AIDS conundrum

A couple of days ago I came across a 2hr video questioning the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

Though the video has dated, the arguments have not. This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed the AIDS denialist argument (a misnomer because it’s only HIV as a cause that’s really disputed), and it was pretty convincing.

However, the theory that AIDS isn’t caused by HIV pretty much is the same as HIV is caused by AIDS. I can’t advocate a side but I do think that with the ongoing hurdles in understanding and curing this disease that a bit of fresh perspective is badly needed.
Mainstream thought has nothing to lose by allowing investigation, but it is controversial to say examine treated and untreated HIV+ groups – yet there are people who decline or accept medication by volition.

I’m not telling anyone to be lax about HIV or abandoning any treatments. I am maintaining a largely neutral viewpoint and every one is the master of their own health.

If you don’t have the time to watch the video, here’s some interesting points from it (I’m going by memory so I apologise for inaccuracies).

  • There are at least 4,000 documented (at time of recording) cases of AIDS in people who are HIV negative. If the HIV virus is the cause of AIDS it should account for every single case.
  • When a person is tested for HIV, they are tested for the presence of antibodies rather than the virus itself. This is curious because the presence of virus antibodies indicates immunity to it. So how can you make a vaccine without turning someone HIV+ and someone HIV+ already into the existing state?
  • The HIV/AIDS hypothesis has not been peer reviewed (it was adopted by press conference) and there is no literature on HIV being a cause of AIDS; in fact some organisations offer large bounties for such data.
  • HIV is seen by some scientists to be a harmless passenger virus. It resides in very few T-helper cells (for immunity) and does not destroy them, as it needs these cells to survive.
  • AIDS medications like AZT (since replaced by combo drugs) have disclaimers that it’s side effects can match those of immunodeficiency. Indeed AIDS deaths have risen after awareness than before it was known.
  • Gallo (the man commonly seen as behind the HIV/AIDS link) has admitted that HIV alone may not be sufficient to cause AIDS. In fact the definition of AIDS has changed radically a few times, one of which recently indicates that a cofactor virus is needed.
  • AIDS is seen to be the result of recreational drug use, prescribed immune surpressants and possibly anal sex (i.e. sperm entering as foreign body to attack via the blood). In the developed world AIDS is still seen as homosexual male/drug abuser’s condition despite 80’s campaigns that it would be an enormous worldwide disaster. And it may indeed be that the immune destroying affects of hard drugs rather than clean needles are to blame.
  • In developing countries (Africa, India) AIDS diagnoses are often reported in place of traditional disease names in order to qualify for funding. It is seen that due to the even gender divide of AIDS that the cause for this may simply be poor health and malnutrition. There is also a view that AIDS helps enforce a veiled racism and dependency from Western drug companies.
  • There are people who are HIV+ and do remain in good health for a long period of time. Everybody inevitably dies so whether this is the result of AIDS is contentious.
  • Prostitutes only really show HIV if they are also drug users.

Feel free to leave any comments – but don’t shoot this messenger! However I will add that there has always been malpractice in the medicinal world, so a healthy dose of skepticism for areas that alarm you is good mindset to be in. But I’m maintaining that I can’t support the mainstream or alternative sides unless a) HIV can eventually be treated and this corellates with being a cure for AIDS, and b) dissenters have the opportunity to prove their claims.

MMR: Jeni Barnett vs. Dr. Ben Goldacre

I was just watching London Tonight this evening (as I regularly do, criticise me if you wish!) and caught an interesting video segment from a Dr. Ben Goldacre in response to an anti-MMR piece by a radio presenter.

While elsewhere in this blog I have breathed fire on, what to me, is a surefire pharmaceutical scam, I take Dr. Goldacre’s side on this – but only to a (mostly large) degree for the time being.

You (at least if you live in England) may know that MMR uptake has decreased with reports that it’s linked to autism (though not in a hard hitting way thus far) and cases of measles, mumps and rubella are now rising.

People forget that measles, mumps and rubella are serious illnesses that have and can kill – I know well the gravity of measles when I contracted a severe form of German measles which produced a huge boil in an arm at the age of 5/6 and I was hospitalised for many weeks. And if I remember well, it wasn’t until just before I reached double figures that I had the MMR (or the equivalent if it had a different label in the late eighties) jab.

However, the MMR jab like other preparations can cause side effects in some people, and as with any drug you want to weigh the risks and benefits.

I agree, believe it or not, that there is a lot of sensationalist journalism on the ‘bad stuff’ because it’s newsworthy. This is a shame because it makes genuine articles seem like “crying wolf”.

The problem here is if the MMR jab is linked with autism, you have to look at two things: Are rates of autism rising regardless of the jab (and this would be interesting given the seemingly current decline)? And if MMR is directly linked (and we know for sure not everyone who has the jab develops autism) is it because the jab enhances a tendency?

This has to be proved and it has not yet been proved.

So far we have seen reports that some children who had the jab developed autism. However, young children are now given the jab at an age where they might just about start showing signs of it in the first place which may throw parents into a causal illusion.

However, though the MMR jab can save lives and money in the long run, why hasn’t there been research done into seeing if there are more natural ways to provide this protection (to touch on an other active topic, vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory and a deficiency has been hypothetically linked to autism, which is plausible given that autistics can have other concurrent disorders like diabetes or rickets from birth)?

My own measles was treated with a lengthy dose of oral antibiotics as well as liberal amounts of calamine lotion – to fight inflammation. So perhaps Omega 6, Vitamin D and other natural items fortified in baby and children’s food could be as powerful, as well as natural. This has to be tested.

Injecting viruses is not natural, that I will side with skeptics on! But while we don’t know the alternatives, the MMR should not be avoided. Think about it; though neither is better would you rather have a child with developmental problems or a dead one?

Better the devil you know.