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September 11, 2006

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As for that quote from Jason Rosenhouse, I just *know* someone will pop up saying, "But isn't that what Galileo/Darwin/Einstein did with heliocentricism/non-evolutionary-theories/Newtonian gravity?"

The correct response is, of course, "No, they all made their appropriate contributions after amassing evidence and seeing that a) there was a problem with the current theory, and b) this new theory neatly solves those problems."

You have to wonder why Hank/D. David Steele gave this webpage as support for the following attempt at logic.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/328/6/429

Since HIV is found in all cases of AIDS, obviously HIV must cause AIDS.


Second, idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia appears to be extremely rare. Smith et al.3 reviewed 230,179 cases of AIDS from the CDC AIDS Reporting System, and only 2 cases fit the definition of idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia.

Fourth, the demographic features and clinical manifestations of this syndrome are heterogeneous and dissimilar to those of HIV infection and AIDS. In the reported studies,3,4,5,6,7 less than half the patients had risk factors for HIV infection, and there were wide geographic and age distributions. Approximately one third of the patients were women, as compared with 11 percent among those with HIV or AIDS in the United States (CDC: unpublished data). Many of the patients with idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia remained clinically stable, and their condition did not deteriorate over time, as is so common with markedly immunosuppressed HIV-infected patients. The immunologic profiles also differed from those observed in HIV-infected patients. In many of the patients, the CD4+ T-cell counts remained stable over time. In several patients there was a spontaneous reversal toward normal. Patients with idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia generally had lymphopenia, with some having decreases in CD8+ T cells and B cells. In addition, immunoglobulin levels were either normal or, more commonly, decreased, in contrast to the almost universal hypergammaglobulinemia of HIV-infected patients9.

If Hank's goal was to demonstrate that there exists large numbers of AIDS cases without HIV then he fails miserably. The extremely small number of idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia cases can be distinguished from AIDS.

Thanks for taking the time to do this takedown Skeptico.

A common "fallacy that isn't" is ad hominem. I've lost track of the number of times I have specifically addressed the pseudoscientific arguments of a HIV "rethinker" only to be accused of arguing ad hominem.

They normally follow this by accusing me of being a paid pharma-shill or by giving me a free psychiatric analysis.

OK, so is this gentleman so confident of his position that he'd inject himself with a dose of HIV?

Thought not.

"But isn't that what Galileo/Darwin/Einstein did with heliocentricism/non-evolutionary-theories/Newtonian gravity?"

We should also note that the predictions of Newton's Laws of Motion, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Theory are exactly the same under common circumstances. Relativity just explains the inaccuracies of Newton's Laws at high velocities, and Quantum Theory explains inaccuracies at subatomic scales. These statements apply to most theories: newer "revisions" explain the same evidence as older, established theories, but they explain variations that occur in fringe situations that couldn't be measured when the older theories were formulated.

Runolfr: While that's a true argument, I don't know much it holds. In physics, it's relatively easy to set up some tests and verify that, yes, your theory is correct in XXX case. In medicine, many of your studies are of the statistical analysis type, which *can* definitely be wrong sometimes. The whole "double blind controlled study" thing can't exactly be done ethically with AIDS.

In other words, it's easier for a doctor to be wrong than a physicist. Doctors are somewhat more like cosmologists, who are similar prevented from performing experiments. Instead, they are forced to generate hypotheses from the data, then simply strengthen their hypotheses by how well it explains new data. The 'confirmation' that true experimentation gives just isn't avaliable a lot of the time.

It doesn't mean they aren't just as rigorous as, say, chemists or computer scientists, but it does leave a slightly wider margin of error.

Indeed, argumentum ad hominem must be the most misunderstood fallacy in the bestiary. Hank even gets it backwards -- what he meant to say, I think, is "You suck; therefore HIV causes AIDS." HIV denialists do seem to resent the observation that no one with more nervous tissue than a flatworm would give any credence to some of the wackier arguments they advance -- but that is a consequence of the arguments' wackiness, not the cause of it. As Dan0 observed recently in a different context, the two cases are easy to distinguish:


Ad hom: "you are an idiot, therefore your argument is faulty"

Not ad hom: "your argument is faulty because x, y, z, and by the way you are an idiot".


It's also worth noting that Hank can't even impersonate his imagined adversary without tossing in a tendentious zinger like "Since we’'ve started pumping people with AZT and other toxic drugs, ..."
HIV denialists, as a class, tend to be fairly relentless with this kind of crap, which is why I have tried (with limited success) to stay away from the debate thus far.

Most aids thinkers do not believe that it has been scientifically proven to cause Aids and that other issues do not add up. I for one do not. I had full, blown Aids, almost died, took anti-virals and have been off of them going on 7 months now. According to the mainstream, I should be at least sick if not dying. I have never felt better and have no clinical symptoms even though my CD4's are under 200.

You do realize that:

1. Anecdotes don't count as good evidence.

2. Sometimes unexpected things happen (The human body is a big, tricky thing) like people seeming to get better as a result of homeopathy, despite its lack of effects in double-blind experiments.

As far as we know, your body might have managed to turn the tide (at least temporarily) on its own. There's no way to tell with an anecdote: No controls against alternative explanations.

Well, I'll tell you what the secret is: come off of anti-virals, antibiotics, etc. and have good health habits. I take only one drug which is lOW DOSE Naltrexone which has a extremely safe and long track record. I would encourage anyone with immune deficiency diseases to check it out at lowdosenaltrexone.org.

I... would recommend listening to doctors, instead. As the great Ben Goldacre once said, "The plural of anecdote isn't data."

Good for you that you got better. That's absolutely awesome. However, most people need antivirals to get some relief from it. Statistical flukes should not direct general policy.

Dr. Bihari from New York City has pioneered the use of LDN for Aids patients. I don't think that those who are being helped by this drug are statistical flukes, as you put it. This site seems to be a downer, at least at the rethinker site, it's not doom and gloom as here.

Can you point me to the peer-reviewed medical literature that supports the use of low dose naltrexone in HIV infection?

Who peer reviewed Robert Gallo's work in 1984?

Dr. Gluck who is the webmaster for the site is a very personalbe guy who can fill you in on clinical trails, studies, conferences, etc. Drop him an email as he is quite helpful. Also, the website lists a phone number in New York and Dr. Bihari's assistant can answer most questions. There are so many people who are being helped with this wonderful drug from cancer, MS and so many more. It works by boosting the body's own endorphin levels, which have been proven to be low in immune deficinet persons.

Noreen:

According to this link:

In the spring of 1984, Gallo and his team of U.S. researchers submitted a comprehensive series of four scientific papers to the journal Science, papers that were fully peer reviewed (and later subject to one the most intensive review processes ever given to scientific articles).2,3,4,5

And those four references are:

2. Popovic M, Sarngadharan MG, Read E, et al. Detection, isolation, and continuous production of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and pre-AIDS. Science. 1984; 224(4648): 497-500.

3. Gallo RC, Salahuddin SZ, Popovic M, et al. Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS. Science. 1984; 224(4648): 500-503.

4. Schüpbach J, Popovic M, Gilden RV, et al. Serological analysis of a subgroup of human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV-III) associated with AIDS. Science. 1984; 224(4648): 503-505.

5. Sarngadharan MG, Popovic M, Bruch L, et al. Antibodies reactive with human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV-III) in the serum of patients with AIDS. Science. 1984; 224(4648): 506-508.


Who peer reviewed Robert Gallo's work in 1984?

The editors of Science and the reviewers selected by Science.

Gallo's 1984 paper had passed peer review and had been accepted for publication on the 19th April 1984.

The press conference announcing the findings was on the 23rd April 1984.

Gallo's paper had been peer reviewed before the press conference.

Don't believe everything you read on "rethinker" websites.

NOR DO I BELIEVE EVERYTHING ON YOURS. ONE THING FOR SURE THOUGH, I HAVE TO GO BY WHAT I SEE WHICH IS GREAT BLOOD WORK, NO SICKNESS AND GREAT HEALTH, AFTER ALL, ISN'T THAT WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT?

Why don't you believe it? This isn't religion. You have to have a logical reason to doubt or accept evidence.

Who peer reviewed Robert Gallo's work in 1984?

Dodge noted.

Skeptico answered your question before I could. So now please answer mine: Where are the peer-reviewed studies that support the use of low dose naltrexone in HIV infection. Directing me to call an office or contact a webmaster is a cop-out.

First, I was on the mainstream view of things as I was dying and no one knew why. I had an Aids diagnosis and took the standard medications. Having a curious nature and not being familiar with Aids, I starting looking into this disease. I thought what most people on the street believe to be true concerning Aids, unless they are exposed to it,that it is caused by HIV, sex and if you get Aids you will die.

The more that I looked into it, I couldn't get it to add up in my mind, things such as 50% male/female in Africa and pretty much 90% around the world (I'm ball parking it), an antibody load being called a viral load, CD4's used as the only yardstick for health when in previous years they were not significant and athletes have had low numbers and were quite healthy, people die with high and low CD4's. There are other important things to health such as selenium, vitamin levels, cortisol and more. However, Aids doctors are only interested in CD4's. A failed cancer drug being given to the sickest of the population and the next generation of drugs have their known side effects. Only thirty some of Gallo's original samples out of seventy some had HIV in them. Then there is Koch's Prostulates. Hiv acts like a passenger virus. Some believe that HHV6A could do more damage and more effectively than HIV. I've read that all Aids person have HHV6A. However, I haven't opted for a biopsy to confirm this. Mycoplasmas are another issue. I discovered that their is a secret virus program and spoke to the doctor who is pursuring in court about this issue. Then there is the Hulda Clark theory of the worm, the benzene theory, the contaminated Heptatis Shot Theory. I'm sure that I have left out others as it is late. Nevertheless, there is no lack of what could cause Aids. Through the process of elimintion, I had to come to the conclusion that it is a life-style disease since the early cases of GRID were just that. It makes logical sense to me that drugs, legal or street, play a part in the break down of immunity. I equate Aids to pieces of a pie, there are many negative pieces in one's life such as environmental influences, past medical history and treatments,eating habits, exercise, stress,etc. which eventually leads to to Aids. I hope that this somewhat clarifies my position.

I don't know of any peer-reviewed study that is why you must contact the above mentioned. As you probably know, most of medicine is trail and error. Nevertheless, doctor may legally prescribe any drug by "off label" and I don't see why anyone would have a problem with LDN which virtually has no side effects, unlike HAART. I follow a couple of rethinkers site and everyone seem to want to split hairs about the HAART survival rates. Does it work, I would have to say yes and no. Is it really prolonging life and at what cost? Then, there are persons who only go the holistic way and some like me step out of line and take LDN and herbs, etc. I probably never will be mainstream by anyone's standards, but does it really matter? I am here regardless of whether you agree with me or not.


Noreen,

As I've said before, I'm not a physician and I'm very uncomfortable discussing anyone's personal health. But I would like you to really take one of your claims- that HIV viral load is really measuring "antibody load", which I've seen you make on at least four web-sites, and really investigate that statement to see whether it is anything close to accurate.

After you do that please consider several possibilities:

1. That these are complex issues and without specialized training it is very easy to become confused or to misunderstand what you are reading,

2. That some things you read on the internet may not be entirely accurate,

3. That if you are making an error of this size and scope on one facet of HIV/AIDS, that you might be making others,

4. That what Richard Jeffreys told you today at New AIDS Review: "Noreen, the natural history studies cited above involved people that never took antiretrovirals, your personal situation is in no way incompatible with the published data.", while he was citing literature showing people who did not take medication died of AIDS, is true.

5. That there is a reason some people use the word ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial>"denialist"
to describe HIV "rethinkers" and that reason is not to compare them to Holocaust deniers.

Ok, yes, it can be confusing reading and trying to make heads or tails of the Aids issue. I know, as I stuggled with it for some time. I didn't just wake up one morning and go off the meds. When I did though, I had no support on the matter, not doctors, a mate and at that time no web support. The first time, there was tremendous pressure to go back on them, so I did. However, I keep learning and could never get the other side to outweight the rethinker side.

I believe in going to the horse's mouth so to speak. You see, I was, say 98% convinced about which side to be with. However, that was not good enough, I needed the other 2% in my mind. So I decided to go to the horse's mouth so to speak; the thing that was confusing was how the HAART was wiping out antibodies. After contacing Dr. Kary Mullis, the inventor and Nobel Prize Winner, for the PCR test, I was 100% correct that what I was doing was right thing to do.

People who did not take anti-virals died and so did people who did. I personally feel that Aids doctors are missing the boat in what to use to measure health. Health is based on many factors. Also, most do not want to consider diet and other factors of health. This is a major turn-off to many. In fact, this was the first red flag to me that something was not right or rotten in the state of Denmark.

Noreen, I am very glad that your AIDS has abated, for whatever reason. However, I have to take exception to your comment:

People who did not take anti-virals died and so did people who did.

This is like saying "People die in car crashes even if they're wearing seatbelts". Yes, they do, but the overwhelming evidence is that you're much more likely to survive a car crash if you're wearing one.

Why did the doctors decide that, say AZT was a useful weapon against AIDS? I don't think they just threw a dart at a list of drugs and say "We'll use that one!" They were faced with a near 100% mortality rate from AIDS, and they performed clinical trials.

If those trials hadn't given positive results (and that's not just one person saying "Well, it made me feel better!"), AZT would have been thrown on the scrap heap.

So, OK, some people who go on the standard drug regimens are either too far gone already, or they don't respond well to the treatment, perhaps because they're already weakened. However, admittedly without access to the relevant statistics and reports, I'm willing to bet that more people improve with the standard treatments than without them, otherwise, doctors wouldn't be bothering with them - at least here in the UK, where we have a free medical system.

These drugs are expensive and eat into hospitals' bottom lines. If they weren't doing a thing, UK hospitals at least would drop them like the proverbial hot potatoes. And yet they still prescribe them.

I don't believe that the trials went so well, at least not here in America. If AZT is such a wonderful drug, why was it scrapped in the 1960's as a Cancer drug? If it would not work on immune compromised, cancer patient, why would Aids patients fare any better, they wouldn't because generally speaking, they are worse than cancer patients.

Doctors always feel the need to prescribe based somtimes on bad informatin that thet get from the drug studies. How many people did we lose on the "hit em hard, hit em early" theory?

I am not familiar with the "free" medical system, but somone surely is paying and by the same token, making money.

If AZT is such a wonderful drug, why was it scrapped in the 1960's as a Cancer drug?

That seems a bit of a non sequitur, Noreen. It's like saying, "if penicillin is such a great antibiotic, why can't it cure schizophrenia?".

By your own admission, they did scrap AZT as an anti-cancer drug, once they found it was no good. So why do they not do so now when using it as a supposedly useless anti-AIDS drug? What's changed?

...immune compromised, cancer patient, why would Aids patients fare any better ...

Do you really think cancer solely kills because it causes immune deficiencies? AIDS often allows cancers to start because of immune system shutdown, but that's not how all cancers start, nor is immune deficiency a necessary symptom of cancer. AIDS victims die of all sorts of diseases that wouldn't normally be expected to kill, but it's the immune deficiency that's the root cause of all of them.

I am not familiar with the "free" medical system, but somone surely is paying and by the same token, making money.

OK, the National Health Service isn't exactly free - it's paid for through workers' National Insurance taxes. Every working person in the UK pays for it. The doctors are salaried employees, not on commission, and they're under pressure to keep the costs down. There's been a big argument about doctors not prescribing the anti-cancer drug Herceptin, solely because of the cost.

I don't see any sign of the ogreish Big Pharma demons bribing the doctors to take it. Do you have any actual evidence that this goes on? Doctors in the UK aren't the high-earners they are in the United States (although IMO they should be), so eyebrows would likely be raised if an NHS doctor suddenly started driving a Lexus and living in a mansion.

I have seen absolutely no evidence whatsoever that drug companies are bribing doctors to take AZT, so if it's so useless, why are they still using it?

It's easy enough to say "Of course the drug companies would bribe hospital staff!", just like it costs nothing to say, "Of course the CIA, NSA, MI5 or whatever kill people whenever they feel like it!"

That's unjustified and unsubstantiated hearsay, I'm afraid.

Doctors always feel the need to prescribe based somtimes on bad informatin that thet get from the drug studies.

How do you know it's bad information? How do you know doctors always do that? Don't you think if they kept prescribing a drug and it never worked they'd start to ask questions? Do you think all doctors are just callous, unfeeling pill-pushers who don't follow up their cases?

Remember, it was doctors who exposed the Thalidomide scandal. That was an attempted pharma cover-up, but it didn't last long.

I'm sorry, Noreen, but I haven't heard a lot except innuendo, hearsay and anecdotes yet.

Oops - who forgot to use an ending HTML tag? Sorry.

That's better - I didn't know HTML tags could run through consecutive posts.

Oh well, so much for the preview feature and using an ending tag.

It's called, I want to keep my medical license, I have to do what the governmental agencies in this country say is the proper means of treatment. Well, at least we can agree on one thing, that Aids patients are immune depressed. How does giving them toxic drugs restore their immunity when it's part of the problem. Some of the diseases on the official list are immune diseases and some are not. Nevertheless, every single one of them were here before 1984 so I don't see how a harmless, retrovirus can be given the credit for this. Giving persons certain drugs can induce Aids. Surely, there must be some studies out there of the effects of anti-virals on rats. I would love to see these result.

Talk about a major bug. One forgotten tag and the entire thread is shunted into italics world.

Huh, once I put that up, my post and the three above shifted back to normal. Weird.

Aha, I get it...

Woo explanation: I have MAGIC POWERS!!

Rational explanation: Skeptico is going in and fixing the tags in past posts as I type this.

Yes, I fixed the missing tag. It's true, I do have superpowers.

Noreen, Al asked a very good question back there:

By your own admission, they did scrap AZT as an anti-cancer drug, once they found it was no good. So why do they not do so now when using it as a supposedly useless anti-AIDS drug? What's changed?

Saying “It's called, I want to keep my medical license…” etc doesn’t really cut it. Why did fear about losing medical licenses not affect doctors when AZT was scrapped as an anti-cancer drug? What is different now?

The politics has changed. Everyone is on the Aids bandwagon from movie stars, to politicians, to Bill Gates. It like apple pie, it's almost unAmerican to go against it. The American government is behind it, the drug companies and God know who all. Nobody wants to admit that they may have made a mistake.

Everyone forgets the speech in 1984; the "PROBABLE CAUSE OF AIDS"

I think what is different with Aids is the fear factor. It was built up to be so drastic, but it hasn't been, approximately 14,000 new case per year since the beginning in the states.

How does giving them toxic drugs restore their immunity when it's part of the problem.

Err... because it's more toxic to the virus than it is to the immune system? Many anti-cancer drugs, like methotrexate, are very toxic indeed, and have been used as murder weapons. Nonetheless, they produce results.

I don't see how a harmless, retrovirus can be given the credit for this.

Circular argument, Noreen. If the retrovirus actually does cause AIDS, then it's not exactly harmless, is it? Are you saying that all retroviruses are harmless? So I guess all the vets and doctors worrying about so-called Feline Leukemia Virus, Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus, Avian Leucosis Virus, Human T-lymphotropic Virus etc. are all barking up the wrong tree. After all, they're all just harmless little retroviruses. Isn't it amazing that all these people have made the same mistake as the AIDS researchers. Hey, guys, reverse transcriptase is a myth!

Giving persons certain drugs can induce Aids.

Such as what drugs? Yes, AIDS has often been found in drug addicts, but that's because they shared needles and hence bodily fluids. If you know for sure that certain medical drugs can cause cancer, you shouldn't be spending your time posting on a blog: you should be pestering the police, the judiciary, politicians, the FDA and anyone else who'll listen!

Not impressed, I'm afraid.

You know what's funny, Noreen? Until I read this post and all the comments, I had no knowledge of the supposed issues with HIV/AIDS. I was only dimly aware there even was any controversy.

Having read your various comments, though, I already know you're likely to be wrong, because I have yet to hear anybody who invoked the specter of "Big Pharma and the government and the CDC" and all of that who was correct or had any sort of evidence of all this malfeasance.

Seriously, is there a book where you people get this stuff out of? Because you sound exactly like the other yahoos who spout this crap.

Glad to hear you're doing better, though.

It was built up to be so drastic, but it hasn't been,

15 million Africans have died from it, and it's not drastic?

There are fears that it could mutate and become non-intimately contagious like the common cold. I think you'll find that researcher who realised that AIDS research was on completely on the wrong track would say so and get something done about it. The consequences of failing to tackle AIDS are too scary.

The American government is behind it, the drug companies and God know who all. Nobody wants to admit that they may have made a mistake.

And you learned this from ... whom?

Go over to New Aids Review and see the information about Factor VIII from the LANCET, going on right now.

This is the problem, an Aids person who has many viruses should be given the anti-virals because, you are right, they are stronger than what is attacking the body. That and along with all my supplements, chelation therapy, herbs, etc. is why Iam ALIVE. In a very short time, 3 months, I was well enough to come off of them. No one in their right mind would continously give cancer patients, radiation and chemotherapy indefinitely.

Realizing that medicine is sometimes trial and error, as in the hit em hard of yesterday, I think for the best way to end this nonesense is for the Aids doctors to regroup and give the anti-virals when needed (to persons with symptoms) and then stop when the patient is well enough.


When one is left on these toxic medications for the rest of one's life, that's a problem.

I don't believe that the trials went so well, at least not here in America. If AZT is such a wonderful drug, why was it scrapped in the 1960's as a Cancer drug? If it would not work on immune compromised, cancer patient, why would Aids patients fare any better, they wouldn't because generally speaking, they are worse than cancer patients.

You have an odd idea of how drugs work. It sounds like you think that a drug is just generally good for you or generally bad for you. But real drugs don't work that way. A drug that works for cancer probably won't work against a virus, and vice versa. They are very different illnesses. Some drugs work only for one type of cancer and not for others. AIDS is not merely "worse" than cancer (and there are some types of cancer that are worse than AIDS in terms of how rapidly and unpleasantly people die); it is completely different.

Africian aids is overinflated due to not properly testing and being able to look at someone and say that they have Aids. HOW CAN ALMOST 90 % AIDS CASES IN AMERICA be in the male population and it is 50/50 in Africa. This must be a really smart virus.

In my lifetime, they have always been dying from sickness and mainly malnutrition. How are anti-virals going to solve this problem?

Nobody wants to admit that they may have made a mistake.

Noreen, doesn’t the same apply to you and people like Duesberg?

In reference to the cancer comparison, usually Aids persons have much more going on in terms of sickness and diseases. I have had both, radiation treatments and I pesonally found Aids to be worse because it is more drawn out and so many bad things happening all at once.

Noreen:

Re: HOW CAN ALMOST 90 % AIDS CASES IN AMERICA be in the male population and it is 50/50 in Africa. This must be a really smart virus.

From the link that Hank provided:

The distribution of AIDS cases, whether in the United States or elsewhere in the world, invariably mirrors the prevalence of HIV in a population. In the United States, HIV first appeared in populations of homosexual men and injection-drug users, a majority of whom are male. Because HIV is spread primarily through sex or by the exchange of HIV-contaminated needles during injection-drug use, it is not surprising that a majority of U.S. AIDS cases have occurred in men (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999; UNAIDS, 2000).

Increasingly, however, women in the United States are becoming HIV-infected, usually through the exchange of HIV-contaminated needles or sex with an HIV-infected male. The CDC estimates that 30 percent of new HIV infections in the United States in 1998 were in women. As the number of HIV-infected women has risen, so too has the number of female AIDS patients in the United States. Approximately 23 percent of U.S. adult/adolescent AIDS cases reported to the CDC in 1998 were among women. In 1998, AIDS was the fifth leading cause of death among women aged 25 to 44 in the United States, and the third leading cause of death among African-American women in that age group.

In Africa, HIV was first recognized in sexually active heterosexuals, and AIDS cases in Africa have occurred at least as frequently in women as in men. Overall, the worldwide distribution of HIV infection and AIDS between men and women is approximately 1 to 1 (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999; UNAIDS, 2000).

The answers are there Noreen.

Yes, if I was extremely sick and dying, I would concede; but this is not the case and whatever I'm doing is working.

I would prefer to see more current statistics to get a better picture of what is happening, especially in this country. I will check out the latest from the CDC.

Realizing that medicine is sometimes trial and error, as in the hit em hard of yesterday, I think for the best way to end this nonesense is for the Aids doctors to regroup and give the anti-virals when needed (to persons with symptoms) and then stop when the patient is well enough.

It's been tried. The virus and symptoms tend to come back, and when they do the virus is sometimes resistant and no longer responds to the drugs. So continuous treatment is based upon what has been found to work most reliably. Of course, these conclusions are necessarily based on averages, and every individual is different. Perhaps some people can safely discontinue therapy, but statistically it's not a good bet.

Well, we'll see, I will keep you posted on my progress,if interested.

trrll, you must not be an aids patient as we are told that the virus will become resistant even if on the meds.

Surely, there must be some studies out there of the effects of anti-virals on rats. I would love to see these result.
Noreen -- may I offer a gentle suggestion? Go to PubMed and enter (for example) "antiretroviral animal." You'll get 948 hits with that example, not all of which will be relevant. Even after you have identified the relevant ones, it will take a while just to read the abstracts. But -- from the abstracts alone, you will learn a lot.
You will know quite a bit more about what antiretrovirals have been tested (all of them), and in what animals (rats mostly, but SIV is also an important model) and with what effects (lots of bad side effects, along with "sustained decline of HIV-associated morbidity and mortality.")
After absorbing all this, you will have a much broader and more balanced view of the state of our scientific knowledge, you will be better prepared to manage your own health, and you will be exposed to fewer derisive comments on websites like this one. How about it?

The first study that I randomly picked out stated: HAART drugs disrupt endothelial cell junction and mitochrondira and could cause vascular damage, or in other words heart attacks. I choose to continue on my path of non-haart, its been real and will leave everyone with the following old Chinese saying, Those who say that it can't be done should not stand in the way of those who are doing it!

That and along with all my supplements, chelation therapy, herbs, etc. is why Iam ALIVE.

If by supplements you mean "nutritional supplements," I can't argue that those might be a good idea. "Herbs" is a bit general, but sounds like standard woo to me. Some might have positive effects, though.

Chelation therapy, on the other hand... Do you even know what that's supposed to be for? Chelation is a therapy for heavy metal poisoning, which I don't even see you saying is causing AIDS. It carries risks with it, so I'd recommend you cut that off unless you do happen to get metal poisoning.

Ah, Noreen, Noreen ...
You didn't even get all the way through the first abstract.


Sigh.


Is there an old Chinese saying about how those who will not bother to learn should not complain about being called ignorant?

Respect, Skeptico.....!
An apology from Farber, no less.

Noreen, I hope that everything goes well with you in the future. I think that everyone else here shares that sentiment.

I also hope that you continue to rethink your options at all times.

"I’m not sure exactly what fallacy that would be (argument from authority?)" A new fallacy called "appeal to sitcom."

What was all that about the stupidity of treating disease with nasty, toxic chemicals, Noreen? Do you really think EDTA (as used to remove heavy metals from the body in chelation therapy) is a benign, wholesome, natural substance?

It can actually cause severe kidney damage, and I have no idea why someone should recommend you undergo it for the treatment of AIDS.

Also, as for "herbs" of any description being natural and therefore good for you, some, like the popular St. John's Wort, are actually quite poisonous. As a matter of fact, most pharmacologically active substances are.

Aspirin causes bleeding in the stomach. Some people are severely allergic to penicillin.
Quninine can cause severe reactions.

The one thing all these substances is that they're all directly derived from "natural" substances - willow bark, penicilum mould and chinchona bark.

And of course, I don't need to mention strychnine (nux vomica), belladonna (deadly nightshade), aconite (monkshood), etc., etc. All perfectly natural plant extracts.

"Natural" does not mean "Safe".

Natural. Chemicals. Organic.

They don't mean what most people think they mean.

Dog poop is natural. Hemlock is organic.

Maybe I should get into "alternative" cures. I'll bet I can guarantee zero customer complaints!

"Giving persons certain drugs can induce Aids"

Name one.

Noreen, I hope that everything goes well with you in the future. I think that everyone else here shares that sentiment.
Yes! I confess, though, to being a little disappointed that she just dabbled a toe in the waters of the literature, bailing at the first mention of a side effect. It's kind of nice that everyone has expressed such sympathy and affection for Noreen, despite the conceptual gulf -- something Skeptico referred to over at Barnes' site.. Speaking of which ...
An apology from Farber, no less.
Yes -- and the comment immediately following Farber's is truly a side-splitter. I urged Hank Barnes to freeze the thread right there, as being in a state of absolute perfection.

jre:

Yes, that Undergrad(XX/XY) comment certainly took gibberish to a new level. The funny thing is, Hank took your comment (“The comment immediately preceding, by Undergrad(XX/XY), is ineffably perfect -- the Best Comment Ever on this subject”) as being serious. Pretty funny since the main defense being offered by Hank’s group against my post was that Hank was only joking and I just didn’t get it:

But Skeptico,

You have been answered: the whole thing was a joke - on you. You didn't get it, Hank's point proven.

Tables nicely turned.

I like the disclaimer on this "rethinker" blog.

http://www.newaidsreview.org/

Every statement accurate except where irony intended.

How convenient. No lies just irony.

"beginners"... I love that comment Skeptico! I also love how people like you, who are clearly not scientists and clearly have no clinical/medical experience, have the nerve to post such a topic or any topic dealing with pathophysiology. Why bother? I still love your "beginners" comment.

Skeptico replies to Carl More

Well Carl, I note you are unable to refute a single word I wrote in this post. Perhaps you should read and try to understand my post on the Ad Hominem logical fallacy that you are relying on here. It might save you from embarrassing yourself again this way in future. Thanks for playing though.

“Logical fallacy”… Skeptico< I did not know that conversation had so many rules and regulations? How can we become as smart as you? Thanks for teaching us that there is only one truth. Thanks again!

You got that right Carl: Conversations about scientific topics do have rules. For example: Ad homenim, a form of subject change, is off limits.

Oh, and thanks for your implicit support of the woo/Hollywood concept of science being an ivory tower pursuit, rather than something that's accessible to anyone who's willing to put in the time and effort.

Dog, are you saying that you and Skeptico wanted to be scientists and or doctors but could not cut it? So you needed to join in with quack watch and pretend to be on the level for scientific debate?

The Hollywood/woo thought piles up.

1. Science is a method that ANYONE can employ.

2. How do you know I'm not a scientist?

3. Quackwatch has doctors writing for it.

4. What's wrong with Skeptico's arguments? That's what science and logic are about: Arguments. The people making those arguments are usually unimportant. This is not some mamby-pamby subjective newage (rhymes with sewage) world where a person's identity changes the validity of an argument.

Carl:

This post is about the incorrect use of logical fallacies. Do you have anything to add on that topic? If so, please enlighten us. If you have come here solely to throw around cheap insults I am going to delete your posts as being off topic. So which is it to be?

Yes Skeptico,
Please delete my posts.
Thanks

Thus ends a mirror of the Astrology Challenge trolls: No arguments, just dishonest questions apparently intended to reinforce Hollywood fantasies about science.

Dog, it is nice to win....

In a post about logical fallacies Carl posts comments that contain nothing but logical fallacies – the irony.

Please note that Carl has confirmed he has nothing to add to this topic.

Some may have lost track of Carl's bids. To review:
1) (CM): Sarcasm re/ "beginners." Skeptico clearly not scientist nor experienced in clinical / medical matters, thus unqualified to comment.
2) (SK): Above comment good example of ad hom. Suggest check earlier post.
3) (CM): Sarcasm re/ "rules and regulations." Sarcasm re/ being smart as Skeptico. Sarcasm re/ "one truth." Sarcasm.
4) (BD) : Scientific discussions have rules. Sarcasm re/ CM's portrayal of science as "ivory tower."
5) (CM): Did BD & SK want to be scientists (to join with Quackwatch) but fail?
6) (BD) : Science works for anybody. CM does not know BD not scientist. Doctors write for QW. Any problem with SK's arguments?
7) (SK): You want to make a point, CM, or just screw around? Delete if latter.
8) (CM) : Delete.
9) (BD) : What a pile of crap.
10) (CM) : Neener neener.

Skeptico, what did you think of the fact that according to the Lancet, people on the anti-viral medications aren't living any longer than those who are not. Makes one wonder why should they take them in the first place?

Noreen:

Reference?

HIV Treatment Rsponse and Prognosis in Europe and North America In the First Decade of HAART: A Collaborative Analysis.

Apparently while on the HAART, the viral loads go down, the CD4's go up but the patient does not live any longer

Do you have a link? Without seeing the study I can't comment on it.

Ok, this lengthy site is unreal, here goes:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=retrieve&ab=PubMed&list_uids=16890831&dopt=Abstract

You mean this one?

On the face of it, I agree it would make one wonder if it was worth taking the meds. However, it’s hard for me to comment with certainty as I haven’t really followed this debate in any detail. You could ask your question at the JREF Science Forum - someone there is sure to be able to add something.

Skeptico wrote:

"On the face of it, I agree it would make one wonder if it was worth taking the meds."

That's big of you, Skeptico. I'm impressed!

"You could ask your question at the JREF Science Forum - someone there is sure to be able to add something."

And there's the inevitable cop-out. It's reminiscent of my old debates against Christians who would appeal to some high-level apologist when they couldn't answer a tough question and consider the case to be closed.

Noreen, this is why it is not valuable to ask important questions of low-level HIV/AIDS devotees. We need to focus our questions on the movers and shakers in the HIV/AIDS industry, as those are the ones that folks like Skeptico depend on when the going gets tough. And when these High Priests of AIDS admit things such as cross-reactivity of "HIV antibodies" on Western Blot tests and the previously-denied existence of cofactors, then those are some of the data that will eventually change minds (in people who care about evidence).

Or, alternatively, someone can answer some tough questions that I have in which case I'll become an HIV/AIDS believer, too. Either way is fine with me.

Skeptico replies to Loundry

FYI, I am not an “HIV/AIDS devotee” of any level, and I don’t rely on anyone else “when the going gets tough” either. I have just not examined the detailed evidence on this subject and so am the wrong person to ask. This post was solely about the incorrect use of logical fallacies – if you have any comments that are on that topic and that topic only, please feel free to make them.

Good to see you back, Noreen!
And good to see you reading the abstracts, although you appear to have missed a key point in this one. Note that the study you've cited deals with changes in treatment response and short-term prognosis for subjects grouped into seven cohorts by the time (1995-6 to 2002-3) of starting HAART.
The study does not compare those on HAART with the untreated or otherwise-treated.
This very topic has been in the news recently, because of a study estimating the lifetime cost of care for the HIV-positive. Bottom line: it is very expensive, because the life expectancy of persons found to be HIV-positive has tripled since the introduction of HAART.


So -- in response to your question, viz.: "Makes one wonder why should they take [the drugs]in the first place?" the answer is because their lives are dramatically extended.

Wandering through, thought I'd post
a link that contains news reports of three different studies that might be relevent to the subject at hand.

http://www.aliveandwell.org/

These are reports that came out beginning in
September of 2006, so it's not surprising
they were little referenced here.

Cohen J. Study says HIV blood levels don't predict immune decline. Science 313(5795):1868, 2006; Rodriquez B, Sethi AK, Cheruvu VK, et al. Predictive value of plasma HIV RNA level on rate of CD4 T-cell decline in untreated HIV infection. JAMA 296(12):1498-506, 2006

Aparently 90% of the 2,800 HIV+ could not be accurately measured.Only 4% to 6% of the
study group could be confidently measured.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10511-are-we-prescribing-hiv-drugs-properly.html

Low T-cell counts under 350 found in HIV negatives in african studies.Surprisingly, those with low T-cell counts who seroconverted had same survival rates on treatments as those with high T-cell counts


A Lancet Study regarding HAART which can be:

referred to The Lancet, issue 368:451-58 and/or The Study Group AIDS-Therapy by telephone or fax at 0041 44 401 34 24 or by email at felix.defries@tele2.ch


Journal Article Advocates Radical Approach to AIDS Prevention Questions Popular Ideas about HIV in Africa

A mainstream researcher, Eileen Stillwaggon
states that the current AIDS situation in Africa is very different from the West.

www.health-e.org.za

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