I realize this is a setback, but in principle the problem shouldn't be insurmountable. If there is a next generation of this sort of vaccine perhaps they can further engineer the carrier virus to supress it's own native antigen production. It's probably harder to do that while maintaining the viruses ability to infect and multiply than it was to engineer HIV's genetic material into the virus, but it doesn't seem to be such a huge hurtle.
The basic strategy is a good one. Traditional vaccines will never work with HIV because it's antigen profile is to ephemeral. The only hope is for some sort of HIV-gene driven antigen engine like this, and it's in theory a pretty good hope. Most of the technology needed for it is fully developped. It's just a matter of slogging through the details one by one until it works.
Or, you could just be monogamous.
One criticism of the Adenovirus 5 based vaccines is something known as original antigenic sin. An immune system previously exposed to a wild version of Adenovirus 5 retains a memory of the infection. When exposed to the vaccine, the immune system might simply reactivate against the cold virus proteins rather than the new HIV proteins, and therefore fail to properly protect against HIV. These concerns seemed to be true.
if what you're saying above is true, then are the "disastrous results" really such a surprise? Why would "original antigenic sin" not have been accounted for in the first place?
As far as I'm concerned, HIV/AIDS is smoke and mirrors.
The "tests" have never been validated against a purified reference particle (that's why the Abbot labs ELISA states that there is no standard for determining the presence or absence of HIV1 and HIV2 in human blood). No purified reference particle, science boy. No purified reference particle = no standard.
Funny how well those tests "work" without a standard, and with the same damned proteins they've been using for twenty years. YET! "HIV" is said to be rapidly mutating once you're "infected". Nice to have it both ways, isn't it? That wily HIV, they just can't figure this little bugger out! Need more research, and more money, and more gay men as guinea pigs for the pharmaceutical companies.
So...take a non-standardized, poly-reactive, subjectively interpreted "test". Get told that you're positive (reactive). Then whenever you get sick, whether it's next week or in twenty years, voila! You've got "AIDS". Smoke and mirrors. You can bend the damned thing any way you please.
If you're gay, you're already pre-condemned by being called a "risk group". It's a testing bias. Plain and simple.
Gay men need to wake up to this scam, and quit participating in their own pharmaceutical genocide.
Or not. Do what you want. Take the tests and take the drugs. Enjoy!
That is such B.S. if it were true then men with HIV who believe this crap and don't take the drugs to help them wouldn't be dying in greater proportions than men who take the drugs now would they?
Or is the government conspiring against them and poisoning their food?
I take it you haven't heard of long-term non-progressors?
People who have tested "postive" for "HIV", yet remain in normal health for years and years. Funny thing about the LTNP's is that they don't take "AIDS drugs".
Believe what you need to believe, though. AIDS is a belief system, a religion, and a very powerful one at that.
The best thing you can do to maintain your faith is to NOT look into science used to prop up the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Don't question. Just believe. Ahh. Feels good to not question, doesn't it?
Better than a vaccine (that won't improve health), would be to stop informing people that they're now 'going to die, no matter what, unless they take FDA Black-Box labeled drugs,' which will cause them buffalo humps, wasting, diarrhea, etc.
The notion that health, mortality or illness can be predicted from a very cross-reactive antibody test isn't just wrong, it's frankly criminal.
BallardDan. I'm a scientist, thank you, and I have looked into these things. You can't judge a whole phenomenon based on a few anecdotal cases. HIV and AIDS depend on immune systems as well, there are some people whose bodies somehow manage to cope with HIV and it never progresses. They are lucky, but they are not the norm. Most of those men who have HIV and refuse medication progress into AIDS.
Despite your large conspiracy theory I live the life of academia. The people research HIV and AIDS are NOT the kind of people that would want to off gay men in some big elaborate scheme. Many of them are gay men themselves or GLBT supporters.
Pharmaceutical companies, hell yes I can see them telling lies...but they aren't the only ones researching HIV. If it truly did not exist then the scientific community would have told us they would not hide such a thing. This isn't the tuskegee study all over again.
LTNP's are not a "few anectdotal cases". Nice try. They've been the focus of intense research at times. Although, now they're called "elite controllers".
Look, pumpkin, I didn't claim there was a conspiracy going on. So, please don't put words in my mouth.
But, utilizing "tests" with no standard and then making various and sundry claims about people's future health based on those standard-free tests is a sham. And like LS, above, I think it's criminal.
The "tests" have no standard, they are cross-reactive and are subjectively interpreted. If you're gay or black, it's practically the equivalent of 17th century witch trial.
What BD fails to recognize is that the info (to put it charitably) he cites is utterly fucking meaningless.
Unsanitary drinking water was shown to be the causal agent for cholera long before there was any test for cholera. This early work on disease identification and prevention without benefit of a test is a pioneering work in epidemiology and still considered a model.
Cholera is just one example of dozens. Another, more modern one, is the link between unsterile injection equipment and hepatitis B. Again, established long before a test.
it's not a matter of "HIV" not existing, it's a matter of it (and I think "it" is a "several") being a useful place to target therapy.
What we call "hiv" is actually a series of inferences (and frankly, implications), that various surrogate markers, that correspond very loosely around a few molecular signatures.. that these surrogate markers (the antibody and pcr tests), are a valid position from which to give an enforced diagnosis to.
Just as you have just done - "the majority of people who test hiv pos progress to aids," (I'm paraphrasing), "if they don't take the meds."
Well, the test that you're citing is a surrogate marker. It's a stand in. It does not diagnose the presence of a particular organism.
Now, as a techie, as you claim to be, you'll understand that antibodies are heterophile, and you'll also understand that tests need to be validated against a purified particulate standard.
If you look into it, you'll quickly find that this is not the case with the "hiv" tests.
They are poly-reactive, with antibodies produced across the spectrum of illnesses, and non-illnesses.
So, we are not on the least sure footing when we claim that "hiv equals aids."
What we've done, is to imply (not infer) that a very reactive antibody test (or set of equally non-standardized, poly-reactive tests used in sequence), should be granted the moral value, or permission, to inform someone that they are going to "die, no matter what, unless they take FDA Black-Box drugs."
Which is what you just said, without allowing yourself to consider that all of these drugs are liver-pancreas-skin-bone-marrow-toxic, and have killed people who've taken them for very short periods of time.
We've moved from a surrogate marker - not a viral infection - but a marker that is not standardized against any particular particle - to an absolute, and absolutist diagnosis, and enforcement, of death.
This is morally and ethically wrong. It is inhumane, it is an absolute crime.
The secondary problem with what we call "Aids" - and remember that this stands for Immune Deficiency - is that we don't ever attempt to regenerate the immune system, once we label someone with the surrogate marker 'diagnosis' of "Aids."
At the point that we saddle them with the diagnosis, we no longer attempt to assist their immune system in regenerating, or in suppressing whatever non-specific molecular signatures, or "surrogate markers" are being produced.
We don't assist the immune system in regenerating, because we're too busy trying to eradicate, annihilate, expunge the surrogate markers!
And the damned surrogate markers are there in so many people, with and without "aids", that targeting them for destruction, by destroying protein and cell-building mechanisms (b/c this is what "aids drugs" do, at present), well, this is an enforcement of a prejudice, or a bias.
You've taken a surrogate marker as an order from above, to tell someone they're going to die, no matter what.
You then drug them with drugs that disable the regenerative functions in their cells and organs.
What then? They fade, and don't do well, and they do die.
Now, what happens when you favor a treatment - a regeneration - of the immune system?
What you see in studies that do that, is you see patients NOT "progressing" to "Aids".
You see them not becoming ill, but staying healthy.
You see that providing immune tools and cell building molecules to the body - and these are things we talk about as particular vitamins, or minerals, or enzymes, proteins, etc - you see when these are provided, the cells regenerate, and the body follows suite.
There is a terrible, terrible sickness in the way that we are currently diagnosing "aids" patients, hanging a fatal diagnosis on their necks - and then trying to annihilate the surrogate markers that we made the diagnosis with - instead of ever seeing - or treating - or helping the patient to recover.
I thank you for reading, if you've come this far. There are changes to be made in aidscare. We need some loosening in this field, and an immediate retraction of the death-sentence that is handed out as part of a surrogate marker 'diagnosis.'
You may not agree in part or in full, but there are so many people give the diagnosis, who deserve better than to be told that they're going to die - and then to be brow-beaten into taking drugs that blister and eradicate many of their vital functions.
Time for a change.
No one ever drank filthy water and got sick 20 years later.
But people who are given a poly-reactive surrogate marker assay, are told that they are going to die, no matter what, in 20 years, or 5, or 10, unless they take drugs that will disable their livers, pancreases, and other vital organs.
That's not okay. That's immoral.
is it just me, or did it just get fucking creepy in here?
W O W .
Oh, you know my friends who got HIV before there were AIDS treatments? They're all dead.
Yeah, reality, and let's not forget the thousands upon thousands who are still dying every day for lack of access to meds.
Nor the hundreds of cases of mother to child transmission. I can't even remember the last case of maternal transmission in Washington state, yet in cities throughout eastern Europe and Russia (let alone Africa and Asia) there is no access to meds and maternal transmission is still routine.
Talk about immoral.
Which leads to me to a question for Jonathan. A touchy question...But, given the enormous sums of money being devoted to to vaccine research and the lack of success, and given the absolute lack of funds given to HIV prevention and its comparative cost effectiveness, is it time to finally argue for diverting vaccine money into prevention?
And, if not, why not?
what 14 said.
Since when are people labled HIV+ through a test which is clearly a FRAUD and subjected to the assault of the accompanying voodoo called AIDS patients?
"The most extensive of all the morbid mental conditions which reflect themselves so disastrously in the human system is the state of fear. It has many degrees of gradation, from the state of extreme alarm, fright, and terror, down to the slightest shade of apprehension of intending evil. But all along the line it is the same thing -- a paralyzing impression upon the centers of life which can produce, through the agency of the nervous system, a vast variety of morbid symptoms in every tissue of the body."
-- Dr. William H. Holcomb (Omkar 1998)
To answers those supporters who undoubtedly have been misled into thinking HIV as the sole answer to the cause of AIDS all need to look deeper into the reality. What could have caused all those deaths? It's not a virus, but rather a dyer belief in an unquestionable system, a ritual of fear, testing (bogus), indoctrination into a death and dying cult, sacrament (drugs), thusly resulting in death. You don't need HIV to explain immune depression and collapse. You just need to think clearly, logically and for yourselves to see that it is the biggest scientific blunder of all time.
That's it carter. AIDS is a belief system and nothing more. And those going on about immune suppression like it were an epidemic are also in a way perpetrating the myth.
DEFINE AIDS PLEASE.
I agree that AIDS is a belief system. And as gay men, it's our duty to believe in AIDS.
It's our duty to get tested by tests that are biased against us (read: "risk group").
It's our duty, that once we're told that we're "reactive" on these standard-free, poly-reactive, subjectively-interpreted "tests" to believe that we will most surely die without taking body-deforming, liver, pancreas and bone marrow-destroying drugs. It's our duty.
It's all part of the AIDS religion. We're gay. We're screwed. We're screwed by the medical establishment and by our fellow gay men who so deeply believe in this religion and it's series of necessary rituals that go on without question.
We (the gay "community") could get ourselves out of this mess...if only we chose to take a hard look at how it's constructed, rather than blindly following the rituals of the AIDS death cult.
Transmission of what?
Transmission of poverty, malnutrition, starvation.
Transmission of endemic diseases that are interpreted as reactive on the poly-reactive tests.
"Treament" of starvation, malnutrition, poverty and endemic diseases with drugs that destroy bone marrow, cause muscle-wasting, skin necrosis and liver failure. It's a crime.
AIDS Denialists: How to Respond
AIDS TREATMENT NEWS Issue #342, May 5, 2000
John S. James
For over ten years self-styled "AIDS dissidents" have said that HIV does not cause AIDS, that AIDS is not a contagious disease, that HIV is a harmless retrovirus (some say, instead, that HIV does not exist), that AIDS treatments are poisons which themselves cause the disease, and that the AIDS epidemic is a huge medical fraud promoted by corrupt pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and doctors. This movement has learned to appeal to very different agendas; and along with heavy doses of misinformation it weaves some accurate facts and emotional, social, and political truths. It has hidden funding, celebrity endorsements, and corporate journalists who can get its views publicized in mass media as news. It does not conduct medical research nor take care of patients, but has more than a decade of experience in learning how to debate and look credible.
Our concern is not the ideas--we agree that all sorts of ideas should be explored and debated--but rather the direct translation of casual speculation and debating points into the medical care of patients with life-threatening illness, which is strongly encouraged by many of the "dissidents."
In the U.S., where AIDS treatments usually have been accessible to patients who need them, this movement has made noise for many years, but has found only a tiny constituency of believers who will put their lives at risk by rejecting all medical advice in favor of the rhetoric and debate. But recently it has been revitalized by tapping into other agendas in developing countries, where people have been told that they are going to die and have no chance of treatment, because the drugs have been priced far beyond their reach (by U.S. and international government policies to protect the interests of major corporations, as well as by corporate greed). The "dissidents" (we believe a better term is "AIDS denialists") have found a new audience among leaders and publics who are understandingly suspicious of a Western- dominated, heavily corporate mainstream which pursues its own profit above all else, and offers millions of people around the world nothing but death.
These issues will be prominent in the next few weeks, through the XIII International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, July 9-14, 2000. This conference, by far the largest in the world, happens only once every two years; this is the first meeting in a developing country. And South Africa is the only country in the world where the AIDS denialists have ever been recognized by a head of state (see "South Africa 'AIDS Dissident' Dispute: Time to Stop and Think," AIDS TREATMENT NEWS #340, April 7, 2000).
How to Answer
For years most AIDS doctors and scientists have seen the denialists as a lunatic fringe best ignored in hopes that it would go away. They did not want to bring it more attention, or spend their time rehashing issues that were settled years ago in the scientific community. And few of them were prepared for this debate--for while they have spent their time treating patients or conducting medical research, the other side has spent years doing nothing but debating, learning what goes over and what does not in various forums, and learning how to use the Internet, where anything can be made to look credible.
Many now agree that refusing to answer is a mistake. AIDS professionals and activists often forget that the world looks different to people who do not have the same access they do.
We have had long conversations with sincere, intelligent people, including patients and journalists, who had clearly been influenced by the denialists and who told us that we were the first person they had ever found who would talk to them to defend the "mainstream" view. Their doctors would not discuss it, nor would any researchers they asked. Most people do not have the background or training to judge a technical scientific argument themselves; instead, they look at how they are being treated. When one side will not give them the time of day on the issue while the other is always available, they may believe those they can talk to, without hearing any other view.
While some researchers and activists have answered the denialists (for Web links, see http://www.niaid.nih.gov/spotlight/hiv00/default.htm), it has long been difficult for patients to find understandable and effective written answers to some of their claims.
So if one does answer the denialists' arguments, what form should the answers take? We have discussed this with a number of activists, and there is clearly an emerging consensus:
(1) The denialist position consists of about 5 to 10 major points (depending on how you count them--we list 7 below), which are repeated again and again. Each must be addressed separately, with separate flyers or brochures which healthcare and service professionals can give to clients to address their individual concerns.
(2) The back-and-forth debate format is not especially useful here, because it tends to turn on technical points, asking readers to make their own decisions on the scientific merits of the issue, which most people are not prepared to do. A better format is to explain what the denialists are saying, then show with two or three examples that their arguments are not credible--that the assertions on which they ask others to base life-and-death decisions usually leave out far more compelling information than they include.
Most importantly, we need to explain what is really going on in treatment and research--the human story as well as the medical/scientific one, a reality more interesting than the stick-figure ideologies of the denialists. Here we should avoid the argumentative style of trying to score points against the other side. Instead, follow the truth wherever it may lead; when there is truth in the denialist case, by all means acknowledge it.
(3) Eventually we will need an in-depth, well-referenced document explaining the issues to healthcare and AIDS service professionals, and also to patients and anyone else who wants this detailed information. (For an example of what part of this document might look like, see the article by Bruce Mirken which we published in our last issue, "Answering the AIDS Denialists: CD4 (T-Cell) Counts, and Viral Load," AIDS TREATMENT NEWS #341, April 21, 2000. This article addresses one of the seven or so major denialist assertions, which we list below. The other six articles still need to be written.)
(4) From this in-depth document can come the flyers, brochures, videos, Web sites, and other media.
Seven Deadly Deceptions
Here is our list of the major denialist arguments. As noted above, the problem is not unorthodox ideas, but their immediate translation into personal medical advice, usually to tell patients to reject all medical care for HIV or AIDS, as well as suggesting that safer sex and other infection- control precautions can be ignored. So for each of the seven points, we include the corresponding action item. We are continually amazed at how casually sheer speculation gets translated into life-and-death decisions.
* HIV is harmless (or does not exist), and AIDS is not contagious--so sexual and other precautions are unnecessary.
* The HIV test is unreliable--so don't get tested.
* AIDS drugs are poisons, pushed by doctors corrupted by the pharmaceutical industry--so don't take any of them, no matter what your doctor says--or don't go to a doctor at all, especially if you feel well.
* Viral load and CD4 tests are useless--so don't use them.
* AIDS deaths would have gone down anyway, even without new treatments--so you don't need medical care.
* AIDS is over, or never existed, or only affected small risk groups--so there is no important need for medical research on AIDS or HIV, or for AIDS services.
* The free speech of dissenters has been suppressed--so you can't believe anything you hear.
Note: We omitted the idea that AIDS was created in a government laboratory to kill African Americans, gay people, or others. This conspiracy theory is widespread in some communities, but usually does not urge people to reject medical care, or safer sex or other precautions against infection.
Note on "Denialists" vs. "Dissidents"
Some of these medical ideologists are upset with the term "AIDS denialists"; they prefer "AIDS dissidents," which suggests parallels with such historic examples as anti- totalitarian dissidents, or Galileo.
We use "denialists" because it is more specific and descriptive. There can be many kinds of AIDS dissent. But the denialists regularly deny that precautions against infection are necessary, deny that HIV testing is appropriate, deny that any approved treatments should be used (or CD4 or viral load tests to monitor disease progression), deny that treatment saves lives, and often deny that AIDS is a real epidemic, or even a real medical condition.
The problem is not ideas, but the organized efforts to practice bizarre medicine, telling people with a major illness to reject care entirely. Denialists have convinced pregnant women or mothers of HIV-positive children to reject treatment universally recommended by their doctors--then harvested publicity from court cases which result. In the U.S. and other countries where treatment is available, they have found few who will sacrifice their own lives; but now they are going to South Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, seeking to deny medical care to people who will have little or no voice in the decision, while also impeding public-health campaigns to slow the spread of HIV infection.
The issue here is not freedom to express ideas; no one is stopping that. The issue is destructiveness by a handful of professional or semi-professional denialists whose ideas and behavior have failed to win them the respect they want.
The AIDS denialist movement will be remembered if it can do serious damage to worldwide efforts to control the pandemic. Otherwise it will be largely forgotten, like similar movements during other epidemics in the past.
"Aids denialists, how to respond."
This is pre-formatted, and the questions I've asked are not.
These tests are either surrogate marker antibody tests, or they're some sort of magical dowsing device that have yet to be explained by science.
That is, the antibody tests are.. antibody tests.
And that's' what they do. They seek a variety of charged reactions, based on various, but imperfect affinity, with other proteins.
There is no such thing as an "Aids denialist," there are many flaws in the Aids paradigm, and there are many people who work in the paradigm who report on them, and who talk about them.'
Using words like "denialist", is a tool to terrify normal, reasonable, intelligent people away from commenting, or thinking, or talking about what can be done better, and what is currently wrong with the paradigm.
Using a poly-reactive antibody test, to then inform someone that they are now 'fatally infected, and are going to die, no matter what," this is a denial of basic human rights.
It is unethical, it is incredibly immoral.
For the record, I have no problem with anyone taking the drugs, if they've had a chance to understand what they're taking. But they are most definitely FDA Black-Box label drugs, which means that have fatal effects, and that has to be considered deeply.
It doesn't address the brutal and unethical use of highly reactive surrogate marker assays to inform someone absolutely, that they're now going to die, unless they take these Black Box drugs, for the rest of their, now shortened lives.
PS - I appreciate that some of the writers here are concerned about human life, here and in other countries. We have that in common. That's why I think it's important to look deeply, and without prejudice at the paradigm.
There are probably a dozen individual theories of cancer now in circulation in the medical literature. Maybe more. There is no such thing, however, as a "cancer denialist," or an "aneuploidy denialist,", or a "mutation denialist."
There are problems with science. There always are and always will be, and it is no crime to move science forward by asking it to be better, more precise, more accurate.
Certainly no one would object to the idea that we've now pulled 4 million toys from China off the shelves, because 5 children were made sick.
So too, we can look at Black Box drugs, and poly-reactive antibody tests, and understand their flaws and limitations.
One of things that I find remarkable is how a large section of gay people have been so slovenly brainwashed by the pharmaceutical/Gov't propaganda on AIDS.
Look, in order for a gov't to retain power and control of its people, it has to scare "us" by scapegoating "them".
In the 50's, it was "the Communists are going to infiltrate our gov't and create socialism!"
In the South in 1960's, it was "the blacks are gonna take our jobs and screw our daughters!"
In the 80's, it was "the gays are gonna infect us with a deadly virus!"
Recently, it was, "the ragheads are gonna bomb us with nuclear weapons!"
All of these are hoaxes. They enable the gov't to scare the people. This allows perpetual control. More so, it allows the rapacious corporate allies of the gov't to make money off the "problem."
With AIDS, the pharmaceutical companies (who dominate the GOP) can sell lots of tests and lots of drugs to middle-class folks, under the guise of the "fear of contracting AIDS."
There is no better way to sell product, then to scare people into buying it. That's what the medical establishment has mastered.
If you don't understand this, and have some gushy, leftist, sentimental desire to "fight AIDS" or help people, then you are stupid.
You would be better off being ignorant and silent.
The "dissidents" on AIDS are the only people thinking rationally about this problem. I salute them.
Each time you yap about AIDS, some Pharmaceutical exec smiles and cashes another paycheck.
I want to say, I (and everyone else) has missed the point of this post.
The helpful pharmaceutical companies went to Africa, and gave people drugs in what they're calling vaccines and microbicides, that then increased the level of antibody reactivity in the tests.
That is, after the Great, White Hopes left, more people tested "hiv positive" than before.
So, can we get to the bottom of it? These tests are not testing for a particular particle, or even a particular reaction. They are highly sensitive, and poly-reactive.
And it is a crime to tell people that they're going to die, "trust us, we're the experts!", just because they have a reactive test.
The tests react all over the place. It's no longer a sufficient, or ethical thing to do, to say we're 'concerned about the poor Africans with Aids."
It's just not enough anymore. There's too much that goes wrong with that equation.
We're branding people with a disease title, that is very broad, and very imprecise in practice - and we're taking away any hope from them that they can actually become better.
And we call this 'science', and we base it on a surrogate marker test, that comes up more reactive after you give a 'vaccine' for the thing you say you're trying to prevent.
This is a terrible, terrible thing to do to people. Now the people in Africa, who submitted to this 'trial,' will be put on these Black Box drugs. When they die, and they will, we will call it an Aids death, but we inflicted it upon them,
first, with the vaccine trial, then with the surrogate marker assay, and then, we followed that up with a never-ending course of FDA Black-Box labeled drugs.
This isn't a "good thing" we're doing. It's a terrible, brutal thing to do to anyone. It is unethical, terribly so.
So, who has the right to tell people they're going to die after they come up reactive on a poly-reactive antibody test?
Who has the right?
Article Tools Sponsored By
By JOHN MOORE and NICOLI NATTRASS
Published: June 4, 2006
H.I.V. causes AIDS. This is not a controversial claim but an established fact, based on more than 20 years of solid science. It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes and the falling of dropped objects to the ground.
So why reiterate the obvious? Because lately, a bizarre theory has gained ground — one that claims that H.I.V. is harmless, and that the antiretroviral drugs that curb the growth of the virus cause rather than treat AIDS. Such talk sounds to most of us like quackery, but the theory has emerged as a genuine menace to public health in the United States and, particularly, in South Africa.
The theory, which we call AIDS denialism, has gained such currency with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa that his administration is reluctant to expand access to antiretroviral drugs. Despite generous allocations from the country's Treasury and substantial assistance from foreign donors, only a quarter of those needing antiretrovirals receive them. This response is poor by the standards of middle-income countries, but it is especially troublesome in South Africa, which has more H.I.V.-positive people than any other country.
American AIDS denialists are partly to blame for South Africa's backsliding AIDS policy. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the health minister, has described antiretrovirals as poisons. She is supported in these views by Roberto Giraldo, a New York hospital technologist who says AIDS is caused by deficiencies in the diet, and who served on President Mbeki's AIDS advisory panel in 2000. The minister promotes nutritional alternatives like lemons, garlic and olive oil to treat H.I.V. infection. Several prominent South Africans have died of AIDS after opting to change their diets instead of taking antiretrovirals.
Another American AIDS denialist, David Rasnick, a regular letter-writer to South African newspapers, absurdly claims that H.I.V. cannot be transmitted between heterosexuals. Mr. Rasnick now works in South Africa for a multinational vitamin company, the Rath Foundation, conducting clinical trials in which AIDS patients are encouraged to take multivitamins instead of antiretrovirals.
In the past, South Africa's Medicines Control Council acted swiftly to curb such abuses, and the Medical Research Council condemned AIDS denialism. But recent high-level political appointments of administration supporters to both bodies have neutered their influence. In South Africa, AIDS denialism now underpins a lucrative nutritional supplements industry that has the tacit, and sometimes active, support of the Mbeki administration.
By courting the AIDS denialists, President Mbeki has increased their stature in the United States. He lent credibility to Christine Maggiore, a Californian who campaigns against using antiretrovirals to prevent transmission of H.I.V. from mothers to children, when he was photographed meeting her. Two years later, Ms. Maggiore gave birth to an H.I.V.-infected daughter, Eliza Jane, who acquired an AIDS-related infection last year and died at age 3.
Mother-to-child H.I.V. transmission is now rare in the United States, thanks to the widespread use of preventive therapy and the activities of organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Sadly, this is not so in South Africa, where many children are born infected and then face short, painful lives. The health and lives of American children are also still under threat: a small clique of AIDS denialists is trying to block the provision of antiretrovirals to H.I.V.-infected children in the New York City foster care system.
Until recently, AIDS researchers and activists in the United States tended to regard the denialists with derision, assuming they would fade away. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Harper's Magazine recently published an article by Celia Farber promoting the denialist view. There is a real risk that a new generation of Americans could be persuaded that H.I.V. either doesn't exist or is harmless, that safe sex isn't important and that they don't need to protect their children from this deadly virus. A resurgence of denialism in the United States would have far reaching effects on the global AIDS pandemic, just as it already has in South Africa.
The AIDS denialists use pseudoscience and non-peer-reviewed Internet postings to bolster their false claims about H.I.V. The real facts about this virus have been uncovered by scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health, the British and South African Medical Research Councils, the Pasteur Institute and many other national research organizations. The public should seek AIDS truth from the latter sources.
It is sad when selling magazines and vitamin supplements is considered more important than promoting public health and scientific truth. The truth is that H.I.V. does exist, that it causes AIDS and that antiretroviral drugs can prevent H.I.V. transmission and death from AIDS. To deny these facts is not just wrong — it's deadly.
John Moore is a professor of microbiology and immunology at Cornell University. Nicoli Nattrass is the director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.
"pathetic" and "you suck"...
perhaps you'd like to actually engage in some sort of discussion, rather than cutting and pasting?
Well, the article posted above is by John P. Moore, who is a pharma-funded fellow, who likes to equate people who do not do what he wants them to do, with "holocaust denialists."
His research is in putting drugs in gels into the privates of monkeys (no, that's what he does: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051102084659.htm ), and we can see that this is the very thing that has caused these people in Africa to have an INCREASE in what they call "hiv positivity."
"Trials of two vaginal microbicide gels to prevent HIV led to more infections among those using the products instead of placebos."
But what they're doing is confusing this for what is really a cross-reactive surrogate marker assay.
So, no, John Moore is not in favor of discourse, discussion, freedom of thought. He's a censor. That's what he wants, that's what he does.
The important thing is to keep thinking, and keep your mind open, and researching all aspects of the thing in question.
The reality is, people die in car accidents, of cancer, of heart disease, stepping out of bed in the morning - and these are the top killers - and we don't tell people, when they have a heart disease problem, that they're 'going to die, no matter what, unless they take FDA black-box label drugs."
Same with cancer, we don't tell people that they're going to 'die, no matter what' unless they do exactly what the doctors want with loads of chemotherapy.
The people who survive illness by regenerating their immunity aren't ridiculed, aren't hounded as being 'denialists.'
The problem remains the same. The antibody tests are surrogates, stand-ins, and they are very sensitive, and they react like wild-fire, and they come up reactive for just about every condition that human beings suffer.
It is not reasonable, logical or ethical to tell someone that "They're going to DIE, NO MATTER WHAT, unless, they now start taking FDA Black-Box drugs," until they do become sick and do die.
To use these tests this way is brutally unethical.
Again and again you claim it's one large scheme of the pharma companies.
But health care providers would not continue to supply these drugs if they noticed the drugs were killing their patients.
Drugs in the beginning had some disastrous side effects and some still do. But over time they find combinations that work and help their patients. Nowadays we are finally seeing people who are on good combinations and are living a full life, i know many of them in Seattle.
And..the people who refuse medication? The vast majority still progress to AIDS and die.
For the two deniers on here, i know that we won't be able to change their minds. From a scientific perspective that isn't so terrible, science needs affirmation and denial in order for constant testing to maintain theories.
But, there are empirical facts that are pretty astounding proof for the theory that HIV does indeed exist, and it does indeed progress a human body into AIDS.
* When you test the general population people don't randomly show up with HIV, people in the populations where HIV exists more heavily show up.
If it was really targeted at those groups then the jump in women in the past 10 years wouldn't have existed, the group with HIV wouldn't change. But now women are the group with the highest growing rate of infections.
*People who don't have HIV and sleep with people who do have HIV unprotected over a period of time in the great majority, end up testing positive for HIV themselves. People who don't sleep with anyone....don't show up positive for HIV..ever. Husbands and wives who never cheat, don't show up positive for HIV...ever.
*People who don't take the meds die depending on the era you are looking at results from, at the same, or a greater rate than those who take the meds.
*As meds have progressed people's life spans have become longer, there are less side effects and the medications have gotten a lot better, just as all medications do that treat illnesses.
I agree with LS on the issue of people being told they're going to die after reacting to a poly-reactive test.
It appears that you disagree?
Is it ethical to tell people that they are going to die after reacting on a poly-reactive test? Let us know what you think.
So the test isn't acurate? Drugs are poison? Practicing safe sex is a waste of time because STDs won't kill you?
Hmm, hasn't life expectancy dropped from 62 yrs to 47 yrs in parts of Sub Saharan Africa because of AIDs deaths. Even those who are infected with HIV/AIDS only 20-33% receive anti-viral treatments. http://www.avert.org/aafrica.htm
In America about a million people are infected with HIV/AIDS and life expectancy in this country is 77.2 yrs. Deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped 70% by 2003 from the past 6 yrs because of new drug cocktails.
If you don't want to practice safe sex 'cause you don't think you'll get it, that's your business. If you don't want to take the test because you don't believe an STD will kill you, that's you're business. If you don't want to take the test because you don't think it's accurate, that's your business. If you take the test and the results come back poz and you prefer to believe you aren't poz, that's your business. If you test poz and don't want to believe it will kill you, that's you're business. If you test poz and think the drugs are poison and don't take them, that's you're business. I don't mind if you're a fool.
But you'll have to excuse me for not being a fool. When have sex I presume my sex partner IS infected with something and take the proper precautions. Testing before sex, condoms always. And if I actually do get something, I'm putting my faith in drugs and doctors. Not in denial.
BRAINWASHED & MISLEAD are good keywords to keep in mind when looking at why AIDS science consistantly fails (Merck's V520 vaccine) and how it's been fooling the population for decades.. There's no epidemic, It's an epidemic of testing. Tests dont detect actual virus, none of them, ever.
Ostrich.. the clinicians/doctors cant tell you with 100% certainty you have an HIV virus from a test read as positive, which is purely only testing for surrogate markers. So how do you know? the FACT is YOU DON'T KNOW. You are an ostrich.
I would never take an "HIV" test. I would never take any drug that purports to target "HIV." I would never listen to any quack who recommended I do either of these. And, most importantly, I would never wear a condom.
AIDS is brand name farce.
Compare and contrast:
Let's say you've got a lump somewhere on your body where you shouldn't have a lump...
You go to the doctor. He takes x-rays of the area.
He examines the x-rays thoroughly before making assumptions or a diagnosis.
Upon examination of the x-rays, he calls you into his office for further testing.
At some point, he decides that a biopsy is necessary. A decision like this isn't made lightly, and neither is any potential diagnosis.
After examination of the tissue, and with great reserve, he concludes that you have a terminal cancer. To give you this fatal diagnosis, he has to be absoultely sure of himself, his methods, his tests and that he's certain that telling you that you will die of this cancer is an entirely ethical thing to be doing.
Now, with "AIDS", all you need to do is take a poly-reactive surrogate marker test, and you are given a death sentence.
Quite the difference between the two scenarios.
Something's definitely wrong with this picture.
You're talking about transmission, as though that existed outside of using these tests.
Your claim, by the way, of sleeping with and not sleeping with people with the "hiv positive" (that means, polyreactive test result used on someone considered to be "at risk" for "Aids"),
But, if you look at these scenarios, you find no data to explain what we count as the 2o or 30 million cases (depending on whose estimates you're citing) of "infection" in Africa.
That is, you can cite the "transmission" literature, and what you find is that non-drug abusers don't tend to come up very "reactive" on the tests, and that includes 'mixed' partners (one "positive", on "negative") who have sex for years.
There are a group of prostitutes in Africa, who happen to be well-fed and self-supporting, who don't get "Aids," (and the mainstream likes to puzzle about this, and wonder what kind of magic they're performing in their cells). But it's pretty straightforward.
They're not starving to death.
They don't get "Aids."
The death rate in poor, miserably starving, ravaged, colonially raped Africa is certainly higher than in Beverly Hills.
I'm glad you are concerned about the health of people in Africa. Have you checked on the statistics for the distribution of clean water in the areas we're now bringing in these "rapid hiv tests?"
The rates are miserable. There is little to no sewage reclamation, outdoor toilets spill into streams, which are water supply and bathing areas.
You get similar stuff in all incredibly poor countries, that are flirting with "westernization" - mechanization, factories being built, etc.
I was in China this year, and witnessed perhaps the most shocking and depressing sight I've seen in my travels thus far (and I have not been everywhere, for sure).
The new construction was spilling waste into the flooded fields. Garbage was piled high in fields, where crops were growing.
The rural population was being moved into beehive style apartment blocks, like updated soviet tenements, where entire families have a room, or a room and a half, to move around in.
The air is rotten with waste, cement dust, dirt, oil, coal, exhaust..
About two years ago, Bill Clinton took the Aids parade to one of the poorest areas of China.
He and the Gates foundation are building...
Do you want to guess?
What is it that you think these miserably poor coal-miners need?
Clean water? Air? Food? A ten hour (instead of a 18 hour) work day?
No, no. No.
They need, as per Bill Clinton, rapid "hiv testing" factories being built, so that these miserably poor people can be "tested."
So that we can sell them, what.
No, FDA Black-Box label drugs, which impede and eventually arrest, the functioning of the vital organs.
Clinton sat next to a young Chinese woman, a newlywed, and informed her, and these are his words, the bloody cretin,
He wanted us all to know, "This woman is the face of Aids in China."
You can look that up.
She was stunned. She was a newlywed. She had had sex with one person, in her entire life.
Now, in California, in Northern California, a study went on to check the rate of "transmission" in mixed couples (one "positive", one "negative.")
In six years of every kind of sex, with and very often without condoms, anal, oral, etc.
The result was that none of the people who were "negative" turned "positive."
In six years of screwing.
But this girl, who'd had sex with one man, probably a couple times, in her entire 20 or so years of life, for Bill Clinton, she "is the face of Aids in China."
The miserable joke here is, that she is not the 'face of Aids' anywhere.
She was given a single polyreactive, non-specific surrogate marker antibody assay.
These tests contain proteins, these proteins are manufactured by companies like Abbott laboratories and Orasure, Vironostika, and others.
They are recombinant proteins. They have been manufactured according to consensus agreements about what they're weight should be.
These proteins might resemble the proteins that were siphoned out of Robert Gallo's Leukemia TCell cultures, by which he claimed to have discovered a series of retroviruses.
Two of these, he claimed, caused cancer.
HTLV 1 and 2. He claimed that these retroviruses, which he claimed to be able to find with antibody tests, caused Leukemia, and he used a Japanese population, living less than 200 miles from Hiroshima, I believe, as his test subjects to prove his theorem.
If you look up HTLV-1 and/or 2 in a microbiology textbook, you'll find Robert Gallo soon enough, and you'll read that these 'retroviruses', whose presence is inferred from antibody testing, do cause some types of Leukemia, in these limited Asian populations.
If you read the fine print, you'll read that the proof of "cause" here, was that up to 2%, that's two percent, of all the people who had the leukemia, also tested "reactive" for Gallo's HTLV-1 proteins.
This is the scientist, and the science, that underlies what you call "hiv testing," and "aids."
It is an absolute scandal, and a crime, to use poly-reactive, non-specific antibody tests on people, and then to tell them, unequivocally, that they "are going to die, NO MATTER WHAT," unless they take these FDA Black Box label drugs, by the enormous handful.
It is an absolute sin and a crime, it is unethical, and it is going to be increasingly opposed over time, as the people victimized by this farce are permitted to read a little about what they're being tested with, and what these tests actually measure.
You may not want people to read about the tests that they're given. You may be offended by the idea that science is complex, and imperfect, and commits grave errors, that must be addressed and corrected.
You may be offended by all of this, but I, and many others, are offended deeply, by these death sentences being handed out like candy, by the likes of Bill Clinton, as he moves through the poorest regions of the world.
We can do much better than to relabel every kind of poverty as "Aids." We can do much, much better.
There is a serious rash of nutjobs on this thread. These "polyreactive markers" are quite similar to the assays we use to diagnose exposure to everything from measles to hep c. And they're usually backed up by a PCR these days, which is a clincher.
What I see here is a desperate grasping at straws to avoid facing a very unflattering truth:
If you had unsafe sex when you knew better and are now HIV positive, you fucked up your OWN life.
It is not a lie. There is not a big conspiracy of powerful, smart people trying to make you feel bad about yourself and trick you into believing you fucked yourself over. You actually did it, and you fucking knew better.
That's not a flattering thing to admit to yourself. So people make up lies: The tests are wrong. I'm being set up. It's all a belief system - it doesn't have to be true for me. I'm not infected with a highly dangerous virus.
Believe what you want to believe. In ten years you'll either be dead, taking meds, or you'll be smug ccr5 mutant.
the question that has gone unanswered here is now for you:
Is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on one of these polyreactive surrogate marker assays?
Well, it's name calling.
And more name-calling. And the reality still exists - these tests are poly-reactive, non-specific, and non-standardized. And it is unethical to tell someone that they're going to die based on a result like this.
But - that's not what "Moltarr" wants you to believe. He agrees that the tests are polyreactive.
But that they're "nowadays" "backed up" by PCR tests.
The PCR tests for Aids patients, just like the antibody tests, have no standard. They are similarly based on consensus agreements of denatured amino acid sequences, sequenced together in the lab, to approximate a model of a putative retroviral genome.
The synthetic sequences are supposed to code for the admittedly poly-reactive proteins in the antibody tests. They similarly come up reactive for people who have many conditions, and non-conditions.
They more than often do not agree in the slightest with the results from the antibody tests.
The PCR tests are non-reproducible. They do not measure a positive or negative infection. They draw a number, multiplied through exponential heating and cooling cycles, of copies of amino acid sequences in your human white blood cell.
These sequences are never quite the same, and often very different. There is no particular particle being found here, but there are some repetitive patterns in the human genome, that these consensus agreed coding areas (for the polyreactive proteins) are similar too, or resemble.
The enzyme, reverse transcriptase, for example, was believed to be one of the primary markers of HTLV 1, 2, and 3, because it was asserted that this enzyme only occured in retroviruses.
A recent study of the human genome project database, concluded that there are some 128 thousand (128, 779) unique Reverse Transcriptase signals embedded in the human genome.
Likewise, other sequences that are supposed to code for the proteins in the "hiv test" are found in the normal human genome, and also in ape and monkey genomes as well.
Similarly, the proteins in the test, with the various molecular weights, often agreed upon by consensus, are found in persons with many illneses, and non-illnesses.
So, what we have in total, is a handful of markers, surrogate markers, that stand in for what may sometimes be a product, or sign of some sort of immune deficiency, or that also may not be at all indicative of any particular problem.
But the tests, made of these admittedly poly-reactive proteins, are used to inform people, flat out, without parole, that they are "going to die, no matter what, unless they take the FDA Black Box drugs," which "Moltarr" nicely calls 'meds.'
For the record, if you want to take the drugs, and you've had a chance to review their total history, chemistry, 'pharmokinetics', and recorded history in use, then, by all means, have at it.
Likewise, if you want to take one of these tests, and have had an opportunity to review the technical basis and limitations of the tests, in the recorded medical literature, then, by all means, have at it.
I am personally opposed to the tests, because they are poly-reactive, and non-specific, and also non-standardized. They come up reactive for every condition recorded, but are only considered to have a 'predictive value' for very specific individual groups - Gay men, and generally, Black and poor people, and of course, all Africans.
These poly-reactive tests, for these people, are now used to issue orders of eventual, and unavoidable death.
That is simply a crime, and therefore I am opposed to the use of these tests, and I support the free and open permission of all testees, and all patients and citizens, to informed consent, about the limits of this technology, and a full review of the medical literature dealing with the multi-reactive, non-specific responses that these tests record.
A right to know, we used to call it. That's what I and others here are in favor of, and what some here are opposed to.
The argument is cyclical here, ridiculously so. The FDA black box warnings that you seem to trust as warning signs are linked to the same organizations that you claim are pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. Why would the evil industry allow their snake oil products to be slandered? It doesn't add up. And I guess if PCR tech is so unreliable, we might as well not use it for HSV, West Nile, or to solve paternity cases and criminal evidence. Throw it all out!
You are clinging to the few flakes of snow that are wafting backwards and ignoring the avalanche.
BD, I think it is entirely ethical to say the following to someone:
"This test indicates you have been infected with the HIV virus. While it may be a false positive, the chance is much higher that you actually have the virus. The overwhelming majority of people infected with this virus have their immune systems deteriorate and eventually die if they do nothing."
That's not a true death sentence, but it comes close and I'm comfortable with it.
This test indicates you have been infected with the HIV virus. While it may be a false positive...
You're not being honest, Moltarr.
First you say flat out "the test indicates you have been infected with the HIV virus".
Then you say "it may be a false positive".
Do you see how obviously you are trying to mislead? Yes. You do.
One cannot both be "infected with the HIV virus" and be "false positive". Wow. Pretty lame of you to try to slip that by.
Answer the question as it's stated. Is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on one of these polyreactive surrogate marker assays?
It's very simple, Moltarr. Try not to hedge so obviously.
Your argument about conspiratorial government institutions doesn't go to the problem.
The FDA is a damaged body, to be sure, but the Black Box warnings come after cases of recorded permanent injury, or death, from taking a single drug.
Again, you agree that these are FDA Black-Boxed labeled drugs.
And you are in agreement to, that the tests are not accurate. They do come up with variable reactions.
What's important to understand, is that there is nothing in the reaction itself that distinguishes a "true positive" from a "false positive."
The literature records, very openly, that the tests must be used on particular groups of people, in order to be "considered specific" or "accurate," or to have a "high positive predictive value."
If the tests - the identical tests, with identical reactions - are used on a population that is not considered to be "at risk" for "Aids", then the tests are considered to have a very low or negative "predictive value."
This is the same test, of course. There's nothing in the test itself - no red or blue spot, or bright blinking light, that says "true" versus "false positive."
So, we agree. You believe the tests are good enough for other people. I don't have that kind of conviction, when it comes to handing out permanent disability and death sentences.
The tests are unethical, and you are highlighting just why that is.
The "predictive value," by the way, is for "Aids," as in, any immune deficiency, of any sort.
That's why the tests seem to have some "predictive value" among the poorest, hungriest, most abused people in the world, like those in Africa.
Gay men who take handfuls of Black Box label drugs also, you might imagine, develop serious problems.
So, the tests work on those who's lives tend to be perilous.
For the very wealthy, and well-fed, they have no predictive value at all. The test and medical literature goes out of its way to make this point, over and over. There have been very mainstream mathematical books written about the probability that these tests have any meaning, based on who it is you are testing.
Again, that is why I am opposed to telling somebody that they are "going to die, no matter what," because they've had one of these presumptive, assumptive reactive assays.
You do understand the question, don't you, Moltarr?
People are given a death sentence on the basis of reacting on these non-standardized, poly-reactive assays.
So, is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on these non-standardized, poly-reactive assays? Simple question. Yes or No are your choices for answers.
Guys, do yourselves a favor and look up what the word "indicates" means in the dictionary.
The response I gave you is what I feel is the appropriate thing to say to those who test positive. If my statement "the overwhelming majority of people infected with this virus have their immune systems deteriorate and eventually die if they do nothing" seems like a "death sentence" to you, then of course my answer is yes.
It's obvious we'll never agree. You guys think I'm duped, and I think you're fools. If you're HIV+, the next ten or fifteen years should settle this argument for you far more definitively than anything we say here can.
Leaving the thread now....bye....
In other words, "Moltarr" cannot or will not answer the simple question of is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on non-standardized, polyreactive assays.
ethics?! death sentence?!?
WTF, ok Dan I think you've jumped the fuckin shark big time and I think trying to reason with you and yours is like arguing with flat-earthers and anti-evolutionists.
But, you wanna talk about ethics?
What if your side is right? What's the worst that's happening? A few million people are taking drugs they don't need (and which clearly ARE NOT killing them since the overwhelming majority actually have a better quality of life than before they started taking them).
Also, the pharmas are making bazillions and a whole lot of billions are being wasted on what you would call needless research.
But what if you're wrong? Have you ever stopped to consider that? If you're wrong the position you are arguing for could result in hundreds of millions of preventable deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in associated costs.
From a purely utilitarian point of view, the harm in your being right and everyone ignoring you might be large, but it is dwarfed by the harm by your being wrong and anybody paying any attention to you.
And thankfully in most of the world nobody pays any attention to you and yours and never will. Unfortunately, the few places where folks do listen are areas that are most devastated.
Don't you dare talk about ethics.
I see you couldn't answer the question either, Gnossos. Interesting.
BallardDan et. al.
Very interesting, yet ultimately unconvincing, rhetoric. I say its rhretoric because none of you ever cite references or statistics except tangentially. Instead, all you do is throw around FUD catch-phrases like "nonstandard polyreactive assay" and "black blx label drugs". No hard numbers are ever brought up. No URLs or sources cited posted so people can see what you are referencing. You call HIV/AIDS a conspiracy and FUD, but you spread your own version of FUD ("they're killing people with drugs!") and when people challenge you on it, all you can do is prattle on about the "question of is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on non-standardized, polyreactive assays."
As if the answer to that would actually prove something one way or the other.
You want an answer? YES. It is. It. Is.
The words are there for you to search.
Search the term, search the subject at hand, search the literature on the tests, if you doubt any of it is true.
But, you know it's true, and you state your position:
You state, YES, to the question "is it ethical to give somebody a death sentence based on a reaction on non-standardized, polyreactive assays?"
That's your position. I personally think that that position is fascistic, inhumane, and murderous.
That's why I'm not in favor of handing out death sentences based on non-specific, poly-reactive, non-standardized assays.
What rhetoric? I have great news for you and here, these will help you find references and statistics. Welcome to your new education.
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