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 µl (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...


Blogger Chris Noble said...

Hi Nick,
The way the Denialists put there arguments together is quite transparent.
Some of them have put together a database of misrepresentations and misinterpretations. A budding Denialist doesn't have to do his own misreprepresentation and lying it has already been done for him.

Chris Tyler simply went to
Dissident AIDS Database and cut and pasted. No brain activity was required. He did not have to read the papers cited and in my opinion he didn't.

Liam Scheff appears to have gotten most of his quotes from this site and likewise appears to have not read the articles. Ignorance is forgiveable. Organised active ignorance is simply lying.


3:44 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

This damn "debate" was old even before I got into it. Nothing much has changed. The successes of the Protease Inhibitors in the West, social education in Uganda, and blood product screening are ALL consistent with the orthodox view - and yet the dissidents continue to twist the facts to explain it away according to their own fringe view.

I'm seeing more memes from Scheff starting to spread as well - like "the fetus and mother share blood, so why isn't HIV transmitted during pregnancy". Err, because the fetus and mother don't share blood. Sheesh.

Sadly memes that fit with the dissident view (like malaria being AIDS-defining) are going to survive among the ignorant.

I agree entirely that ignorance is forgiveable - what bugs me is that so many dissidents don't want to CHANGE their ignorance through education. In my experience, those that are willing to learn tend to shift sides.

9:46 PM  
Blogger ¿Que fue loco? said...

I hate it when people go after “denialists” because they [the denialists] offer speculative alternative theories. The important thing about denialists is that they keep the pressure on by asking good questions about DOGMA. When a denialist is of the caliber of Dr. Duesberg [and others] some of the questions are very good. Very good questions need answers and this is science. The fact they also offer alternative theories which are not probable, does not diminish the power of a good question.

The HIV/AIDS establishment is full of shit too. Part of it is in the lingo:

"Life saving drugs"
"AIDS turned into a manageable chronic condition like diabetes"
"If you have ever had sex you need to be tested for HIV'
"Get tested, get treated"
"HIV is no longer a death sentenced"
"Africa needs more access to life saving drugs"

..."Life saving" drugs. Have these drugs saved a life? Last I was told, AIDS patients in the US are still dying.

And no mention of terrible side effects in the popular press…

A largely "chronic" disease? Last I heard people with HIV still - eventually - progress to AIDS and die and the time to progression in the HAART era is still 5-10 years. Once there time to death is still 2-3 years. According to Dr. Fauci only 1/10th of 1% of people are long term non-progressors and the 20+ year survivors are the resistant lot from the 70-80's, a fraction of a population that is already dead. Bell curve effects and they too will die. They must, HIV kills 100% of the people it infects [this is DOGMA], period. If it does not, they are probably miss diagnosed or must be taking life saving drugs or just have not lived long enough to die.

Labeling “Life saving” these drugs is a roost - a gimmick - good press for dangerous drugs that do not cure.

We should all feel terrible that older drugs, the real toxic ones, are not available to most African HIV infected people. With their medical infrastructure, giving these drugs to people would delay death? Or just cause an epidemic of side effects, that untreated will be most unpleasant and add to the misery [acidosis anyone? Maybe a little neuropathy?]. The newer HIV drugs will not be available to poor Africans until they are supplanted by more effective drugs and their price plummets - not likely any time soon.

It’s all hype - lets feel guilty we cannot make life saving drugs available to African peasants... yea right!

Why is nobody asking why we can’t make modern antibiotics available to treat infections common to HIV infected Africans? Well it turns out pharmaceutical companies do not want to “endanger” a good antibiotic by registering it to treat tuberculosis, what if people have adverse reaction on prolonged use that other patients with UTI do not? Will the FDA then ban promising money making antibiotics? or worse a goverment declare the antibiotic 'essential' and regulate it's price - dont touch my money! – so hell let the blacks in Africa treat themselves with toxic AZT [we will read that as a success of international cooperation, NGO deeds and pharmaceutical multinational charity] and leave my antibiotics alone!

The world is a sordid place, medicine and capitalism stink together and HIV=AIDS makes people allot of money [from drug sales to development grants] and cures nobody…

6:01 PM  
Blogger Bennett said...

I agree that it can be hugely detrimental to accept dogma for dogma's sake. I also can see your point of view with regard to antibiotics and AIDS meds, although by "life saving" they are really talking about prolonging life. Everyone dies, in the end.

But denialists do not simply "offer speculative alternative theories", they twist the truth and science, and basically lie to support their own message. Often that message is nothing more than "don't trust the establishment". You also seem to want to spread that message, but complaining about the lack of effective antibiotics and the capitalist medical industry is somewhat different from lying that retroviruses must be lytic and can only be spread from mother to child, as dissidents of the "caliber" of Duesberg do!

I'm all for dissent where appropriate, but not dissent for the sake of dissent itself. That's simply anarchy.

6:34 PM  
Blogger ¿Que fue loco? said...

Thanks for the respone; … truly you do not find a single Duesberg argument a good question?

I think two stand out:

1. The low number of T cells ever infected and progression to clinical disease. I have read from mainstream sites that this is baffling to HIV researchers and remains unexplained - “see”.

2. The African heterosexual epidemiology and the Western public health campaigns warning of a looming heterosexual HIV epidemic in the face of 1 in 1000 chance of transmitting the virus in unprotected heterosexual sex. If you go to the STD forum at the Cleveland Clinic [] and read the good doctor's advice to worried people, you see a real ‘down to earth’ understanding of HIV transmission: you don’t catch HIV from a single sexual contact of any kind; you need prolonged homosexual exposure to have a decent chance. Heterosexual sex including oral sex is unlikely to transmit the virus even when he/she is (+). So strong is this conviction that they don’t even recommend testing unless the person asking is so paranoid [fruit of the add campaign] that they need to see a negative result to regain their serenity.

So when Duesberg asks how these transmission facts can amount to a pandemic, he has a point. It has not happened in the West and in Asia, where the HIV infected individual is almost always a homosexual [receptive unprotected anal sex – women can do this too] or an injection drug user [parenteral transmission]. EXCEPT for Africa, where it seems heterosexual sex leads readily to infection. I was asking a South African I know if they as a population take their women rectally often, he was almost offended and said that no, that the virus is different, referring to HIV-2. But then I read that HIV-2 is endemic to a small part of Africa. So most of African is infected with HIV-1. Unless they engage in tissue damaging sex more often than heterosexuals elsewhere how can this difference in prevalence be explained? You may say that because it is so prevalent, infection occurs more often as more people are usually exposed – but how did it get so, after that terrible day when a monkey passed it to the first human, how did it get so?

I have read of a more prevalent –more easily heterosexual transmissible – HIV-1 strains in Africa [types C and E]. If true, why has these not caused a heterosexual pandemic in the West or in South East Asia were E is also common and bi-sexuality legendary [80-90 % of infected people are men]? After all a virus spreads among susceptible human populations, HIV-1 did among homosexuals in the 80’s [remember Haiti, Cuban soldiers in Africa bringing it back…etc.]

I think these are good questions. Again, to my earlier point, just because these are good points, they do no make Duesberg alternate drug hypothesis any more likely…

Any thoughts?

3:56 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

I truly find that most if not all of Duesberg's arguments are seriously flawed. He lacks any clinical education, and as such has no perspective on a lot of what he talks about. His research in addition in based on far simpler viruses than HIV, so he's extrapolating from a model T Ford to criticise a Dodge Ram truck!

I have written several short articles addressing the allegedly "low" rate of cell infection by HIV. The rate actually comes closer to 25% (1 in 4) in lymphoid tissue. One copy of the article I furnished to the BMJ debate is on this very blog.

The transmission data is interesting, but horribly confounded. The West had massive public information campaigns that resulted in widespread awareness of HIV and how it was spread. Many areas in Africa not only did not do this, but some actively argued against HIV even existing, and later whether it caused AIDS. Those African countries which did enact positive change have done remarkably well (e.g. Uganda).

The reason why there was a fear of a heterosexual epidemic in the west was simply that, at the time, there was no way to test for HIV, and everyone assumed that it was already in the hetero population. It seems that was not the case. Once awareness was there, the chances of it crossing from the homosexual population to the heterosexual population was far less, although it did still occur of course. In Africa in contrast, it was long in the hetero population so their epidemic would be expected to be very different. If HIV had crossed into the west via a different route, no doubt our epidemic would be different.

I get regular questions from people about getting tested. I give the same advice as the Cleveland clinic you mention. I think everyone does. The tactics most dissidents THINK the establishment uses (everyone get tested, then get on the meds) simply don't happen.

In Africa, even in areas previously dominated by HIV-2, HIV-1 is now the most common strain. It is true that the developed world has a different strain of HIV (B-clade) but I don't think there is any evidence that this is any worse or better at being transmitted. The evidence that any strain is significantly more easily transmitted than any other is limited - they all seem to be similar.

However sexual practises are different. Families in the west are smaller, meaning some kind of contraception or relative abstinence is going on! A couple of studies from Africa quite nicely showed that while male-to-female transmission was twice as likely as female-to-male transmission, men were twice as likely to cheat on their wives and get HIV outside the marriage! This worked out to a 1:1 ratio.

The data you quote from Thailand doesn't say that 90% of infected people are male. These are very specific groups being tested: STD infected men seem as likely as women prostitutes to have HIV. That is obvious - similar high-risk groups. Currently the ratio of male to female AIDS cases is 2:8 to 1 (UNAIDS source) and that is after the epidemic starting out in the homosexual popluation. In many ways, Thailand has gone the way that the US and UK feared it would go for them... 88% of cases are now heterosexual, and homosexual transmission is now less than 1%. However, outside of the sex-worked industry infection rates are far lower, as you might expect. Contrary to what Duesberg says, you would NOT expect an STD to spread equally among the sexes, nor would you expect it to spread equally among risk groups (ESPECIALLY not among risk groups). It simply makes no biological sense to assume this.

10:35 AM  
Blogger ¿Que fue loco? said...


I will stop posting after this - I know you do not what to turn your blog into a ranting debate but I just have to get this last point in - it baffles me [that is I am hoping for your insight]:

O cammon, you have to adtmit that there is something wrong here – no rationalization can explaint the African paradox – its real, and just because Duesberg points to it does not make it less of a paradox:

I insist – Africa is different, unless anal sex is really prevalent there, different virus strains, high rate of rapes and promiscuous lifestyles can’t explain huge prevalence rates in men who only sleep with women – it can’t!

If a homosexual has 100 sex partners deposit semen in him, that’s one such event every 4 days in a year. No sweat, rather sore but no sweat. In 5 years the odds of transmission are actually very good. If he starts this behavior at the age of 18 and keeps it up – and the prevalence in his population is not ‘0’ – he’s gonna get it before he turns 45 … no mystery here!

But for a heterosexual couple to pass the virus at 1:1000 odds from the man to the woman, they need to have sex 3 times a day for a year. African sleep around, but they are human.

Then if she is the infected one, the odds of the guy getting it from her are more like 1 in 3000 or worse, one source said: "The transmission female to male is so small that it’s only theoretical, unlike the measurable male to female long term risk of repeated expose to the same man."

So in Thailand [or Africa] if high prevalence is explained by heterosexual transmission, there should be more women infected than men? – men seem to be almost immune unless they really screw around constantly, and I mean constantly since 1. Not all their partners will be infected and 2. if infected they are only really contagious during the first few months after infection and also close to AIDS – I assume that once with aids the opportunistic infections will put a damper on passion.

If African countries have > 15-25% [or more] sero-prevalence in the 60 years [circa 1940?] the virus has been around – that has to be as bad as syphilis ever got in Europe, and it is super contagious.

A note on Thailand:

The Thai sex industry is wild; if you go to Bangkok you see a circus of Western and Japanese men doing it with girls and boys. Turns out the boys are mostly heterosexual and go back to non-sex industry partners. Thailand is a country of ill defined genders, MSM is not a gay thing, it happens among heterosexual men, and their beauty queens are men! People inject allot of drugs. To explain their high HIV prevalence as 80% heterosexual is laughable. Ask a Thai about his sexual life and he will not respond. Press him and he will lie. Lying in Thailand is a polite way of saying, hey that’s private.

Unlike denialists I do not propose a theory to explain this African paradox – I just wonder if there is more to this story than meets the ‘orthodox’ view of this epidemic. I do not trust the establishment – it is using this tragedy for many things:

1. Christians – sex is bad – push abstinence and gay bash with the bible
2. Pharmaceuticals – just show that it works, who cares if its toxic, lest make a quick buck
3. NGO’s: grants pay the bills
4. Researchers: add HIV to the abstract and it will get published and funded
5. "Get hi, get stupid, get aids" campaigns – use fear to stop white middle class Western teen from using drugs [it also feeds the NIH]
6. WHO – sorry kids [in an African village] you all have aids [blood tests are for the West] - horrific prevalence projections make rich countries give money to help poor Africa, the world’s bureaucracy gets funded…

Why are African men getting infected from heterosexual sex and Western men not!!! Ok today prevalence is part of the picture, but let’s go back to Africa in 1950 – few had it, real low transmission rates, no gay LA culture, and no drug injectors– how could it get so bad in just 60 years? and not in the west...


5:09 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

The point, is, the 1 in 1000 rate is semi-mythical. It came from a study where condom use occurred in the West. It is not representative of the African situation for all sorts of reasons. In the same way you can't use results from adults to make decisions in children, and you can use disease rates from Manhattan to predict disease rates in rural Texas.

The African situation is only a paradox if you try to extrapolate from Western society and studies. The same studies done is Africa show a far higher rate than 1 in 1000 exposures.

People are not "only really infectious" in the early and late stages. For sure, viral loads are predictive of relative risk, which accounts for some of the bias, but relatively lower risk is not the same as zero risk.

I can see your point about HIV/AIDS being politicized. I agree that this has happened, and that some people are "on the bandwagon". But the point is that the research will still get done and if the work is shoddy and unfounded, it will get found out. The dissidents say that has already happened, but they can only show this by re-writing the rules of virology and biology to fit their ideas.

You ask why Africa has got so bad and the west hasn't - quite simply in the West we caught the epidemic very early on. We highlighted a risk group and had a serologic test and a likely pathogen within 3 years of the disease being described. It is possible that the virus had only been in the US for a few years (the contact tracing was still done to show the spread from person to person). In contrast the virus had likely been in Africa for decades prior to coming to the US, and no-one was expecting this kind of disease. On average people would live for 10 years and spread it around, so there was a tremendous lag time before it got picked up. Quite likely if the epidemic hadn't occured in gay men in the US, it would have had a longer lag time as well. Heterosexuals would have had less rapid initial spread (less concentrated cases), poorly defined risk group (fewer transmission clues). The cluster of KS and PCP cases in the early 1980's wasn't so striking as the fact that they all occurred in young gay men. That's what really grabbed the attention - it has immunosuppressive STD written all over it.

Also, it's clear that you're still believing some of the dissident stuff. African studies do use blood tests, some of the best research has come out of Africa (usually those countries that are turning the epidemic around!). The 1 in 1000 rate is one of the largest myths, I think because people want to hang on a number, and it's easy to remember. This number came from a study looking at the risk of transmission, and the evidence suggests that in that kind of study (knowing that one partner is positive) the use of condoms goes up and frequency of sex goes down. Risky activities such as anal sex and sex during menses also drops. In one study a third of couples stopped having sex altogether! N Engl J Med. 1994 Aug 11;331(6):341-6. "A longitudinal study of human immunodeficiency virus transmission by heterosexual partners. European Study Group on Heterosexual Transmission of HIV."

Other factors come into play, such as concurrent STDs, which are at a higher rate in Africa than in the West.

I find there is usually only a paradox in the mind of questioner, if they're not aware of all the facts, caveats or limitations of the data. Duesberg massively oversimplifies things, you at least have some logic and numbers to back things up! However, from what I can tell you're still comparing apples and oranges by assuming that Western transmission rates are the same as in Africa or other high-rate areas.

As regards Thailand, here is a scary story: 405 HIV+ male blood donors. 405 female partners of these men. 46% of the women were also HIV+, and did not have any other risk factor other than their husbands. 98% of the men reported sex with a prostitute. 98.5% of men did not use condoms with their regular partner. AIDS. 1997 Nov 15;11(14):1765-72.

In one study where condoms were used for 90% of sex acts by prostitutes, and STDs were treated, seroconversion rates were 6.6% annually. In the European study quoted earlier the rates were around 4.8% in inconsistent condom users (0% in consistent condom users). That's quite a difference and highlights the problem in comparing very different groups of people. One study from Texas put the annual risks at 6.8% for never-users and 0.9% for always-users.

If you want to really see the difference, use the magic of compound interest...
0.9% annual infection for 10 years gives you 8.7% population infection prevalence. 6.6% annual rate gives you 50.5% population prevalence (assuming all infections occur in uninfected people and no-one dies).

Now, that's data from serodiscordant couples, so you're assuming that everyone has an HIV+ partner! Clearly that isn't the case. But you can see how it works... It certainly helps explain why an epidemic caught early has behaved far differently than one caught late (US versus South Africa for example).

Incidentally, this is how credit card companies make their money.

11:19 AM  
Blogger ¿Que fue loco? said...

Hi there apologist: just one note on the topic of the ‘denialists’ and their contribution to HIV science: There is an interesting article in the October 15 issue of The New Scientist magazine called "The Power of the Paranoid" by Deborah Mackenzie. It relates the positive aspect of challenging the mainstream; she asks "if something ever does go wrong, can we trust the establishment to tell us? The conspiracy theorists may be monomaniacs, but they keep a sterner, more unyielding eye on officialdom and its scientist than poor journalists ever can." Ok, ok you probably feel ill right now, other symptoms?

1. No Duesberg question is respectable to you - bad sign - HIV is a weird virus by any standard and there is still allot of unknowns on the syndrome it causes, yet ‘apologists’ seem to be trouble by non- of it. Bad sign…

2. You make a strong suggestion that the epidemic is worse off in Africa were denialist views are prevalent [South Africa] and things are better in African countries that follow mainstream though and approaches [Uganda] well ...

The dark side of the Ugandan AIDS miracle By STEPHANIE NOLEN The Toronto Globe Saturday, April 30, 2005, Page A19

KAMPALA -- In the desperate fight to stop the death march of AIDS across Africa, researchers have long looked for answers in Uganda. The first cases of the disease in Africa were reported here in the early 1980s, and AIDS took hold with ferocity. By the end of the decade, almost one-third of the adult population was infected with HIV. But several recent studies suggest it wasn't ABC that turned Uganda around at all. Instead, they indicate that the infection rate declined sharply for the simple reason that hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected people died. "The Ugandan miracle is that a lot of people died and they're not there [to count]," said James Rwanyarare, a Kampala physician and opposition political figure who worked with some of the first Ugandans to publicly disclose their HIV-positive status. Other new research suggests condoms, more than anything else, stopped the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The research --in particular a study presented in Boston in February that followed 10,000 adults in the Rakai district for a decade -- ignited a storm of controversy here. ...Yet researchers from Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University found that "the single greatest factor" in the decline in the number of HIV-infected people in Rakai was the premature deaths of those who were infected earlier and subsequently died of AIDS. About 70 per cent more people died of AIDS in each year of that decade than the number who were newly infected. ...The U.S. study also found that although people reported a growing number of sexual partners, and declining abstinence over the decade, there was no corresponding increase in the number of new HIV infections. In fact the prevalence rate fell. Participants in the study reported more condom use, which the researchers believe offset their high-risk sexual behaviour. But the researchers said the emphasis on abstinence and fidelity did not appear to have had an impact.

JOHANNESBURG HIV in SA may be leveling off - HSRC Wed, 30 Nov 2005

HIV prevalence among young adults — in the 15- to 49-year-old group — increased only slightly from 15.6 percent in 2002 to 16.2 percent in 2005 in South Africa, says a new survey commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. This may be an indication that the epidemic had entered "a phase of leveling off" says a report — issued on Wednesday. The survey was conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa in partnership with the Medical Research Council and the Centre for Aids Development Research and Evaluation. The 2005 survey is a repeat of the 2002 survey, and allows for generating estimates of HIV in a representative sample of the total South African population. It excludes children under two years of age and adults who live in university dormitories, boarding schools, army barracks and hospital patients. HSRC CEO Olive Shisana — a former health department director general — emphasized that the sample size in the 2005 survey was larger than that in 2002 "and the estimates are therefore more robust".

So what is my point?

Never stop challenging what is known and never think ill of those that do. It’s ok to be ruthless with a bad argument though… The important thing is to elevate the discussion to a point were paradoxes and gaps in knowledge are clearly identified and then these will be the issues to track as progress is hopefully made. A blog like this should also mine the frontier, point out the edge, and collect the mainstream and independent though as it evolves.

When the simple explanation of HIV=AIDS in 5-10 years, 100% mortality, straight forward heterosexual transmission and ‘hit it early, hit it hard’ approach to treatment, ‘forget a vaccine its impossible’ mentality is taken as all we need to understand then research becomes self serving - label denialist cooks and then there is no dissent possible - then a bacterium cannot cause an ulcer/Nobel price 20 years latter will never happen.

Keeps the faith, nice debating with you.

Que fue loco!

7:40 PM  
Blogger Bennett said...

Que - you've not really said anything that isn't obvious.

Of course the Ugandan numbers will decline due to else are they going to drop? The point is they've dropped whereas SA is still "levelling off".

As far as Duesberg goes, so far I ave yet to see a sensible point raised by him. Even if he does, he has lied so blatantly so many times, and his "logic" is built on those lies that it hardly matters any more...sad really.

HIV really doesn't do anything any other virus hasn't done somewhere else! The only people who make it mythical and strange are the dissidents, to try to discredit it!

Dissent can be good (you mention the H Pylori story) but only if its true. Duesberg argues that herpes cannot exist. He says that a virus that kills before the teenage years is passed on mother-to-child. He says that a virus he never studied MUST behave in a certain way, for no other reason than he says so. He says that AZT is toxic because studies were halted for cancer therapy, when in fact they were stopped because it wasn't toxic enough...

I could go on. In fact I have - read the rest of the blog ;-)

8:42 PM  

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