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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« HIV Positive, But Not Ill? | Main | More on Merck! »

July 07, 2006


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great interview, hank.

i like the end where she suggests to listen to your inner voice


This is wonderful work. So important to hear the stories from the individuals given the diagnosis, and to hear the complex reality beneath the stifling rubric of AIDS, inc.

Wonderful! Bests to both of you,



Thanks, Liam.

One interesting phenomenom is that the orthodox folks are always yapping about this and that from various ivory towers, but when you actually talk to HIV+ or AIDS patients, they are always much more real, much more cautious, much less effusive about the meds.

There is a total disconnect between the detached "experts" and the actual patients -- even the ones that still buy the HIV=>AIDS paradigm.



Now that last comment is a Patton of a tank, Hank.

After observing the HIV/AIDS debacle from its inception, this is the first time I have the actual feeling that people are beginning to open their eyes.

Entrenched hypothesis destruction, like aneuploidy and cancer, follows a sigmoid curve, and after a long time of apparent no change the Humpty Dumpty can very rapidly come tumbling down.

Richard Jefferys

"About the anti-virals, to take or not to take them is a personal decision."

Noreen, do you think people with HIV should be able to make that decision? Most people in South Africa cannot and D. David Steele (aka Hank Barnes), David Rasnick, Peter Duesberg, Harvey Bialy, et al have all actively encouraged the South African government to keep things that way.

Unless I am mistaken, my understanding from the Harper's article is that they'd also like to see ARVs taken off the market here (Duesberg apparently thinks they cause 75% of AIDS cases; to see how well Duesberg's prediction jibes with reality look out for the publication of the SMART study in the Lancet, it was a >5,000 person randomized controlled study of interrupting ARV treatment).

Do you also think ARVS shouldn't be available?


Hey everybody, John Moore's faithful flunky, Richard has arrived!!!!

Will we soon be graced with the presence of Sir John?

Please re-read the Noreen's interview. She writes:

"I think that these medications as with any medicines should only be used when absolutely necessary, to be used as a crutch to help with the healing process. My belief is that one cannot be medicated or vaccinated into health."

Don't you agree with this, Rich?


Richard Jefferys

David, you can't use a medicine that isn't available to you, even if it is "absolutely necessary." Did I mistake your position? Do you think people in South Africa should have ARVs available so that they can use them when they feel it is necessary?

Here is your statement to the "South African Science Panel" in which you state: "The most logical explanation for the AIDS phenomenom is that prolific drug use (cocaine, heroin, amyl nitrates, amphetamines, etc.) wrecks your immune system."

I notice you didn't ask Noreen about her recreational drug use.

noreen martin

Ok everybody,let's not beat up on Richard as he is entitled to his opinion even if we don't agree with him. In regards to the meds, I do see where in some cases that they can be helpful. I am one. I was basically one of the few death, bed cases who got up and recovered in a short period of time. However, as I stated, I believe that this was due to a combination of many things.

If someone is dying, and death is immient, then these drugs won't really hurt and might help. Nevertheless, each case has to be assessed on an individual basis.

In regards to giving a choice or giving them to sick and dying people in Africa, I do not believe that these pills will be a magic bullet for them because they have too many other health issues/ environmental issues, living conditions, etc. which has stacked the deck against them. These types of issues should be addressed long before more damage and harm in inflicted to these peoples' immune systems. I hope that this clarifies my beliefs.

noreen martin

In regards to my recreational use, I have never done drugs, hell, I didn't need too as my physicians had me on enough for various reasons. However, I will admit to a little red wine now and then.

Dean Esmay

Can we get a tracking study, please, on the people who refuse the ARVs? There are an awful lot of them nowadays. Surely someone must be interested in looking at them.

David Crowe

I also have an article written by Noreen at

Situations like hers are going to become more common as HIV testing spreads like a cancer. This year I have been contacted by 3 men with recent HIV diagnoses. All heterosexual, none of them ever used drugs or had a blood transfusion, all are in relatively good health, although two had stubborn infections that they couldn't quite get rid of. None of them are taking AIDS drugs. Two of the three of them have worked with a natural health practitioner, and they are now in better health than me. One of them's in a major athletic event this weekend, his second this year. The other has a wife who's jealous because he lost more weight than her on their new diet and holistic health routine.

One of them discovered dissident AIDS information within 48 hours of his diagnosis, and was on the phone with me shortly after that.

This is one of the most rewarding parts of being involved in HIV/AIDS, actually seeing the difference it makes when people have a wide variety of information and, without any pressure, seeing them make up their own minds. With truly informed consent I think that few people would take AIDS drugs.

Harold Lloyd - Thespian

I have a couple of questions for folks.


What do you believe happened that caused you to be diagnosed with AIDS?? You mention no rec drug use. I am assuming you were not ‘promiscuous’... please forgive that question… I am just curious. I am really just trying to figure this whole thing out.


Jury is still out with me on the ARV Drugs. I am not sure what effects those are having today.

BUT... I have done quite a bit of research on the AZT thing... and yeah... I believe that AZT killed 300,000 mostly gay men in the late 80's to mid 90's… some of them very close friends of mine. Why on earth would somebody suggest that someone take AZT (A CANCER CHEMO DRUG) to help an immune deficiency??? I have read Davis’ book and heard some of his interviews. I think he is talking some major truth.

Do you think it was a good idea to prescribe AZT to these folks???


Are there any questions you would have asked Noreen in retrospect??


Hear hear!

Best regards –
Harold Lloyd - Thespian

“In God we trust… all others must bring data.”

Richard Jefferys

Dean, there are many people with HIV in the world with no access to ARVs, here are some studies addressing what happens in those situations.

Natl Med J India. 2003 May-Jun;16(3):126-31.

The natural history of human immunodeficiency virus infection among adults in Mumbai.

Hira SK, Shroff HJ, Lanjewar DN, Dholkia YN, Bhatia VP, Dupont HL.

AIDS Research and Control Centre (ARCON), Sir J.J. Hospital, Mumbai 400008, Maharashtra, India.

BACKGROUND: Natural history studies of untreated HIV infection are useful for clinicians, public health experts and policymakers to improve and monitor care, plan services and control, and to model the epidemic. Several natural history studies on homosexual men and intravenous drug users have been published from developed countries. A few studies have emerged on heterosexual populations from Africa. With an emerging epidemic, a similar study was required in India. This study was designed to determine the progression of HIV disease in a prevalent cohort of adult HIV-seropositive patients. METHODS: A prevalent cohort of 1009 patients comprising 488 asymptomatic HIV-seropositive persons, 259 with AIDS-related complex (ARC), and 262 with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were recruited for the study at Sir J.J. Hospital, Mumbai. A case-control study was conducted to determine the correlation of clinical features and other factors with disease progression. Disease progression was determined from the asymptomatic stage to that of ARC and AIDS using time series analysis. The incubation period from HIV to AIDS was also determined, using Weibull curves. RESULTS: The median incubation periods for progression were: HIV to AIDS-7.9 years and ARC to AIDS--1.9 years. The median survival after developing AIDS was 19.2 months. A comparison of progressors and non-progressors revealed that disease progression correlated with clinical features such as chronic fever (OR 5.6), persistent generalized lymphadenopathy (OR 4.7), persistent cough for >1 month (OR 3.5), chronic diarrhoea (OR 3.3), oral candidiasis (OR 3.2), >10% loss of body weight within 1 month (OR 2.9), incident tuberculosis (OR 2.8) and herpes zoster (OR 2.5). The annual incidence of active clinical tuberculosis was 86/1503 person-years (5.7/ 100 person-years), the median time to occurrence of active tuberculosis was 21.6 months and the annual incidence of mortality was 96/2009 person-years (4.8/100 person-years, 95% CI 3.4, 6.2). CONCLUSION: Progression to AIDS and death was faster among the heterosexual cohort in Mumbai than that reported for homosexual men and haemophiliacs in the USA and Europe. Strategies need to be developed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis among HIV-infected patients because that would help to reduce the morbidity and mortality. This is the first large study from the Indian subcontinent of a longitudinal follow up of HIV-infected persons. The findings will be useful for advocacy and assessing the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in India.

Postgrad Med J. 2001 Dec;77(914):769-73.

Clinical presentation, natural history, and cumulative death rates of 230 adults with primary cryptococcal meningitis in Zambian AIDS patients treated under local conditions.

Mwaba P, Mwansa J, Chintu C, Pobee J, Scarborough M, Portsmouth S, Zumla A.

Department of Medicine and the UNZA-UCLMS Project, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.

SETTING: Inpatient medical wards, Department of Medicine, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. OBJECTIVE: To define the natural history, clinical presentation, and management outcome of microbiologically confirmed cryptococcal meningitis in adult AIDS patients treated under local conditions where antifungal and antiretroviral therapies are not routinely available. DESIGN: A descriptive, longitudinal, observational study. METHODS: All adult patients admitted to the medical wards of the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia with cerebrospinal fluid culture proved, primary cryptococcal meningitis, during a 12 month period were enrolled into the study. The following details were acquired: clinical features, HIV status, laboratory data, treatment accorded, and survival. RESULTS: A total of 230 patients with primary cryptococcal meningitis were studied (median age 32 years; range 15-65 years; 112 males, 118 females). Cryptococcal meningitis was the first AIDS defining illness in 210 (91%) patients. One hundred and thirty of the 230 (56%) patients had received treatment with fluconazole monotherapy and 100 (43%) patients received palliative care only without any antifungal therapy. A 100% case fatality rate was observed in both groups at follow up: by seven weeks in the untreated group and at six months in the fluconazole treated group. The cumulative median survival from time of diagnosis was 19 days (range 1-164 days) for the fluconazole treated group and 10 days (range 0-42 days) for the untreated group. CONCLUSION: Cryptococcal meningitis, under current treatment accorded at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, has a 100% mortality in young Zambian adults with AIDS. The current treatment accorded to Zambian adults with cryptococcal meningitis is inappropriate. An urgent need exists to improve strategies for the clinical management of AIDS patients in poor African countries. The wider ethical and operational issues of making available antifungals to African AIDS patients are discussed.

MedGenMed. 2005 Aug 30;7(3):66.

Disease progression among untreated HIV-infected patients in South Ethiopia: implications for patient care.

Jerene D, Lindtjorn B.

Arba Minch Hospital, Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

CONTEXT: The natural course of HIV disease progression among resource-poor patient populations has not been clearly defined. OBJECTIVE: To describe predictors of HIV disease progression as seen at an outpatient clinic in a resource-limited setting in rural Ethiopia. DESIGN: This prospective cohort study included all adult HIV patients who visited an outpatient clinic at Arba Minch hospital in South Ethiopia between January 30, 2003 and April 1, 2004. Clinical and hematologic measurements were done at baseline and every 12 weeks thereafter until the patient was transferred, put on antiretroviral therapy, was lost to follow-up, or died. Community agents reported patient status every month. SETTING: A district hospital with basic facilities for HIV testing and patient monitoring. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Death, diagnosis of tuberculosis, and change in disease stage. RESULTS: We followed 207 patients for a median duration of 19 weeks (range, 0-60 weeks). A total of 132 (64%) of them were in WHO stage III. The overall mortality rate was 46 per 100 person-years of observation (PYO). Mortality increased with advancing disease stage. Diarrhea, oral thrush, and low total lymphocyte count were significant markers of mortality. The incidence of tuberculosis was 9.9 per 100 PYO. Baseline history of easy fatigability and fever were strongly associated with subsequent development of tuberculosis. CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate and the incidence of tuberculosis in our cohort are among the highest ever reported in sub-Saharan Africa. We identified oral thrush, diarrhea, and total lymphocyte count as predictors of mortality, and easy fatigability and fever as predictors of tuberculosis. The findings have practical implications for patient care in resource-limited settings.


Hello All.
As far as whether a drug should be available or not, personally, I believe all drugs, including recreational drugs should be legal and available for all whom choose to use them.

As for legal drugs, including ARV drugs, I believe they too should all be legal, and allowed to stand on their own attributes, or fall due to those very same attributes.

I also believe that every individual has the God Given right to do with their own body as they please, and to put into their own body anything they so choose, including rat poison or any other deadly toxic poison. The consequences are on the individual.

Not that I personally ingest illegal drugs, as I do not. Not that I personally would take ARV drugs, as I certainly would not. However, it is not the legality or illegality of pharmaceutical drugs or even recreational drugs such as cocaine and heroin and crystal methamphetamine that keeps anyone using or not using these drugs. Although It is peer and societal attitudes and beliefs that influence ones choice to use or not use drugs of any type, it is each individuals conscious and independant decision that brings them to using or not using them. Even if the choice was to allow someone else to make the choice for them.

They cannot credit or blame it on anyone other than their own individual choice.

The rest of us are not obligated to give others advice, but we nonetheless do, as a part of human nature, tell others what we think. All too often, even when not asked, we also tell them what we believe they should or should not do. Therefore, we are all morally but not financially responsible for our influence on others. I think we all do, however, give the best advice that we individually believe is founded in either our own best interest, and/or in our own experiential perception of truth.

Nonetheless, every individual is ultimately responsible for whatever final decision they themselves make, to use or not use any drug, and they cannot really hold others whom informed them of their own beliefs to be accountable for their choice, even if it was founded in false beliefs.

I do however, think that ALL those responsible for the manufacture and sale, as well as those whom profit in any way shape or form from the sale of any drug, legal or illegal, are directly responsible for the results of those whom they encourage to ingest any particular drug. These people and corporations should and must be held fully financially accountable for the results as well.

Personally, I think it is criminal that Glaxo/burroughs/welcome/smith/kline and anyone involved with selling AZT has not been held responsible for the obvious AZT related deaths. I think it is criminal that the current makers of HAART and ARV treatments are not forced to pay for every side effect and/or death due to the use of these drugs. I don't know that he does, but even if Mr. Jefferys makes his living in any way shape or form, from the manufacture or sale of any of these drugs, then I think he is also completely accountable to all whom have any side effects whatsoever from the use of these drugs.

I do think it will again be individual and societal attitudes toward HIV drugs that will cause them to be held onto, or discarded eventually by the evolving societal consciousness as to whether these drugs do more harm than good. Even though all of us suffer for the errors of our and others thinking, it is the unfortunate price that we human beings as individuals, and as a society, must pay as we do not know anything for a truth or a falsehood, we only have our individual beliefs that we believe to be true. Everything that mankind can think of trying to do, we will try to do and look back upon it after the fact to determine its beneficial or harmful effects. As history has shown us, mankind has followed many a false belief and followed many a leader whom did not have integrity over and over and over again. We are all easily misled and deceived even by our own beliefs, as well as those of what we consider our "authorities" to be. Millions upon millions have lost their lives following false beliefs and non-integrous leaders since the earliest days of mankind.

In Noreen's case, she can only accurately state that she "believed" the drugs may have helped at a certain point in her life, as that is the route she took. Had she not taken the ARV route, she may very well say the opposite. It is impossible to "know for a fact" if the ARV drugs helped her or not, as once a person has chosen or allowed someone else, such as a doctor, to chose a path for them, all other possible paths and outcomes are thereby nulled and voided as even a possibility in the realm of the given reality. All other outcomes become only a mere speculation. It is impossible to know for any type of ultimate fact if ARV drugs helped her or not, as she had even begun the chelation thing prior, and in her own words "If I had not taken upon myself to get educated in a hurry and start to change bad habits and incorporate new, better ones, I personally feel that I wouldn’t have recovered so fast, if at all.". Obviously she had also become more aware of health issues, and had already begun making various changes in her life even prior to ingesting any HAART or ARV's.

Having taken the HAART/ARV drugs she had taken, does not prove nor disprove that they had any beneficial effect whatsoever.
She certainly has more evidence of deleterious side effects from them than she has of beneficial health improving effects. Had she taken a different route that ended also with her regaining her health, meaning, had she made the same dietary and life changes and had she also not done ARV's, the outcome might be a very different story, impossible to surmise for the rest of us.

One possibility of many is that she may have died without them, the other possibility, that she may have achieved shining health even sooner. It is impossible for anyone to do anything but speculate. The majority of her earliest symptoms are identical to the symptoms of systemic fungal yeast infection, ie nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, hair loss, loss of short-term memory, thrush, low platelets and other blood anomalies, anemia, mood disorder, wheezing, heavy, labored breathing and more.. ( see ) Yeast infection seems to have much in common with what almost all doctors consider evidence of HIV infection. Far and few between are the doctors whom even investigate this. It may be possible that the ARV’s had some effect on that, or it could be some other antifungal such as whatever she was given for the thrush (a fungal) that is what turned the tide for her. It could just as easily have been the answer to her prayers come from above. None of us, including Noreen, will ever know.

Michael Geiger

Richard, If you would Please, what is your answer to Harolds question? Do you think it was a good idea to prescribe 1500 mg per day of AZT to these folks in the mid 80's to mid 90s???

Hank Barnes

Hey folks,

Just returned from boring-ass, middle-class, middle-aged heterosexuals at boring-ass cocktail party. Would have much rather been here with you.

As for Richard, well, he's a paid AIDS activist. His entire life, religion, culture is wrapped up in AIDS inc. His sole mission is to pimp drugs on behalf of pharmaceutical companies who view people like Noreen as CUSTOMERS, not patients.

Doesn't mean his view is wrong -- just note his agenda.

Also, Rich, answer the question Harold Lloyd --Thespian posed to you about AZT.

If you don't, you are hereby banned.

Noreen, You are a great, courageous lady. Here's to your continued good health!

La Chaim, Folks!


Harold Lloyd - Thespian


Haha!!! One could only imagine that hanging with a bunch of middle-class and middle-aged homosexuals certainly would have been more fabulous (I can say that cuz I iz one)... sometimes "we gotta do what we gotta do".

I suppose on that same note... "we gotta do what we gotta do"... you have provided some interesting info about our friend (and I use the term loosely) Rich. I suppose what needs to be remembered is that there are those who have to support (even through propaganda) the hand that feeds them. Certainly one should/could never bite that hand.

My guess is that Rich is just another "straight guy in a suit" (not that there is anything wrong with that) to subscribe to such behavior. Lord knows there is a place for these folks too… albeit Jiminy Cricket’s words should be noted… “Let your conscience be your guide.” Some folks just don’t have it in ‘em… lest we not forget the world’s oldest profession.

I am awaiting the response to my question posed to Rich with bated breath!!!

Best regards –
Harold Lloyd - Thespian
“In God we trust… all others must bring data.”

Dean Esmay

Richard: Well thank you, but none of those will do. It's quite easy to take people who are poor, malnourished, living in unsanitary conditions, and make them look like they have AIDS. Especially because so many of those studies are based on the tautological definition of AIDS to begin with. Not to mention the shocking evidence of widespread and gross scientific misconduct in AIDS studies in third world countries.

No, I asked for a long-term tracking study on people like Noreen who REFUSE the ARVs. This would assume well-fed, relatively well off first world people who clearly have the option and say "no thank you."

You might also do me a favor while you're at it, and since we're now admitting that maybe 1% of those infected with HIV will never get AIDS, what exactly is that number based on? I'm dying to know, and I'm sure it's easily explained to a reasonable person.

Dean Esmay

George: Exponential growth is something, isn't it? Most people don't appreciate it. Even people who do often miss it. I recently left this as a comment on a completely different subject on my own blog, but it's entirely apt here:

Here's another thing to keep in mind about exponential growth: it tends not to be obvious what's happening until one day it just sort of bursts onto the scene.

Let's say you have a huge pond, maybe about a mile across and wide, beautiful clear water. And you plant a little 1 inch square of algae that floats on the surface into that lake. And this is special algae that grows at an exponential rate. Let's say something modest: 10% per day.

Day 1: 1 inch
Day 2: 1.1 inch
Day 3: 1.21 inches

After a week of this you get bored and stop paying attention. You come back in a month and check it again and it's a bit over 16 square inches. Impressive? Not very.

I leave it to you to calculate what the pond will look like in six months.

Now once you run that calculation, ponder for me: at what point does the moss in the lake start to become noticeable to the casual observer? My guess: right around 10 weeks people will start to notice something's changing in the lake. By the end of the next 10 weeks... well, you tell me.

The thing is that on the HIV debate, the establishmentarians like Richard (who basically seems a decent fellow I might add) have been used to being able to control the gatekeepers of information. They controlled the few peer reviewed journals that concentrated on this subject, and managed to bully, cajole, or scare reporters at major news venues to stay carefully with their party line.

They can't do that anymore.

The more blogs that are out there which talk about their skepticism of the establishment, without fear, the more the meme contagion spreads. As time goes on the entire effort to paint anyone who's skeptical of the party line as nutjobs and psychotics and political extremists and racists and homophobes and conspiracy theorists starts to fall apart.

It may start on one blog, but the more different blogs write about it, the more difficult a time the establishment has in keeping a lid on it, and the less possible it becomes to bully people into silence and submission.

This is something I've been saying to fellow HIV skeptics for two years almost. I've tried explaining it over and over to Harvey Bialy but he keeps not getting it either. When it's on my blog, people can concentrate on attacking me. When it's on two blogs, now they have to aim their fire on two people. When it's on four blogs, they have to silence four. When it's on 8 blogs... then 16... then 32....

Eventually the voices can no longer be silenced.

One thing that is badly needed here is an internet button campaign. Like a special ribbon, maybe a red ribbon shaped into a question mark, with the words, "I question whether everything we've been told on HIV is the truth."

Get hundreds of bloggers to put that on their pages, and watch the results.

But we need an artist. And maybe a few more resources.

noreen martin

A lot of great comments on the site. To answer the question put to me, I was true blue as they say. Yes, we will never know why I got well, being so sick. I can only summize that the good Lord still had a purpose for me (I like to think to help with this cause).

I was on anti-fungal medicine over a month before being placed on the anti-virals. At that time the fungus was under control.

Does any one know anything about 600 HIV women in India who were treated without drugs, a change of diet only, by the Salvation Army. I believe that this bears looking into.

We do need some type of data base to scientifically evaluated those of use who do not take the drugs and our progress. Strange, no data seems to be available on this particular disease. Any qualified takers?

Mark Biernbaum

Let's clear two things up:
1. The South African government doesn't deny people ARVs -- their policy is to give these drugs to those who are evidencing opportunistic infection. So Richard's critique of their policy is crap -- they just don't want to "hit hard, hit early," that's all.
2. The SMART study that Richard mentions has already been discredited within the AIDS establishment. My doc, a member of the American Academcy of HIV Medicine, told me personally that is was plagued by tremendous methodological flaws and that he still recommends that NO ONE take ARVs for more than a year without then taking a break.

Mark Biernbaum

Oh, and one more thing. At the clinic my doc runs, deaths due to liver failure and cardiac arrest are outpacing deaths due to AIDS. And of course, this is in line with what has recently been reported in Pittsburgh and other cities.


Mr. Esmay,

You analogy is much too over-specified. Paradigm collapse is only metaphorically described as sigmoidal. What actually happens is in the hands of the gods --"Chance & Necessity" as another old friend once put it. But we do live in hope, as they say.

Your button idea is a complete winner however. I would suggest a black version of the Aids ribbon. No artist required.


Mark Birnbaum,

Excellent points! Self-appointed drug reps like Richard J rarely, if ever, mention the side-effects of the drugs they pimp. Liver disease is a serious, life threatening consequence of these toxic drugs.

See, Reisler paper in JAIDS.


Michael Geiger

Richard's studies did not present information on untreated HIV infection. The studies presented untreated tuberculosis, untreated malaria, untreated starvation, untreated toxic environments, untreated poverty, untreated diseases of every sort, that supposedly tested positive for HIV. We don't even know how they diagnosed HIV in these rural areas. We do know that rural areas are seldom given anything more than a basic elisa test, which is known to blow off false positive for dozens of non HIV causes. We also know that many are diagnosed as HIV with no test whatsoever. We also know that even the most modern HIV "rapid test" is highly suspect, and we know clinics in New York, LA, and San Francisco have stopped using them. Check out the following news report from 6 months ago. Check out the video too, it was the actual newscast here in San Diego.

By the way, the Orasure company is still pushing intensely to have this flakey test put into widespread use. It was used last week in Washington DC on "National HIV Testing Day" in a major push to get the test in the eyes of the lawmakers in Washington. They are still trying to get it sold "over the counter".

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