Saturday, April 07, 2007
A Review of Duesberg’s Inventing the AIDS Virus
Paul & Kelly Brennan-Jones
Over a half a million people have died already of “AIDS” – which appears to be a collection of illnesses brought about by some combination of recreational drugs, poor nutrition, and/or medically prescribed drugs to treat the very disease, immune suppression, the drugs themselves induce. Of the two hypotheses about AIDS, the toxicity hypothesis accounts for a greater amount of disparate data than the HIV hypothesis. The HIV hypothesis does not even come close. Indeed, Duesberg’s 1996 book “Inventing the AIDS virus” eviscerates the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. Along the way, Duesberg has provided a fascinating and well-written account of the perfect storm that resulted in the adoption of the HIV-AIDS orthodoxy.
Here are some of the more salient points that we gleaned from his book:
1. The pathogenesis of HIV — whether and how it leads to AIDS — has never been demonstrated empirically; most troubling is that the data violate all three of Koch’s postulates.
2. Postulate #1 – “The microbe must be found in all cases of the disease.” The problem is no study has ever established the necessary presence of HIV in patients or in the diseased tissue in particular; moreover, there are thousands of people with AIDS-defining diseases who do not test positive for HIV. (The CDC invented a new label for such cases, ‘idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia.’).
3. Postulate #2 – “The microbe must be isolated from the host and grown in pure culture.” HIV has never been purified from any one patient in the usual way; the virus has appeared in the lab only after taking millions of white blood cells from an HIV positive person and reactivating the virus by shocking the cells into awakening the dormant HIV. Even then, the reactivated HIV doesn’t necessarily infect the remaining cells in the culture, so the virus is hard to maintain in lab cultures.
4. Postulate #3 – “The purified germ must cause the disease again in another host.” Injecting blood from AIDS patients into closely related species, such as chimpanzees, has failed to induce AIDS, even after 10 plus years (since 1984). Accidental or natural HIV infection of humans (e.g., healthcare workers, blood transfusion recipients) has also failed to yield a later AIDS diagnosis, in the absence of AIDS “treatment” in the form of prescription medication. Finally, where is the vaccine for HIV that would prevent AIDS? Vaccines work by tricking the body into producing antibodies to the virus to prevent reinfection. HIV positive individuals already have antibodies to the virus, so of course, logically, that dormant virus cannot lead to later disease, making a vaccine moot.
5. There is no precedent for a “slow virus” that invades (causing few if any symptoms upon initial infection), lies dormant for long periods of time to later cause serious illness in the absence of reactivation of the virus.
6. There are so-called “long-term survivors” who are HIV positive but never develop AIDS (and they don’t do recreational drugs or take the prescribed ‘treatment’).
7. The HIV test checks for the presence of antibodies, which at best (because of the issue of cross-reactions) indicate that the person has been previously exposed to the virus. It says nothing about current infection. Moreover, a strong antibody response normally means immunity to the virus.
8. HIV tests are notoriously unreliable, and people can get falsely positive outcomes for lots of reasons (e.g., being pregnant, having the flu or a flu shot, having auto-immune diseases).
9. Not all viruses cause disease, and some, like HIV, are harmless passenger viruses that show up in epidemiological studies as correlated with AIDS.
10. Accordingly, longitudinal studies have documented lowered white-blood cell counts precede HIV infection, which seems to preclude a causal role for HIV in suppressing immune functioning.
11. No study has established the heterosexual transmissibility of HIV; statistically, it takes, on average, more than 1,000 instances of sexual intercourse with an HIV positive person to contract HIV (or 275,000 instances of intercourse with people whose HIV status is not known). (These statistics are drawn from Padian’s 1997 study of female sexual partners of male HIV positive hemophiliacs; zero instances of transmission were found, despite a lot of unsafe sex. Furthermore, the risk of female-to-male transmission is estimated to be even less – about 1 in 10,000.) Most STDs, like gonorrhea or syphilis, are transmitted at a rate of 1 in 2 per sexual contact. Most STDs quickly spread to both genders, and are rampant among teenagers; neither is the case with HIV.
12. In the US and Europe, AIDS cases are overwhelmingly concentrated in a few high-risk groups (gay men with a history of heavy drug use, intravenous drug users, chronic users of drugs that were not injected, babies of hard-core drug using women, and hemophiliacs who have taken unpurified blood clotting factor and/or who have taken AZT); if AIDS were infectious, then it would be distributed more evenly without regard to demographic factors.
13. AIDS diseases tend to be specific to various high-risk groups. For example, gay men (who tend to use nitrate inhalants) overwhelmingly developed pulmonary Kaposi’s sarcoma; cocaine users tend to get pneumonia; heroin users tend to get tuberculosis; hemophiliacs taking unpurified blood clotting factor tend to get pneumonia; “AIDS” diseases in Africa tend to be the same diseases that are common to the region (TB, malaria, ‘Slim’ disease, a synonym for ‘wasting’ which is apparently taken to be synonymous with AIDS by the locals), etc.;
14. In Africa, “AIDS” is distributed fairly evenly between the sexes (often slightly more prevalent among women), but is defined differently than in the US or Europe. In Africa, where HIV tests are generally too expensive to use, one can be considered to have “AIDS” (by World Health Organization standards) if three of the following symptoms are observed: weight loss of greater than 10% in the last two months, fever, diarrhea, persistent cough, itchy rash. These symptoms also correspond to local diseases — such as tuberculosis and malaria — that are a common result of poor nutrition, poor sanitation, and unsafe drinking water. At any rate, people are not dying in Africa in greater numbers than they ever have and the populations of most African countries are still increasing at a rapid rate. Claiming AIDS makes relief money flow. Unfortunately, money that should be spent to create safe water sources, improve sanitation, and support local food production are instead being spent ..” in the form of useless condoms, abstinence-education programs, or distribution of anti-retrovirals and infant formula.
15. The thirty or so diseases combined under the AIDS umbrella in most wealthy countries are so vastly different that only the presence of HIV unites them. They don’t even all involve the immune system (e.g., Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphoma, and cervical cancer) despite the name AIDS — which stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Even worse, the same disease gets classified one way if the person is HIV negative (e.g., tuberculosis) and another way if the person is HIV positive (e.g., AIDS). As another example, if a person has Kaposi’s sarcoma but is not HIV positive, then they are simply categorized as having cancer. This practice artificially conflates AIDS with HIV, making the correlation appear much stronger than it is.
16. The Centers for Disease Control has changed the definition of AIDS several times, always including more diseases in the AIDS umbrella. Each time a disease is added, more people are included as having “AIDS” or, if they died, are added to the AIDS mortality rate. Some diseases, like cervical cancer, appear to have been added merely to increase the number of women with AIDS, and had the impact of doctoring the statistics to make AIDS appear “infectious” — as if it is spreading to females. In 1993, the definition was even included to add one “non-disease” condition – abnormally low CD4 cell counts without an AIDS defining illness; the majority of new AIDS diagnoses are in this category of people who may be perfectly healthy at the time of diagnosis. This addition served to instantly double the number of “AIDS” cases.
17. HIV is a retrovirus that depends on the cells it invades to stay alive; it is illogical to suppose that retroviruses kill cells. Why would a virus kill its host? In addition, retroviruses, according to Duesberg, are normally transmitted harmlessly from mother to child, too;
18. HIV is an old virus, yet the proportion of people in the population who are HIV positive (about 1 million in the US population, 36 million worldwide) has not deviated since first tested in 1984;
19. The hypothesis that HIV leads to AIDS is incompatible with the fact that the prevalence of HIV-infected people has stayed constant while the incidence of AIDS cases rapidly spiked and then fell (in the 1990’s). If HIV causes AIDS, then the number of HIV infections should have similarly peaked at some point prior to the peak in AIDS cases.
20. The spike in AIDS deaths corresponds to AZT prescription. AZT is a DNA-chain terminator developed and abandoned as too deadly for even short-term treatment of cancer. Like all chemotherapy, AZT kills cells. Let’s examine the logic – HIV is supposed to kill cells, so let’s treat it by administering a drug that kills cells. People who take AZT tend to get AIDS; when people stop taking the prescription, they tend to spontaneously go into remission. Other AIDS drugs work similarly, and are now being given to pregnant women and newborn infants to combat a harmless retrovirus. But the “cure” is toxic.
The weird part of this story is how the announcement of a premature, untested hypothesis (made jointly by NIH scientist Robert Gallo and Heath & Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler at a press conference in 1984) snowballed into the current multi-billion-dollar-a-year AIDS industry. Duesberg’s chapters on the politics of science, the CDC, NIH, & FDA, are fascinating. The story of the CDC’s origins and their “intelligence officers” was truly scary. Most of all, the stories of scientists turning their backs on disinterested scholarship read like something out of the old Soviet-bloc countries. There was an astonishing closing of ranks, with AIDS dissidents expelled from the scientific community as social deviates, “deniers” (as in Holocaust deniers). AIDS dissidents were (and still are) denied grants to study alternative hypotheses, they were denied publication in journals, and were even denied the opportunity to debate in public. (Were it not for tenure, we’re sure they would have all lost their jobs.) This is not how science is supposed to work. And when the mainstream media bothers to cover the issue at all, the controversy is misrepresented altogether, and AIDS dissidents are subjected to a tirade of ad hominem arguments. Such frenzied, hysterical reaction is similar to that experienced by individuals with the temerity to merely question the official account of 9/11; these dissidents are ostracized or ridiculed but not properly confronted and debated.
A special note is in order about the misuse of science for population control as well as control of people’s sexuality. We know from additional research that some population groups (e.g., African-Americans) are more likely to test positive for HIV. Thus, intentionally or not, these groups are then disproportionately represented in the “treatment” population, an outcome tantamount to medical eugenics, given the inevitable outcome of taking AZT. The same can be said for gay men and drug users; both are more likely to test positive and are therefore similarly targeted for DNA-chain terminators. As if that weren’t enough, it’s no longer safe to be HIV negative – if you’re male. We are now being asked to embrace the idea that male circumcision should be instituted as a prophylactic against contraction of HIV. This idea, besides being socially sanctioned lunacy, ignores the fact that removal of the foreskin significantly diminishes sexual pleasure and functioning. In addition to circumcised men experiencing a loss of pleasure and greater erectile dysfunction, their partners are likely to find sex less pleasurable as well. Indeed, circumcised men may have more difficulty finding willing mates given that they had a significant portion of their genitals amputated. Mass circumcision is also tantamount to government control of sexuality and by extension, reproduction. Prophylactic circumcision harks back to the inventive medical treatments championed in the Middle Ages, such as bloodletting. This so-called “surgical HIV vaccination,” which started with African men, can now be used to target any HIV-negative man. How convenient. Why stop there? Why not circumcise women, too? And why not start younger? Perhaps even full-scale removal of all infant genitals as a means of preventing AIDS, cervical, and prostate cancer. Such an approach has the added advantage of controlling population growth as well. Even with male circumcision, we’re told that condoms are still necessary to prevent HIV transmission. Condoms, of course, also prevent reproduction.
Silence indeed equals death; silence about the true causes of AIDS, silence about the purported “cure” shoved down our throats and shoved down the throats of our loved ones, silence about the irrelevance and abuse of HIV testing. Mandatory HIV testing is already here for at least some kinds of medical treatment (pregnant women, couples undergoing fertility treatment). Some have proposed mandatory pre-marital HIV testing. What’s next: Mandatory testing to receive a driver’s license or passport? Chipping people with their HIV status? A positive HIV diagnosis is not only socially stigmatizing but can also be used as a devastating legal wrecking-ball, too.
Thanks to critical thinkers like Duesberg, the tide is turning. When the lawsuits are done, the CDC, NIH, and the FDA will have to be dismantled. If there is a just world, then these people, the pharmaceutical industry, and the greedy, craven scientists who propagated all these lies all this time will be tried for crimes against humanity. Duesberg is a hero and should be treated as such; I’m sure he’d be the last to want that though, as he seems rather modest, an accidental hero if ever there was one. If you’ve read this far, go read his book. You can’t say now that you had no idea that HIV-AIDS was a myth.