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Smokers, quit or you’ll likely be HIV positive


Smokers often score positive, another baffling paradigm mystery

Could it be the obvious? Not in HIV∫AIDS dreamland

While in the aftermath of the last post we can all contemplate the AIDS industry embarking on an “exciting” and no doubt expensive search for a reason for CD4 counts to go down other than HIV “viral load”, we can add one more possible reason why positive HIV tests may not mean what we think they mean.

Seems smokers (watch out, Martin!) are more like to be “at risk of HIV” than the rest of us, notes the newspaper of HIV∫AIDS record.

The study, which appears in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, says it is not clear why smokers would be more likely to become infected with the virus, H.I.V., than nonsmokers.

The difficulty the researchers have in explaining their finding is clear. Apparently their “broad review of earlier research” didn’t include calling up the Perth Group or reading their copious papers on test cross reactions.

They stumble from one speculation to the next, as they ignore the elephant in the room.

The study was based on a broad review of earlier research that looked at the relationship between smoking and H.I.V. or AIDS. The authors, led by Dr. Andrew Furber, a British researcher, said they had found a “striking” consistency in the evidence that smokers were more likely to become infected. They did not, however, find strong evidence that smoking made AIDS worse.

The whole performance reeks of the basic intellectual corruption of the entire field, which is never, ever question the basic premises of the paradigm, in this case that the tests reliably indicate the presence of “the virus that causes AIDS”.

We would suggest quite simply on the basis of everything else that has been established in correcting the HIV∫AIDS paradigm in every respect that there is some reaction that goes on in the body of a smoker which triggers a positive response on the few parameters involved in an HIV test. But heck, what do we know, before reading the paper, and seeing how much more often smokers score positive, which the Times item forgets to mention.

Only that the Perth Group has written papers counting as many as sixty sources of cross reaction leading to a false positive, and we do know for example that pregnant females tend to score positive much more often. In fact we suspect that simply being young and female sends scores up in South Africa, judging from the numbers they give us.

That pregnancy cross reaction is one of the factors that makes a mockery out of the WHO extrapolations of prevalence of HIV from a few neonatal clinics in Durban and Johannesburg to the entire population of the sub-Sahara, according to critics such as Rian Molan and the Perth Group, among others, whom we believe.

Just how reliable HIV tests really are is a topic worthy of expansion here, but we have to sign off at this moment.

The least we can say is, come on guys, wake up. Isn’t it obvious why smokers should rate positive more often, without any other correlation with “AIDS”? Either the tests aren’t accurate, or HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, or both.

(show)

The New York Times

September 26, 2006

Vital Signs

At Risk: Smoking Tied to Increased Risk of H.I.V.

By ERIC NAGOURNEY

Researchers have found that smokers may be at higher risk for becoming infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

The study, which appears in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, says it is not clear why smokers would be more likely to become infected with the virus, H.I.V., than nonsmokers.

But the authors pointed to growing evidence that smoking increases the risk of all types of infections, perhaps by changing the structure of the lung or weakening the immune system. They also noted that tobacco use tended to be higher among the groups of people most likely to get AIDS, like prostitutes.

AIDS and tobacco use, the study said, are the only two major causes of death that are on the rise, with tobacco projected to play a role in perhaps eight million deaths in a little over a decade.

The study was based on a broad review of earlier research that looked at the relationship between smoking and H.I.V. or AIDS. The authors, led by Dr. Andrew Furber, a British researcher, said they had found a “striking” consistency in the evidence that smokers were more likely to become infected. They did not, however, find strong evidence that smoking made AIDS worse.

“It may be the case,” they wrote, “that smoking contributes little to the risk of developing AIDS. This may be because the immune mechanisms that smoking affects are less relevant in progression to AIDS than in acquiring the infection in the first place.”

10 Responses to “Smokers, quit or you’ll likely be HIV positive”

  1. Martin Kessler Says:

    I’m shocked, just shocked that the “researchers” don’t even heed a fundamental rule of statistics: Correlation does not imply causation. It’s the first thing I learned in my statistics class a long time ago – it’s ignored time and time again to promote the prejudices of the “researcher” announcing their “finding”. Just because x correlates with y doesn’t mean that x causes y or y causes x – it might point to an avenue of research to test the hypothesis using a controlled experiment to find out. My first statistics teacher (who smoked) liked to her students an anecdote (the actual numbers are not really important): 95% of milk drinkers use heroin, 10% of marijuana users use heroin therefore milk causes people to go on to use heroin. Given enough data, one could have a ball correlating seemingly unrelated factors ad infinitum but what do you have? “A viral load of crap”. Think about it viral load and the so-called HIV tests are all correlational and have never been validated with a gold standard of viral isolation (unless someone out there has actually done it).

  2. try_harder Says:

    It is not that simple. you are right in saying correlations do not mean much but then your comment about isolation misses the point.

    In social sciences you can never isolate anything or experiment on anything. Yet, by carefully designing your experiments and studying your correlations you might be able to draw some conclusions that will help you make decisions in the future. the trick is to ‘control’ for other factors that may be associated with your variables of interest. here, for example, in order to convince anyone that smoking by itself is likely to result in a positive test you would have to control for other factors that might cause test to be positive and are correlated with smoking. the orthodoxy could argue for example that smoking or alcohol on their own are irrelavant and they only way they enter the picture is for example that smoking/drinking individuals have particular sexual habits. not so har to imagine – esp with alcohol. then theu would argue the correlation that you observe is spurious.

    so it may well be true smoking plays a role but one cannot argue it on the basis of simple correlation indeed. but I would expect that even if you controlled for other factors smoking would play a role because of its widely known impacts on health in general.

  3. jspreen Says:

    but I would expect that even if you controlled for other factors smoking would play a role because of its widely known impacts on health in general.

    The impact of smoking on health is as widely known as the formula HIV=Aids and … just as false. I think there may be a great future in applying the formula:

    Widely known=biased .

    Huh? You said? Yeah, my formula might not be very commercial, I agree. But is it a reason to drop it?

  4. MacDonald Says:

    It may well be that the researchers have to fall back on a ‘spurious correlation’ explanation between smoking and HIV infection.

    However, Martin Kessler is correct in calling this a ‘prejudiced finding’. From what we can read above, the researchers definitely want to suggest a solid causal relation, not just correlation, between smoking and contracting the virus that causes AIDS. Here is the paragraph showing that:

    But the authors pointed to growing evidence that smoking increases the risk of all types of infections, perhaps by changing the structure of the lung or weakening the immune system.

    As for ‘controlling other factors’, the researchers have already shown their hand in their choice of example:

    They also noted that tobacco use tended to be higher among the groups of people most likely to get AIDS, like prostitutes

    So now all we’ve got to do to test the hypothesis is to find prostitutes who smoke but don’t have sex with multiple partners, or IV drug users who don’t inject.

    That’s almost as easy as comparing prostitutes and drug users who don’t smoke, to their counterparts who do smoke, while ‘controlling’ their defining risk behaviour in such a way that statistically meaningful conclusions can be drawn.

    I’m sure there’s a gazilion taxpayer $$$ just begging to be put to such worthwhile use.

    But the real beauty of the piece is the last remark. Notice the words in bold, they tell us all we need to know about HIV ‘Science’:

    “It may be the case,” they wrote, “that smoking contributes little to the risk of developing AIDS. This may be because the immune mechanisms that smoking affects are less relevant in progression to AIDS than in acquiring the infection in the first place.”

  5. try_harder Says:

    jspreen, with all respect you do not have to question everything just because you question hiv/aids–serves the rethinkers movement no good. this is why it is hard to convince people that the hiv/aids may be rubbish – it is enough to see jspreen questioning that smoking ain’t good. believe you me i have not read it the papers but listened to my own body and observed the bodies of my loved ones to be absolutely sure that smoking may cut your life short. i would fully expect smokers to be less immune than others whatever the status of hiv/aids. cheers

  6. mark Says:

    Also, it has been presented ad nauseum that smokers have higher CD4 counts than the general population (just google it). If this is so, the paradigm of more T-cells = less AIDS is suspect. Could T-cells join viral load in the dust bin of HIV markers?

  7. jspreen Says:

    smoking may cut your life short

    Absolutely anything may cut your life short. It’s not the cigarette smoke itself, it’s the way you look at it. If you fear it, it’s bad. Fear is the keyword, not the smoke. Anyway, you think it’s bad for you health? Then stop!

    jspreen, with all respect you do not have to question everything just because you question hiv/aids

    But it’s the other way around! I stumbled on the whole Aids issue only because I had already come to the conclusion that our modern science of diseases is nonsense. Practically all of it. The HIV=Aids=Death scam can only exists in a society of rotten politics, scienctists, journalists, etc.

  8. Gene Semon Says:

    And don’t forget the obvious: smoking and free radical pathology. If jspreen can provide some evidence re “no fear” and redox balancing, it would be helpful.

  9. Martel Says:

    This article is really rich. Basically, it’s the result of a literature search. After looking at 3718 (!!) studies presented in the literature, the authors whittled down the ones they actually read to 49, then 15. Nine studies measured progression to AIDS, five looked at seroconversion, and one examined both. The consensus of the progression studies was: smoking doesn’t accelerate AIDS. For HIV infection, five of the six serconversion studies suggested some influence.

    But here’s the fun part: First, the authors state that “the methodology necessarily used…is unable to demonstrate causal relationships and prone to confounding.” Second, they mention the relative quality of prospective studies compared with cross-sectional studies, and mention that, “The only truly prospective study found no association” between smoking and HIV seroconversion.

    Just in case anyone is still convinced by the “data,” the authors go on to nitpick even further. They admit that important factors such as “sexual behavior” and smoking are self-reported in all of these studies; current smoking status is not verified biochemically; astoundingly, people who do not currently smoke (or even say they don’t) are not classified as smokers, even though they may have been 3-packers during the time when they were infected.

    But not only do you have potential “misclassification bias,” there’s also the “publication bias.” I thought that wasn’t supposed to exist in the rarified air of objective scientific inquiry! Check out these revealing words: “publication bias cannot be ruled out. Investigators who did not find an association between smoking and HIV seroconversion may not have tried or have been able to publish their findings.” I.e., if they didn’t get the “right” result, they couldn’t have been right. Yet one study–that pesky one with the best methodology that found no association–somehow got published.

    So let’s get this straight: the data aren’t new; the studies are all flawed, perhaps hopelessly; and the best one shows no association between smoking and HIV. Naturally, the authors and the media jump to the twin conclusions that smoking must predispose to HIV infection and that MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED.

    It’s not Big Tobacco that’s messing with people’s heads and lives; it’s Big Science.

  10. jspreen Says:

    If jspreen can provide some evidence

    Evidence? I don’t know anymore what evidence is and I think that evidence only becomes evidence when you leave out everything that contradicts a particular point if view. Anyway, maybe the following can help (quote from an interview with Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer):

    Dr. Hamer, what role is played by carcinogenic substances, and can healthy nutrition prevent or hinder cancer?
    Carcinogenic substances do not exist! Scientists have experimented on so many animals and never found anything that caused cancer. The following idiotic experiment was conducted with rats: for a whole year the rats had concentrated formaldehyde sprayed into their noses, a substance they would normally avoid. These poor animals got mucous membrane cancer in their noses. They did not get it from the formaldehyde but because they couldn’t stand the formaldehyde and ended up with a DHS, a biological conflict, because they didn’t want to smell the substance!
    It is also known that organs, whose nerve connections to the brain have been interrupted, cannot produce cancer.
    Nevertheless, more than 1,500 allegedly carcinogenic substances have been found through unnecessary animal experiments. This does not mean that these substances are not poisonous for us, but they do not cause cancer, at least not past our brain. Up until now it was thought that cancer was the result of an organ’s wildly growing cells. The assumptions that smoking causes cancer or that Anillin causes cancer are all pure hypothesis and have never been proven and cannot be demonstrated. On the contrary, one experiment with 6,000 hamsters confined with cigarette smoke and 6,000 hamsters which stayed clear of smoke for six years, showed the opposite. The smoke-confined animals lived longer. They overlooked the fact that hamsters don’t get frightened by smoke since they live underground and Mother Nature did not see the need for a coded warning sign in their brains.
    It’s the opposite with house mice; they will run in total death-panic from any smoke. During the Middle Ages one could be sure there was a fire if a lot of mice were seen coming out of a house. In house mice, pulmonary cancer can be induced by a sudden death-fear panic caused by smoke.
    These examples should demonstrate that all the experiments with animals being done today are nothing but torture for them and only because no one considers that an animal has a soul. In summary, there is absolutely no proof that carcinogenic substances work directly on the organs past the brain.

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