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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.

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The key point in the Farber-Harpers vs AIDS Church dispute

So why do the drugs appear to work very well?

Only one point in all the blog crowd response seems to us to be worth anything at all, and that is precisely what Jim Watson said to this writer when asked if he didn’t think he had misjudged HIV?AIDS. He replied, “but the (new) drugs work, don’t they?”

There it is time and again in the blog comments, we see, and the same point was repeatedly made to us in Washington last week, often with great force of conviction. Indeed, any skeptic is constantly told this by people who have dealt with HIV?AIDS patients as doctor, nurse, friend or social worker, that in their experience the drugs have worked, and this surely suggests they are directed at the right target.

Here is the latest letter in the POZ comment column, voicing precisely this point.

From Harry Wingfield, Birmingham, AL:

As a person who has lived with AIDS since 1990, my personal experience is that I was extremely ill until I got on the right regimen of HIV medications. I was too ill to work, and was on disability for 12 years. In 2002, thanks to antiretroviral medications, I was well enough to return to full time work again, and continue to work full time and stay healthy today.

Good diet and nutrition have also contributed to my health, but I give the major credit to finding the right combination of HIV medications. Some that I tried proved to be too toxic for my system, but with plenty of choices available, my doctors and I have found the right “cocktail” to keep me in good health. On the one occasion that I did go off medication, my health began to plummet again until I started the medicines back again.

I’ll leave it to the scientists to debate what causes HIV and AIDS. My experience, however, has been that the medicines that fight the HIV virus are responsible for my current good health. Simple logic tells me that the virus must be what has caused me to be sick.

Often they testify that patients virtually leap out of bed and climb mountains as soon as they are dosed with HAART. What have the HIV critics to say in answer to this point? Not enough, we have found in the past. They have three or four responses, but insufficient, and sound somewhat at a loss to account for it. Naturally, believers in HIV then dismiss them and all their otherwise copious reasoning and evidence against the prevailing paradigm.

But with all reason and evidence otherwise against it, as Duesberg has continually shown, without genuine refutation, it is impossible to accept that HIV is the correct target for medication after all, and that Duesberg despite his extraordinary crednetials and peer reviewed, superbly written testimony is really an ass. This seems as incredible to us as the HIV supporters find any challenge to HIV.

Currently, the HIV critics answer to this is largely not to fully credit the improvement, it seems to us. Their explanation for the apparently beneficial effect of antiretrovirals consists of four points. That a) it is a psychological effect rather than an actual bodily effect b) the antiretroviral agents erase some of the other viruses that actually are causing a problem, in the wake immune dysfunction c) it provokes the generation of antibodies which in itself makes people feel better and d) the temporary relative improvement does not last and the long term death rate is the same as before.

In the face of radical improvment in patients’ feeling of well being, which has clearly been observed time and again by people in the field, HIV critics have long clearly needed more cards in their hand, as Jim Watson observed.

We think we have this answer, which we will call Factor X, and as noted in the last post, we think the answer to AIDS is clearly indicated now in the scientific literature, and Factor X is part of this answer. We will post on it shortly.

Whatever the explanation, one thing is certain. This is currently the crucial issue in the minds of most lay observers of the highly contentious difference of opinion on HIV and AIDS.

Unless the objection of Watson – “the drugs work, don’t they?” – is laid to rest, critics of HIV?AIDS will always have a tough time persuading the world that they are right.

3 Responses to “The key point in the Farber-Harpers vs AIDS Church dispute”

  1. Joperd Says:

    What are the chances of a hypothesis like “HIV + Something Else -> AIDS” turning out to be correct?

  2. truthseeker Says:

    The truth appears to be Something Else -> AIDS with HIV not in the equation in any meaningful causal way. AIDS now is mostly relabeling other ailments, but re AIDS in the beginning in the US it is possible to give an account as to what Something Else really was, and what its cure would be.Something you can buy at the drugstore and keep on your shelf.

  3. noreen martin Says:

    As having been classified with full blown AIDS, I can appreciate when someone says that the anti-virals helped them. However, I do not believe that it is so cut and dry meaning, AIDS in itself is just a reclassification of numerous diseases from the past.

    It does seem somewhat logical to call a group of sickness which are severely affecting one’s immunity, AIDS, instead of listing a bunch of medical diseases. When someone hears the term AIDS, they immediately know that the person is very ill or has been.

    If someone have viruses which are pulling their immunity down, then the anti-viral medications will help. But most of the time, other things are involved such as pneumonia requiring antibotics or candidadis requiring anti-fungal medications. Generally, an AIDS patient are on other medications besides the anti-virals.

    Aids, I believe, is due to many factors such as drug use (legal and otherwise), health habits of the person, past medical problems, environmental influences, malnutrition, severe stress and various diseases.

    I had numerous viruses that is why the anti-viral medications worked. However, in the past I also had cancer and radiation treatments. What do you think would have happened if I had stayed on the radiation treatments for the rest of my life.

    Currently, I am not on the anti-virals and feel fine. I believe in only taking medicine when it is absolutely necessary as a person cannot be medicated or vaccinated into health or else Americans would be the healthiest people on the planet, we certainly are the most medicated.

    The best medical advice is from the old Star Trek classics from Dr. Bones McCoy, “Eat right and exercise”, probably the all-time, best, medical advice.

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