Thrawn Rickle 53

AIDS – The Disease that isn’t

© 1994 Williscroft

AIDS—Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. Thought by many to be the scourge of the millennium, in the last decade AIDS has become a household word and, for many, a terrifying end to a troubled life.

During the second Reagan presidential campaign in 1983, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, Margaret Heckler, and Robert Gallo from National Institutes of Health, made a startling announcement: AIDS, that strange and terrifying disease that was sweeping through the ranks of San Francisco homosexuals and was popping up in pockets around most of the civilized world, was caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). President Reagan then announced a large-scale government effort to find a cure for AIDS, and went on to another four years in office with an overwhelming mandate to carry out his programs, which included an unprecedented government funded effort to conquer AIDS.

Since that announcement a decade ago, the U.S. government has spent a staggering $22 billion, and private research has spent billions more chasing the illusive HIV-AIDS connection. And yet all this money, all this research, all this effort has produced no vaccine, no effective prevention, and no cure.

What could possibly be wrong? When we attacked polio, we found a prevention. When we attacked measles we prevailed. We have even made significant progress in the fight to control cancer and heart disease. Why is AIDS so different?

When we examine the HIV-AIDS hypothesis more closely, we will discover that the relationship is purely circumstantial rather than cause-and-effect. Even the nature of this circumstantial evidence is a bit of a stretch, since the correlation actually is between AIDS and the antibody against HIV. Reduced to its simplest form, AIDS is now defined as one or more of about thirty previously known diseases if they occur in the presence of the HIV antibody. In other words, AIDS is not a disease in and of itself; but when—for example—tuberculosis occurs in the presence of the HIV antibody, the disease is defined as AIDS, whereas when tuberculosis occurs by itself, it is simply tuberculosis.

Typically, when an hypothesis is put to scientific test, its primary hurdle (after offering a plausible explanation of the facts) is its ability to predict accurately future related events. With this in mind, let us compare nine specific predictions that have been made since the initial announcement of the HIV-AIDS connection with what actually happened.

Prediction 1. AIDS would explode from the original risk groups into the general population via sexual transmission of HIV.

Actual Result In the United States and Europe, AIDS has remained substantially in the original risk groups—intravenous drug users and male homosexuals.

Prediction 2. Health care workers would contract AIDS (not just HIV) from their patients; scientists from propagating HIV; and prostitutes from their clients.

Actual Result None of these predictions have happened.

Prediction 3. 150 chimpanzees that were experimentally inoculated with HIV, and 15,000 American hemophiliacs who received the HIV virus through transfusions before 1984 would develop AIDS.

Actual Result No HIV-infected chimpanzee has developed AIDS. The median age of hemophiliacs has doubled from eleven years in the 1970s to twenty-six years in 1986.

Prediction 4. HIV would cause predictable diseases.

Actual Result None of the thirty AIDS diseases is predictable.

Prediction 5. HIV would cause the same pattern of diseases in all people.

Actual Result Kaposi’s sarcoma (a form of cancer) is almost exclusively restricted to male homosexuals. Pneumonia is almost the only AIDS disease of hemophiliacs. Tuberculosis is typical of intravenous drug users.

Prediction 6. AIDS would follow within weeks after HIV infection, before anti-HIV immunity—as is the case with all other virus diseases.

Actual Result AIDS occurs—if at all—an average of ten years after HIV infection.

Prediction 7. All AIDS diseases would result from HIV-mediated immunodeficiency.

Actual Result In the United States, only about sixty percent of AIDS cases are immunodeficiency diseases: pneumonia, candidiasis, mycobacterial (includes tuberculosis), cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and herpes virus. The remaining forty percent are non-immunodeficiency diseases: wasting disease, Kaposi’s sarcoma, dementia, and lymphoma.

Prediction 8. All AIDS diseases result from HIV.

Actual Result Over four thousand HIV-free AIDS cases have been diagnosed, mostly in AIDS risk groups in the United States and Europe.

Prediction 9. AIDS will follow the dissemination of HIV.

Actual Result The number of United States HIV carriers has remained approximately one million since 1984, whereas the number of AIDS cases has risen from a few hundred in 1981 to over 60,000 in 1993. The curves are completely uncorrelated.

Peter H. Duesberg of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley is the world-famous discoverer of retro-viral oncogenes, the first cancer genes to be identified. He has been conducting a careful study of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, and makes several interesting observations.

According to Dr. Duesberg, recent studies show that HIV is just a harmless “passenger virus” instead of the cause of AIDS. These studies clearly show that AIDS occurs randomly at unpredictable intervals after HIV infection. And they also show that HIV may be active, passive, or even totally absent from otherwise identical AIDS cases.

Dr. Duesberg also points out that AIDS does not meet even one of the classical criteria of infectious disease:

Criterion 1. Equal distribution between sexes.

How AIDS matches In the United States, AIDS is ninety percent male.

Criterion 2. Disease follows infection within days or weeks, which is the time microbes take to become either immunogenic or pathogenic or both.

How AIDS matches AIDS is claimed to follow HIV infection with a lag of ten years.

Criterion 3. Presence of a common active microbe.

How AIDS matches HIV is not common to all AIDS cases, and it is not active in any AIDS cases.

In a recent series of scientific articles, Dr. Duesberg proposes a dramatically different cause-and-effect relationship for AIDS which he calls the Drug-AIDS hypothesis. He proposes that American and European AIDS is caused by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and the anti-HIV drug Azidothymidine (AZT).

There is, indeed, a startling epidemiological and chronological correlation between the post-Vietnam era drug epidemic in the United States and Europe, and AIDS. In support of this hypothesis, Dr. Duesberg offers the following five points.

1. Approximately thirty percent of American and European AIDS patients are intravenous drug users. (This statistic takes into account “AIDS babies” born of IV drug using mothers.)

Virtually one hundred percent of male homosexuals with AIDS or at risk for AIDS have been long-term users of nitrite inhalants and other oral aphrodisiac drugs that confer euphoria and facilitate anal intercourse. Recently completed epidemiological studies from San Francisco and Vancouver have confirmed that one hundred percent of several hundred male homosexuals with AIDS had used multiple recreational drugs for a long time. Since 1909, medical literature has documented the immunotoxicity of recreational drugs.

Presently, approximately 200,000 HIV-positive healthy people and AIDS patients are being treated four times daily with AZT and several other DNA chain terminators that are being used as anti-HIV drugs. DNA chain terminators kill all growing cells, particularly those of the highly proliferative immune system. Cause and effect works here just like everywhere else. AZT is AIDS by prescription.

2. The correlation between the rise in cocaine use and subsequent cocaine-related hospital emergencies on one hand, and the incidence of AIDS on the other is extremely close, which is in sharp contrast to the non-existing correlation between incidence of HIV and AIDS.

3. Ninety percent of American AIDS patients are male. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, males consume seventy-five percent of all illicit drugs, and male homosexuals are virtually the only consistent users of aphrodisiac drugs like alkyl nitrites.

4. AIDS occurs approximately ten years after initial risk behavior, because it takes this long for recreational drug use to cause disease. Note that lung cancer and emphysema occur after some twenty years of tobacco use, and liver cirrhosis occurs after many years of alcohol abuse. The immunotoxic effect of recreational drugs builds up over years of use.

5. Different risk-groups have different risk-group-specific AIDS diseases.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is observed almost exclusively in homosexuals because they are almost exclusively users of aphrodisiac nitrite inhalants.

Tuberculosis and weight loss is observed in intravenous drug users, because this activity causes these symptoms.

Anemia and lymphocytopenia is observed in recipients of AZT which kills proliferating cells of the bone marrow.

Hemophiliacs get pneumonia and candidiasis almost exclusively, because long-term transfusion of foreign proteins is immunosuppressive.

During a recent informal exchange of ideas between Dr. Duesberg and Nobel Laureate Kary B. Mullis in which this author was privileged to participate, Dr. Mullis offered a supportive counterpoint to the Drug-AIDS hypothesis.

Dr. Mullis observed that homosexual and IV drug user lifestyles both serve to concentrate the totality of passenger viruses and actual disease causing viruses in these groups. He suggested that another possible, testable mechanism for the immunodeficient character of AIDS is a simple disastrous overloading of the human immune system. He pointed out that were the body to produce sufficient antibodies to counter such an overwhelming overload, the immune system would begin to attack itself. He proposed this as the underlying mechanism for the immunotoxic effects of long-term recreational drug use.

Ten years and $22 billion after the notion of an HIV-AIDS connection was first introduced, we may finally be looking in the right direction. You may not wish to throw away your condom just yet, but you can relax and enjoy that flight, even if your male seat companion obviously likes boys better than girls.

Submariner, diver, scientist, author & adventurer. 22 mos underwater, a yr in the equatorial Pacific, 3 yrs in the Arctic, and a yr at the South Pole. BS Marine Physics & Meteorology, PhD in Engineering. Authors non-fiction, Cold War thrillers, and hard science fiction. Lives in Centennial, CO.

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