Celebrities Lead Latest Performance of Science’s Global Pantomime
Activists and Media Briefed Before Curtain Rises
Scientific Literature Remains Corrupted and Unread
In what, according to critics who read the peer reviewed scientific literature, is the greatest piece of tomfoolery in science and medicine today, a very great gathering is upon us.
Surfing onto the broad bureaucratic beach of the nation’s capital on a wave of media coverage leading up to Global AIDS 2012, an army of HIV/AIDS scientists, health workers, NGO staff and like assorted taxpayer, pharma and charity funded HIV assault teams of all sizes have descended on Washington.
These serried ranks of HIV warriors will spend the week sharing their latest insights, achievements and ambitions, not to mention their latest tips on how to win more funding for a fight that the general public seems to be less impressed with than ever before.
As usual the excitement will be stirred to a higher level by activists, who were especially briefed by the Conference organizers yesterday, before the grand pow-wow officially opened. The media, too, were relieved of any puzzlement as to the official scientific and public health ideology on which the entire enterprise rests in a special briefing yesterday also.
The fly in the HIV/AIDS ointment
Unfortunately, these media students like the rest of the vast assembly will not be apprised of what is the most extraordinary aspect of the enterprise, which is that according to the best published peer reviewed scientific analysis it is founded on a giant mistake. The cause of all the AIDS symptoms that all these worthy people are striving to cure is, unfortunately, not the notorious virus that they have written into the very name of the disease they imagine themselves to be addressing, HIV/AIDS.
The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them. – Karl Popper
According to articles written by the most intellectually distinguished scientist in the field a quarter century ago, in two of the most reliable publications in science, HIV was not and could not be the cause of AIDS, or indeed of any illness of any kind. The research reviewed in the articles showed, the author demonstrated, with the imprimatur of his peers affixed to his work by virtue of unusually rigorous peer review, that HIV was too limited genetically to do any harm, let alone perform the rather complicated trick of devastating your immune system as long as twenty years after you had been exposed to it.
The articles in Cancer Research in 1987 and in the Proceedings of the National Academy in 1989 pointed out that not only was HIV a type of virus that had never been found to damage any cell, let alone kill it, but it was a type suspected earlier of causing cancer, which is the exact opposite of cell killing. Not only that, but HIV had proved almost impossible to find in AIDS patients, even dying ones. Then, and ever since, “HIV positive” actually meant that a test for HIV antibodies was positive.
By the standards of accepted medicine this should be very welcome news for any testee with a positive result, since it means that his body has overcome all the HIV which entered it, which is why it is very hard to find HIV in an HIV/AIDS patient, even a dying one. This is a very simple principle understood by any ten year old that is taught it in school. A disease causing agent when overcome by the body’s immune soldiers, your antibodies, is banished, leaving only antibodies, the evidence of your new immunity to it, and that immunity will typically last for a very long time.
The two articles pointed out this fundamental flaw in HIV/AIDS thinking, as well as many more technical problems with the idea that HIV caused any illness of any kind, let alone AIDS.
The complete and firm rejection of HIV as the cause of AIDS was in fact the conclusion of both articles, based on the copious research that had been done on HIV by that point, which was referenced in hundreds of footnotes.
Follow up articles on the same lines clinching the case against HIV have followed through the years, as research expanded to show that HIV was in fact not transmitted between heterosexuals, and that there was never any epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the US, where the number of people who are HIV positive has remained around one million for 25 years, according to the CDC.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
What then could be blamed for the massive death rate in the US of victims of AIDS, and the catastrophic loss to society of many artists and other distinguished patients who succumbed to the devastating disease? According to these and later critical reviews, the answer was clear.
In the US and in Europe it was at first recreational drugs which destroyed patients’ immune systems, not HIV. But soon enough, the culprit was the drugs administered to them under the dangerously false theory that HIV was the cause of their symptoms.
In Africa and Asia, what was happening was not HIV/AIDS either, but a relabeling of other diseases and deprivation as HIV/AIDS by health workers and politicians who soon found, like their US counterparts, this was an Open Sesame to an Ali Baba level of funding.
Why haven’t you heard that HIV is harmless?
Whatever happened to all these damning reviews, and some thirty five books so far which have explained all this to a lay audience?
The initial two reviews rejecting HIV mentioned above were never answered in the same journals, even though the leading HIV/AIDS scientists promised to reply. The chosen means of defense has been political, damning the critique in the press, on the Web and behind the scenes.
It is difficult to mark the limits of superstition. – Voltaire
The leading scientific critic, till then impeccable in reputation and a favorite son at the NIH whose grants were never denied, has not won an NIH grant in the 25 years since he rejected HIV, even for the cancer research in which he is still a recognized leader and innovator.
In a telling incident recounted in the sharpest book so far surveying the history of this debacle, that most dangerous critic was invited to the opera by a leading HIV/AIDS scientist. At drinks afterwards, a paper renouncing his critique was produced and his signature sought “for your own good”.
What little contradiction of the central points of the scientific critique has been attempted in other scientific journals has been marked by limited debate cut off prematurely by editors, in one famous instance Nature publicly denying the most prominent and expert HIV critic the “right of reply”.
Even by the time the first critique was published in 1987, HIV research had become a sacred cash cow, and resistance to questioning it was already intense, as internal memos at NIAID have revealed.
It’s the drugs, stupid; the weaker the better
But what eventually became and remains the single pillar of support of the belief that HIV is the culprit for AIDS in the US and therefore in the world (despite the radical difference in nature of symptoms in Africa and elsewhere) has been the idea that, as President Clinton put it to us once, “the drugs work, don’t they?” Contrary to the early experience of AIDS, patients began living longer when new drug “cocktails” (with protease inhibitors) designed to attack HIV were introduced in the mid nineties.
This improvement was trumpeted as the great success of HIV/AIDS policy which finally proved that it was on the right track in attacking HIV directly as the cause of AIDS. If the cause was not HIV, why would such drugs benefit patients so impressively?
Unfortunately, given the astonishing lack of proof that HIV causes harm (not a single paper demonstrating that this or any other retrovirus kills cells exists) an infinitely more likely interpretation is that as the drugs have been slowly reduced in toxicity, patients have naturally done better under their assault.
Initially death rates were high and death was quicker when AZT was prescribed in high doses, which was not surprising, since AZT had earlier been shelved as a tumor killer because it was rapidly more lethal to the patient than the cancers.
Since the AZT dose was reduced in the nineties as the new protease inhibitors were mixed into the new “cocktails”. life under standard HIV treatment naturally became better and longer, and by the time AZT was removed from the standard regimen in 2006, everybody was convinced that the newer drugs against HIV were more effective, rather than they simply had fewer side effects. The more sensitive patients still eventually die at a high rate in the end, the CDC shows: the current rate of US HIV/AIDS is still 17,000 a year.
This simple reasoning is not rocket science, yet the global HIV/AIDS army still uniformly follows the ideology of HIV/AIDS as posted on the Web site of NIAID, whose un-peer-reviewed pages currently serve as the impervious counter argument to any critique of HIV/AIDS lore. After earlier global conferences when anyone suggesting that it was more than HIV at fault was run out of town – including Luc Montagnier, the Frenchman who would eventually win the Nobel with his colleague at the Pasteur Institute for discovering HIV – there has been no discussion of any alternative to HIV for a decade.
Science by name calling
In the media, questioners of HIV seem to be routinely filed with climate change deniers, whether by reporters or defenders of the faith among scientists, the most prominent of whom wrote a notorious Op Ed piece in the Times labeling them “denialists” and the idea that HIV did not cause AIDS “deadly quackery”, “bizarre” and “dangerous” because one head of state, South Africa’s thoughtful Thabo Mbeki, became reluctant to authorize anti-HIV drugs until the contradictions in the standard dogma were explained.
This disrespect for opponents is an embarrassment to good scientists, who know that free exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of scientific progress, But it is also a signal that HIV/AIDS defenders do not have the answers. It is not just that they don’t have answers to the technical questions scientists might ask, such as how does HIV actually cause immune weakness, the central characteristic of “acquired immune deficiency syndrome”. It is that they cannot answer simple questions that occur to any layman who reads the New York Times on HIV/AIDS attentively.
More than one elephant in the room
Among the most obvious of these is the odd fact the HIV test is one that tests for antibodies, not HIV. Why is this? Because there is not enough HIV present in anybody to test for it directly. In fact, while billions have been spent in search of a vaccine for HIV, it is clear that HIV itself would do very well as a vaccine – against itself. Like any cold virus, three weeks after HIV enters the body, it has roused so many antibodies to rout it that it is effectively banished from the body and impossible to find.
Then there is the fact that supposedly the same disease has been concentrated in gays in the West for thirty years, while in Africa it has spread evenhandedly between the sexes. A related anomaly is that a supposedly transmissible disease which began with one million infected 25 years ago in the US infects no more today. Year after year, the CDC has recorded around one million HIV positives in the US, though it recently has raised its estimate to 1.2 million. The expected heterosexual epidemic has never transpired in this country.
This of course is not surprising when you consider that the HIV tests are for antibodies to HIV, and actual HIV is effectively absent from patients. HIV tests have to be for antibodies, since any HIV present is so negligible in quantity that it can only be detected with PCR, a special means of multiplying any vestigial HIV or its parts until it can be identified, which is like finding a single needle in a hayfield and multiplying it into a sackful.
In fact, the bottom line scientific truth, which by rights should bring all proceedings in Washington to a screeching halt, is this: a “positive HIV test” means you are actually HIV negative. No danger, no transmission.
25,000 chasing a phantom epidemic
So what attendees at the Washington Fair should be contemplating is the puzzle of why they are fighting what must be a phantom epidemic, since any transmission of HIV antibodies through sex is clearly impossible: your antibodies do not transmit to me or anyone else.
In fact, contrary to official propaganda warnings, science has confirmed that HIV positivity does not transmit through heterosexual sex. A leading HIV/AIDS research general, Nancy Padian, ran the largest study ever of discordant heterosexual couples (one positive, one negative) in California in the nineties for six years. Nearly fifty of the over four hundred couples took no precautions whatsoever, yet Padian was unable to record one single transmission.
The spectacle of 25,000 people pursuing a phantom epidemic while people suffer and die from ailments labeled HIV/AIDS which might be cured by different drugs and treatment, especially by better nutrition, always a key to a healthy immune system, would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic, and didn’t involve the misspending of billions of public and charity dollars and the waste of the energies of so many virtuously motivated people.
Those at the top of HIV/AIDS who have resisted so strenuously any outside review of their efforts have much to answer for. But it doesn’t look as if they will have to worry any time soon. So large is the system around the world that combines vast public funding and global bureaucracy, charity, health officials, health workers, medical providers, drug companies and activists that this Ship of Fools is probably now incapable of changing course, let alone turning and steaming back in the opposite direction.