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

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Happens to Your Body After Drinking a Coke?

Daily Poisons

Do you want to be healthy? Drinking soda (soft drinks bottled or canned) is bad for your health in so many ways; science can’t even state all the consequences. Here’s what happens in your body when you assault it with a Coke:

Within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake, and the only reason you don’t vomit as a result of the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.

Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.

Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.

Around 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain – a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way.

After 60 minutes, you’ll start to have a sugar crash.


* Nutrition Research Center October 24, 2007


How many sodas have you had today? How about your kids? As of 2005, white bread was dethroned as the number one source of calories in the American diet, being replaced by soft drinks.

The average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks each year, but before you grab that next can of soda, consider this: one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. Not to mention the fact that it’s also your largest source of dangerous high-fructose modified corn syrup.

Let’s take a look at some of the other major components of a can of soda:

* Phosphoric Acid: Which can interfere with the body's ability to use calcium, leading to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones. It also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients.

* Sugar: It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100 percent of the RDA of sugar. Sugar is so bad for your health in so many ways, I even created an entire list outlining 100-Plus Ways in Which Sugar Can Damage Your Health

* Aspartame: This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures.

* Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer.

* Tap Water: I recommend that everyone avoid drinking tap water because it can carry any number of chemicals including chlorine, trihalomethanes, lead, cadmium, and various organic pollutants. Tap water is the main ingredient in bottled soft drinks.

Clearly, the over-consumption of sodas and sweet drinks is one of the leading causes fueling the world-wide obesity epidemic.

One independent, peer-reviewed study published in the British medical journal The Lancet demonstrated a strong link between soda consumption and childhood obesity. They found that 12-year-olds who drank soft drinks regularly were more likely to be overweight than those who didn't. In fact, for each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink consumed during the nearly two-year study, the risk of obesity jumped by 60 percent.

Here’s another sobering fact if you’re struggling with weight issues: Just one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year!

Other statistics on the health dangers of soft drinks include:

* One soda per day increases your risk of diabetes by 85 percent

* Soda drinkers have higher cancer risk. While the federal limit for benzene in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers have found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in some soft drinks, and of the 100 brands tested, most had at least some detectable level of benzene present

* Soda has been shown to cause DNA damage – courtesy of sodium benzoate, a common preservative found in many soft drinks, which has the ability to switch off vital parts of your DNA. This could eventually lead to diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson's

If you are still drinking soda, stopping the habit is an easy way to improve your health. Pure water is a much better choice, or if you must drink a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.

There is absolutely NO REASON your kids should ever drink soda. None, nada, zip, zero. No excuses. The elimination of soft drinks is one of the most crucial factors to deal with many of the health problems you or your children suffer.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Experts Call for Shift in AIDS Policy

AIDS Götterdämmerung
The Twilight & Destruction Of The AIDS Gods
After the figures for AIDS in India and Africa fiasco, the Audry Serrano case, now comes this latest bit of great news. It looks like the AIDS industry is opting for a quite way out to avoid having to admit how very wrong they have all been. Just let the whole thing quietly crumble slowly, this seems to be the tactic here. You can also see from the poll that people are also taking this option, supporting the idea of re-directing AIDS funds to more pressing and real causes. I suppose this is the only way everyone can save face...

Experts Call for Shift in AIDS Policy
Posted: 2008-01-18 17:18:23
Filed Under: Health News, World News

LONDON (Jan. 18) - In the two decades since AIDS began sweeping the globe, it has often been labeled as the biggest threat to international health.

But with revised numbers downsizing the pandemic — along with an admission that AIDS peaked in the late 1990s — some AIDS experts are now wondering if it might be wise to shift some of the billions of dollars of AIDS money to basic health problems like clean water, family planning or diarrhea.

"If we look at the data objectively, we are spending too much on AIDS," said Dr. Malcolm Potts, an AIDS expert at the University of California, Berkeley, who once worked with prostitutes on the front lines of the epidemic in Ghana.

Problems like malnutrition, pneumonia and malaria kill more children in Africa than AIDS.

Read the rest and take the poll here

Friday, January 18, 2008

Great Post By Dan

This is a great post by Dan on the new "Super Strain" of HIV that is now terrorizing the "Gay Community".

Surprise Surprise!!!

New Super-strain of HIV is Pink and Scottish
Notice how this new Super strain virus is even Pink!!! Remember that all photos of HIV are just photos of viral debris painted in bright colours, as HIV has never ever as yet been isolated. Also note how this particular photo seems to have the same shape as the map of Scotland including the Shetland Islands!!

Dan predicted just before Christmas in a post on his blog on December 12th titled Heads Up, that right after the New Year we would have something of the sort.

And lo and behold here it came....
New USA300 strain the New HIV
Scientific American

Here is Dan's blog entry on this new predictable super strain (pink) phenomenon designed to keep all gay men prisoners of fear and firmly within the belief that HIV is finally going to get them all, and daddy doctor is going to save you by giving you "life-saving" cocktails of chemo-love pills.

I'll Take Credit For My Prediction

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Fear Of Losing HIV

By Bob Findle
Artwork by Carter

What? Is that headline a typo? Shouldn’t it be "Fear of Getting HIV?" No. We do not need another article about the fear of getting HIV. We understand that fear. It has been skillfully and unrelentingly marketed to us by the HIV/AIDS industry until HIV=AIDS=DEATH is accepted without question, without proof, and obvious contradictions brushed aside without regard.

But what is this fear of losing HIV? Before I start, I should explain what losing HIV would be. The end of AIDS can only begin by losing HIV from the equation. All HIV treatments, cures and hysteria have to go. HIV is a dead end. False representations and promotion of HIV have to stop. The AIDS defining diseases must be unlinked and treated as the separate conditions they are. The solution for AIDS will happen when the real (not HIV) multi-factorial causes of immune suppression are allowed to be addressed. Losing HIV would mean seeing that we believe in HIV because that is all we have been taught to believe in, all we are presented with and allowed to see.

Being vocal about my HIV disbelief gives me an opportunity to observe the community’s response to anti-HIV information. Often the emotion is fear being displayed as anger, sarcasm, utter incomprehension, nervousness, etc. I questioned this, not understanding why information clearly showing that HIV is not causing AIDS and that AIDS is nothing more than a medical construct would be feared. Shouldn’t this be good news? Or at least information to be considered? I have come to realize that one of the reasons HIV is still with us as a valid theory, when it should have been dumped a long time ago, is that people fear questioning HIV, fear losing it, and fear even hearing a single word against it. I have come to see just how powerful the HIV mindset is. What does it mean if HIV is taken away? The obvious loss is that there would no longer be a viral theory to blame AIDS on. This causes fear in people because it brings out the question of lifestyle factors. For example, people do not want the very obvious link between drugs and AIDS to be promoted. People fear that if HIV is taken away, AIDS may be seen as being only a gay problem (which it is not) and there will be no more research, concern, or interest. The HIV/AIDS gurus fear their anti-virals, prescription drugs, or other HIV procedures being identified as immune suppressive, life destroying, and causing, not stopping AIDS conditions.

But the fear goes much deeper. Look at gay media. HIV/AIDS has become the major defining piece of our consciousness. Everything is HIV/AIDS industry advertisements, services and support, HIV/AIDS news, HIV/AIDS art, entertainment, fund-raisers and social events. This deluge can not be blamed totally on the media producers since they can only give their audience what that audience believes in. Is it any wonder why average Americans can not see gay men as a separate entity from HIV/AIDS? We surely can not even do it ourselves. HIV/AIDS, overtly or covertly, underscores everything. It pulls us together, gives us a focus, a cause, a commonality. The gay community has designed and lives in a total HIV-based culture, both individually and collectively. To have HIV challenged causes great anxiety since humans fear and resist any challenge to what is accepted as reality, even if that reality can be shown as false, which HIV=AIDS can be. This clinging to an HIV reality/identity goes deep. Psychologists have noted that they are seeing more and more gay men who are disturbed by their HIV negative status. These men feel left out and not quite complete. Is the equation actually GAY=HIV=GAY?

Losing HIV/AIDS would mean experiencing and working through a huge shift in consciousness. Do we stick with HIV because it is what we are comfortable with and it is easier than questioning it and looking at what lies beyond? I believe so. To lose HIV we have to accept some rather unpalatable realities. We have to see that we placed too much faith in the medical and scientific communities, trusting them to look out for us, ultimately to save us. I need to be clear that I am not trying to indict every person working within the HIV/AIDS structure as having ulterior motives. While we do have HIV/AIDS specialists and researchers who are truly incompetents, hiding their mediocrity and mistakes behind HIV, blaming it and not themselves for people’s sickness and death, we have many dedicated, competent people in this field who truly believe HIV is something to be combated and they are giving their all. My issue is with the policy makers at the CDC, the NIH, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and huge HIV/AIDS organizations who produce the directives instructing the front-line workers what to believe about AIDS and what to do. We have to acknowledge that their goals and focus are not always in our best interest and there are often severe conflicts of interest stemming from greed and egos. We have to deal with the knowledge that HIV has never been a mistake. An honest mistake we could understand for humans make mistakes. But to lose HIV we must comprehend that we were methodically and purposely deceived and lied to from the very beginning and every attempt to challenge the deception was systematically squelched by the people doing the deceiving. This is not an easy realization. Nobody wants to believe that we could have been so duped, so abused. Just as the abused child, even when presented with the painful truth of their abuse, continues to refuse to believe it was Daddy who hurt them, the gay community must continue to believe in HIV and trust that the HIV/AIDS industry would never be guilty of harming us. For to believe otherwise means the next logical conclusion must be arrived at. And there is the fear. What have we, by our complacency and unquestioning faith, allowed to happen? The tremendous pain and suffering we as a community have dealt with all these years can never be measured. People making radical choices and major changes in their lives due to HIV. Millions upon millions of dollars bled from us, mainly in support of HIV. Horrific drugs and life destroying treatments to battle HIV. The ones we loved and cherished dead, we are told from HIV, when it was actually the treatments. Truly immune compromised people dead because the real cause of their conditions not addressed. To see HIV as the mistake it is, to lose HIV, we must see and somehow manage to accept that all this misery was largely avoidable and unnecessary.

The HIV/AIDS industry has their own valid fear of losing HIV. They know that once the HIV debacle is finally exposed, in addition to the loss of their ill-gotten fame and fortune, they will have to face the tidal wave of anger and rage from the people whose lives have been destroyed. They know they have to keep HIV going at any cost. And they succeed since they control the research, the protocols, the funding.

They have the money and positions to promote whatever they want regardless of truth. they succeed because we give them total control to do so. But they are starting to lose this control. More scientists and doctors are overcoming their own personal fears of being criticized for daring to speak against HIV. The media is slowly letting us see the dissentient movement. More groups are forming to combat the HIV misinformation machines.

I can understand why there is a fear of losing HIV. The aftermath will not be easy on any level for anyone. But we must not let this fear stop us from really looking at what is happening. HIV=AIDS will never be proven and the real evidence shows it should be rejected. The hunt for an HIV cure is a gold mine for the HIV/AIDS industry but a waste of our time, money and lives. To let HIV=AIDS stand without challenge we collectively agree to condemn hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to death. We have to confront our fears, acknowledge the slaughter of the HIV years, and move forward to stop any more HIV genocide. WE have to march on Washington, protest, demand change, free ourselves from HIV, not ask for more of the same. Open your minds people, risk facing your fears, let HIV go, see that the answers to AIDS are already here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The AIDS Mirage

By Hiram Caton

Chapter 2
What God spared Egypt, Americans inflict on themselves. — Dr. Harry Meyer, Former Director, National Biologics Laboratory
AIDS is the most political disease of our age. Since the first cases appeared 14 years ago (25 years ago), the epidemic has become a battleground for culture wars, for parliamentary wrangles, and scientific dispute. AIDS has galvanised medical research into a scramble for health dollars. It won celebrity as a human rights cause, as a lawyer's bonanza and as a media sensation. In its short career, AIDS has become the most talked-about, anxiety-laden, fiercely contested, lavishly resourced, and withal the most wept-over illness of modern times. If the prestige of diseases is ranked by the resources allocated for care, therapy development and research, then AIDS is the most prestigious disease ever.

The cause of this tumult is said to be a microbe unknown to science until 1983. Even before its discovery, the powers conferred on the minute entity rivalled archetypal legends of pollution and plague. It was said to be the cause of not one, but three, then 16, then 25 and now today 29 diseases – an unprecedented feat for any microbe in the history of human illness. Like the Greek fates, it gripped the afflicted in its iron maw and dragged them to inexorable doom. As one AIDS patient put it: "I felt that a microscopic junta had seized my body; I was under its command".

The virus, when it was discovered, baffled science. The comprehensive report of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Science, Confronting AIDS (1986), may serve as a benchmark. The report stressed that the progress of AIDS science was slowed by the poorly understood, complex interactions of a wide variety of cells that make up the immune system. The report acknowledged that the mechanisms by which HIV depletes T4 cells "remain mysterious".

"Mystery" is the right word, for HIV is a freak that defies the rules of disease causation. With all other infectious agents, the quantities of the microbe greatly increase as the disease progresses to greater virulence. Yet this is not so for AIDS. Not only is there no or little increase in quantities of HIV as the disease becomes more virulent, but high levels of HIV antibodies are present in the terminal stage. How was it possible for HIV to massacre T4 cells without greatly multiplying? In recent years, scientists have increasingly abandoned faith in this etiological miracle. The premier advocate of the HIV/AIDS dogma, Dr. Robert Gallo, admitted at a recent conference that his laboratory has never recovered HIV from T4 cells. Yet he, more than any other scientist, produced the conviction that HIV causes AIDS by entering and destroying T4 cells.

The latency period is also a puzzle. The original picture of cell infection shows HIV entering a T4 cell, converting to a provirus, and then going to sleep. This is the kind of thing that thousands of silent microbes do as "passengers" in the human body. But then it wakes up and ravages the immune system. Why does it wake up? This is the problem of "cofactors". At this moment it is a watershed in AIDS science. Those who believe in cofactors argue that HIV isn't quite the lethal agent it has been made out to be. It is a harmless passenger except when Factor X intervenes. The discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier, holds this view. He proposes that the cofactor is the bacterium derivative Mycoplasma fermentans, which is implicated in one of the major AIDS defining diseases, Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). Danish doctors who controlled Mycoplasma with antibiotics achieved remission from PCP. Since 1992 Montagnier has promoted antibiotic control of HIV by the indirect method of controlling its supposed bacterial cofactor. Robert Gallo, for his part, promotes his newly discovered herpes virus, HHV-6, which infects T4 cells, as a cofactor influencing the differential rates at which HIV+ persons progress to AIDS.

HIV is the only microbe that behaves differently according to the geographic location of its host. In Africa it acts like other infectious agents, attacking male and female alike. But in North America and Europe it is sociotropic, seeking out adult gay men and intravenous drug users. Moreover, the risk factors vary by geography. In Africa, they are not receptive anal intercourse and drug use, but parasitic diseases and malnutrition. Reports in the Western press of the horrendous levels of HIV infection in Africa, and the coming "depopulation" of the continent, are based on immunoassay tests whose reliability has been challenged. Professor P.A.K. Addy, Head of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, states that-

Europeans and Americans came to Africa with prejudiced minds, so they are seeing what they wanted to see... I've known for a long time that AIDS is not a crisis in Africa as the world is being made to understand.
As one wit put it, in Africa the AIDS virus is the Human Rumour Virus.

Management of the epidemic depends on the assumption that the test for HIV antibodies is a reliable indicator of the presence of the virus. Under the Australian definition of AIDS, an HIV+ test classifies patients as Category 3 AIDS. However, scientists at the Royal Perth Hospital argue that the most specific HIV test, the Western blot (WB), is unreliable. The problem, they say, is that cross-reactivity of sera proteins defeats the specificity of the tests. The tests detect HIV in haemophiliacs, leprosy patients and other cohorts who do not progress to AIDS. This view is shared by Philip Mortimer, Director of the Virus Reference Laboratory in London, who states that owing to the want of WB specificity for HIV-

It may be impossible to relate an antibody response specifically to HIV-1 infection.
This creates an ethical challenge for AIDS case management. Are persons who test HIV+ being told by counsellors that the specificity of the test is in question?

HIV's weird ways as a cell pathogen present a further paradox. Lab data show HIV-associated cell death to be far less than natural T4 cell death. This means that the immune system's normal replacement of normal T4 cell depletion is handily superior to HIV's supposed killing rate. How then does HIV shatter the immune system? Does it work by proxy? Does it, like a small contingent of commandos, trick lymphocytes by changing the surface proteins they use to recognise one another? Are T8 suppressor cells killing off the T4 helper cells? This is the multi-antigen-mediated-autoimmunity (MAMA) hypothesis of Robert Root-Bernstein, which states that a combination of antigens compromise immunity by causing the immune system to turn against itself.

Despite these uncertainties about the microbe's attack on the body, its assault on the mind was immediate, violent, and overt.
The purple splotches that are the first signs of Kaposi's sarcoma triggered anxiety and depression among gay men. The need for crisis counselling was quickly recognised; today crisis counselling is a major part of AIDS care. The warning sign from 1985 was not symptoms but the results of HIV immunoassay tests. Test results are so dreaded that counselling is made available before and after the test. By 1988 AIDS counsellors had identified a syndrome that they called AFRAIDS. It affects people who believe that they have the virus although they test negative. Their symptoms mimic seroconversion symptoms of weight loss, night sweats, and diarrhoea. A positive test result is usually interpreted as a death sentence of uncertain execution date. In awarding three haemophiliac boys compensation against the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory and the Australian Red Cross, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Ashley told the boys that $1 million compensation might not seem a great amount of damages for someone who, without any fault of his own, has received a premature death sentence.

The attack on the mind is not limited to affected individuals and their loved ones. Effects on communities began in 1981 as an alarm cry among gay activists and infectious diseases scientists. This handful of men and women recognised a mission to warn gay men of an awful threat stemming from their lifestyle. At first they were shouted down. As Randy Shilts describes in And the Band Played On, the gay press denounced the idea of a "gay plague" as yet another bout of self-hatred among gay men, in league with heterosexual disgust with the gay lifestyle. The battleline was drawn at bathhouses. The "alarmists" wanted them promptly closed. Closure would slow transmission of the infectious agent while having the educative effect of alerting gay men to epidemic danger. Yet bathhouses were a symbol of gay liberation, and the bathhouses experience was interwoven with gay consciousness. To allow public health officers to close the bathhouses was to endure a mighty defeat to gay power. The alternative course – that the gay community should take the initiative in their closure – would be a public retreat from gay liberation. Three years of struggle passed before bathhouses were closed. In that period, gay consciousness reacquired inhibitions that had been discarded.

Next it was the turn of heterosexuals. The media took scant notice of AIDS until 1984. The turnaround event was the announcement, in April, that government scientist Robert Gallo had discovered the viral cause of AIDS. The high level press conference convened by Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler made world headlines. Public belief that AIDS is a viral epidemic may be dated from that moment. Gallo's virus gave credibility to the speculation that blood-products from blood banks may be contaminated. Blood suppliers moved quickly to implement costly procedures to ensure blood product safety. However, according to Shilts, the public were finally convinced of the reality of AIDS only when the film celebrity Rock Hudson was stricken and died in 1985. Hudson, a closet gay, was for most fans the epitome of heterosexual romance. That paradox somehow communicated the message that AIDS was a threat to heterosexuals. It made a large impact on President and Mrs. Reagan, who had long been friends with Hudson. From that moment, the previously silent White House gave its blessings to the war on AIDS. Funding shot up from $61.5 million in 1984 to $766 million in 1987 and $1 billion in 1988.

By 1987, media reporting on AIDS and safe sex education had penetrated the consciousness of most sexually active men and women. The US Surgeon General summed up the effects of the massive campaign by declaring that "AIDS has killed the sexual revolution". There were many signs prior to AIDS that the balmy days of user-friendly consumer sex were in eclipse. Playboy Clubs – those heterosexual bathhouses – closed throughout the world; the Playboy empire narrowly missed collapse. Signs of sexual anxiety were ubiquitous. Rape and child sexual abuse became a media obsession. And the first cases of child sexual abuse remembered in adult years came to light. Called today the "false memory syndrome", it is a highly contagious therapeutic suggestion expressing unresolved conflicts about sexuality. Also to be counted in the toll of anxiety is the adoption, in the last decade, of rules against sexual harassment and sexist language. Casual relations between women and men that permitted touching and frank expression of desire were out, together with mini-skirts, cleavage, and one-night stands. That working class amusement, wolf whistles from construction sites, were out; good manners and baggy clothing were in.

The HIV virus also vexes the minds of scientists. I have mentioned their perplexity about its strange ways as a disease agent. They urgently called for and obtained massive research funding that today enlists about 10,000 scientists who produce 7,000 publications per year. Despite this surfeit of truth, there exists no article that critically reviews the evidence for HIV's destruction of cells and demonstrates that such destruction creates "opportunities" for diseases as diverse as dementia and tuberculosis. The cry of helplessness was sounded last year by Science in reporting findings of the 9th Annual World AIDS Congress in Berlin. In noting that neither a cure nor a vaccine was remotely on the horizon, the editorial stated that "the more rapidly knowledge of the disease accumulates, the faster assumptions that seemed solid a year ago begin to crumble". This means that the taxpayer is funding more research so that less will be understood.

This mirage is not the only sign of the AIDS virus' assault on the mind. The identity of the virus has been the source of confusion, law suits, and recriminations. For two years, AIDS science accepted that three viruses caused AIDS – Gallo's human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), the Pasteur Institute's lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV), and Jay Levy's AIDS-associated virus (ARV). Although there was much rejoicing that the viral agent had been found, which was it exactly? Gallo and Montagnier, ardent for the Nobel Prize, fought for acceptance of their respective discoveries. In 1986 an international nomenclature committee decreed that Gallo had erroneously classified his virus as an HTLV type. It belonged instead to the same viral family as the Pasteur Institute's LAV. Jay Levy's ARV was also deemed to belong to the LAV family. The committee made a fresh start by naming the AIDS virus "HIV" (human immunodeficiency virus). Gallo strongly protested this decision. He maintained that LAV was a laboratory contaminant, and that the mechanism of the viral cell damage was inextricably bound up with the HTLV type of viral activity. Montagnier, on the other hand, maintained that Gallo's virus was pinched from a sample of the virus that he had sent to Gallo.

Thus the rival architects of AIDS science attributed delusion to one another, and AIDS science was stuck with the embarrassment of two or three AIDS viruses.

More of this was to come. Once the technique for HIV isolation was developed, the hunt was on. In 1986 Montagnier's group isolated a variant, HIV-2. The patient had not come from an AIDS region of Africa, and he produced no antibodies to HIV-1. On the other hand, HIV-2 was also found in a group of prostitutes who were free of AIDS. In 1987 the laboratory of Myron Essex found HTLV-IV, Gallo found HIV-3, and a Swedish laboratory discovered HTLV-V. The relationship between these strains of AIDS viruses, and their causal relation to the disease, is a matter of speculation.

In 1987 another mirage appeared on the AIDS battlefield. Writing in Cancer Research, Peter Duesberg undertook a detailed examination of the evidence adduced to support the belief that HTLV-I causes some types of leukaemia and that HIV-1 causes AIDS. He concluded that the evidence in both cases was suppositious and in conflict with basic rules for infectious diseases. He made the point mentioned above, that the quantity of HIV in AIDS patients is far less than what is required for infection. The titres of HIV in AIDS patients varied from 0 to 100 particles per millilitre. By contrast, titres of other infectious agents must reach billions or trillions per millilitre before they become pathogenic. Duesberg also cited rigorous laboratory work to recover HIV from the T cells of AIDS patients. In a sample of 91 patients, three had no HIV. This was proof, he claimed, that HIV is not a necessary condition for AIDS.

This was a serious criticism from a serious source. The discovery of reverse transcription by Howard Temin and David Baltimore won them the Nobel Prize because of the significance attached to the reverse transcription ("retro") process, in which an RNA virus converts itself into a DNA provirus. The discovery stimulated speculation that reverse transcriptase might be the mechanism of virus-induced cancer. Duesberg was among the young scientists who bought a ticket on that train (Robert Gallo was another). He led the race by elucidating the genetic nature of the retrovirus family and mapping the three key genes gag, pol and env.

There is nothing inherently implausible about Duesberg's criticism of the evidence for HIV causality. The progress of science is littered with the bones of false starts and superseded theories. One such belief is that the reverse transcriptase enzyme is something special. It isn't. The enzyme is natural to the human genome. When Duesberg's criticism is combined with the Royal Perth group's theory of cellular oxidative stress, and their criticism of immunoassay tests, a comprehensive view of the foul-up and the right road ahead emerges. It is this. AIDS diseases are not viral. They are caused by introduced toxins. The indicated therapy is to use reducing agents to halt the oxidisation of cells by these toxins and prevent further introduction of them.

At first Duesberg's alternative attracted notice from the scientific press as a startling case of a talented scientist who had run afoul of orthodoxy. The truth managers – influential journal editors and heads of institutes – branded him pariah and he was ostracised by colleagues. The Royal Perth group didn't get a hearing at all.

This is odd. Faced with what they said was the gravest health crisis of the century, the AIDS establishment did not do what rational method would seem to suggest: to investigate the alternative hypotheses with all vigour. The opposite happened: the alternative case was cast aside as "lunatic".

A clue about why alternative hypotheses are dismissed emerges from a recent book. In The Plague Makers: How We Are Creating Catastrophic New Epidemics – And What We Must Do to Avert Them, Jeffrey A. Fisher, MD, argues that the mass prescription of medical drugs, particularly antibiotics, contributes significantly to viral overload and/or immune suppression, which in turn multiplies the incidence of illness. He points out that doctors have created plagues in hospitals. In the US, there are two million hospital acquired infections annually, resulting in a mortality of 80,000. That is three times the annual mortality from AIDS; yet the medically induced epidemic is scarcely noticed. This is only one item in a long list of sicknesses, side-effects and injuries acquired from doctors and clinics. Seeing AIDS as a calamitous plague expresses this predicament allegorically. It tells the story of doctors wounded by the failure of their healing art, and distressed by the half-conscious sense that modern therapeutics may abet sickness and suffering. We may call this predicament the Acquired Anxiety Syndrome.

The signs of this Syndrome are the daily diet of newspapers. There is incessant reportage of the aggression, mayhem, litigation, suffering, misunderstanding and politicking that occur in the health arena: incorrect surgery; misdiagnosis; a drug that killed or maimed; a host of diseases transmitted in hospitals and through blood banks; large compensation payouts for an IUD or silicone implants; therapeutic advances that prolong chronic illness; disputes about the causes of illness and the effectiveness of therapies; client disaffection about waiting lists; abuse in psychiatric wards; the revolt of women against reproductive technology; patients abusing doctors for saving a life not worth living; disability groups attacking initiatives to eradicate heritable diseases; spiralling health care costs; $7 million spent by the NSW Medical Tribunal to strike one doctor from the lists; health managerial reforms to control of "outcomes"; a panel commissioned to steer the health minister out of a tight spot.

Earlier this year, a New South Wales court awarded Rhonda O'Shea a large settlement because it found that her doctor and the pathologist had been negligent in failing to diagnose indications of cervical cancer from a Pap smear. Expert testimony given to the court revealed that the false positive and false negative rates of Pap smear are a "closely guarded secret". The secret is being kept from patients like O'Shea who, if they had the information, might follow her example:

I want to make clear to people that just because their doctor says something, it is not gospel...what I have learned is to take the issue into my own hands.

© 1995 by Hiram Caton