Science Guardian

Truth, beauty and paradigm power in science and society

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

Supporting the right of exceptional minds to free speech, publication, media coverage and funding against the crowd prejudice, leadership resistance, monetary influences and internal professional politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, HIV(not)AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, information technology, religions and cults, health, medicine, diet and nutrition.

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

HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

Halton C. Arp wki/obit/txt/vds/txt/txt/bk/bk, Henry Bauer txt/blg/ blg/bks/bk/txt/bk/vd, John Beard bk, Harvey Bialy bk/bk/txt/txt/rdo/vd, John Bockris bio/txt/ltr/bk, Donald W. Braben, Peter Breggin ste/fb/col/bks, Darin Brown txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/vd, Giordano Bruno bk/bio/bio, Frank R. Buianouckas, Stanislav Burzynski mov, Erwin Chargaff bio/bk/bio/prs, James Chin bk/vd, Nicolaus Copernicus bk, Mark Craddock, Francis Crick vd, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw txt/bk, Roger Cunningham, Charles Darwin txts/bk, Erasmus Darwin txt//bk/txt/hse/bks, Peter Duesberg ste/ste/bk/txt/vd/vd, Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman bio, John Fewster, Rosalind Franklin, Bernard Forscher tx, Galileo Galilei, Walter Gilbert vd, Goethe bio/bk/bio, Nicolas Gonzalez tlk/rec/stetxt/txt, Patricia Goodson txt/bk/bk, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Etienne de Harven bk/txt/vd, Alfred Hassig intw/txt, Robert G. Houston txt, Steven Jonas vd, Edward Jenner txt, Benjamin Jesty, Adrian Kent vd, Thomas Kuhn, Fred Kummerow, Stefan Lanka txt/txt/vd, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen vd, Paul Lauterbur vd, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, James Lovelock, Andrew Maniotis, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, Christi Meyer vd, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Luc Montagnier txt/txt/vd, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling prs/vd/vd, Eric Penrose, Roger Penrose vd, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick bio/vd/bk, Robert Root-Bernstein vd, Sherwood Rowland, Otto Rossler, Harry Rubin, Marco Ruggiero txt/txt/intw/vd, Bertrand Russell Carl Sagan vd, Erwin Schrodinger, Fred Singer, Barbara Starfield txt, Gordon Stewart txt/txt, Richard Strohman, Thomas Szasz, Nicola Tesla bio/bio, Charles Thomas intw/vd, Frank Tipler, James Watson vd/vd, Alfred Wegener vd, Edward O. Wilson vd.

ACADEMICS, DOCTORS, AUTHORS, FILMMAKERS, REPORTERS AND COMMENTATORS WHO HAVE NOBLY AIDED REVIEW OF THE STATUS QUO

Jad Adams bk, Marci Angell bk/txt/txt/txt, Clark Baker ste/txt/rdo/vd, James Blodgett, Tony Brown vd, Hiram Caton txt/txt/txt/bk/ste, Jonathan Collin ste , Marcus Cohen, David Crowe vd, Margaret Cuomo, Stephen Davis BK/BK,/rdo, Michael Ellner vd, Elizabeth Ely txt/txt/ste, Epicurus, Dean Esmay, Celia Farber bio/txt/txt/txt/vd, Jonathan Fishbein txt/txt/wk, T.C.Fry, Michael Fumento, Max Gerson txt, Charles Geshekter vd, Michael Geiger, Roberto Giraldo, David Healy txt, Bob Herbert, Mike Hersee ste/rdo, Neville Hodgkinson txt /vd, James P. Hogan, Richard Horton bio/vd/vd, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Johnson, Claus Jensen vd, Phillip Johnson, Coleman Jones vds, William Donald Kelley, Ernst T. Krebs Sr txt, Ernst T. Krebs Jr. txt,/bio/txt/txt/ltr, Paul Krugman, Brett Leung MOV/ste/txt/txt/tx+vd/txt, Katie Leishman, Anthony Liversidge blg/intv/intv/txt/txts/txt/intv/txt/vd/vd, Bruce Livesey txt, James W. Loewen, Frank Lusardi, Nathaniel Lehrman vd, Christine Maggiore bk/ste/rec/rdo/vd, Rouben Mamoulian txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/doc/flm/flm, Noreen Martin vd, Robert Maver txt/itw, Eric Merola MOV, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Michael Moore bio/MOV/MOV/MOV, Gordon Moran, Ralph Nader bk, Ralph Moss txt/blg/ste/bks, Gary Null /txt/rdo/vd, Dan Olmsted wki, Toby Ord vd, Charles Ortleb bk/txt/bk/intw/flm, Neenyah Ostrom bk, Dennis Overbye, Mehmet Dr Oz vd, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos ste/vd, Maria Papagiannidou bk, Thomas Piketty bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk, Robert Pollin txt/vd/bk, Jon Rappoport bio/bk/bk/ste/bk/bk/vd, Janine Roberts bk/bk, Luis Sancho vd, Liam Scheff ste/txt/bk/bk/rdio/vd, John Scythes, Casper Schmidt txt/txt, Joan Shenton vd/vd, Joseph Sonnabend vd, John Stauber, David Steele, Joseph Stiglitz bk/txt, Will Storr rdo Wolfgang Streeck, James P. Tankersley ste, Gary Taubes vd, Mwizenge S. Tembo, John Tierney vd, Michael Tracey, Valendar Turner rec, Jesse Ventura bk, Michael Verney-Elliott bio/vds/vd, Voltaire, Walter Wagner, Andrew Weil vd, David Weinberger bio/bk/blg/blg/BK/bk/pds, Robert Willner bk/txt/txt/vd, Howard Zinn.

*****************************************************
I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. - Arthur Koestler

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison. – Bertrand Russell

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. - Samuel Johnson

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

An old error is always more popular than a new truth. — German Proverb

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

A clash of doctrines is not a disaster, but an opportunity. - Alfred North Whitehead

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. – Samuel Johnson

Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: “This is the cause!” – Leo Tolstoy

The evolution of the world tends to show the absolute importance of the category of the individual apart from the crowd. - Soren Kierkegaard

Who does not know the truth is simply a fool, yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal. – Bertold Brecht

How easily the learned give up the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of ideas in their imagination. – Adam Smith

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. – Mark Twain

The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. If we watch ourselves honestly, we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. – Arthur Koestler

Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech. – Mark Twain

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. - Adam Smith

There isn’t anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can’t believe it. – Mark Twain

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. – Voltaire

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.- Blaise Pascal.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. – Voltaire

The applause of a single human being is of great consequence. – Samuel Johnson

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Human Nature)

Important: This site is best viewed in LARGE FONT, and in Firefox for image title visibility (place cursor on pics to reveal comments) and layout display. Click the title of any post to get only that post and its Comments for printing. All posts guaranteed fact checked according to reference level cited, typically the original journal studies. Full guide to site purpose, layout and how to print posts out is in the lower blue section at the bottom of the home page.
---Admin AL/E/ILMK---

How the Times ignores the most blatant discrepancy in the AIDS story

The Times front page story today (Thu Oct 13) on “FDA to Weigh At-Home Testing for AIDS Virus” reveals that the drug regulators may allow home testing because they are nowadays less afraid that people will “panic and commit suicide” because “improved medicines now mean that AIDS is a chronic disease that can often be managed for years.”

According to this thinking, those who test positive for HIV antibodies may instead decide to “change their behaviors and stop infecting others”. The reporter, Gardiner Harris, records that “40,000 people each year continue to be infected with the AIDS virus”, that “this rate has remained stubbornly high for years” and that Dr. Freya Spielberg, a researcher at the Center for AIDS Research in Washington and evidently his source on the matter, informs him that “nearly a million” people in the US have the “HIV virus in their blood.”

In other words, the idea is that the somewhat less than a million people in the US that are counted as harboring the “HIV virus in their blood” even though they are simply tested for HIV antibodies with an admittedly rather unreliable test are blamed for keeping up the number by transferring the virus to 40,000 new people every year through sex, and this figure more or less equals the number

of HIV positives that die each year.

Incautious sex, in other words, tops up the total so that it remains the same, as it has done for twenty years, at around a million or fewer people who test positive.

We wonder what Freya Spielberg would say about the more than twenty papers by mainstream AIDS researchers in mainstream periodicals that we have pointed to earlier, which state quite clearly that the chances of HIV transmission in a single bout of heterosexual sex in one in 1000. Presumably she would have to say that the sex she has in mind is gay.

Therefore the entire news report actually concerns gay men, one would conclude, though nowhere is this indicated. This raises the question whether the credibility of the HIV?AIDS narrative is artificially enhanced by the politically correct avoidance of this point by the New York Times, which seems fairly consistent. It is “people” that are referred to throughout such reports as this one, removing the perception that the supposed transmissability problem is confined to gay sex in the US.

Thus the sharp contrast with the story of “AIDS” in the rest of the world, which is supposedly exclusively heterosexual in transmission, is hidden from Times readers by quiet omission. To our knowledge, the specific topic of this contrast has not ever been addressed by Times reporters.

Yet is there a more glaring discrepancy in the global AIDS pandemic story than this? As the reviewers have pointed out in the scientific literature for many years, one of the giant mysteries of the HIV virus is its extraordinary ability to affect only gay men in the US and Europe, while impartially infecting the rest of the world.

This virus can not only tell the difference between gay and straight men, but it can tell where it is, geographically!

Presumably it has some kind of internal GPS which detects the earth’s magnetic field, or else the position of the sun, or somesuch. Added to this, the nine kilobase HIV also has some means of detecting the gayness or straightness of its human host, presumably through detecting a genetic difference which thus far has eluded science.

We suggest that an application for research funds be made to the NIH immediately to pursue this phenomenon, which is of great social interest. Perhaps, guided by HIV, we may end up finding out the genetic basis for homsexuality.

(show)

The New York Times

October 13, 2005

F.D.A. to Weigh At-Home Testing for AIDS Virus

By GARDINER HARRIS

Federal drug regulators have agreed to consider allowing a Pennsylvania company to sell the first rapid, at-home AIDS test that would make testing for the virus about as easy and accessible as a pregnancy screen. The move could put to rest 18 years of controversy.

Officials at the Food and Drug Administration and AIDS advocates long worried that people who got an AIDS diagnosis would panic and even consider suicide. So for years, the federal drug officials have insisted that counseling and professional support accompany AIDS tests. This requirement has complicated proposals for at-home tests.

But improved medicines now mean that AIDS is a chronic disease that can often be managed for years, so the fear that a diagnosis might lead to thoughts of suicide have subsided. Just as important, 40,000 people each year continue to be infected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This rate has remained stubbornly high for years. Having tried many other strategies, federal health officials are now increasingly open to the idea that an at-home AIDS test could finally lead thousands to change their behaviors and stop infecting others.

“If we’re going to win the war against AIDS, we need to make HIV testing as easy as pregnancy testing,” said Dr. Freya Spielberg, a researcher in the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Washington.

A federal advisory board will discuss the proposal for an at-home AIDS test on Nov. 3. After that, the test’s maker, OraSure Techologies, based in Bethlehem, Pa., said that it would likely apply formally to sell the device over-the-counter.

The test, called OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-½ Antibody Test, is presently sold only to doctors and clinics. It has already proven to be effective, safe and easy to use. So the remaining hurdles are decisions by the F.D.A. about whether approving such a device is a good idea and whether people can understand the product’s label well enough to administer it to themselves.

A 1987 application for an at-home AIDS test kit led to years of controversy. At the time, AIDS advocates and public health officials predicted that such a test would cause widespread suicides, panic and a rush to public health clinics.

At hearings, AIDS advocates handed out copies of an obituary of a San Francisco man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge after discovering that he was infected with HIV. An official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the F.D.A. that such tests could lead to “a sudden increase in referrals to already overburdened health clinics,” according to an F.D.A. document.

Federal regulators stalled the application for nine years, and at-home AIDS testing never caught on.

Some AIDS advocates are now warily supportive of at-home testing.

“For people who don’t have access to a clinic or make a decision not to go to a clinic, this is better than nothing,” said Gregg Gonsalves of Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City, which opposed at-home AIDS testing 18 years ago and offers testing and counseling itself. “But it’s not a magic bullet.”

The switch by advocates is important. Politics have long played a crucial role in many F.D.A. decisions, according to longtime agency observers and previous agency officials. Recently, the agency decided to delay a decision on whether to allow over-the-counter sales of an emergency contraceptive. The decision was seen by some inside and outside of the agency as politically driven, and it led a top agency official to resign in protest.

Dr. Spielberg said that about a quarter of the nearly million people in the United States who have the HIV virus in their blood do not know that they are infected. And somewhere between 40 percent and 45 percent of those who test positive for HIV do so less than a year before they are diagnosed with AIDS.

Since an HIV infection often takes a decade to develop into full-blown AIDS, “this suggests that people are living with HIV, and spreading HIV for many years before they are aware of their infection,” she said.

Many of these people avoid getting tested in clinics for a variety of reasons, including fear of discovery and convenience, studies show. And many hate having to wait more than a week for a lab result, surveys show.

Dr. Spielberg said that she surveyed 240 people infected with HIV and found that more than half said that they would have preferred to have found out about their infection with a rapid at-home test.

Having a rapid, over-the-counter test widely available, Dr. Spielberg said, “is the most powerful strategy we have to bring down HIV infections.” People who find out that they are infected with HIV often change their sexual behavior to reduce further infections, she said.

By contrast, OraQuick requires a person to simply swab their gums and then place the swab in a holder. Twenty minutes later, a strip displays one line for a negative result and two lines for a positive one.

The argument against at-home tests has long been that they failed to ensure that patients would get adequate counseling. Activists now acknowledge that many people who get HIV tests in doctors’ offices get little or no counseling anyway.

“The counseling that now occurs is very short or abrupt in many settings,” said Gene Copello, executive director of The AIDS Institute, a Washington-based policy group.

Doug Michels, president and chief executive of OraSure, said he plans to include advice about counseling on OraQuick’s label. “It could be a hotline number, a 24-hour manned counseling center, Web support or printed material that is included in the product,” he said.

The company said it would include whatever the advisory committee and the F.D.A. deems is necessary, he said. The company now sells the device for between $12 and $17, although the price of an over-the-counter version has yet to be decided, Mr. Michels said.

* Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

2 Responses to “How the Times ignores the most blatant discrepancy in the AIDS story”

  1. Robert Houston Says:

    Truthseeker, your 3rd paragraph suggests that “40,000…more or less equals the number of HIV positives who die each year.” According to the CDC, that figure has remained at about 18,000 a year since 1999. (Click HERE for the CDC’s numbers.)

  2. Robert Houston Says:

    Your statement that I quoted above may well be correct, however, for you did not specify a disease. The CDC figure of 18,000 refers only to annual mortality from AIDS. HIV positives may well succumb to afflictions other than AIDS to total a higher figure, as you suggest. But this points to another major discrepancy in the AIDS situation.According to the CDC’s June 2005 update (at the link above), there are about 1.1 million Americans who are HIV positive (between 1 and 1.2 million). The 18,000 annual AIDS deaths would be only 1.6% of this population. This means an annual remainder of 98.4%. A simple calculation (.984^43=.50) shows that at this rate of attrition it would take about 43 years on average for the HIV positives to die from AIDS (i.e. for half of them to succumb to one of the 30 or so old diseases that are called AIDS if the patient is HIV positive). Over four decades!The median age of an initial HIV positive diagnosis is 37, based on the age distribution in the CDC data for 2003 (CDC, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2003, Table 1, p. 10). This means that the average age of death from AIDS would be about 80 (37+43). But this is more than the average American lifespan! In other words, a diagnosis of HIV in America is compatible with a normal lifespan, assuming the patient isn’t an early victim of overly aggressive antiretroviral treatment.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Bad Behavior has blocked 1246 access attempts in the last 7 days.