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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« Way to Go, Thabo ! | Main | The Fallible Words of Pope David I »

August 19, 2006


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noreen martin

Unbelievable that more people were involved in the planning committee than who actually had Aids last year in Canada. Kinda like a super cruise line where each passenger gets their own steward but in this case what were they passing out, the same old retoric?

As one of the bloggers stated earlier, they are moving on to greener fields to exploit.

Pharma Bawd

What is it with you and Padian Hank?

Why do you have to misrepresent the woman's every word?

She was talking about the "HIV Science and Responsible Journalism" session, not the entire conference.

" Among many messages that arose out of the conference, which was attended by over 21,000 health professionals, was that women are increasingly becoming the new face of HIV/AIDS. The number of women with the disease now equals that of men."

25 million dead since 1981 Hank,
That's practically an entire Canada.


Hey, its Pharma Ditz to the rescue!

What part of "no seroconversions" (Padian, pg 354) is difficult for you to understand?

Also, what part of 272 AIDS cases in Canada is difficult for you to understand?

Cheers, Hank

Pharma Bawd

That's perfect Hank! Now everybody can see your distortions side by side.

For anyone reading this just look at how Hank distorted Dr. Nancy Padian's words and basically told a lie about how many people there were at the International AIDS Conference. He does the same thing with Padian's published work.

Silly Hank!

Hey, you're not gonna delete my comments like you did with McKeirnan are you?

Celia Farber

Can any of the mathematicians help us address this clobbering, often cited, never referenced figure of 25 million dead since 1981?

From what nations? Who is counting and how and based on what standards? Since 1981? That's almost four years prior to the launch of the first HIV antibody test.


Pharma Bawd

Hang on Celia,

Before we get sidetracked on the validity of my numbers, can we all agree Hank made a bald-faced lie with his?

Pharma Bawd

Oh well, as long as we’re invoking the mathematicians...

What would they think of Dr. Culshaw’s statement on this blog:
" 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.."

Versus these from Hank?

"The only logical, scientific conclusion from the Padian report is that AIDS is not a sexually transmitted disease."

" My conclusion is that the connection between sex and AIDS has been proven false. Some folks don't like that conclusion. The ostrich crowd has emotionally invested in the wrong paradigm, and are unwilling to change their beliefs, despite the evidence. Not very scientific, mind you.
Myself, I go with the facts. NO SEROCONVERSIONS. You cannot have a sexually transmitted disease, where sexual activity is abundant, yet sexual transmission is non-existent."

And this from the person who first opened her eyes about the "holes" in the HIV/AIDS "paradigm" Dr. David Rasnick:

" In fact, the scientific, medical literature is full of evidence that neither AIDS nor HIV is sexually transmitted. It is only assumed that they are."
sex has nothing to do with AIDS

Because ditzy little me is confused. It looks like Hank uses Padian to say HIV is not a sexually transmitted disease, and Dr. Culshaw said “that interpretation is just silly.”

Who’s right Celia?

Mark Biernbaum

PharmaBawd, where have you been? We've already had this conversation about Padian, and clearly, there are differing interpretations. I've accepted that I don't agree with Hank, exactly -- but really, this is ground that has been very well covered already. I for one am sick of Padian. As if it were the only study having anything to do with all this. I suggest we find a new study to get all feisty over.

noreen martin

In regards to a sexually transmitted disease, why doesn't everyone just do the math. Take this country, for example, why is a sexually transmitted disease not in the sex, race, age group known to have the most STD's nor the section of the country which also has the most? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Also, the majority of Aids cases in the U.S. lopped-sidedly are in the male population? Add the fact that heterosexual couples are having unprotected sex without results. School children could add all of this up and come to a logical conclusion.


Pharma Bawd,

Not too put too fine a point on it, but you appear in need.

How in the world do you interprete this:

"But, the absolutely best part -- the creme de la creme -- the piece de resistance -- comes when old Doc Nancy Padian gets dragged from the audience to make a few meaningless comments. I quote old Nancy Pants:

What really strikes me about this is I'm shocked actually at how few people are here. Now I don't know how well this has been advertised, but to me this is such an essential thing......(Transcript pg 64).

The video then pans on the audience, and, there's maybe 3 or 4 bored guys in the seats. Again, memo to the crack organizers: Here's a good rule of thumb: if there are more panelists than audience members, that's usually bad:)"

to refer to anything other than the session in which Padian was one of the very few in attendance?

If this is the way you read the scientific literature, I wonder how you got whatever degree you may have. Or is this done deliberately on your part to confound otherwise clear issues?

Pharma Bawd


I see you’ve inherited Hank’s intermittent reading comprehension skills.

If you read Hank’s entire post you see that he is implying that Dr. Padian was speaking to the entire conference, and that it was poorly attended. (I'm sure that would come as a shock to the 21,000 to 25,000 attendees.)

See, look at the part where Hank makes a distinction between talking about the entire conference to the part where he's talking about one of many concurrent subsessions that Dr. Padian is speaking at. What? You don’t see Hank making any distinction? Neither do I.

Throw in a few:

“... just ain't enough to draw a crowd these days.”


"What if you held an international conference on AIDS, and nobody cared?"'s

And you have, to use Dr. Culshaw’s term, a very nice piece of “infoganda”.

This is the same thing as when Hank uses Padian’s study on risk factors for heterosexual transmission of HIV to “prove” that HIV can’t be transmitted heterosexually. Completely oblivious to the 70 cases of heterosexual transmission of HIV she found in the retrospective study.

By the way George, which camp are you in on Padian? The silly camp or the unscientific one?


Friends and Foes!

Happy Sunday! This thread is not about the Padian Paper, nor my intepretation of it.

As noted by George, nobody can improve upon Dr. Culshaw's sober and impressive analysis.

This thread is about the lugubrious, moribund, irrelevant AIDS conference, that according to Bob Gallo, sucks. Let's stick to the issue.

Pharma Ditz,

You're on a short leash, dog. But as long as you stick to the issue of the thread, you won't be banned.

Also, since you are paid by the pharmaceutical industry to feed free lunches to doctors, you wanna might talk to some real HIV?AIDS patients above, like Noreen Martin and Mark B. Ya might learn sumptin.



Pharma Girl,

We just cross posted. You have your warning. Stick to the issue of the conference.



Excellent summarization Hank. The 272 diagnosed with AIDS in Canada is meaningless as a disease. And out of the 272, how many died last year? 2? 4? 10? Whatever!Whatever the number, it is meaningless. Far more died of common flu or common pneumonia at a very young or ripe old age than died of AIDS in Canada last year. It is meaningless to everyone other than those 272 whom allowed themselves to be diagnosed and categorized as AIDS.

The word itself, AIDS, is not even a disease. No-one has ever died of AIDS. All that are claimed to have died of AIDS, all died of something much more specific, and one can not get much more non-specific than to use the word AIDS to describe a disease. Or "complications of AIDS" to describe a cause of death. Every mainstream mention of AIDS is completely mis-leading.

However, AIDS is pretty much the only thing that someone whom has allowed themself to be diagnosed as HIV is allowed to get. If an HIV positive person stubs their toe, in the eyes of many HIV doctors, it must be AIDS related dementia at the core of it. If they get a cold or flu, it must be because the virus is suppressing their body. Practically the only thing that HIV positives are allowed to get, is AIDS.

The word itself, AIDS, should be banned as meaningless, or spread beyond HIV to any and everyone whom gets ill with any pathogen including a common cold to have any real life meaning.

Nice to see the Canadians catching on and ignoring this, as the city population itself, paid the convention and the issue fairly no attention whatsoever!

Pharma Dork! Yah might wanna wake up and smell the coffee! Doesn't take anybody overly bright to see which way the wind is blowing the HIV AIDS bull.

I just googled the words "AIDS DISSENT" and found over 3 million mentions, which is one third more than came up just a few months ago!

OR better yet, Pharma Dope, you hang on tight to this stuff, as the last ones caught with their hands in the cookie jar are gonna get a gooood spanking! And I can't wait to see it happen.


"Ya know" Pharma whatever,

Politicians take sides, scientists test competing hypotheses.

Or that was the way it was when I was in school as an undergraduate, graduate student and thrice postdoctoral fellow. And except for biomedical "scientists" researching (sic) cancer and AIDS and other biotechnology driven enterprises, the way it was until I retired from academia as a full professor some years ago.

Edgar da Silva

This is my first posting here, as I have not so much time to devote to internet surfing and cyber-discussing, but I came across this "portrait of an HIV/AIDS researcher as both subject and object" (as it is put on the AIDS WIKI where I came upon it) and it seemed right to insert the link here.


Apropos George's 'cancer and AIDS and other biotechnology driven enterprises' remarks, I think we have all been unfair in not recognizing the solitary voice of dissent at the “HIV Science and Journalistic Self-Censure Strategy” session. I’m talking about the brilliant and highly illuminating question posed by Ella DeCann(?)
It’s well worth quoting in full, as it makes an excellent post in itself

“ELLA DECANN[misspelled?]: My name is Ella DeCann. I was a research scientist most of my life, and I’m from Ontario. I’m speaking as a member of the public. What really worries me is that you don’t seem to make a differentiation between science and technology. Now everyone imagines science as squeaky clean and you mustn’t challenge science. We must leave it to the spokespersons of science. Well coming from the science lab, science is full of prejudice as Laplant[misspelled?] said. Scientists don’t change their minds. Old scientists die, and young ones come to take their place.
Science is also full of laboratory politics. But for all that it’s objective up to a point. And so is medical science objective up to a point. But biotechnology and technology in general is business. And many of the journalists who stood up talked about business of journalism. Now, business is very much tied up with promoting it’s self-image, it’s profits. That all comes before the actual acknowledgement of the truth. It’s very much tied up with obscuring risks and obscuring anything that would be bad news.
Now I would just like to turn to AIDS research. Where does it fit in with science and other medical subjects and fields, or does it fit in with business? Well the trouble with AIDS research is it depends upon retrovirology. Retrovirology is the backbone of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is the backbone of biotechnology. And biotechnology simply dominates all biology and biology funding. So AIDS research is unfortunately tethered to biotechnology.
DANIEL KURITZKES, M.D.: Why don’t we take that as a question now and have Nathan Geffen respond. Thank you.
ELLA DECANN: The question I would like to ask you is do you understand that AIDS research is actually tethered to biotechnology rather than to science and medical research?
NATHAN GEFFEN: I’m not sure I do understand your question, to be quite honest with you. . .”

And so on. The sudden inability by the intellectual powerhouses on stage to understand a straightforward question continues at great and very amusing lengths

Turning to something completely different now, it seems this ‘affliction of the Understanding’ is quite common:

Pharma B,

I know that logic, epistemology and semantics are none of you guys' strong points. But it is amazing you could miss the great point made with great care and precision of language by Dr. Culshaw.

Dr. culshaw said, ". . . 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,

Did ya notice the little *...* around the word *prove* and the mathematical symbols used to express the equation? I'll try not to get too technical for ya here, but that means 'prove' in the strong sense of proof that HIV cannot EVER be sexually transmitted.
No empirical study of a trillion discordant couples inter-buggering all day with no condoms and no seroconversions can make it an a priori certainty, the way it's a certainty 2+2 will never equal 5, that couple 1 trillion and 1 could not accomplish the feat.
What's 'silly' then is to say HIV CANNOT possibly be sexually transmitted EVER because there's nothing in the nature of empirical observations to warrant such strong conclusions. This is a basic rule in philosophy of science.

But Rebecca and Hank CAN responsibly say they conclude, based on the empirical facts we have, and therefore a conclusion not entirely immune to revision in the light of new facts, that HIV doesn't belong to the group of diseases we usually refer to as 'sexually transmitted' - even allowing for the possibility that discordant couple 1 trillion and 1 does manage to transmit it in that way.

Don't you think it's high time for some internal revision in the blind faith crowd when semantic precision and scientific integrity has become so alien that even the clearest iteration of basic scientific principles confuses you?

Pharma Bawd

Sure thing Hank, I‘ll just wait ‘til Tara posts about, oh... astrophysics or something, and there you’ll be with your dog-eared copy of the Padian paper! We can talk about it then. Can’t wait!

Noreen and Mark I hope you stay well.


My experience in Academia and Industry is that not only do biomedical scientists test competing hypotheses, once one hypothesis wins they set to work trying to solve problems. It becomes more like engineering at that point but it’s still all about competing hypotheses.


At risk of violating Hank’s orders:

Did you notice the little quote thingies from Hank I provided? They weren’t the only ones out there.


Ah yes! The devastating argumentum ad google.

“Flying saucer” – 2,290,000
“cold fusion” -- 9,800,000
“Bigfoot” – 11,900,000
“string theory” – 9,300,000
“Hank Barnes is a golden god” – 0
“Hank Barnes is a genius” – 0

As for what all this means?

You guys are losing!

Intelligent design gets 17,300,000 hits on google!

Is it alright to include a sig line Hank?

“NO SEROCONVERSIONS. You cannot have a sexually transmitted disease, where sexual activity is abundant, yet sexual transmission is non-existent."— Silly Hank Barnes.


Hey Pharma Ditz,

I counted your use of "Hank" 7 times in the last comment -- sounds like you might have a crush on me;)

Regardless -- the AIDS conference still sucked!


Pharma Bawd


Nitey night Hank!

noreen martin

All of this dialogue would make a great comedy routine.

George, you make some great points!

Pharma Lady, If you don't mind telling, how old are You?

Hank, will you post a picture on your site of how an ex-full, blown Aids person, now just plain, old Aids person, looks without being on the toxic anti-virals.

Hell, I feel better now than prior to my sicknesses. How do you explain this, Pharma Lady?

Mark Biernbaum

Hi Noreen -- PharaBawd cannot explain that. If you look at the blog she writes for, she makes it very clear there that all of us who have tested positive for HIV antibodies will die. So, when she wishes the two of us well, I can't imagine what she is talking about, considering she is certain we're going to die. It's like your executioner acting as a well-wisher -- just doesn't fly with me at least. PharaBawd, please go back to Sales and don't wish me well.


Right On Mark! Pharma Bawd has made it clear to all the world that if someone is HIV positive, they are going to get AIDS if they don't come to Pharma Bawd or a clone of Pharma Bawd for their ARV's. No hope for living from old PB unless you turn over some cash. Not only does this executioner want to pretend to care about helping someone to save their life, but this executioner wants to hold life for ransom. I hope that more than just myself noticed that before 1995, when patients were told they had no hope to live and were going to die, THEY DID. Post about 1995, when patients were told they might live longer if they took the newer meds, they did. In modern times, the patients are told that their "disease" is manageable as long as they take the meds, and so it is. Has anyone noticed the connection to what patients are being told what will happen, is what happens. When the doctors expected death, they assisted in killing the patient with high dose AZT. When the patients believed they were going to die, they swallowed as much AZT as they could stand. I would really like to know, what is the power of the mind and power of belief in all of this AIDS disease crap?

noreen martin

Tremendous Michael, not only with Aids but with other life-threatening diseases such as cancer. It makes one wonder why most of the present day physicians became doctors in the first place? Is it for the money or the power trip or both?

How can any physician, who is sworn to the Hippocratic oath, to first do no harm, poison the patient with toxic medications, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. To add insult to injury, then they tell the poor patient that he or she will die in 6 months. Who are they to say who will live or die?

The worst thing medically speaking occured with the Flexnor Report after the turn of the century. After that, any form of medical treatment and schools which did not conform to prescribing drugs was squashed like a bug. Not that long ago, the chiropractors had to fight like hell to stay alive. Most natural means of treating the human condition were thrown away like yesterday's garbage for today's current system.

Returning to the mind/health relationship, it is the most important thing for one to get/stay well. This has been proven time and time again by the placebo effect or dummy pill and by the nocebo effect. The nocebo effect is the opposite effect of the placebo where something that is basically harmless causes great harm because the patient believes it can.

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, this is why a positive attitude is so critical if one is to stay healthy.

Mark Biernbaum

What I think is most strange about people like Pharma Bawd is that they are so SURE of themselves that they fail to seize the opportunity to LEARN something from people like Noreen and I. You would think that Pharma Bawd would have a million interesting questions for us, but no. Instead, out comes the same old death dogma again. Pharma Bawd, I call your attention to opporutnities to actually learn something about HIV/AIDS and hope that you will take the opportunity next time.

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