April 23 is Rethinking AIDS Day. Good thing someone decided such a day is needed, because I’ve been procrastinating and struggling to write the “AIDS Dissidence 101” post for Open Salon, where I also blog, that several people there have requested for quite some time now. One of the biggest problem I’ve encountered is trying to address the many issues raised by this debate in a format and length that will be read.
I also realized quickly that what I would want to share has already been written elsewhere. There have been more than 50 books written challenging various aspects of the AIDS hypothesis. A list of them can be found at AIDSwiki. In addition, there are at least as many websites, many of them listed on the blogroll on the right.
THE ROTTED CORNERSTONE: Robert Gallo
When the cause of the first few cases of immune collapse in a handful of gay men was first being examined in the early 1980s, numerous viable theories were considered: infection with cytomegalovirus, the use of amyl nitrite or butyl nitrate poppers, and immune overload from a “fast track” lifestyle that included multiple STDs and prescription drugs, to name a few.
These men were not “previously healthy”, as described by the CDC in the first public announcement of a new immune deficiency in gay men and there are many possible reasons they got sick and died. Research into all possible causes other than a virus were squashed once U.S. Secretary of Health Margaret Heckler announced in 1983 that Robert Gallo had discovered the virus that causes AIDS.
Gallo’s never isolated the virus he claims to have discovered. His research involved mixing lymph tissue from ten gay men with the then known symptoms for AIDS, stimulating them with chemicals in order to get something to grow in cell cultures from leukemia patients! This “soup” became the basis for HIV-antibody tests, diagnoses and treatment1,2
Incredibly, the scientific community never took the time to verify Gallo’s claim then and nearly all subsequent research is built on his word. Gallo has since proven he does not deserve that much trust.
The four papers published by Gallo in the peer-reviewed journal Science in 1984 have been challenged by a group of 37 senior researchers, medical doctors and legal professionals, endorsed by the international nonprofit scientific organization Rethinking AIDS, as well as world renowned whistle blowers at Semmelweis Society International.~
The multiple allegations against Gallo deserve an free standing post of their own. Suffice to say here that there is evidence of deception, theft and fraud in his research laboratory findings that are the foundation upon which the rest of the AIDS paradigm stand or falls, as they are the cornerstone upon which virtually all AIDS research conducted since then is based.
THE NEW MATH OF AIDS STATISTICS AND DEMOGRAPHICS
Try applying basic logic to AIDS statistics and you are likely to be set back a grade by AIDS demographers. 2+2 doesn’t necessarily equal 4 in the world of AIDS.
The estimated number of infected in the United States has remained steady at roughly 1 million since 1985, for example. In Africa, the reported AIDS rate looks more like that of a nutritionally or environmentally caused disease than an infectious or sexually transmitted one.
AIDS demographics, which drive AIDS policies, are mostly based on computer models and estimates, rather than actual counts. Lately this has resulted in some fancy foot work while back-pedaling by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS. (more here and here)
One the few sources for “real” numbers in Africa have been pregnant women at pre-natal clinics, despite the well-documented fact that pregnancy has been shown to cross react with the so-called HIV-antibody tests and cause a “false-positive” result.1, 2, 3
The CDC has twice changed the definition of AIDS (1987 and 1992) to include new diseases. This alone could account for earlier increases in the numbers of AIDS cases in the first half of the epidemic. If nothing else, changing definitions has made year-to-year comparisons even more complicated than they already were.
Although it is acknowledged that African genetics account for a disproportionate numbers of HIV-positive tests in that population, AIDS theorists frequently stumble when trying to explain how Africans and African Americans are more likely to have HIV, without implying racist attitudes regarding sexual behavior. The validity of the tests themselves is rarely questioned.
Increased testing will obviously result in increased numbers of so-called HIV-positives. The problem is, what does the test detect? More on that in a minute. Some are suggesting that the frequent newspaper headlines of increased rates of HIV (anyone remember Washington DC lately?) are actually the result of an epidemic of testing.
For a more extensive discussion about AIDS statistics, no one has done more research into the myths than Henry H. Bauer, author of The Origins, Persistence and Failing of HIV/AIDS Theory.
WHAT ARE RETROVIRUSES, and what do they do?
Most of the published information about AIDS comes from virologists. This makes sense, in a way I suppose. But science must be validated with a multi-disciplinary approach. For example, knowledge (“known facts”) about physics cannot defy the laws of mathematics. If there is a dispute, one, the other, or both must reconcile differences so science can move on.
The same standards must apply to Virology. Premises and arguments made must abide by other well-established scientific observations, such as biology, specifically microbiology.
In her book Fear of the Invisible, Janine Roberts writes about how microbiologists view retroviruses differently than virologists. According to microbiology human beings are naturally full of retroviruses, exosomes, transposons and other cellular messengers. We depend on them for our survival. Her description of how these invisible particles transport and communicate sound precisely like what we might be seeing on the video below, which I mentioned previously.
I anticipated that AIDSTruthers would tout this video as “proof” of HIV’s existence. It is impressive microscopy and there’s no doubt in my mind that we are indeed witnessing some sort of cellular transfer of… something. What is not convincing is any proof that this is the virus known as HIV, or that this virus is infectious or particularly harmful, let alone lethal, because intact HI virus has never been isolated from a human being.
THE BIGGEST $IGN OF THEM ALL
The biggest number of all comes with a $ sign. AIDS dollars are scattered though out the Federal budget, making it nearly impossible to determine the total outlay. Federal funding of domestic AIDS research, prevention, treatment and care services was nearly $3 billion in FY 2007 alone. Another $7 billion has been spent via USAIDS. This latest Obama budget contains more than $5.8 billion in global health funds for AIDS, while serious killers like tuberculosis get a measly $162.5 million and malaria $382.5 million. Then there’s the money spent via UNAIDS.
And that’s just the government. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have posted record profits during the era of AIDS. So-called community-based AIDS groups are funded by these same industrial giants. Not that that would influence educational and treatment campaigns (ahem).
Sponsors of thebody.com, arguably the premier website
for HIV and AIDS information and support.
It is not unreasonable to assume that the global AIDS industry has consumed a trillion dollars or more since its inception. Spending lots of money doesn’t really prove anything one way or another. What it should do is raise lots of questions. Where there is that much money being spent, it’s a safe bet that industry is willing to go to extremes to protect its own interests, even above those of the people it claims to serve.
Meanwhile, alternatives to improve health, such as lifestyle changes or providing nutrition, clean water and basic health services (in the case of Africa), take a distant back seat in the eradication campaign, though they might well prove to be a more effective investment. After all, how is one supposed to take the drugs on an empty stomach, without water?
METHINKS THOU DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH: The AIDSTruthers
There is a group of people who spend a lot of time online confronting, challenging and disparaging AIDS dissidents and rethinkers. For lack of a better term, I’ll call them AIDSTruthers, as they seem to follow a similar modus operandi that is well represented at a website by that name.
A handful of AIDStruthers have even joined Open Salon since I started posting there. You can view an example of their discussion at a post on MG18’s blog here. MG18 and “snout” have no other relationships on OS and have not participated in the community. Their only purpose is to “save” the rest of you from my deadly “denialist” perspective, and to offer support to each others’ arguments.
Demanding “facts” in this debate is their way of playing a game. There are encyclopedias of “facts” on both sides. Many of the “facts” about HIV have changed over the years. Why should they not change again?
For example, I recently posted a microscopic video purporting to show transmission of HIV to a cd4 cell because I expected one of them to raise that as evidence that HIV exists. What is germane about this particular piece of evidence is that it espouses a new theory about how the virus behaves and replicates. The point being, even they must concede that “facts” change. (More about what we’re seeing in the video in a minute).
It’s hard to understand what motivates the AIDSTruthers. Rather than engage in conventional scientific debate, they resort to smear campaigns to discredit rethinkers. They execute well orchestrated online strategies of obfuscation familiar to those who have studied propaganda techniques.
AIDSTruthers have gone to great lengths to discredit the researchers, professors who dare to ask questions and who challenge the AIDS paradigm. Would MG18 be so persistent if I professed that I don’t believe the Holocaust occurred? If I stated the world is flat?Because that is the comparison he and his ilk infer about those of us who ask these questions. If we’re so nutty… if we’re such blatant liars… why would he even give a rat’s ass?
The truth is, there are many reputable and credentialed scholars and researchers questioning AIDS, and you can find a pretty decent list of them on the AIDSTruth website. Have you ever seen another such assemblage of educated minds targeted for character assassination? Hey guys, what do I have to do to earn a spot on that page?
MORE QUESTIONS and OBSERVATIONS
In the interest of space, I’m just going to bullet a few more reasons I continue to question the AIDS hypothesis:
Dire predictions of an impending epidemic in the heterosexual community that never happened challenges the assertion that HIV is sexually transmissible.
Ominous warnings that Africa’s population would be wiped out, have been defied by a population rate that has soared instead. This despite South African President Mbeki’s reasoned response to avoid a pell mell path to drug all of his HIV-positive citizens.
Kinky explanations of why the virus that loves homosexuals in the US and Europe prefers heterosexuals in Africa.
By definition a virus is not even a living organism, yet HIV is often described by scientific researchers as “wily”, “evasive”, and “adaptive”.
We are told that HIV mutates and adapts quickly, yet the assumption presented is always that it will only become more lethal. Isn’t it just as likely, or at least possible that the virus will (or has already) mutate(ed) into a less-lethal, if not harmless passenger virus?
Previous epidemics in human history have run their course and lost virulence, often before medical intervention. Only HIV is alleged to be evolving and becoming more threatening instead.
The so-called “HIV tests” are polyreactive, which means there are many conditions that will cause a positive result, including pregnancy, flu shots, malaria and dozens more. There is not even consensus on when a test is “positive”:
That so-called “fast track” gay men were experiencing alarming rates of STDs and substance abuse was well known. Today rates of syphilis and gonorrhea can go down while HIV goes up and vice versa. This makes no sense if HIV is an STD.
Malaria and TB, formerly leading causes of death in Africa, have been subsumed by the new disease, AIDS, which has nearly identical symptoms.
For everyone one of these questions, others smarter than me have many more.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO QUESTION THE AIDS MEME?
None of these observations disprove a viral causation theory for AIDS, nor were they meant to. What they show, hopefully, is that there are plenty of reasons for some of us to not simply accept a woefully inadequate explanation for immune collapse among some members of certain “high risk” groups without question.
There are few, if any studies of long term survivors who have never taken drugs, or who, like myself, have quit them and experienced improved health. There are some studies of those called “elite controllers” whose cd4 counts do not decline and who test undetectable on viral load tests. These are just more mysteries that AIDS scientists must find more and more bizarre theories to explain.
It is becoming more and more difficult to simply dismiss questioners like me as conspiracy theorists or “denialists”, as more of us become victims, or personally know of victims of our failed medical care and research institutions, whether that is a result of AIDS, cancer, lyme disease, bird flu, or any of the many other mysterious ailments that affect humanity.
Definitions and assumptions have led to more and more people being put on ARV (antiretroviral drugs) while they are still quite healthy and therefore more capable of tolerating the resultant damaging effects and progression to cancer, liver failure, heart disease and death. No one knows what would happen if they pursued other options.
This push by pharma-backed researchers to initiate multi-drug treatment even earlier in patients who test “positive” on unreliable tests will inevitably result in more industry-backed studies “proving” longer lives, thus postponing even longer the re-evaluation of the basic premises about AIDS that is so desperately called for.
Just as our democratic process has become eroded by the influence of profit-driven industry via lobbyists, so has the medical and scientific process been tainted by the influence of egos, greed and corporate objectives, rather than the health of people. The FDA is practically worthless due to infiltration by bigPharma. Universities and research centers kowtow to those who hold the purse strings.
The single-minded fixation on viral causation for all disease benefits mainly the virus hunters and their backers in the pharmaceutical industry. Efforts to identify environmental causes are hampered, even restricted by the whole spectrum of corporate industry hacks. It is likely that most readers who have read this far have their own reason to suspect that our modern life is the single largest contributor to poor health.
Observations that those of us who make wholesale changes to our lifestyles to improve their health, such as quitting smoking and drugs (including toxic pharmaceutical drugs), and who make dietary changes, including nutritional and antioxidant supplements, subsequently experience improved health are dismissed as “anectdotal” evidence. Perhaps most importantly, these survivors often reject the “facts” about HIV and AIDS.
Patients have a right to know about the questions, as well as available treatment options so we can make informed choices. No on in the “denialist” camp convinced me to quit taking ARV. I came to that decision on my own, before I even knew that other organized points of view existed.
I do not recommend any particular path for any person, other than to listen to your body and to ask questions. Then follow your heart, as well as your brain.
A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO AIDSTruthers:
(Note: I recorded the following video for use on my blog on Open Salon, but am including it here as well because I think it’s important to be identified with one’s statements.)