HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘universal HIV testing’

Testing and race

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/10/25

The good news:
“More than 70% of people getting care at a major Midwest clinical center had never been tested for HIV despite numerous encounters with the healthcare system”

How to make matters worse?
“The low numbers persisted despite 2006 CDC recommendations for universal HIV testing . . . . ‘there are no teeth in the recommendations and, in fact, in some states in the U.S. it’s still illegal to follow them, because you need informed written consent.’”
How long before a reason is found not to require informed consent? In the interests of public health, perhaps?
In the meantime, “a solution might be to make patient knowledge of HIV status a measure of quality of care”.

The orthodoxy has achieved something, though, if not yet universal testing. The incessant propaganda that minorities (blacks and Latinos) are especially at risk seems to be paying off:
“Black and Hispanic men were more likely to have been tested than white men, with odds ratios of 1.34 in 2008 and 1.41 in 2009. . . .
Black and Hispanic women were also more likely to have been tested than white women, with odds ratios of 1.46 in 2008 and 1.56 in 2009.”
So the absolute numbers of blacks and Hispanics testing “HIV-positive” will rise far more than those of white Americans, confirming the propaganda. And so the predictable results will be used for another twirl of the vicious cycle by which blacks and Hispanics will be subjected to toxic “medications” in ever-increasing numbers.
Yet that “HIV” tests are racially biased is known to anyone who has looked at the literature. No matter what the condition may be that produces a positive “HIV”-test-result — pregnancy, TB, whatever — blacks are 5-to-≥20 times more likely to test poz than are whites.
There will come a time when historians of medicine rank this episode with the Tuskegee and Guatemalan syphilis trials.

Posted in experts, HIV and race, HIV risk groups, HIV tests, HIV/AIDS numbers, prejudice | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Same old, same old ignorance and idiocies

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/03/13

Media coverage of HIV/AIDS is largely ignorant of most of the facts, so alarm is expressed over “changes” that aren’t changes; and obvious inferences aren’t drawn because they aren’t compatible with HIV/AIDS dogma. Here are a few items picked up by yesterday by my Google Alert:

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Surprise?! Gay men test “HIV-positive” more frequently than others?!

You Are All Diseased: Gay Men’s HIV Infections Rising 44X Faster than Straight Men
We’re really trying to wrap our heads around this statistic, because it’s off the deep-end of troubling. ‘A new analysis released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,’ relays D.C. Agenda, ‘shows that the rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men, also referred to as MSM, is more than 44 times greater than that of other men and 40 times greater than that of women’” [emphasis added].
This is from a blog that focuses on “the gay agenda” and yet appears ignorant of the fact that gay men have tested “HIV-positive” an order of magnitude or two more often than, say, military personnel, ever since the beginning of the AIDS era — for example, Table 3 or Figure 22 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
So what’s there to “wrap heads around”?
Here’s the comment I posted on that blog:
“Gay men have tested ‘HIV-positive’ at rates that are an order of magnitude or two higher than for, say, Army personnel, ever since the beginning of the ‘AIDS era’. What seems so little understood is that this does NOT reflect relative rates of irresponsible sexual behavior because
1. HIV tests do not in themselves detect HIV infection, have never been approved for that purpose, and have a high rate of ‘false positives’ and cross-reactions with other conditions EVEN WHEN SO-CALLED CONFIRMATORY TESTS ARE USED; see
Press Release: ‘A positive routine “HIV test” is likely to be a false positive, scientist explains’, 2010/03/09
2. A positive HIV-test may OR MAY NOT reflect a threat to health. Most pertinent for gay men: certain practices that are generally thought of as hygienic, like rectal douching, actually enhance the chances of testing poz through damaging the intestinal microflora that are the first defense established by the immune system; see https://hivskeptic.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/gay-relatedintestinaldysbiosis.pdf

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Failure to aid drug users drives HIV spread — study
* ‘Critical problem’ in Russia, China, Malaysia, Thailand . . .
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) — More than 90 percent of the world’s 16 million injecting drug users are offered no help to avoid contracting AIDS, and governments that ignore them risk a spiralling public health crisis, drugs experts said on Monday.
Injecting drug use is an increasingly important cause of HIV transmission in many countries around the world. Users can spread the virus in blood by sharing needles with an HIV-infected person, and pass it on by having unprotected sex.
Of the estimated 16 million injecting drug users worldwide, 3 million are thought to be HIV-positive, and drug users are thought to account for 10 percent of all those living with HIV.
In Russia, for example, around a million injecting drug users are living with HIV and some 65 percent of new HIV infections there are thought to come from injections.”
What those “drug experts” and other “experts” don’t recognize is the rather obvious inference that it’s the drugs themselves that are causing people to test “HIV-positive” and making people ill:
Routine “HIV” tests; herbal magic; Canadian natives at risk, 21 August 2009
“HIV/AIDS” in Estonia: Demographics and shibboleths, 18 August 2009
Estonian drug addicts don’t have much sex, 13 August 2009
Crack cocaine causes AIDS!, 12 August 2008
Cocaine and heroin aren’t good for you! — a Golden Fleece Award, 13 June 2008

[and, incidentally, that antiretroviral drugs can make things even worse — Drug peddlers’ ads ignore FDA, 5 November 2009]

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HIV: getting all South Africans tested
12 March 2010
The government is scaling up its HIV/Aids prevention and treatment programme by shifting away from voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to HIV counselling and testing (HCT), a new service delivery model that will see HIV testing become part of procedure at all health facilities.
In addition to the testing, all health care facilities will also be equipped to offer anti-retroviral treatment. Anyone who walks into a health facility will be offered a test as opposed to South Africans having to go for voluntary testing.”
So we can look forward to increasing numbers of healthy people being found “HIV-positive” — because of pregnancy, say — and subjected to antiretroviral drugs that make them unhealthy:  Press Release: “A positive routine ‘HIV test’ is likely to be a false positive, scientist explains”, 2010/03/09

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Finally, the ones so truly crazy that you find it hard to believe that the story wasn’t made up:

Christian group says gay marriage more dangerous than smoking
By Jason Hancock 3/12/10 4:53 PM
Homosexual activity is ‘more dangerous for individuals who engage in it than is smoking,’ and because of this, state lawmakers need to pass a constitutional amendment overturning last year’s Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, according to Iowa Family Policy Center President Chuck Hurley. . . .
‘The Iowa Legislature outlawed smoking [in some public places] in an effort to improve health and reduce the medical costs that are often passed on to the state . . . . The secondhand impacts of certain homosexual acts are arguably more destructive, and potentially more costly to society than smoking. . . .
Iowa lawmakers need to pay attention to hard facts and not be persuaded by emotion laden half-truths” [emphasis added].
I need some help in understanding what those “secondhand impacts” might be. What I do understand is that Hurley imagines himself to be one who pays attention to hard facts and isn’t prone to emotional acceptance of half truths; he needs to learn from Robbie Burns: “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursels as others see us!”

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Grabbing a monster by the tail

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/02/02

The monster is HIV/AIDS. The thoughtless action has been to wage ceaseless propaganda that everyone should be tested, even as a positive test is said to mean stigma, lifelong disability, and an early death. Some consequences are coming home to roost in South Africa:

“The national health department and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) have added their voices to condemning the use of HIV home testing kits, saying they are risky to use at home and their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This follows a warning from the SA Medical Association (Sama), which cautioned that home testing for HIV could leave people devastated. . . . TAC general secretary Vuyiseka Dubula warned against the use of the kits. Suicides could result if people tested at home and got a positive result. . . . ‘When doing an HIV test it’s very important to know why you are doing it, and to have a proper support system’” (“South Africa: HIV Home Tests – More Warnings”).
Doesn’t it seem rather odd, that someone who keeps urging everyone to get tested then implies or insists that they need some other reason for being tested than that everyone is being urged to get tested?
Perhaps there’s a subliminal awareness that the tests are often misleading?

“Dubula also questioned the accuracy of home testing kits, saying there was no confirmation.  ‘All HIV tests must be confirmed. The worry with self-testing is that it’s not always possible to confirm the results. Some people may not be able to afford to buy a second kit to confirm their results,’ she said, urging people to get free tests at public health facilities.”
But there’s no such thing as a confirming HIV test, according to  “Laboratory detection of human retroviral infection” by Stanley H. Weiss and Elliott P. Cowan, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. Gary P. Wormser, 4th ed. (2004). None of the tests are capable of establishing the presence of HIV infection; all results should be expressed as probabilities; so-called “confirmatory” tests are actually only supplemental tests, to be used only as additional adjuncts to clinical observation and medical histories. “Each individual assay has its own associated special characteristics and is not interchangeable with other assays, even within a given class of test” (p. 148). “In the absence of gold standards, the true sensitivity and specificity for the detection of HIV antibodies remain somewhat imprecise” (p. 150).
The truly monstrous fact is that the public hears constantly about confirmatory tests and the 99%+ sensitivity and specificity of HIV testing at the same time as the expert technical literature emphasizes that such a high “accuracy” still means that in low-risk groups the probability of false positives may be 5 out of 6 and that no test or sequence of tests can prove infection (“’HIV’ tests are self-fulfilling prophecies”, 10 May 2009).

When public policies are based on ignorance, this is the sort of mess that ensues. On the one hand, the policy makers are told that “rapid testing may assist in facilitating the diagnosis of HIV infection, improving HIV testing capabilities in facilities without access to laboratories”; on the other hand it’s recognized that “There was also the danger of misinterpretation of the results of the home test kit . . . . Professor Peter Eagles, chairman of the Medical Control Council . . . said consumers needed to ensure the product was of a good quality, and registered in its country of origin.”
How, one might logically ask, should the typical “consumer” in Africa distinguish advertisements by makers of the home-test kits from other propaganda they are subjected to? But perhaps above all, consider the implications of the assertion that “rapid testing”, notoriously unreliable in itself, can assist with “diagnosis of HIV infection”, when Weiss & Cowan go to great pains to describe the lengthy, elaborate procedures required to diagnose infection in ways that do not rely exclusively on test results.

There is a similar disconnect between the incessant propaganda to distribute antiretroviral drugs in Africa and the considered views of the treatment experts that antiretroviral treatment requires constant careful monitoring, frequent laboratory testing, the likelihood of needing to change treatments at intervals, the elaborate procedures like “resistance testing” to choose the right treatment regimens in the first place:
” Multiple studies have demonstrated that better outcomes are achieved in HIV-infected outpatients cared for by a  clinician with HIV expertise [1-6], which reflects the complexity of HIV infection and its treatment. Thus, appropriate  training and experience, as well as ongoing continuing medical education (CME), are important components for  optimal care. Primary care providers without HIV experience, such as those who provide service in rural or  underserved areas, should identify experts in the region who will provide consultation when needed” (NIH Treatment Guidelines, 1 December 2009, p. 3).

It seems more than likely that good nutrition and vitamins and mineral supplements would do far more good in Africa than the liberal distribution of toxic antiretroviral drugs in absence of nearly enough experienced physicians to ensure that treatment is changed or discontinued at the first sign of toxic side-effects.

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: , , , , | 31 Comments »