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#1 Lazarus Long

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 03:11 AM


Lemon Juice Douche

Sex with a Twist ... Lemons Provide Protection
Wed Oct 9, 9:23 PM ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian scientists believe they have rediscovered an effective use for lemon juice -- as a contraceptive and also a killer of the AIDS (news - web sites) virus.

Reproductive physiologist Roger Short, from the University of Melbourne's obstetrics department, said a few drops of lemon juice can be a cheap, easy-to-use solution to protect women from both HIV (news - web sites) and pregnancy.

The juice should be squeezed onto a piece of sponge or cotton wool and placed into the vagina before sex, he said.

"We can show in the lab that lemon juice is very effective in immobilizing human sperm and also very effective in killing HIV," Short told Australian Broadcasting Corp television in a science program to be shown later on Thursday.

He said lime juice, which has similar acid levels, can also be used, with both fruits often freely available in poor countries where contraception is hard to come by.
Short said laboratory tests found not only does lemon juice kill sperm, it also kills the AIDS virus itself.

Short said using lemon juice as a contraceptive was not a new idea but it had fallen by the wayside over the years.

The ancient douche-style contraceptive was encouraged by such luminaries as Casanova, renowned for his sexual prowess.

"This has been used for hundreds of years and we've just forgotten about it," said Short, who is planning to conduct some field trials in Thailand.

"About 300 years ago, Mediterranean women used lemon juice as their main method of contraception."
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#2 Lazarus Long

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 03:13 AM

I will leave all the humor this article raises to your imaginations but if it is true and is verified then it is a simple and inexpensive method that can be highly effective in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. B)

I know, I know... [blush]
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#3 Limitless

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 06:21 PM

Lemon juice may very well kill sperm cells, but doesn't anyone remember the thread that ran on bjklein.com - " HIV doesn't cause AIDS." It has been well-established, by a small number of scientists, tough not widely-accepted, that HIV has not been proven to cause AIDS. Some of these scientists hypothesize that HIV is a harmless virus, and that AIDS is basically a deficiency of T-Cells, caused by the usage of legal substances, such as tobacco & alcohol, combined with illicit drug use, and ridiculously large amounts (Milligrams, rather than micrograms) of corticosteroids, used as anti-inflammatories, mostly within the gay community. If AIDS has NEVER EVEN BEEN ISOLATED AS A VIRUS IN A LAB, how can we know what effect lemon-juice has on a condition not well-understood? There is no conclusive proof at all that AIDS is an infectious disease. It is true this idea was established at a 1984 press-conference-not by qualified scientists. The media just took this idea and ran with it. This was mainly a way of reducing the criticism of/from the gay community, who have never wanted to face the fact that HIV is basically a gay problem. Heterosexuals have been falsely made to believe they have a good chance of contracting "AIDS", whatever it is. I realize many people in areas like South Africa, including many women & children, are said to have "AIDS". While these people are mostly non-drug users, and do not take corticosteroids, they do face even more stresses than the still less-than-accepted gay community. It has been well-established that stress can suppress the immune system. Also, heterosexual people in the so-called "Developing" world face another factor that suppresses the immune system-MALNUTRITION. This could probably cause "AIDS on its own.

Also, by virtue of how inconsistent the application-process would be, lemon-juice would probably be about as effective a contraceptive as douching with coke. (If you know what I mean.) lol
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#4 Lazarus Long

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 08:28 PM

AIDS = Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is not a specific virus, it is broad category of highly debilitating symptoms that are commonly misunderstood to be the result of one thing, HIV. This is probably a very erronious misconception.

What you are trying to say is true that HIV, (Human Immunodeficency Virus) has much conjecture and hyperbole associated with it and the politics, as well as the economics of the discussion has more than done a disservice to the science. It has generated a huge amount of capital that has been misdirected as often as not but to broadly discount the science and blanketly discredit the vast majority of scientists involved in this research is also suspect. It isn't non accredited scientists that define this, it isn't just a product of a media campaign and while I believe you are well intentioned, you are however simply mistaken.

That said I do think there is a LOT of room for alternative investigatory approaches and I do agree that the politics needs to be set aside that encourages the parochialism of research to determine the lines of investigation that ignore many suspicious avenues that deserve better scrutiny.

HIV HAS been associated with AIDS but so have a number of other conditions and practices. I will accept that the Immune System is definitely compromised by malnutrition. I have read the other thread at length in the other forum. What I think needs to understood by everyone is that ultimately we need to be individually responsible for our health and that makes us responsible for what we eat and who and how we sleep with and what the subsequent responsibilities are whether they be a desease or a child. Are you trying to say the AIDS isn't an STD (Sexually Transmitted Desease?

Poor folks have far less recourse to modern resource and as such holistic methods that have reasonable and rational efficacy should not be ignored even if they offer about as much help as a garbage bag in a thunderstorm. Some action is better then no action and definitely better than prayer as an option. But in this case I feel that there is also a kind of sanctimonious attitude at work that conspires to deny poor folks the options that may be available to them and the education to make effective use of those options.

I posted this news article to demonstrate that some people are still looking at options that DO NOT DEPEND on pharmeceutical Corporations and as such hold promise of empowerment to those that can not rely upon the altruism of the Industrialized Nations. Education obviously must accompany all methods but "If life hands you lemons, then make lemonade" has an ironic twist if this story is true. Lemons are plentiful and relatively cheap in the regions that may need them most.

All that said what follows are some articles from a site that I have little doubt from the nature of your response you do not respect but it would do well to at least examine what they discuss, especially as some of the assumptions you erroniously sugest are being addressed:

CDC INFO CENTER

Please also examine these sites:
AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGiS) - Enhanced Site

UNAIDS: The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS

HIV Database

HIV InSite Gateway to HIV and AIDS Knowledge

PLease stop nay saying that all their efforts are some kind of massive global conspiratorial cover-up. It frankly doesn't contribute to preventing or treating the problem. Or are you saying the problem doesn't exist?



MEDICAL NEWS

Minnesota Researchers May Have Unlocked a Key HIV Mystery

Associated Press
10.10.02
University of Minnesota researchers may have unlocked another key mystery surrounding HIV. Their discovery appears to explain why a quarter of HIV patients respond poorly to drug cocktails while others show dramatic improvements.

Dr. Timothy Schacker, associate professor of medicine and author of the study, and colleagues removed up to four lymph nodes from each of 11 HIV-positive patients over a six-month period and examined them for damage. They found that in some patients, inflammatory cells sent in by the body to help fight HIV inadvertently caused damage to the lymph tissue. This damage, in turn, triggered the formation of scar tissue, which prevented CD4 T-cells from replicating in the lymph nodes.

Doctors measure the effectiveness of drug therapies by the amount of virus found in the blood and by the number of CD4 T-cells found in the lymph nodes. The goal is to eliminate the virus from the blood and boost the CD4 T-cell count to strengthen the immune system. Yet studies show that about 25 percent of patients who have no HIV in their blood following drug treatment do not experience a corresponding improvement in their CD4 T-cell count, Schacker said. CD4 T-cells live and multiply in lymph nodes but are frequently sent out in the blood to fight off bacterial and viral invaders. But HIV invades the lymph nodes and relentlessly attacks the CD4 T-cells.

The study showed that the amount of damage in the lymph nodes is directly related to the size of the CD4 T-cell population: the higher the damage, the lower the CD4 T-cell count. Schacker said he and his colleagues now want to expand the study to about 30 patients and see if the discovery has clinical applications. "We think it has uncovered an important feature in how the virus works," he said.

The study findings, to be published in the Oct. 16 issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation (2002;110;8), still have to be confirmed by a larger study. If the initial findings turn out to be accurate, the discovery could be used to predict how well patients will respond to drug treatments and could also lead to more effective therapies and potential cures for AIDS, said Schacker.


Factors Associated with Mortality in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Adults Initiating Protease Inhibitor- Containing Therapy: Role of Education Level and of Early Transaminase Level Elevation
Journal of Infectious Diseases

09.01.02; Vol. 186: P. 710-714, Charlotte Lewden; François Raffi; Lise Cuzin; Valérie Cailleton; Jean-Louis Vildé; Geneviéve Chêene; Clotilde Allavena; Roger Salmon; Catherine Leport; APROCO Study Group

Despite a dramatic decline in mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults in industrialized countries since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), mortality remains higher among HIV-infected adults than in the general population. Since the use of HAART began, the distribution of the causes of death has changed, and factors associated with mortality might also have changed. In this study, the authors attempted to identify factors associated with mortality among HIV-1-infected adults at initiation of protease inhibitor (PI)-containing HAART. They also assessed the impact of early effect of treatment up to 4 months after the initiation of treatment.

The total of 1,155 patients were drawn from the Antiprotéases Cohorte (APROCO) Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA EP11 study -- a French prospective multicentric cohort of HIV-1-infected adults (> 18 years old) starting PI-containing therapy for the first time. Subjects were consecutively enrolled in 47 clinical centers in France between May 1997 and June 1998. Exclusion criteria were primary infection and postexposure prophylaxis.

Patient follow-up was scheduled at months 1 and 4 after enrollment and every 4 months thereafter. Baseline data included in this study were: sex, age, birthplace (France, Africa, or other), HIV transmission category, HIV clinical stage, CD4 cell count, plasma HIV RNA level, hemoglobin level, body mass index (BMI), plasma creatinine level, hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, hepatitis B virus surface antigenemia, prior antiretroviral therapy, type of PI prescribed, and the combination of nucleoside analogues prescribed. Other variables assessed by self- administered questionnaires included: highest diploma obtained, employment, type of residence, couple life, participation in a patient association, depression, smoking, alcohol consumption, and injection drug use. The following variables were measured at month 4: occurrence of an AIDS-defining event, CD4 cell count, plasma HIV RNA level, hemoglobin level, elevation of hepatic transaminase levels, and change of PI.

Clinical characteristics included a median age of 36 years, median baseline CD4 cell count of 288 cells/mm3, and median baseline plasma HIV RNA load of 4.4 log10 copies/mL. After a median follow-up of 27 months, 48 deaths had occurred, of which 44 percent were related to HIV. The mortality rate was 2.9 percent at 12 months. When both data at baseline and data at 4 months after the start of treatment were considered, factors independently associated with mortality (using the Cox model) were: low baseline plasma creatinine level, low school education level, low CD4 cell count at 4 months, low hemoglobin level, and elevated hepatic transaminase levels.

The authors did not find an association between HCV seropositivity and mortality. Although it was not significant, the authors did find a trend for a higher risk of death for women than for men. The trend might be explained by a difference in school education.

According to the authors, "The few factors associated with mortality in this cohort are easy to measure during routine patient treatment in industrialized countries. CD4 cell count, plasma creatinine level, and hemoglobin level are linked to disease progression. Toxicity of treatments, possibly reflected in this study by elevation of hepatic transaminase level and hemoglobin levels, seemed to play a role in midterm prognosis through a mechanism that remains to be clarified. The higher risk of death in patients with a low level of education needs to be further evaluated to identify potential reasons (e.g., difficulty in treatment adherence, social problems, or high-risk behavior."




Local and Community News
Activist: The Secret Was Killing Me Faster than the Disease

Chicago Tribune
10.02.02; Leslie Goldman
"By the time you graduate high school, I'll be dead." That's what Rae Lewis-Thornton would tell her enraptured student audiences when she first began speaking out in 1994.

In 1986, Lewis-Thornton organized a blood drive at work to help with a local shortage that had resulted from public fears over donation. Then, three months later, a Red Cross worker notified her she was HIV-positive. Lewis-Thornton returned to work without telling a soul, and, thanks to relatively good health, kept her secret for seven years. But when her T-cell count and dress size dropped, and her drug regimen skyrocketed from three pills to 23, Lewis-Thornton realized the time had come to tell. "The secret was killing me quicker than the disease," she said.

After accepting an invitation for a non-gay, non-drug-using HIV-positive individual to speak at an area high school, Lewis-Thornton quit her job in politics. This was the first indication of what would prove to be a call to public ministry of HIV education and outreach. She addressed three assemblies that day; by the third one, kids were skipping class to hear her speak again. "I gave AIDS a face that black Americans had not seen." "What I do is not public speaking," she insists. "What I do is minister to people. HIV is the catalyst that gets me through the door, but it's not all I talk about. I talk about women loving themselves before loving men. I talk about overcoming obstacles."

During the past seven years, Lewis-Thornton has suffered numerous complications from HIV as well as side effects from her drug regimens. Recent tests revealed she has developed resistance to two of the four major classes of AIDS medicine. She now takes a quintuple drug cocktail in a last-ditch effort to boost her immune system. The 21 pill-a-day routine seems to be working: Her T-cell count is on the rise. Today, Lewis-Thornton has cut back her public speaking engagements to concentrate on her work toward a master's degree in divinity as she prepares to become an ordained Baptist minister.




News Briefs
Clinton Details Threat of AIDS in Africa

Baltimore Sun
10.10.02; Mark Matthews
In a speech yesterday to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, former President Bill Clinton warned that Africa's promising future could be destroyed by AIDS, and he said the United States should do more to supply medicine to the continent and to promote vaccine development. Without major efforts to fight the disease, which he called "the biggest killer since the Black Plague," some countries could lose much of their productive, middle-age populations, Clinton said. Costly drugs are key to keeping millions of AIDS patients alive and to combating the epidemic through testing and treatment: People will not submit to testing only to be told, "You got it; you die," he said. At a time when the Bush administration is seeking tens of billions more for the military and homeland defense, fighting AIDS needs to be seen as "part of our defense," because its rapid spread overseas might result in more Americans becoming infected, Clinton said.
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#5 Mind

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 08:56 PM

Hey...you know me, I couldn't resist at least a comment or two. Here is one quote from the above

But HIV invades the lymph nodes and relentlessly attacks the CD4 T-cells.


This is not a fact. How HIV (or whatever DNA fragments researchers are calling HIV nowadays) works to affect the immune system is as much a mystery today as it was 20 years ago. There is no consensus. Zero. Every year there are new theories, none stand up to rigorous examination. When reading this statement you must remember that the latency period (from infection to AIDS) is 1 year to....to....well there is no upper limit. Some people do not develop AIDS. 2% of cases do not develop AIDS - if you believe the CDC. So the question to ask (the same question has been asked for years and years): What is HIV doing during the latency period?

I continue to badger different sources for pictures of virus particles (with accompanying genetic information), with no result. The latest company I contacted was Cell Genesys. They claim to be developing a method of using some of the machinery of HIV to deliver gene therapy to cell nuclei. I e-mailed them asking how they found HIV virus particles...(because no one in the world up to this point has done so). I did not get any response. Maybe it is proprietary information and they do not want to say.


Lazarus, I enjoyed the lemon juice article.
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#6 Lazarus Long

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 09:35 PM

Keep up Badgering them all I say even our allies. But I am a trained badger and admire such dogged stubborness. ;)

Nevertheless the quote you chose is from a recent article and the source is cited. Please do follow up because it merits it. I don't advocate "Faith" in experts at all but I think that after 20 years some things have been learned and perhaps after two decades it would behoove us (to use another of our esoteric phrases) to "Sift and winnow the chaff from the seed." I would love a continued follow up on what we do know and a what we don't. That said there should be a few columns, Known Issues, Known Myths, Suppositions, Still Important Questions and Mysteries, and Discredited Ideas.

Anyway I am glad you see some merit in having posted the "News from Down Under"
[ph34r] Whooof [!]
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#7 bobdrake12

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 12:25 AM

Mind:

How HIV (or whatever DNA fragments researchers are calling HIV nowadays) works to affect the immune system is as much a mystery today as it was 20 years ago. There is no consensus. Zero.


Mind and all,

With all the money spent on AIDS research, has any adult with AIDS been cured?

Bob


Posted Image

"Now Petrelis and a colleague, Michael Lauro, are outing the huge salaries pulled down by the heads of many non-profit AIDS organizations: $155,900 for James Loyce of AIDS Project Los Angeles, $148,000 for Pat Christen of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and $141,521 for Jim Graham of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC."


http://www.counterpu.../aidsdrugs.html


Posted Image

Drug Money

Michael Petrelis, a San Francisco-based gay activist, has outed a number of closeted gay conservatives and political figures during the past few years (most spectacularly in the case of former Rep. Steve Gunderson, whom Petrelis doused with a drink at a gay bar in Virginia). Now Petrelis and a colleague, Michael Lauro, are outing the huge salaries pulled down by the heads of many non-profit AIDS organizations: $155,900 for James Loyce of AIDS Project Los Angeles, $148,000 for Pat Christen of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and $141,521 for Jim Graham of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC.

Petrelis says such lavish compensation often comes at the cost of cutting services such as rental and medical subsidies for AIDS victims. Graham's salary at Whitman-Walker climbed to its current level from a base of $119,120 in 1992. During that same period, the budget for the clinic's program to pay the utility bills of people with AIDS fell from $148,883 to $82,698.

It's also ironic that much of the money spent by AIDS groups comes from grants made by pharmaceutical companies - who have profiteered mightily off people with AIDS. Burroughs-Wellcome (now Glaxo) made billions off AZT before finally lowering prices in response to protests by AIDS advocates. Yet prices for most AIDS drugs remain exorbitant today. Triple combination drug therapy, the most potent means of fighting full-blown AIDS, runs to about $12,000 a year, with so-called protease inhibitors being especially expensive. Average annual retail prices range from about $5,400 for Crixivan (marketed by Merck) to $6,900 for Fortovase (Roche) to $8,200 for Norvir (Abbott).

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals comprise the most profitable legal industry in America, with profits four times above the average of the Fortune 500 between 1988 and 1995. Protease manufacturers Merck, Roche and Abbott racked up 1996 profits of $3.8 billion, $2.9 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively. A report by the Golden Gate chapter of ACT UP calls drug company profiteering "a number one killer of people with AIDS".

Those same firms and other drug company profiteers are pumping money into AIDS groups. To take just one example, the DC-based National Association of People with AIDS receives funding from Merck, Glaxo, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alza Pharmaceuticals and Optima Nutrition.

Some activists wonder if receipt of drug company money has dampened enthusiasm among some AIDS organizations for taking on the issue of drug company price gouging. For example, most AIDS groups-with the notable exception of AIDS Action-stood by last year as drug companies successfully lobbied Congress to kill a law that would have dramatically lowered the price that numerous heath care organizations pay for AIDS drugs. Stephen LeBlanc of ACT UP-Golden Gate-one of the few AIDS groups that does not take drug company money-is a veteran of MASSPIRG, a public interest group affiliated with Ralph Nader. "If people found out we were working so closely with chemical manufacturers - and being funded by them - it would have destroyed our credibility". he says. "There's no quid pro quo but there is no critical distance between the [AIDS] community and drug companies."

Others believe that the drug companies, by funding and forming tactical coalitions with AIDS activists, have effectively co-opted many. Dennis DeLeon, president of the Latino Commission on AIDS in New York, fears that such alliances "make people go soft in their willingness to confront industry. Some groups have such a symbiotic relationship with the companies that it's become impossible to distinguish them from the companies' policy and outreach departments.". CP


© Copyright: 1998-1999

CounterPunch is a project of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity

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#8 bobdrake12

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 11:34 AM

How effective are the AIDS drugs?

Has any adult with AIDS been cured by these drugs?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly prolong life?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly improve the quality of life?

bob


____________________________________________________________


http://dspace.dial.p...ec00/cover2.htm

Posted Image

ZAMBIA
COVER STORY

A rash of complaints ...the tragic side-effects of Aids drugs


Tragic underestimation of flesh-sloughing side-effects and failures in patient monitoring led to the deaths which forced South Africa to halt the clinical trials of the anti-Aids drug, Nevirapine, in April this year.

A ghastly side-effect called Stephens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) first start as a rash but kills patients after eating up their flesh in serious cases.

Official data available before the clinical trials commenced showed that Nevirapine was five times more likely to cause the deadly, drug-induced SJS than was the more expensive AZT, which equally has deadly toxic side-effects.

SJS killed two of the five women in the South African trials, appearing within weeks of commencing Nevirapine — at first as a rash (but all the skin can be sloughed off), mouth and trachea blisters, and lungs and intestines can shed layers inside the body.

Prevention of side-effects requires careful patient monitoring. By far the most common complication is described as “rash” when mild, or as SJS when severe. Immediate withdrawal of Nevirapine is mandated in all but mild reactions.

On 6 April this year, the PAC chief whip in South Africa, Patricia de Lille, said that she had uncovered a “nest of abuse and exploitation” in clinical trials of anti-Aids drugs in the country.

Participants in the trials told De Lille of severe side effects and irregularities in the way patients were asked to sign consent forms they did not understand.

In an interview with The Natal Witness, De Lille said: “One patient developed a rash all over the body and still has marks on the face. He told [the doctor in charge of the trials at the Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria] that this had happened since using the drugs, but the doctor said it was not the drugs causing the rash, but the HIV virus”.

The Natal Witness also quoted De Lille saying that one woman went completely blind for two weeks, but regained her eyesight after discontinuing the drugs.

Before De Lille’s remarks were even reported, the South African health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang (who is a medical doctor herself) announced a halt to the Nevirapine trials. She told parliament that two of the five women died of liver damage, and there was a “probable” causal association with Nevirapine in the other three cases.

But Kevin McKenna, a spokesman for the Nevirapine manufacturers, Boehringer Ingelheim, was not about to own up. “My information is that the actual link to Nevirapine is inconclusive, and that the company involved is examining the [deaths] and establishing the reasons”, he said at the time.

But Boehringer itself had said on a New Zealand government website that:

“The major clinical toxicity of Viramune [another name for Nevirapine] is rash, occurring in 16% of patients; [in one study as much as] 35% of patients experienced rash...

“Severe or life-threatening rash occurred in 6.6% of Viramune-treated patients... Severe or life-threatening skin reactions have occurred in patients treated with Virumune, including SJS and TEN (toxic epidermal necrolysis). Fatal cases of SJS, TEN and hypersensitivity reactions have [also] been reported.

“Severe and life-threatening hepatotoxicity, including fatal fulminant hepatitis, has occurred in patients treated with Viramune. Some of these cases began in the first few weeks of therapy. Monitoring of liver function tests is strongly recommended especially during the first six months of Viramune treatment.”

But what Boehringer does not say is that the “hepatotoxicity” arises partly because the liver is the organ that must metabolise Nevirapine. Deaths from liver failure are not unheard of in such clinical trials, but are certainly minimised by proper monitoring.

So, two of the five deaths that occurred in the Nevirapine trials in South Africa can be accounted for by “hepatotoxicity” as the health minister indicated in parliament. But what about the three other deaths described as “inconclusive” by the Boehringer spokesman?


More than a rash

Describing the side-effects of Nevirapine as a “rash” is misleading. Because the “rash” is neither cutaneous nor arising from localised causes, but systematically driven; and means the body is signalling a very serious illness. In the severe forms of Nevirapine effect, the reaction progresses in ways that depart from any known “rash”.

A Carte Blanche TV documentary shown in South Africa recently said one patient, Rebecca, “went completely blind for two weeks.”

Q: “What happened to your sight after you took the pills?”

Rebecca: “I started to change. Blind... not hear[ing] nicely... not speak[ing] properly.”

Rebecca also said she witnessed other symptoms, including anal bleeding, sores that would not heal, abdominal pains, weight loss, fevers and pneumonia. These could all be typical Aids symptoms, but Rebecca remains convinced it was the drug, not the virus.

But these were no Aids symptoms. The rashes and sores observed were classic Nevirapne rash. The anal bleeding and abdominal pains bore testimony to Nevirapine’s predilection for affecting the gastrointestinal system as seen in the comparable clinical trial which ushered in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the drug on 24 June 1996.

The full blindness was untreated SJS ocular sloughing. The blindness which, tellingly, healed on stopping medication was a reversal of SJS.

These concerns are taken seriously in the European Union. On 12 April this year, the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medecines decided to maintain Nevirapine in its “under exceptional circumstances” category.

Based on “continuing reports on incidents of these very severe reactions in 1999/2000”, the European Agency issued an “urgent safety restriction” on Nevirapine to include new warnings on “life-threatening cutaneous and hepatic reactions”.

In America, patients are advised to “dial 911 or rush to the nearest ER” on suspicion of an SJS reaction.

A prudent person would ask whether medication requiring this level of support services is in any way appropriate for Africa.

Against this backdrop, it is worrying that the Carte Blanche investigation reported problems with access to the medical files of the patients involved:

Nelly: “They say the file is missing.”

Carte Blanche: “The hospital registry told Nelly that her files were removed from the registry.”

Case closed?

Fintan Dunne

Editor (Aidsmyth.com)


Copyright © IC Publications Limited 2001.

____________________________________________________________

http://www.magnusnew...0apr/kramer.htm


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Kramer to Delaney: “AIDS Drugs Are Toxic..." (excerpts)


The studies I am quoting from may be small but what studies aren’t? When my own doctor tells me that 50% of his patients on Sustiva can’t tolerate it, that is the only kind of study I listen to. That’s the kind of study I understand because I am one of his patients and he wanted me to go on Sustiva. We are twenty years into this shit now and the rest of the world is dropping like flies and we have nothing to give them. I had hoped that our willingness to be the guinea pigs for the rest of the world, guinea pigs on whom new and safe and efficient and easy-to-take treatments could be created, would by now have reaped results. It hasn’t. If I won’t take Sustiva or Norvir or any of a dozen other drugs then I can hardly expect any drug company to sell them cheap or otherwise to a third world. I think in our determination to tell ourselves that we are “finding a cure” we are being very, very selfish, because this “cure” is a “cure” that only some people can tolerate.

I just waded through an endless Aegis document by Theo Smart and someone else about all the new drugs in the pipeline. It scared me more than ever. Just more and more and more and more and more of the very same, all very toxic-sounding shit with more side effects than they’re worth. You may see all of them as progress, baby-step progress. I see them as running in place. We are getting nowhere really if you think about it. Yes we are alive. But feeling so awful that more and more people are saying: it’s just not worth it, (word removed) the drugs, I’ll take nothing and take my chances. Interestingly enough (and what does this mean????????) many of these people, even with grotesquely high viral loads, seem to be excellent. They feel good, certainly much better than having Sustiva nightmares and depressions. I personally think DuPont should be taken to court on a class action suit for releasing Sustiva into the world.

____________________________________________________________

http://www.virusmyth...s/index/azt.htm


Posted Image

The label on an AZT bottle from the Sigma Co. The warning on the label reads:

"TOXIC. Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed. Target organ(s): Blood bone marrow. If you feel unwell, seek medical advice (show the label where possible). Wear suitable protective clothing."

Note the skull and bones on the label; the warning for a deathly poison (Bottle contains only 100 mg, humans are prescribed 300 to 1500 mg a day).
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#9 bobdrake12

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 12:05 PM

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"The panel reached its decision for a number of reasons, the main one being that doctors are seeing a rise in the incidence of side-effects from the long-term use of anti-HIV therapies as patients are now surviving much longer. This has been particularly noticeable in the protease inhibitors, which promote heart disease in younger patients."

"The company has spent billions on these drugs, and it thought it could rely on doctors starting the treatment early on. The prescriptions to new patients represent about a third of the sales for these drugs; strip that out and you are going to find profits cut."


http://www.rethinkin...l#heart_disease

Posted Image


11 February 2001


HIV rethink to hit drug sales

Glaxo faces lower profits as doctors decide to alter treatment for patients

By Leo Lewis


Changes in the way doctors treat HIV sufferers could create major problems for GlaxoSmithKline and other leading drugs companies who sell products used to fight the disease.

At a conference sponsored by the US Department of Health in Chicago last week, the panel of advisers drew up guidelines covering when an HIV sufferer should be introduced to the cocktail of drugs that suppress the virus.

The decision reached was that drugs should be given to patients at a much later stage of the disease's development. The worry for the companies is that the flow of new users of their products will now be stemmed for several years.

GlaxoSmithKline, which derives a massive 7 per cent of pharmaceutical sales from HIV and Aids drugs, could be particularly hard hit by the new recommendation, as could Roche, with 4 per cent of sales. But the problem has partly arisen from the efficiency of the drugs that both groups have developed in recent years.

The panel reached its decision for a number of reasons, the main one being that doctors are seeing a rise in the incidence of side-effects from the long-term use of anti-HIV therapies as patients are now surviving much longer. This has been particularly noticeable in the protease inhibitors, which promote heart disease in younger patients. The panel added that although the physicians have been encouraged to start treatments early, there is little evidence that delaying treatment has any detrimental effect on a patient's outlook.

The US doctors that spotted this pattern have already begun to delay the programme of treatment for HIV sufferers. Experts now expect that the American trend will be repeated by medics in Europe, so covering the two major markets for GlaxoSmithKline's products. Although the company admits there is a growing pattern of treating patients later on, it does not believe revenues will be hard hit.

But experts are not convinced. "You've got to see this development as a big risk," said one Wall Street analyst. [b]"The company has spent billions on these drugs, and it thought it could rely on doctors starting the treatment early on. The prescriptions to new patients represent about a third of the sales for these drugs; strip that out and you are going to find profits cut."

Last week another threat to the HIV drug-makers arose from health officials in Brazil. The government there is accusing the US of threatening its successful anti-Aids programme as part of a bitter trade dispute over generic drugs. It announced that if world market prices of the two patented anti-Aids drugs are not reduced by June, Brazilian companies will be given carte-blanche to produce the medicines. "The prices of these drugs are beyond the realm of this world," said Paulo Teixeira, director of Brazil's national health programme. "What we desperately need is a global negotiation over the prices of these medicines."

The prospect of mass-production of generic drugs is a grim one for the drug-makers. They spent tens of billions on research, but others can copy the drugs cheaply.

Although analysts do not think cheap Brazilian generics will filter back into the US, most agree it could be a blow to sales in South Africa, India and Latin America.


© 2001 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd.
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#10 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 01:28 AM

Posted Image

"Almost two decades of unprecedented efforts in research costing US taxpayers over $50 billion have failed to defeat Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and have failed to explain the chronology and epidemiology of AIDS in America and Europe."


Posted Image

'Latest AIDS statistics - 0,000,000 cured.'


http://www.healtoronto.com/index2.html

Posted Image


"AIDS Research Epidemic Still Out of Control In Certain Parts of World."

headline from "Vaccine Weekly" (15.06.96)


Posted Image
Illustration copyright HEAL/The Pizz, Colorization by Van


"Almost two decades of unprecedented efforts in research costing US taxpayers over $50 billion have failed to defeat Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and have failed to explain the chronology and epidemiology of AIDS in America and Europe."

"The failure to cure AIDS is so complete that the largest American AIDS foundation is even exploiting it for fundraising:

'Latest AIDS statistics - 0,000,000 cured.'


Support a cure, support AMFAR.' The scientific basis of all these unsuccessful efforts has been the hypothesis that AIDS is caused by a sexually transmitted virus, termed Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and that this viral immunodeficiency manifests in 30 previously known microbial and non-microbial AIDS diseases."


- Peter Duesberg & David Rasnick
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#11 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 02:55 AM

Posted Image

"Meditel Productions, based in London, made several television documentaries that were critical of the orthodox AIDS paradigm. The most important are: 'The AIDS Catch' (1990), 'AZT: Cause For Concern' (1992), and 'AIDS in Africa' (1993).

These were first broadcast to the UK over Channel Four Television, and were subsequently broadcast in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. Although the documentaries have been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, not one has ever been allowed to air in the US. "





http://www.virusmyth...a/jlrealism.htm

AIDS REALISM VERSUS THE HIV HYPOTHESIS

By John Lauritsen


A hornet's nest of vituperation was stirred up when South African President Thabo Mbeki announced that AIDS-dissident, as well as AIDS-orthodox, voices will be heard at the XIII International AIDS Conference, to be held this July in Durban, South Africa.

From all sides "AIDS experts", journalists, and "treatment activists" joined in a chorus of denunciation directed at those nefarious infidels who blaspheme against the sacred doctrines and commodities of the AIDS Industry.

Normally, open debate and free enquiry are regarded as fundamental components of Science. Not in the AIDS arena. Dr. Mark Wainberg, president of the International AIDS Society, called for jailing AIDS dissidents, whom he called "HIV deniers" (his explicit analogy to "Holocaust deniers").

Said Wainberg: "If we could succeed and lock a couple of these guys up, I guarantee you the HIV-denier movement would die pretty darn quickly."

Wainberg's label was picked up by such flacks as John S. James and Bruce Mirken. To me, the "HIV denier" or "HIV denialists" terminology is not only absurd, but revealing as well. This is religious language!

Those of us who are skeptical of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis (and it has never been more than a hypothesis) are apparently in the same camp as those who deny that the Jews are the chosen people of G-d, or deny the divinity of Jesus, or deny the Trinity or the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

It is time to defend the men and women who have challenged the prevailing AIDS mythologies. We have been around since the early '80s: critics of the various, frequently changing, and contradictory models and dogmas of the AIDS Establishment.

We call ourselves "AIDS dissidents", and sometimes "AIDS critics" or "AIDS realists". We have also been called heretics, rebels, and a lot of other things. Our ranks have been growing steadily, and include top scientists (including three Nobel Prize winners), journalists, and other professionals.

The impression was given, in recent attacks on us, that AIDS dissidents are bad people, who in some unspecified but sinister way are profiting from the stands we have taken. This is the opposite of the truth.

The AIDS dissidents I know have acted on principle, motivated by a concern for truth and a desire to save lives. All have taken hard knocks; all have suffered losses: socially, professionally, and financially. AIDS dissidents have been ostracized and slandered; fired or had grants canceled; driven into bankruptcy; physically attacked.

Profits of the AIDS Industry run into billions of dollars every year. This is where the money is. People with meager qualifications have become rich as "AIDS experts", heads of AIDS organizations, or "treatment activists".

But there are no financial rewards for attacking the sacred AIDS cash cow. Speaking for myself, I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, and my financial future is uncertain; I make a lot less now, as a full-time politically incorrect writer, than I did as a highly paid market research executive.

Our ideas have been subjected to an intensity of censorship in the mainstream media, which would normally be found in a totalitarian country in the midst of war--especially in the United States, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic.

The censorship has taken many forms, from voluntary censorship to preserve advertising revenues to the surreptitious activities of public relations firms employed by pharmaceutical companies.

The former kind of censorship, practiced by gay publications over the past two decades, is documented in a recent article of mine, "Queer Advertising: From Poppers to Protease Inhibitors". This article also has many images of perniciously sexy poppers ads of the '70s and early '80s.

Meditel Productions, based in London, made several television documentaries that were critical of the orthodox AIDS paradigm. The most important are: "The AIDS Catch" (1990), "AZT: Cause For Concern" (1992), and "AIDS in Africa" (1993).

These were first broadcast to the UK over Channel Four Television, and were subsequently broadcast in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. Although the documentaries have been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, not one has ever been allowed to air in the US.


In England there have only been about ten thousand "AIDS" deaths in the entire course of the epidemic, as opposed to over a third of a million in the US.

The main reason for this huge disparity may be that, thanks to the Meditel documentaries, far fewer gay men in England took AZT or other nucleoside analogue drugs. (Over 94% of all AIDS deaths in the US occurred after AZT was approved for marketing in 1987.)

Fortunately, the Internet has provided an end-run around censorship. I strongly urge everyone to find out what our ideas are -- and in our own words, not the travesties put forward by our opponents. The best place to begin is the Rethinking AIDS web site.

On the home page click Front News, which has many recent articles on the controversy in South Africa. Or click FIND for listings of subjects and authors. On the Find page click AZT for a lowdown on that drug (labeled as a poison by chemical supply houses, approved for marketing by the FDA on the basis of fraudulent research). Click on HIV Tests for articles debunking the Elisa, Western Blot and Viral Load tests. Click on my name for my major AIDS articles. The Rethinking AIDS web site has links to 51 other AIDS dissident web sites, of which the HEAL Toronto, Duesberg, Sumeria, and Reappraising AIDS are especially important.

AIDS discourse has been unnecessarily technical and abstruse. This is a consequence of the untenable and bizarre hypothesis that a retrovirus is responsible for causing the 29 (at last count) "AIDS-indicator diseases".

If "AIDS" were seen for what it is -- different groups of people, who are sick in different ways and for different reasons -- then much simpler language could be used; the appropriate "experts" would no longer be molecular biologists, virologists, etc., but widely educated people with good common sense.

For the remainder of this essay, I'll try to present AIDS criticism in a nutshell, as simply and directly as possible. For those of you who are enamored of AIDS molecular-biologico-retrovirologico-babble, I suggest you thoroughly explore the AIDS dissident web sites; you'll find enough of it there.

One AIDS dissident, Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize in Science for inventing the Polymerase Chain Reaction, was asked to state which argument most strongly convinced him that HIV was not the cause of AIDS. Mullis replied: "The fact that there's no evidence for it."

When I was on a debate team, our coach told us that we must master the arguments of our opponents -- be able to present them better than they could themselves. Over the years I have thought long and hard about what arguments could be used in favor of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.

I have been able to come up with only one: "Everyone says that it is." This is a variant of the classic argument: "Eighty million Frenchmen can't be wrong." Certainly, if everyone says that something is true, then there's a possibility that it might be.

But sometimes almost everyone can be wrong. In the case of AIDS, the apparent unanimity is a facade: in 1984 only a very few "experts" asserted that HIV (then known as HTLV-III or LAV) was the cause, and all the other "scientists" followed their lead. Once the AIDS Industry developed, and billions of dollars in profits were at stake, the public relations industry reinforced the consensus monolith.

AIDS does not, and never did, behave like an infectious disease. As Casper Schmidt expressed it in an interview, "Infectious epidemics do not follow fault lines that are cultural or sociological, which is what we find in this epidemic."

Since the very beginning in the early '80s, AIDS has remained tightly compartmentalized, confined almost entirely in the US to gay men and intravenous drug users. (Whatever is happening in Africa is an entirely different matter: different diseases and a different epidemiology.)

"AIDS" has never been defined rationally, and the definition has changed radically several times. Originally, those with an "AIDS" diagnosis were close to death; now one can obtain the diagnosis without even being sick.

To illustrate the flaws in the various definitions of "AIDS", let's consider Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), which for years was the hallmark AIDS disease.

It was believed that an infectious agent, later declared to be HIV (aka HTLV-III/LAV) caused a condition of "immune deficiency" (gauged not by the traditional tests of immune function, but rather by newly developed tests which counted CD4 cells), and that the immune deficiency in turn caused KS. Unfortunately for this model, many gay men with KS tested negative on all the HIV tests, and did not have immune deficiency.

Further, use of the recreational drug poppers (nitrite inhalants) closely fits the epidemiology of KS. And so, in May 1994 the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) convened a meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland to examine the connection between poppers and KS.

Top "AIDS experts" including Robert Gallo were present. Their conclusions: 1) there may be as many as four different kinds of KS, 2) KS is not a form of cancer, 3) KS is not caused by, or associated with, immune deficiency, 4) HIV is not the cause of KS.

Some of the participants presented data indicating that KS is not infectious, though others believed that it might be caused by a virus other than HIV. All participants, including Gallo, agreed that the nitrites-KS hypothesis is tenable. See my report, "NIDA Meeting Calls For Research Into The Poppers-Kaposi's Sarcoma Connection".

So then, KS is no longer considered "AIDS" by the "experts". During the '80s gay men with KS were given chemotherapy to attack cancer, even though KS is not a form of cancer. Gays with KS were given toxic anti-HIV drugs, even though KS is not caused by HIV. They died, by the tens of thousands, not from HIV or KS, but from the drugs they were prescribed.

If HIV were the cause of "AIDS", or indeed, any other form of illness, then there would be HIV infection in every case of the disease. This is the logic of Koch's First Postulate, a standard test of whether an infectious agent causes a disease.

Not only does HIV flunk Koch's First Postulate, it has never been properly isolated; it has never been seen through the electron microscope. All this leads into a highly technical discussion, on which there are many articles and images on the Rethinking AIDS web site.

To me the most striking thing is that no one has ever demonstrated HIV infection, even in a single case, using "infection" in the ordinary sense of the word. "Infection" implies a large amount of virus or microbe, and a high level of biochemical activity.

If there were HIV infection, there would be what's known as "viremia": the blood would be teeming with whole, cell-free, infectious viruses, hundreds of thousands to millions of them in every milliliter of blood. In fact, attempts to purify HIV and then photograph it, using standard techniques, have been total failures.

Many people believe that the so-called "viral load" tests actually count whole viruses in the blood. This is not true, and the tests have been denounced by Kary Mullis, who invented the technology on which they are based. According to Mullis: "Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron."

Neither of the "HIV-antibody" tests -- the Elisa or the Western Blot -- has ever been properly validated, which means that no one knows exactly what their results mean. The tests are chemical reactions to antigens, which are substances that provoke an immune response. Many dozens of conditions can produce a positive result on these tests, including drug abuse, flu vaccinations, past infection with malaria, pregnancy, and liver disease.

The various AIDS drugs are, without exception, toxic and worthless. It is not true that the protease inhibitor "cocktails" have caused AIDS deaths to drop; on the contrary, they are causing death and deformity in people who would otherwise be healthy.

I'm afraid that I have barely scratched the surface of the AIDS-dissident arguments, but this is not intended to be a long article. There are hundreds of articles and millions of words on the AIDS-dissident web sites. I hope I've motivated at least some of you to learn more.

It's time to wake up, to put an end to the sacrificial ritual of AIDS, the sacrifice of gay men. We didn't deserve this, and we should no longer go along with it.
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#12 Lazarus Long

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 08:46 AM

Clearly the amount of capital both wasted and depended upon, as well as the political polemic on ALL sides of this complicated debate have contributed to clouding, corrupting, and obscuring the science.

That said there are some good reasons that the arguments you raise Bob are both valid and yet need to be betted addressed. It is NOT reasonable to expect that any and all disease will be automatically cured just because vast quantities of capital have been thrown at it. But in answer to your question the argument on "cures" from the establishment is that they don't expect one, and frankly aren't looking for one ( if you closely examine the nature of the research) they are interested in "treatment" and "prevention" and have tacitly accepted that they will not find a cure.

Why?

First off I think they are all addicted to the CASH COW CALLED Government funding and second there are a few things that they would prefer to keep hidden. The first is simple avarice and not too complicated a motive.

But what could be the source of the second? What is so horrible that it could cause a global campaign of disinformation and a conspiracy of supposed enemies?

While it may be true that AIDS may have been the subject of Bio warfare investigation and that some research went into the development of this avenue, it is not sufficiently documented to develop a case yet. I will leave this highly charged and controversial area of INTENTIONAL HARM for a separate line of inquiry.

Let us look at Africa. Again take a step back and reexamine the origins of AIDS. When were the first cases identified? AS I have stated my father was a clinical Pathologist. He said that upon reexamination of cases of the previously called "Wasting Syndrome" that he had treated and investigated PERSONALLY he came to realize that the first cases AIDS that he had PERSONALLY observed were in the 1950's. He also pointed out to me that some of the biological samples taken from those subjects STILL EXISTS and is stored cryogenically.

I followed up on this and discovered that there has been subsequent investigation into this and some of these sample have been located and tested and they are POSITIVE for HIV. (Step back from the debate for moment on the validity of HIV). What is also interesting is that in the particular cases in which my father had been personally involved the patients in question HAD participated in the kinds of "Defined Risky Behaviors." Some independently published studies have since confirmed his suspicions and these results have met with the same kinds of willful cover-up tactics and political outcry that have so confused this issue.

What else about Africa? And this crosses back to a theory that we have discussed in a different light, it appears the spread of AIDS throughout Africa appears to coincide with the introduction of the live polio vaccination and the World Health Organization efforts to eradicate that disease.

It appears that in order to meet the need for vaccinating millions of people in Africa against Polio it was determined more cost effective to culture and harvest the vaccine at that time from "Green Monkeys". The concept of a single stranded DNA retrovirus was unknown yet, it was the late 1950's.

There are theories involving the xenotransmission of HIV from some primates to humans but this very OBVIOUS avenue is I believe intentionally overlooked because of the same politics that you allude to above and is so clearly present in the cases of the tainted Blood Supplies of France and China (and US) that went undetected through negligence and corruption rather than due to simple ignorance.

The use of the monkeys to develop the vaccines is documented but I think the motive in covering up this avenue for the propagation of the disease is the question of liability first off and second the fear that it would undermine the confidence of too many people in the benevolence of the Health Care System and the United Nations Organizations that provide it.

There are many in the medical community that are aware of the theory I am proposing and more then a few think it legitimate but are terrified to come forward with either their suspicions or findings of fact due to the fear of being vilified and ostracized by the establishment.

Under the current atmosphere do not expect much science to take place, at least not as much as "victimizing". True this is anecdotal information but I have heard it from a number of widely separate and unrelated sources.

I have also read reports and letters to JAMA and other Medical Journals that refer to this issue. Many in the Medical Community are aware of this theory but few are willing to risk their careers pursuing its validity.
"They do kill the messenger today."


As to the "cure" question, I personally know a number of people, that were told fifteen years ago they would be dead in 3-5 years and they are still around taking their "cocktails". They despise doing so but feel that this is their best hope. You are correct about the horrible side effects, I have seen them first hand in the same folks I refer to.

I would also suggest that there is a complicated genetic relationship to the host. The period of so called latency when the virus can remain dormant is caused by a number factors including the host's own resistance. But if the host's immune system gets compromised by a separate serious illness OR risky behaviors then the virus can opportunistically begin to blossom.

This is not unprecedented. It is a mistake for example to think that after you get Chicken Pox as a child you are immune to the virus. The virus, Herpes Zoster is similar in that is will remain dormant for decades until the immune system of the host gets compromised at some future date.

When it reappears in later life it is called Shingles by most people and wan't recognized as the same virus as Chicken Pox for years because the symptoms were not identical to the first appearance.

You have made a two fold argument that needs to be clarified:

A: HIV is not the cause of the syndrome today known as AIDS.

B: The regimen of Antiviral Chemotherapies that are employed are not effective at "Curing" the illness and may in fact do more harm then good.


These two propositions are distinct and please try to not weave them together so much. It confuses your point and undermines the arguments you make in each case. I think you are very correct to attack both suppositions but please don't do it together. They are separate issues.


This is a retrovirus:

retrovirus

Miller-Keane Medical Dictionary, 2000
(ret´ro-vi´´rus) a large group of RNA viruses that includes the leukoviruses and lentiviruses; so called because they carry reverse transcriptase.

Here is a Compendium on HIV along with electronmicrographs and its Genetic Sequencing. I realize that such sources are inherently questionable to many (govenrment) but please examine them. They do not support my contention involving polio but they are more informative then you imply the current state of the knowlege to be. ]

Anyway Bob I greatly respect the core opinion you assert that there is something very suspect about the current state of affairs. What I question is how to better ameliorate this legitimate concern.

Please keep posting more on this but could you reduce the graphics a little bit and add more links? I have found that it makes the pages take unbearably long to open when too much information is presented graphically. Please do include some but as pleasant and informative as some are, others apear more for "effect' and one unintended effect is that it reduces accessibility to this thread when a computer locks up waiting for the page to open. Or we end up losing the connection. :(

I promise to release my carrier pidgeon modem as soon as the powers that be bring decent broad band access to my area. ;)

Anyone interested in a local Wye-Fi project? [ph34r]
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#13 Limitless

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 01:05 PM

I certainly respect the problem referred to as "AIDS" in Africa, whatever it is. I do however, believe the problem in Africa may be a different problem altogether, than the problem in North America, Europe that afflicts mostly gay people, many of which take a variety of substances, as I mentioned in my previous post. Also Laz, my mind is not closed to any possibilities on the subject, as you suggested may be the case. I realize HIV has been "Linked" with AIDS, along with many other things. However, "Linked" doesn't mean proven. It could be a casual suggestion, despite what scientists say to the contrary. I realize you are less into conspiracy theories than I am, but I've yet to see any evidence that suggests these conspiracies do not exist. Scientists ARE NOT necessarily competent, or even worthy of their titles. Most of them are people with degrees, and nothing more. A scientist's entire career & credibility are based entirely on whether or not they can prove that evidence supports the claims they make. When it comes to AIDS, many respectable scientists have made many claims in the public eye, that are so far from being proven, they are as likely to be false, as they are to being true. The more respectable AIDS scientists, the ones who work for non-profit corporations, or those less-motivated by monetary gain, have been unwilling to speculate on the possible origins of HIV & AIDS. The popular notion of HIV originating in some form of primate is well-documented. It is also nothing more than speculation. Many credible scientists are unwilling to rule out the possibility of AIDS being a man-made disease. (The white population in Africa did some very strange research several decades ago, and greatly-resented being a huge minority in Africa. Wasn't Africa something like only 10% white at that time, at most? ) The point is, if somebody knows, they certainly aren't telling anyone.

Most scientists can make more money working for biased-companies, who are in the business of making money, and treating, not necessarily curing disease. This means that, no matter how talented these scientists are, their conclusions have to be questioned. I realize, Lazarus, that you are less-cynical than me, but the cynical view tends to be chillingly-accurate, too much of the time. There are many cases of drug companies & private, government-funded health care providers favouring very-expensive chemotherapy drugs in the fight against cancer, when cheaper natural alternatives have been proven to be more effective. Clearly, doctors are working for the drug-companies these days. They often get financial credit for filling prescriptions. Just look at asthma medication. It has gone from being a rare prescription, to highly-researched multi-billion dollar industry. Do more people need medication now? Maybe our standards are higher, or maybe we are simply worshipping GlaxoSmithKline. There has been evidence that asthma-medications can build dependance, and cause more harm than good, if use is discontinued suddenly-hence an assurance of a steady profit-stream. (Besides the fact corticosteroids, even in smallish-doses, can slightly-suppress the immune system, and contribute to cataracts, etc.) It's true chemotherapy can save lives, but the damage these drugs do to a patient's heart make the prospect of stem-cell heart-regeneration even more urgent. Also, in cases which have little hope of success (at this time), doctors routinely opt for "By the book" methods, rather than individualizing their approach for each patient.

You asked me if I am saying that AIDS is not an STD. I am no authority on the subject, so I can't say one way or the other. But, until proven, I think it's very fair to say that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, as it hasn't been proven to do so. If I had to guess, I would guess that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. We'll find out-eventually. I believe HIV could be a virus that can be transmitted sexually, but I am not convinced it is very harmful, nor am I convinced it has anything to do with HIV. Of course, it still is not advised for anyone to behave in a promiscuous manner, or share needles, or fail to ask if someone has had a blood transfusion, unless one wants to risk contracting one of the many proven STDs. Personal responsibility stays, but one cannot be held completely responsible for contracting something that isn't well-understood. There is, as of yet, no quick & reliable test for HIV. It appears to me that HIV is commonly meant to refer simply to a reduction in the level of T-cells, rather than a specific infection.

You advised me to stop nay saying, Lazarus, but I believe that this is not always counter-productive, and in this case, the best way to shoot down universally-accepted myths. Proof would be better-I realize that, but the burden of proof should rest of those scientists claiming that HIV causes AIDS-not those who don't. Also, in almost 20 years of research, how many so-called "Breakthroughs" have been made? Zero. Yet, people & governments shell out billions for drugs that can often do more harm than good-if they can do anything to treat a disease yet proven to be an infectious disease. It doesn't appear to be very hard to convince the entire world of something, if you have the necessary funds to pay for it. The tobacco industry continues to do this, to lesser degree, after over 70 years of playing-down the risks of smoking & truths about addiction, after learning the facts themselves. Most people believe everything they hear on the news, which is why an institute like Imminst could work wonders on the general population, if it could only raise a large amount of money. ;)) Cheers. B)
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#14 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 02:34 PM

Posted Image

Would a simplistic cure bring an end to a huge and profitable business?


Posted Image

I also believe that finding a cure is the correct course of action. It might just be that the cure is much more simplistic than thought. For example, I reported a BBC article and an article from Africa that displayed children, who were HIV positive, later became HIV negative.

Was that information reported by the US dominant media? If not, could this simply be because that the US dominant media did not find the story newsworthy?



Posted Image

Book burning - then.

I believe in seeing all points of view being presented. That is the point that bothers me the most in this issue. I find the whole concept of suppression of thought as disgusting.


Lazarus Long,

I have no definite opinion on AIDS. I simply report what I find on the net. The articles I report may be at variance with my current belief system, but I believe in displaying all points of view. Even when I write, like I am doing here, many times I simply post questions.

____________________________________________________________

I believe my questions are reasonable. What is the fear of addressing them directly? These questions are:

How effective are the AIDS drugs?

Has any adult with AIDS been cured by these drugs?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly prolong life?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly improve the quality of life?


____________________________________________________________

I also believe that finding a cure is the correct course of action. It might just be that the cure is much more simplistic than thought. For example, I reported a BBC article and an article from Africa that displayed children, who were HIV positive, later became HIV negative. Was that information reported by the US dominant media?

In the article, AIDS REALISM VERSUS THE HIV HYPOTHESIS By John Lauritsen, it states:

"Meditel Productions, based in London, made several television documentaries that were critical of the orthodox AIDS paradigm. The most important are: 'The AIDS Catch' (1990), 'AZT: Cause For Concern' (1992), and 'AIDS in Africa' (1993).

These were first broadcast to the UK over Channel Four Television, and were subsequently broadcast in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. Although the documentaries have been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, not one has ever been allowed to air in the US. "


So what is going on? Do you know why this information is not being put forth to the American people?

_______________________________________________________________________

I believe in seeing all points of view being presented. That is the point that bothers me the most in this issue. I find the whole concept of suppression of thought as disgusting.

This brings me back to one final question:

Would a simplistic cure bring an end to a huge and profitable business?

Best regards,

bob
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#15 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 03:59 PM

Posted Image Posted Image

I give the tobacco industry credit for being able to utilize advertising to develop such strong paradigms with the general public. At one time I bought into the paradigm.



Limitless:

Also, in almost 20 years of research, how many so-called "Breakthroughs" have been made? Zero. Yet, people & governments shell out billions for drugs that can often do more harm than good-if they can do anything to treat a disease yet proven to be an infectious disease. It doesn't appear to be very hard to convince the entire world of something, if you have the necessary funds to pay for it. The tobacco industry continues to do this, to lesser degree, after over 70 years of playing-down the risks of smoking & truths about addiction, after learning the facts themselves. Most people believe everything they hear on the news, which is why an institute like Imminst could work wonders on the general population, if it could only raise a large amount of money.


Limitless,

On the contrary, I do not believe everyone believes everything they hear on the news, but they do tend to believe authority figures if that information is repeated over and over and over again. Could a dominant media news mogul be viewed as an authority figure by some of the general public?

If only one aspect of an issue is presented, even clear headed thinkers will begin to form a paradigm. Once that paradigm is formed, it is difficult for them (I am including myself in this) to remain objective and be open to new concepts.

Regarding your point on "breakthroughs", it appears that this simple point is being ignored. Perhaps, this is the result of a paradigm.

I give the tobacco industry credit for being able to utilize advertising to develop such strong paradigms with the general public. At one time I bought into the paradigm.

Limitless, it is great to have a new poster with such thought provoking concepts. I am glad to see you here.

Best regards,

bob
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#16 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 04:29 PM

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DisneyWorld

"When I started writing about AIDS seven years ago it was believed to be a medical condition. Today it is a multinational corporation complete with its own belief system, figure heads, logos and even facial expressions... like a Walt Disney that markets pious morbidity instead of cheer."


http://www.virusmyth.../data/cfinc.htm

AIDS INC.

Observations of an AIDS Dissident

By Celia Farber



At least once a week I announce to whomever will listen that I am retiring from AIDS journalism. That the whole business makes my head hurt, my eyes bug out, my stomach churn and my nostrils flare unattractively with repressed rage. The very idea that there must be an objective reality to AIDS and what causes it -- a set of facts, a bottom line, seems too much to ask, in fact, seems beside the point. AIDS is a political movement. and as Milan Kundera once wrote: "...political movements rest not so much on rational attitudes as on the fantasies, images, words, and archetypes that come together to make up this or that political kitch."

The thing about political kitch is that it always symbolizes good: red ribbons, quilt, etc. = compassion, AIDS activists with clenched fists = fighting the system (unfortunately, in these cases' they are the system)' Safer Sex campaigns = survival (this is the most important of all: one mustn't ever complicate matters by asking what, specifically, people are dying of. They will holler: "HIV!" like the Marxist will holler "Capitalism.") Very important that the enemy be singular, coherent, and absolute.

In the altered cognitive atmosphere of such an entrenched belief system, like zero gravity -- facts have no weight. The intellectual terrain of the AIDS discourse is almost defiantly dishonest, which makes it impossible to write about, unless you're willing to get dragged into a shrill debate about your "motives". Write about the HIV debate and next thing you know you are a "follower" of Duesberg, an "advocate" which is considered a nasty thing -- even though, all you really started out advocating was that facts be taken as facts. For instance: There is either a consensus that HIV causes AIDS or there isn't (there isn't), there either are cases of HIV negative AIDS or there aren't (there are), AZT either prolongs life or it doesn't (it 'doesn't). And so forth.

When I started writing about AIDS seven years ago, it was a medical, or at least health related, condition. Today it i s a multinational corporation complete with its own belief system, figure-heads, logos, and even facial expressions -- like a Walt Disney that markets pious morbidity instead of cheer. There are some 93,000 AIDS organisations in the US alone. That's one organisation for every two and a half cases.

AIDS Inc. has proven vastly profitable not just in terms of money, but perhaps more importantly, that invaluable commodity: Glory. The opportunity to be in a position of perpetual Rightness, commenting publicly on others people's perpetual Wrongness. If it sounds like religion, that's precisely, in my opinion, what it is. We do live in a secular age, and we have no war, no global threat, no communism or fascism to direct our "moral" energies toward. Something had to spring up in the cultural and political void that opened up in the mid 1980's, and AIDS -- with all its attending politics and phraseology -- fit the bill precisely, because it offered something to believe in, something to "fight" for, something to measure one's goodness by. Suddenly, there was a fixed set of political mandates: Get tested, Have compassion, Be educated (terrified), use a condom (no, beyond "use a condom" -- consider sex deadly, consider latex political etc.), raise awareness (what is awareness?), fight discrimination, raise money for "AIDS research", and finally save lives.

All of this sounds benign and sensible enough on the surface of things, but like with so many righteous cultural movements, one is struck by the sheer nastiness of the do-gooders in charge, particularly if one dares hold a different opinion, or hold up some fact that conflicts with their world view.

The world view in this case is basically that "everybody" is "at risk" for AIDS, no matter who or what, that the retrovirus HIV is universally deadly, that people must be "educated" away from their foolish sexual instincts, that "everybody" must fear HIV above all other contemporary threats, regardless of whether anybody they know has ever developed AIDS, and if they don't they are homophobic, cruel, racist, sexist, dangerous, and "in denial," that HIV is always far more widespread than all studies indicate, in every population in the world, and that far more "education" and "funding" is called for. The idea is that if we only had more money for AIDS research we would eventually find a "cure", and a "vaccine." Never mind the $22 billion already spent. That just barely scraped the surface of this depthlessly "mysterious" virus (which Peter Duesberg, who mapped the genetic structure of retroviruses, points out, has no more genetic information than any other simple retrovirus known to man...)

And finally, AIDS-think specifies that anybody who questions HIV's power is "dangerous and irresponsible." As AIDS expert David Baltimore put it in Nature recently, "There is no question at all that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Anyone who gets up publicly and says the opposite is encouraging people to risk their lives." Nobody has countered this insidious accusation more bluntly than the spirited Nobel Laureate and AIDS dissident Kary Mullis, who shot back: "So what? I'm not a lifeguard. I'm a scientist. And I get up and say exactly what I think. I'm not going to change the facts around because I believe in something and feel like manipulating somebody's behaviour by stretching what I really know." (California Monthly, Sept. issue) Mullis meanwhile, who won the Nobel prize for his discovery of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), which has caused a revolution in biology, has been said by the AIDS establishment to be too much of a womaniser to have his views on AIDS taken seriously.

Finally, there is this strange and murky idea that disenfranchised groups, women, lesbians for instance, really have AIDS too, but nobody is admitting it. I sat on a "Women and AIDS" panel at a major university recently and four out of five questions posed by the audience concerned the "lack of attention being paid to lesbian AIDS". I finally said that I thought the reason was that there are only a handful of cases -- five I believe, at which I was summarily shouted down by the panelists. "WE DON'T KNOW BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN RESEARCHED!" they yelled. It has, I assured them. I attend the International AIDS Conference every year and I'm telling you, several studies have been done... "IT HASN'T BEEN RESEARCHED BECAUSE NOBODY CARES ABOUT LESBIANS..." It's the same with heterosexuals, teenagers, women in general, all of Africa, and now Asia. It's always really bad and getting worse. Even when it's getting better. AIDS cases in the US have been on a steady decline since 1990. Yet funding has been on the rise. And piousness has gone through the roof.

In the end, you throw up your hands, because what can you say'? How can you argue with statistics that are constantly inflating invisibly, always infinitely higher in "reality" than they appear because of the inherent "racism, sexism, and homophobia" of the medical establishment.

Nothing ever is what it is. For instance, I picked up a recent issue of POZ magazine, a new, glossy, celebrity-studded magazine devoted entirely to AIDS. Here are a few samples of their curious reporting:

"While the number of HIV cases identified in China through official testing reaches only 1,361, government statistics place the actual tally as high as 11,415 and predict that the figure could surpass 253,000 by the end of the decade if preventive measures are not taken."

11,415? Why? Where do the figures come from? There is no attempt to explain or qualify. How many millions of people live in China? If only 1,361 have tested HIV antibody positive in ten years, that's pretty good news. (If you believe HIV causes AIDS.)

Or how about this: The face on the cover of POZ is a fellow named Pedro Zamora, HIV positive "heartthrob" from an MTV program called "Real World," who doubles as an AIDS educator. The interviewer asks,

"...Many of those who are asymptomatic for HIV for a decade or more don't classify themselves as having AIDS. Do you differ with their thinking?"

To which Zamora responds, "No. That's what they're comfortable with, and it's about whatever makes you feel safe. I just didn't feel comfortable with that definition; probably because I didn't see a difference politically. I didn't agree with the definition the government had of AIDS. It was too narrow, excluding a lot of people, women especially, making it hard for them to live and do what they wanted to do by denying them the benefits and assistance they needed."

Is AIDS a medical condition or a welfare program? The CDC broadened the definition recently to include, among other things, cervical cancer and pulmonary TB, after activists pressured them not to "exclude women." Wouldn't women wish to be excluded from a disease that is said to be almost universally fatal? Since when is disease defined according to political dynamics? Why is AIDS so frighteningly much bigger, sociologically, if not statistically, than any other disease? Can you imagine a glossy magazine called "Trep" devoted exclusively to musings on syphilis?

POZ magazine is a microcosm of the madness that has become AIDS: A slick, glossy, celebrity-studded death culture with its devotees perpetually interviewing each other about what it's like to be so concerned, so angry, so committed to "saving lives," so fabulous. The magazine is floated by pharmaceutical ads for AIDS medications, life insurance policies, and even a service called "Lasting Impressions" that sends letters to your loved ones on specific dates after your death. One ad shows a naked man holding his head to his knees. "Terminally ill..." the text reads, "We feel that our lifeline program meets the special needs of the gay terminally ill, both financially and personally..." (Highlights include playwright Larry Kramer describing how he took his first AZT capsules in Barbara Streisand's guest bathroom, hoping they wouldn't make him sick.)

POZ, boasts photography by Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts, and features brief, glittering profiles of the 50 most influential AIDS policy makers, including Robert Gallo, Tony Fauci, Sam Broder, Jonathan Mann, Mathilde Krim, David Barry of Burroughs Wellcome, and of course, the high elite of New York AIDS activism, Peter Staley, Mark Harrington, and Greg Gonsalves, who departed from Act Up to form the pharmaceutically-funded, by-invitation-only AIDS "activist" group TAG (Treatment Action Group.) TAG (shall we call them "price-TAG") has received thousands from Burroughs Wellcome and Lord knows who else, yet they maintain their leftist, morally superior stance. They allegedly meet in a New York Penthouse apartment and have filmed themselves aboard Staley's father's yacht, taking psychedelic drugs and ruminating about AIDS. Radical Chic, I guess. They do not apologise for their brazen relations with the pharmaceutical industry. When TAG took its first $10,000 from Burroughs Wellcome, Staley was quoted as saying: "It's hard to find an AIDS organisation that hasn't taken money from Burroughs Wellcome." (With activists like these, who needs an establishment!)

Staley is famous for chaining himself to a radiator to protest the price of AZT, and rubber-stamping a transference of $1 million from Burroughs Wellcome, via ACT UP, to AmFAR, redefining forever the meaning of the word "activist." (And speaking of ACT UP, let's not forget that it was they who tried to get the Concorde team to halt the study prematurely, after one year I think, on "ethical grounds.") Gonsalves -- oh what a coincidence -- was recently quoted in an article that questioned the morality of SPIN's AIDS column, and our continuous probing of the question of whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. "SPIN's AIDS column," he told Option magazine, "is a public health menace." End quote, end paragraph, end issue. No journalist in his or her right mind would think to ask a real life "AIDS activist" to substantiate his or her pronouncements. To discuss the actual facts of the HIV debate. Not when there's Holy War going on.

And not to be left out of any opportunity for publicity is the ever ubiquitous Martin Delaney, author of many a poisonous letter to various publishers, among them the publisher of SPIN, Bob Guccione Jr., lacerating the AIDS column, myself, and all of my sources, (who Delaney insists are not "real AIDS experts," apparently oblivious to the possibility that such experts may be incapable of impartial commentary...) Delaney sent out a lengthy "discussion" paper in response to one of my articles, in which he listed all the "HIV heretics" and proceed to slash. Burn, denounce, and ridicule the whole stinking lot of us. He has also referred to me personally as a "threat to public health," and suggested that I should be banned from writing about AIDS. It is indicative of Delaney's fundamental authoritarianism that he never contacts the offending journalist, always the boss. He appears to spend most of his time writing long, pompous letters attacking investigative reporters who write bad things about his friends. I have one in my files that is addressed to John Crewdson's editor at the Chicago Tribune, threatening to sue the Tribune for harassing Gallo (a close friend of Delaney's) and claiming he was going to calculate how much time Crewdson's investigations into the discovery of HIV had cut into time that Gallo might otherwise have spent "saving lives".

At last year's AIDS conference in Berlin, Delaney seized UK AIDS dissident Joan Shenton by the wrist and shook her, enraged at her suggestion that there were very few heterosexual, no-risk AIDS cases in Britain. "WHO CARES ABOUT BRITAIN," he thundered, as the horrified Shenton begged, "Don't touch me!"

The attacks are typically vicious and ill-informed, and it does get very unpleasant, but as a general rule I try not to break much of a sweat about criticisms from folks who are on Burroughs Wellcome's payroll. (Delaney's organisation, Project Inform, has accepted about $150.000 from the makers of AZT) One rarely gets attacked in this business from people who are not part of what my dear friend, HIV antibody positive, former ACT Upper G. Steven Rose so aptly calls "La Machine."

I remember arriving at an AIDS yippo condomania hoo ha red-ribbon gala a few years ago, (making an exception to my rule never to attend such events only because the Pet Shop Boys were playing) and having a discussion with one of the organisers, who was a very thoughtful man. He said that the very mention of my name broke up a dinner party he had recently hosted. One of his oldest friends apparently declared that I was "the worst AIDS journalist in America," whereupon he came to my defence, which resulted in such mayhem that several people had to be ejected from the premises. Geez. You'd think I was advocating HIV quarantines or buttock tattoos or something. I'm really a very mild-mannered person. I don't have nose rings or anything. All I ever did was follow and report, with what some may consider excessive attention, the vital debate about whether HIV is the cause of AIDS. And whether AZT is a viable therapy for those who are HIV antibody positive. And whether being HIV antibody positive is the same as "having" HIV. And whether "having" HIV necessarily means your immune system is decaying. Etc. I consider all of these questions to be very straightforward, logical, and of obvious importance. I simply picked up a thread and followed it.

My father is a journalist and when I asked him, as a young girl, to impart the wisdom of the trade, he said: "I can sum it up in three words. Penetrate the ostensible."

Seven years have passed since I accidentally set out across this bizarre minefield. I find it hard to look back -- to distil the experience into wisdom. Like that faceless woman in the prison queue who turned to the poet Anna Ahkmatova during the Yehzovain terror and asked in a whisper: "And can you describe this?"

I can't.

One thing I've learned is what it's like to be hated -- to be saddled with accusations of murder from people you've never even met, and to try to understand where it's coming from. To try not to let it destroy you, or guilt-trip you into silence, or, like Chinese water torture, drive you mad, or make you think you must be mad, because either you are or everybody else is. That's what dissidents have to deal with.

Me, for one, I never handled it very well; my desire to be liked is totally at odds with my compulsion for holding culturally impermissible thoughts. I remember sleepless nights, guilt, and anxiety so severe I could barely function at times. The hatred seemed to be everywhere -- a friend had a blind date run out on him at the mention of his acquaintance of me. At the offices of SPIN -- the scribbled remarks all over my copy, in the margins, in red, furious ink, in response to which I just waved scientific studies and pleaded: but READ this, READ that, I don't MAKE THIS STUFF UP YOU KNOW.

A copyeditor went so far as to contact one of my closest sources, the late, Michael Callen, and request, on behalf of gay men everywhere, that he never speak to me again. Another colleague virtually attacked me on the street and hollered that one of my articles, detailing the HIV debate was "the most homophobic thing he had ever seen," and that "the entire community" hated me. He resigned shortly thereafter. Another editor said that just working at the same place as I did was ruining his "reputation in the community," and requested not to have to edit me anymore. Another who came to work temporarily at SPIN, from the progressive, liberal-left Village Voice stomped right up to the managing editor and announced that she did not want to be let anywhere near that AIDS column of ours because it was so, get this, amoral. And for my first long article critiqueing the science of AZT, I was officially "denounced" by the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), which is, I suppose, an honour of sorts.

The most insidious characteristic of any righteous new movement is that it maintains its power by employing the twin tactics of terror and guilt. Terror of the "great threat" must first be instilled, upheld by the societal guilt that comes with questioning the validity of the threat. To question the validity of the threat -- in this case to discuss actual AIDS figures rather than hysterical projections -- becomes equated with badness, wrongness, grave irresponsibility, moral collapse -- and in this case, with homophobia, racism, right-wing fanaticism, and ultimately, that catch-all phrase: murder.

The so-called AIDS dissidents have been accused in this manner for years, and it is this magnetic field of political correctness and reflexive morality surrounding AIDS that has kept the real science from being conducted, the real articles from being written, the real questions from being asked. Ask yourself: Who is guilty? Who has acted irresponsibly? Ten years and $22 billion have been wasted. Countless thousands have been poisoned, to varying degrees, by AZT, ddI, ddC and other toxic and ineffective AIDS medications. Countless millions worldwide have been terrorised by this vague, ever-expanding, multi-dimensional death sentence called HIV, and those who have tested positive have had to struggle against a merciless tide of cultural messages telling them they're going to die. These people have taken highly toxic medications out of fear, many have committed suicide, and yet, and yet and yet, it is the "dissidents" who are in the cultural doghouse for "letting people think that HIV is harmless and that they needn't use condoms."

It seems to evade our critics that there is real, actual, quantifiable doubt as to whether HIV causes AIDS, and that if it isn't, it would be the height of scientific or journalistic immorality to continue to pretend that it does strictly to enforce sexual behaviour control. On some level they seem to be saying: What we mean by that HIV causes AIDS is that we have all agreed that it does, and until we agree otherwise, that is reality.

The real problem is that the very notion of an objective reality, of truth, independent of media projections, is fading out of the universe. The real problem is that at the end of the day, truth is of so little interest to so many people. When AIDS dissidents are attacked for being "dangerous and irresponsible," as we invariably are by the keepers of La Machine, it is not so much because they absolutely know that HIV causes AIDS (how could they?) as because they resent the impact the question itself may have on a population they deem in need of (their) behavioural guidelines. Truth is often disruptive, in fact you may even argue that lies are essential to a functioning society. Plato argued precisely that in The Republic, and indeed the text is said to have had a great influence on at least one political movement -- fascism. (The Noble Lie)

But all of that aside, the only thing that matters is how or whether people are staying alive in the age of AIDS. If I hadn't been poking around in it for seven years, if I hadn't heard countless versions of the same story, namely that people who believe in HIV as a death sentence wind up dead and people who don't don't, if I didn't know so many people who have been HIV positive and healthy for up to fourteen years without "doing" anything, and others who took AZT and died in a few months, if I didn't see the terror, pain and confusion caused by the false and shameless marketing of AZT, and so on and so on, then maybe I would be nicer, better, more objective, more responsible. But you cannot ask a journalist not to engage as a human being, not to make decisions, not to have passions and opinions. The journalists on the other side are loaded with theirs -- it's only because they repeat the party line that they are considered objective.

The dissidents are not crazy, immoral, dangerous, irresponsible, homophobic, racist, deluded, flat-earthers, or holocaust revisionists. (I forget what else we've been called.) Nor do we pretend to be saints. We're just people -- scientists, journalists, activists, and HIV antibody positives -- who agree that the pursuit of truth in the question of what really causes AIDS is vital, inevitable, and therefore just. Nothing weird, nothing shameful, just tracing the dots, trying to attain clarity. All the other rhetoric, all the ribbons, all the quilts, can wait. No reason people can't keep their condoms while the truth is being sought.

I propose a new set of moral guidelines: Anybody who dares step up at this point and attempt to obstruct the HIV debate should be considered flat-headed, dangerous, demented and ridiculous, and should be placed inside a glass case at a historical museum. Then the people can get on with the obvious task at hand: solving AIDS. Not "spreading the message about HIV," but solving AIDS.

My most cathartic moment of 1994 came at a conference sponsored by the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) at which I spoke. The panel was comprised of both dissidents and party-liners. Peter Duesberg, in rare form, had the audience actually laughing at his jokes. Finally, beet red with rage, one of the "AIDS experts", Warren Winkelstein, leaned forward and scolded Duesberg: "Some of us don't appreciate you making jokes and laughing about this very serious issue," he scoffed. At which point Nobel Laureate and PCR inventor Kary Mullis, also on the panel, turned to him and said:

"Sir, we're not laughing at the issue, we're laughing at you." *
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#17 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 04:55 PM

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The Inquisition - then.


AIDS INC. - Observations of an AIDS Dissident - By Celia Farber:

The real problem is that the very notion of an objective reality, of truth, independent of media projections, is fading out of the universe. The real problem is that at the end of the day, truth is of so little interest to so many people. When AIDS dissidents are attacked for being "dangerous and irresponsible," as we invariably are by the keepers of La Machine, it is not so much because they absolutely know that HIV causes AIDS (how could they?) as because they resent the impact the question itself may have on a population they deem in need of (their) behavioural guidelines. Truth is often disruptive, in fact you may even argue that lies are essential to a functioning society. Plato argued precisely that in The Republic, and indeed the text is said to have had a great influence on at least one political movement -- fascism. (The Noble Lie)

The dissidents are not crazy, immoral, dangerous, irresponsible, homophobic, racist, deluded, flat-earthers, or holocaust revisionists. (I forget what else we've been called.) Nor do we pretend to be saints. We're just people -- scientists, journalists, activists, and HIV antibody positives -- who agree that the pursuit of truth in the question of what really causes AIDS is vital, inevitable, and therefore just. Nothing weird, nothing shameful, just tracing the dots, trying to attain clarity.


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#18 Lazarus Long

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 04:59 PM

I chose the seemingly innocent and unbiased article to reintroduce this discussion precisely BECAUSE I didn't want it tabled. We are much closer to the same opinion regarding experts then a casual reading of our posts might at first discern. I think there is willfully culpable behavior at work regardless of whether the motives are for a conspiracy of parochialism, greed, ignorance, or power. The remarkably difficult aspect is to discern who is who and how those that should be competitors have come together to monopolize the quest.

What worries me is that we are still the choir and I fear the label and disregard that accompanies the simple heretic and cynic. I think that we have a lot to contribute to the healing process and this is not served by us becoming marginalized as has been so effectively accomplished by the groups that DO monopolize the discussion.

No I do not worship the "experts" but I am also skeptical of all the cynics.

I have a semantic difficulty with the word "cure" I think that a rational attitude about health makes this word too misleading. There are no ""Cures" to any disease. But my view of germ theory is based on balance, microbial ecology, and psychological health.

I am not conventional at all but I must express my very radical notions within the lexicon of the accepted debate and in my pragmatic nature I am willing to do whatever works.

I am far more the lone voice here then a "priest of the establishment". But nevertheless Galileo never stopped being a devout Catholic. He just couldn't understand how to reconcile the demand for Truth that his faith implored him to seek with the Institutionalized cover-up that became the inquisition of his simple recognition. His task took on the duty of a "Job" and he sadly accepted this unjust fate. It is history that has vindicated his stubborness and our good fortune and determination in pursuing the vision of the Cosmos he helped make possible.

I am saying we must stop fighting among ourselves and take this time to reexamine the data without prejudice of prior opinion BECAUSE we have learned a lot but still do not know what it all means. The analogy is the use made by Kepler with the data accrued by Tyco Brahë.

He had the data but it was Kepler's genius that gave it meaning. The sequence of events during that time show how the Copernican Revolution followed suit.

So to address what I understand of the questions you have asked:

How effective are the AIDS drugs?


Remarkably effective at keeping many people alive, but at a price in terms of quality of life that may make some prefer death at at times. But not exclusively.

There are success stories, but then we fall into the debate of "What measures success? "

For if you don't accept the initial premise about HIV and Viral Loads, and T-Cell counts then we are arguing at cross purpose.

Has any adult with AIDS been cured by these drugs?


I want to return to my disagreement later over the use of the word cure but for the sake of argument I will point out that there are a number of cases that appear to be complete or nearly complete remission of the virus. The problem is that there are no clear and incontrovertible explanations for this phenomenon. There are also individuals that appear to be able to resist the effects of the Virus even when completely infected high Viral Loads.

The literature shows they are documented but they are not ADVERTISED to the vast majority for they are seen as providing false hopes. These individuals are the subject of very serious investigation by a significant but all too small minority interested in the creation of a vaccine.

The problem is the ability off the Virus to mutate and immunity to one strain does not appear to grant immunity to all.

But remember the established approach is not claimed to be a cure, it is offered only as a treatment, one that is perhaps as dangerous at times as the disease.

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly prolong life?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly improve the quality of life?


These two are really both parts of the first question and the answer follows suit. The answer to both is YES, but that said this is still NOT the experience of the vast majority of people using these drug regimens.

The positive effects from these drugs are by no means universally experienced but neither are the negative ones. That said I do concur I think there is much more a self serving interest in the methodological approach that has been taken then is HEALTHY.

As I have more than once already quipped we are the same choir and you my deep baritone friend sing a very good counter point to my tenor. ;)

Still you and I, as well as Mind are singing very much from the same score. Even if at times our voices appear to contrast rather then compliment. I would like to hear Helix weigh in on this.

I wanted to return to the issue of AIDS because for a number of reasons I suspect the core issues will be historically remembered as the Watershed of a changing perspective and Renaissance of understanding with regard to Health and Life Science as a whole.

I think the information at the heart of the Genes involved are related to the quest for Immortality not just as a simple hurdle to overcome in such a quest but a Milestone that must be undertood to indicate a specific point of investigation within the Human Genome that may yield a new understanding of Germ Theory and such technologies as a Universal Vaccines and designed immmunity.

I think we are wasting valuable resources in "Parochial Old Fashioned Avenues of Investigation" because the responsible bureaucracies must rationalize their expenditures to oversight commitees, taxpayers, Stock Holders, CEO's, Departmental and Faculty Administrators and Boards of Directors. These are not courageous people by nature, they do not gain their positions by thinking "Outside the Box". Quite the contrary they tend to outlaw "Box cutters for fear of their POSSIBLE misuse.

It is these same folks put everything IN boxes and reject a priori those that try to disrupt the "Order" they depend upon to function. The majority of the True Conspiracies have been ones of ignorance, parochialism, and petty greed but that said the more sinister ones rely upon this for their own purposes.

That said, never expect investment in an idea such that you don't have to explain your method of inquiry and philosophy to the investor or you are just naive.

The alternative option is to just commit your own resources and willingly deplete them in the quest. If you win you MIGHT get reimbursed, if you lose odds are you are just tossed into the dust heap of history.

It should be remembered however that it has been these SELFLESS efforts that have provided the brickwork for the foundation of modern science that the businesman is all too willing to exploit and discredit in its importance. It is this same said sanctimonious conceit with which the many arrogant Land Holders treat the guilds of masons that build their home with.

The most dangerous conspiracy is of us against ourselves. It is the willful self destructive nature that more often then not accompanies the quest for power.
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#19 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 05:32 PM

Lazarus Long:

Anyway Bob I greatly respect the core opinion you assert that there is something very suspect about the current state of affairs. What I question is how to better ameliorate this legitimate concern.


Lazarus Long,

I appreciate the kind words.

As stated before, the articles I post do not necessarily reflect what I believe.

What I do believe is that the suppression of options is not the best way to arrive at the truth much less to make corrective action.

Until, this suppression is diminished, I believe that we are going to have the same old answer to the same old question. That question being:

Has any adult with AIDS been cured by these drugs?

But that is not the only question. For there are more. Does anyone have any answers to these questions?

The complete set of questions are as follows:

How effective are the AIDS drugs?

Has any adult with AIDS been cured by these drugs?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly prolong life?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly improve the quality of life?


If these questions cannot be answered because no scientific studies have been made to date, I feel that an objective study should be made to answer them.


Best regards,

Bob
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#20 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 05:53 PM

bob:

"Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly prolong life?

Is there any clinical evidence that any of the AIDS drugs (by themselves) significantly improve the quality of life?


Lazarus Long:

These two are really both parts of the first question and the answer follows suit. The answer to both is YES, but that said this is still NOT the experience of the vast majority of people using these drug regimens.

Lazarus Long, I would appreciate it greatly if you provide the studies.

The tricky part of the quesition is "AIDS drugs (by themselves)". In otherwords, could factors other than the "AIDS drugs (by themselves)" resulted in the remission?

One key to scientific evidence is to isolate the variables.

Vaccines are a much different issue which I will not bring up in this discussion other than saying I have seen no significant scientific evidence for my family or myself to take any of them. I must admit, in theory vaccines sound great, but I am speaking about scientific evidence and not theory.

I appreciate your re-introducing the AIDS subject. I believe it is time that all sides be heard on this subject rather than just one.

Best regards,

bob
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#21 bobdrake12

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 07:00 PM

What I am looking for is scientific evidence that HIV causes AIDS.

What I personally believe on this issue is not significant. What is significant is reality. Reality is not based upon blind faith or a paradigm based upon popular opinion that has been sold to the general public, but rather reality is based upon scientific evidence.

There is a Site which is offering a reward for finding the missing virus. Those of you who believe a virus causes AIDS have an opportunity to collect some money if you can provide scientific evidence for that claim.

A cash prize of £ 1000 is offered to the first person finding one scientific paper establishing actual isolation of HIV.


Just think about it, all they are asking for is "finding one scientific paper establishing actual isolation of HIV".

Are there any takers?

The URL and the article is shown below.

Bob

http://www.virusmyth.../aids/award.htm

T h e J o d y W e l l s M e m o r i a l P r i z e


MISSING VIRUS!
£ 1000 Reward



Blind romantics still believe HIV causes AIDS. But if 'HIV' has never been isolated, what is AIDS?


Never isolated? You bet! A cash prize of £ 1000 is offered to the first person finding one scientific paper establishing actual isolation of HIV.


If you or a friendly 'AIDS expert' can prove isolation, £ 1000 is yours. In cash. In public.


Interested? Pledge the money to your favourite AIDS charity, why not?


We bet you'll be surprised to discover the truth.


c o n t i n u u m
CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT AIDS


The Rules of Isolation

The rules for isolation of a retrovirus were thoroughly discussed at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1973, and are the logical minimum requirements for establishing the independent existence of HIV. They are:

1.Culture of putatively infected tissue.

2. Purification of specimens by density gradient ultracentrifugation.

3. Electron micrographs of particles exhibiting the morfological characteristics and dimensions (100-120 nm) of retroviral particles at the sucrose (or percoll) density of 1.16 gm/ml and containing nothing else, not even particles of other morphologies or dimensions.

4. Proof that the particles contain reverse transcriptase.

5. Analysis of the particles' proteins and RNA and proof that these are unique.

6. Proof that 1-5 are a property only of putatively infected tissues and can not be induced in control cultures. These are identical cultures, that is, tissues obtained from matched, unhealthy subjects and cultured under identical conditions differing only in that they are not putatively infected with a retrovirus.

7. Proof that the particles are infectious, that is when PURE particles are introduced into an uninfected culture or animal, the identical particle is obtained as shown by repeating steps 1-5.
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#22 Lazarus Long

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Posted 15 October 2002 - 03:14 PM

When we talk of Myths Bob please realize they come in all forms and for that reason I respect the idea that you are trying to expose the possibility of disinformation at work. But can you also accept that MOST of the effort involved is from people of good will with rational belief in the perspective that is being put forward from their perspective?

Truth is more elusive but it can be found by those in pursuit and willing to leave behind the politics and polemic created by those less scrupulous forces that take advantage of the chaos of intolerant disagreement to manipulate and exploit all sides.

What follows is an example of both the power and the devasting result of a truly evil myth and how it can disrupt and maim a society. My heartfelt apologies to all Africans for presenting this story in this fashion for it drips of potential racist distortions and I beg all that read this to see beyond the implicit stereotypes.

South Africa's baby rapist

Excerpts:

Friday, 26 July, 2002, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Life for South Africa's baby rapist

Posted Image
The courtroom was packed for Potse's trial

David Potse, 23, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of raping a nine-month-old baby last year.
The brutal attack on baby Tshepang sent shock waves across South Africa, highlighting the high levels of sexual violence against women and girls.

*********

Baby Tshepang was attacked after her mother, who was also going out with Potse at the time, went out shopping.

When she returned to her house, she found the infant covered in blood. She had been raped and sodomised.

Posted Image
Township youngsters are among the most vulnerable

Tshepang is a Zulu name given to the baby by hospital staff. It means "have hope".

When news of the rape first came to light, it triggered protests across the country.

The case was the latest in a series of rapes of baby girls which left South Africans reeling with horror.

About 21,000 cases of child rape were reported to police in South Africa last year.

Children under 11 are the victims in 15% of all rapes in South Africa, according to police statistics.

Convictions are secured in just 9% of all rape cases.


Click here to read more about rape in South Africa

The attacks are fuelled by a widespread rumour that having sex with a virgin cures Aids, which reportedly affects one in nine South Africans.

Traditional healers, or witchdoctors, are blamed for spreading this idea, and encouraging child rape.


The BBC's Carolyn Dempster in Johannesburg says that South African women are statistically more likely to be raped than to learn to read.

***********

THIS IS ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF MYTHOLOGY AND AN IRONIC COROLLARY TO THE MYTHS AND THE CONSPIRACY OF IGNORANCE ASSOCIATED WITH AIDS
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#23 Mind

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Posted 15 October 2002 - 03:53 PM

But can you also accept that MOST of the effort involved is from people of good will with rational belief in the perspective that is being put forward from their perspective?


I certainly do accept this. I know that a great majority of people involved with AIDS prevention and research have only the noblest intentions. That is what makes the situation more sad. Here is a great group of compassionate people/scientists/activists motivated to travel down a false path...chasing an illusion. Most have been programmed to follow only one route "HIV=AIDS". This route has been a near complete failure. The problem is that once you are "inside" the mass movement, it is hard to "look-in" from the outside and evaluate the results. The results so far have not been good. There has been little success in 20 years of "HIV=AIDS" research.

After a while someone prominent has got to stand up and wrestle control away from the leaders of the AIDS movement (akin to top scientists ending the money wasting search for cancer viruses in the early 90's). Someone has to say, "let's take a new approach" or "let's consider some alternatives".
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#24 bobdrake12

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 12:39 AM

THIS IS ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF MYTHOLOGY AND AN IRONIC COROLLARY TO THE MYTHS AND THE CONSPIRACY OF IGNORANCE ASSOCIATED WITH AIDS


That is sad and true.

_______________________________________________________________________


Posted Image

"Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on HIV research and treatment in the US alone, and that kind of money commands a strong hold on the intellect. It's not just a question of protecting research grants, charitable activities, professorships, pharmaceutical profits, and political and academic credibility; it's also the sheer intellectual effort invested in the HIV concept that makes it so hard for people to shift their perspective. " ~ 'Eight years ago, I went through the same experience as Mbeki' - By Neville Hodgkinson

_______________________________________________________________________


Here is a great group of compassionate people/scientists/activists motivated to travel down a false path...chasing an illusion. Most have been programmed to follow only one route "HIV=AIDS". This route has been a near complete failure. The problem is that once you are "inside" the mass movement, it is hard to "look-in" from the outside and evaluate the results. The results so far have not been good. There has been little success in 20 years of "HIV=AIDS" research.


The article shown below seems to relate to what is quoted directly above.

bob

http://www.virusmyth.../nhmbeki2.htm

VIEWPOINT

'Eight years ago, I went through the same experience as Mbeki'

By Neville Hodgkinson

New African Dec '00



An eyewitness account by the former science correspondent of The Sunday Times (London)

The year 2000 saw the birth of a new international sport. It became known as Mbeki-bashing. Newspapers, broadcast media, doctors and scientists, charities, UN agencies, financial institutions and politicians even up to the level of the White House joined in the fun.

The target was of course President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. The aim was to cast as much ridicule and derision on him as possible, as Baffour Ankomah and Pusch Commey described in October's New African. It didn't matter how outrageous the claims made, no one with power or influence would protest, because Mbeki had done the one thing all "right-thinking" opinion leaders detest: he questioned the HIV theory of AIDS.

During the summer, Mbeki brought together nearly 40 scientists from across the world to advise him on the causes and treatment of AIDS. Two thirds of these scientists believe HIV causes AIDS, and that the best way of fighting AIDS is to prescribe and develop drugs and a vaccine to beat the virus; one third of the panelists, the so-called "AIDS dissidents", question this view.

Normally, it would be considered not just reasonable, but highly responsible, for the president of a country to consult internationally on how to tackle a major public health emergency. Especially when that country is said by UNAIDS to have 4.2 million HIV-infected people - the largest number in the world. And especially when 15 years of AIDS science have failed to deliver anything of value in terms of prevention or treatment.

AIDS science is not normal, however, and the criticism of Mbeki, both inside and outside South Africa, could hardly have been more virulent - and ill informed.

"Under pressure to spend millions to prescribe AZT, President Mbeki indulges AIDS flat-earthers," said Time magazine on April 21, in response to news that Mbeki was defending his right to include "dissident" scientists on his panel. AIDS was threatening to wipe out a quarter of South Africa's population by the year 2010, yet the government was backing away from its treatment responsibilities by refusing to make available the antiviral drugs AZT or nevirapine to rape victims and pregnant women. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people would suffer because of Mbeki's "misplaced distrust of medical authority", the magazine's medical correspondent declared.

Perhaps it is the very bankruptcy of AIDS science that causes the AIDS industry, and its media advocates, to defend the indefensible with such vigour. But truly, there is not a single study showing either AZT or nevirapine to have saved lives. On the contrary, AZT is a poison that was essentially marketed by the US National Institutes of Health, with the grateful collaboration of a drug company that went on to make billions of dollars from it, during a period of immense political and social pressure to come up with an AIDS treatment. It was never properly tested and it has been responsible for swathes of deaths. Babies exposed to the drug during pregnancy have been clearly shown in several recent studies to be more likely to die than when mothers are left untreated.

As for nevirapine, after several drug-related deaths during trials in South Africa, the Health Department there has been proceeding cautiously. It is right to do so: earlier this year, European drug watchdogs issued a public warning of "severe and life-threatening reactions", urging that patients should be "intensely monitored" during the first weeks of treatment - impossible in a poor country like South Africa.

Thus, Time's article was dangerously wrong. But it was part of a world trend, which grew into a crescendo of opposition, which became a chorus of defamation of the political leader who dared to question HIV/AIDS doctrine. World reaction to his efforts on behalf of his people culminated in the London Observer declaring in a huge headline "Mbeki 'lets AIDS babies die in pain' ", followed a week later by the London Sunday Times nominating Mbeki "an enemy of the people".

Today, around the world, AIDS campaigners greet Mbeki's name with sniggers. The pressure in South Africa has been such as to force him to withdraw from the public debate, leaving the handling of the advisory panel's report to his ministers.

To most newspaper readers, especially in the United States and Europe, he must seem monstrous, though some may be surprised at how quickly he acquired this hate status when only last April Newsweek described him as "Washington's favourite African leader", "urbane and brainy", and "the West's best hope for a continent mired in poverty, corruption and disease". It was of course his contact with scientists who had challenged the HIV theory that caused worldwide consternation. But why?

Thanks to New African's coverage of the scientific controversy over AIDS, many of its readers will be aware that Mbeki has good reason for questioning the HIV story. But New African is a rarity, not just in having reported the differing perspectives, but in continuing to do so in the face of much criticism.

I can't say the same for the newspaper I used to work for. Eight years ago, as science correspondent at the Sunday Times, I went through the same experience as Mbeki. "Hodgkinson-bashing" began when the newspaper published a two-page article I had written headed "AIDS: Can We Be Positive?" The article did no more than set out the "dissident" perspectives on AIDS. It appeared in April 1992, after several weeks of research.

Previously, I had reported AIDS exclusively from the conventional standpoint - "deadly new virus spreading surreptitiously among sexually active people, set to kill millions, etc". I therefore found it hard to grasp the possibility that this might have been wrong, and checked the arguments scrupulously.

Yet the response was hysterical. The editor, Andrew Neil, and myself were accused of risking millions of lives by questioning the HIV belief, and told the case against the virus had long been settled.

That wasn't true then, any more than it is now.

Five years previously, when Peter Duesberg, an eminent American molecular biologist, first argued against HIV as the cause of AIDS in the journal Cancer Research, there wasn't a single response from his peers. Later, when he persisted in raising questions, the scientific mainstream did everything possible to silence him, cancelling his research funds, refusing all new grant applications, and boycotting meetings at which he was to speak.

Andrew Neil, who had already run articles questioning the alleged heterosexual spread of AIDS, was struck by the lack of reasoned responses to the "Are we positive?" article. He became increasingly determined to shed light on what was happening, and sent me across the world on the story over the next two years, publishing more than 40 articles on different aspects of the debate.

During that period, Neil and I faced a welter of criticism. Our assailants included the World Health Organisation, the European Community's AIDS Task Force, Britain's Medical Research Council and Chief Medical Officer, representatives of the three major political parties, the giant drug company Wellcome, a group of Nobel prize-winning molecular biologists, the editor of Nature, numerous science and medical correspondents, the gay press, New Scientist, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, leaders of AIDS charities, an Oxford professor of poetry, the BBC, and the New York Times among many others.

The attacks were emotional in tone and content. We were accused of encouraging the spread of HIV through a free-for-all lifestyle, of promoting ignorance and illness, of discouraging HIV-positive people from taking their medicines, of an "appeal to the dark ages", of weakening resolve to fight "the most sinister, terrible disease to afflict mankind since the plague", as one of the UK's top scientists put it.

I became the first journalist I know of to have a press award scheme founded in his dishonour, after I had spent weeks in central Africa and reported evidence that the "AIDS epidemic" there was largely an illusion, stemming from several major African killer diseases having been mistakenly redefined as AIDS. Britain's Health Education Authority wrote that my "wilful misrepresentation" of AIDS in Africa had prompted the authority to create new awards for excellence in HIV, AIDS and sexual health journalism. At one time AIDS specialists branded me a danger to public health and began a concerted campaign, through Nature magazine, to stop me doing any more work on these lines.

In July 1994, after a new editor made it plain that I would no longer be welcome to give so much time to the story, I left the newspaper to write a book on the controversy. The deeper I researched the issue, the more convinced I became that the roots of the problem lay in the HIV test.

All AIDS scientists agree that it is difficult (some say impossible) to isolate the virus from a patient's blood. Because of this, it never proved possible to validate the HIV test by checking whether the antibodies it detects truly relate to HIV infection. The manufacturers know this perfectly well, and they clearly state that their tests cannot be used to prove HIV infection.

There is a strong link between testing positive, and risk of developing a range of different illnesses. But according to the "dissident" scientific argument that now makes most sense to me, this has nothing to do with the hypothetical entity "HIV".

Antibodies detected by the "HIV" test become elevated because of a variety of challenges to the immune system. Most importantly, in the context of malnourished communities, these challenges include well known infections such as those responsible for tuberculosis and leprosy. There is clear evidence that millions of people who have been exposed to the TB bacterium are liable to test positive with the "HIV" test. Other known triggers for testing positive include heavy exposure to blood and other body fluids, including semen; certain auto-immune conditions; and even pregnancy.

Years of study have convinced me that there are so many different reasons for testing positive (some 70 different conditions have been documented in the medical literature) that NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE TOLD THEY ARE INFECTED WITH HIV on the basis of the tests as they stand today.

Diagnosis of HIV-positivity is an unwarranted assault on the individual that ruins lives and often kills. Being told you are infected with the world's most feared virus acts like a curse on an individual, implanting the idea that you will soon die. This idea can easily turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when toxic antiviral medicines are prescribed in the belief that any attempt to defeat such a deadly enemy is worthwhile. At the same time, lives are lost when doctors fail to treat common infections that are the real problem, because of their minds are so dominated by "HIV".

My book, published in 1996 under the title "AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science - How a Virus That Never Was Deceived the World", set out in detail the arguments in support of the above claims. There was no response to it from the scientific or medical communities.

The mainstream media also largely ignored it, and the Sunday Times disowned me with a hostile review published long before the book was even out. Despite this, an abusive article appeared in the London Observer (yes, them again) headlined "Sunday Times Science Editor Awaits Flat Earth", with a secondary heading "Neville Hodgkinson's two masters". It accused me of being a member of a "bizarre religious cult" preaching the imminent arrival of a flat earth, and of worshipping a naked, hairy man with snakes around his neck whom I had never seen.

According to the newspaper, this was why I had espoused such strange views on AIDS, along with pressure from the other of my "masters", Andrew Neil. It was utter fantasy (although it's true that for 20 years I have practised meditation with a highly respected spiritual training organisation), with fabricated quotations. The newspaper later published an apology and correction.

A Marxist journal, in a half-sympathetic article about my work, described me as a "pariah of my profession". Sales of the book were poor and the publishers, Fourth Estate, have taken it off their list. I have tried to interest several British newspapers in taking a new look at the controversy, without success.

In July this year, I flew to Johannesburg to attend the second of the AIDS Advisory Panel hearings as an observer, in case I could help in any way. It was a good experience for me, seeing the views that have for so long been suppressed given an airing in an expert forum, although it was also frustrating to see the continuing divide and mutual incomprehension among the scientists taking part. They obviously felt this frustration too, and I respected their courage in at least being present. It was plain that at the scientific level, these are decent people who believe they are acting appropriately.

However, an arrogance is evident among some HIV believers that is born, I believe, of desperation. This was clearly exposed in extracts from a diary one of them kept, published later in South Africa's Mail & Guardian newspaper. There was no indication of willingness to learn. The anonymous writer referred throughout to those who believe in the HIV theory as "round-earthers", and the rest as "flat-earthers" or "denialists".

The article also revealed why an Internet discussion, in which the scientists had been asked to post the evidence for their positions and respond to one another's assertions, had been a flop, with work done by the dissident scientists going unanswered: "Most round-earthers decided that to play with their new friends was a waste of time and made them feel intellectually compromised by even entertaining their half-baked ideas."

The huge gulf between the different points of view arises from the years of looking at AIDS through different spectacles. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on HIV research and treatment in the US alone, and that kind of money commands a strong hold on the intellect. It's not just a question of protecting research grants, charitable activities, professorships, pharmaceutical profits, and political and academic credibility; it's also the sheer intellectual effort invested in the HIV concept that makes it so hard for people to shift their perspective.

Equally, after years of abuse and neglect, the "dissidents" have a strong emotional as well as intellectual investment in their own position. In Johannesburg, some found it almost intolerable to hear contrary viewpoints expressed and had to let off steam from time to time, pacing or storming out of the room.

So, there will not be any consensus emerging from the panel hearings. The government scientists responsible for pulling together a report have a tough job on their hands, and are unlikely to please anyone.

For all that, the initiative represents a huge step forward. Documented evidence was presented that no one has truly isolated HIV, including Professor Luc Montagnier, HIV's purported discoverer and a participant at the first session of the inquiry. True isolation means taking infected material from a patient, purifying virus from that material so that you can clearly identify what it is and work with it free of contaminating materials, and demonstrating that it has the infectious characteristics expected of a virus. This has not been achieved.

Some AIDS scientists say they isolate the virus every day, but by this they mean that they detect genetic or biochemical signals assumed to mean it is present. The problem is, that assumption may be false, because without directly linking those signals to isolated virus you do not know the meaning of the signals.

For the first time, in a genuine scientific forum, those who argue this way were able to set their case before some of the world's top HIV protagonists. A request to participants that they provide the necessary evidence for isolation brought no response. Montagnier admitted it was "very difficult" to isolate the virus from blood, and he and others claimed instead that HIV particles have been visualised in lymph nodes. But the point was pressed home that without isolating such particles, and characterising them as an infectious agent, their identity and characteristics remain uncertain.

Inability to purify HIV underlies the problems that have arisen with all the tests for diagnosing infection with the virus, including so-called "viral counts" (measures of genetic activity assumed, but not proved, to relate to HIV).

The dissidents managed to get across some of their arguments on this, and one central outcome of the panel hearings was an agreement that a group should research the validity of the HIV tests.

So, where does the science stand today? The answer is, in a state of confusion. Nothing in the above should make us throw sexual hygiene to the winds in the belief that AIDS is an illusion. Rather, we should recognise that people are almost certainly acquiring immune deficiency, and testing HIV-positive, for a variety of reasons, some of which were unrecognised before the advent of AIDS.

Despite the failure to isolate a specific virus, it remains possible that the products of the disordered immune cells include particles that play a part in the disease process, while not being the primary cause. It is also possible that these particles could be transmissible in sperm. Repeated exposure to such products through unprotected passive anal intercourse with a diseased partner may predispose to an autoimmune response, in which the body's defences against infection become confused and start to self-destroy. Passive, unprotected anal sex is certainly a major risk factor for AIDS.

There is a desperate need for a humble, open, inquiring approach on all sides of this debate - in other words, for scientists to start acting as scientists again, rather than as propagandists for a particular point of view, orthodox or "dissident".

If the dissidents - ridiculed, censored and deprived of research funds - have overstated their case at times, the same is true, only far more damagingly, on the side of orthodoxy.

Newspapers cover so many issues that they can't be expected to get everything right. Politicians and civil servants, too, don't usually find the time to study medical issues in detail - they have to take their lead from scientists. But when scientists behave as propagandists, however well intentioned, and try to stamp out honest, intelligent questioning of the kind Mbeki initiated, we are in trouble.
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#25 Cyto

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 01:00 AM

Interesting.
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#26 Mind

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 04:54 PM

Great article Bob. Thanks a bunch for posting it.
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#27 bobdrake12

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 01:27 AM

"It is absolutely extraordinary," says Dr. Miles, who says he has been on various drug companies blacklists for saying negative things about their products. "People don't realize all the myriad ways that doctors benefit from the drug companies.

"For example, let's say that drug company A likes the message that Dr. C is talking about, they can give a research grant to Dr. C and because it's listed as a 'research grant,' people will say, 'Oh well, this is above board,' when in fact it's nothing more than a glorified under-the-table payment.

"Now, let's say that you are Dr. C, and you have a $250,000 research grant from company A. What is the likelihood that you are going to say anything bad about their drugs? Zero. At best you are going to say nothing."



Posted Image


"And those reporters won the Pulitzer that year for their AIDS reporting. The pharmaceutical industry exerts a huge influence on scientists and journalists.

"You have to understand that these AIDS journalists have very close relationships with the drug companies, with their PR people. That affects how things get reported. I mean, they fund everything. They fund all the research, first of all. There is almost no such thing as independent research. All clinical trials are paid for by the drug companies."

He laughs when I express alarm at this. "My God are you naive! Everybody -- not just David Ho -- the reporters, the doctors, everybody is part of this system. They're all part of the same club, and they all play the same game. They all have the same, big egos.

"And nobody -- certainly not the reporters -- is going to stand up and wave their finger and say, 'This is all a big horrible machine!' You know why? Because they're all profiting from it.

"Every year we go to these AIDS conferences, and all the professional AIDS-sters come in, all pumped up. And this is the moment where everybody gets blown. It's just gross.

"Look," he says, "if it were not for the profit motive, there would be no incentive for drug companies to make drugs. Drugs come from drug companies. They don't come from anywhere else. It's an industry, okay? It's just another industry."


~ SCIENCE FICTION By Celia Farber

_______________________________________________________________________


Mind,

I am happy than you found the article beneficial.

I have included another one below.

bob

http://www.virusmyth...a/cffiction.htm

SCIENCE FICTION By Celia Farber

Gear Magazine March 2000



In 1996 a scientist claimed he'd found a way to defeat AIDS. In the wave of euphoria that followed, a batch of new drugs flooded the market. Four years later, those drugs are wreaking unimaginable horror on the patients who dared to hope. What went wrong?

It's telling, and perfectly symbolic that when AIDS researcher David Ho's face appeared on the cover of Time as Man of the Year, 1996, you couldn't see his eyes. Instead, a colorful swirl meant to represent HIV filled his glasses. George Orwell used precisely this image -- a man whose eyes are gone, whose glasses have been filled with the refracting light of his ideology -- to convey the triumph of politics over truth in his famous essay Politics and the English Language.

Ho, the then newly appointed director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, was suddenly catapulted to a degree of fame that no other AIDS researcher had ever attained, and gave him an oracular power over the press and the AIDS community. The relentlessly driven son of Chinese immigrants, he was a man singularly obsessed with HIV, and his vision was to attack it with a ferocity never before imagined -- to bomb it with not one drug, or two, but a literal hail. He popularized and largely pioneered the idea that would make such pharmaceutical bombing seem rational -- that HIV, far from being the cryptic, latent, quiet virus most researchers thought it was -- was in fact "replicating furiously," from the very moment of infection. The immune system, he claimed, fought back valiantly, mass producing immune system cells in an effort to defend itself, but in the end, the virus would win the battle, and the immune system would collapse.

The only rational attack therefore, was to begin treatment as early as possible, to defeat the virus. He was a man of simple concepts, and the one that would alter history went like this: hit hard, hit early.

Ho's seductive experiment, which spread to newspapers around the world before it was ever completed, was to knock back HIV to the point of being "undetectable," then take the patients off the "cocktail" of drugs, with HIV, hopefully, banished for good. His recipe for a cure, a word that was heavily implied if semantically avoided, was to create a blitzkrieg of chemicals -- a mixture of old AIDS drugs like AZT with the new class of drugs waiting in the pipeline called "protease inhibitors" -- to annihilate HIV in the bloodstream. Protease inhibitors had been researched since the early 90s by the major drug companies, several of which came close to abandoning the effort because the drugs did not work against HIV.

But Ho was convinced that his new approach of mixing several drugs would work where no single drug had succeeded, and that curing AIDS was a simple matter of eradicating HIV.

Magazines and newspapers took Ho's central metaphor and reprinted it without a second thought: AIDS is like a full sink with the drain open; the water pours in from the tap at a slightly slower rate than it drains away. Eventually, the water -- the T-cells of the immune system -- will drain away enough to cause the immune collapse known as AIDS.

David Ho, Time magazine gushed, "fundamentally changed the way scientist looked at the AIDS virus... His pioneering experiments with protease inhibitors helped clarify how the virus ultimately overwhelms the immune system.

"Mathematical models suggest that patients caught early enough might be virus-free within two or three years."

David Ho, Time concluded, delivered "...what may be the most important fact about AIDS: it is not invincible."

Based largely on a single paper -- Ho's 1995 paper -- protease inhibitors received lightening-quick FDA approval and poured onto the market. The mass media declared AIDS to be "over," albeit with a question mark floating overhead. A new euphoria filled the air, and David Ho spawned a multibillion-dollar drug industry.

Amidst the excitement, something was overlooked.

Ho's mathematical model was wrong.

***

The phone rang late one night and Shawn O'Hearn, 33, a San Francisco HIV prevention worker, answered it. It was an old friend, a successful dancer who, although he had tested positive for HIV, had remained in perfect health. Following the advice of the nation's leading AIDS organizations, he had begun taking a cocktail of drugs including protease inhibitors, even though he didn't have any symptoms of disease. Four weeks later, he suffered a stroke.
"I'm paralyzed, Shawn," he told O'Hearn.

He'll never dance or even walk again.

This is not a rare story; it is a common one in the age of AIDS drug cocktails (as the combination treatments championed by Ho have become known). Such tragedies are seen as an inevitable "side effect" of a drug regimen so punishing that an entire surveillance system has been put in place to ensure that people stick to it. There are computer chips embedded in bottle caps that record the date and time of each opening. There are beepers, support groups, buddy systems, observation centers where patients take the drugs while being watched, and even groups of AIDS professionals who infiltrate people's social networks to enlist them to help promote and dispense the drugs. They call it "treatment compliance," and it has largely replaced Safe Sex as the core social imperative of the AIDS industry. The goal is to get as many HIV-positive people on the drugs as possible, whether they are sick or healthy, and to keep them on them, through debilitating ill effects, which are dismissed as a small price to pay for the benefit of lowering the amount of virus in the blood. But now, four years after the initial AIDS cocktail drug hype erupted, the utopian promise is fast turning into a nightmare.

"I started to notice that more and more friends, young people, were suffering these mysterious strokes and heart attacks," says O'Hearn, a member of the HIV Prevention Planning Council in San Francisco.

"They are listed as AIDS deaths. But those are not AIDS deaths, those are drug deaths."


San Francisco is a crucible for the new schism in the AIDS community. The city's AIDS culture has long been characterized and dominated by the mainstream organizations which advocate drug regimens for all HIV-positive people.

One group that stands in stark contrast is ACT UP San Francisco. The group has a clientele of about 1,200 people with HIV looking for advice, support, and medical marijuana to ease their pain. "What is going on?" I ask member David Pasquarelli. "What are you seeing?" He is quiet for a moment.

"Death and deformity," he says. "Deaths from strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. We've lost probably half a dozen clients from sudden deaths in the past year. We've also seen at least 30 people that have distended bellies and hunchbacks from taking the drugs.


"I had a guy come in just last week and he was crying. I said, 'What's wrong?' He said that his roommate of 10 years had died suddenly, after going on cocktail therapy."

There are facts and figures, studies and counter-studies, a virtual blizzard of data that could be arranged to show any number of things. The new AIDS drugs have saved people's lives: that's one piece of truth. The new AIDS drugs have killed people: that's another. The new AIDS drugs have damaged and deformed some people so badly that although they are alive, they wish they were dead.

"Everyone keeps saying these drugs are extending lives and saving lives and we're supposed to believe it," says Pasquarelli. "I had this woman on the phone today from HIV Plus magazine and she said, 'Protease inhibitors are causing people to live longer,' and I said, 'No they're not. Everybody who is taking protease inhibitors is contributing to one big medical experiment. And no one knows the outcome of it.'"

Pasquarelli's group recently unearthed a 1997 study by San Francisco Health Department director Mitch Katz which exposes a shocking statistic which would appear to dispel the claim that the cocktails have caused AIDS deaths to plummet. Using stored blood samples and computer analyses, the study, published in the Journal of AIDS and Human Retrovirology, concluded that new HIV antibody-positive diagnoses peaked in 1982 in San Francisco -- two years before HIV even had a name.

"There's a big problem in terms of looking at this as a contagious epidemic," says Pasquarelli. "HIV positive diagnoses for the past 13 years here have remained steady at 500 cases a year. People don't look at the chronology of this, or at the statistics. They just have it in their heads that these drugs save lives, and that's it." (Katz has since confirmed the group interpreted his data correctly.)

And, Pasquarelli points out, on a national level, AIDS deaths began dropping at the end of 1994, at least three years before the drugs hit the market, a fact no one disputes.

***

"There is absolutely no question whatsoever that protease inhibitors have helped people," says veteran AIDS doctor Joseph Sonnabend, co-founder of AmFAR, now practicing in New York's Greenwich Village. "But they've probably hurt more people than they've helped. That's why it's complicated. The people for whom benefit has been proven beyond a doubt are really sick people who would have died without them three years ago. But the target population for the drug companies are the healthy people, and those people will almost certainly have their lives shortened by these drugs."

It was precisely those healthy people who were the primary target of David Ho's eradication campaign. Time enthusiastically exhorted: "HIV-positive patients would have to start taking the drugs immediately after infection, before they realize they're sick." Ho's mantra, "Hit hard, hit early," ushered in a new machismo in AIDS treatment, where people seemed to measure their own self-worth by how long they could endure the devastating drugs.

"I have personally seen what was being called the Lazarus effect [where chronically ill people rise off their deathbeds]," says Dr. Michael Lange, chief of infectious diseases at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York. "But I would also say that many, many people are being badly harmed by them. Also, the regimens are so complex and hard to stick with."

"In my experience, I have seen that those who do not take any of these AIDS drugs are the ones who remain healthy and survive," says German physician Claus Koehnlein, who recently testified this past December at the trial of a Montreal woman who refused to give her HIV-positive children cocktail therapy, and then in a chilling Orwellian scenario, had them taken from her and placed in a foster home where they are being forced to take the drugs.

"I treat the individual symptoms -- the whole person, not just the virus. I treat them for whatever they are suffering from, and that's that. I have not lost a single patient in seven years and I've never used cocktail therapy."

Precisely what it means for a life to be "saved" is complicated, especially when the patient was not sick to begin with. As Koehnlein wryly commented, "If you treat completely healthy people you can claim great therapeutic success."

"The vast majority -- about 75 percent -- of people who go on these drugs are completely healthy," says Dr. Steven Miles, AIDS researcher and doctor at UCLA Medical Center.

"Large numbers of people are being inappropriately treated with drugs they don't need. And their lives are probably being shortened, yes."


At Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Massachusetts, a review was done on every HIV-positive patient who died at the hospital between May 1998 and April 1999, and compared to a group of patients who died in 1991, before drug cocktails were available.

Of the 22 "post-cocktail" deaths, half died of liver toxicity from the drugs, and two more had liver toxicity listed as a secondary cause. The study concluded that liver toxicity was "now the leading cause of death among HIV-positive patients at our institution."

In other words, allegedly life-saving AIDS drugs are killing AIDS patients at this particular hospital.

Hospitals around the country are reporting radical increases in heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and other complications caused primarily by the drug's interference with the body's natural ability to metabolize fat. This is also causing the fat redistribution that leads to humpbacks and huge torso in men, and gigantic breasts in women. At the same time, fat disappears from the face, arms and legs, rendering patients stick-like.

Holly Melroe, a Registered Nurse at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, wrote last year in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care that the drug therapies "may have a greater life-threatening potential than the disease itself."

I spoke to Melroe to see if she would confirm that statement.

"Oh definitely," she said. "We are hospitalizing more people now for the side effects of the drugs, than we are for the infections of AIDS. It's a very complicated situation."

Up to 80 percent of those patients were found to have dangerously high cholesterol levels, which have led to heart attacks in many cases. When I comment that it seems strange for these drugs to continue to be referred to as "life-saving," she quickly says, "Oh, but they are."

The death rate, Melroe claims, has declined by 80 percent in Minnesota over the last four years.

Says Michael Bellefountaine of ACT UP San Francisco: "People are allowing their bodies to get to the point where they physically can't handle the pain anymore, because their neck is being forced downward with these humpbacks. Yet they will endure it, hoping that the government will pay for, you know, liposuction. You see plastic surgery ads in the Bay Area Reporter that say, 'Wasting away? We can make your cheeks look fuller.'

"It is absurd. Instead of telling people to get off the drugs, we tell them to get plastic surgery! One person told me he feels like his intestines are corroding from the inside out. These people can't stomach anything. They can't digest anything. They have internal organ failures. You hear stories of people who are on their way to work and they just drop dead from a heart attack.

"We are seeing people who have massive swelling in the face to the point that their eyes, if they are able to open them, are incredibly sunken. The cheeks and the forehead are pushed forward. They have these hard, bumpy calcium deposits. People are bruised, almost raccoon-like around the eyes. They look like walking skulls."

The group runs a medical marijuana dispensary out of its offices, thereby coming into contact with scores of people who are on cocktail drugs. They actively "intervene" and try to convince people to go off the drugs, citing among other things the fact that they -- the 100-odd members who adhere to their philosophy -- are all drug free and healthy for several years. But Bellefountaine says that the fear of HIV is too deeply rooted in most people. "People are still so afraid of what is going to happen if they don't take these drugs that they will remain on the regimens until they literally kill them," he says.

Shawn O'Hearn tested positive for HIV two years ago. He, too, went on a three-drug cocktail regimen. "I was trying to be a good little boy and make it through and stay on my regimen. I was taking almost 30 pills a day." Soon his body was covered in blisters, and he was suffering debilitating nausea. He quit the drugs after four weeks, and his health returned.

"I have many, many friends on these cocktail regimens," he says, "and some of them swear by them. But all I know is, I am seeing young people dying of very weird things that are not AIDS."

The new drugs, unlike the prior generation, AZT, DDI and D4T, are very specific in their ability to inhibit HIV's crucial protease. DNA and protein are the basics of life, and protease are what control the proteins, turn them on and off, process them and so forth.

The turning point for the new drugs came in 1995, when Ho and another scientist, Dr. George Shaw, co-authored a paper, published in the eminent scientific journal Nature, in which he detailed his new vision of HIV, AIDS and the immune system. On the day the paper was published, a press conference was held. The "new model" was coupled with the new drugs, and a new technology took center stage -- so-called viral load testing. Rather than focus on physical symptoms, the new craze was to take the drugs and measure your viral load (the amount of virus in the blood) and CD4 cells, now considered a barometer for the immune system's health. The new drug regimens were supposed to lower the former and raise the latter. The concept was: beat back the bad guys (HIV-infected cells), and the good guys (CD4 cells) will win.

The central puzzle of HIV research up until that point had been how the HIV virus could cause AIDS, when it infected only a trivial number of T-cells -- the cells AIDS patients were deficient in. As one researcher said, it was a crime scene with many more bodies than bullets.

One leading virologist who had won tremendous acclaim for having mapped the genetic structure of retroviruses and had been nominated for the Nobel Prize, Dr. Peter Duesberg of the University of California-Berkeley, was sufficiently troubled by this paradox of cell infection that he concluded HIV could not be the cause of AIDS. For his heretical questioning of the AIDS establishment, he was condemned, censored in the scientific literature, no longer funded, and sent into virtual scientific exile.

David Ho would never harbor such thoughts. In fact, his faith in HIV as the singular cause of AIDS was so deep that he produced buttons which he wore and distributed at an AIDS conference in 1995 that said "It's the Virus, Stupid" -- a direct stab at Duesberg.

***

Ho is not a mathematician, but nevertheless he contrived a mathematical model in consultation with other mathematicians, on which he would base his entire premise. The model was supposed to demonstrate that HIV killed healthy cells slightly faster than they were able to replenish themselves, but the math was so dubious that very few AIDS researchers could grasp it enough to either validate or reject it. Nobody bothered to try. Instead, it simply floated upward like a balloon of epiphany, the dawn of a new era.

The balloon of hope had many uses: HIV-positive people could hope for a new lease on life, the drug companies could sell drugs like never before, and even keep their customers convinced, through the AIDS care-network itself, that total compliance with this draconian discipline was the only path to heroic survival. Miss one pill, the new wisdom held, and HIV, enigmatically, will "mutate."

Ho, whose given name Da-I translates to "Great One," repeatedly declined to be interviewed for this story. Those who know him, or have met him, describe him on the one hand as "a nice guy," and on the other as a man totally bereft of personality. But whatever his personal characteristics, he certainly played a pivotal role in not just AIDS history but medical history.

It was at an AIDS science conference in Florida in the early 90s that Ho, then a virologist of no particular distinction at UCLA, heard a high-ranking chemist at Abbott Pharmaceuticals discuss protease inhibitor prototypes. Ho approached the chemist, Dale Kempf, on an airport check-in line, and told him he had a theory about "how the AIDS virus worked" and how much more ferocious it was than anybody realized.

"Dale agreed that maybe we could help each other," Ho later told the Wall Street Journal.

By 1993, Abbott had narrowed its hundreds of prospective compounds down to one, which later became the most toxic of the licensed protease inhibitors, Norvir.

Meanwhile, philanthropist widow Irene Diamond had fulfilled her late husbands Aaron Diamond's wish to set up a lavish research lab which would attract some of the best scientists in the country. "Irene wanted a star," is how Dr. Steven Miles describes it. She chose the quiet, diminutive David Ho to be the director of the institute, immediately after meeting him and hearing about his research.

Ho and his colleagues at Aaron Diamond, Dr. Marty Markowitz, began experimenting with a handful of patients. They gave them the cocktail therapy, measured their drug-resistant mutations, and then calculated "how man y virus particles were churned out each day by infected cells," according to Michael Waldholz, reporting in the Wall Street Journal. These calculations led to the infamous math model.

The problem is not restricted to the math model, however -- the very technique that Ho and Markowitz used to measure and calculate these "virus particles," is itself deeply problematic.

Is "viral load" really measuring the amount of virus in one's body? Not according to some of the scientists who have studied the matter closely. "The only important question in AIDS is how much infectious virus there is," says Harvey Bialy, editor-at-large of the journal Nature Biotechnology. "Despite all the noise about massive viremia [levels of virus] and math models coming in from David Ho, the figures remain precisely as Peter Duesberg published in 1987 when he first critiqued the hypothesis," Bialy says. "Only one in 100 T-cells are ever infected, only one in 1,000 are ever making viral proteins, and that corresponds to a tiny amount of virus present in the blood. Everything else is effectively neutralized by the immune system.

"A viral load of 100,000 corresponds to one or less virus particles, which is the only medically relevant barometer. That is not enough to do anything. In the Nature paper, Ho manipulated the picture by using PCR [a technique that massively amplifies DNA] and passed it off as infectious virus. When I read it, I said, 'This is fucking nonsense! How do you pass off a biochemical unit as an infectious particle? This will never fly. But it flew."

Dr. David Rasnick, a chemist who once worked in diagnostics at Abbott and is an expert on protease inhibitors, concurs with this view.

"'Viral load' is the most powerful microscope ever developed," he says. "If the only way you can see something is by using the most powerful microscope, how clinically relevant can it be? If a person had real viremia you wouldn't need PCR to see it. Here you're talking about a level of about one virus particle in a drop of blood!

"Here's an example. When they look for HIV in breast milk, they do 45 cycles of PCR, which is a 35-trillion-fold amplification, in order to find enough genetic material. We are at the level of sensitivity of nuclear physics now with this PCR stuff. And David Ho talks about making HIV 'undetectable?' It starts out undetectable. That's the whole point. HIV has always been more or less undetectable.

"So they've taken a number that is next to nothing, and mass multiplied it. But it's still next to nothing. Just a bunch of numbers that are used to scare people and make people go on these drugs.

"All this stuff about wanting to get to zero, or to undetectable, is absurd because it implies that a single particle of HIV is lethal, but it's not.

"This is the biological equivalent of counting bumpers in a junkyard and saying they represent functional cars."

***

In the summer of 1996, thousands listened to Ho's findings from TV monitors hanging through the vast conference halls at the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver. The audience listened with rapt attention as Ho revealed his data: nine patients, he said, who had been on a combination of drugs including some of the new protease inhibitors, had "no evidence of the virus in their bloodstream," after being on the drugs for between 90 and 300 days. Ho calmly repeated his mantra: because of the new drugs, it was "time to hit HIV, early and hard."

"It was just unadulterated hype. It was preposterous," recalls Dr. Steven Miles. "It was almost like an instantaneous religion, or a cult, right after Vancouver. You were either a part of that hit-hard-hit-early religion or you were not. It split the HIV community."

AIDS treatment was in a depressed state at this time. The results of a devastating study three years earlier had dashed the long-held belief that AZT could extend life -- instead, it was shown to shorten life. Many prominent researchers, deeply alarmed that they had unconsciously given a drug that had done more harm than good, were abandoning toxic drugs and looking to resolve the disease by stimulating the immune system instead.

But Ho's mathematical model which "demonstrated" that the virus was "furiously replicating," made the virus suddenly seem more lethal than ever, and in the fervor that followed, doctors who advocated being careful and conservative with drug regimens were seen as foolish pacifists, willfully surrendering to a vicious enemy.

A kind of collective fantasy formed in the hushed room at the Vancouver conference, as the low-key scientist unveiled his data, never altering his blank facial expression, but inspiring a mania with his quiet use of a few new buzzwords: "eradication," "undetectable." The fantasy was that the new drugs could eradicate HIV -- get rid of it -- and that once it was gone, people could stop taking the drugs and live AIDS-free for the rest of their lives. All agreed that these drugs were not designed for long term use, that they were way too toxic.

Ho cast a powerful spell over not just his audience, but the world's media, medical community, and AIDS community. The excitement that emanated from Ho's presentation was palpable -- it spread like wildfire through the media. Within hours, people were rushing in to their doctors' offices, begging for prescriptions. Most of them were healthy. None of them cared about anything except the new magic word: eradication.

"It's not even really a mathematical model," says Mark Craddock, a mathematician at the University of Technology-Sydney, referring to Ho's construct. "In my opinion, it's mathematical junk."

Craddock has written several critiques of Ho's model, and says he cannot comprehend how it was ever able to gain such momentum. "Ho's equations predict that over the course of 10 years, an HIV-positive person will produce more particles of HIV than there are atoms in the universe. There is no way you could make that much virus."

Mathematical modeling of diseases is a whole area of research unto itself. "It is widely acknowledged in the mathematical biology community," says Craddock, "that AIDS has been damn near impossible to mathematically model properly. No one has succeeded in producing a model that even looks right.

"The history of mathematics is full of things that looked right but turned out to be wrong. That is why we insist on proof. You have to check every single detail and make sure it is right. We send a Voyager spacecraft out, and it arrives within a few minutes of predictions at the planet Neptune twenty years after it departed. That is because Newton's theory of gravitation works."

An editorial in the February 1998 issue of Nature Medicine by renowned virologist Mario Roederer pointed out that cocktail therapy does not cause T-cells to increase, but rather to be redistributed throughout the body -- which is not an immunological advantage. This had been discovered a year earlier when an American group of researchers developed a way to "tag" newly synthesized DNA and isolate T-cell populations. What they found does not bode well for those who are on cocktail drugs: of three groups -- uninfected people, untreated HIV-positive people, and HIV-positive people on the drugs -- the T-cells of the ones on the drugs survived the shortest amount of time.

"You don't have to waste a lot of time on this," says Bialy when I ask him about how and when Ho's research was refuted in the scientific literature. "The Roederer piece finished it. Ho is finished. In the scientific world right now it is firmly established that the model is nonsense."

One AIDS researcher and physician who spoke only on condition of anonymity had this to say about Ho's theory: "Everybody in the scientific community has known for years that his HIV model was ludicrously wrong. I remember being at a conference in Chicago two years ago, and Ho's data was shot to shreds by one speaker after another. David Ho got up to speak at the end and there was really nothing he could say."

Several researchers contacted for this piece, even those who had disputed Ho's findings in print, refused to comment on Ho as a scientist. Others were less intimated -- or, like Joe Sonnabend, have already been punished for speaking their mind (Sonnabend has fallen out with two major AIDS organizations he once worked with) and have nothing left to lose.

Sonnabend scowls when I ask about Ho's math model. "Of course it's wrong," he says impatiently. "Everybody knows that. It's such way-out bullshit. The notion of 'eradication' is just total science fiction. Every retrovirologist knows this. The RNA of retroviruses turns into DNA and becomes part of us. It's part of our being. You can't ever get rid of it."

I told Sonnabend that I had heard from researchers -- none of whom would go on the record -- that Ho had committed what some were calling, at the very least, spurious research, by withholding a vital finding from the data. In his experiments, Ho had shown that protease inhibitors, by stopping HIV allowed healthy CD4 cells to flourish. But what he didn't reveal was that CD8 cells (which have nothing to do with HIV) also increased.

"Yes, he's a fraud," Sonnabend says, "if a fraud means mediocre interpretations of the dynamics of T-cell changes in response to therapy. But, then, who is the fraud? Anybody is capable of having stupid ideas, but what's unusual is getting them onto the front page of the New York Times and Time. The real villains are the people in your profession, in my opinion. The journalists. We have traditionally depended on the press to protect us from nonsense like this -- not anymore.

"Now people who have feet of clay become oracles thanks to their publicists and the cooperation of journalists. And the real tragedy is that years have been wasted on this David Ho eradication hype. What he did was unspeakable. To dangle a cure in front of such desperate people is the cruelest thing imaginable."


"I heard from a well-placed source that protease inhibitors were approved by the FDA, based on Ho's Nature paper," says David Rasnick. "There was certainly no clinical data that they were effective, and to this day there is still none."

***

The rush to get the new AIDS drugs on the market caused a near-total disintegration of the FDA drug approval process. Some of these drugs were approved in a matter of weeks, a process that normally takes years. But who was going to complain? Certainly not the recipients of the drugs. They would only complain if the drugs were not approved fast enough. So protease inhibitors were approved on small, short trials, in which results were virtually engineered. Data can be skewed to show anything under such circumstances. Some -- especially AIDS -- drugs these days are tested in the human population -- after they are released.

Toward the end of 1997, a study from Germany showed that almost half of those taking protease inhibitors had their virus levels increase, not decrease. The authors wrote: "The success seen in controlled studies is not necessarily reflected in everyday practice."

"These damn things were released without proper evaluation or testing," says Rasnick, who now devotes his time to warning people about protease inhibitors. "Whenever you give a drug, something that is biologically active, you're going to get some responses. You don't know whether it's going to be good, neutral or negative. You haven't a clue. That's why previously the FDA approval process was so laborious. It was to protect people against these unknowns, these toxicities."

A few years before protease inhibitors came onto the market, Rasnick attended a conference where a paper authored by a Dr. Paul Saftig, and published in the journal EMBO, was presented. It had no relationship to AIDS, but nonetheless stayed vivid in his memory.

It was a so-called "knock-out" experiment, in which scientists totally erase a gene from an animal, and then gauge what effect it has. The gene is erased from either a fertilized or non-fertilized egg then implanted, and then the resulting offspring, if there are any, are studied. "Typically what happens," says Rasnick, "is that either the animals are born with absolutely no difference that you detect, or, you don't get any offspring at all."

But this experiment was highly unusual. In it, scientists removed an aspartyl protease known as cathepsin D -- one that all humans have -- from the mice. The mice were all born normal, and for the first three weeks of their lives, appeared to be thriving. But on the 21st day, every last one of them died.

Autopsies showed that the mice had starved to death. "Their intestines were completely destroyed," says Rasnick. "Also, they had what the authors called fulminate loss of T-cells and B-cells. In other words, their immune systems were shot.

"That study was a real red flag," says Rasnick. "Cathepsin D is the only protease I know that is absolutely essential for life, so you'd want to stay away from it. I remember thinking to myself at the time, thank God we are not working on aspartyl proteases, or making inhibitors for them."

When Rasnick began hearing stories of the chronic diarrhea and wasting syndrome that was among many problems to afflict people on the new protease inhibitors, he had a sinking feeling.

"I said, 'Oh shit, it's happening.' You see, there's always crossover. Even though it's not the target, all of these protease inhibitors also inhibit cathepsin D. The same aspartyl protease that they knocked out in the mice."

"And they're giving people up to seven grams a day of this stuff. I don't see how anybody can survive that in the long run. I'd love to see some post-mortems done on these guys who die on cocktails. I'd like to see what their intestines look like."

Rasnick believes it was a grave mistake for the FDA ever to approve protease inhibitors for human use.

"I would pull these protease inhibitors off the market based on the Saftig paper alone."

***

In March of last year, a gathering of the world's leading AIDS researchers convened, as they do each year, at the elite Chemotherapy of AIDS Conference, known as the Gordon Conference, in Ventura, California.

Nearly half of the 105 people attending were from within the pharmaceutical industry. David Ho was there, as was Martin Markowitz. Markowitz and Ho received a lot of publicity for their ongoing study of 27 people on HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) -- the multi-drug regimen that is now the standard of care for AIDS patients, both adults and children -- in fact, even pregnant women.

"At last year's conference, I asked Markowitz if his patients on HAART were doing better, the same, or worse while on the drugs," says Dr. Rasnick. 'He didn't say a word. He just stood there. I asked the question three times. This time I decided not to ask. If his patients had been doing well, I'm sure he would have let us all know, especially me."


Dr. William Cameron, an M.D. and consultant to the Canadian FDA, "completely demolished the viral load surrogate marker" as a relevant way to measure health or the success of treatments, according to Rasnick. He used as an example the clinical disaster, never reported in the media, of a drug many people were on years ago called DDI. Over a 12-week study, the drug worked brilliantly on viral load levels, but shortly thereafter turned out to be virulently toxic, in fact lethally so. At the highly private conference, where no press is allowed and attendees are told not to discuss what they hear, even Ho recanted his central tenant, and said, "Viremia [viral levels] are not predictive of clinical outcome."

"People can have a high viral load and be healthy and have a low viral load and be sick and everything in between," says Rasnick. "These guys will admit t his between themselves, they just don't admit it publicly."

Rasnick caught up with Cameron after his talk. He recounts the conversation. "He said they're 'living longer' during the era of protease inhibitors, but he said they 'look like hell.' He said they're wasting away and they just look like shit. I said, 'Is that because of the drugs?' And he said 'yes.'"

***

The AIDS magazine POZ and others like it are filled with protease inhibitor ads that drastically contrast with the cruel reality. The ads feature muscular, tanned, and beautiful people at the peak of their powers: climbing mountains, sprinting over hurdles, sailing, and generally beaming with life.

In reality, three years into the protease inhibitor craze, most people on cocktail therapy can barely function. I talked to one of the most well-known protease models, Michael Weathers, whose handsome face adorns several billboards across America, and he said that he had not only never taken protease inhibitors, but had never taken any AIDS drugs. He is perfectly healthy 13 years after learning he was positive. "They have this rule that they have to use HIV-positive models for their AIDS drug ads," Weathers comments, "but they certainly do not use models who are using their drugs. That would hardly make for effective advertising."


The list of side effects listed by the drug companies themselves in their own ads is so long it numbers in the hundreds. The toxic effects are so numerous, they have broken them down into categories. Within each of those body systems, up to 50 specific symptoms are listed.

For one of the drugs, Saquinavir, under "Adverse reactions," are listed: "intracranial hemorrhage leading to death" and "pancreatitis leading to death."

Leafing through POZ, I read the fine print that follows every protease ad. In each and every one, it states that the drugs have killed people. In the advertisement for the drugs.

Yet the accompanying text warns in parental tones about the importance of staying on the drugs no matter what.

Be smart, one ad for the Glaxo drug Combivir advises: Without your HIV drugs, there's nothing to stop the virus from making billions of copies of itself. Next time you're tempted to skip a dose or two, think again... HIV drugs should be taken on time, every day. That's the only way known to keep enough of each drug in your blood at all times to fight HIV.

How, I ask Joe Sonnabend, could all of this hype take place? How could David Ho be made Man of The Year? How could the eradication theory be extolled? How is it possible if David Ho's science is as bankrupt as all this?

Sonnabend pushes his glasses up onto his forehead and looks at me almost quizzically. Then he shrugs slightly.

"He had a really good publicist."

***

Ho's publicist was a man named David Corkery, from the PR firm Fenton Communications. "We took over to manage the cascade of publicity that ensued after he was made Man of The Year," says Corkery, flatly refusing to discuss the matter any further. "David Ho did not create all this," is all he will say, referring to the hype.

I set off in search of ground zero, a beginning, a place where the tornado started turning. I call people who work on the inside of the AIDS machine. They all speak -- angrily, but fearfully -- of a pharmaceutical industry that makes its presence felt to reporters, scientists, doctors, and AIDS activists. As Dr. Sonnabend put it, "The drug companies are present in some way in virtually every single moment of my professional career."

"It is absolutely extraordinary," says Dr. Miles, who says he has been on various drug companies blacklists for saying negative things about their products. "People don't realize all the myriad ways that doctors benefit from the drug companies.

"For example, let's say that drug company A likes the message that Dr. C is talking about, they can give a research grant to Dr. C and because it's listed as a 'research grant,' people will say, 'Oh well, this is above board,' when in fact it's nothing more than a glorified under-the-table payment.

"Now, let's say that you are Dr. C, and you have a $250,000 research grant from company A. What is the likelihood that you are going to say anything bad about their drugs? Zero. At best you are going to say nothing."


Miles has felt the heat of this situation personally, being one of the few mainstream AIDS doctors who stood up and resisted the hit-hard-hit-early mania.

"Just go to the U.S. Public Health Service web site. Under federal law they have to disclose who they have taken money from. It's right there. Some of these doctors have taken money from 15 to 20 different companies. If 20 companies that are in the business of making money for drug treatment are giving you money, can you honestly stand up and say, 'Don't treat!'"

Another man, who for years has worked on the inside of AIDS research, implores me not to print his name, swearing he will be out of a job immediately if I do.

"Look at the media, that's where it happens," he said. "Look at those earliest pieces about Ho and the cocktails that ran in the Wall Street Journal. They are just pure propaganda, pure drug company puff pieces.

"And those reporters won the Pulitzer that year for their AIDS reporting. The pharmaceutical industry exerts a huge influence on scientists and journalists.

"You have to understand that these AIDS journalists have very close relationships with the drug companies, with their PR people. That affects how things get reported. I mean, they fund everything. They fund all the research, first of all. There is almost no such thing as independent research. All clinical trials are paid for by the drug companies."

He laughs when I express alarm at this. "My God are you naive! Everybody -- not just David Ho -- the reporters, the doctors, everybody is part of this system. They're all part of the same club, and they all play the same game. They all have the same, big egos.

"And nobody -- certainly not the reporters -- is going to stand up and wave their finger and say, 'This is all a big horrible machine!' You know why? Because they're all profiting from it.

"Every year we go to these AIDS conferences, and all the professional AIDS-sters come in, all pumped up. And this is the moment where everybody gets blown. It's just gross.

"Look," he says, "if it were not for the profit motive, there would be no incentive for drug companies to make drugs. Drugs come from drug companies. They don't come from anywhere else. It's an industry, okay? It's just another industry."


Celia Farber has written on the issues and controversies surrounding HIV, AZT, and AIDS for more than a decade. She is a regular contributor to Esquire, Spin, USA Today, and Gear, among other U.S. publications. She is the mother of one son and resides with her family in New York City.
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#28 Limitless

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 04:21 PM

Interesting! Thanks for the great post, Bob! People on this site are awfully good at finding information that clashes with perceived reality. It's so refreshing. ;)
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#29 Limitless

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 04:36 PM

One more thing -why hasn't anybody sued the people involved, from researchers such as David Ho, to physicians who benefitted from prescribing unsafe & ineffective medications, to the FDA for approving everything from AZT to the recent Protease inhibitors? Or have lawsuits been filed & been unsuccessful? They couldn't pull the wool over the eyes of a judge or a jury. Or could they? :(
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#30 bobdrake12

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 04:17 AM

One more thing -why hasn't anybody sued the people involved, from researchers such as David Ho, to physicians who benefitted from prescribing unsafe & ineffective medications, to the FDA for approving everything from AZT to the recent Protease inhibitors? Or have lawsuits been filed & been unsuccessful? They couldn't pull the wool over the eyes of a judge or a jury. Or could they?


Limitless,

My understanding is that it is very difficult to successfully sue in these types of instances because of the ways the laws are written and also due to the massive wealth of the drug industry (having the staying power and money to use the best lawyers that can be bought).

bob
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