Those who can make you believe absurdities, will make you commit atrocitie —Voltaire

Friday, November 30, 2007

Treat Yourself On World AIDS Day

Break Free Of The Big Lie

The Book is Back!

“What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?”
Fourth Revised Edition

The book that will change your view of HIV and AIDS and possibly change your life will be available once again in a revised fourth edition due to roll off presses at the end of next month. This seventh reprinting features a new color scheme, a slightly changed cover, several new pages of web site listings and a whole new chapter, “HIV and AIDS in 2007,” a brief update that powerfully answers questions about the book’s validity seven years after the original publication—and it’s still a quick read at just 128 pages including references.

Unfortunately, due to increase costs of paper and ink, the book also has a new price of $12.95, but according to Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, it’s well worth the addition two bucks. As Bill puts it, “This is a book every American should read, and not a moment too soon!”

Advance orders can be placed now at Alive & Well’s online store. In December, books will be available once again through and at bookstores around the country.

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of some 2007 updates covered in the book’s new chapter:

HIV Eludes Authorities

After 26 years and over 250 billion tax dollars invested in the HIV hypothesis, experts still cannot explain how HIV causes AIDS. In a remarkable set back for AIDS science, a 2007 study concluded “the theory of an uncontrolled cycle of T cell activation, infection, HIV production and cell destruction is wrong." Using a new mathematical model, scientists showed that the universally accepted theory about how HIV works—an idea that dominated research and dictated treatment policies since 1996—has actually led us further from solutions rather than closer to answers. (PLoS Medicine, 6/23/07)

The New Face of AIDS

Since expanding the AIDS definition in 1993 to include HIV positives with no clinical symptoms of disease, the majority of all new AIDS cases in America are diagnosed in healthy people with none of the opportunistic infections previously used to define AIDS. Epidemiology reports from around the US reveal that for the past 14 years, non-illness is the leading reason for an AIDS diagnosis in America, and depending on the region, 45% to 75% of all AIDS cases reported since 1981 were counted in clinically healthy HIV positives. Across the border in Canada where the AIDS definition still requires actual illness, AIDS cases per capita are 18 times lower than in the US. (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2006; Dept of Public Heath reports LA County, San Francisco, New York, Pennsylvania)

No One is Positive

The HIV antibody tests used worldwide since 1986 continue to carry an alarming disclaimer: “At present, there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human blood.” The fine print on newer rapid tests expresses similar uncertainty, specifying they are intended only to “aid in the diagnosis of infection with HIV” rather than to actually diagnose HIV infection, and further note that AIDS is merely “thought to be caused by HIV” rather than known to be the cause. The package insert accompanying viral load tests still declares they are “not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test for confirm the presence of HIV infection (HIV-1/HIV-2 EIA/ELISA, Abbot Laboratories; OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test, Abbot Diagnostics; Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor Test, Roche).

Treatment Does Not Equal Life

The largest study of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) contradicts popular claims that HAART extends life. Tracking 22,000 previously treatment-free HIV positives that began medications between 1995 and 2003, authors discovered, “Viral response improved but such improvement has not translated into a decrease in mortality.”

Current drug ads alert people taking AIDS medications they “may still get opportunistic infections or other conditions such as pneumonia, herpes, and mycobacterium avium complex (MAC).” Pneumonia, herpes and MAC are responsible for more than half of all AIDS illnesses reported in the US. (Lancet 8/5/06, Vol 368 (9534):451-458; Atripla, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Gilead; Emtriva, Gilead; Kaletra, AbbotVirology; Reyataz, Bristol-Myers Squibb; Viramune, Boehringer Ingelheim)

Rising Deaths from AIDS Drugs

After years of reports on metabolic disturbances, mitochondrial toxicity, bone necrosis, and other adverse events caused by new AIDS drugs, the US National Institutes of Health finally acknowledged that “…the use of antiretroviral therapy is now associated with a series of serious side effects and long-term complications that may have a negative impact on mortality rates. More deaths occurring from liver failure, kidney disease, and cardiovascular complications are being observed in this patient population.”

A study of 5,700 HIV positives determined that “since the advent of HAART…the most common current cause of death among people with HIV is liver failure.” Authors warned that “monitoring of liver enzymes is needed to save lives,” an economic impossibility for people in Africa and other developing areas of the world taking toxic anti-HIV drugs. (University of Pittsburgh Medical School News Bureau, 7/8/02;

Viral Load Proves Wrong

A landmark paper from 2006 revealed that the viral load tests used for more than a decade to calculate “progression to disease” and gain approval for new AIDS drugs failed in over 90% of cases to predict or explain immune competency in a nationwide study of 2,800 HIV positives. The US Food and Drug Administration approved viral load in 1995 based on its alleged ability to forecast health outcomes. (JAMA 296(12):1498-506, 2006)

T Cell Questions

T cell counts may be less reliable measures of immune function than previously believed. A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) proved that HIV negative testing persons can have counts below 350, a number that according to WHO guidelines, would qualify for an AIDS diagnosis if they were HIV positive. (JID, 194:1450, 2006)

African AIDS Numbers Off

The latest mortality figures for South Africa, the supposed epicenter of AIDS, list AIDS as accounting for only 2.5% of all deaths in that country. Current claims by UN AIDS of 5.6 million AIDS victims in South Africa are actually estimates based on unconfirmed results from 16,000 antibody tests administered to expectant mothers using an assay documented to register false positives due to pregnancy.

In 2004, UN AIDS estimates for HIV in Kenya were cut by 50% after more careful survey data exposed gross errors in calculations. A 2003 census in Botswana revealed the opposite of 1993 predictions it would be “the first nation in modern times literally to die out [from AIDS].” Instead, Botswana’s population nearly doubled, increasing from less than 1 million to 1.7 million in a decade. A 2002 census in Uganda refuted two decades of estimates that 30% of the population was positive and countless millions would die of AIDS. From 1991-2002, Uganda enjoyed one of the highest annual growth rates in the world (3.4%), lowered infant mortality, and ultimately downgraded HIV estimates to 5%, all without AIDS drug programs and with no indications of changes in sexual behavior over the past 30 years. A 2006 Washington Post investigation determined that the practice of counting AIDS cases in Africa using “increasingly dire and inaccurate assessments...has skewed years of policy judgments and decisions on where to spend precious healthcare dollars.” (Statistics South Africa, 2005: Death Notification, Statistical Release P0309.6/3/07, 5/21/06)

HIV Down in India

New survey data found that UN AIDS overestimated the number of HIV positives in India, the alleged world leader in HIV, by more than 55%. The latest estimates suggest positive tests occur in 2.5 million of the country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants. In 2002, AIDS champion Bill Gates incorrectly predicted HIV cases in India would top 25 million by 2010. (India Has Many Fewer With Virus, New York Times 6/8/07)

Breastfeeding Lowers Health Risks

A 2007 study concluded that exclusive breastfeeding prevents infants of positive mothers from testing HIV positive themselves and provides vital protection from potentially fatal conditions such as diarrhea and pneumonia that threaten the lives of all children in the developing world. In 2006, studies drawing similar conclusions prompted the World Health Organization to recommend HIV-positive mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants until age six months. (WHO Policy Statement 10/06; Lancet, 369:1065-1066&1107-1116, 3/31/07)

AIDS Ranks Last in Childhood Deaths

Accounting for just 3% of mortalities among children, “HIV/AIDS” sits at the bottom of a list of public health threats for the developing world according to a 2007 Global Community Health Report by AIDS drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. GSK stated the “world’s top killers of children under five are [non-AIDS] pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and measles,” conditions related to poverty, malnutrition, and poor sanitation.

No Animal Model for AIDS

After almost 20 years of efforts, scientists at the Yerkes Primate Research Center gave up trying to induce AIDS in laboratory chimps using “injections of HIV.” Although inoculated chimps tested positive, and despite having DNA that is 98% identical to humans, the animals did not develop diseases associated with AIDS. (New York Times, 1/7/03, For Retired Chimps, a Life of Leisure)

Download pdf

Libro en Espanol
Que Tal Si Todo lo Que Crees Acerca del SIDA Fuera Falso?

Alive & Well

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Daily Mail On AIDS

The Aids epidemic that never was and why political correctness influences too much medical spending

By Karol Sikora
21st November 2007

Billions of pounds were spent telling us we were ALL at risk from Aids. But as scientists now admit the threat was overblown, Britain's top cancer expert attacks the political correctness that influences too much medical spending.

Medical care should always be geared to the saving and protecting of lives. Compassion in the face of any type of human suffering should be at its core.

But sadly, the vicissitudes of political correctness can dictate medical priorities.

Certain diseases become fashionable in the public consciousness and so attract more political support and attention.

A classic example of this pattern is HIV/Aids. When this burst on the scene in Britain in the early Eighties, it became the biggest health issue facing the country, over-riding all other medical problems.

Read the rest here

Gunpoint Medicine - The Return Of The Gestapo

Children At Gunpoint
In The Name Of Law Enforced Medicine
If this is not all out radical Fascism, then what is ?

Forced Vaccinations In Maryland
Children herded into courtroom like cattle and vaccinated against their wishes and that of their parents. At gunpoint.
by NewsTarget

Following the State of Maryland's threats against parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, children were herded into a Price George County courthouse being guarded by armed personnel with attack dogs. Inside, the children were forcibly vaccinated, many against their will, under orders from the State Attorney General, various State Judges and the local School Board Director, all of whom illegally conspired to threaten parents with imprisonment if they did not submit their children to vaccinations.

The State of Maryland has now turned to Gestapo tactics

It is now forcing its medical will upon the People, stripping parents of any right to decide how they wish to protect their own children from infectious disease. Health authorities there have already announced their intent to essentially kidnap parents and throw them in jail, removing them from their children for up to thirty days if they continue to refuse to have their children vaccinated. This will all be conducted at gunpoint, with armed personnel and attack dogs at the ready, making sure nobody steps out of line, and suppressing any attempt at public dissent against the Orwellian vaccination policies.

The entire campaign against these parents is blatantly illegal

There is no law in Maryland requiring the vaccination of children, thus parents who refuse to do so may not be legally charged with violating any law. Instead, Maryland health and school authorities are using Gestapo-like tactics, threatening to charge the parents with child truancy violations, criminalizing them for daring to protect their children from the dangerous chemicals found in vaccines (including thimerosal, a chemical additive containing a neurotoxic form of mercury).

The desperation of organized medicine is becoming increasingly apparent

As more and more parents are becoming informed about the dangers of vaccinations and their link to autism, state health authorities are increasingly turning to "Gunpoint Medicine" to force the People to submit to the poisons of conventional medicine. Parents who attempt to save their children from deadly chemotherapy chemicals are being arrested and having their children kidnapped by Child Protective Services, read more here, and oncologists who used to be armed only with radiation machines and chemotherapy injectors and now arming themselves with U.S. Marshals and other local law enforcement authorities who are using loaded firearms to enforce "the will of the State" against parents who resist.

Even the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) announced its strong opposition to the Maryland "Gunpoint Medicine" vaccination campaign. In a press release published Nov. 16, the AAPS states:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons today condemned the “vaccine roundup” executed in Prince George’s county Maryland this week, and promised to do everything it can to support parents who refuse to immunize their children.

“This power play obliterates informed consent and parental rights,” said Kathryn Serkes, director of policy for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), one of the few national physician groups that refuse corporate funding from pharmaceutical companies.

In a scenario reminiscent of cattle round-ups, the state’s attorney has issued summons to more than 1600 parents of children who have not provided certificates of immunization for their children. But instead of toting a cattle prod, this state’s attorney chooses to wield a syringe to keep the “herd” in line.

Read the rest of the press release here.

Gunpoint Medicine:
Why drug pushers must now rely on Gestapo tactics

Conventional (pharmaceutical) medicine is the only system of medicine in the world that is so unpopular with informed consumers that it must be administered at the barrel of a gun. There is no other system of medicine anywhere in the world that resorts to such tactics to recruit patients.

At the Nov. 17th event in Maryland, activists Jim Moody and Kelly Ann Davis from SafeMinds were able to get in front of TV news cameras and voice their opposition to the coerced vaccination policy. Yet, amazingly, most parents just lined up like cattle ready to be branded, not bothering to question the sanity or legality of the very system in which they were now agreeing to participate.

A health freedom blog called Center for the Common Interest also covered the event, and it reports that a local activist named Donovan Hubbard videotaped the event and plans to make the video available online.

NewsTarget would like to contact Donovan and / or publicize his video. If you know of a way we can contact him, please call us at (520) 232-9300 to let us know.

What's next for Gunpoint Medicine?

As the truth continues to emerge about the extreme dangers of vaccinations and pharmaceuticals, Big Pharma is becoming increasingly desperate to coerce the public into relying on its products. It is now working closely with state authorities (including Governors of several states) to mandate the use of vaccinations on young children. This results in the criminalization of parents who refuse to subject their children to these dangerous chemicals.

In effect, Big Pharma is hoping to turn natural health followers into criminals

The FDA has already criminalized nutritional supplement companies who dare to tell the truth about the health benefits of their supplements. Read the true history of armed FDA raids on vitamin companies here.

Next, parents who refuse to subject their children to the chemical pharmaceuticals proposed by Big Pharma will be criminalized, rounded up and incarcerated for "refusing to comply with public health policy." This is all being done by the State in the name of "protecting the children" from their own natural health parents.

Insane, isn't it, to think that protecting your child from toxic chemicals is now a criminal act in the United States?

The end game of all this is to apply Gunpoint Medicine tactics to everyone: Adults and senior citizens included. Anyone suffering from high cholesterol, for example, who does not submit to Big Pharma's statin drugs could be arrested, strapped to a table and medicated against their will. People with cancer could be arrested for choosing to treat that cancer with safe and effective botanical medicines instead of patented, high-profit Big Pharma drugs. If you think the prisons are full enough right now from all the arrests for marijuana possession and other victimless crimes, just wait until the State starts arresting all the natural health moms and dads across the country who refuse to participate in the utterly insane and extremely harmful system of medicine that now dominates U.S. health care today.

The State is very clear about medicine: If you want to remain a free citizen, you must submit to the synthetic drugs made by the very same corporations that now control government health regulators. Any person who resists such "treatments" will be branded a threat to public health -- a designation just beneath "terrorist" in the eyes of many government bureaucrats. As such, they believe there is no limit to the level of force they may use to coerce such people into submitting to Big Pharma's chemicals. Today, it's armed guards with attack dogs. Tomorrow, it might be water boarding or other torture methods. Think that's impossible? Think again: Just five years ago, nobody in their right mind would have thought that parents who did not want to get their children vaccinated would end up in prison, their children kidnapped by state authorities and forced to subject themselves to dangerous chemical injections at gunpoint. Yet that is precisely what is happening right now in the state of Maryland. It happened on Saturday, in fact.

Where is the outrage?

What's most interesting about this issue of using the threat of imprisonment to force vaccinations upon children is not necessarily who is speaking out against it, but who has chosen to remain silent.

The American Medical Association, for example, has said nothing in opposition to the policy. Neither has the Food and Drug Administration. Where is the outrage from the Maryland Hospital Association? None of these organizations seem to have a problem with Gunpoint Medicine. The idea of rounding up parents and coercing their children into receiving injections of toxic chemicals does not seem to bother these organizations. And why should it? All of these organizations are closely tied to Big Pharma. They're all in favor of vaccinations for all, it seems, and I have no doubt that some individuals in these organizations (especially the AMA) are strongly in favor of the Gunpoint Medicine coerced vaccination policy being played out in Maryland right now.

Organized medicine believes the People are too stupid to be allowed to make their own health decisions. Bureaucrats and physicians should be the ones making these decisions, we're told, and any person who disagrees with such decisions should be labeled a criminal, arrested and prosecuted. This is no exaggeration. It is, in fact, a shockingly accurate description of Maryland's current vaccination policy.

It wasn't too long ago that Americans would have stood up and rallied against this kind of medical tyranny

The major news networks would have denounced Maryland's vaccination policy with strong language and harsh accusations. People would have been marching in the streets, demanding their health freedom. But today, it's a different America. The People are drugged up on pharmaceuticals and dosed on fluoride. They're too intoxicated to think straight, and they're frightened into submission by a fear-based government that invokes domestic tyranny at every opportunity to control and manipulate the People into doing whatever it wants.

The "free" America we all once knew is long gone, and it has been replaced with The United States of Corporate America, where police tactics are now used to enforce hazardous public health policies, and the people who run the State no longer think there's anything wrong with rounding up the population at gunpoint and performing large-scale medical experiments on their children. That's what modern vaccines are, after all: A grand medical experiment whose effects will only become known after a generation of mass poisoning has come and gone.

About the author
Mike Adams is a natural health researcher and author with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, impacting the lives of millions of readers around the world who are experiencing phenomenal health benefits from reading his articles. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a manufacturer of mercury-free, energy-efficient LED lighting products that save electricity and help prevent global warming. He's also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NewsTarget subscriptions. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and adult gymnastics. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Week In The HIV & AIDS PR Machine

UN HIV estimates reduced to 33m. Here is the news as published by BBC who later today felt obliged to also do a another piece of scaremongering to counteract the colossal "smell of mendacity" left by the first article with the UN announcement of further exaggerations of figures in Africa, a month after the same was done in relation to India. Read also The New AIDS Review piece on the news.

In the last month we saw the death of the HIV vaccine, that was followed by the washed-up pop stars doing their bit to sell more CD's using HIV & AIDS issues, then we had the BBC bow to pressure from the AIDS industry who forced them to apologize publicly for the content of their documentary The Guinea Pig Kids, then we read Thabo Mbeki's admission in the news last week that he is still a dissident, and that he regrets not having fought on. The AIDS PR machine was forced to put on its Tutu in an effort to look more attractive, and to show that the South African political heavyweights are with them on AIDS.

In this piece for the BBC we have one of the heroes of the fight against apartheid, and supporter of the AIDS status quo in Africa, takes on a gay issue, and also talks of AIDS in Africa, where at least he does utter the word poverty as well. Some nice subtle juxtaposing there...but nothing could possibly disguise that for the AIDS machine it is one big fiasco after another.

And the latest today: Bring on Queenie too...

And now Europe
And again today (23/11/07), the BBC publishes an article claiming that HIV is on the rise, this time in Europe. If figures are down in Africa then they mist rise somewhere else. We mist keep the fear level up and the dosh flowing in, and the good old Beeb seems well invested here. What a disgrace.

Seems like there is no end to the BBC's HIV terror campaign and propaganda.

In an AIDS conference in Alicante we had the usual affirmation that now AIDS is only a chronic disease as the wonderful new "life-saving" (toxic) drugs keep it all at bay. There was however an alarming point which I think is worth highlighting; that according to the president of GESIDA, any shortcomings in having the right figures to give the public, was due to the fact that there is as yet NO OBLIGATORY REGISTER WHERE PEOPLE WITH HIV & AIDS ARE LISTED.

"El especialista estimó en unos 140.000 los casos de sida en el Estado, aunque matizó que el dato es aproximado al no existir un registro obligatorio para este tipo de pacientes."

Should we take it that this is now being proposed? If it were it would not be out of line with where this seem to be all going, as ever for that we need only look at the latest proposals or ideas brewing up across the Atlantic...

Apart from the insistent calls from the AIDS industry to impose mandatory universal testing for HIV, there's a new plan being pushed to eliminate Western Blot "confirmation" of so-called HIV tests and diagnose instead based on two rapid tests only.

In other words, you will now get your diagnosis based only on one kind of test that detects "nothing" specific to HIV, where anything from having had a flu jab to pregnancy can make you test positive, and the follow up test for confirmation will be then same useless test that gave you the positive test result in the first place.

One should also take into account that no HIV test, whether it uses blood, urine or saliva, has ever been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the specific intended purpose of diagnosing infection with HIV.

In view of all this information people still seem reluctant to look at this issue. many of us ask, why? Of all the possible answerers to that question that have been put forward there is one that I believe is the closest to the truth.

It does not just apply to HIV & AIDS, it is perhaps clearer when also applied to other factors as well in this terror campaign being waged against us, and which comes from all directions; Terror from without, viral contagion from within, and the environmental apocalypse from above, caused by Gore's Global Warming hysteria, the current and most "in vogue" lie for all to get all religious about.

This weekend we were subject to an all-out assault by the left-wing Catalan media and its excessive use of red ink headlines, reminiscent of the worse propaganda techniques used by the soviets during the cold war, which made it all seem like we were going to go up in flames within the next 24 hours. Thank God the Spanish right-wing had taken it on to publicly poo-poo the idea as a lie, for which I applaud them.

It becomes increasingly bizarre how one ends up applauding the right-wingers now a days, for being the ones who question some of these hysterical lies, and there perhaps is where we find the other part of the problem, as most people cannot believe that the left-wing is actually behind so much of these lies, the hysteria.

The Matrix is not just a film

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters... You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

All these lies serve an unconscious social function, one that leads man to enslave himself willingly, through the erroneous belief that he is being protected and cared for by this Matrix of lies and deceit, which only seeks to feed and nourish his hunger for ever greater doses of toxic and anesthetic information, in a daily ritual communion with a PR machine that creates for him a parallel existence, where through the power of fantasy, he finds himself driven by sheer subconscious terror, pledging daily allegiance to his own own slavery.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Exquisite Joyce

Joyce himself reads an excerpt from his mind-boggling work Finnegan's Wake.
A real treasure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Exquisite Joyce

The final few pages of The Dubliners by James Joyce.

The text works as a continuation to this clip taken form the wonderful adaptation of the novel directed by John Huston called The Dead.

I suppose you were in love with this Michael Furey, Gretta,' he said.

`I was great with him at that time,' she said.

Her voice was veiled and sad. Gabriel, feeling now how vain it would be to try to lead her whither he had purposed, caressed one of her hands and said, also sadly:

`And what did he die of so young, Gretta? Consumption, was it?'

`And then when it came to the time for me to leave Galway and come up to the convent he was much worse and I wouldn't be let see him, so I wrote him a letter saying I was going up to Dublin and would be back in the summer, and hoping he would be better then.'

She paused for a moment to get her voice under control, and then went on:

`Then the night before I left, I was in my grandmother's house in Nuns' Island, packing up, and I heard gravel thrown up against the window. The window was so wet I couldn't see, so I ran downstairs as I was and slipped out the back into the garden and there was the poor fellow at the end of the garden, shivering.'

`And did you not tell him to go back?' asked Gabriel.

`I implored of him to go home at once and told him he would get his death in the rain. But he said he did not want to live. I can see his eyes as well as well! He was standing at the end of the wall where there was a tree.'

`And did he go home?' asked Gabriel.

`Yes, he went home. And when I was only a week in the convent he died and he was buried in Oughterard, where his people came from. O, the day I heard that, that he was dead!'

She stopped, choking with sobs, and, overcome by emotion, flung herself face downward on the bed, sobbing in the quilt. Gabriel held her hand for a moment longer, irresolutely, and then, shy of intruding on her grief, let it fall gently and walked quietly to the window.

She was fast asleep.

Gabriel, leaning on his elbow, looked for a few moments unresentfully on her tangled hair and half-open mouth, listening to her deep-drawn breath. So she had had that romance in her life: a man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life. He watched her while she slept, as though he and she had never lived together as man and wife. His curious eyes rested long upon her face and on her hair: and, as he thought of what she must have been then, in that time of her first girlish beauty, a strange, friendly pity for her entered his soul. He did not like to say even to himself that her face was no longer beautiful, but he knew that it was no longer the face for which Michael Furey had braved death.

Perhaps she had not told him all the story. His eyes moved to the chair over which she had thrown some of her clothes. A petticoat string dangled to the floor. One boot stood upright, its limp upper fallen down: the fellow of it lay upon its side. He wondered at his riot of emotions of an hour before. From what had it proceeded? From his aunt's supper, from his own foolish speech, from the wine and dancing, the merry-making when saying good night in the hall, the pleasure of the walk along the river in the snow. Poor Aunt Julia! She, too, would soon be a shade with the shade of Patrick Morkan and his horse. He had caught that haggard look upon her face for a moment when she was singing `Arrayed for the Bridal'. Soon, perhaps, he would be sitting in that same drawing-room, dressed in black, his silk hat on his knees. The blinds would be drawn down and Aunt Kate would be sitting beside him, crying and blowing her nose and telling him how Julia had died. He would cast about in his mind for some words that might console her, and would find only lame and useless ones. Yes, yes: that would happen very soon.

The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously along under the sheets and lay down beside his wife. One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. He thought of how she who lay beside him had locked in her heart for so many years that image of her lover's eyes when he had told her that he did not wish to live.

Generous tears filled Gabriel's eyes. He had never felt like that himself towards any woman, but he knew that such a feeling must be love. The tears gathered more thickly in his eyes and in the partial darkness he imagined he saw the form of a young man standing under a dripping tree. Other forms were near. His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

James Joyce

Classic Beckett- Not I

Not I by Samuel Beckett.
BBC Production from 1973 starring the fantastic Billie Whitelaw.

Some Lucky

A metaphor for the day.

LUCKY: Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labors left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labors of men that as a result of the labors unfinished of Testew and Cunnard it is established as hereinafter but not so fast for reasons unknown that as a result of the public works of Puncher and Wattmann it is established beyond all doubt that in view of the labors of Fartov and Belcher left unfinished for reasons unknown of Testew and Cunard left unfinished it is established what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation wastes and pines wastes and pines and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicillin and succedanea in a word I resume flying gliding golf over nine and eighteen holes tennis of all sorts in a word for reasons unknown in Feckham Peckham Fulham Clapham namely concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown but time will tell fades away I resume Fulham Clapham in a word the dead loss per head since the death of Bishop Berkeley being to the tune of one inch four ounce per head approximately by and large more or less to the nearest decimal good measure round figures stark naked in the stockinged feet in Connemara in a word for reasons unknown no matter what matter the facts are there and considering what is more much more grave that in the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman it appears what is more much more grave that in the light the light the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman that in the plains in the mountains by the seas by the rivers running water running fire the air is the same and then the earth namely the air and then the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas in the year of their Lord six hundred and something the air the earth the sea the earth abode of stones in the great deeps the great cold on sea on land and in the air I resume for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull fading fading fading and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labors abandoned left unfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas the stones Cunard (mêlée, final vociferations) tennis . . . the stones . . . so calm . . . Cunard . . . unfinished . . .

POZZO: His hat!

Vladimir seizes Lucky's hat. He falls. Silence.

ESTRAGON: Avenged!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

1997 Pulitzer Prizes-National Reporting

AIDS Fight Is Skewed By Federal Campaign Exaggerating Risks

By Amanda Bennett and Anita Sharpe

In the summer of 1987, federal health officials made the fateful decision to bombard the public with a terrifying message: Anyone could get AIDS.

While the message was technically true, it was also highly misleading. Everyone certainly faced some danger, but for most heterosexuals, the risk from a single act of sex was smaller than the risk of ever getting hit by lightning. In the U.S., the disease was, and remains, largely the scourge of gay men, intravenous drug users, their sex partners and their newborn children.

Nonetheless, a bold public-relations campaign promised to sound a general alarm about AIDS, lifting it from a homosexual concern to a national obsession and accelerating efforts to eradicate the disease. For people devoted to public health, it seemed the best course to take.

But nine years after the America Responds to AIDS campaign first hit the airwaves, many scientists and doctors are raising new questions. Increasingly, they worry that the everyone-gets-AIDS message --still trumpeted not only by government agencies but by celebrities and the media --is more than just dishonest: It is also having a perverse, potentially deadly effect on funding for AIDS prevention.

The emphasis on the broad reach of the disease has virtually ensured that precious funds won't go where they are most needed. For instance, though homosexuals and intravenous drug users now account for 83% of all AIDS cases reported in the U.S., the federal AIDS-prevention budget includes no specific allocation for programs for homosexual and bisexual men. And needle-exchange programs, widely seen as among the most effective methods available in fighting infection among drug users, are denied any federal funding.

Much of the Centers for Disease Control's $584 million AIDS-prevention budget goes instead to programs to combat the disease among heterosexual women, college students and others who face a relatively low risk of becoming infected. Federally funded testing programs alone, which primarily serve low-risk groups, account for roughly 20% of the entire budget.

Some scientists charge that tens of thousands of infections a year could be averted if only practical assistance were directed to the right people. Instead of aiming general warnings at non-drugusing heterosexuals, these critics say, the government should use the bulk of its anti-AIDS money to teach homosexual men to avoid unprotected anal sex and to dissuade addicts from sharing infected needles.

"You can't stop this epidemic if you spend the money where the epidemic hasn't happened," says Ron Stall, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of California in San Francisco. Helene Gayle, who is in charge of AIDS prevention at the CDC, agrees that "increasingly, it is important to shift strategies to meet the epidemic." She says that the CDC, by giving communities more freedom to decide how to spend federal AIDS money, is now seeking to direct more help to those who need it most.

But she defends the CDC's pivotal decision in 1987 to emphasize the universality of AIDS: "One should not underestimate the fear and confusion this disease caused early on," Dr. Gayle says. "We needed to build a base of understanding before we could go for the jugular."

Certainly, powerful political and social forces at work nine years ago made it nearly impossible for health officials to focus attention on those most at risk, a reconstruction of events of that year shows. And though, as Dr. Gayle says, the CDC is now trying to revamp its AIDS-prevention efforts, the same forces that shaped public policy in 1987 are making it difficult for the government to change directions, even now.

By 1987, CDC officials already had a fairly clear picture of where and how AIDS was spreading -and how much risk different groups faced. The disease was proving less likely to be transmitted through vaginal intercourse than many had feared. A major study that was just being completed put the average risk from a one-time heterosexual encounter with someone not in a high-risk group at one in five million without use of a condom, and one in 50 million for condom users.

Homosexuals, needle-sharing drug users and their sex partners, however, were in grave danger. A single act of anal sex with an infected partner, or a single injection with an AIDS-tainted needle, carried as much as a one in 50 chance of infection. For people facing these risks, it was fair to say AIDS was truly a modern-day plague.

A key player in the CDC's earliest AIDS-prevention efforts was Walter Dowdle, a virologist who was a veteran of the war on herpes and had helped create the CDC's anti-AIDS office in the early 1980s. Like most people in his operation, he understood that AIDS had to be fought hardest in the places it was most prevalent.

But by the spring of 1987, Dr. Dowdle had already been rebuffed repeatedly in efforts to prepare AIDS warnings aimed directly at high-risk groups. TV networks were refusing to air announcements advocating the use of condoms. And Dr. Dowdle had failed in his attempt to disseminate a brochure that mentioned condoms as effective in slowing the spread of AIDS. At the time, all AIDS material had to be cleared by the president's Domestic Policy Council, and the Reagan White House objected to pro-condom messages on moral grounds. The 1986 brochure went into the White House for review and never came out.

Searching for clues about how to proceed, CDC officials began a series of internal meetings at their red-brick headquarters on Clifton Road in Atlanta. They also reached outside for high-powered marketing help, retaining Steve Rabin, then a senior vice president of the advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather. In August, Mr. Rabin, openly gay and deeply committed to the effort, ran focus groups in a half-dozen cities to gauge attitudes toward the disease.

The results were discouraging: In city after city, the focus groups made clear that concern about AIDS hadn't taken hold in much of the country, despite the widely publicized announcement two years earlier that Rock Hudson had the disease. With some exceptions in big cities like New York and San Francisco, homosexuals continued to engage casually in unprotected sex, as did heterosexuals everywhere. The prevailing attitude: It was somebody else's problem.

For gays and drug users, this view was flatly wrong and potentially fatal. Moreover, the focus-group results highlighted a huge policy issue: Would the public support funding for AIDS prevention and research if the majority of heterosexuals believed they and their families were only minimally at risk? Would they be compassionate toward the victims of the disease?

Poll data suggested otherwise. A 1987 Gallup Poll showed that 25% of Americans thought that employers should have the right to fire AIDS victims. In that same poll, 43% felt that AIDS was
a punishment for moral decline. In meetings within the CDC, many people, including Messrs. Dowdle and Rabin, expressed particular concern about the growth of housing and job discrimination against people with AIDS.

It was in this environment that the idea of presenting AIDS as an equal-opportunity scourge began to form. Politicians, including Republican Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, were blocking campaigns aimed at gays anyway. And homosexual and minority groups were concerned about being linked too closely with the disease. Some CDC scientists, watching the spread of the disease among heterosexuals in Africa, worried that AIDS might yet make inroads among non-drug-using heterosexuals in the U.S. In any event, CDC officials believed that fighting AIDS was everyone's responsibility, even if everyone wasn't equally at risk of getting it.

"We were drawing on gut instinct," recalls Paula Van Ness, who had come to the CDC after serving as chief executive of the AIDS Project, a community program in Los Angeles. "The aim was, we thought we should get people talking about AIDS and we wanted to reduce the stigma." Earlier, in Los Angeles, she had reached out directly to high-risk groups: "Don't go out without your rubbers!" warned a motherly woman in one announcement the AIDS Project had sponsored. But now, on the national scene, she too felt that such a direct approach was impossible.

Dr. Dowdle, burned by the response to his earlier, more targeted efforts, agreed with his colleagues that the CDC's best bet was to present AIDS as everyone's problem: "As long as this was seen as a gay disease or, even worse, a disease of drug abusers, that pushed the disease way down the ladder" of people's priorities, he says.

After considerable soul-searching and debate, officials fixed on a dramatic approach they believed would do the most good in the long run: a high-powered PR and advertising campaign to spread a sobering yet politically palatable message nationwide.

In subsequent meetings in the summer and fall of 1987, the CDC team developed the idea of filming people with AIDS and building a series of public-service announcements around what they had to say. Subjects wouldn't be identified as gay, and the dangers of intravenous drug use would get little attention.

Early on, the staffers stumbled on their defining slogan when they interviewed the son of a rural Baptist minister. As Ms. Van Ness recalls it, the man said, "If I can get AIDS, anyone can." His remark "wasn't scripted. That's what he actually said." Other similar public-service announcements were prepared, all with the same personal approach. "If you want your audience to be more receptive about this, you had to touch their hearts," Ms. Van Ness says.

The CDC's award-winning campaign, deftly pitched to a general audience, was launched in October 1987 and featured 38 TV spots, eight radio announcements and six print ads. The initial ads steered clear of specific advice on how to avoid AIDS, instead focusing on the universality of the disease and counselling Americans to discuss it with their families.

It wasn't until the spring of 1988, when the government mailed its "Understanding AIDS" brochure to 117 million U.S. households, that the risks of anal sex and drug abuse were underlined. But even this brochure accentuated the broader risk; it featured a prominent photo of a female AIDS victim saying that "AIDS is not a `we' `they' disease, it's an `us' disease."

As public relations, the CDC campaign and parallel warnings from other groups proved to be remarkably effective, particularly because these messages were reinforced by various public agencies and the media. According to one poll, during the last three months of 1989, 80% of U.S. adults said they saw an AIDS-related public-service announcement on television. Millions of people were thus sold and resold on the message: Though AIDS started in the homosexual population it was inexorably spreading, stalking high-school students, middle-class husbands, suburban housewives, doctors, dentists and even their unwitting patients.

In late 1991, Magic Johnson dramatically boosted the perception that everyone was at risk when he announced that his infection was due to promiscuous heterosexual behavior. Talk shows and magazines pursued the theme relentlessly. Even late last year, Redbook magazine --written for a largely middle-class female audience -carried a major story about married women called, "Could I have AIDS?" In it, the author wrote: "My mind automatically telescopes to AIDS every time I get sick."

Meanwhile, the CDC itself was producing research that made clear that heterosexual fears were exaggerated. And some CDC scientists, including then-epidemiology chief Harold W. Jaffe, publicly railed against the everyone-gets-AIDS message and urged that assistance be targeted to those who most needed it. But his opinion, along with the internal research on which it was based, was typically drowned out by the countervailing mass-media campaign.

Fear of AIDS spread --and remains. Gallup surveys show that by 1988, 69% of Americans thought AIDS "was likely" to become an epidemic, compared with 51% a year earlier, before the PR campaign got in full swing. By 1991, most thought that married people who had an occasional affair would eventually face substantial risk.

Yet, as CDC officials well knew, many of the images presented by the anti-AIDS campaign created a misleading impression about who was likely to get the disease. The blonde, middle-aged woman in the CDC's brochure was an intravenous drug user who had shared AIDS-tainted needles, although she wasn't identified as such in the brochure. The Baptist minister's son who said, "If I can get AIDS, anyone can," was gay, although the public-service announcement featuring him didn't say so.

Ryan White, perhaps the epidemic's most compelling symbol, had been diagnosed in 1984, at the age of 13, after receiving a transfusion from an AIDS-tainted blood-clotting agent used in the treatment of hemophilia. Barred by his school, shunned by neighbors, he emerged with his family as a forceful opponent of discrimination against AIDS patients. But five years before he died in 1990, the availability of a blood test for the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, had nearly eliminated the infection from America's blood-products supply. (Similarly, activist Elizabeth Glaser, who spoke at the 1992 Democratic Convention, was infected through a blood transfusion well before AIDS testing began.)

Meanwhile, Kimberly Bergalis became famous for a particularly rare case: She and five other Florida patients apparently acquired their infections from their dentist, who later died of AIDS. But although the CDC has tracked down and tested thousands of patients of hundreds of HIV-positive doctors and dentists, that single Florida dentist remains the only documented case in the U.S. of a health professional's passing the virus on to patients.

Research continued to show that AIDS among heterosexuals had largely settled into an inner-city nexus, a world bounded by poverty and poor health care and beset by rampant drug use. AIDS was also on the rise in some poor rural communities. Yet government ads typically didn't address the heterosexual group at greatest risk, a group that a CDC researcher would later define as "generally young, minority, indigent women who use `crack' cocaine, have multiple sex partners, trade sex for `crack' or other drugs or money, and have [other sexually transmitted diseases] such as syphilis and herpes."

Though scientists and anti-AIDS activists knew that the government-nurtured fear of AIDS among upscale, non-drug-using heterosexuals was exaggerated, not everyone thought this was a bad thing. Indeed, many credited rampant fear with achieving pro-family goals that no amount of moralizing alone could have accomplished. In a 1991 Gallup Poll, 57% of respondents said they believed that AIDS had already made their married friends "less likely to fool around." Singles reported being less apt to have one-night stands and more reluctant to date more than one person.

Moreover, there was no question that even mainstream heterosexuals bore some risk of AIDS and that greater caution would reduce their already-low rate of infection. "I don't see that much downside in slightly exaggerating [AIDS risk]" says John Ward, chief of the CDC branch that keeps track of AIDS cases. "Maybe they'll wear a condom. Maybe they won't sleep with someone they don't know."

The marketing campaign also appeared to be having another key desired effect: to mobilize support for public funding of AIDS research and prevention. Federal funding for AIDS-related medical research soared from $341 million in 1987 to $655 million in 1988, the year after the CDC's campaign began. (This year, the figure stands at $1.65 billion.) Meanwhile, the CDC's prevention dollars leapt from $136 million in 1987 to $304 million in 1988; $584 million was allocated for 1996.

Even the gay community, though not specifically targeted for assistance, began to see the wisdom of the everyone-gets-AIDS campaign. "This was a time of decreases in government funding," according to Jeff Amory, who headed the San Francisco AIDS Office in the 1980s. "Meanwhile, AIDS money was increasing."

It took a while before people realized that much of the money pouring in wasn't reaching the groups most at risk. In 1990, Mr. Amory took part in a telephone survey of about 50 HIV/AIDS groups funded by the CDC. Fewer than 10% even mentioned gay men as among their constituencies. (Mr. Amory died in November, after his interview with this newspaper.)

Meanwhile, the rush to testing meant that people at low risk were using up more and more of the available AIDS-prevention money just to discover they weren't infected. In 1994, 2.4 million tests were administered at government-funded locations, more than 10 times the number in 1985. Only 13% of those tests were given to homosexual or bisexual men or intravenous drug users.

As the CDC's biggest single prevention program, AIDS testing in 1995 accounted for about $136 million of the agency's total $589 million AIDS-prevention budget for that year. "It was not efficient or effective in picking up HIV-positive people," says Eric Goosby, director of the HIV/AIDS Policy Office of the U.S. Public Health Service, which oversees the CDC and other health agencies. Moreover, because treating drug-addiction wasn't directly part of the CDC's mandate, stopping the spread of AIDS among needle-sharing addicts fell "between the cracks," says Dr. James W. Curran, who was director of the anti-AIDS office at the CDC until late last year and is now dean of the School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta.

State funding for AIDS prevention --tracking public attitudes toward the disease --was also being directed largely toward low-risk groups, says Patricia E. Franks, a senior researcher at UCSF, who spearheaded a study of California AIDS spending between 1989 and 1992. The study found that while 85% of AIDS cases were concentrated among men who had sex with men, programs targeting this group received only 9% of all state AIDS prevention dollars.

Spending for women, in contrast, grew to 29% of the state money in 1992 from 13% in 1989, even though HIV rates among women of childbearing age held steady at less than one-tenth of 1% from 1988 through 1992.

California health officials say they believe spending on high-risk groups has improved in the past few years. But Wayne Sauseda, director of the California Office of AIDS, concedes that "it's hard to take money away from groups already receiving grants." In California's last three-year state funding cycle, "we were being deluged by proposals from low-and no-risk population groups," Mr. Sauseda says. "We got two proposals for every one from a high-risk group."

Typical of the requests from low-risk groups, he says, were proposals to offer education on college campuses. "No one would say coeds are not at any risk," says Mr. Sauseda. "But in California, that's not our first priority."

AIDS officials in other states report similar frustrations. In 1994, the CDC turned to a community-planning process for dispensing AIDS funds, a system that theoretically allows local people to allocate dollars to groups most in need. But various community planners say it has been tough to redirect the funds, in large part because public attitudes have become so entrenched.

In Oregon, for example, many community AIDS workers "are unwilling to acknowledge that youth who are truly at risk [are] young gay men," says Robert McAlister, the state's HIV program manager. Thus, most of Oregon's AIDS-prevention money is still spent on counseling and testing that primarily serves low-risk individuals. "When Magic Johnson made his statement, we got overwhelmed with clients demanding service," Dr. McAlister says. "You start to cut corners. If we try to serve everybody, we wind up serving everybody poorly."

Having helped shape current attitudes and set AIDS-prevention policies in motion, the Centers for Disease Control finds itself in a serious bind. So far, AIDS has killed 320,000 Americans, according to the CDC. Between 650,000 and 900,000 others are currently infected with the virus that causes the illness.

Overall, rates of new HIV infections appear to be declining from their peak in the mid-1980s. Nonetheless, as many as 40,000 people, mostly gay men, drug users and their sex partners, will contract the virus this year alone. Despite this, the CDC aims its current education campaign, called "Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself," at a broad spectrum of young adults, rather than targeting the high-risk groups. A current focus of the campaign is to discourage premarital sex among heterosexuals.

The CDC also has been emphasizing that women constitute a growing proportion of AIDS cases. But close analyses of the data indicate that the vast majority of these victims are drug users or sex partners of drug users. Also, the data partly reflect a statistical quirk: Because the number of infections among gay men has declined, other groups --such as women --now represent a larger percentage of victims. Yet the infection rate among women not in high-risk groups appears to be holding roughly steady.

Meanwhile, unpublished research by the CDC itself concludes that "the most effective efforts to reduce HIV infection will target injecting drug users on the Eastern seaboard, young and minority homosexual and bisexual men, and young and minority heterosexual women and men who smoke crack cocaine and have many sexual partners."

Numerous studies have shown significant behavior changes in gay men who have been counseled by gay-outreach programs. Susan M. Kegeles, a behavioral scientist at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, reports that an eight-month program in Eugene, Ore., reduced one of the highest-risk acts, unprotected anal intercourse, by 27% in young gay men. The program used leaders in the gay community to demonstrate and consistently reinforce safe-sex practices.

Other studies have shown that drug users need even more intense behavioral counseling to break their addiction. But "only 15% of active drug users are in treatment on any given day, and there are not enough treatment slots to meet the demand from drug users," according to a report by the federal Office of Technology Assessment. Further, the ban of federal funding for needle exchanges continues, even though most reports conclude that locally funded efforts to distribute sterile needles or needle-cleaning supplies have been effective in reducing the spread of infection.

An epidemiologist at UCSF, James G. Kahn, recently created an academic model which, he says, shows that over five years, $1 million spent in a high-risk population averts 150 infections, compared with two or three infections if the money is spent in a low-risk population. Moreover, he argues that reducing infections in high-risk groups would "almost certainly" benefit low-risk groups by reducing the pool of people who could potentially infect others.

Then there is the separate issue of honesty in government: Shouldn't the public hear the truth, even if there might be adverse consequences? "When the public starts mistrusting its public health officials, it takes a long time before they believe them again," says George Annas, a medical ethicist at Boston University.

Yet many both inside and outside the government fear that speaking more directly about AIDS transmission, and seeking federal programs to match, poses the same dangers it did nine years ago. Congress controls the purse strings, and Sen. Helms, in particular, still monitors every AIDS-related bill. Says a Helms staff member, "We would certainly have a problem" with money going to gay-activist groups or to produce materials that illustrate gay sex acts.

"There is a real concern that funding won't be shifted, it will be cut, that if most people in the U.S. feel they are at very low risk, there will be little support for any AIDS-prevention efforts," says Don Des Jarlais, director of research at the Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Still, he and many others believe that prevention experts have no choice --and that it is time to fight for programs based on candor. "You can't build a good prevention program on bad epidemiology," he says. Even back in the 1980s, Stephen C. Joseph, who was commissioner of public health for New York City from 1986 to 1990, blasted the notion that AIDS was making major inroads into the general population.

Today Dr. Joseph, who is assistant secretary of defense for health affairs at the Pentagon, says: "Political correctness has prevented us from looking at the issue squarely in the eye and dealing with it. It is the responsibility of the public-health department to tell the truth."

A Question of Odds

Below are rough estimates of the relative risks in the U.S. and Western Europe of various activities that can transmit AIDS. The calculations can't be used as a guide to individual behavior. Risk to any one person depends on many factors that can't be reduced to a single number. Recent research, for example, suggests that the infectiousness of the HIV virus can vary greatly over the life of an infected person; infectiousness is likely to be high both at the very outset of the infection, before symptoms have appeared, and several years later. Also, women may be several times more likely than men to be infected through vaginal intercourse, a distinction that the overall risk figure obscures.

ACTIVITY: Vaginal sexual intercourse
RISK:1 infection per 1,000 acts with HIV-positive partner

NOTES AND SOURCES: Mean per-act risk for unprotected intercourse. Source: Isabelle de
Vincenzi, European Study Group on Heterosexual Transmission of HIV, 1994

ACTIVITY: Receptive anal intercourse
RISK: 5 to 30 infections per 1,000 acts with HIV-positive partner

NOTES AND SOURCES: With no condom use.
Source: Victor DeGruttola, Harvard School of Public Health, 1989

ACTIVITY: Intravenous drug injection
RISK: 10 to 20 infections per with infected needle 1,000 needle uses

NOTES AND SOURCES: Source: Don Des Jarlais, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York

ACTIVITY: Accidental stick in medical
RISK: 3 infections per 1,000 sticks setting with infected needle

NOTES AND SOURCES: Source: Centers for Disease Control

ACTIVITY: Transfusion of screened blood
RISK: 1 infection per 450,000 to 660,000 donations

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

AIDS In Africa- From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

Thabo Mbeki - A Real Hero

He is the only world leader to stand up to the AIDS mafia, and try his damnedest to steer his nation away from the genocidal assault of the pharmaceuticals, and their obsession with drugging Africans to death in the name of HIV infection. His crucification by the western media has not made him relent in his correct belief, that it is not good enough to simply terrorize people, or entire nations using a hypothesis that has never been adequately proven. He has also bravely tried to open up the debate to include dissident views on AIDS with some real science; as opposed to the incoherent and profoundly unscientific techno-babble spouted by the big pharma controlled orthodoxy and its Nazi style iron frame of a false forced consensus.

He is sticking to his guns. We salute his courage, integrity and wisdom.

Read article here

Now for some classic freaky AIDS news from Africa which makes one exclaim: WTF!!!???

Ethiopia Tackles Aids With Coffee-Flavour Condoms
David Batty and agencies
Saturday November 3, 2007
The Guardian

Doctors have long argued about the health effects of coffee, but its reputation seems likely to receive a boost thanks to a flavoured condom that aims to encourage safer sex in Ethiopia.

Around 300,000 of the coffee condoms were sold in a week when they were launched in September, according to the US charity DKT International.

It hopes to tap into Ethiopia's coffee mania as a means to tackle high rates of HIV in the country, which is said to have invented the drink.

The charity said that with 2.1% of Ethiopians infected with Aids - and more than 7% in the capital, Addis Ababa - the flavoured prophylactic was more than a novelty. "Everybody likes the flavour of coffee," said a spokeswoman.

The condoms are sold in packs of three for 1 birr, or about about half the price of a cup of coffee in Addis Ababa's cafes, and much cheaper than most other condom brands.

The dark brown condoms are made to smell like Ethiopia's popular macchiato, an espresso with a generous amount of cream and sugar.

"It is about time to use an Ethiopian flavour for beautiful Ethiopian girls," said Dereje Alemu, 19, a university student.

The product was developed after complaints by some users about the latex scent of plain condoms.

DTK has introduced flavoured condoms in other parts of the world in an attempt to appeal to local tastes.

These include condoms scented with the infamously stinky durian fruit in Indonesia, and sweetcorn-fragranced condoms in China. The charity's latest condom has attracted some criticism in deeply conservative Ethiopia.

"It's inappropriate," said Bedilu Assefa, a spokesman for the Ethiopian Orthodox church, whose millions of followers are encouraged to abstain from sex outside marriage. "We're proud of our coffee."

But even those not sold on the idea of coffee condoms recognise the importance of safe sex. "I hate coffee-flavoured condoms," said Tadesse Teferi, 37, a mechanic. "But I use ordinary condoms when I have sex with ladies other than my wife."


The Official Drugs & Cocktails Manual For HIV Sufferers & Aspirants

This is quite simply the most outrageous document I have found to date that exposes how closely related HIV & the drug culture really are. It is in matters such as this that one can see very clearly that they are one and the same thing.

The document is by the Seattle Treatment Education Project and is posted on The Body website. I have added some comments in BLOC RED CAPITALS to this truly outrageous document, which should illustrate to those that want to see just how closely related HIV and recreational drug use really are, and how the AIDS industry will stop at nothing to sell sell sell their drugs. They do so with the aid of organizations, who under the guise of giving sound medical advice are actually reinforcing the deadliest notion of all: that people do not get sick form drug use, and when they do, it is the fault of a "virus".

The good news is you will not have to stop taking all the recreational drugs you were taking before you got sick, as we can give you more to keep you alive and partying for a few years more, at least till your liver packs in.

Cocktails and Party Favors
By Meredith A. Potochnic, Pharm.D.

The "club drug" epidemic is spreading. According to a Drug Abuse Trend report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (a division of the National Institutes of Health), there appears to be an alarming increase in the use of ecstasy, GHB, and ketamine in almost all cities surveyed. Methamphetamine use appears to remain concentrated on the West Coast and has been associated with an increased number of emergency room visits in Seattle. Other drugs of abuse identified by this report include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, benzodiazepines (clonazepam [Klonopin], alprazolam [Xanax], diazepam [Valium]), sildenafil (Viagra), and various prescription narcotics. With the increasing popularity of such drugs, there is concern that their use can potentially lead to serious health problems. For example, what happens when "club drugs" are mixed with HIV medications?

There has been a lot of interest regarding how recreational drug use may affect HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy. The most obvious concerns are as follows:

* There is concern that some recreational drugs may weaken the immune system, possibly speeding up the progression of HIV disease.


* There is concern that recreational drug use could interfere with one's ability to adhere to antiretroviral therapy, possibly leading to viral resistance.


* There is concern that combining HIV medications with recreational drugs might result in a drug interaction, which could either decrease the effectiveness of one's antiretroviral therapy, or cause a serious side effect.


The intention of this article is to focus on the area of drug interactions between HIV medications and recreational drugs. It will help to first understand the definition of a drug interaction.


A drug interaction happens when a person takes two drugs and one or both of the drugs behave differently when taken together than they would if taken alone. In other words, one of the medications changes the effects of the other. In some situations, drug interactions are not a problem. In other situations, drug interactions can affect one's therapy or even cause serious harm. The most common type of drug interaction that is seen with HIV medications is related to how a drug is metabolized (broken down) by the body.

The liver is the major organ that is involved in the metabolism of most HIV medications (particularly protease inhibitors and non-nucleosides). The liver is also used to break down some recreational drugs. To confuse things, some drugs, especially protease inhibitors, can also slow down (inhibit) how the liver clears other medications from the body. When two medications in the body are waiting in line to be broken down by the liver, they often have to compete. Protease inhibitors, such as ritonavir, are stronger and often win the competition. In this situation, the second medication is not cleared as quickly, often resulting in increased levels in the bloodstream. If drugs such as recreational drugs are present in the bloodstream in larger than usual concentrations, they can be dangerous.

On the flip side, some medications can speed up (induce) how the liver clears other medications from the body. When this happens, the second medication is cleared faster from the body and there is not enough medication around to do its work. Inducers can cause some HIV medications to be removed from the bloodstream and this can lead to viral resistance.

Quite a bit is known about drug interactions with protease inhibitors and other HIV medications. Unfortunately, there is minimal information available regarding drug interactions with recreational drugs. Little research is being done on this topic because there is a lack of financial incentive for drug companies to fund research due to ethical concerns and the fear of being recognized as supporters of illicit drug use. Based on what we already know about how certain drugs are cleared from the body, we can guess that mixing certain combinations together could lead to danger.


The best way to avoid potentially serious interactions is to not mix recreational drugs with antiretroviral therapy. However, if you choose to mix them, you should at least be aware of the risks involved. The table below is a list of suspected drug interactions that may occur between HIV medications and recreational drugs.


Mixing Cocktails: Recipes for Concern

Recreational Drug

Interactions and Possible Effects

Ideas to Reduce the Risk (No Guarantees!)


Antiretrovirals (ARVs)

There is not a direct interaction between alcohol and ARVs. However, it is possible that chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of drug toxicities such as liver damage (with protease Inhibitors, nevirapine, d4T), pancreatitis (with ddI, ddC), and neuropathy (with ddI, d4T, ddC).

There is an established association between excessive alcohol use and poor adherence to ARVs. It would be ideal to achieve sobriety prior to starting HAART. If sobriety is not a possibility and there is a need to start HAART, avoid a ddI-containing regimen as it may increase the risk of pancreatitis.

GHB and alcohol are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. When mixed together, alcohol can increase the potential for seizures, difficulty breathing, and GHB coma.

Avoid mixing with GHB!

Sedatives such as diazepam (Valium), triazolam (Halcion), temazepam (Restoril), and many others, are, like alcohol, CNS depressants. When mixed together, they can lead to prolonged sleep and possibly decreased breathing.

Avoid mixing with sedatives!

Amyl Nitrate (Poppers)


May result in extremely low blood pressure which can potentially be fatal.

Do not mix!

Cocaine (Coke, Blow)

Antiretrovirals (ARVs)

There are no known interactions between cocaine and ARVs. There is one test-tube study to suggest that cocaine may cause HIV to reproduce 20 times faster than normal. However, a definite correlation between cocaine use and viral load has not been established.

Long-term cocaine use can lead to problems with attention and concentration, memory loss, and decreased speed in processing information. Cocaine usage promotes a disorganized behavior, which can lead to missing ARV doses and ultimately to drug resistance.

Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth, Crystal, Speed, Ice)

Protease Inhibitors (PIs)

There is a theoretical concern that PIs, particularly ritonavir, can decrease the clearance of crystal. This interaction could result in a 2- to 3-fold buildup of crystal in the blood, possibly leading to an overdose.

Start with lower doses of crystal (1/3 to 1/2 of normal dose) to account for possible enhanced activity by protease inhibitors.

If injecting, use clean and safe technique.

As with cocaine and other binge drugs, there is a concern that the use of crystal can lead to a lapse in taking HIV medications.

Long Term Crystal Use

Long-term use of crystal can lead to weight loss, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and fatigue which might lead to further immunosuppression.

Ecstasy (E, X, MDMA)

Antiretrovirals (ARVs), particularly PIs (ritonavir) and delavirdine, may cause a 3- to 10-fold increase in ecstasy levels in the bloodstream, leading to an overdose.

To date, there has been at least one death caused by an ecstasy overdose that may be the result of an interaction between ecstasy and the PI ritonavir.

Mixing "X" with PIs is likely to increase levels of "X" as well as prolong the "high." If mixing the two, it is advisable to start with 1/4 to 1/2 tablet and wait for effect.

"X" can increase your body temperature and cause you to sweat, especially if you are dancing in a hot environment. Take frequent breaks to cool off.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially if taking indinavir (Crixivan) or if combining ecstasy with alcohol. Alcohol will increase the risk of dehydration.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, or asthma, "X" could be a dangerous drug for you.

If you are suffering from depression, it may be best to avoid ecstasy as it may either aggravate or complicate the treatment of depression.


0. MAO inhibitors (Nardil) should not be used in combination with "X" as mixing them might cause an increased blood pressure which could be life threatening. Do not mix!


0. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and many others may have a reduced effect when mixed with "X." There is information to suggest that even short-term use of "X" may cause permanent changes in brain chemistry, which could increase the risk of depression.

GHB (G, Liquid Ecstasy)

Protease inhibitors (PIs) may potentially increase levels of GHB in the bloodstream. This interaction is not well documented. However, there is a case report of a life-threatening reaction to GHB when given in combination with the PIs (ritonavir and saquinavir).

GHB is difficult to measure since it is only available as a liquid. It is best to start with no more than one teaspoonful and wait about 30 minutes for effects to begin before taking more. In some people, effects can last for about 4 hours, depending on the dose and/or the possibility of drug interactions.

GHB overdoses can occur pretty quickly and may present with drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, decreased breathing, loss of reflexes, and loss of consciousness. It is best to be on the buddy system when taking GHB.

Avoid mixing with alcohol and sedatives!

Alcohol and GHB are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. When mixed together, alcohol can increase the potential for seizures, difficulty breathing, and GHB coma.

Sedatives (Valium, Halcion, Restoril, and many others) and GHB are both CNS depressants. When mixed together, they can increase your risk of GHB coma and breathing failure.

Heroin (Smack, Junk, China White)

Protease inhibitors such as ritonavir may decrease heroin levels by 50%, thus decreasing the possibility of an overdose.

Don't try to compensate for this possible interaction. Start with your normal dose and only increase if you experience a lesser effect.

Use clean and safe injection technique.

Heroin generally doesn't mix well with other party drugs so avoid mixing!

Ketamine (Special K, K, Vitamin K, Kitty Valium)

Antiretrovirals such as protease inhibitors and delavirdine may increase the levels of "K" in the bloodstream, possibly leading to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, or difficulty breathing.

A New York HIV doctor has reported two cases of "chemical hepatitis" that may be the result of mixing ritonavir with "K."

If mixing "K" with ARVs, less drug will go further. Start with 1/3 to 1/2 of your usual dose and wait for effect. Don't take another bump unless you feel OK. Otherwise, you may end up in a semi-conscious K-hole.

Avoid mixing with alcohol, GHB, or sedatives as all four can cause CNS depression.

Like GHB, it is best to be on the buddy system when taking "K."

Marijuana (THC)

Protease inhibitors may increase levels of THC in the bloodstream. However, there are no known cases of marijuana overdose, so this interaction should not be dangerous.

Smoking marijuana may increase one's risk for pneumonia.

THC may be helpful to control nausea and to increase appetite. As an alternative to smoking, there is an oral form available (Marinol). Marinol may cause more tiredness and fatigue as compared to inhaled marijuana. If given with a protease inhibitor, Marinol can be introduced at a lower dose and increased for effect.

Sedatives (Benzodiazepines)

Protease inhibitors may block the breakdown of certain sedatives, leading to increased blood levels of these drugs. Sedatives to avoid with P's include triazolam (Halcion), midazolam (Versed), flurazepam (Dalmane), and diazepam (Valium).

Alternative sedatives that appear to be safer when combined with protease inhibitors include lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), oxazepam (Serax).

Avoid mixing with alcohol, GHB, or "K!"

Alcohol, GHB, and Ketamine are all CNS depressants and if mixed will increase the risk of decreased breathing or coma.


Protease inhibitors may decrease the clearance of Viagra, leading to high blood levels of Viagra. Side effects of interaction may include abnormal changes in blood pressure and chest pain.

Recommended starting dose of Viagra is 25 mg. Dose may be increased if needed and/or tolerated.

Amyl Nitrate ("Poppers")

May result in extremely low blood pressure which can potentially be fatal.

Do not mix!


Please note that this is not a complete list of all drug interactions that occur with antiretrovirals or other HIV-related medications. The intention of this article is to focus on drug interactions that occur primarily with recreational drugs. If you have questions regarding drug interactions with other prescription and non-prescription medications or with recreational drugs not mentioned in this article, please consult your physician or pharmacist to ensure the safety of that combination. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to your healthcare provider without the fear of being judged.


Additionally, recommendations made to reduce the harm of certain combinations cannot be validated by studies, as there are none. There is no guarantee that a serious adverse reaction won't occur when combining certain drugs listed in the table above. It is important to accept the reality that people are mixing cocktails and party favors on a regular basis. It is simply the hope that after weighing the risks, you make an informed decision to choose what is best for you.


To further reduce the harm of mixing cocktails, here are some general guidelines:

* If you are trying a recreational drug for the first time, try it alone, before mixing it with other substances.
* Avoid mixing psychedelics with alcohol.
* Be conservative and not greedy. Product batches are not always consistent. Just because you tolerated a dose this time, doesn't mean you won't overdose next time.
* Realize that every person reacts differently. Just because your friend can tolerate a combination, doesn't mean that you can.
* Party with friends who know what you are taking in case of an overdose.
* Stay hydrated.
* Get plenty of rest and let your immune system recover.
* Antiretroviral therapy should not be interrupted, as interruption of therapy could lead to viral resistance.

Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about stopping your medications.