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Pre-2008 Posts

AIDS Dissent: African Holocaust

Please watch this video and forward it to as many others as you are able.  It is longer than most videos  posted to blogs, about 16 minutes long, but it is worth every minute.  In the video, researchers and health care professionals from around the world explain why they believe that it is not AIDS which is killing Africa at all.  In fact, the insistence that it is AIDS is what is killing Africans by the thousands now and will kill Africans by the hundreds of thousands and even millions in the future.

We have been hearing for years now from the World Health Organiztion (WHO) and UNAIDS that AIDS is responsible for the deaths of millions of people on the African continent.  What most people do not know is that based on WHO guidelines developed in the mid-’80s, people in Africa and other Third World countries are often given an AIDS diagnoses when they have two major symptoms — weight loss, chronic diarrhea or chronic fever — and one minor symptom,  like coughing, fatigue, or  generalized itching.  In Africa, in other words, if you present to a medical clinic with diarrhea, a fever and a cough, you are likely to be diagnosed as having AIDS.  This is called the “Bangui Definition”.

In poor areas of Africa, like Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of people lack the basic essentials of life:  food, water, and adequate sanitation.    For this reason, they often develop chronic diarrhea.  When they have had chronic diarrhea for a while, they lose significant weight; at that point they have two of the “major symptoms” of AIDS by the Bangui Definition.  Additionally, malaria, tuberculosis, dysentary — epidemics throughout Africa for many years , long before the beginning of the AIDS epidemic anywhere in the world– are also characterized by fever, weight loss and such “minor symptoms” as coughing and fatigue.  In some African countries, Tanzania being one, medical professionals have limited the diagnosis criteria even further, so that just presenting with one major symptom, like weight loss, might mean being diagnosed as HIV positive or as having AIDS.

The treatment for all of the diseases and symptoms listed is good food, clean water, and proper sanitation, and in the case of malaria, mosquito nets and inexpensive medications which work to treat malaria.  When First World nations — which had the money to do so — invested funds in sewers, proper sanitation and clean water, tuberculosis, dysentary and malaria became largely a thing of the past.  African nations by and large do not have the money to invest in this infrastructure, and the money they do have is being diverted to AIDS education, condom distribution, abstinence campaigns and toxic AIDS pharmaceuticals, some of which (like AZT) are known to in fact cause AIDS.  One of the researchers who testifies to this on the video is a long time AZT researcher.

We are constantly hearing of estimated numbers of AIDS cases in Africa and estimated deaths from AIDS in the multi-millions.  In fact these numbers are computer estimates extrapolated by combining approximately 4,000 blood tests per year which have been given to pregnant women.  The combined blood from these blood tests is given the “Elisa” test for HIV antibodies.  But the HIV-antibody tests used in these surveys are known to come up positive based, again, on cross-reactions with antibodies produced from malaria, TB and parasitic infection — all common conditions in Africa. The test manufacturers themselves warn that pregnancy is a known cause of false positives.

One horror of all of this is, to visit a medical clinic with a fever or weight loss, or just a fever or just weight loss, in most African countries, may mean being diagnosed with AIDS, a terminal illness,  may mean being given a death sentence, in other words.  Given the few medical supplies available and the fact that western doctors say AIDS is a terminal  illness, most of the time, people diagnosed with AIDS are simply sent home to die.  In some places they are given toxic, life-threatening AIDS drugs which hasten their deaths.

Doctors in the video describe the way administering basic, common and inexpensive medications for diarrhea, cough, and fever prolong the lives of African people.  They describe the way very often, those who receive the AIDS diagnosis are shunned by their families and communities, sent to live in small huts on the outskirts of villages and given small amounts of food.  Under these conditions, of course, people with malaria, or dysentary, or AIDS, or even chronic diarrhea, will die.    Even in developed countries with adequate sanitation, children, babies, the elderly, the ill sometimes die from diarrhea.

An additional horror is, mothers diagnosed with AIDS or as HIV positive via this  “Bangui Definition” are told to stop breastfeeding and to feed their children formula.  This is done on the grounds that HIV is transmitted in breast milk, although again, the HIV/AIDS diagnosis may be based on having only one to three symptoms very common to a huge number of people in Africa.  This is yet an additional boon for drug companies which then serves to further compromise immunity for a highly vulnerable population, infants and toddlers, depriving them of the immunities which might help them to withstand the poor health conditions many of them face growing up.   A mother’s immunities are passed along to her child in her breast milk.

There is tremendous resistance to “AIDS dissent” in part because so much money is involved — not money for clean water, or healthy food, or sanitation, but money for “AIDS education,” condoms, toxic drugs, infant formulas.   Of course, if people can be held responsible for their own diseases (if they’d just received AIDS education, used condoms or fed their babies formula, they and their children wouldn’t be sick), then the money which is going to these condoms, AIDS education, drugs, formulas will never be used for what is truly making Africans and other Third World People sick:  poverty.  Not having the basic necessities of life.   And I cannot but think that this is racism in one of its most deadly forms, this treating of African and Third World people as though the epidemics and sicknesses they suffer are the result of their unsafe sex practices!  It is nothing short of genocide we are witnessing here.

If you doubt what I have written here, please watch the video, then read all of the articles here in this thread in the Africa Speaks forum.  And if you think this kind of thing could not happen in the U.S. or the West, think again:

If the AIDS story in Africa feels like a parody of a bureaucratic blunder, take note: In April of this year, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new HIV testing strategy for the United States. Rather than relying on voluntary HIV-testing, federal officials are urging the testing of all pregnant women in the US, and are implementing measures to make HIV-testing a routine part of hospital visits. The CDC is promoting a rapid HIV-test for use in all federally funded clinics, as well as homeless shelters, prisons and substance abuse treatment centers.

The HIV-antibody tests are known to cross-react with antibodies produced during pregnancy, drug abuse and nearly 70 other common conditions, and no HIV test is FDA approved to diagnose HIV infection. The standard medical treatment for HIV infection is a combination of the most toxic drugs ever manufactured. (from the link above).

Film and heads up via Brasscheck TV, thanks to Gen Vaughan.

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Discussion

34 thoughts on “AIDS Dissent: African Holocaust

  1. This is a garbage conspiracy theory. I am surprised you are buying into it.

    The percentage of orphans in parts of Africa most affected by AIDS is much higher than before the AIDS pandemic. Otherwise healthy women and men in their child-rearing years are dropping like flies, while children and older folks are not who should be more susceptible to disease and death are not. Why? Because AIDS in Africa hits mostly the sexually active, especially those with multiple partners. That is no conspiracy but a health emergency.

    While it is arguable how to best apportion and distribute health care money for treatment and prevention of HIV, infectious diseases, tuberculosis, and provision of clean water, mosquito netting, and nutritious food, and vaccines, it is stupid to spread this story you have posted here. Anything that titles itself “AID Hoax” is another way of spreading fear and misinformation to the people in Africa and abroad who need information and treatment the most.

    Millions are dying unnecessarily in South Africa, because for years high-level government figures have contended that AIDS was a hoax, something that could be countered with showers after sex, herbs, and good food. Or even better — having sex with a virgin who would cleanse you of HIV. This stuff you have posted is only marginally more sophisticated.

    Posted by twitch | February 18, 2008, 12:59 am
  2. twitch, did you bother to watch the video?

    Did you read the thread I linked to?

    Although I could call your defenses of the indefensible “garbage” as well– I will not. While I think it is completely “stupid” to defend big pharm, corporate liars, western multinationals, and bumbling bureaucrats, I won’t call your defenses of all of the above “stupid”, and I will thank you to restrain yourself when you comment to my blog as well.

    I read every article in the link I posted to and numerous additional articles, written by reputable people. I watched the video not once, not twice, but three times.

    I think a huge reason people are dying is, they are taking toxic, liver-destroying, life destroying medicines given to them because they sought help for fevers and sore throats. I think they are dying because of poverty, dirty water, lousy sanitation and, as has been true for many years now, *disease*. Disease that is not being treated because it is being diagnosed as AIDS and treated, again, with toxic poisons or not treated at all.

    I will change the title of my blog post. That does strike me as reasonable. The rest of your comment is in my opinion reactionary and uninformed, the knee jerk comment of someone who has bought into lies promulgated by western multinationals, big Pharm, and people who are all about the money.

    If you want to discuss this, have the decency to read what I have linked to and view the entire video. Don’t come here spouting off. WHO, UNAIDS, AIDS organizations, Roche labs, Abbott labs, big Pharm, and patriarchal medicine are not sacred cows to me as they appear to be to you. I know only too well how much they hurt people. Especially poor people. Especially women and children. Especially people of color.

    The drugs used to treat AIDS-diagnosed people in Africa were rejected for approval in the USA because some of them killed people. One person who participated in a study of one of these drugs had to have a liver transplant. Yet these drugs are being given to pregnant women in Africa.

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 1:22 am
  3. Geezus your response pisses me off, twitch. Nobody who has watched that video could write what you’ve written and call that video remotely unsophisticated. These are medical researchers, AZT researchers.

    It is just *logical*. There’s a reason so many women and children have AIDS in Africa and Third World countries while the same is not true here. They don’t actually *have* it. They have *other* horrible diseases that are being diagnosed as AIDS. That doesn’t happen here in the U.S. because so far, doctors aren’t diagnosing people who show up at clinics with sore throats, weight loss and fevers as HIV positive and treating them with deadly AIDS drugs or not treating them at all for the disease they do have.

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 1:25 am
  4. I did watch the video. I’m wondering: Is AIDS really diagnosed in Africa the way that the speakers in this video explain? Are people calling other diseses, like malaria, AIDS, and giving patients unncecessary, toxic medications? If so, that is outrageous. But is it true? I don’t know. The problem is that the people who are making the overdiagnosis claims don’t appear to be credible sources. I googled the names of the people who speak in this video. I found that many of them (perhaps all of them) are connected with this AIDS dissident movement that claims that HIV does not cause AIDS. I would like to see some people outside this AIDS dissident group respond to the claim of AIDS overdiagnosis in Africa.

    Posted by xochitl | February 18, 2008, 3:34 pm
  5. xochitl, check out the thread I linked to– there is at least one African man who describes his experience of going to a clinic and being immediately tested for AIDS because he is thin and if I’m recalling correctly, had a fever. It sounds like in metropolitan areas, tests for HIV are available, but they are not widely available outside of metropolitan areas and so doctors and health professionals rely on symptoms. The man who commented in the thread was not HIV positive, but he says undoubtedly, had he gone to a clinic where tests were not available, he’d have been diagnosed as having AIDS.

    I don’t think that being an AIDS dissident or believing that HIV does not cause AIDS makes someone less than credible. Do a google search on Peter Duesberg, for example. Whatever anyone believes about the connection between HIV and AIDS, overdiagnosis of AIDS and treatments with dangerous drugs and urging women to stop breastfeeding are pretty bad. I think there is plenty of info on the thread I linked to about the limitations of the tests for HIV and why the tests are even less useful in Africa and Third World countries. I think it’s logical to assume that AIDS will be overdiagnosed where the Bangui Definition is used to diagnose AIDS. I mean, if it is diagnosed on the basis of two major and one minor symptom, of course it is going to be overdiagnosed.

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 4:22 pm
  6. Here is a link to a manual called Handbook on Pediatric AIDS in Africa. It’s over 200 pages and is a pdf document and hard for my computer at home to negotiate. But in the introduction, it says:

    While it is true that the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in children can be technologically complex and clinically unreliable, we must ensure that the absence of a definitive laboratory diagnosis does not become a disincentive to provide (or an excuse to deny) available care to children and their families. We must not only continue to improve access to appropriate diagnostics but must also invest in health workers’ skills in suspecting and/or diagnosing HIV in children, in communicating difficult news to parents and guardians, and in positioning families to benefit from the best care available in each setting.

    If you go to pages 85-89, you see the instructions (and I think they cite to WHO) for diagnosing AIDS where no clinical tests are available (and they aren’t in most of Sub-Saharan Africa). They are as set forth in the video up there. The recommendation includes treatment with “retrovirals.”

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 5:06 pm
  7. From page 87:

    The older (1986) WHO Case Definition of AIDS in Children may be even more familiar to clinicians and health workers in many primary care settings. Despite its recognised weaknesses—it has a low sensitivity (but high specificity)—it is still of value in identifying children needing to be referred for treatment. Because it has a low sensitivity,these criteria may also identify children with primary malnutrition, tuberculosis or post-measles complications as having AIDS.

    Table 5.3. 1986 WHO Case Definition of AIDS in Children

    Major Signs (presence of at least 2 required):

    • Weight loss or abnormally slow growth
    • Chronic diarrhoea (>1 month duration)
    • Prolonged fever (>1 month duration)
    • Severe or recurrent pneumonia

    Minor Signs (presence of at least 2 required):

    • Generalized lymph node enlargement
    • Oropharyngeal candidiasis
    • Recurrent common infections (e.g., ear infections, pharyngitis)
    • Persistent cough (in the absence of TB disease)
    • Generalized rash
    • Maternal HIV infection

    AIDS is defined as the presence of at least 2 or more major signs and 2 or more minor signs if there are no other causes of immune suppression

    On page 95 it has a table delineating treatment for children diagnosed with AIDs. The top category is as follows:

    IF there are:

    No laboratory facilities, HIV is suspected from clinical signs

    • Monitor growth and development
    • Provide nutrition care and support
    • Control infections
    • Give PCP prophylaxis
    • Treat opportunistic infections (OIs)

    If AIDS is suspected:

    • Provide all above, plus
    • Refer for ART

    If you go to pages 152 and beyond, you find that “PCP prophylaxis” consists of doses of Cotrimoxazole, and if not available, Dapsone, pentamidine, atovaquone

    If you continue on a couple of pages, “ART” means “anti-retroviral treatment.”

    • Less than 3 years of age and/or 10 kg—zidovudine/lamivudine/efavirenz
    • Failed nevirapine prophylaxis—zidovudine/lamivudine/lopinavir
    and ritonavir co-formulation

    These are the drugs prescribed for children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS on the basis of symptoms alone.

    Posted by womensspace | February 18, 2008, 5:31 pm
  8. If you haven’t been to Africa, you don’t know a thing about Africans! All of this is wild speculation.

    Even in the land of plenty (the U.S.) stopping STDs is well neigh impossible! We should really work in our own backyard every now and then.

    Posted by Satsuma | February 18, 2008, 11:44 pm
  9. If you read the articles in the link I posted and view the video, most of these people have been to Africa or are Africans or from other Third World countries.

    I think that talking about what is going on in Africa actually is working on our own backyard. Abbott Labs, one of the pharmaceutical companies that makes the drugs being given to African people diagnosed on the basis of these symptoms is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, for example, as are other pharmaceutical companies that market infant formula. That’s our backyard. Multinational pharmaceutical corporations, including American based ones, donate tons of money every year to the World Health Organization, as well, WHO being the UN body that formulates and implements these health policies throughout the world. U.S. and other international AIDS organizations appear to be pushing policies for African nations that are appropriate for the U.S. and the West, not Africa or other Third World countries.

    It is these connections that most concern me, in that I think they are Americans’ back yard, Americans and our interests interfering in the lives and business of African and Third World people.

    Posted by womensspace | February 19, 2008, 12:24 am
  10. I don’t think you have to go to Africa to “know a thing about Africans”–? What “thing” are we seeking to know?
    I do know they’re our neighbors (and for some of us, –actually all of us–our ancestry) and that they are dying en masse.

    Coupled with the advice to be “taking care of people in our own backyard every know and then” and it sounds like you’re saying African issues aren’t so worthy of our attentions as we are limited to “wildly speculating” since only people who have been to Africa know “a thing” about Africans.

    The only way Americans (or other non-Africans) can think about African issues is from afar. Even if someone has been able to visit there it makes them barely more of an expert than someone who has not.

    I looked up “Bangui Diefinition”.

    From reading (on wikipedia), this is how AIDS is diagnosed in general in Africa, which really seems pretty scary to me. I’d never heard of it before. I never imagined people weren’t actually tested in Africa.

    I do sort of regret that this video features AIDS dissidents as unfortunately it is now less likely to be taken seriously. Sometimes it does take dissidents of whatever kind to bring up valid points (they usually have at least one), and it is fact that the Bengui Definition is standard in Africa, amongst an already extremely immune compromised and weak population.

    It’s really sad and scary to me. I wonder what any doctors or nurses who are reading think?

    Posted by Jeyoani | February 19, 2008, 1:16 am
  11. I would advise you to get your hands on a copy of ‘What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?’ by Christine Maggiore. It’s a slim book and the information is presented with little embellishment; I was skeptical about it at first but the more I look into the matter and research the subject, the more I realise just how wrong our approach to the disease could be, from diagnosis to treatment – many people are being subjected to incredibly poisonous ‘medicines’ due to incorrect diagnoses. The tests we currently use (Western Blot and ELISA) have an unacceptably high false-positive rate for these conditions, and once diagnosed with HIV or AIDS you can have your rights severely restricted, with access to some countries barred and marriage, insurance and many other things refused. This is happening all over the world, from America to Africa, and I’m quite frankly terrified by the whole thing. I’m not saying AIDS is a hoax, people all over the world get it, but the approach to diagnosing, treating and preventing it is currently way off, and may be harming as many people as it purportedly saves – and yes, there are powerful people profiting from the current system, which is even more alarming.

    Posted by Mwezzi | February 19, 2008, 6:44 pm
  12. A little addition to my last comment – I have aspirations of becoming a doctor. I’ll have to come up against this kind of thing in the future – I hope when the time comes I’ll be ready, with as much information as possible to help me make the right decisions.

    Posted by Mwezzi | February 19, 2008, 6:47 pm
  13. “There is tremendous resistance to “AIDS dissent” in part because so much money is involved — not money for clean water, or healthy food, or sanitation, but money for “AIDS education,” condoms, toxic drugs, infant formulas.”

    Whether it’s AIDS dissent or the latest conspiracy theory, one has to question what big drug companies are getting out of all of this.

    In the U.S. alone, people are dying and the diseases on their death certificates are not about AIDS.

    I’m always amazed that we overlook the simple low tech things that can be shared internationally — mosquito nets, hand driven water pumps and the like.

    And then there is the suffering of women who have to deal with the endless civil wars that the U.S. backs. You have rape as a national policy in Monrovia, in Ivory Coast and many other places long after the “wars’ are over.

    So I would be very weary of the latest “AIDS crisis in Africa” headlines.

    I think the issue comes down to whether or not women have full control over their own bodies, whether they have options to marriage, and whether or not we can create economies where women are not dependent on men for food, money or a good reputation. Now that would be a real revolution in third world countries!

    Posted by Satsuma | February 19, 2008, 7:58 pm
  14. It seems to me that actual HIV tests should be made available to all African health services. Money should be spent in that effort. Then, at least, you wouldn’t have medical practitioners relying on well-meaning but inaccurate measures of AIDS — thinness, diarhea, fatigue, etc. To me, this seems more a case of lack of money for real medical care than a case of an AIDS hoax or conspiracy.

    And yes, Heart, you are right — I do believe in Western medicine, so we’ll disagree there.

    As to calling things “garbage”, that was over-the-top. My only defense is that I actually care a lot about people in Africa getting treatment for HIV, and so many conspiracy theories and denial have gotten in the way of that treatment in the past.

    Posted by twitch | February 19, 2008, 9:35 pm
  15. I don’t know– I think hoaxes and conspiracies can be unintentional, or even well-intentioned. And still be hoaxes and conspiracies in the sense that a whole bunch of people convince a whole bunch of other people that something is so when it isn’t.

    I don’t disbelieve in Western medicine. Where did I say that? It’s just not a sacred cow to me.

    mwezzi, thanks for the book recommend, I will check it out, it sounds really interesting.

    I think people so often put way too much faith in doctors, researchers, drug manufacturers, and organizations like WHO. These are staffed by human beings and will evidence the same weaknesses, poor judgment, sexism, racism, homo/lesbophobia, classism, propensity to stereotype as all other individuals and organizations and groups. What’s difficult is, the beliefs, politics, conclusions of all of the above get codified into policies and regulations and protocols which are imposed on all of us and which can affect the whole world, for better or for worse. Doctors and medical organizations aren’t gods and their procedure manuals and PDRs and sets of operating procedures are not holy writ. I think we ought to be consistently and relentlessly scrutinizing everything they say, recommend and do because they have *so* much power over so many people, including the power to cause great harm.

    I do avail myself of western medicine when it’s appropriate– when I broke my leg, I went to the doctor. When my kids cut themselves and needed stitches, doctor. When I had mastitis, I needed antibiotics, I knew, so I went and got some.

    But I would never unquestioningly believe what western medicine says or do what it mandates. Too much harm has come to too many people at its hands, whether, again, intentionally or unintentionally.

    Posted by womensspace | February 19, 2008, 10:47 pm
  16. If there are a significant number of people who are being wrongly diagnosed as having aids, that would probably only strengthen the idea that aids isn’t real or isn’t such a big deal in the places where that happens. I mean, how seriously would you take it if you knew someone who was diagnosed with aids and *got better*?

    Posted by keen | February 19, 2008, 11:25 pm
  17. Well, the thing is, people get diagnosed with AIDS because they *are* sick with something– they go because of fever or cough or diarrhea that goes on and on, or something like that. So they might *not* get better. If they have tuberculosis or dysentary or malaria and they take AIDS medication or they are basically sent home to die with no medication at all, they might die. That was a central message of that video, that in Sub-Saharan African and parts of India, people are frequently sick because of disease, because of no water/food/sanitation. But going to the local clinic and getting diagnosed with AIDS/HIV and given toxic drugs, or being given nothing at all, is not going to help them get well. It might instead kill them.

    In the West I’ve felt like what you describe is sort of the situation. Magic Johnson was diagnosed HIV positive in 1991. It’s 2008 and he seems to be doing really well. I know people still die of AIDS but it is *nothing* like it was in the 80s where you couldn’t, for example, walk in Capitol Hill near where I work without seeing many, really, really sick gay men in wheel chairs, with IVs hooked into them, when gay men were dying right and left with hideous pneumonias and cancers. It seems to me that many people have been diagnosed with HIV but they are living many years. The AIDS machine will say it’s because of various medicines, etc., even though we still do not know what causes AIDS and we still do not have a cure for it.

    Posted by womensspace | February 20, 2008, 4:19 am
  18. Thank you for your informative video and interesting commentary. You pose a viable argument as to why many countries in Africa struggle to develop. It is a well known concept that the people of Africa are those who can truly make an effective and positive change in their countries. As the video states, if a high percentage of Africans are being sent to their deaths because it is easier to diagnose AIDS than other infectious diseases, then there is no hope for Africa. It is a well known fact that AIDS has swept the continent, but what fails to be highlighted is the extreme malnutrition and lack of clean water that are much more prominent problems in Africa than AIDS. The video mentioned an interesting point: funding for AIDS is much higher than funding for any other issue in Africa. Therefore, those suffering from malaria do not know they are suffering from it because there are not enough medical professionals in the malaria field to tell them so, so they live out the short rest of their lives with a mis-diagnosis of HIV. Your explanation of how many suffering from minor fevers or weight loss fear going to a medical clinic because the common response is a positive HIV diagnosis is truly devastating. While AIDS prevention and condom usage has been practiced extensively throughout Africa, shouldn’t other life-taking issues, like causes of poverty, be tackled with just as high a priority? Poverty leads to malnutrition and lack of education, which leads to the spread of diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS. Rather than tackle one of the ending results, why not work to resolve the root of the problem? You point specifically to Tanzania as one of the nations where medical professionals use the “Bangui Definition” to over-diagnose HIV. According to the World Bank, 36% of the population in Tanzania live below the national poverty line. This statistic in itself is a clear indication that poverty is highly prevalent in the country and most likely the cause of the spread of infectious diseases. Your explanation of the “Bangui Definition” proves to be a shortcut in facing the range of problems of Africans. Shortcuts will not solve African issues but rather pose as obstacles in its development and halt any hope for a bright future.

    Posted by LAA | February 20, 2008, 5:38 am
  19. I don’t know why people have such faith in the conventional wisdom on HIV, which is so full of holes, I have to wonder what’s keeping it afloat. I don’t know if it’s exaggerated to say, mad scientists are running amok, but my view is, they are running things. It sickens me to say that, as a scientist, but science today is so corrupted by money, not much is untouched. Look at nuclear power, about to have a new heyday! How any scientist can wink at that is so bizarre to me, it makes me wonder if there is no true science today, but it’s not quite that bad. There is a rebel movement afoot in science against the stifling orthodoxy. It’s correct to say all the people in this clip are skeptical that HIV causes AIDS. I think it’s part of AIDS Inc., which I reviewed on my blog last month, the latest Gary Null documentary on AIDS. I know the narrator is Gary Null. That film is available on Google video, linked on my blog. I’ve followed the AIDS dissenters for over a decade. Null is one of the top quacks, according to the quackbusters, but for whatever reason they’ve never been able to nail him, despite his incredible claims on his radio show. He’s a nutrition expert who also makes whistleblowing documentaries and has strong opinions on just about everything, some of which I’d dispute, but I think he’s a honest scientist and pro-feminist, a rarity these days. Not that anyone should care what I think about him, but he and I are not exactly strangers, and he might be the only man who I could say resembles me, in the way I look at science, truth, and being a maverick.

    Null says nobody will debate him or his colleagues on AIDS; when challenged, the experts refuse to answer legitimate questions, dismiss the AIDS denialist as irresponsible, kooky, or some such. At least you got some semblance of a discussion going, Heart.

    Posted by angryscientist | February 20, 2008, 9:14 pm
  20. Pharmaceutical companies don’t care about black people

    Posted by Hecate | February 23, 2008, 6:52 am
  21. Don’t get me wrong, I respect your work and what you post on this blog greatly, but I was shocked and hugely dissapointed with this post.

    I did’t bother to watch the video, as I become enraged with even mentioning this hurtful and stupid conspirancy theory. But rest ussured, I know AIDS-dissidents views rather well. I also knew good young man who belived in this crap, and he refused to take “toxic” pills. He did’t do drugs, he belived in “natural” medicine and good nutrition. Guess what? He died from AIDS. I knew good young woman and her energetic mother. They didn’t belived in “toxic” drugs, so mother (“alternative” healer) tried to help her daughter through yoga and meditation, after she was diagnosed HIV-positive. She was dying very slowly, at her home, practically on her mother arms. That’s just two stories. I can tell much more. I knew a lot of people who died from AIDS. And all of them had one thing in common – all of them DID NOT took “toxic” pills. And I know lots of people, including my closest friend, who begun HIV treatment rather late – already on AIDS stage, suffering from numerous opportunistic infections. They are healthy now. How can you explain that? I’m not lying.

    I don’t have HIV, but my lover has it, the same goes for majority of my friends. Sometimes I wonder if anyone care to look for opinion of women directly affected by AIDS, before posting fraud science information, because it looks “progressive”.

    AZT is “toxic”… year… nobody calls zidovudine “AZT” since 1980s, except for AIDS-dissidents. You can spot their theories by this word. All HIV-positive women I knew who were pregnant, took “AZT” for prevention purposes. One complained about nausea as side effect. That’s all. Nothing horrible happened to them or babies. Drugs “causing AIDS”? That’s still one of the stupidest thing I ever heard.

    I don’t live in Africa. But in my country HIV treatment was unavailable until recently. It took HUGE efforts and risks, mostly by people with HIV themselves, to change situation. The problem is not in drugs, but in their overly high price and reluctance of government to address “such disease”. Do you know that drug companies originally were not interested in HIV field? That it did not look profitable enough for them? That HIV-activists actually lobbied research and clinical trials in this field?

    Of course pills can’t replace more urgent needs – food, clear water, good medical infrastructure. Of course there are many other epidemics, like malaria. And many killing diseases are in blind spot for medical establishment, because they are spreading only in poor countries. But how this prove AIDS-dissident stance? If you want scientific arguments, there is good web-site on this topic. It is maintained by activists from South Africa:

    http://www.aidstruth.org/

    There are lots of things feminist can say about HIV. I know HIV-positive women, battered by husbands and boyfriends who use their HIV-status as effective tool to shame, blackmail and control them. I know HIV-positive women who were bullied by doctors who used disinformation and threats to force women to do abortions. These are real problems. I know there are many people in Africa pushing for change in fighting AIDS, including feminists. Perhaps you would like to read what they have to say. But this theory is outwardly dangerous. It’s tempting to people who are affected by HIV and it can cause deaths.

    Posted by lisa | February 23, 2008, 8:17 pm
  22. Hi, Lisa, and welcome. I am not offering an opinion as to whether or not HIV causes AIDS here, and I am not advocating for herbal/dietary/nutritional approaches to AIDS. In the 1980s I had a very good friend who was diagnosed HIV positive when she was in the hospital after she had delivered her fifth child. Her husband was also HIV positive. This was during my time in my old world when I was a Christian literalist, and this was a family in my house church. The family decided to “trust God,” because someone gave them a “word from God” that the “plague would not come near their house” even though they were HIV positive. They continued to “let God plan their family.” In a while, my friend got pregnant again and delivered a baby boy, Levy, who died of full-blown AIDS at 12 weeks. Within a year, my friend was dead. In the next year, her husband was dead. I do not believe in denialist approaches to the constellation of diseases we call AIDS.

    I think you should watch the video. What I’ve posted here is applicable specifically to Africa and Third World countries where there is not good sanitation, food, water, medical care. It is not applicable in the U.S. or western countries, in general, including European countries like the one you live in (which I can determine from the suffix of your e-mail). The specific issue is — apart from AIDS dissent or whether or not HIV causes AIDS — that people in Africa, India and other countries are being diagnosed as HIV positive or as having AIDS on the basis of symptoms alone — not tests of any kind. And they are being treated with toxic, liver-destroying drugs on the basis of these diagnoses.

    In your country, in all likelihood, HIV/AIDS is being diagnosed via tests, not symptoms of weight loss, diarrhea, fevers, rashes.

    Of course pills can’t replace more urgent needs – food, clear water, good medical infrastructure. Of course there are many other epidemics, like malaria. And many killing diseases are in blind spot for medical establishment, because they are spreading only in poor countries.

    This is the point that is central to the video and to my post.

    I went to the link and to me it is as highly politicized as so-called AIDS dissent sites are. There is, of course, for the reasons cited in the video, tremendous interest in things continuing as they are rather than in looking closely at problems with diagnosis and poverty and Third World countries spending masses of money not for sewers or sanitation or infrastructure but for AIDS education, condoms, and drugs.

    I appreciate all you have to say about the dynamics of relationships in which one person is HIV positive or has AIDS. I am very interested in what women, feminists, have to say about all of this. In this post I was addressing this issue of overdiagnosis in Third World countries, of treatments on the basis of possibly faulty diagnosis, and in all of the surrounding politics.

    Posted by womensspace | February 23, 2008, 8:55 pm
  23. Okay, I calmed down (I tend to blindly overreact on some topics, I’m sorry if this was the case), I watched the video, maybe its my horrible English knowledge, but… I don’t get the point at all. Who are these people? They pose as some kind of professionals, but who are they? What are their credentials? Experience? Research results? They are referred as representatives of some organizations with some pretty “denialists” names. Okay, one guy has “M.D.” after name. Then young woman with strange credential “AZT researcher”, but without “M.D.” So how did she studied medical drug without medical education? What kind of research that was? They claim many things with… what proof? All I see is some respectable-looking guy in suit, who uses medical terms. That is so not enough for me to believe him.

    This is the first time I hear that AIDS diagnosed MAINLY by symptoms, it can’t be true today in any country. And I don’t remember anything like this in WHO guidelines. Wouldn’t it be kind of them to post the name of concrete document or show exact lines in video? And I know for sure, it is not true for India or China. And why Brazil even mentioned? Their program for HIV/AIDS is considered one of the best in the world, and they surely don’t have problems with diagnostic methods. Once he tells that AIDS diagnosed only by symptoms (not true), then he speaks about HIV tests (okay, so there ARE tests?) and he claims they are reliable in 70% cases or something (not true at all). Antibody tests like ELISA and blot are rather simple and highly reliable, many infections are diagnosed with the same very methods, not only HIV. And then we go to… yes “so called retrovirals”. I’m surely not the big fan of big pharma, but ARVs benefits clearly overweight possible risks, and even if you wrongly diagnosed thousands of people and gave them useless ARV-therapy… they will not began to die. HIV-negative people in rich countries take these pills as post-exposure prevention.

    I’m glad to hear that you don’t deny the link of HIV and AIDS, but that seems to be exactly the point of this video. And as this called “African Holocaust”, as I watched, I prepared to listen to opinions of people from African countries. AIDS patients, scientists, doctors who actually treat people in Africa. But the only African who is not just “video illustration” for their speeches is president Mbeki with his infamous AIDS-denialism.

    Posted by lisa | February 23, 2008, 10:43 pm
  24. Lisa, if you go to my comments 6 and 7 above, you will see the WHO information for medical caregivers which specifically says that where tests for HIV are not available (as they are not in much of Sub Saharan Africa and in parts of India), diagnose on the basis of symptoms which are set forth there, and if HIV or AIDS are diagnosed on the basis of those symptoms, prescribe specific drugs. The links are there and you can check them out.

    Posted by womensspace | February 24, 2008, 3:39 am
  25. A friend e-mailed me as follows in response to this thread and I think what she said is worth posting here. It’s been some time since I did any reading about HIV/AIDS and so I have been focusing on these diagnosis problems, pending reading up on the latest about HIV/AIDS, but my friend is right, and so are the people in the youtube video up there, there are also deep problems with connecting the results of tests for HIV antibodies with the diseases we call AIDS. Something causes people to have massive breakdowns of their immune systems. The AIDS industry says that is the HIV virus. But is it.

    AIDS here is defined differently than in Africa, different risk groups exist here, and here AIDS used to mean dying of rare opportunistic infections after immune systems breached a critical threshold, high risk for intravenous drug users, fast track gay men, hemophiliacs. Then they linked it to cervical cancer. I am fairly convinced HIV is a scam. That study Angry Scientist blogged that found no correlation between viral load and immune system collapse published in JAMA, with an accompanying editorial recommending looking for other causes, was the last straw for me. How do you answer that?

    “The study challenges the current belief that the degree to which the virus replicates itself is the trigger for the loss of CD4 cells, white blood cells that are a key component of the body?s immune system.

    An accompanying editorial in the journal said the findings were exciting because they suggested that researchers should look for and target non-viral factors that set off the eventual decline in the immune system.”

    The contention the dissenters make is not whether immune system collapse is a myth, but that HIV is the determining factor. Calling them AIDS denialists is a straw man, and generally they take the actual diseases seriously as opposed to HIV, other way around from the orthodox view. Too many things can contribute to immune system collapse, but that study could not correlate that with viral load. Something else causes the collapse. In the high risk groups here, the something else is not hard to find. In Africa, different factors, similar result. …

    If you watch the whole film, you will see the fraud is not limited to neglecting the real problems of poor nations. The test is for antibodies, not approved to diagnose HIV infection. I know of no other infectious disease commonly tested by antibodies. I found autoiummune disease tests, and tests for vaccine protection, but none for the presence of infectious diseases, which are usually easy to find. Was she referring to tests for the past presence of diseases? HIV is the stealth virus, found only as viral debris magnified by the PCR technique invented by a Nobel Prize winner who denounces this use of it! None of it makes sense, and it is not because I am some stupid lay woman who could not possibly understand the machinations of this diabolical virus! It just does not add up! None of it! It stinks so bad, it begs for an independent investigation. I suspect, none of it can stand the light of day, but I am not certain, so I try to stay neutral, though I am not, not really. I also have to recommend Prescription for Disaster as a great expose of prescription medicine.

    Posted by womensspace | February 24, 2008, 3:58 pm
  26. Wow. Not being a scientist or medical doctor, who am I to believe? It certainly sounds like there is possibility of overdiagnosis, but is lisa right that taking an HIV drug won’t kill you?

    I know there must be a lot of money in HIV and AIDS. I read recently that more money is spent per patient in finding treatments for AIDS in the US than any other disease. Why is that?

    Should that be changed?

    Posted by h sofia | February 24, 2008, 7:08 pm
  27. What I would really like to see is some statistics that show differences of HIV and AIDS infections in those African populations that actually do laboratory testing versus populations that are basing diagnoses on symptoms. Is there a significant difference?

    And what is the criteria for adults?

    Also, what is the likelihood that a child meeting the 1986 WHO guidelines for AIDS does *not* have AIDS? Have any studies been done to show how many over-diagnoses have actually occurred?

    Posted by h sofia | February 25, 2008, 12:57 am
  28. Also, I was not convinced by that video – the main guy talking, Gueshteck (sp) is an historian! I don’t know how is considered to be an expert on HIV or medical issues at all.

    Posted by h sofia | February 25, 2008, 1:31 am
  29. See also this
    “Wellnessprogram in KwaZulu Natal van Tine van der Maas”

    Here you see how the African AIDS is cured by nutrition.

    http://b2ts.webcoat.net/index.php?par_id=17

    or in seperate parts here:

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9119D32EF6D89EF7

    Power To The People

    powertothepeople.co.za

    Spread the word !!!

    Posted by ko | March 8, 2008, 8:38 pm
  30. Just stick to the science over time and you’ll know how this disease works. It’s the same old thing since the early 80s — sexually transmitted, needle sharing, and of course people have a hard time getting this simple message.

    Gay male porn promotes unsafe sex in their porn movies, and it uses actors who don’t use safe sex practices in the making of the porn to begin with. Meth use and the party subculture are still going strong.

    Women get subjected to unsafe sex by porn made by men as well.

    AIDS is actually very easily preventable.

    I often believed that the male pornification of human beings and the male sexual revolution, that tries to get women to have multiple sex partners, or preys on young girls will keep this AIDS culture alive and well.

    The disease morphs and changes all the time, and the cocktail drugs in use now create long term side effects. So people choose future liver failure or cancer in exchange for a longer life due to AIDS.

    Every one likes a conspiracy theory about AIDS — white gay men thought it was invented especially for them, black preachers thought it was invented especially for black people, South African rape culture spreads it like mad… the rape statistics in South Africa after Apartheid are shocking, and staggering. It should be an international human rights outrage, but it isn’t.

    The science is pretty slow and steady with AIDS. Having unprotected sex with any man out there, or having multiple partners will increase the risk of some jerk talking women into having unsafe sex. It’s the same old thing — STDs, drugs, and porn culture should keep AIDS researchers and the pharaceutical industrial complex in business for quite sometime.

    Posted by Satsuma | April 8, 2008, 10:24 pm
  31. Sigh. Satsuma, your response made me wonder if you thought that comment above was a truncated comment. You chose not to answer any of the issues I raised in my post on my blog, to which that was a trackback, unless you are dismissing all that as conspiracy theory. I would not state such an obvious thing except that you are still relatively new to blogs, so might not have realized there was a post behind that. Anyone else who cannot be bothered to read my post, it was my rant Heart excerpted from an email (comment 25).

    So, Satsuma, is there any part of conventional wisdom that does not make sense to you, besides that which applies specifically to lesbians? Surely you would not defend conventional wisdom regarding lesbians. Why are you so sanguine about conventional medicine? You are aware it did its damnedest to run midwives out of business, and has regularly trashed its competition as dangerous quackery? The science is pretty slow and steady with AIDS? Is that why there is no cure in sight, one of the popular drugs doubling the risk of heart attack, and no vaccine in sight, the latest attempt having to be abandoned because it backfired, and the dire predictions always prove hopelessly exaggerated? Is that why when Kary Mullis, who won a Nobel Prize for inventing PCR, asked persistently for proof that HIV causes AIDS or that HIV is sexually transmitted, he got no answer except to be disinvited from AIDS conferences? Do you really believe the AIDS experts know what they are doing?

    Posted by Aletha | April 11, 2008, 6:33 am
  32. In my life as a U.S. citizen, I have been repeatedly involved with health crisis of loved ones, no different that anyone else since the dawn of time. The last two challenges, involving stroke and cancer, have opened my eyes once and for all. Conventional treatment for those misfortunes holds back from all that could be done to effect the best possible outcome. The reasons offered for this reluctance to fire all their weapons in defense of a patient’s health is that something or other isn’t FDA approved, or hasn’t gone through a multi-year double blind test. These smokescreens have successfully held back progress, but that’s the whole idea. The POWERS have figured out how to milk the money cow, and they don’t need anyone rocking their boat. Obviously, they covet Africa, and need to get the Africans out of the way. MY REAL POINT: why, oh why oh why, don’t doctors and scientists speak up about what they know of this flim-flam? THEY ARE PROTECTING THEIR CAREERS!! They have families to support and mortgages to pay, like the rest of us. In the last decade, ALL jobs are vulnerable to being exported overseas. The POWERS very cleverly have placed our nuts in a vise. Go ahead, complain, be a whistle-blower; you’re fired! Once word gets out that you’re a ‘problem employee’, who’s going to hire you? If there was a huge demand for all skills in the western world, a breadwinner could leave one employer and go elsewhere. Don”t try that nowadays. THAT’S WHY ONLY THE DISSIDENTS WILL SPEAK OUT: everyone else’s take on reality is colored by CAREERIST LOYALTIES. If this wasn’t so, then why can’t we find anyone willing to debate Gary Null? Those that hold back knowledge of hyperbaric treatment for stroke, or a host of efficacious natural treatments for cancer, are all part of the group that covets Africa. They are the font of evil.

    Posted by B.S. Weary | October 3, 2008, 10:06 pm
  33. We have been lied to. There is no such thing as HIV.

    Please see http://www.rainbowwarriorbook.com

    It is time to help heal the world.

    Posted by Kabir Amen Ra Horakhty | November 6, 2008, 3:30 pm

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