Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Deadly Quackery
NY Times ^ | June 4, 2006 | JOHN MOORE and NICOLI NATTRASS

Posted on 06/03/2006 10:13:16 PM PDT by neverdem

H.I.V. causes AIDS. This is not a controversial claim but an established fact, based on more than 20 years of solid science. It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes and the falling of dropped objects to the ground.

So why reiterate the obvious? Because lately, a bizarre theory has gained ground — one that claims that H.I.V. is harmless, and that the antiretroviral drugs that curb the growth of the virus cause rather than treat AIDS. Such talk sounds to most of us like quackery, but the theory has emerged as a genuine menace to public health in the United States and, particularly, in South Africa.

The theory, which we call AIDS denialism, has gained such currency with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa that his administration is reluctant to expand access to antiretroviral drugs. Despite generous allocations from the country's Treasury and substantial assistance from foreign donors, only a quarter of those needing antiretrovirals receive them. This response is poor by the standards of middle-income countries, but it is especially troublesome in South Africa, which has more H.I.V.-positive people than any other country.

American AIDS denialists are partly to blame for South Africa's backsliding AIDS policy. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the health minister, has described antiretrovirals as poisons. She is supported in these views by Roberto Giraldo, a New York hospital technologist who says AIDS is caused by deficiencies in the diet, and who served on President Mbeki's AIDS advisory panel in 2000. The minister promotes nutritional alternatives like lemons, garlic and olive oil to treat H.I.V. infection. Several prominent South Africans have died of AIDS after opting to change their diets instead of taking antiretrovirals.

Another American AIDS denialist, David Rasnick, a regular letter-writer to South African newspapers, absurdly claims that H.I.V. cannot be transmitted between...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aids; christinemaggiore; hiv; hivaids; southafrica

1 posted on 06/03/2006 10:13:19 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

This theory is at least ten years old.


2 posted on 06/03/2006 10:19:02 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
H.I.V. causes AIDS. This is not a controversial claim but an established fact, based on more than 20 years of solid science.

Bunkum.

NO causal link between HIV and AIDS has EVER been demonstrated.

None. Ever.

The association between HIV and AIDS is purely definitional, NOT causal.

Logicians are sorely needed in the press and maybe even in Medicine

Moreover, this is not a new phenomenon. Reputible scientists and physicians have been resisting the rush to judgement and the closing off of research into alternative views of this disease for over a decade.

3 posted on 06/03/2006 10:22:45 PM PDT by John Valentine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
so aspirin causes headaches?
4 posted on 06/03/2006 10:32:02 PM PDT by kinoxi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine

The CDC has an excellent page called evidence that HIV causes AIDS. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm

It is not a fact, since nothing in science is. But it is a good theory and it is more than correlational. There is also a causal element. Having one seems to cause the other. Plus, what we know as AIDS existed before the advent of antiretrovirals.

Please, before you discount the theory altogether, go look at the page.


5 posted on 06/03/2006 10:35:48 PM PDT by slightlyovertaxed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine

What are the viable research options in your opinion?


6 posted on 06/03/2006 10:36:55 PM PDT by kinoxi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
Maybe the article was written "tongue in cheek". After all, the author did say "It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes".

Of course that isn't the case. Just another schmuck parroting the NYT play book.

7 posted on 06/03/2006 10:40:34 PM PDT by isrul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Changing their sexual habits would bear more fruit than changing their diet.


8 posted on 06/03/2006 10:42:53 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Dear US Senators, Reps. and Mr. President: Why are y'all abetting the destruction of our culture?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes...

That's where I quit reading.
9 posted on 06/03/2006 10:45:55 PM PDT by Imgr8t
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
You mean besides all of this right?

If that doesn't turn your wheel, then you can go directly to the primary literature, and take your case up with them. For example:

HIV Causes AIDS
W. Blattner, R. C. Gallo, H. M. Temin
Science, New Series, Vol. 241, No. 4865 (Jul. 29, 1988), pp. 515-516

How HIV causes AIDS.
Spartalis MA
Journal Of The National Medical Association 1995 Mar; Vol. 87 (3), pp. 171, 173.

HIV causes AIDS: Koch's postulates fulfilled.
O'Brien SJ; Goedert JJ
Current Opinion In Immunology 1996 Oct; Vol. 8 (5), pp. 613-8.

For everybody but the fringe who have offered no alternatives, the debate is over.

10 posted on 06/03/2006 10:50:06 PM PDT by staterightsfirst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst

Hey, I'm pretty sure that the HI-Five leads to AIDS, but my argument is that the NYT compares it to the certianty of evolution.

Bag analogy.

They should have compared it to Whitney Houston and crack usage, or Bill Clinton and Interns, or Micheal Moore and McDonalds. That's all I'm sayin.


11 posted on 06/03/2006 10:57:59 PM PDT by Imgr8t
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: slightlyovertaxed

Thanks for the link. I had a discussion with John Valentine last week. I guess to no avail.


12 posted on 06/03/2006 10:58:38 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Imgr8t
Article: It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes...

Imgr8t: That's where I quit reading.


Me too. And this is not even a matter of religious belief. What Darwin theorized was that humans and modern apes came from a common gene pool.

Humans according to Darwin most certainly did not descend from ape. That is humans did not continue to evolve while apes were static.

Heck such a view as this might require some kind of devine intervention! So maybe the writer is somekind of antiscientific religious nut? Or maybe the writer is just another ill-informed MSM hack.
13 posted on 06/03/2006 10:58:50 PM PDT by JLS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: JLS
Or maybe the writer is just another ill-informed MSM hack.

Yep. And clearly a homosexual one at that.

14 posted on 06/03/2006 11:05:18 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Imgr8t
That's where I quit reading.

Why do I always have to read comments like that? Anyway, you missed many examples of quackery. Here's one.

"By courting the AIDS denialists, President Mbeki has increased their stature in the United States. He lent credibility to Christine Maggiore, a Californian who campaigns against using antiretrovirals to prevent transmission of H.I.V. from mothers to children, when he was photographed meeting her. Two years later, Ms. Maggiore gave birth to an H.I.V.-infected daughter, Eliza Jane, who acquired an AIDS-related infection last year and died at age 3."

15 posted on 06/03/2006 11:09:12 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: JLS; isrul; Lancey Howard
Or maybe the writer is just another ill-informed MSM hack.

The authors: "John Moore is a professor of microbiology and immunology at Cornell University. Nicoli Nattrass is the director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town."

Did anyone read the whole article?

16 posted on 06/03/2006 11:14:42 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

No


17 posted on 06/03/2006 11:21:00 PM PDT by sully777 (wWBBD: What would Brian Boitano do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: kinoxi
so aspirin causes headaches?

Actually, for some people it could. Some people can and do form a dependency on mild pain killers that we use for treating headaches. The body manufactures a headache, and you pop a few painkillers.

At least, I read about this somewhere a couple of years ago.

18 posted on 06/03/2006 11:21:21 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst
Actually, I had read each of these papers long ago and found each of them misleading and esentially dishonest as to their titling.

For example, "HIV causes AIDS: Koch's postulates fulfilled," demonstrates no such thing.

For the alternative view try this link:

The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition

19 posted on 06/03/2006 11:21:40 PM PDT by John Valentine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
"It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes "

Interesting how the left use their strongest religious belief to prove HIV causes aids.

I read many of the studies. i still believe it is not even a virus it is more likely a Germ.
I believe they are mixing up cause and effect as rearguards to HIV.

20 posted on 06/03/2006 11:22:54 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* “I love you guys”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Statistical correlation is not cause and effect - ask the folks who have tried, unsuccessfully, to prove smoking causes lung cancer. Strong statistical correlation, but no proof.

Same with HIV and AIDS. If you are truly interested in an alternative theory, from a scientific viewpoint, check out this site: http://www.duesberg.com/

Just because the government funded research says AIDS = HIV + a disease doesn't make it so. Also, consider: AIDS does not spread as a contagious disease spreads. There are lots of questions that the government does not seem interested in answering, same as with DDT and asbestos.

Don't stop asking questions.
21 posted on 06/03/2006 11:26:32 PM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
Read http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm. I read your piece from Duesberg less than a week ago. You cannot have read that link already.

"Two years later, Ms. Maggiore gave birth to an H.I.V.-infected daughter, Eliza Jane, who acquired an AIDS-related infection last year and died at age 3."

The kid didn't take antiretroviral drugs. You'll win no points for obstinacy.

22 posted on 06/03/2006 11:37:49 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Did anyone read the whole article?

Sorry - - I perused it quickly, but frankly after reading: "It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes....", it was tough to imagine that anything following could be taken seriously. That kind of vain, brazen arrogance presents a real stumbling block for me.

Regards,
LH

23 posted on 06/03/2006 11:41:50 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Did anyone read the whole article?

I certainly did not. Why would I bother reading an article by a biologist who makes such a basic error in the openning paragraph.

I am an economist. If I began an article by saying, drilling in AWAR would increase old prices with scientific certainty, it is as certain as an increase wages lower firm costs, I doubt anyone would read my entire article either.

If you make a basic error about your discipline and I am not talking about a typo, but a basic error like humans desecended from ape rather than humans and apes come from a common gene pool, then you have undermined your credibility. No one is going to take you seriously.
24 posted on 06/03/2006 11:51:38 PM PDT by JLS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Statistical correlation is not cause and effect - ask the folks who have tried, unsuccessfully, to prove smoking causes lung cancer. Strong statistical correlation, but no proof.

I live in the real world. Life is not geometric or algebraic proofs. Look at the preponderance of clinical evidence in reducing the incidence and prevalence of the HIV/AIDS diagnosis, e.g. the reduction of mother to child transmission with antiretroviral drugs, the success in reducing promiscuous transmission, screening blood and blood products, etc.

25 posted on 06/03/2006 11:54:34 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Steve Van Doorn
I read many of the studies. i still believe it is not even a virus it is more likely a Germ.

Can you tell me what a germ is? Do you mean a single cell bacterium?

26 posted on 06/03/2006 11:59:19 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard; JLS

Too bad, you missed good examples of medical quackery.


27 posted on 06/04/2006 12:01:36 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
It is as certain as the descent of humans from apes....

There they go again. The missing link is still missing, but what do you expect from the godless NY Times.

28 posted on 06/04/2006 12:09:18 AM PDT by Rockitz (This isn't rocket science- Follow the money and you'll find the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
Actually, I had read each of these papers long ago and found each of them misleading and esentially dishonest as to their titling.

I still have the papers. Do you recall any specific problems did you have with their reasoning?

As for the paper you posted, it's awfully questionable itself. For example, it's clear the authors have absolutely no knowledge of virology (kind of important if you're going to be discussing HIV). For example, at one point they say:

Despite its spectacular birthday, the HIV-AIDS hypothesis has remained entirely unproductive to this date: there is as yet no anti-HIV-AIDS vaccine, no effective prevention, and not a single AIDS patient has ever been cured.

Well, that's because:
1) The HIV vaccine is difficult to develop; animal models are poor, the virus is highly mutagenic, and the receptor-binding portion actually conceals itself in the envelope.
2) Antivirals have been shown to be effective at preventing AIDS from developing in HIV-positive individuals provided they do not continue to engage in high-risk behavior
3) Because AIDS only develops after the supply of CD4+ T cells has been depleted it makes absolutely no sense to claim that an inability to cure AIDS somehow means that HIV isn't causing it - (and their 1 in 500 infected/depleted T cell argument is specious at best)

And when it comes down to it, the best predictor for the development of AIDS is STILL HIV infection, a point noticeably absent from this paper - even though they go into a great deal of detail analyzing and attempting to draw their conclusions from looking pretty much exclusively at sub-groups (such as HIV-positive non-drug users versus drug users, which is another fallacious point: how much more likely is it for a drug user to engage in risky behavior and have a compromised immune system that itself increases the odds of developing AIDS?)

...and if you're so sure, why not volunteer for one of the HIV vaccine trials? I mean, you won't get AIDS anyway, right?

29 posted on 06/04/2006 12:11:05 AM PDT by staterightsfirst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst

OK, considering that the guy who wrote it is purportedly a PhD in Molecular & Cell Biology, I guess "no knowledge of virology" is a little bit harsh.

:P


30 posted on 06/04/2006 12:25:51 AM PDT by staterightsfirst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst
it's clear the authors have absolutely no knowledge of virology

It's kind of hard to make that sort of accusation stick to Peter Duesberg if you have a look at his CV.

31 posted on 06/04/2006 1:07:11 AM PDT by John Valentine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
It seems to me AID’s acts more like Treponema pallidum or Syphilis then any virus. There are differences such as it might be traveling through the body rather then spreading like most Germs or Bacteria do.
32 posted on 06/04/2006 2:30:09 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* “I love you guys”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst
"why not volunteer for one of the HIV vaccine trials? I mean, you won't get AIDS anyway, right?"

I disagree. We all agree there is a correlation between HIV and AIDs. I just don't believe it is the cause of AIDs.

33 posted on 06/04/2006 2:43:35 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* “I love you guys”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst

When traveling rather then spreading through the body I believe what takes place is an attack on the production of T helper's.


34 posted on 06/04/2006 2:53:10 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* “I love you guys”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Well, the big fight over who should get credit for discovering the cause of AIDS was pathetic and science is not without scandals so it wouldn't suprise me if 50-60 years from now we look back and shake our heads over the HIV causes AIDS fraud. On the other hand it wouldn't suprise me if HIV does cause AIDS.


35 posted on 06/04/2006 4:17:17 AM PDT by bkepley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
the antiretroviral drugs that curb the growth of the virus cause rather than treat AIDS.

If a hiv+ takes drugs to enable him to live a longer life then he otherwise would have, and infect more people who would otherwise not be infected, then yes, it does cause the spread of aids.

36 posted on 06/04/2006 4:40:49 AM PDT by sportutegrl (People who say, "All I know is . . ." really mean, "All I want you to focus on is . . .")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Didn't mean to offend, I just found the quackery in paragraph 1.


37 posted on 06/04/2006 5:24:21 AM PDT by Imgr8t
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Doesn't seem like it. I hate it when this happens.


38 posted on 06/04/2006 8:47:43 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Creationism is to conservatism what Howard Dean is to liberalism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
Peter Duesberg volunteered in 1992 to be injected with high-titer HIV cultures.

Has he done it yet?

39 posted on 06/04/2006 8:50:20 AM PDT by Jim Noble (And you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Imgr8t

Sirs, perhaps there are those among you who believe you are descended from a ape. I suppose there may even be those among you who believe that I am descended from a ape. But I challenge the man to step forward who believes that General Robert E. Lee is descended from a ape.


40 posted on 06/04/2006 8:52:50 AM PDT by Jim Noble (And you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

This one gets filed along with "A biopsy causes cancer to spread" or "If you swallow the chewing gum a rubber tree will grow in your stomach".


41 posted on 06/04/2006 9:00:16 AM PDT by JoeSixPack1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine

I notice you don't bother to address my points, only my single use of hyperbole.

See post #30 - that's fine.


42 posted on 06/04/2006 10:12:35 AM PDT by staterightsfirst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Steve Van Doorn

Yeah, the CD4+ T cells are the "helper" T cells.


43 posted on 06/04/2006 10:17:47 AM PDT by staterightsfirst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: staterightsfirst
"Yeah, the CD4+ T cells are the "helper" T cells."

Yeap you got it.

44 posted on 06/04/2006 1:22:03 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric cartman voice* “I love you guys”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Jim Noble

Deusberg's offer - or mine if I had ever made such - can't really be taken up because of issues of medical ethics. But nevertheless, I am quite sure Duesberg would be as unconcerned about an HIV infection today as he ever was.

But you must note that Duesberg remains open minded about the ultimate cause of AIDS. He is only very sure that it is not HIV. His fairly high degree of certainty on that point is based on his vast knowledge of retroviruses which at one time was unchallenged and widely heralded, before he refused to "go along" with the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.


45 posted on 06/04/2006 2:39:35 PM PDT by John Valentine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: John Valentine
I gave you the courtesy of reading the poorly referenced 30 page pdf by Duesberg et al. Do yourself a favor. You should take the time to read http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm. Its references are voluminous and linked.
46 posted on 06/04/2006 4:05:09 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson