Friday, April 15, 2005

Lying by Omission

One of the most heinous crimes committed by the AIDS dissidents is that of lying by omission. I usually more generously refer to this as "cherry picking". It's not as if putting a spin on a research finding is actually that bad (after all, one must weigh up all the evidence before coming to a conclusion - if that's even possible!) but they do it so often and even in the face of clear contradiction.

For example on one of the loudest dissidents by the name of Paul King quoted a paragraph from a CDC website refering to condom use. He was trying to show that condoms don't protect against HIV.

"At a Washington, D.C., news conference, the 10,000-member Physicians Consortium claimed that the CDC has known for years that condoms offer little protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and genital herpes.

The NIH panel concluded that there was "insufficient evidence" that condoms protect against STDs."

The REAL wording is somewhat different.

"At a Washington, D.C., news conference, the 10,000-member Physicians Consortium claimed that the CDC has known for years that while condoms are 85 percent effective in helping prevent the spread of HIV, they offer less protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and genital herpes.

While finding that latex condoms can be effective in preventing the spread of HIV and in protecting men from contracting gonorrhea from a female partner, the NIH panel concluded that there was "insufficient evidence" that condoms protect against other STDs."

Fox News Story

More recently, another "big" guy on the dissident scene (Chris Tyler, the moderator who stopped me educating the readers of AIDSmyth.Exposed on MSN) wrote into the BMJ listing several studies which he said supported the role of drugs in causing immune suppression.

A prospective study of male homosexuals using psychoactive and sexual stimulants demonstrated that their T-cells may decline prior to infection with 'HIV'. For example, the T-cells of 37 gay men from San Francisco declined steadily prior to HIV infection for 1.5 years from over 1200 to below 800 per ┬Ál (Lang et al., 1989).

In some case they had fewer than 500 T-cells 1.5 years before seroconversion (Lang et al., 1987).

Other studies of the same cohort of homosexual men from San Francisco described extensive use of recreational drugs including nitrites (Darrow et al., 1987; Moss, 1987; Ascher et al., 1993; Duesberg, 1993d; Ellison, Downey and Duesberg, 1995). Likewise 33 HIV-free male homosexuals from Vancouver, had "acquired" immunodeficiency prior to HIV infection (Marion et al., 1989). While this study did not mention drug use, other articles by the authors reported that all men of this cohort had used nitrites, cocaine and amphetamines (Archibald et al., 1992; Duesberg, 1993f; Schechter et al., 1993c).

In 1994, a study of IV drug users in New York (Des Jarlais et al., 1993) showed that "The relative risk for seroconversion among subjects with one or more CD4 count <500>500 cells/uL was 4.53".

A similar study in Italy (Nicolosi et al., 1990) showed that "low number of T4 cells was the highest risk factor for HIV infection", that is, decrease in T4 cells is a risk factor for seroconversion and not vice versa.

When I got around to reading the sources quoted, I got a nice surprise...

I wonder though why Mr Tyler quotes from Des Jarlais but omits the following:

"We studied CD4 cell counts and percentages from 1984 to 1992 among 1,246 HIV-seronegative injecting drug users in New York City, a population at very high risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Severe CD4 lymphocytopenia was rare, and there was no evidence of an increase over time. Of 229 subjects with longitudinal data, only four met the surveillance definition for "idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia" (ICL)."

Hardly glowing evidence of support for the drug-AIDS hypothesis!

Marion et al don't actually demonstrate any immune deficiency at all, aside from lack of responses to DNCB (a chemical that can cause skin reactions). Responses to TB protein, candida and trichopyhton were all normal.

Lang et al actually say:

"The three groups were 37 HIV seroconverters, 304 prevalent HIV seropositives remaining free of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and 69 men who developed AIDS during observation. Six months before seroconversion, CD4 levels were similar among HIV seroconverters and 356 seronegative controls. Within 18 months of seroconversion, mean CD4 levels fell to the level of the prevalent seropositives at study entry."

I do not think these are very good arguments for the drug-AIDS hypothesis. Lang et al actually is excellent evidence for HIV infection leading to immune failure.

I recently pulled up the Nicolosi paper as well: they looked at around 460 seronegative IV drug users for an average of 10.4 months. Plenty of time to notice a loss of CD4 T cells...

The incidence rate of HIV infection was 7.4 per 100 person-years, equivalent to a one-year risk of 7.3%. Relative risk was higher in subjects who had been using intravenous drugs for less than 2 years (RR = 2.3). In a case-control analysis, recent frequent syringe sharing was the behavioral variable most strongly associated with HIV infection, with the highest risk in subjects sharing often (OR = 6.1, 90% CI = 2.6-14.7). We found no association with the use of cocaine in addition to heroin nor with sexual habits. Among biologic variables, relative risks were increased in individuals whose T4-lymphocyte count was lower than 1,000 at first visit (RR = 8.5, 90% CI = 2.9-24.3) or who were carrying HBsAg (RR = 1.9, 90% CI = 0.8-4.2).

Note that the normal range of CD4 counts is usually quoted as between 500 and 2000 with the average at around 1000. AIDS is judged to occur at a level of 200, since that is when most opportunistic infections start to become more common than background. It's no surprise that an infection (HIV) is more common in those with lower immune function (as judged by CD4 count at any rate). Only HIV infection seems to be capable of dropping CD4 counts below 200, and lower.

Remember - the opportunistic infections are merely the result of AIDS, not AIDS itself...

More viral idiocies

Marburg Virus

These guys have once again amazed me with their denial and pseudoscience. The bizarrely infectious viral hemorrhagic fever of Marburg virus has sprung up in Angola, killing around 215 people (including at least 9 doctors and nurses who were treating the patients) as of my last ProMed update this morning.

These guys are blaming it on sanitation, vaccination reactions and poor food.

I very nearly posted a prediction here that they would make this kind of monumental error, but didn't honestly think they were that stupid. Apparently I was wrong. What's more frightening is the clearly unqualified people offering "expert" opinions on virology who clearly don't have a clue....not exactly the best source for your HIV/AIDS educational material.