodontal disease” can awaken the latently sleeping “HIV”:
ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2009) — New research from Japan suggests that periodontal disease could act as a risk factor for reactivating latent HIV-1 in affected individuals.”
This is just the sort of fear-inducing “news” that the media love to seize on:
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
04.02.09, 08:00 PM EDT
Japanese study points to good oral health as a means to prevent spread of HIV” .
Not only the popular media, but also the EurekAlert service of that flagship of scientific periodicals, Science magazine:
“Can periodontal disease act as a risk factor for HIV-1?”

“HIV” “transmission” in Georgia prisons:
Possibly stimulated by misleading propaganda from ignorant AIDS activists (“AIDS activists spout b***s***; media pass it on”, 3 April 2009), the Georgia House of Representatives passed a bill requiring “HIV” testing of prisoners being released. One can only hope that the tests will not be those “rapid” ones that were banned in San Francisco for their blatant inaccuracy.

“HIV-positive” is not sexually transmitted:
Much data cited in my book and on this blog reinforce the conclusion that “HIV” isn’t sexually transmitted and that having an STD (chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis) does NOT — contrary to a common HIV/AIDS shibboleth — predispose to becoming “HIV-positive”. Here’s yet more evidence to those effects:
“Cases of sexually transmitted disease increased in Minnesota in 2008, according to data released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday. Young men and women accounted for the bulk of the increase . . .
the 2008 chlamydia data . . . saw a 13-percent increase among 15- to 24-year-old males, compared to the 2007 report.
. . . . With gonorrhea cases, the Twin Cities and suburban areas saw a drop in the number of cases, and Greater Minnesota saw a 14-percent increase . . . . Statewide, about six out of 10 cases occurred among those between the ages of 15 and 24.
. . .
In all, there were 14,250 cases of chlamydia reported to the health department, 3,036 cases of gonorrhea and 263 cases of syphilis. Chlamydia and syphilis rates have been rising for the last decade while gonorrhea rates have remained somewhat stable.”

By contrast, the total number of new “HIV/AIDS” cases in 2007 was about 300, about 200 of them “non-AIDS HIV” (Minnesota HIV Surveillance Report, 2007) .
In other words, “HIV” incidence in Minnesota is about 50 times less than chlamydia, 10 times less than gonorrhea, and comparable only to syphilis.
Note too, that while “HIV” is always about 4 times as high in urban than in rural areas, the opposite was seen with gonorrhea last year. And, once again, genuine STDs affect people aged between 15 and 24 whereas “HIV”, “AIDS”, “HIV/AIDS” deaths, all affect primarily people aged 35-45 (for example, Deaths from “HIV disease”: Why has the median age drifted upwards?, 18 February 2009).

Outsourcing; and government’s left and right hands:
“WASHINGTON — The last U.S.-based supplier of condoms for global HIV/AIDS prevention programs could be forced to shut its doors because the federal government sent the work to cheaper suppliers in Asia.
The change came earlier this month as Congress dropped a requirement that the government buy American-made condoms when possible, with exceptions for price and availability.
Congress traditionally has directed the U.S. Agency for International Development to use American suppliers for the hundreds of millions of condoms it sends into developing countries. The main supplier to benefit from that directive is Alatech Healthcare Products, a southeastern Alabama company with about 300 employees.
Over the years, Alatech became the program’s sole U.S. provider.
USAID says Alatech has had problems filling orders, and there were complaints from the field about the quality of its condoms.
Despite Congress’ direction, the agency has gradually outsourced part of the work to companies in Asia that provide condoms for less than half of Alatech’s price.”

Posted in Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV tests, HIV varies with age, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll-Kalichman and Mr. Hyde-Newton — Chapter 1

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/04

It’s a common enough experience, to wake up in the morning with the answer to a troubling problem or at least a fresh insight: when one’s conscious, systematic, objective, scientific mind is asleep, the subconscious seems better able to exert its creative powers. I’ve benefited from it when I was doing electrochemistry, and when I was an administrator, and when I was writing about science studies, and when I was analyzing “HIV”-test data. And it’s still happening. The other morning I woke to another Eureka moment:

The reason that I was reminded of “Joe Newton” so often while working my way through Kalichman’s book was because the persona of Newton, which at first Kalichman could summon and dispense with almost at will, had at last taken him over irrevocably, just as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll had succumbed to Mr. Hyde after he had summoned him up once too often. That’s why Kalichman’s book attributes to me and other Rethinkers and Skeptics things said by “Newton”, not by us; and why the book finds it necessary to use so many “!” to emphasize what it regards as telling points; and why there are as many untruths in the book as there were lies in “Newton’s” e-mails and deceptions in his personal interactions with us.

The first fateful step, it’s obvious by hindsight, was to the top of a very steep as well as slippery slope. Professor Kalichman, perfectly well versed in the rules of conduct that govern his profession, would never dream of deceiving the subjects of his research; or if he did dream of it, he would have obtained advice and approval from the Human Subjects Board or Institutional Review Board at the University of Connecticut before actually doing so.

But a little imp seems to have whispered to Professor Kalichman: “Wouldn’t it be interesting, maybe even a bit exciting, to find out from the inside what those so-evil-seeming denialists are really thinking and doing? Why not pose as someone sympathetic or at least open to denialism? What harm could it possibly do, just to try a little experiment? Anonymously, no one need ever know. ”

So Kalichman gave birth to an alter ego, “Joseph C Newton”, who registered in August 2007 as an HIV-positive individual on a website maintained by Stephen Davis.

At about the same time, “Newton” in very different guise was requesting information from the new Rethinking AIDS website:

“From: Joseph Newton <joecnewton@gmail.com>
To: “correspondence@rethinkingaids.com” <correspondence@rethinkingaids.com>
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2007, 9:28:31 AM
Subject: Questions
I have visited your website and I am keenly interested in your views. As a medical professional I have often questioned the AIDS establishment as we stand by and see people get sicker from the highly toxic medications we use.
Can you direct me to other information so I can learn more about alternative theories of AIDS.
Thank you
JCP”

Perhaps the “Newton” persona had not been well thought out (Kalichman evidently lacks a novelist’s understanding of human psychology, as earlier noted — “How not to create a persona: Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #4“), or Kalichman was not keeping track of what he was doing, or perhaps he had designated several people to chase information under “Newton’s” name, or he thought foolishly that the several contacts being made by “Newton” would never compare notes; for no sooner had he signed up as an “HIV-positive”, and then told the RA website that he was a medical professional, than he described himself, again to the RA website, as a mere student:

“From: Joseph Newton <joecnewton@gmail.com>
To: correspondence@rethinkingaids.com
Date: Friday, August 10, 2007, 9:18:02 PM
Subject: joining you
Hello
I have been reading quite a bit about alternative theories of AIDS and as a student of Public Health in the USA, I would like to joinn your list of Rethinkers. Can you tell me how I might apply?
Thank you!
Joseph C. Newton, Connecticut, USA”

On the same day, “Newton” started an e-mail correspondence with Henry Bauer, who had just published the latest denialist book (see How not to create a persona: Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #4). And five days later, Joseph Newton, “student in public health, Bridgeton, USA”, signed as a member of the original Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis.

Although “Newton’s” professional and “HIV-positive” status was so varied in these different approaches, what was constant was a predilection for typos and a rather unnatural or stilted style. My guess is that the imp suggested that typos would create an image of hurriedness, lack of concentration perhaps, at any rate of someone with whom one could safely let one’s guard down.

Some weeks later, things at last seemed to become more productive. “Newton” queried Bauer about a supposed HIV-positive friend, and was introduced to Tony Lance and his theory of intestinal dysbiosis.

Now temptations began to multiply for Hyde-Newton. Instead of merely observing, perhaps he could inveigle some of the denialists into delivering up words with which they could later be thoroughly discredited — for example, if they could be enticed into advocating unsafe sex:

2 October 2007, “Newton” to Tony Lance:
“But my question has to do with safer sex. If my friend believes that he has tested positive because of instestinal spewing of antibodies, should he even care about using condoms or serosorting??
I appreciate your sharing this with me and your insights.”
[Notice, by the way, not only “Newton’s” trademark of frequent mis-spellings and exclamation marks, sometimes multiplied, and question marks that often come in duplicate, but also his odd, unconvincing mixture of feigned naivety and simultaneous familiarity with such rather uncommon phenomena as “serosorting”; I’ve commented before on the inept choice of a graduate-student persona that types like a rather hysterical elementary-school pupil — “How not to create a persona: Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #4“]

Huge disappointment. 2 October 2007, Tony Lance to “Newton”:
“As for your question about safer sex, I think condoms are a good idea regardless of what you believe about HIV’s relationship to AIDS. To put it simply, until any alternative theory of AIDS causation wins out the smart thing to do is cover your ass (and your cock!) and play it safe.”

But maybe there’s still something to be ferreted out from Lance:
20 October 2007, “Newton” to Lance:
> Hi Tony
> I jjust saw on the Alive and Well website that you are heading up
> an Alive and Well support group in NYC. True?
> I would like to know more about it.
> Thanks!!
> Joe
[Only one “typo” this time, but another doubled !!]

[As I was reviewing the exchanges by “Newton” with Bauer and with Lance, I experienced once more the comforting reassurance that if one has nothing to hide, and tells the truth, then one is not likely to put one’s foot in it. That always reminds me of the time when I, as Dean of Arts & Sciences, had rejected a request for a large salary raise from a faculty member who was waving offers from Elsewhere as a threat. A little later, I heard from his Department Head, whom he had approached in similar fashion. Chortled the Head: “When I told him we don’t bargain like that, he was stunned, and said, ‘But that’s exactly what the Dean said!’ Isn’t life simple when you just tell the truth? You don’t have to keep trying to remember what you said to whom”.]

28 October 2007, “Newton” to Lance:
“Hi Tony
I am actually in Connecticut, but I come to the city now and then. Maybe I can come to a meeting. When and where are they held?”

A dilemma. “Connecticut” was a natural, to make plausible the possibility of visits to NYC. But “Connecticut” was also an unfortunate slip, because Professor Kalichman wanted no connection to be known between himself and “Newton”; so when he first posted his “review” of Bauer’s book on Amazon.com, he showed his location as “New York” (Kalichman’s Komical Kapers — 1: Introducing the author, 8 March 2009).

By now, the apparent opportunity to glean from Lance information for the Kalichman opus was just too much to resist. So “Newton” continued with some $64K questions:

“Tony, I am also wondering if you might know anyone who was of dissident thinking and then changed to accept the orthodoxy??
I would like to know mor about the cycles that people may go through, between questioning HIV=AIDS and taking HAART??”

But Lance’s group was for “HIV-positives” only, so “Newton” couldn’t attend meetings.
29 October 2007, at 10:09 AM, Joseph Newton wrote:
“Hi Tony.
I do not have HIV, so I fully understand not being welcome to the group. I do not think it is good to have people who are negative in an HIV support group.
But I am interested and I have a close freind who is HIV positive.
It sounds like your group may not differ from most. I know support groups require members to respect each other’s choices and beliefs. They are not usually dogmatic, are they?”

By this point, “Newton” was perhaps wishing that he had kept to his original idea of “being” “HIV-positive”, for “Newton’s” increasing inquisitiveness about Lance’s group and its members brought an obvious query:

“Joe, What is your personal motivation in this matter?”

Whereupon “Newton” prevaricated once again; lying was becoming easier all the time:
“I am just trying to understand.
If the one thing you have in common is that the HIV/AIDS hypothesis flawed…how is it that some of the members are currently taking the meds or are consdiering taking them?
I understand that people can have ambivolent feelings and the openness of your group surely will allow for that.
But like using condoms, if you guys believe that the HIV = AIDS hypothesis is flawed, why take the meds??
If it possible that there are more extreme groups? Like barebackers are sort of the extreme condom rejectors — is there an extreme dissident group and you guys are sort of moderate??”

But Lance persisted:
“From: Tony Lance <tonylance@mac.com>
Date: October 30, 2007 11:35:27 AM CDT
To: Joseph Newton <joecnewton@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Hello again
Joe,
Why is condom usage amongst dissidents important to you personally if you are negative? Why are you asking me if there exist other dissident groups that are more extreme than ours?”

and “Newton” just kept on lying:
“On Oct 29, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Joseph Newton wrote:
First and foremost I am someone who cares about AIDS.
I am an HIV- person who is trying to understand both sides of the issue.
I have freind who are positive and I know taking treatments can be hard going.
I am personally motivated, I do not have a political agenda. Just trying to understand.”

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

What Dr. Jekyll discovered too late was that indulging too often in “Hyde” was the same as morphing into Hyde, and apparently Kalichman was morphing into “Newton” and becoming increasingly prone to prevarication. This is how Kalichman describes his interactions — which of course were actually “Newton’s” interactions — with the AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics who were the subjects of his research (p. xiv):

“So I started corresponding, conversing, and visiting the insiders of HIV/AIDS denialism. I posed questions and gained insight into the inner workings of denialism. . . . Not really knowing who I am, they took me under their wing to enlighten me about the truth about AIDS. . . . It is through these cordial and inquisitive exchanges that I learned most about this problem.
My relationships with denialists created some complicated arrangements that allowed me to experience denialism face-to-face.”

Despite the strange “Not really knowing who I am”, the unwary reader would hardly gather from this that Kalichman deliberately tried to deceive several of those with whom he corresponded, that he tempted them to make self-incriminating statements, and that he even posed as “Newton” in person in some of his meetings with “denialists”. More examples of these distasteful Kalichmanian-Newtonian doings will be documented in future chapters of this cautionary tale.

Posted in HIV skepticism, Legal aspects, prejudice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Nobel Prize Citation for “HIV” “Discovery”: Errors and Deficiencies

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/10/16

I’m grateful to Stefan R. for providing the link to the full citation by the Nobel Committee, which I hadn’t located by Googling. Here are a few of the deficiencies that jumped out on first reading.

The initial appearance of AIDS is said to have been in “clusters of previously healthy young men”, repeating mindlessly a worn, faulty shibboleth. Michelle Cochrane (When AIDS Began: San Francisco and the Making of an Epidemic, 2004), however, looked at the original medical records and found that they were anything but “previously healthy”, and “young” would apply only if that is taken to mean people in the middle to upper 30s (The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, p. 187 ff.).

It is more subtly misleading, but misleading nonetheless, to say that they “suffered from different life threatening medical conditions”. A crucial clue to what AIDS really was in the early 1980s is the fact that the original victims displayed predominantly two types of condition: Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), a disorder of blood vessels that was almost certainly the direct result of excessive inhalation of nitrites, and fungal infections — chiefly Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and candidiasis — that followed excessive indulgence in practices that destroy the intestinal microflora which normally keep those endemic fungi in check [see Tony Lance, “Gay-Related Intestinal Dysbiosis”, in “What really caused AIDS: Slicing through the Gordian Knot”, 20 February 2008]. Those two types of condition accounted for more than 80% of the 16,000 AIDS cases recorded through 1985; that percentage decreased gradually only after “HIV-positive” rather than clinical condition became the criterion for an AIDS diagnosis.

The assertion, “A huge epidemiological survey initiated by CDC in 1982 concluded that the AIDS syndrome had spread globally”, lacks a sorely needed specific reference.
The CDC Report for 8 July 1982 cites 452 cases, 441 from 23 states in the USA and only 11 from other (unnamed) countries. Reports for 1983 and later refer specifically only to the United States. The Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report of 24 September 1982 mentions 597 cases within the USA and an additional 41 cases from 10 foreign countries. That hardly seems like the outcome of a “huge epidemiological survey” that discovered a global epidemic.

“A subset of the population at particular risk for this syndrome appeared to be homosexual males and intravenous drug users” is also subtly misleading about a condition that seemed and seems to be virtually restricted to those groups in most parts of the world.

“The immunodeficiency was associated with rapid elimination of CD4+ T cells” cites 71: Gottlieb MS, Schroff R, Schanker HM, and Saxon A. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and mucosal candidiasis in previously healthy homosexual men: evidence of a new acquired cellular immunodeficiency. N Engl J Med. 1981;305:1425-31, which does “associate” — correlate — AIDS with low CD4+ counts, but doesn’t and could not speak to “rapid elimination” (as well as being wrong about the “previously healthy”, see above). Gottlieb et al., moreover, reported in detail on only 4 cases, hardly a basis for any sweeping generalization; and the association they thought most pronounced was with cytomegalovirus.

“The clinical AIDS spectrum was defined as repeated opportunistic infections . . . occurring in previously healthy adults with no history of inherited disorders” follows a sentence mentioning haemophiliacs among the risk groups; yet haemophiliacs do have an inherited disorder.

An interesting sentence is [emphases added] “Malignancies associated with AIDS included an aggressive type of Kaposi’s sarcoma caused by human Herpes virus 8, EBV-associated lymphoma, HPV-induced cervical cancer, and Hodgkin’s disease (75)”. Thus it is clearly acknowledged that at least 3 of the 4 malignancies are caused by something other than HIV; and moreover the citation is wrong: (75) is “Rozenbaum W. Multiple opportunistic infections in a male homosexual in France. Lancet. 1982; 6;1(8271):572-3”, a letter of 5 paragraphs in which none of those malignancies is mentioned.

“The disorder also manifested as slim disease due to chronic incurable diarrhoea, particularly in Africa”. So: is “chronic incurable diarrhoea” an opportunistic infection owing to immunedeficiency, or perhaps a malignancy?

“Epidemiological studies had already been [sic] established that AIDS was transmitted sexually, via placenta to foetuses and via transfusion by plasma and coagulation products (76)”; 76 is: Francis DP, Curran JW, Essex M. Epidemic acquired immune deficiency syndrome: epidemiologic evidence for a transmissible agent. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1983;71(1):1-4.
That article does much less than “establish” those things (in fact, the piece is labeled a Guest Editorial, hardly the sort of thing one cites as “establishing” anything). That “the syndrome has appeared almost simultaneously in socially disparate and distinct population groups who share only their predilection for other infectious diseases” merely suggests a connection with sexually transmitted diseases, while avoiding the issue of outbreaks distributed in widely separated geographic locations. That “80% . . . [of AIDS victims were] between 25 and 44”, on the other hand, hardly points to an infectious agent, since those are typically more dangerous to the very young and the very old. The remark [emphasis added] that “this putative agent must circulate in the blood” again does much less than even claim to “establish” an infectious cause. Moreover, Francis et al. acknowledge that any unifying hypothesis encounters the dilemma that KS occurs almost exclusively in only one of the risk groups. Hindsight reveals that this editorial was also wrong on two rather important counts: that PCP is a fungal infection, not a parasitic one, and that the supposed latent period is on the order of 10-15 years (the Nobel Committee’s estimate) rather than ≥12 months.

“A number of pieces of evidence pointed towards a retroviral origin for the acquired immune deficiency; the clusters of patients affected, the transmission via filtered blood products and the establishment of loss of CD4 T helper lymphocytes” is an extraordinary statement; there was no precedent for a retrovirus killing off CD4 cells, so how could this “point towards” such an interpretation? Furthermore, transmission by filtered blood would indicate a virus, but not necessarily a retrovirus. That clusters of people were affected doesn’t even indict an infectious agent, it could be an environmental factor, like — say — the gastric cancers in Chinese and other  locations where nitrites or nitrosamines are for some reason present in exceptionally high amounts (e.g., You et al., Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 5 [1996] 47-52).

The “discovery” of the “retrovirus” is described in considerable detail, the salient step being the first one: “Virus production was detected by reverse transcriptase (RT) enzyme activity in supernatants from cultured and activated lymphocytes obtained from a lymph node from a patient with lymphadenopathy”; “They cultured purified lymphocytes from such patients in vitro in the presence of the phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-mitogen, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and anti-interferon-a in order to allow T cell proliferation” — in other words, as several Rethinkers have pointed out, the “virus” was created in a witch’s brew designed to stimulate proliferation of the very cells supposedly killed by the virus; and the presence of a retrovirus was inferred from the fact of reverse transcriptase activity — and, later, it turned out that such activity is routinely present as part of normal cell function. There was no isolation of virus particles from a supposedly infected individual.

And so on. Rethinkers will relish such statements as “In 1985 the nucleotide sequence of the full AIDS virus genome was established”, since this was done by indirect inference without ever having access to a genuine virion. It may turn out to be unwittingly prescient, though, that “The retrovirus family consists of the Oncovirus (including HTLV-I & -II), Lentivirus (including HIV-1 &-2) and Spumavirus also called foamy virus and the so far considered non-pathogenic, Endogenous retrovirus”, since “HIV” could well belong to the Endogenous and non-pathogenic class.

The origin and spread of “HIV” in Africa are illustrated nicely by a Figure showing transmission routes out of Cameroon (thick brown lines with arrows, arrowheads enhanced for easier viewing):

However, it is not explained why the virus has remained largely in southern Africa rather than in the other places to which it  headed and which are closer to its origin, though that fact is properly illustrated in another Figure:

Note, by the way, that the USA is relatively little “infected” even though this was where AIDS first appeared; and that Eastern Europe and Russia are significantly more infected even though the epidemic there is said to be carried largely by injecting drug users! [“HIV/AIDS illustrates cognitive dissonance”, 29 April 2008]. This Figure also displays the extraordinary ability of “HIV” to quarantine itself at regional boundaries. One might also quibble about the choice of a category of “1.0 – ≤5.0 %”, since this gives the Russian Federation, at an estimated 1.1%, a deeper color and more prominent presence than almost any other region outside Africa, the others being Papua at 1.8%, Thailand at 1.4%, and thereby understates how quarantined middle and southern Africa at ≥5% are from the rest of the world at ≤2%.

The detailed description of how HIV works is rather at odds with the several publications which confess that this remains a mystery, for example, “The pathogenic and physiologic processes leading to AIDS remain a conundrum” (Grossman et al., Nature Medicine 12 [2006] 289-95); and the Nobel description is itself a shade mystifying, for example, “Immune activation and inflammation supplies additional activated CD4+ T cells, which both sustain infection and elicit an immunosuppressive response that blunts host defences. Although increasing numbers of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) partially control infection they do not prevent, in the absence of therapy, the slow and continued depletion of CD4+ T cells that is responsible for the occurrence of the immune deficiency that eventually leads to AIDS” [emphases added]. This is a fascinating double-barreled action during the postulated latent period of about 10 years during which “viral load” is very low; with the explanatory barrels pointing in opposite directions, that seems rather hazardous to one’s (mental) health. There are similarly puzzling explanations of “host defence” and its sophisticated evasion by “HIV”. None of these explanations are labeled speculative, as they should properly be.

The Nobel Committee’s erratic citation practices are illustrated also by “The discovery of HIV allowed for a rapid dissection of the viral replication cycle (Fig 13) (129)”, which led me to think that reference 129 would recount that “rapid dissection”. Instead, it is an article in press (as of 15 October, “Please cite this article in press as: Greene, W.C., et al., Novel targets for HIV therapy. Antiviral Res [2008], doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2008.08.003”); and it is a review of the search for “Novel targets for HIV therapy”, brief summaries of talks presented at the 21st International Conference on Antiviral Research held in April 2008 in Montreal; such a search certainly being needed in view of “the emergence of drug resistance and various adverse effects associated with long-term use of antiretroviral therapy”. That review has a useful table of antiretroviral drugs and their date of approval. The earliest, AZT (zidovudine, ZDV, Retrovir), approved in 1987, owed nothing to an understanding of the viral replication cycle; the next two, ddI and ddC in 1991 and 1992, were designed — like other nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) — to work in the same manner as AZT. It’s not at all clear how the purported specific understanding of the viral replication cycle is supposed to have served to develop those drugs; but implying that certainly lends an impressive flourish to this just-so story of science at work.

That just-so story continues, “It rapidly became clear that the ability of HIV-1 to generate drug-resistant mutants meant that therapy would require a combination of agents affecting different proteins involved in viral replication (130, 131). . . . subsequent development was focused on the protease enzyme” [emphasis added]. Once again, “rapidly” makes the “science” appear more impressive than it was in practice, for it was a decade between AZT and the first protease inhibitors. The spurious claim is repeated, that “combination therapy . . . has dramatically increased the life expectancy of AIDS patients in developed countries”: as the death statistics plainly show, there has been no dramatic increase in the median age at which people die of “HIV disease” — “HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?”, 17 September 2008; ”Virological response after starting HAART improved over calendar years, but such improvement has not translated into a decrease in mortality” (Antiretroviral Therapy [ART] Cohort Collaboration, Lancet 368 [2006] 451–58) — in other words, HAART decreases “viral load” but doesn’t prolong lives, so “HIV” is irrelevant to clinical progression.

In this connection, the Nobel citation is subtly misleading when it says, “successful antiretroviral therapy results in life expectancies for persons with HIV infection now reaching similar levels to those of uninfected people” — of course, “successful” therapy does so, but there is apparently a great deal of UNsuccessful therapy: the majority of adverse events under HAART are “non-AIDS” events, i.e. iatrogenic, the “side” effects of therapy, namely, liver or kidney or heart failure (Treatment Guidelines, 29 January 2008, p. 13) . So it’s rather horrifying that “Currently, 3 million people are being treated with anti-retroviral drugs”; if the USA data from 1996 to 2004 are any guide, then these 3 million will die at an average age in the middle forties.

The Nobel citation also treats as proven fact the notion that the CCR5d32 deletion is protective, though that notion proved to be an illusion — “Racial disparities in testing “HIV-positive”: Is there a non-racist explanation?”, 4 May 2008.
Finally, the citation skates rather too lightly over the failure to generate a vaccine: “attempts to develop a protective vaccine
have been severely compromised by our incomplete understanding of HIV-1 protective immunity” should more accurately read, “researchers haven’t a clue as to what might provide protective immunity”.

The Conclusions are no better than the main text. “The discovery . . . made it possible to perform molecular cloning of HIV-1” — without ever having isolated an authentic virion of HIV! The triumphalism is simply not warranted by the facts: “unravelling of important details of its replication cycle and how the virus interacts with its host” — which is still not understood. Diagnostic tools followed “quickly . . . which has limited the spread of the pandemic” — not according to the continuing alarms emanating from UNAIDS and WHO about Africa; “unprecedented development of several classes of new antiviral drugs” — the first of which, AZT, killed (conservatively) 150,000 people, while the later ones have not extended life-spans; “we have gained remarkable insight into this new pandemic” — but don’t understand how “HIV” causes death of CD4 cells nor what might provide immunity, and we administer drugs that don’t extend lives and cause death by organ failure.

Bah!

Humbug!

Every indication is that this was written carelessly, perhaps hurriedly, and without proper checking of the cited references. No matter why, it’s a shoddy piece.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , | 23 Comments »

UPDATE: MORE SPONTANEOUS SEROREVERSION

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/05/23

According to HIV/AIDS dogma, testing “HIV-positive” denotes infection by “HIV” which is permanent and ineradicable. One of several independent proofs that HIV/AIDS theory is wrong is the fact that people do spontaneously revert from “HIV-positive” to “HIV”-negative, perhaps most notably and frequently, babies born “HIV-positive” and reformed drug abusers (p. 96 ff. in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory). But whenever spontaneous reversion happens to be noticed, it’s treated as the secular equivalent of a miracle (HIV “INFECTION” DISAPPEARS SPONTANEOUSLY, 22 January 2008). Here are a couple more instances:

BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — A farmer in northeast China’s Jilin Province has tested HIV negative, six years after being diagnosed as HIV-positive, according to the provincial Center of Disease Control (CDC).
Wen Congcheng . . . first tested HIV positive in 2001 [during testing of blood donors]. . . . Late in 2003, he was re-confirmed to have HIV/AIDS as a result of another test . . . . However, in July this year [2007], Wen received a negative test result at the No. 1 Clinical Hospital of Beihua University in Jilin. Wen decided to seek another opinion and went to the First Hospital of the China Medical University and another three hospitals for HIV tests, which all proved to be negative. The Jilin municipal CDC carried out a follow-up test which confirmed the negative result, and later the provincial CDC also confirmed the result.”

But, of course, the white-coated gurus refuse to accept this, and have questioned the original positive result, while the lab that made the diagnosis sticks by it.

“ ‘I am pretty sure there are no problems with the blood samples and the tests,’ said Liu Baogui, former director of the HIV/AIDS and STD Section of the CDC of Jilin City. . . . Professor Wu Min, a member of the HIV/AIDS experts’ committee under the Ministry of Health, is sceptical about the validity of the original positive test result. ‘I can not believe that such miracle could have really happened,’ he said. ‘Some patients appear to be free of the virus after effective treatment, but the HIV anti-body is always there, so the test result will still be positive.’ Wu said the inaccuracy rate of tests by the provincial CDCs is lower than 0.01 percent. ‘But it is possible that the person’s name and blood sample was mixed up at the Chuanying District CDC where Wen tested HIV positive for the first time,’ he said.
. . .
In 2003, Andrew Stimpson, a 25-year-old Briton, tested HIV-negative 14 months after testing positive in May 2002. The case has never been scientifically explained.”

And here’s more detail about Andrew Stimpson:

“Doctors baffled as HIV man ‘cures’ himself” (Sophie Kirkham, Sunday Times, 13 November 2005)

“A MAN who tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes Aids [sic, British usage], has subsequently shown up negative for the disease in a case that has mystified doctors. It was claimed last night that Andrew Stimpson, 25, may have shaken off the virus with his own immune system after contracting HIV in 2002.
If proved, the NHS has said the case would be ‘medically remarkable’. … The Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS trust, which treated Stimpson, has said he needs to undergo more tests before it can be established how he apparently conquered HIV. ‘These tests were accurate and they were his, but what we don’t know at the moment is why that has happened, and we want him to come back in for more tests… It is potentially a fantastic thing.’ Stimpson was tested three times in August 2002 … and the results showed he was producing HIV antibodies to fight the disease. Stimpson … contracted the virus from his boyfriend, Juan Gomez, 44. He began taking vitamins and other dietary supplements to keep his body healthy in the hopes that this might fend off the development of full-blown Aids. In October 2003, after impressing doctors with his good health, Stimpson was offered a new test, which came back negative. Further tests in December 2003 and March last year also proved negative. … ‘I couldn’t understand how anyone could cure themselves of HIV . . . I thought it had to be wrong because no one can recover from HIV, it just doesn’t happen.’ The tests were re-checked by the Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust when Stimpson threatened litigation believing there must be a mistake, but the results confirmed all the tests had been accurate. In a letter understood to be from the NHS Litigation Authority in October this year, Stimpson was told: ‘The fact you have recovered from a positive antibody result to a negative result is exceptional and medically remarkable.’ The trust said there had been several other cases of claimed ‘spontaneous clearance’ of the virus worldwide, although it is not believed any have been proved. A spokeswoman added that the trust had urged Stimpson to return for tests, but that so far he had not done so.”

If I were Stimpson, I too would decline further tests administered by people who would love to be able to tell me that I do, after all, have an incurable and fatal illness. Stimpson’s case is readily explicable by Tony Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis [WHAT REALLY CAUSED AIDS: SLICING THROUGH THE GORDIAN KNOT, 20 February 2008] or by the Perth-Group view that testing HIV-positive merely denotes oxidative stress. It was not that Stimpson “contracted the virus from his boyfriend”, but that they shared a lifestyle conducive in some manner to oxidative stress or intestinal dysbiosis.

Posted in experts, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

UNRAVELING HIV/AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/03/08

I had described Tony Lance’s article on intestinal dysbiosis as “slicing through the Gordian knot” [20 February 2008] because it offers coherent and plausible answers to the most vexing specific mysteries about “AIDS”. It appeared around 1980 among gay men in a few large cities: Why then? Why there? Why in the form of those particular diseases—KS, PCP, candidiasis? In addition, Lance’s explanation offers a satisfactory resolution to what has been a salient conundrum for HIV/AIDS dissidents: Why does antiretroviral treatment sometimes bring tangible, almost immediate health benefits?

Some of the responses to Tony’s article have brought home to me the need to put this keystone solution into perspective, because “HIV/AIDS” nowadays encompasses such an enormous range of disparate things. It’s an exceedingly complicated mess, with many threads needing to be unraveled even after the central knot has been sliced.

To begin with, one must recognize that

1. “HIV” and “AIDS” are distinctly separate things.
2. Neither “HIV” nor “AIDS” is definitively defined by universally agreed, substantive and objective criteria.
3. That second point is illustrated by the way in which the definitions of “HIV” and of “AIDS” have been changed or augmented over time.
4. To muddy the waters even further, in some circumstances—but not in others—there is an indirect correlation between some claimed measures of “HIV” and the claimed incidence of some forms of “AIDS”.

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

1. “HIV” and “AIDS” are two separate things

Chapter 9 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory summarizes the many facts which show that “HIV” and “AIDS” are not correlated:
— “HIV”-negative AIDS cases
— “HIV”-positive people who never come down with an “AIDS-defining” illness
— male-to-female ratios for “AIDS” and for “HIV” are quite different; and the difference has changed over the years
— black-to-white ratios for “AIDS” and for “HIV” are quite different; and the difference has changed over the years
— the overall incidence and prevalence of “AIDS” and of “HIV” have changed quite differently over the years
— the geographic distributions of “AIDS” and of “HIV” are not the same

2 & 3. “HIV” and “AIDS” have not been defined definitively; definitions have changed over time

“AIDS”, when first recognized as a distinct entity, was defined as an immunedeficiency marked by rare opportunistic infections and having no obvious cause (i.e., no cancer, malnutrition, or other condition known to suppress immune function).
After the claimed discovery of “HIV” as its cause, “AIDS” was re-defined to require a positive “HIV”-test. That made it necessary, some years later, to invent the new phenomenon of idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia—pathogenic immunedeficiency without obvious cause—to describe cases where the clinical diagnosis would have been “AIDS” except that “HIV”-tests were negative.
The inclusion of hemophiliacs under “AIDS” broke the initial definition of immunedeficiency for no known reason.
Further re-definitions over the years added to the list of “AIDS-defining” conditions a number of illnesses where patients often tested “HIV”-positive. This had such bizarre consequences as including tuberculosis as AIDS-defining just because TB patients often test positive for “HIV”, and including cervical cancer as “AIDS-defining” even though its incidence had been declining steadily throughout the period during which “HIV” and “AIDS” were supposedly spreading.
Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided that “HIV”-positive people with CD4-cell counts of less than 200 in the blood were to be classed as “having AIDS” even when they displayed and felt no symptoms of ill health. That criterion has not been accepted in certain other countries, however, with the result that some “AIDS” patients from the USA may cross the border into Canada and no longer have AIDS; indeed, in 1993 fully half of all newly diagnosed AIDS patients in the United States, more than 20,000 of them, could have been cured just by crossing the border.

“HIV” is variously defined as what is detected by antibody tests (ELISA or Western Blot) or by PCR detection of genetic material. ELISA and Western Blot do not always agree over whether a given sample is “positive”. The criteria for whether a Western Blot is positive are not the same in different countries nor in different laboratories. Counts of immune-system cells (CD4+) and of “viral load” (supposed amount of virus) do not correlate with one another.
Dissidents know, on the basis of any amount of documented evidence, that “HIV” tests are not specific: they react positive under many physiological conditions, and they have never been validated against pure virus, because no pure virus has ever been isolated direct from an “HIV”-positive individual.
Nevertheless, countless published articles have described “HIV” in extraordinary detail of genetic sequence and physical structure—all postulated on the basis of highly indirect inferences, since, to repeat, no single authentic particle of the virus has ever been obtained from an “AIDS” patient. All the so-called “viral isolates” stem from work with cultures; and even those are revealed by electron microscopy as motley mixtures of bits and pieces of various sizes and shapes.
An empirical and natural way of defining “HIV” is: “what HIV tests have been held to detect”. Under that view, published data from tens of millions of “HIV” tests in the United States show that “HIV” is not a sexually transmitted agent, indeed is not an infection at all, because it has been present at about the same level and in the same geographic distribution for more than two decades. The manner in which “HIV” depends on age, sex, and race indicates that it is a very non-specific physiological response to some sort of stress or health challenge. In other words, HIV/AIDS theory contradicts itself; the evidence gained by applying HIV/AIDS theory is incompatible with the theory.

4. Occasional correlations between “HIV” and “AIDS”

What makes things so exceedingly complicated and messy is that even though “HIV” and “AIDS” are not correlated in general and certainly not inevitably, as they would have to be if one were the cause of the other, there are circumstances where there is an indirect or apparent correlation between them.
Since “HIV” tests often react quite non-specifically to health stresses, people test “HIV”-positive when palpably unwell from any one of a large variety of causes; for example, “HIV”-positive rates are relatively high in hospital patients, especially those seen in emergency rooms, and among people whose deaths were such as to call for autopsies. Consequently, “HIV”-positive rates do show some sort of correlation with degree of illness in the so-called high-risk groups: drug abusers, hemophiliacs, and gay men, and this happenstance lends some apparent yet misleading support to the mainstream view.
Not acknowledged by the mainstream, but evident from mountains of data, is the fact that TB patients are another group at high risk of testing “HIV”-positive, and of course at high risk of dying as well.
Hemophiliacs suffer from a chronic, life-threatening disorder. No other explanation is required for why they test “HIV”-positive at high rates and why that sometimes appears to correlate with the severity of their illness.
Drug abusers are unhealthy or ill to varying degrees, depending on the types and amounts of drugs consumed. Addicts test “HIV”-positive because that is a response to physiological stress, and there is a consequent correlation between the degree of that drug-induced stress, that is the severity of the drug-induced ill-health, and the tendency to test “HIV”-positive. The observation that reformed drug addicts are less prone to test “HIV”-positive, in proportion to how long they have been clean, underscores that testing “HIV”-positive is in these cases an indicator of the degree of health stress, and as such it is reversible, just like a fever.
Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis article explains convincingly why gay men often test “HIV”-positive, and why that is associated with the whole spectrum of health and illness, so that there is often a correlation between the severity of the dysbiosis, the probability of testing “HIV”-positive, and the likelihood of developing “AIDS”. The intestinal-dysbiosis hypothesis also affords an explanation for the fact that the most severely ill gay men, those who experience full-blown AIDS, tend to be older rather than younger, in their thirties or forties rather than—as would be expected with a sexually transmitted disease—in their teens or twenties. Figure 10 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory shows “HIV”-positive rates among gay men aged more than 25 as higher than among younger gay men. Michelle Cochrane’s re-examination of medical records of early AIDS cases in San Francisco found that their average age was in the mid- to late thirties. The average age of the first 5 victims in Los Angeles was 31. The first 159 AIDS patients identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had an average age of 35 (pp. 187-8 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
Quite recently I came across yet more evidence of this correlation. A British study of “HIV”-positive gay men found that the average age of those who had no symptoms of illness was 32.4 years; those who had swollen lymph glands or other signs of what used to be called “AIDS-related complex” had an average age of 34.8; those with full-blown AIDS averaged 43.3 years of age (Batman et al., Journal of Clinical Pathology, 42 [1989] 275-81). This is precisely what the dysbiosis theory would predict: the longer one continues doing whatever causes the dysbiosis, the more likely one is to become ill.
In the same vein, a longitudinal study of gay men found that the average age of seroconverting (becoming “HIV”-positive) was 35.3 (Page-Shafer et al., American Journal of Epidemiology, 146 [1997] 531-42).
“Why are so many mid-life gay men getting HIV?”, asked Spencer Cox and Bruce Kellerhouse on GayCityNews© (15 March 2007). That’s a real conundrum under HIV/AIDS theory, but it is to be expected under intestinal-dysbiosis theory. A comment to that piece added anecdotal evidence: “… I was in my 20s and early 30s back in the 1980s and early 1990s. Although there were certainly men my age who were infected, most of the men I knew who succumbed to the epidemic in those years were 10-15 years older than I was. Most of my gay male friends in their 20s-30s were HIV negative and have remained so. I’ve spoken to several other men my age who have seroconverted later in life, and none of us lost close friends in the epidemic. But we did feel that we missed out on the ‘wild’ sex and drugs of the late 70s and early 80’s” (Jay, San Francisco, CA, Added: Tuesday March 20, 2007 at 05:47 PM EST). PLEASE NOTE APOLOGY: This quote had been incorrectly attributed to someone else up until 6 March 2009 when the error was pointed out to me.

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

In sum: Tony Lance’s discussion solves the main puzzles about “HIV” and “AIDS” insofar as they affect gay men, including why they have affected only a small subset of gay men. These insights are also applicable to a variety of other circumstances where disturbances of the intestinal flora have come about for one reason or another in heterosexual men and in women.
But “HIV” and “AIDS” nowadays are so different from their original connotations that many of the observations can only be explained by taking into account the continual changes in definition of both, which has enmeshed the topic of “HIV/AIDS” in a host of complications and contradictions .

Posted in HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV varies with age | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »