HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘UNAIDS’

More De COCK AND BULL stuff and nonsense

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/06/15

In the face of undeniable facts about HIV/AIDS, cognitive dissonance and passionate defense of vested interests are eliciting from official sources statements that call for the talents of comedians in the tradition of Mort Sahl, Tom Lehrer, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, for appropriate commentary.

Kevin De Cock, for example, chief white-coated HIV/AIDS guru at the World Health Organization, said that “Ten years ago a lot of people were saying there would be a generalised epidemic in Asia . . .  That doesn’t look likely” [emphasis added] (Jeremy Laurence, “Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits”, Independent.co.uk, 8 June 2008 ).

What’s comical here is that De Cock and his cohorts at WHO and UNAIDS were themselves this “lot of people”, and that they were not only saying it but strenuously insisting on it, trumpeting it, repeating it incessantly and brooking no contradiction.

De Cock’s mention that Swaziland suffers an infection rate of  40% also deserves at least a snigger if not a belly laugh. He bemoans that fewer than one third of people in those African countries are getting the antiretroviral drugs they need. Of course even fewer were getting them until quite recently. Since Swaziland and other sub-Saharan countries have had these high rates for a decade or more in absence of treatment, there should by now be few people left alive there. Where then are all the corpses? Rian Malan (1) looked and couldn’t find them. And how did Africa’s population manage to continue to grow at a few percent per year despite all this carnage?

De Cock’s admission that HIV/AIDS is not going to spread outside Africa might have reflected his encounter with reality as co-author of the review article featured in HIV/AIDS ILLUSTRATES COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, 29 April 2008. A colored graph in that article incorporates the assertion that HIV is disseminated by quite different means in different parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, marital sex is indicted for more than 50% of the spread while commercial sex is responsible for only about 10%, whereas in Eastern Europe about 85% of transmission is owing to injection by drug addicts and only about 10% is ascribed to each of “casual sex” and sex between men—no noticeable amount from marital sex or from commercial sex, which latter is indicted in other parts of the world for between 10% and 20% of transmission. Aren’t some of the drug addicts in the former Warsaw pact countries married? Don’t they have sex with their wives? Are there no sex workers there? Don’t the injecting drug addicts there ever have sex with anyone, or do they have only homo-sex?

In both Latin American and the Caribbean, sex between men is supposed to be responsible for about 60% of the spread—but the overall rate in Latin America is twice that in the Caribbean. Is the proportion of gay men in the Latin American population twice that in the Caribbean?

One shouldn’t in any case speak of any spread at all in those regions, given that there has been no reported increase for at least a decade. UNAIDS in its Global Reports and Updates reported for HIV in Latin America, 0.5% for both 1997 and 2007; in the Caribbean, 1.9% in 1997 and only 1.0% for 2007.

Mother-to-child transmission, according to that review article, accounts for 15% of all transmission in sub-Saharan Africa but is barely noticeable in Latin America and the Caribbean and is not even mentioned for Asia and Eastern Europe. Yet in Asia, 25% of transmission is supposed to be via marital sex. How does it come about that all those married women infected via marital sex never pass their infection on to their newborns?

Someone like De Cock who collaborated in authorship of this review article would, I suggest, find unbidden doubts making themselves felt about the whole business of HIV/AIDS epidemics; albeit those doubts might express themselves only in dreams—or nightmares.

Expressing such doubts in the light of day, and from within the World Health Organization, is tantamount to treason. No surprise, then, that WHO and UNAIDS quickly issued a joint “correction” (“Correction to AIDS story in Independent article 8 June 2008; Joint Note for the Media WHO/UNAIDS – Wed, 11 Jun 2008”).

This correction reiterates that “the global HIV epidemic is by no means over. . . . AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Africa. . . . Worldwide, HIV is still largely driven by heterosexual transmission. The majority of new infections in sub-Saharan Africa occur through heterosexual transmission. We have also seen a number of generalized epidemics outside of Africa, such as in Haiti and Papua New Guinea.”

But this in no way speaks to, let alone contradicts, De Cock’s admission that there are not and will not be heterosexual epidemics in the Americas, Asia, Australia, or Europe. That takes all the wind out of the sails of this “correction”; and the last assertion in this press release deserves to be laughed off the stage:
“AIDS remains the leading infectious disease challenge in global health. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible and misleading.”

As already pointed out in our earlier post (WHO SAYS that WE’VE BEEN VERY WRONG about HIV and AIDS? (Clue: WHO = World Health Organization), 10 June 2008 ), numerous official sources have presented evidence over and over again that more people even in Africa die of malaria and other scourges traditionally present there, than die of AIDS.

Peter Piot, collaborator with de Cock in creating “the Belgian disease” of HIV/AIDS in Africa, seems to have acted with better self-preservation instincts than De Cock: “In a little noticed statement in April, Piot said he would step down when his term ended at the end of this year” (“June 11, 2008: First shoe at UN drops: Peter Piot resigns”  and “Liam Scheff at GNN: The Aids machine grinds to a halt” ). When a Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary of the United Nations steps down with a “little noticed statement”, something is awry. Why not the traditional press-release citing his desire to spend more time with his family after having accomplished all that he had aimed to accomplish? That no successor was announced amplifies the smell of fish here, in  its indication of haste and confusion rather than orderly transition at the normal end of a term of service.

The cat is out of the bag. HIV is not fueling heterosexually transmitted epidemics—at least not in most of the world. Outside sub-Saharan Africa, heterosexual epidemics are apparent only among other dark-skinned people, according to WHO/UNAIDS in Haiti and Papua New Guinea. It’s just shameful what those black people do in the way of sex—particularly those married ones in sub-Saharan Africa, see TO AVOID HIV INFECTION, DON’T GET MARRIED, 18 November; HIV/AIDS ABSURDITIES AND WORSE, 9 DECEMBER 2007; B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS, 4 March 2008.
———————-

Citation:
(1) Rian Malan, “AIDS in Africa: In search of the truth” Rolling Stone Magazine, 22 November 2001; “Africa isn’t dying of Aids”, The Spectator (London), 14 December 2003.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, sexual transmission | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

A SMALL HITCH IN THE BANDWAGON?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/05/29

“Health expert calls for end to UN HIV programme” (InTheNews.co.uk, 9 May 2008 )

“The joint United Nations programme on HIV and Aids should be ‘closed down rapidly’, according to . . . Roger England, chairman of Health Systems Workshop — an independent advisory group on health management in poor countries — . . . [because] its mandate is “wrong and harmful”. . . . Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Mr England says the agency was set up on the argument that HIV and its impact are exceptional.  But he writes that this argument is no longer valid and says the claims HIV needs its own body as it can tip households into poverty would also apply to all serious diseases and disasters. ‘HIV is a major disease in southern Africa, but it is not a global catastrophe, and language from a top UNAids official that describes it as ‘one of the make-or-break forces of this century’ and a ‘potential threat to the survival and well-being of people worldwide’ is sensationalist . . . . Worldwide the number of deaths from HIV each year is about the same as that among children aged under five years in India. . . . far too much is spent on HIV relative to other needs and . . . this is damaging health systems . . . . HIV causes 3.7 per cent of mortality but receives a quarter of international healthcare aid and a “big chunk” of domestic expenditure. ‘HIV exceptionalism is dead — and the writing is on the wall for UNAIDS. . . .  Why a UN agency for HIV and not for pneumonia or diabetes, which both kill more people? . . . UNAids should be closed down rapidly, not because it has performed badly given its mandate, which it has not, but because its mandate is wrong and harmful. Its technical functions should be refitted into [the World Health Organisation], to be balanced with those for other diseases.’”

Similarly, in the United States the expenditure on HIV/AIDS research dwarfs that on major killers like cancer or cardiovascular disease: 20 times as much per “HIV” death than per cancer death, 100 times as much per “HIV patient” as per cardiovascular patient (STOPPING THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON—-Part II, 1 February 2008).

Perhaps free-market economics can slow the bandwagon?

After all, if funds start to dry up, then the propaganda will also begin to ebb. So long as UNAIDS exists, it will seek to justify its existence by putting out the scary pseudo-statistics that James Chin, for example, has debunked (CONDOMS AND HIV: WHAT EVERYONE KNOWS IS ONCE AGAIN WRONG, 10 February 2008;  B***S*** about HIV from ACADEME via THE PRESS, 4 March 2008).

But I am not holding my breath. Too many careers and livelihoods depend on the disproportionate attention paid to HIV/AIDS. And what happens to drug sales and profits if TB, malaria, intestinal worms, malnutrition, become the focus? All those can be handled at far less expense than the provision of toxic antiretroviral drugs.

Posted in experts, Funds for HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

HIV NONSENSE: TODAY AND EVERY DAY

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2007/11/22

One impetus for this blog was that I had set a Google Alert for “HIV” to keep up with new developments. Often this turned up stories that make no sense in terms of HIV/AIDS theory and which afford the opportunity to point that out. Instead, these reports can be understood readily once it is recognized that:

(1) HIV-positive does not mean infection by a virus. HIV–infectious particles, viruses–have never been isolated directly from an HIV-positive person or an AIDS patient.
(2) “HIV-positive” is just a sign that the immune system has been aroused in some fashion for any of some large number of reasons.

So, from today’s Google Alert:
Treatment of herpes lowers HIV in men:
“Treating herpes simplex virus type 2 appears to reduce HIV-1 plasma levels by more than 50% in men infected with both viruses”
WOW! What a mystery calling for further sophisticated research! The drug that treats herpes has no direct effect on HIV, yet when herpes is present as well as HIV, it eliminates some of the HIV! Maybe this offers a way of treating HIV/AIDS? Infect HIV-positive people with herpes, and then treat the herpes?
NONSENSE. “HIV-1 plasma levels” were not measured, that would mean measuring the amount of virus particles. Bits of RNA assumed to come from HIV were amplified by PCR and the amplified amount was taken to mean something about the amount of “HIV” supposedly present originally–even though the inventor of PCR, Kary Mullis, has pointed out that the technique cannot be used in this way. Moreover, those bits of RNA have never been proven to come from and only from HIV. Sheer nonsense.

(Zuckerman et al., “Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Suppression with Valacyclovir Reduces Rectal and Blood Plasma HIV-1 Levels in HIV-1/HSV-2-Seropositive Men” Journal of Infectious Disease 2007; 196: 1500-08)

Also today:
Russian health chief disputes UN’s HIV numbers
“The head of Russia’s health services [Gennady Onishchenko] on Wednesday accused the UN’s AIDS agency of publishing ‘incorrect’ statistics on the number of HIV infections in the country.

UNAIDS said in its 2007 report on Wednesday that Russia accounts for 66 percent of all new infections in the former Soviet Union… The total number of people living with HIV in the former Soviet Union has climbed to 1.6 million…
Onishchenko said some 403,000 HIV infections had been detected in Russia since the appearance of the virus in the former Soviet Union in 1987. Those still living number 314,000, he said.”

UNAIDS gets its numbers from computer models which incorporate any number of assumptions, for example, about under-reporting, about the type of epidemic in the country, and about much else; for details of those models and their failings, see Sexually Transmitted Infections 80 (2004, supplement 1); for a discussion that includes failings of the modeling used by the CDC, see “Guesstimates–getting the desired numbers”, pp. 203-10 in The Origins, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. But no matter how good or bad the models are, they must incorporate actual data in some fashion. Those data can only come from the region to which the model is to be applied. So UNAIDS takes reports from Russia, augments them with its own assumptions, and then UNAIDS tells the reporting country that they have 5 times as many HIV-positive people as they had actually counted.

Those bits of nonsense have to do with details. But some bits of nonsense pervade the whole apparatus of HIV/AIDS theory and practice, as illustrated by another of today’s Google Alerts:

HK group rolls out campaign to fight HIV stigma
“HONG KONG (Reuters) – Four Hong Kong celebrities and a politician threw their weight behind a campaign aimed at stamping out prejudice against people living with HIV/AIDS by asking: If I were HIV positive, would you still love me?
….
While HIV/AIDS is widely discussed in many Western countries, it is still an invisible blight in many places in Asia, where ignorance, fear and prejudice about the disease abounds.
….
‘Many of us are ignorant about the disease and some think they can be infected through shaking hands or having a meal together with a sufferer’”.

HIV cannot be transferred by casual contact, goes the dogma. The prime means, the way most people become infected, is through unsafe sex with an HIV-positive person, or by sharing an infected needle for the purpose of injecting illegal drugs. Why should that sort of behavior not be associated with social disapproval, that is, stigma? We say to our children, about drugs, “Just say NO!” More than half a century ago, long before HIV/AIDS, we were taught as children and young adults to be responsible and careful when engaging in sex with casual acquaintances, lest we contract gonorrhea, syphilis, or other venereal diseases. Why should there be no social stigma attached to irresponsible behavior?

Why should there not be “fear . . . about the disease”, when we have been bombarded for decades with propaganda to the effect that it is invariably fatal? Even if death can be staved off with treatments that restrict one’s activities, have debilitating side-effects, decrease greatly one’s quality of life?

I suspect that the present oxymoronic situation has its origin in the early days of AIDS, when that was taken as synonymous with gay. The attempt to avoid homophobia morphed into insisting that no stigma should be attached to having AIDS. The question was not explicitly argued out in the public arena, of how responsible–in both senses of the word–one might be if one indulged in the type of behavior that seems to carry the pertinent risk. People who tried to raise that question, for instance gay activists like Michael Callen and Larry Kramer, were excoriated by much of the gay media for advocating sensible behavior.

Be that as it may, nowadays the official line is oxymoron:
A: One becomes HIV-positive only through carelessly injecting illegal drugs with dirty needles or through unsafe sex with high-risk individuals who might well be HIV-positive.
BUT ALSO
B: Everyone is at risk and no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive.

Well, of course no stigma should be attached to being HIV-positive, because one can become HIV-positive for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with irresponsible behavior: getting a flu vaccination or being ill from any one of many ailments (http://virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm). But if HIV-positive were synonymous with drug abuse or carelessly promiscuous sex, why should there not be stigma attached?

Another HIV/AIDS oxymoron has to do specifically with injecting illegal drugs. One arm of many governments fights against the importing, selling, and using of heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and other “recreational” drugs, for the excellent reason that addicts become ill and may die from the effects of the drugs. At the same time, however, another arm of officialdom in various places seeks to institute, or actually has instituted, programs to hand out clean fresh needles so that the addicts can enjoy the ill-health benefits of the drugs rather than incur the risk of contracting HIV. Here the HIV/AIDS establishment behaves as though it were not known that drug abuse carries serious consequences for health, mental health as well as physical health.

There is only one way to get rid of this nonsense, and the vast amount of human suffering that this nonsense brings with it: It has to be acknowledged that “HIV” doesn’t cause AIDS and that, moreover, “HIV” isn’t an infectious agent (even though it can sometimes be a marker of an infection as little worrisome as flu or as worrisome as tuberculosis).

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV transmission | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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