PBS Newshour and Frontline serve as national platform for scientific fantasy
“This is not love”: wife discovers with horror her new husband’s hidden test result
Importance of testing all Afro-Americans stated
Next week’s global AIDS meet in Washington will dump all this irrationality and more on our doorstep
Exciting drama tonight presented on PBS Newshour and Frontline (Tues Jul 10), stamped with all the authority of public television and its reputation for evading commercial sales pitches, and Frontline’s sterling record in exposing misguided government and weak business ethics. Who else can we rely on these days for telling it like it is on tv, in balanced and objective reporting, informed by the best government and professional sources?
And what is the story presented on television’s most respected current affairs documentary platform? It is two hours centered on how and why the blacks are catching up with gays in scoring the most positive HIV antibody tests, and how this public health problem is now the major sector of expansion of a deadly disease that the rest of us have been lulled into thinking is pretty much dealt with, with treatment now allowing people with HIV/AIDS to lead “long and happy lives”.
Spinning the HIV/AIDS yarn to reel in black supplicants
Every doctor, priest and shaman must have a story to engage and cowe his audience, and this is the one offered to all who test “HIV positive” (in fact, they test harmlessly HIV antibody positive, with a test that cross reacts with everything under the kitchen sink and proves the presence of anything but HIV, please see package insert, ask the druggist for it, they usually withhold such alarming notices from the general public as a favor to the physicians) by the scientists and bureaucrats and AIDS workers who are now rebuilding their congregation by labeling African Americans “HIV positive”, a fantasy condition actually unknown to good proven science.
PBS Newshour and even the otherwise reliable Frontline join the New York Times in serving as propaganda machines trumpeting this nonsense to their trusting flock. One wonders where their public responsibility begins and ends when they so easily endorse the claims of scientists while double checking the claims of everybody else, including bankers, bureaucrats and government officials.
The message: blacks are the new gays in HIV/AIDS
First we are served up a segment of the ominously titled Endgame:AIDS in Black America, the Frontline two hour report, on PBS Newshour, where our resident intrepid presenter, none other than the charming Gwen “roll-over-and-tickle me” Ifill, notes this supposed alarming statistical development of the last few years, and asks an African-American spokesman to explain what it is about American blacks that has led to this disproportinate rise in “HIV infection” among blacks, which is seen particularly, of late, among heterosexual African-American women.
Nell’s awful discovery busts her new marriage
With that lead in we then have two hours of a Frontline special featuring one sad story after another, beginning with the one highlighted in the Newshour. The newly married Nell, a very respectable and amiable mother of five and grandmother of seventeen, one day felt a strange burning urge to look inside a Certified Blood Bank envelope she found among her latest husband’s effects. The envelope fell out of his bedside Bible while she was making the bed, and it was addressed to him a year before their wedding.
The letter turned out to have informed him and now her, she says, that he had been “diagnosed with HIV/AIDS”. The unfortunate husband, “a man she trusted and a Deacon in her church,”, as Gwen puts it on the Newshour, at first denied there was anything when she asked if he had forgotten to tell her everything about himself. Then she showed him the letter.
Now feeling fully informed, Nell recalled that indeed she was sick all the time they honeymooned in Disney World. “After the honeymoon months went by and Nell didn’t feel any better” croons the subdued female voiceover in the Frontline segment, “but she settled into married life.” Then one morning she found the envelope…and “I read it and read it and could not believe it.”
The letter (displayed on camera) had informed her husband that he “most likely has been exposed” to the AIDS virus and that the “virus is present in your body. You must assume that you are infectious and may give the virus to others. The positive test result does not mean that you have AIDS now nor that you will definitely develop AIDS in the future.”
The first two out of those four statements are of course entirely incorrect, according to the AIDS literature. A positive result for antibodies, which is what the tests test for, means that the virus is effectively absent, and Nancy Padian, celebrated HIV/AIDS research general, showed us seventeen years ago that HIV is effectively non transmissible among healthy heterosexuals.
Now Nell’s happy home is a smoking ruin, it seems. Before this catastrophic labeling Nell had been delighted with her new consort’s lively company. “We had a lot in common, a great sense of humor and we liked to do things together”, she says, pausing, overcome with emotion, twice in telling her story. Apparently she has lost all of that – the basis of a fine marriage, now beyond retrieval. Her husband’s face is blurred out in the photos of them together.
Having accepted the story she has been sold by the HIV/AIDS establishment, Nell is outraged. Her ex-husband gets it in the neck on national television. It was the “worst kind of betrayal anyone could do to anybody. This is not love”, she says, emanating decency and respectability from every pore.
But this is not all. Two weeks later, announces Gwen, Nell found that she too was HIV positive, joining the “more than one million Americans living with HIV, with one new diagnosis every ten minutes. Government statistics show that more than half are black.” This picture is then fleshed out for two hours in Frontline from 9pm till 11pm.
Phill Wilson explains the epidemiology
But first, we will have a talking head on PBS Newshour who tells Gwen the answer to the question we all want to know, why are blacks doing so badly in their HIV/AIDS testing? We have the honor of having this explained by Phill Wilson, in grey jacket, white shirt and black and white striped tie, with a looped pink ribbon in his lapel – is he unaware that the Black AIDS ribbon has black at the top? – who founded and now directs the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles.
Why are so many blacks testing HIV positive? Mr Wilson has the answer. He informs us they are just catching up, after a time when AIDS was “mischaracterized” as a white, gay disease, so black testing and counterneasures got off to “a slow start… the virus had a chance to take hold in our community and we have been playing catchup”. There was a lack of “leadership” till now.
How about stigma, asks Gwen, “the secret keeping, the fear”? Phill’s answer is Yes, blacks depend on their community more and suffer more when its support is withdrawn. “This undermines our ability to talk about HIV in an appropriate manner.”
“So when did this disease go from affecting white gay males to affecting women and children more broadly?” asks Gwen, apparently unwilling to say the word black in this context. Oh no, that was happening at the very beginning of AIDS avers Phill. “Black people were disproportionately impacted. They were 25% of the cases in the early early days and black women were always disproportionately impacted.”
Gwen asks about how things are going now and Phill smoothly delivers further placebos about how there is now more leadership doing a good job etc so she suggests that perhaps the case of Magic Johnson, who announced so long ago that he was HIV positive but is still doing so well, has lulled the black population into an overconfident stupor about the risks attached to HIV. “Did people say ‘Well Magic’s fine so it must be fine’?”.
The importance of HIV tests for all blacks
Phill smothers this line of thought with more cotton wool (“Well I actually think that the work that Magic has done and is doing is really important”) and then steps up to the plate and manfully announces that “Here’s the deal, we can win this battle, we actually can end the epidemic in the black community, Together we are greater than AIDS.”
“But there are two things we have to do. One we have to get informed about this disease, which is a powerful tool. Two, we have to get tested. There is no reason why we don’t know our HIV status. Last week the FDA approved an at home test. Today it’s never been easier or more important to know your HIV status. The next message is that treatments are available. I’ve been living with HIV for 32 years now. Magic is alive today. I am alive today, because we are on treatment.
“The other part of the story is that people are still dying of AIDS that are not on treatment. Magic is saying you can still live your life if you do something and that is an important message that we need to spread in our community.” And why is this message important? “If someone like me who is HIV positive goes on treatment we can actually reduce our ability to transmit the virus by 96 per cent. That’s huge. That’s a game changer.”
In other words, get tested, and if positive, get on the drugs, which according to the CDC are still killing around 17,000 people a year in this country. Oddly enough, most of them die of kidney damage and other ailments which are not among the symptoms blamed on HIV. They are the resuit of taking the drugs. But Phill Wilson has not considered this aspect of the story he has swallowed so easily, it seems clear.
An entire community under threat – from the armies of NIAID
Of course, the underlying real message is that if all goes according to the story that the black community is being sold by its own leaders courtesy of PBS, the entire black population will be tested by a test which shows nothing about HIV status (it is for antibodies to the virus which has thus effectively gone from the body if it ever was there) and instead of taking a positive test as welcome evidence that they are now immune to HIV, even if it was a threat to health which the best science says it is not, they will follow Magic Johnson and Phill Wilson into the welcoming arms of the medicopharma industry.
Any representatives of this particular branch of that ever expanding industry watching must have rubbed their hands in glee at such powerful advertising for their typically useless and dangerous products in HIV/AIDS, not to mention the following two hours of Frontline which amounted to further unremitting propaganda for recruiting blacks to run like lemmings over the HIV/AIDS cliff.
Well timed for the Washington Conference
But of course this is all part of the lead in to this year’s Global AIDS Conference 2012, to be held two weeks from now in the convenient location of Washington DC, where Anthony Fauci rules the HIV/AIDS globe from his headquarters at NIAID.
We can expect many more stories retailing his grossly unscientific assertions on public radio and television, and of course in the fellow traveling New York Times, before Sunday July 22, when the well funded extravaganza begins. By then, the whole nation and world will be as convinced as black Americans that home tests for HIV, however inaccurate and misleading in their results, are the latest step forward in defeating a dreadful disease that somehow never appears in healthy people without them taking damaging drugs, either recreational or provided by the pharma industry on the say so of Dr Anthony Fauci and his HIV/AIDS army.
Meanwhile the scientific literature clearly states that the whole story is a crock, and that all we need to cure HIV/AIDS is stop believing in scientific nonsense and treat people for the ailments they do have, currently mislabeled as HIV/AIDS. But any such suggestion is unlikely to receive a hearing at the XIX Global AIDS Conference, where the speakers will include such “Prominent Voices” among “Leaders from the worlds of science, diplomacy, politics, philanthropy and entertainment ” as President Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, HRH Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, Philanthropist Bill Gates, Humanitarian Elton John and Actress Whoopi Goldberg.
All of these will be covered in glory for standing up for the victims of HIV, and their interest in having the science corrected at the expense of their own reputations, even if it might actually help to save souls from the jaws of this fantastical global dragon, is likely to be minimal at best.
However, President Obama will be absent, sending a video in his stead for the 25,000 attendees to watch. But he and Michelle will welcome key figures from the Conference to a special reception at the White House.