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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« A Parable by Hank | Main | Money Talks »

August 10, 2006

Comments

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Dan

Hank,

If we were to cast aside some of the more "difficult" aspects of her study and took the 1/1000 and 1/10,000 as fact. It's dead obvious the "epidemic" just cannot happen.

As you can see, though. It doesn't matter one whit what's contained in the Padian study. It also doesn't matter in the slightest that Gallo found "HIV" in only 36% of his patients, and was somehow able to pass that off as "proof" that HIV causes AIDS.

Those who defend this medical tragedy will go to great lengths to do so. They've GOT to save face on this one. Unfortunately, that means people will still be terrorized, stigmatized and drugged just so they don't have to admit to their mistake.

Stephen Davis

Hank,

I literally cannot believe the lengths that some people go to maintain that Adam and Eve were created in 4004 B.C.

For example, Padian says “Evidence that specifically documents the heterosexual transmission of HIV comes from studies of HIV-discordant couples (i.e., couples in a stable, monogamous relationship where one partner is infected and the other is not); over time, HIV transmission occurs.” The reference she cites is “Ellerbock TV, Lieb S, Harrington PE, et al. Heterosexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus infection among pregnant women in a rural Florida community. N Engl J Med 1992;327:1704-9.”

I looked up the cite on Yahoo. “Abstract: BACKGROUND. In the United States, an increasing proportion of women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) live in nonmetropolitan areas. Little is known, however, about the risk factors for HIV transmission in women outside large cities. METHODS. We interviewed and tested 1082 (99.8 percent) of 1084 consecutive pregnant women who registered for prenatal care at a public health clinic in western Palm Beach County, Florida. This rural agricultural area of about 36,000 people is known to have a high prevalence of HIV infection. RESULTS. The seroprevalence of HIV was 5.1 percent (52 of 1011 women). Black women who were neither Haitian nor Hispanic had the highest rate of infection (8.3 percent [48 of 575]). Only 4 of 1009 women (0.4 percent) reported ever injecting drugs, and the 4 were HIV-seronegative; however, 14 of 43 users of crack cocaine (33 percent) had HIV infection. At prenatal registration, 131 of 983 women (13 percent) tested positive for gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, or syphilis. By multivariate logistic-regression analysis, HIV infection was found to be independently associated with having used crack cocaine (odds ratio, 3.3; P < 0.001), having had more than two sexual partners (odds ratio, 4.6; P < 0.001), being black but neither Hispanic nor Haitian (odds ratio, 11; P < 0.001), having had sexual intercourse with a high-risk partner (odds ratio, 5.6; P < 0.001), and testing positive for syphilis (odds ratio, 3.1; P = 0.015). Nevertheless, 11 of the 52 HIV-infected women (21 percent) reported a total of only two to five sexual partners and no known high-risk partners, had never used crack cocaine, and had no positive tests for sexually transmitted disease. CONCLUSIONS. In the rural community we studied, most of the women with HIV infection acquired it through heterosexual contact.”

One study of 1082 women in one rural agriculture area is all the proof Ms. Padian needs to claim that “over time, HIV transmission occurs” for everyone in the world?! And how in god’s name do you conclude that from the evidence given? But aside from that, where is any proof that these women were not HIV-Positive from birth? No where does it say that they were HIV-Negative and then seroconverted after sexual contact. Do they now want us to start with a premise that all men and all women are born HIV-Negative until they test positive for HIV, which then means they have to have caught it from someone else? If no one is born HIV-Positive, who was the first one who developed it spontaneously, and did that also happen in 4004 B.C.?

Here’s another classic from the latest Padian pablum….”The current likelihood of male to female infection after a single exposure to HIV is 0.01-0.32% , and the current likelihood of female to male infection after a single exposure is 0.01-0.1%.” But if you go to the study she cites, (Downs AM, De Vincenzi I. Probability of heterosexual transmission of HIV: relationship to the number of unprotected sexual contacts. European Study Group in Heterosexual Transmission of HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1996 Apr 1;11(4):388-95.), it says right there in the abstract, “Our results suggest that the association between the number of unprotected sexual contacts and the probability of infection is weak and highly inconsistent with constant per-contact infectivity.”

And in plain numbers, it means that an HIV-Negative man has to have sex with the same HIV-Positive woman (or other HIV-Positive women) anywhere from 10,000 times to 300 times (depending on which study you want to believe) in order to be "guaranteed" to seroconvert. Ten thousand times? That’s screwing every day for almost 30 years, or once every two days for 60 years. Even Strom Thurmond couldn’t do that.

And an HIV-Negative woman would have to have at least 1000 sexual contacts with an HIV-Positive man. I don’t know very many married couples who have sex 1000 times in their whole married life!

Then Padian goes on to claim that “In developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, several factors (co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases, circumcision practices, poor acceptance of condoms, patterns of sexual partner selection, locally circulating viral subtypes, high viral loads among those who are infected, etc.) can increase the likelihood of heterosexual transmission to 20% or even higher,” and she cites “Gray RH, Wawer MJ, Brookmeyer R, Sewankambo NK, Serwadda D, Wabwire-Mangen F, Lutalo T, Li X, vanCott T, Quinn TC; Rakai Project Team. Probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act in monogamous, heterosexual, HIV-1-discordant couples in Rakai, Uganda. Lancet. 2001 Apr 14;357(9263):1149-53.”

But when you go read the abstract of that study, it says, “Transmission probabilities increased from 0•0001 per act at viral loads of less than 1700 copies/mL to 0•0023 per act at 38 500 copies/mL or more….” So let’s see. Uganda was .01-.23%. Oh, yes, that’s significantly high than 0.01-0.32% in the U.S. Oh…no…wait. Huh? It’s lower in Uganda?! Does she think we’re stupid and won’t check her references?

Actually, that particular study concludes that “The overall unadjusted probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act was 0•0011,” or about 1 in 1000. I guess Ms. Padian’s condescending, judgmental, and racist attitudes toward Africa aren’t supported by the statistics.

But, as you said Hank, what really gets me is Padian’s self-serving spin on her own study. “That we witnessed no HIV transmissions after the intervention documents the success of the interventions in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.” What’s Padian’s degree? BS?

Why does no one ever mention that these discordant couples were having sex with each other PRIOR to Ms. Padian and her study, and that 54% of the couples that began the study and 79% of those who came in for the second part were not using condoms prior to the study. But they were having sex, weren’t they, Nancy? How did you take into account all the sexual activity that went on between these discordant couples PRIOR to starting to count the number of times they screwed (and did you watch?)? Doesn’t that throw off your numbers a little, huh?

And even during the study, 25% of them admitted not using condoms consistently. Did you take them out of your statistics when you claimed that you were documenting the success of the interventions? If you were trying to prove the success of intervention (condoms), you should have.

So let’s see. Not one HIV-Negative partner became HIV-Positive during the entire time of the sexual relationship prior to your study, a vast majority of them not using condoms. Okay. And then not one HIV-Negative partner became HIV-Positive during your study, but only using condoms 75% of the time. Okay. And then not one HIV-Negative partner became HIV-Positive during your study when they used condoms all the time. Oh, yes. It’s perfectly clear. Using condoms protects you from HIV! (That’s sarcasm, in case you missed it.)

What’s perfectly clear to anyone who has half a brain is that HIV is not transmitted sexually. And frankly, it didn’t take Ms. Nancy Padian to prove that. Just look around. People are having sex. Lots of it, or so I’m told. And some of it is happening between discordant couples, whether they know it or not, since the CDC says there may be as many as 300,000 HIV-Positives who don’t know it. But at the same time, the CDC says that the number of HIV-Positives in the U.S. population hasn’t changed in 22 years, since they started counting. HIV-Positives made up 0.04 percent of the population in 1984, and they make up 0.04 percent of the population in 2006. With all the discordant sex that’s taking place, and with the so-called highly-contagious nature of HIV through sexual contact, shouldn’t we be seeing a least a slight increase in the HIV-Positive percentage of the population?

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that HIV is not transmitted by sexual contact, homosexual or heterosexual, and it isn’t even contagious! (It violates Farr’s Law and doesn’t “cluster,” for example.) I’m so sick and tired of these self-righteous saviors who no longer know how to think or reason logically (a product of our government-run education system), trying to use a scientific lie to make people afraid of having sex, just to further their own religious brand of morality.

By the way, I’m not gay. I’ve never had a homosexual experience. I’m not HIV-Positive. I just recently made friends for the first time with people who are, but I’ve never lost a loved one to AIDS. I got into this whole mess in the early 1990’s because I was so pissed at the government hacks and pseudo-scientists like Ms. Nancy Padian who were trying to get people to be afraid of the one most creative, most enjoyable, most spiritual act available to the human race – making love.

Dan

Excellent points, Mr. Davis!

Now, how do we get such clear-headed, logical thinking to go from Hank's blog into the mainstream?

noreen martin

Those who defend this tragedy...have to save face, great comment. You are right. My ID doctor appointment went like: I told my new doctor that there was not such thing as a viral load, that the PCR should not be used for detecting HIV, these drugs are toxic, etc. She didn't even respond, only moved on to the next thing. However, she did say that my CD4's were 191 and that I needed to go back on the medications, even though my blood reports were normal and I have no clinical symptoms. What happened to science or thinking for oneself? They act like programmed robots.

Mark Biernbaum

Hank, I thought we'd been over this before. The fact that there were no transmissions in the Padian study does not "prove" that HIV isn't transmissable.

Also, that 1/1000 that you are so fond of, is called an "odds ratio" and it's an AVERAGE. Meaning, of course, that it includes the odds 1/2, 1/10, 1/100, and even 1/1,000,000. It's an average, not a point estimate. In fact, you could more convincingly argue your point if the odds ratio in the study had averaged 1/10,000 or 1/100,000.

Also -- and we've been over this, if you believe that the HIV antibody test is useless -- then so is all of Padian's data, and all epidemiological data that uses that test.

Please, for the love of God, let the Padian study go. We don't improve our standing by interpreting averages as point estimates (we just show off our lack of statistical sophistication when we do that).

Mark Biernbaum

If you remain unconvinced, talk to Rebecca, please! But let's drop the Padian study once and for all. It proves nothing. Garbage in = garbage out.

George

Mark,

I am sure that if asked Dr. Culshaw would respond something like: "Whether the odds ratios are 1/1,000 or 1/10,000, this study completely undermines the notion that HIV needs to be feared as a sexually transmissible agent. And it does mean a *great* deal that *no* seroconversions were observed given the number of contacts over the course of the study."

And I do not agree that she would find it a GIGO at all -- wildly and implausibly fudged in its conclusions, and misrepresented in its abstract for sure, but not GIGO in a strict sense.

You appear to ignore the fact that this is one of only a very few actual studies of sexual transmission of HIV. Wonder why? I think it is obvious that this one is so damaging that it needed to be kept as quite as possible and never be done bigger and better in the future. Is there any other reason Hank/Padian has been driving the establishment bloggers nuts for over a year until they were finally forced to have the senior author make a bigger fool of herself on the web than she did in that disastrous paper?

And the odds ratio you want to make so much of could just as easily have been 1/100,000 as the assumptions she makes are so ad hoc as to be untenable, and you know this.

Claus

Mr. Barnes,

As an avid reader and inevitable fan of AIDStruth.org, I must say I think you're missing the larger point about the 'Padian Post'. Fact is it was never meant to convince any critical, informed, independent-minded thinker. But this is in accord with the two time-honoured and inter-related maxims of warfare, that you sometimes have to let the smaller fish go in order to catch a bigger one, and to fight only the battles you can win. Together these form the simple but efficient strategy of Moore et al, which is to focus their resources where the real battle is won. In his own words to you:

"I don't waste my time reading your Blog myself, Hank, but we do monitor them, and sometimes we do pick up some useful information from there that helps us counter more influential AIDS denialists in areas where WE think it matters (trust, me the Blogsphere is not where the real fight is being played out). This particular exchange will probably not lead to any useful information, as we've already got enough on the kinds of people who have the time to read and respond to your Blog postings . But hey, you never know, so thanks for trying on our behalf, even if you don't realize what you're doing (or, more to the point, what WE'RE doing). We don't publicize our successes, but if you did you would be surprised at how helpful you and your fellow Bloggers have been to us. In reality, as I say, the real fight is being fought elsewhere. You guys just don't realize it – yet.
And I really don't give the proverbial rat's ass if the kind of people who read your Blogs have a laugh at what they think is my expense. If I cared about what you and your internet buddies think "

We should not be fooled by the Acquired Infantile Debility Syndrome displayed in all the writings of this great HIV=AIDS communicator into thinking that it's just empty posturing. Moore (or his masters) really doesn't care about what we think, or the all too easy laughs we're having at his expense.
The Padian Post is an obvious case in point. It's directed at that 99,5 % of the population who may have half-heard that 'there's something controversial going on about a certain Padian and sexual transmission of HIV', but who's otherwise not inclined or equipped to undertake a major critical investigation of the whole discussion.
If we understand this simple fact, we also understand that the Padian Post, laughable as it may be contents-wise, is a classic and carefully thought out, utterly effective piece of info-ganda, first and foremost meant to counter Celia Farber and a couple others. ('sometimes we do pick up some useful information from there that helps us counter more influential AIDS denialists in areas where WE think it matters ' (trust, me the Blogsphere is not where the real fight is being played out'))

The Padian Post starts with the usual mantra, ' HIV is unquestionably transmitted through heterosexual intercourse etc.' This is not merely, as some have suggested, a question of repeating the lie until it's accepted (even by the one who's telling it). The authors understand that,

1. Not everybody has the attention span to read the whole article with close scrutiny, so to favour the casual glance put the conclusion first.

2. Many people will read this just to see if there's 'anything to the strange rumour'. They will be happy to be immediately told the main conclusion remains the same so they don't have to strain their intellectual/critical faculties any further.

3. Those inquiring but unsuspecting minds that do read on will know from the beginning that the question is settled, and that they should weigh everything that's presented to them in the article accordingly, i.e direct their critical faculties and lurking suspicions towards those who are making any other claim.

Next step is the equally simple, equally effective ploy of calling in the apparent 'victim', according to AIDStruth's ever so slightly skewed presentation of the denialist's claims. "Look here she is, praising those who're supposed to have victimized her, and explaining that it's all a misunderstanding -a misunderstood conspiracy theory to be precise."

But before that the point has been hammered home in easily understandable, familiar slogans;

Paragraph 1: obscure numbers, 'a man or a woman can become HIV-positive after just one sexual contact', Something about a LOT of studies.

Paragaph 2: 'The evidence for the sexual transmission of HIV is well documented, conclusive, and based on the standard, uncontroversial methods and practices of medical science'. those who say otherwise are 'ill-informed, irresponsible' etc.

Paragraph 3, 4. delivers the message, plus adds one about (scientific) integrity, to the elite group of people who're engaged enough to have gotten this far with their attention intact, and so may be thought to actually be considering 'taking the trouble to read and understand the paper.'

Concluding paragraph: There was nothing to any of this, especially not the censure or suppression part. All is harmony, understanding, reliability and business as usual. . .

. . . Followed by a laundry list longer than the article itself to impress upon us the indisputable authority of 'more than 20 years of solid science'.

The truth is this is a BRILLANT piece of info-ganda.

I think in light of Moore's own words here, what should concern us is not the ease with which any informed observer can chew up a transparent pseudo-article like the Padian Post, and can continue to do so with everything they throw us to Doomsday. You must know as well as I that to the big fish, the 99.5% of the population which is AIDStruth's real target group, with a presentation like that it doesn't matter much there's no beef in the burger.
The present question is, does the insurgency have anything to match the discipline and unified strategy of Aids Inc.?

Mark Biernbaum

Thank you, Claus. Thank you.

HankBarnes

Hey Boys!

Padian does seem to stir it up a bit.

Claus:

Good analysis, but a little too broad.

I'm focusing just on the Padian paper. The Padian data is the data. Her tortured estimations are subject to different interpretations. The implications of the data are subject to interpretation.

But, the undeniable, underlying fact supporting all these competing interpretations is that she found "no seroconversions"

Hank

lawstud6

Hank:
IF you still have your ears on, I have had a few cases which required epidemiologist's testimony to sustain the burden of proof and I am struck with the license some of them take with their assumptions. Padian seems to actually rely on data (read "facts") to support her conclusions. It is getting so easy to argue that HIV does not cause AIDS and that AIDS is not a real disease.

Galileo had similar problems in his time and time will tell.

Lawstud out!

Claus

The point exactly. You've summed it up perfectly already: Padian study no seroconversions, period. And you've achieved a lot with that judging by the fact that it's now up on their site. But I'll go aong with MB this far, how long can we continue to focus 'just on the study' while the forest is growing around us without risking detracting from that initial perfect score?

Claus

The forest being not merely other studies, but counters on many different levels (see Moore again)

George

Mark,

I do not think that anyone writing to this post (other than youself) has made the claim that 1/1000, or 10,000 or 300 means it is necessary to have sexual relations those many times in order to seroconvert, only that to get the probablity of seroconversion close to 1.0 those number of contacts would be required.

Your continued insistence on attributing those and other words and interpretations to Hank and Mr. Davis and myself seems like the games the establishment blog point men and women play, and as Claus has pointed out with several tongues in several cheeks simultaneously *they* are much better at them than *we* are. And also keep in mind, as again Claus has reminded us, that the defenders of the faith who post on their pitiful websites are never going to be convinced of anything new. It is the vast majority of what used to be called the silent majority that have to have some light shown in their directions. And it is in this most important of activities that the few websites and blogs that are under insurgent control can be useful, but *not* by debating (sic) the pitifuls (they have already each and every one of them been destroyed in their own words, as can be seen in the "bllog insurgency books" compiled by Bialy and available at the AIDS WIKI page devoted to him where many, many thousands have downloaded them), but by doing exactly what Hank has been doing recently to such excellent effect -- namely continuing to show them for the poseurs and religious zealots that they are. And make no mistake, the past months have witnessed a significant increase in the number of ordinary guys and gals who are no longer eating the beefless burger with quite the relish they did just a short while ago.

Rebecca Culshaw

I fail to see how the Padian post at AIDSTruth.org has "showed us up". My reading of it is that it's exactly what Claus says it is - a brilliant piece of "info-ganda" (love that word) designed to effectively dismiss the issue from public discourse. But like much of what the establishment says on this and related topics, the post is full of the typical obfuscations, assumptions, and mantras ("hiv is unquestionably sexually transmitted") that must be continually repeated because otherwise, the actual evidence might lull an observer into forgetting what the mantra says.

However, I sense a great deal of confusion regarding what "we" are interpreting the Padian study to actually say. It is quite clear to readers of this blog that we interpret Padian (and many other studies showing similar odds ratios to 1/1000 *or even less*) to tell us that there is no way such a low infectivity can possibly be responsible for the raging hiv sex-plague that we are told is occurring. This is a clear and correct interpretation, and the point is, *Padian is not the only study showing low infectivity*!! Furthermore, the best African studies show the exact same odds ratios - effectively destroying the notion that Africa can possibly be in the midst of a deadly heterosexually propagated sex plague. Period, case closed.

Now, there is another way that some people interpret Padian, and that is to say that "no seroconversions => hiv cannot be sexually transmitted". This interpretation is just silly, because there is no way that we can *prove* with however many examples that hiv is just plain not sexually transmitted, any more than one could prove that it IS using a bunch of examples (post hoc, ergo propter hoc). And this interpretation is where things get sticky, because it seems pretty obvious that some people (I don't think you, Hank, btw) are using the study to attempt to support this conclusion.

So, we need to be pretty clear about exactly what it is we are trying to say. There are enough people out there who won't be able to read through the subtleties and will - either wilfully or not - misinterpret what we say to make us look "unscientific".

Dan

I think we all understand that those numbers (1/1000 and 1/10,000) don't mean that a person will be able to have 999 unprotected sexual contacts with "HIV-infected" individuals and not become "infected". And then, of course no. 1000 will be when "HIV" is transmitted.

I think a shorthand explanation of sorts has been getting used with these numbers. Maybe that's misleading.

George

I think it is necessary to make it clear that the three posts immediately above from myself, Dr. Culshaw and Dan are all in reference to now deleted comments by Mark Biernbaum, that contained among other things the points to which we make reference and the quotation that Dr. Culshaw responds to when she writes: "I fail to see how the Padian post at AIDSTruth.org has "showed us up"."

Trent

It really is remarkable to me that Padian did not find one research subject who contracted HIV thru sex with HIV+ individuals.

Can you imagine how she'd been spinning it if 80% got infected? or 50%? or even 20%?

Padian could be an outlier, but are there other epidemiological studies that show higher rates of transmission?

- Trent

Chris

Hank,

This is the first time I am posting to your site. I have followed it with great interest. I have made a few comments on NAR before. I was just reading the current issue of U.S. News and World Report and stumbled upon an article so vapid that I thought it would provoke your interest...perhaps also a tad bit o' scorn. On page 66 is a little piece titled, "The Sound and Fury of HIV." Now, I will state up front that I work for an HIV/AIDS resource center, and further loudly proclaim to be a complete and unabashed cynic. I question HIV loudly. It certainly drives the people at the testing clinic next door nutts. And, pharma reps are warry to enter our doors. Anyway...the little piece is written by Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH. This tripe is little more than an ode' to Bob. It contains such nuggets as "Robert Gallo had just nailed down the virus that causes AIDS." and "Robert Gallo proved that HIV was the malignant seed at the heart of AIDS." And, one of my favorite...she completely makes light of the Gallo/Montaigner affair..."Gallo had always aknowledged the Pasteur virus as the same or similar to his own..." I could go on, there are some other gems in there but I'll let you read and opine. The reason I find this interesting is that it is so obviously fluff. Why? Why the need for a pro-Bob piece in US News? One that is specifically aknowledging more of the politics, yet equally vacant in terms of actual substance. It might be something you could comment on. Love the site and keep up the good work.

Chris
"I firmly believe that if the whole 'materia medica' could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes." Oliver Wendell Holmes

LS

Oy and Gevalt!

Yes, we witness a brand of denialism rarely seen outside of the palaces of egyptian princesses.

Sorry, that's de-nile-ism.

But to break up the party, I'd like to play hall monitor and point to what I think is becoming a problem in the world of the rethinkers.

Padian's data certainly indicate that if there were a test that recorded the presence or passing of a particular particle, call it what you will, than that particle would be harder to acquire than a lifetime membership to the Playboy Mansion would be for, oh, let's say...Anita Bryant (in her heyday).

But, ladies and germs - it doesn't.

It doesn't indicate that anything had passed, or was present because, as we all know and record, over and over again ---->

There is no such thing as a test for HIV. (That's a period following the sentence, and it should be read aloud).

Padian is a confounding study for the mainstream, and so it serves to be devicive in wrenching the carrion-eaters from their tree branches for a few moments... but I think that it misses the point, or reinforces an unreality... namely that there's any particular thing being tested for in any of the millions who are now subjected to this bizarre eugenics lottery.

In short (although I think that time has passed), I declare that we need to be unified in our logic and in our position. We understand that there is no such thing as an HIV test.

The materia medica is graffitied with the frustrated markings of those who have asked 'why are these tests such garbage!?' without realizing the profound import of the question...

The test instructions and inserts tell the story, over and over again - they are neither virologic, nor specific for any particular reaction, nor standardized - and they're not even necessary, according to the manufacturers. They are used to shoehorn on the diagnosis - AIDS - but AIDS is diagnosed clinically, or according to CDC/WHO voodoo (black, gay, poor, african - get in line! The rest of you can go home).

The tests are reverse validated by the clinicians assesment that the test should be meaningful. A low-reactive response will be re-tested in triplicate, where the clinician decides that 'this one is really black... I mean.. at risk! So that negative, well, must be a false-negative.'

We know this, because we've all read it, written about it, or seen it in action.

I would really like it if there were some uniformity in presentation among the rethinkers. In the end, re-iterating Padian is good for a laugh - but it misses the bigger question:

What is this thing we're doing to everybody in the world who is black, poor, drug-abusing, or gay enough to qualify for this reverse-engineered AIDS then HIV positive labeling system?

Because it looks a lot like a kind of colonialism, a kind of eugenics, a kind of population control - a kind of culling, to me.

Thoughts?

Dan

I agree with the eugenics factor.

Actually, it reminds me of those nature shows. The ones where there will be a large herd of zebras grazing and a cheetah will start chasing one. Almost immediately, the ones that aren't being chased will calmly go back to eating grass, realizing it's NOT THEM who are being chased and eaten.

None of the caucasian heterosexual people I know sees themselves "at risk". Talking with them, I find out the thing they're concerned about sex-wise, is unwanted pregnancy. "AIDS" is for "others" (gays, blacks, hispanics, people in other countries, but not THEM).

"AIDS" stays in "risk groups" because that's mainly how it's "diagnosed".

George

LS

I agree with everything you wrote, and wrote very well too even I say so myself.

The problem, as you well know, and has been so well illustrated in this thread, is that the expression "different strokes for different folks" is all too pervasively true -- maybe it's OMG genetic -- and the crucial points you raise appear to be too subtle for some (including myself at times) to keep in focus for more than a moment or three.

Let me reiterate therefore what I take to be a reasonable summation of your position.

There is no such thing as HIV/AIDS science. There is only HIV/AIDS politics. The political realities are genocidal, racist, and neo-colonialist in their ramifications and possibly at their cores.

Gene Semon

I've just come across this sparkling thread and my first response is to thank Hank for starting it and second Rebecca's post.

Given Peter Duesberg's definiton of isolation of HIVs (and it is important here to take note of the plural) and the extensive Perth Group exposition of the specificity problem in using "seroconversions" as surrogates for HIV transmission-incidence, there is no real evidence one way or the other (based on proviral detection) for sexual, MTCT, saliva (once claimed by Gallo et al!) or any other type of horizontal transmissions. A lot of educated and not-so educated guessing. At best, we have evidence of ancient germ-line "infections" and subsequent "re-infections" via the study of HERVs, which is another confounder when trying to detect HIVs.

HankBarnes

Chris,

Welcome! We love unabashed cynics;)

LS,

Great points. Tend to agree with most of them. Maybe I should start all Padian discussions with assuming HIV "positive" means anything ...Padian found "no seroconversions."

Gene,

Aren't you fatigued yet from that 500 comment thread at Tara's?:)

E-mail me at Hankbarnes@hotmail.com -- I wanna chat with you.

Barnes

Rebecca Culshaw

Yes, there is no such thing as an hiv-specific test. Furthermore, as Giraldo and Kremer have pointed out, we're all "hiv+" to a greater or lesser degree (show me any other antibody test that requires anywhere NEAR a 400-fold dilution (ELISA) or even 50-fold (WB)).

However... as George pointed out (different strokes for different folks), not everyone will be responsive to this argument without further information. This is where the discussion of the implications of Padian and other studies is useful.

And I do really think that it is important that we remember that in terms of the odds-ratio calculated, Padian is NOT an outlier. (I can provide references if anyone wants them.) The Uganda study Stephen Davis cites, as well as other studies conducted in Africa and elsewhere, only cement the inescapable conclusion: "hiv+" is extremely inefficiently transmitted sexually, if at all, REGARDLESS OF WHERE IN THE WORLD ONE LIVES.

This is really important, because most people believe the figure given by the establishment, which is that 70-80% of 38 million people worldwide are "infected with hiv" via "heterosexual transmission". Pointing out that transmission rates in Africa are EXACTLY the same as in the developed world completely kills everything they've been saying for years. The establishment has put themselves in an impossible position with this claim, for their own data exposes this claim as ludicrous.

Once people realise that they've been told a pack of racist (and homophobic) lies, they'll be much more receptive to hearing about the flaws in the tests, etc., which as LS points out, is absolutely imperative for people to know because it "puts the final nails in the coffin" of the entire stinking hypothesis.

I still think *some* people need to be shown how THEIR paradigm falls apart under proper interpretation of THEIR data, first, though, before they'll even listen to the rest of it. Just my two cents.

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