I see that Hank’s still touting his “Padian found ZERO seroconversions among 176 discordant heterosexual couples over 6 years” line, even after that study was extensively analyzed here (and his ideas about it were shown to be mistaken). At least he’s dropped it from 10 years down to 6 years–progress, I suppose. He’s now discussing a new MMR report that documents 88 HIV transmission events over a 17-year period in Georgia prisions. Despite the fact that Hank doesn’t dispute that these sexual transmission events occurred (noting that the “infectivity is low, low, low”), Hank still ends his post with the question: “How can you have a STD, that ain’t transmitted by sex?”

Of course, what he neglects to mention is what they actually did in the study.

First, a bit of background. The seroprevalence for HIV, as noted in their paper, is about 5 times higher in the prison population than in the public at large (2% in prisons vs. about .4% nationwide); hence, prisons are a good place to carry out studies looking at HIV. The paper stems from a convenience: the Georgia Department of Corrections began mandatory HIV testing of inmates entering their facilities in 1998, so the serostatus of all inmates who entered the prison since that time was known. Additionally, they began offering voluntary HIV testing to inmates at that time, increasing it to annual voluntary testing in 2003 (“or if clinically indicated,” meaning likely if they had some form of unexplained immunosuppression or an AIDS-defining disease) and from 2005 to present offers testing on request.

Note several things in that paragraph: the “voluntary” follow-up testing. This introduces a giant bias in their study. Testing on admission is mandatory–testing after that is voluntary. The study isn’t inclusive of all prisoners for this reason, and there’s no data presented on how many prisoners were actually voluntarily tested.

So, as far as HIV seroconversions, they found:

During July 1988–February 2005, a total of 88 male inmates were known to have had both a negative HIV test result upon entry into prison and a subsequent confirmed positive HIV test result (i.e., seroconversion) during incarceration. Of these 88 inmates, 37 (42%) had had more than one negative HIV test result before their HIV diagnosis.

However, contrary to what Hank states (and similar to the Padian study in the link above), this wasn’t the end-point of their study. The point wasn’t to measure the rate of transmission of HIV, and despite what Hank and news write-ups of the research claim, they can’t tell from their data that “few prisoners contract HIV,” because we don’t actually know the numerator data (in other words, how many prisoners are actually currently seropositive to HIV). We only know how many prisoners, out of those who voluntarily asked for an HIV test, have been infected since they were incarcerated. These could represent 50% of the actual HIV seroconversions, or 5%. Because the test was voluntary, we simply don’t know how many HIV seroconversions were missed during the 17 years since the introduction of the test upon admission. Of course, that doesn’t make for as good of a story, now, does it?

The real topic they were investigating here were risk factors for HIV transmission. These they could look into, because they knew that, in their sub-population of people, they had become HIV-seropositive during their time in prison, and they could try to tease out what put them at a high risk of becoming so. They compared these, then, to control inmates who were re-tested and found to still be negative for HIV antibodies. They then interviewed these men (the cases and controls), asking about “sex, drug use, and tattooing behaviors during the 6 months before incarceration and during the incarceration period.” They then modeled this several different ways, and in their final model found that male-male sex in prison, receipt of a tattoo in prison, BMI of <25.4 kg/m2 on entry into prison, and black race were all factors that increased the likelihood of HIV seroconversion.

Additionally, of those interviewed, they found that 72% reported engaging in consensual sex; are these representative of the prison population? Relatively few reported rape; might those who are raped (and potentially contract HIV that way) be less likely to come forward for voluntary testing? We don't know, as this isn't addressed, and again, it shows why we should be careful extending too much significance to the "only 88 seroconversions in 17 years!" summary that Hank gives the paper. Like the Padian paper, this study was meant to determine risk factors for transmission of the virus, not the overall seroconversion rate. In the case of the Padian paper, it was risk factors among couples; in the MMR paper, it’s risk factors within a prison population.

So, what we end up with here is a paper showing 88 documented HIV seroconversions in a state prison system, and showing that being black, entering prison with a BMI on the lower side, getting a prison tat, and having homosexual sex increased the likelihood of seroconverting while in prison. And even in the (IMO pretty poor) Washington Post article, they note that this was transmitted “…chiefly through same-sex intercourse.” From this, Hank concludes from this that this means that HIV “…ain’t transmitted by sex.”

*sigh*

Reference

CDC. 2006. HIV Transmission Among Male Inmates in a State Prison System — Georgia, 1992–2005. April 21, 2006 / 55(15);421-426. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5515a1.htm

Comments

  1. #1 Orac
    May 2, 2006

    Nice work!

    Someone should point out to Hank that if even one case was shown to be transmitted by sex, then you can’t say that HIV isn’t transmitted by sex. And your points about how we don’t know what the true denominator was in the study is the key point.

    I had recently read some of the HIV “dissidents’” blather (not Hank this time) about this study and had been toying with the idea of addressing it. You have a better background in epidemiology than I have; so I’m glad you dealt with it.

  2. #2 Laura
    May 2, 2006

    Interesting. I really do not understand why the HIV deniers are so bent on it not causing AIDS. I mean who does it benefit? Noone in my opinion. From what I have read from Hank is that he really only has a few studies to fall back on. There are so many variables effecting the outcome like method, balancing etc… that one study doesn’t really prove anything. I am curious as to why Hank believes Duesberg, Bialy and the Padian study without question. It seems to me there are a significant number of other studies proving it does cause AIDS and it is sexually transmitted. From this post I must agree it does not support his claim at all. Especilly since the subsequent tests were voluntary. In my opinion it proves nothing.

  3. #3 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Hey, its Tara and Orac — the Sonny & Cher of the scientific blogosphere!

    I don’t have huge disagreements with much of what you write about Georgia prison study,(look at the idiots who designed it!). Yes, a better study would simply tell us:

    1. In Year 1, What % of the prison pop was HIV-?
    2. Between Years 1-17, How many had sex, tattoos, etc?
    3. Between Year 1 -17, What % of the prison pop became HIV+?

    Then, we’d learn something good.

    But, we’re stuck with mush from the CDC, so we do the best we can: 88 HIV+ over 17 years — ain’t much.

    Notwithstanding, you continue to butcher Padian beyond belief.

    Scientific Fact No. 1:

    In 1997, Padian was the largest and longest study of heterosexual transmission of HIV in the United States. (Padian, page 354.)

    Scientific Fact No. 2:

    For 6 years, Padian followed 175 discordant couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) who had a whole lotta sex. In fact, 38% had anal sex, although this number decreased over time to 8%. (Table 3, Padian at 355.) Still, that’s a lotta heterosexual buggering.

    Scientific Fact No. 3:

    I quote: “We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study.” . (Padian, pg 354.)

    So, to recapitulate — having sex with HIV+ people over 6 full years revealed:

    1. Heterosexual intercourse: no seroconversions
    2. Anal intercourse: no seroconversions
    3. Using condoms: no seroconversions
    4. Not using condoms: no seroconversions.

    That you cannot grasp the significance of this epidemiological study, Tara, is embarrassing. (note the name of the journal).

    Finally, Tara writes:

    Like the Padian paper, this study was meant to determine risk factors for transmission of the virus, not the overall seroconversion rate.

    This is false and misleading. Read the very first line of the abstract of Padian paper:

    “To examine rates of and risk factors for heterosexual transmission of HIV, the authors conducted a prospective study of infected individuals and their heterosexual partners whao have been recruited since 1985.”

    I was wrong to claim this was 10-year study, because (although it was,) the prospective component of the study was 6 years. So, I corrected it.

    However, you are dead wrong, Doc Tara, that the study was limited to “risk-factors,” not rates. Again, that is false and misleading.

    Moreover, neither you, Orac, nor ditzy Laura, even cite a contrasting epidemiological study in the US that did find significant seroconversions, in contrast to Padian. Is there one or not? If so, can I see it? If not, why not?

    And, don’t give me that Rakai study from Uganda either.

    Finally, as for the overall interpretation of THIS study, I ask the simple question:

    Why did not one of the 175 uninfected sexually active partners become infected in 6 years? Is it not “risky” to have sex with an HIV+ person without a condom for 6 years?

    Oops, that’s 2 questions.

    Please answer, Doc Smith.

    Hank Barnes

  4. #4 Tonyl
    May 2, 2006

    For 6 years, Padian followed 175 discordant couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) who had a whole lotta sex.

    As was pointed out to you the last time around, this statement is false on many levels. Not all of the couples were followed for 6 years, many of the subjects only had a single follow up. They did not necessarily have a “whole lotta sex”, and most couples used condoms consistently. From the sutdy, “Abstention increased from 0% at baseline to 14.5% in the final follow-up visit; consistent condom use increased from 32.3% to 74%”.

  5. #5 Dave S.
    May 2, 2006

    Hank Barnes writes:

    But, we’re stuck with mush from the CDC, so we do the best we can: 88 HIV+ over 17 years — ain’t much.

    Ain’t zero either.

  6. #6 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Bean-Counter Alerts!!! — Tonyl & Dave S.

    Why not address the Padian data and conclusion, instead of tap-dancing on the margins?

    Hank Barnes

  7. #7 Orac
    May 2, 2006

    Why should we have, when Tara already did such a good job of analyzing the study and showing why your interpretation of it is–shall we say?–not the best? Besides, you’ll just repeat your same mantra over and over.

    Finally, as Dave S. pointed out, even if your interpretation of the prison study weren’t hopefully biased and even if the rate of transmission by sex is low, 88 ain’t zero, and your claim that HIV is not sexually transmitted is fallacious.

  8. #8 Dave S.
    May 2, 2006

    Already been beat to death Hank, and you came up way short. You haven’t presented anything new besides the 10-6 year correction, have you? No, you haven’t. Kudos on doing that much anyway.

    And it’s hardly bean counting when someone (that would be you Hank) says X doesn’t happen, and someone else points to 88 instances of X in fact happening. In the real world, that’s called a refutation.

    I’m sure your loyal reader appreciates all the hard work you put into your blog though.

  9. #9 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Why should we have, when Tara already did such a good job of analyzing the study and showing why your interpretation of it is–shall we say?–not the best?

    Tara misrepresented the Padian study. Now, you’re dodging it, coward.

    Besides, you’ll just repeat your same mantra over and over.

    It’s not a mantra. It’s a scientific fact — Padian found NO seroconversions. A statement of fact cannot be insolent, remember?

    Finally, as Dave S. pointed out, even if your interpretation of the prison study weren’t hopefully biased and even if the rate of transmission by sex is low, 88 ain’t zero, and your claim that HIV is not sexually transmitted is fallacious.

    More bullshit from you, Orac. I claimed that the rate of infectivity from the prison study was “low, low & low.” Disagree or not?

    Padian demonstrates 1 of 2 things: Either the sexual transmission rates of HIV is infinitessimally small (1/1000 for men-to-women & 1/10,000 for woman to man, as the authors conclude) or zero (as the number of seroconversions revealed.)

    So, either you’re a scientist or not – and either you accept these facts or not. And, if you accept these facts, a few unmistakeable scientific conclusions follow. Well, what are they?

    But, Hey, if you wanna remain an intellectual poseur for all to see, so be it.

    Hank Barnes

  10. #10 Laura
    May 2, 2006

    I just reviewed the Padian paper and I think it is important to note it does not state that the disease is not sexually transmitted it says that it has a low infectivity rate in heterosexual partners.

    Second from the abstract it states: “Over time the authors observed increased condom use (p<0.001) no new infections. ” The infectivity of HIV through heterosexual transmission is low and STDs may be the most important cofactors in transmission”

    Please note the authors do not claim it is not an STD just that transmission is low in heterosexuals. They also mention STD’s probably being a major factor in transmission which I know Tara has stated before. So even if they were examining the rate of infection they still note that there was significant behavior modification which shows they believe that behavior changes are relevant.

  11. #11 Tara C. Smith
    May 2, 2006

    Tara misrepresented the Padian study.

    No, Hank, you’re the one who continues to represent it, by continuing to make your claims that the couples were “followed for 6 years,” when the average follow-up was actually much shorter than that: 175 couples and 282 couple-years of follow-up for couples that were only seen once every 6 months means that most couples were likely seen only once or twice. Additionally, as mentioned, couples were counseled to use condoms and refrain from anal sex. We went over all of this in the last thread, which you tried to divert with off-topic comments (such as HIV being an endogenous retrovirus) and didn’t respond to your critics.

    As far as the current study, it’s hardly “mush” from the CDC, but it simply isn’t designed to examine transmission rates–it’s largely a convenience study (meaning they had the data, so they decided to mine it for useful information) to examine risk factors for HIV transmission, as I mentioned. To extrapolate as you have shows how little you understand of basic epidemiology.

  12. #12 Laura
    May 2, 2006

    For some reason my quote is gone it should state:

    “Over time the authors observed increased condom use (p<.001)no new infections. Infectivity of HIV through heterosexual transmission is low and STD’s may be the most important cofactor for transmission.”

    So there may have been no seroconversions but it is still an STD. I wouldn’t disregard the significance of sexual activity and HIV transmission based on this study.

  13. #13 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Tara,

    Your quote:

    Like the Padian paper, this study was meant to determine risk factors for transmission of the virus,

    Padian quote:

    “To examine rates of and risk factors for heterosexual transmission of HIV, the authors conducted a prospective study of infected individuals and their heterosexual partners whao have been recruited since 1985.”

    Did Padian examine the RATES for heterosexual transmission or not?

    Simple question.

    Hank Barnes

  14. #14 Orac
    May 2, 2006

    More bullshit from you, Orac. I claimed that the rate of infectivity from the prison study was “low, low & low.” Disagree or not?

    Partially agree.

    As an explanation, I quote your own words:

    “So, we ask, the Hank Barnes question: How can you have a STD, that ain’t transmitted by sex?”

    If, as you seem to be claiming now, you accept that HIV can be transmitted by sex (albeit at a “low, low, low” rate), then why did you ask that question at the very end of your post on the prison study, Hank? You certainly appeared to imply that HIV is not sexually transmissible by asking the question I quoted above.

    Indeed, you seem rather confused. Either that, or you’re deliberately trying to have it both ways by strongly implying that HIV isn’t sexually transmitted (calling it an STD that “ain’t transmitted by sex”) while at the same time reluctantly conceding that the 88 seroconversions reported in the prison study were due to sex (and dismissing them by saying the rate is “low, low, low”).

    That’s rather obvious bullshit (to borrow your term), even for you, Hank.

    As for your ad hominems, well, It’s all just water off a duck’s back. I’ve dealt with far nastier than you and been called far worse than an “intellectual poseur.”

    I’m still around.

  15. #15 Carsten S
    May 2, 2006

    Hi Laura,

    for `<’ type `&lt;’.

  16. #16 Tara C. Smith
    May 2, 2006

    Hank,

    Do they state that in their abstract? Sure. Was it the point of their study? Nope. Again, Hank, please read what I actually wrote, in context this time:

    However, contrary to what Hank states (and similar to the Padian study in the link above), this wasn’t the end-point of their study. The point wasn’t to measure the rate of transmission of HIV…

    Like the Padian paper, this study was meant to determine risk factors for transmission of the virus, not the overall seroconversion rate. In the case of the Padian paper, it was risk factors among couples; in the MMR paper, it’s risk factors within a prison population.

    Look again at the Padian paper, Hank–what do their tables all show? Risk factors for transmission. This was the main finding of that paper. Do they discuss seroconversion rates a bit? Sure, but in the context of how it was affected by changing risk factors in the couples in their study. Haven’t we beaten this dead horse enough yet?

  17. #17 Dale
    May 2, 2006

    Hi Hank!
    Not an epidemological study but a case study.
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm4820.pdf

    One HIV+ guy, 42 female sexual partners, 13 seroconversions.

  18. #18 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Tara & Orac,

    If y’all had scientific integrity, here’s what you would say:

    1. We hadn’t read or heard of the Padian paper (1997) until 2006.

    2. We didn’t know it was the longest and largest epidemiological study of heterosexual transmission of HIV in the U.S.

    3. We were “surprised” to learn that after 6 years of sex with HIV+ folks, none of the partners got infected.

    4. We were also surprised to learn that none of the folks conducting anal sex (38% to 8%) got infected.

    5. We would have expected that folks who used condoms would have a lower transmission rate than folks who did not. But, this didn’t occur, either. Both rates were ZERO.

    6. We have a real hard-time abandonning our belief that HIV is sexually transmitted, because we’ve been inundated with claims that AIDS is a sexually-transmitted disease for decades.

    7. Padian doesn’t quite refute this claim, but it greatly undermines it. We do think, however, that as usual you have pushed Padian too far, Hank (darn, kinda true!)

    8. We have searched the literature both pre-1997 and post -1997 for studies examining sexual transmission and we found ……

    9. Interesting paper, Hank.

    If you had scientific integrity, that’s what you’d be saying. But, since you ignore Padian and/or deliberately misinterpret it, well, what are your faithful readers supposed to think?

    Hank Barnes

    p.s. Hi Dale!

  19. #19 Liam Scheff
    May 2, 2006

    Two questions that won’t be answered here:

    1) What Does AIDS Have to do with Sex?

    2) What does testing HIV positive have to do with an infectious virus?

    Part 1:

    • Question: What Does AIDS have to do with SEX?
    • Answer: What does Sex have to do with fear and belief?

    (ie. – What does witchery have to do with Sex? What do voodoo hexes have to do with Sex? What does mortal sin have to do with Sex?)

    Part 2:

    • Question: What does Testing HIV positive have to do with an infectious virus?
    • Answer: Nothing. Nothing-at-bloody all.
  20. #20 Liam Scheff
    May 2, 2006

    Part One – SEXing it up, all over the world.

    • How do we explain African AIDS?

    Sex?

    * Int. Journal of STD and AIDS, October 2002:

    “Studies of sexual behaviour do not show as much partner change in Africa as modellers have assumed, nor do they show differences in heterosexual behaviour between Africa and Europe that could explain major differences in epidemic growth.”

    The study’s title gives even more to it:

    “HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa not explained by sexual or vertical [mother-to-child] transmission.” (Int. Journal of STD and AIDS. 2002 Oct;13(10))

    * From 2003:

    “Levels of sexual activity reported in a dozen general population surveys in Africa are comparable to those reported elsewhere, especially in North America and Europe.”

    And the title?

    “Mounting anomalies in the epidemiology of HIV in Africa: cry the beloved paradigm.” (Int J STD AIDS. 2003;14)

    Cry indeed

    Q: but how could they print such a thing?

    A: By observing, and letting go of one plank of the received wisdom.

    * Continuing:

    “The mounting toll of HIV infection in Africa is paralleled by a mounting number of anomalies in the many studies seeking to account for it….

    We propose that existing data can no longer be reconciled with the received wisdom about the exceptional role of sex in the African AIDS epidemic…”

    “There is substantial dissonance between much of the epidemiologic evidence and the current orthodoxy that nearly all of the HIV burden in sub-Saharan Africa can be accounted for by heterosexual transmission and the sexual behaviour of Africans. (Int J STD AIDS. 2003;14)

    No difference between African and European or American sex – So why have we been told that Africa is dying of a sex-plague? From the 2003 international journal of STD and AIDS:

    It has been said that people often see what they wish to see. Papers published around 1988 reveal a number of considerations that might have encouraged a mindset prepared to see heterosexual transmission as the driving force in Africa’s HIV epidemic.

    First, it was in the interests of AIDS researchers in developed countries – where HIV seemed stubbornly confined to MSMs [Men who have sex with men], IDUs [intravenous drug users], and their partners – to present AIDS in Africa as a heterosexual epidemic;

    Second, there may have been an inclination to emphasize sexual transmission as an argument for condom promotion, coinciding with pre-existing programmes and efforts to curb Africa’s rapid population growth.

    Third, ‘the role of sexual promiscuity in the spread of AIDs in Africa appears to have evolved in part out of prior assumptions about the sexuality of Africans‘, (as Packard and Epstein document in a regrettably ignored 1991 article.)

    ….In short, tangential, opportunistic, and irrational considerations may have contributed to ignoring and misinterpreting epidemiologic evidence.”

    (Gisselquist D et al. Let it be sexual: how health care transmission of AIDS in Africa was ignored. Int J STD AIDS. 2003;14:148-161.)

    So, what does AIDS have to do with SEX?

  21. #21 Chris Noble
    May 2, 2006

    Hank Barnes writes:However, you are dead wrong, Doc Tara, that the study was limited to “risk-factors,” not rates. Again, that is false and misleading.

    For a start there is not just one Padian paper. There were several papers that were published from data from this cohort. Read some of them. It is clear that Padian’s primary goal was to reduce transmission of HIV in this cohort. Part of that was this attempt to estimate transmission risks.

    However any attempt to determine transmission risks using monogamous discordant couples is likely to underestimate the true rates for exactly the reasons that Peter Duesberg states here “In order to survive, a virus must infect new hosts, which it does most readily when it is at the highest titer (153). In the case of HIV, this would be before antiviral immunity, or 1 to 2 months after infection (69).”

    It is also not true to say that there were no seroconversions in the study. In the retrospective part of the study Padian looked at records for each of the couples that showed that at time A one member was seropositive and one was seronegative. Then at time B both were seropositive. Between time A and B they were monogamous and had no other risks for HIV transmission. There is no valid reason for ignoring these results.

    And as to who is misrepresenting Padian – why don’t we ask Nancy Padian. What is your guess Hank? Do you think she’ll agree with you that her study proves that HIV is not sexually transmitted? Or do you think she’ll say that you are the one misrepresenting the study?

  22. #22 orac
    May 2, 2006

    If you had scientific integrity, that’s what you’d be saying. But, since you ignore Padian and/or deliberately misinterpret it, well, what are your faithful readers supposed to think?

    You let me worry about what my readers think, and you worry about what your blog’s reader thinks.

    I notice that you deliberately obfuscated and avoided answering my question, namely, how do you reconcile your clear implications that HIV isn’t sexually transmitted with the results of the prison study showing 88 seroconversions, which even you seem to concede to be due to sex?

  23. #23 Liam Scheff
    May 2, 2006

    What does AIDS have to do with Sex?

    LET’S ASK THE WORKING GIRL:

    “[This study involved] a group of repeatedly exposed but persistently seronegative female prostitutes in The Gambia, West Africa…

    have worked as prostitutes for more than five years,

    have worked as prostitutes for more than five years,

    use condoms infrequently with clients

    and only rarely with their regular partners

    and have a high incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases”

    (Rowland-Jones S et al. HIV-specific cytotoxic T-cells in HIV-exposed but uninfected Gambian women. Nat Med. 1995 Jan;1(1):59-64.)

    Let’s recap – Lots of STDs, lots of exposure to HIV positive persons, and no HIV…. Wow, Sorry, my mistake! That really does sound like an STD, doesn’t it??

    Well, maybe that’s because they’re, you know, African, and are like, you know, gaining some kind of humoral immunity due to constant exposure…(go ahead, try me).

    As reported on PBS’s “RX for Survival” – this group of prostitutes refuses to get sick!

    “in Nairobi, a group of prostitutes appear to have natural immunity against H.I.V…. because they have an abnormally large number of killer T-cells.”

    (© 2005 New York Times. All rights reserved.Author: ANITA GATES
    http://www.aegis.com/news/nyt/2005/NYT051102.html

    Gee, maybe if we gave them AZT, they’d get sick like everybody else! Let’s try it – I could use forty thousand dollars of NIH money to blow on a study! Who’s in!

    So, forget African prostitutes! Because it’s not fair, right?

    I mean, women in Africa who have sex Professionally are…IMMUNE! (gosh and golly, how clever!)

    Okay, how about in this study, in Tel Aviv – girls and boy prostitutes, with and without original bits:

    “Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence was studied in an unselected group of 216 female and transsexual prostitutes…

    All 128 females who did not admit to drug abuse were seronegative;

    2 of the 52 females (3.8%) who admitted to intravenous drug abuse were seropositive. ”

    (Modan B et al. Prevalence of HIV antibodies in transsexual and female prostitutes. Am J Public Health. 1992 Apr;82(4):590-2.)

    Yup, STD all the way!

    - - - - - - - -

    Well, no luck.

    Hey, let’s try the whores in T.J.

    I mean, if you can’t get an STD in Tijuana, you’re just not trying.

    “In order to determine whether prostitutes operating outside of areas of high drug abuse have equally elevated rates of infection,

    354 prostitutes were surveyed in Tijuana, Mexico…None of the 354 [blood] samples…was positive for HIV-1 or HIV-2

    Condoms were used by 59% of prostitutes but for less than half of their sexual contacts.

    Infection with HIV was not found in this prostitute population despite the close proximity -

    - to neighboring San Diego, CA, which has a high incidence of diagnosed cases of AIDS,

    - and to Los Angeles, which has a reported 4% prevalence of HIV infection in prostitutes.”

    (Hyams KC et al. HIV infection in a non-drug abusing prostitute population. Scand J Infect Dis. 1989;21(3):353-4.)

    Oh yeah, that’s it. STD, you’re telling me!

    Hmmmm…..

    Say,

    Any of you doctorates still getting it on? Any of you ever have an STD?

    I’m sure some of you have. So, you know…

    It’s not like rubbing the Blarney Stone for luck – Wipe your bits-and-pieces up against the gonnorrhea or chlamydia stone a couple of times, guess who’s coming to town?

    Yeah, that’s right! Uncle G and Auntie C. So go get your shot and clear it up.

    But HIV? One in a million? In a billion?

    I mean, what are the odds you’re laying down these days?

    And this is supposed to explain AIDS?

    Doy, duh, and d’oh.

  24. #24 Hank Barnes
    May 2, 2006

    Lemme start afresh:

    Tara, Orac & Chris:

    1. Do you claim that HIV is transmitted by sex in the U.S.?

    2. If so, what epidemiological studies support your claim?

    If you can’t answer these very basic questions, then you are Cargo Cultists, on par with Creationists, because you believe stuff without evidence.

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    Hank B.

    p.s. Hi Liam, nice citations to the literature (a foreign concept to some here) about Africa. Thank God for Dr. Gisselquist.

  25. #25 Chris Noble
    May 3, 2006

    Liam Scheff has simply cut and pasted citations from this website.

    http://www.rethinkaids.info/quotes/transmission-resistance.html

    He does exactly the same thing in his other articles. Cut and paste.

    What he doesn’t mention is that similar effects are seen with malaria.

    Heterologous Immunity in the Absence of Variant-Specific Antibodies after Exposure to Subpatent Infection with Blood-Stage Malaria

    Mice repeatedly exposed to low doses of malaria develop cellular immunity but not antibodies.

  26. #26 Chris Noble
    May 3, 2006

    Hank before you start afresh would you mind answering some of the questions that have been put to you here.

    You could also come up with your promised proof that HIV is an endogenous retrovirus.

    Don’t you think that people have noticed that you demand that people prove things to you but you yourself never produce evidence for the claims that you make.

  27. #27 Wilhelm Godschalk
    May 3, 2006

    Ahhh… This must be the place now. Chris Noble is here. Even my old pal Dale. I think I’m gonna like it here.
    I have a question for you, true believers:
    In that Georgia prison system these inmates who seroconverted during their stay must have eaten the regular jailhouse slop. Applying Tara-style epidemiology, that must mean that eating prison food leads to seroconversion, right?
    That’s what I like about epidemiology. You analyze a result you’re morally, politically, or financially interested in, and from hundreds of possible factors you pick the one that suits you.
    For most of you that’s sex. Whassa matter? Underachievers?
    Why else are you so keen on getting others off sex, or at least making it unenjoyable? Now if you sell condoms, I can understand that. Business is business. But academics… Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?

    Let’s get away from the less than exact science of epidemiology (by the way, have you heard of Factor Analysis?), and turn to sciences where you can actually prove things by experiment.
    Where did anyone actually prove that seropositivity (=reaction of blood plasma antibodies with a kit containing Bob Gallo’s patented proteins) is equivalent to “HIV infection”? Methinks the necessary experiment is simple: Just isolate HIV from an AIDS patient (No hanky panky with a co-culture that is stimulated with a mitogen, of course). Then break up the virus particle and separate the proteins from the RNA. Those proteins should then be able to react with the antibodies of other AIDS-patients, because you KNOW the isolated proteins came from HIV particles. Simple? You bet! So… Why don’t we find any papers where this experiment is performed? Didn’t they try? They probably did. So why weren’t the results thrown into the infidels’ faces? Uhhh… Maybe the experiment didn’t go so well?
    So how did you blunderbuses get the nerve to claim that a serological reaction of blood plasma from the test subject with a kit containing godknowswhat proteins means that this person is infected with a virus you never isolated?
    I think even epidemiologists will agree that when you try to analyze a problem, that problem must be clearly defined.
    Well… here we have a case where they are looking in a Georgia prison for “what” causes “something”. We don’t know what the “something” is, but we’re sure that the “what” is sex, because that was the basic assumption all along. Ain’t science wonderful? Anybody can play.

    To conclude, here are a couple of gems from old friends:

    [quote=Chris Noble]You could also come up with your promised proof that HIV is an endogenous retrovirus.[/quote]

    Why going so fast? Let’s first prove that HIV is ANY kind of virus.

    [quote=Chris Noble]Liam Scheff has simply cut and pasted citations from this website.[/quote]

    What’s wrong with you, Chris? Liam did not invent the biomedical sciences himself. So he has to quote others who are in the know. On the other hand, you have accused me in the past for making statements without proof (cutting and pasting of PubMed abstracts that is) Well, I don’t have to. You can trust me, because I know everything.

    [quote=Laura]It seems to me there are a significant number of other studies proving it does cause AIDS and it is sexually transmitted.[/quote]

    Tell us about it, Laura. Don’t keep us in suspense!

    [quote=Orac]Someone should point out to Hank that if even one case was shown to be transmitted by sex, then you can’t say that HIV isn’t transmitted by sex.[/quote]

    Yes, that’s incontrovertible logic. Only trouble is… where’s that one case?

    Hi Dale! Good to see you here also. How’s your girlfriend Jezebel? Or is she here too, under another name? Please let me know. I’d like another crack at her.

  28. #28 Guitar Eddie
    May 3, 2006

    Hank & Liam:

    Give it up guys. You’re way out of your league.

    I’ve noticed that you don’t know how to interpret scientific papers and that you deliberately misrepresent them in the name of your cause. So, why don’t you do the rest of the world a favor – put up or shut up.

    GE

  29. #29 Shygetz
    May 3, 2006

    OK, I am not an epidemiologist, so I have refrained from weighing in on this slaughter. But this remark:

    Why going so fast? Let’s first prove that HIV is ANY kind of virus.

    is just silly.

    My lab has worked with HIV virus. This statement is beyond ignorant.

    Now, please continue. It’s like watching a car wreck.

  30. #30 Dale
    May 3, 2006

    Since we seem to be discussing HIV and its transmission around the world and Hank didn’t like the upstate New York transmission cohort where 1 guy infected 13 of 42 female partners, how about the Sweedish cohort? 1 guy infected 6 female partners who went on to infect 2 of their six partners and 2 of their 5 children.

  31. #31 David Harmon
    May 3, 2006

    Tara, just how much of this do you plan to put up with before you start banning the troll-recidivists? “Debating” these guys is like nailing dog-crap to a tree.

  32. #32 McKiernan
    May 3, 2006
  33. #33 Laura
    May 3, 2006

    Hank
    It is clear that all you want here is to be told you are right. However I don’t agree. A basic concept in science is that to prove something it must be reliable and reproduceable. A definative study proving transmission would be unethical and it is doubtful any journal would accept it because of that. The prison study did show transmission maybe not high numbers but it is hardly definative as the second HIV tests were voluntary. As to the Padian paper it was conducted after the subjects were educated to prevent transmission. There were high attrition rates and the subjects also modified their behavior significantly enough to be mentioned. It is likely that behavior modification played a role in the lack of transmission. The truth is even Padian does not state it is not sexually transmitted so why do you claim it is? Last what do you thing about Dale’s post on the transmission cohorts in New York and Sweeden?

  34. #34 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    “Liam Scheff has simply cut and pasted citations from this website.”

    Poor Chris. He hates it when somebody shows how illogical “HIV=AIDS” is. He’s MUCH happier when he can spend reams of paragraphs explaining laboratory minutiae that scares the gullible into believing in the “HIV” cult. Luckily, there are people like Wilhelm Godschalk that can expose Chris and his lab minutiae for what they are, hot air of the posterior variety.

  35. #35 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    I repeat the simple 2 questions:

    1. Do you claim that HIV is transmitted by sex in the U.S.?

    2. If so, what epidemiological studies support your claim?

    Anyone?… Anyone?….Anyone?

    I assume the y’all ain’t having problems with Question 1, so why the odd silence?

    Hank B.

    p.s. Chris Noble does have a good idea — here’s what I wrote to Dr. Padian (in essence) to coax her to come here and answer a few questions:

    1. Dr. Padian, you studied healthy, uninfected people who were having sex with HIV+ partners, correct?

    2. Was your study designed to evaluate the rates of heterosexual transmission of HIV?

    3. What was your a priori hypothesis at the inception of the prospective component of the study beginning in 1990?

    4. During the 6 years of study, Did any of the uninfected subjects contract HIV? Did any develop anti-bodies to HIV? Did any get AIDS?

    5. Did the results support or refute your a priori hypothesis?

    6. Were you surprised that partners who used condoms had the same low rate of HIV transmission as those who did not?

    7. One of your conclusions is that it takes 1/10,000 sex acts for an HIV+ female to transmit the virus to a male. By my count, that’s about 2 times/week for, what, 100 years? Wow, kinda remote odds, no?

    Makes me feel less worried about the free-wheeling, condom free ’70s:)

    Hank B.

  36. #36 Tara C. Smith
    May 3, 2006

    Hank,

    I’m not going to waste my time getting into this again with you or others. Why do you keep trying to shift the focus from the current study? What made you conclude that even their 88 transmission events means HIV isn’t a STD?

  37. #37 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    Hi Hank. I know you’re concerned about conflicts of interest, so I was wondering if you thought that a personal injury attorney that has sued GlaxoSmithKline based on the idea that AZT is a carcinogen (and that the dangers of HIV are exaggerated) might need to declare a potential conflict of interest in this discussion?

  38. #38 Dave S.
    May 3, 2006

    Ya gotta understand Hank-o-Logic Tara. Since 88 is small compared to some really big number like the total prison population in the state of Georgia over 17 years, then it’s the same as saying it’s 0. And since it’s 0, that must be evidence AIDS cannot be transmitted this way. As after all, there were zero transmissions. Quite simple really.

    It’s the same rock-solid thinking that allowed him to emphatically state that during the 2001 anthrax attacks “nobody was hurt”. This even when faced with the fact when 5 were killed alone. To the rational person this would be an immediate refutation and they would revise their statement. But Hank doesn’t work that way. Since 5 is small compared to the population of the United States throughout time, it’s the same as 0. Therefore, since 0 people got hurt, nobody got hurt. Hank tried to shift the focus there too, pointing to yet another small number the same as zero type of argument.

    And where does the mindset come from that thinks, “One of your conclusions is that it takes 1/10,000 sex acts for an HIV+ female to transmit the virus to a male. By my count, that’s about 2 times/week for, what, 100 years? Wow, kinda remote odds, no?”, is an argument that wouldn’t embarass a high schooler? Gee, what if there were more than 1 HIV+ female?

    I’m sure Dr. Padian just loves to get mail from AIDS denialist cranks.

  39. #39 Liam Scheff
    May 3, 2006

    Chris Noble just pasted citations from his “Bob Gallo” fanboy club secret decoder ring.

    Truth is, I’ve read the papers, Chrissy.

    (You’re so clever.)

    Anyhoo, it’s such a slaughter! You’re right guitar Eddie!

    Who can stand up to the logic your braintrust throws down?

    Clearly you’re right, no matter how a priori your assumptions, or delusional your wants.

    I mean, how could Chrissy Noble and Guitar Eddie possibly be wrong about anything?

    Gosh, I hope none of you are having sex! God forbid any of you should ever…..you know….do that dirty thing that’s not killing all those Africans! (I mean, if that scandalous Journal of STD and AIDS is to be trusted, in the least!)

    .
    …On the other hand, I haven’t seen any of you geniuses address any of the issues in the Brody or Gisselquist papers,

    or the Gambian sex worker study,

    or the TJ Hookers (God, that’s a good one!),

    or really, anything.

    .
    Is that what being a good scientist is all about…Claiming victory, despite total failure?

    Like Georgie Bush on the aircraft carrier!

    Victory!!

    .
    On the other, other hand –

    Back to the whores!

    Back to the Whores!:

    “HIV infection in non-drug using prostitutes tends to be low or absent, implying that sexual activity does not place them at high risk, while prostitutes who use intravenous drugs are far more likely to be infected with HIV.”

    There it is again – STD city – you know, the “drug” kind of STD

    “The prevalence of HIV antibodies among prostitutes ranges between zero and 65 per cent, with the single most important risk factor in the US being intravenous drug use.

    For example, a large multicenter collaborative study found that of 62 women who were HIV-seropositive, 76 per cent had injected drugs.

    The highest rate of seropositivity for all centers occurred in New Jersey, which is an area of high drug use; here the rate of seropositivity among 56 women prostitutes was 57 per cent.

    Another cross-sectional study found that among 535 practicing prostitutes in Nevada, 7 per cent of whom admitted to intravenous drug use, none were positive.

    Hey, that’s gambling! Whoring in Vegas! And still no HIV. Wow. That’s some STD.

    In contrast, 370 incarcerated prostitutes, all of whom had used drugs intravenously, had a seropositive rate of 6.2 per cent.

    Other prostitute studies tend to be small but similarly emphasize the central role of drug use as a major risk factor:

    in New York City, 50 per cent of 12 drug users were positive, compared with 7 per cent of 65 nonusers;

    in Italy, 59 per cent of 22 drug users were positive, whereas non of the nonusers were.

    None of the 50 prostitutes tested in London, 56 in Paris, or 399 in Nuremberg were seropositive.”

    (Rosenberg MJ, Weiner JM. Prostitutes and AIDS: a health department priority?. Am J Public Health. 1988 Apr;78(4):418-23.)

    So what does the evidence suggest?

    Well, let’s think….

    …zero plus zero….

    …plus zero, times… .0009…

    …carry the cosine… minus two…

    …times gambia,

    …minus tijuana….

    …For a total of 897 couple years…

    Hold on, I’m putting it through the PC…

    Here it is!

    The answer – (but only to anyone for whom this isn’t a religion)

    And I quote:

    The evidence suggests that you’re wrong, in a dozen ways, to any number of degrees (“wholly” and “completely” are not out of the question), but you don’t have the guts to admit it, so you’ll fidget about with numbers until you manage to convince yourselves, palliatively, that maybe your whole belief system isn’t based on systemic corruption.

    Because this is your religion.

    What can I say? Have at it, but leave the good people and their normal, healthy, non-death-inducing sex alone.

  40. #40 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    I am so pleased with this discussion that tonite I am going home to have lots of condomless sex with my wife!!!:)

    Hank Barnes

    (unless my sciatic nerve starts acting up:(

  41. #41 Liam Scheff
    May 3, 2006

    And since most of you denialists (cause that’s what you are) believe that testing positive on HIV antibody or PCR tests (like the 88 prisoners) means that you’ve acquired a particular virus through sex,

    Then

    I’d like you to provide evidence that testing positive does indeed mean that you have a particular virus in your system.

    That you’ve acquired through sex, or any other way.

    While you’re at it, please feel free to include the relevent information about all the other things testing positive on an HIV antibody or PCR test can mean.

    Guitar Eddie? Tara? Anyone?

    I posted this last time, months ago and none of you guppies found the nerve to bite.

    So let’s shift this to testing –

    How do you know that getting these incarcerated (drug-using, hepatatic, perfectly-swealthy?) fellas to test sufficiently reactive on one of these erstwhile pregnancy/drug tests really means anything at all?

    And….

    Go!

  42. #42 Tara C. Smith
    May 3, 2006

    Liam, you deride scientists for declaring “victory” while, you say, offering nothing for evidence. Meanwhile, all y’all have to offer are snide comments, completely ignoring the topic at hand. And apparently you still haven’t learned your lesson regarding quote-mining, even after being chided in a Nature Medicine editorial.

  43. #43 Tara C. Smith
    May 3, 2006

    Additionally…

    And since most of you denialists (cause that’s what you are) believe that testing positive on HIV antibody or PCR tests (like the 88 prisoners) means that you’ve acquired a particular virus through sex,…

    Did you read any of my post at all?? Sex was one risk factor–tattooing was another. No one doubts that needles are a major way to transmit the virus, so once again, you’re beating a strawman here. How typical.

  44. #44 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    Dave S wrote:

    “And where does the mindset come from that thinks, “One of your conclusions is that it takes 1/10,000 sex acts for an HIV+ female to transmit the virus to a male. By my count, that’s about 2 times/week for, what, 100 years? Wow, kinda remote odds, no?”, is an argument that wouldn’t embarass a high schooler?

    Umm, it’s not an argument, it’s a question, Genius.

    Gee, what if there were more than 1 HIV+ female?

    Well, the study didn’t note any male having sex with 2 HIV+ women (doubling the fun?). But, Yes, doubling the risk factor — 4 times/week for one man — would likely double the risk — to 2/10,000. Brilliant analysis, Dave S. I must concede that if you slept with 10,000 HIV+ girls in 1 night — you might get HIV! You should go into Applied Mathematics:)

    I’m sure Dr. Padian just loves to get mail from AIDS denialist cranks.

    So, I point out that the longest and largest epidemiological study of heterosexual transmission of HIV found “no seroconversions” and I’m the “denialist crank”?

    Odd logic. Also, Triple Play!

    Hank Barnes

  45. #45 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    So, Tara, indulge me:

    1. Do you claim that HIV is transmitted by sex?

    I’ll hold off on Question 2 — since it seems to vex some of you.

    Barnes

  46. #46 Dave S.
    May 3, 2006

    A quesion can also be an argument, especially when it’s rhetorical.

    Your point 7 assumes there is only 1 HIV+ woman having sex sequentially Hank. If 1000 individual HIV+ women each had unprotected sex with a different individual man, then that’s 1000 sex acts right there.

    Sorry Hank, but why should I waste my time reading someone who obviously does’t have a clue what he’s talking about when I can read the Blogs of people who do instead?

  47. #47 Croft Woodruff
    May 3, 2006

    I am not surprised that there would be a problem with prison inmates being HIV positive. The increased oxidative stress caused by incarceration, smoking, etc., compounded by prison food induced malnutrition. In many cases, in the name of economy, the food is prepared(cooked) elsewhere then frozen and shipped to the prison (also known to happen with hospital food) then reheated by microwave and served up to the inmates.

    One nutritionist with a sense of humor once suggested that the science of a highly advertised low potency multiple vitamin supplement was actually based on the nutritional quality of ‘prison food.’

    In any case, for anyone to place any credence to the validity of HIV tests is not science but something else. Where is the virus? After 30 some years no virus, no vaccine, no Nobel Prize. Virus tests without virus isolation? Controversy rages in scientific circles as to whether the AIDS virus even exists. Since HIV/AIDs emerged in the early ’80s all known and accepted scientific investigative techniques have failed to prove the existence of a virus. No electron photograph of an isolated HIV particle has ever been published. What does emerge are published computerized models of what the AIDS virus might look like but what is essentially a figment of someone’s imagination.

    If an individual tests antibody positive to a disease such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, etc., because of once having the disease or vaccinated, that person is presumed to have immunity. Yet with HIV/AIDS the reverse is the accepted case. According to those who support the HIV/AIDS hypothesis (which seems to be the position of a majority of the medical/scientific establishment), testing HIV positive means that person is going to get AIDS and will die. This turns the whole concept of immunology on its head.

    According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “The techniques of the HIV test have not been standardized, and the magnitude and consequences of inter-laboratory variations have not been measured. Its results require interpretation, and the criteria for the interpretation vary not only from lab to lab, but also from month to month.”

    Eighty different conditions – including pregnancy, malnutrition, multiple infections, measles or exposure to a flu or hepatitis B shot, are known to trigger a false HIV positive. Because of so many variables involved, the many HIV tests are seriously flawed and totally invalid. The remaining HIV tests, called viral load tests, can produce dozens of conflicting results, even from the same blood sample.

    Virus tests without virus isolation? Controversy rages in scientific circles as to whether the AIDS virus even exists. Since HIV/AIDs emerged in the early ’80s all known and accepted scientific investigative techniques have failed to prove the existence of a virus. No electron photograph of an isolated HIV particle has ever been published. What does emerge are published computerized models of what the AIDS virus might look like but what is essentially a figment of someone’s imagination. Virologists have yet to develop a safe and effective vaccine. No virus, no vaccine, no Nobel Prize.

    People are being frightened and in many cases forced into needlessly seeking or accepting treatments for a virus that has yet to be proven to exist. Anti retro viral drugs are so poisonous and immune-suppressive they destroy the immune system and create the very condition they are supposed to treat. Such toxic therapy has become part of a self-fulfilling prophesy in support of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis.

    Disclaimers by the drug companies that their anti retro viral drugs do not cure AIDS and that risk includes death and damage speaks volumes. Photos of the dreadful effects these anti retro viral drugs have on what were previously very healthy allegedly HIV positive infants (And may have been made HIV positive thanks to a Hepatitis B or flu shot) clearly demonstrate that the application of these drugs is nothing less than criminal abuse and amounts to murder.

    The HIV/AIDS establishment’s answer – in the words of Mark Wainberg, MD, PhD, Director of the McGill AIDS Center and chairman of the committee organizing the next International AIDS Conference, to be held in 2006 in Toronto is “Those who dispute the HIV/AIDS hypothesis should be jailed.” Mr. Wainberg has been shown to be not above using tactics of personal attacks, labels and character asassination (the currencies of a bankrupt argument) against repectable scientists with whom he happens to disagree with.

    Dogmatism that brooks no debate and would jail a considerable number of prominent scientists as well as a couple of Nobel Laureates is arrogant and typically totalitarian thinking. It is not science but something else. It serves to protect and inflate the profits of those who manufacturer anti retroviral drugs. These drug treatments cost $3,000.00 to $10,000.00 or more per patient per month – a nice gold mind for the drug manufacturer.

    In the meantime, some people are publicly convicted by the research challenged sensational reporting of the media, ignominiously hauled off to jail, leg shackled and chained, charged and convicted for an offence, for all intents and purposes, based on a false premise. One British Columbia man recently received a fifteen year sentence fo having unprotected sex with female partners without informing them he was HIV positive. A Saskatchewan Roughrider (Canadian Football League) is facing similar charges in Regina and likely a similar sentence if convicted. Lawyers defending these cases are not interested in the facts that would get their clients an aquittal.

  48. #48 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    A quesion can also be an argument, especially when it’s rhetorical.

    That’s true, buffoon, but mine was a question: Isn’t 1/10,000 a low risk?

    Your point 7 assumes there is only 1 HIV+ woman having sex sequentially Hank.

    My “point” 7 assumes nothing. It is a question, recapitulating Dr. Padian’s estimated rate of transmission.

    If 1000 individual HIV+ women each had unprotected sex with a different individual man, then that’s 1000 sex acts right there.

    Keenly obvious, Dave S. Can we return to planet earth, now? Dr. Padian’s longest and largest epidemiological study had 2 HIV+ women, not 1000. I quote Padian:

    “Because there were only 2 instances of female-to-male transmission, we could not examine risk factors of these events statistically” (Padian, pge 354).

    Note, that these “2″ occurred before entry into the “prospective study.” So, calling it “transmission” begs the question as well.

    Sorry Hank, but why should I waste my time reading someone who obviously does’t have a clue what he’s talking about when I can read the Blogs of people who do instead

    Oh, is somebody forcing you to waste your time here? Who’s that, your imaginary friend?:) But, Yes, your time would be better spent actually reading the Padian paper.

    I can agree with that.

    Hank B

  49. #49 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    “Lawyers defending these cases are not interested in the facts that would get their clients an aquittal.”

    They should try hiring D. David Steele.

  50. #50 Tara C. Smith
    May 3, 2006

    Controversy rages in scientific circles as to whether the AIDS virus even exists.

    No, it doesn’t. Even Duesberg disagrees with you.

  51. #51 Dave S.
    May 3, 2006

    Croft Woodruff:

    No electron photograph of an isolated HIV particle has ever been published. What does emerge are published computerized models of what the AIDS virus might look like but what is essentially a figment of someone’s imagination.

    How about THIS one?

  52. #52 Dave S.
    May 3, 2006

    Sorry Hank, but as to which of us is the “buffoon”, I’ll gladly leave that to the judgement of others.

    Your postings speak for themselves buddy…res ipsa loquitur.

  53. #53 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    Your postings speak for themselves buddy…res ipsa loquitur.

    That, they do.

    But, your ignorance/silence/evasion on the Padian study speaks volumes as well.

    Hank Barnes

  54. #54 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    Hank/David, it takes considerable chutzpah to accuse people of ignorance when they agree with the study author. Here is Nancy Padian’s response to similar claims to yours that were published in the South African paper The Citizen:

    Heterosexual sex truly CAN give you HIV

    THE data concerning HIV infection was cited out of context, writes NANCY PADIAN, PhD, MPH, Professor, Obstetrics/Gynaecology & Reproductive Sciences, University of California at San Francisco:

    IT is a fallacy to suggest that HIV cannot be transmitted heterosexually (The Citizen, April 7).

    In fact, since the beginning of the epidemic, it has been documented that the majority of infections have been acquired through heterosexual transmission.

    The data cited by Dr David Rasnick and Professor Sam Mhlongo came from a study of mine that demonstrated the effectiveness of a robust and effective set of prevention interventions including, but not limited to, condom use and reduced sexual activity as part of couple counselling.

    Also, it is widely known that the efficiency of heterosexual transmission varies depending on a range of factors – including viral subtypes, behaviour, co-infection with other pathogens, immunologic competence, and so on – and that as a result, heterosexual transmission is more efficient in southern Africa than in the US, where I conducted the study to which you referred.

    There have been innumerable epidemiological studies that clearly demonstrate HIV transmission among heterosexuals in southern Africa (two examples include Pettifor et al, 2005 among adolescents in South Africa, and Dorak et al 2004 among serodiscordant couples in Zambia) and around the world.

    Citing results in the absence of context constitutes a gross misrepresentation of evidence with dangerous consequences.

    Misleading your public into believing that heterosexual transmission cannot occur or even that it is rare would have severe public health consequences and serve to damage those essential prevention efforts already under way.

  55. #55 McKiernan
    May 3, 2006

    It is fair to google, is it not ?

    HIV/AIDS a racket, says lecturer (Croft Woodruff)

    A few quotes from a Vancouver Newspaper:

    “I was dumbfounded. He was all over the place – he went from HIV is just a figment of your imagination to HIV/AIDS is not really a problem in Africa to HIV is caused by a lack of nutrition,” said Sinclair.

    “He said semen in the colon/anal canal is an immune system inhibitor,” said Bidiuk.

    Indeed, Woodruff said Monday, “that sperm has an immune-suppressing effect when it is not within a female.”

    “The [HIV/AIDS] virus has yet to be shown to exist . . . that’s one reason why they don’t have a vaccine for it.”

    “”I think it’s something that is genetically engineered,” said Woodruff

  56. #56 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    Dave,
    that’s one of the better Em’s of “HIV” that I’ve seen. At least the “HIV” is the spherical shape that “HIV” is claimed to be, instead of the ellipsoid I’ve seen in all of the other EM pictures of “HIV”. Is that an important point? Should one batch of “HIV” look like another batch of “HIV”? Or as long as somebody’s claiming to have taken an EM picture of “HIV”, should I just sit down, shut up, stop asking questions and take it?

  57. #57 Dave S.
    May 3, 2006

    You can do whatever you want to Dan. Woodruff said that “No electron photograph of an isolated HIV particle has ever been published.”. So I found that one published on the Net and asked him about it. I don’t doubt there are more such photos. In fact, here’s another I found on the Net. And here is one of an individual virus particle budding from a cell.

  58. #58 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    I can do whatever I want to…but you don’t seem to mind that these things don’t even look like each other. Ho hum, no probs. It’s all good in “HIV” land.

    Who are you trying to “convince”?

  59. #59 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    Talking of Google, it may be of interest to take a look at The Panda’s Thumb blog postings by one “Navy Davy.” You may recognize some rhetorical flourishes…

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2004/06/there_are_no_cr.html

  60. #60 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    Dave,
    help out a layman, here. How do we go from the pictures you showed me, to this? http://www.taltif.com/article.aspx?id=120&name=The%20Immune%20System%20and%20HIV&.l=en-us
    Now, I know the one I’ve got here isn’t an EM photo, but isn’t “HIV” supposed to look more like this?

  61. #61 Shygetz
    May 3, 2006

    Dan, you know nothing about virus structure. Virus packaging is notoriously inefficient; they make up for it with packaging tons of the virus. Additionally, viruses undergo numerous shape changes in reaction to their specific environment. Also, HIV is surrounded by an envelope, which is a somewhat flexible covering that can take different shapes. All of the particles are known to be HIV by various immunochemical and molecular tests, as well as various bioanalytical and biophysical analyses.

    If you don’t want to believe the people who claim to have EMs of HIV, then suit up and try to take your own. Otherwise, unless you have evidence that these scientists are wrong (you know, evidence…surely you’ve heard of the notion) then you simply sound willfully ignorant.

    But, your ignorance/silence/evasion on the Padian study speaks volumes as well.

    No, Hank, the Padian paper was so thoroughly discussed on this blog previously, and your points so thoroughly debunked, that you did a famous Barnes change-the-subject. Refer to the previous thread.

  62. #62 Shygetz
    May 3, 2006

    Um, Dan, that’s a false-colored cartoon. That’s like asking why all ducks don’t look like this.

    Real world pictures tend to be lower resolution, and EMs don’t have color.

  63. #63 McKiernan
    May 3, 2006
  64. #64 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    Guys,
    I know that wasn’t an EM photo, and I said so. I also said “help out a layman here”, but simply got talked down to. Cool. Now, if you were REALLY trying to convince anybody of anything you’d at least want to APPEAR to be scientific, objective and professional.

    “All of the particles are known to be HIV by various immunochemical and molecular tests, as well as various bioanalytical and biophysical analyses.”

    Unfortunately, none of them have been isolated from the uncultured plasma of an “AIDS” patient.

  65. #65 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    “Real world pictures tend to be lower resolution, and EMs don’t have color.”

    Of course, the “HIV”-faithful have no troubles at all when these things are put out there for the public to see, and claimed to be “HIV”.

  66. #66 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    Getting back to square one…Here’s a pertinent question directed at Dr. Tara from Hank Barnes’ blog.

    “Tara, help me out — what conclusion do you draw from Padian?”

    Sounds like a very straightforward, simple question. What is the answer?

  67. #67 Guitar Eddie
    May 3, 2006

    ‘Of course, the “HIV”-faithful have no troubles at all when these things are put out there for the public to see, and claimed to be “HIV”.’

    Are you claiming that the Electron Micrographs are not of HIV viruses, Dan? And if so, what evidence do you have that they are EMs of something else? The reason I ask is that your last statement sounds you think believe they are fake.

    I would therefore submit that you’re making some pretty serious insinuations, Dan. That’s not a very good idea if you want to be taken seriously by scientists.

    GE

  68. #68 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    GE, please follow along. I was specifically talking about the colorized and/or cartoon versions of “HIV”.

    Are you saying that the EM photos are of HIV that’s been isolated from the uncultured plasma of AIDS patients?

    I’m not worried whether scientists will take me seriously. I’m just a layman, trying to understand all of this from a layman’s point of view. Whether you take me seriously or not isn’t important. But if you want others to take YOU seriously, you should treat laypersons with respect and not be condescending. Just a little advice.

  69. #69 Guitar Eddier
    May 3, 2006

    “Are you saying that the EM photos are of HIV that’s been isolated from the uncultured plasma of AIDS patients?”

    Of course not, man. I have no idea where the viruses were cultured and EMed from, and I’m not sure what the relevance is.

    “I’m not worried whether scientists will take me seriously. I’m just a layman, trying to understand all of this from a layman’s point of view. Whether you take me seriously or not isn’t important. But if you want others to take YOU seriously, you should treat laypersons with respect and not be condescending. Just a little advice.”

    Ok. But I’m not sure what you were really asking, Dan. Are you asking Tara and Dave if all EMs of HIV look the same or are you asking why they look different from others you’ve seen?

    GE

  70. #70 Zach
    May 3, 2006

    I would like to point out that it isn’t really surprising that the prostitutes that didn’t use drugs had much lower rates of HIV-positive tests than those that use drugs. Drugs tend to do serious things to your body. I wouldn’t be surprised if that includes making you more susceptible to diseases.

  71. #71 Urinated State of America
    May 3, 2006

    Yup, Hank is probably Navy Davy. Used to post on tacitus.org. Lawyer in San Francisco, IIRC. Wrote a fawning book review on one of Duesburg’s books claiming he was the new Galileo.

  72. #72 orac
    May 3, 2006

    That’s what I like about epidemiology. You analyze a result you’re morally, politically, or financially interested in, and from hundreds of possible factors you pick the one that suits you.

    Unless you’re Hank Barnes, in which case you ignore the one factor that it suits you to ignore.

  73. #73 Guitar Eddier
    May 3, 2006

    “Unless you’re Hank Barnes, in which case you ignore the one factor that it suits you to ignore.”

    It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

    GE

  74. #74 Orac
    May 3, 2006

    Liam, you deride scientists for declaring “victory” while, you say, offering nothing for evidence. Meanwhile, all y’all have to offer are snide comments, completely ignoring the topic at hand. And apparently you still haven’t learned your lesson regarding quote-mining, even after being chided in a Nature Medicine editorial.

    Yes, I love to see HIV “dissidents” dissemble when asked what specific alternative hypothesis that they propose as the cause of AIDS other than HIV and to list very specifically studies from the peer-reviewed literature that support their hypothesis. They have nothing other than vague hand-waving and conspiracy theories to point to.

  75. #75 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    Orac,

    You’re last comment is pure straw.

    Tara once asked me directly:

    Now, Hank, you still didn’t answer this one: what would it take to get you to accept that HIV is the cause of AIDS?

    This is a great question. Here’s in essence what I wrote:

    The scientific sine qua non of the HIV hypothesis is a 3-step assertion:

    1. HIV (formally called Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus-III) kills abundant numbers of T4-Cells (aka CD4 cells).

    2. This depletion in T4-Cells leads to immune dysfunction.

    3. The dysfunctional immune system leads to the proliferation of opportunistic secondary diseases (PCP, tuberculosis, dementia, yeast infection, etc, etc), which would ordinarily be contained by a properly functioning immune system.

    So, I would go back to first principles and do a very, very simple experiment — a self-contained Koch’s Postulates assessment:

    1. Pick 10 people: HIV+ and clinically diagnosed with AIDS. (The Rock Hudson group)

    2. Pick 10 people: HIV+ but asymptomatic (The Magic Johnson Group)

    3. Pick 10 people: HIV- and clinically diagnosed with AIDS (the Idiopathic-CD4 Lymphocytopenia group)

    4. Pick 10 people: HIV- and healthy (The control group).

    5. Blood samples of each: (total 40) randomized and blinded to various pathologists.

    6. Mission of pathologists:

    * Locate HIV.
    * Culture it.
    * Purify it.
    * Photograph it by electronmicroscope.

    FIRST TEST: Pathologists oughta be able to obtain 20/40 HIV cultures from the blinded blood samples.

    SECOND TEST:

    Those doctors who obtained HIV — from the patient, mind you — are to inject said virus into rats. Measure T4-cells of rats before and after injection. Follow their health, as compared to uninfected rats. See what happens.

    The conventional theory would predict that for Groups 1 & 2, HIV would be obtained, cultured, purified, photographed by electronmiscropy, given to rats, whose T4-Cells would drop.

    The conventional theory would predict that none of that would occur for Groups 3 & 4.

    If those predictions came to pass, that would — in my view — be solid evidence of the causal connection between HIV and the destruction of T4-cells, the critical component of current AIDS theory.

    If those predictions failed to appear, eg, the blinded pathologist could not even obtain purified HIV from AIDS patients, (or, somehow, were able to obtain HIV from groups 3& 4)then — in my view — that would strongly undermine the conventional hypothesis, and we should all go back to the drawing board.

    You could also use consenting human volunteers, rather than rats, to make it even better, notwithstanding whatever ethical issues arose.(Although, a lotta famous scientists have injected themselves with pathogens to see the effects.)

    It doesn’t seem that hard to test the hypothesis.

    Barnes, Hank

  76. #76 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    Hank,
    sounds like a great idea! If the “HIV”-faithful are confident enough of their dogma, they should be happy to do this experiment.

  77. #77 Nat
    May 3, 2006

    Just for a second I’m going to pretend I don’t think that HIV causes AIDS and then think whether Hank’s proposed tests to falsify this premise actually fulfill that task.

    I don’t think that these proposed tests answer the question of whether HIV causes AIDS.

    The first test is a quality control test of inter-observer reliability. In order to place people into these groups in the first place you need to have found out whether they have HIV and have been diagnosed with “AIDS”. To do this you have to use the same tests that the pathologists will again use later to decide whether these people have HIV. So this is really just a check of whether the testers agree with one another- BTW I hope this sort of test get’s done all the time- It’s good quality control. Plus the sample size is too small and will be very sensitive to single mis-matches between pathologists pre and post. Plus the clinical diagnosis of AIDS is open to error meaning that clinical AIDS might be present in the so called negative groups and might in fact be something else in the so called positive groups.

    The second test: Do rats ever get clinical AIDS (regardless of what you beleive causes AIDS)? If not then the rest of the experiment is a bit weird. From the ultra skeptic view- HIV might cause AIDS in humans, but just because HIV doesn’t cause AIDS in rats doesn’t mean that the same is true in people. This is especially true if nothing causes AIDS in rats. Has anyone tried this in primates for instance?

    Surely if you want strong evidence that HIV (a retro-virus) causes AIDS (which is a phenotypical disease description) then large scale long term cohort studies (lots of people with and without the so-called disease-cause and with no clinical AIDS followed to see whether that disease cause actually manefests in clinical disease down the track, after controlling for other known causes) backed up by the sorts of basic science that were done in the 80s by Gallo et al and others would do it?

  78. #78 Dan
    May 3, 2006

    “Of course not, man. I have no idea where the viruses were cultured and EMed from, and I’m not sure what the relevance is.”

    Can you say “blind faith”? Yes, I knew you could.

  79. #79 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    “Yup, Hank is probably Navy Davy. Used to post on tacitus.org. Lawyer in San Francisco, IIRC. Wrote a fawning book review on one of Duesburg’s books claiming he was the new Galileo.”

    He also gets an acknowledgement at the end of Peter Duesberg’s J. Biosciences paper, something he’s never bothered to mention. And, unbelievably, he presented in South Africa:

    http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/May2001/The%20Phantom%20Syndrome%20Known%20As%20AIDS.htm

    Does the Federalist Society have an offical position on HIV, Hank? Is it common for Federalist Society members to propose scientific experiments based on their lawyerly insights into science’s failings?

  80. #80 Nat
    May 3, 2006

    PS. I know little of infectious epi. The sorts of things I suggest might be less relevant here than they are in my field…

  81. #81 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    Nat,

    You get points for civility:

    1. To do this you have to use the same tests that the pathologists will again use later to decide whether these people have HIV.

    No. I’ll make it easy. Give them Elisa or Western Blot test. Problem solved.

    2. Do rats ever get clinical AIDS (regardless of what you beleive causes AIDS)? If not then the rest of the experiment is a bit weird

    Injecting agent X (including HIV) into animals is regularly done. That’s a test to determine whether or not Agent X is a pathogen. Your criticsm, therefore, is circular and illogical, ie, We can’t inject HIV into rats, because we don’t know if rats get AIDS.

    If you are claiming that rats lack white blood cells, or, more specifically, T4-cells, then, you would have a point.

    Of course, as I stated above, human volunteers would be better than rats.

    But, feel free to give me a better test as to whether or not HIV causes T4-cell depletion.

    HB

  82. #82 Nat
    May 3, 2006

    Dear Hank

    Civility needed to be injected. From both sides.

    Protocol 1: You still need to diagnose or identify both conditions twice. It doesn’t matter which test you use to do this (bearing in mind that I know nothing about these specific tests- but I do know a thing or two about testing tests in general- i.e. classification errors). It is still a test re-test protocol. But now it is a validation study of the second method you choose compared to the first method you choose. It is not a protocol that would be acceptable below a question about the aetiology of disease but is the sort of study that would need to be done before such an aetiology study were undertaken.

    Protocol 2: I don’t think that asking whether rats get AIDS is illogical when we are testing whether HIV causes AIDS. If rats don’t get AIDS under any circumstances then injecting HIV won’t make them get AIDS, EVEN IF HIV causes AIDS in humans. If rats do get AIDS and injecting HIV into rats then makes them develop AIDS- then that offers some evidence of causality in humans. I’m not sure this is poor reasoning.

    Animal models are selected on the basis of their comparability to humans. There is no point testing an aetiological cause if the animal used is completely unsusceptible to the disease of interest.

    Do primates develop AIDS? If so then HIV causing AIDS in a primate might offer some proof. But then again many infectious agents have wildly different effects in different species.

  83. #83 Hank Barnes
    May 3, 2006

    Nat,

    Critiquing my proposal is fine. Use rats, primates, humans whichever you want for the second prong of the test.

    But, why not offer your own proposal to test whether HIV depletes T4-cells?

    Hank Barnes

  84. #84 Wilhelm Godschalk
    May 3, 2006

    Well, I must say, you guys have been busy since I submitted my post this afternoon. So let me start disposing of some of the crudest attacks on logic and common sense:

    [quote=guitar eddie]Give it up guys. You’re way out of your league.[/quote]
    The league of a guitar eddie? I’m sure you’re not even in my league when it comes to guitar playing.

    [quote=Shygetz]“Why going so fast? Let’s first prove that HIV is ANY kind of virus” is just silly. My lab has worked with HIV virus. This statement is beyond ignorant.[/quote
    Oh, you poor gullible slob! They told you that it was "HIV", and you believed that! Where did they get that "HIV" from? A cell culture, stimulated with a mitogen, right? Well, the con artists who worked with that "virus" don't even have the foggiest notion what they were growing. Did they produce real virus particles? No, they didn't. All they could come up with was some slop that contained certain markers that they ascribe to HIV. See the (circular) logic in this? 1. They assume they have a retrovirus bamed HIV.
    2. Retroviruses have reverse transcriptase activity.
    3. They demonstrate a few molecular markers, such as reverse transcriptase activity.
    4. They conclude: So it's HIV!
    Sheesh! Talk about silly and ignorant...

    [quote=David Harmon]Tara, just how much of this do you plan to put up with before you start banning the troll-recidivists?[/quote]
    Oh, are we irritating you already? Yes, when people come aboard who really want to talk science instead of HIV-religion, I can understand that your first impulse is to run.

    [quote=McKiernan]Note to Wilhelm:
    Duesberg Defends Challenges to the Existence of HIV:[/quote]
    I can’t count the times I’ve gotten thrown this argument at me. Well, with all due respect for Dr. Duesberg, I don’t buy it. Neither does the Perth group, who wrote a rebuttal to this Continuum paper (which you must be perfectly aware of). I quote from the Duesberg article:
    I will base my case for the isolation of HIV on the most rigorous method available to date, ie. molecular cloning of infectious HIV DNA, rather than only on the much less stringent, traditional “rules for isolation of a retrovirus
    Molecular cloning???!! That’s not the most rigorous method of isolation, but a load of crap! It starts with DNA. Now I hope that some of you at least know that a retrovirus contains RNA, so the DNA that is going to be cloned is already one important step removed from the original virus (if that exists). Now this molecular cloning is the best the HIV-faithful can come up with, because they’re unable to isolate complete virus particles (which can be done for viruses that really exist).
    You know what I think? Knowing Peter Duesberg’s sense of humor, he designed an argument in the spirit of the HIV-hounds, with their own terminology. Maybe they would even give him the Continuum prize for the “isolation of HIV” . And after pocketing that money, he could have told the world, laughing like a hyenea, that it was a hoax. (Well, he never got the prize).

    [quote=Tara C. Smith]What made you conclude that even their 88 transmission events means HIV isn’t a STD?[/quote]
    A loaded question if I ever saw one! You assume that these 88 cases were transmissions Were they? Bases on what evidence? You also considered tattoos. How about other possible causes? Drugs smuggled into the prison?

    [quote=Richard]I was wondering if you thought that a personal injury attorney that has sued GlaxoSmithKline based on the idea that AZT is a carcinogen (and that the dangers of HIV are exaggerated) might need to declare a potential conflict of interest in this discussion?[/quote]
    Hm Richard, so you don’t understand legal concepts such as “conflict of interest” either…

    [quote=Dave S.]Since 5 is small compared to the population of the United States throughout time, it’s the same as 0.[/quote]
    Ever heard of experimental error, Dave? Standard deviation and all that?

    [quote=Tara]Liam, you deride scientists for declaring “victory” while, you say, offering nothing for evidence.[/quote]
    Well, I’m a scientist too. I have learned early on that if someone publishes a theory, that same person must provide experimental evidence for it. And it must be possible for others to duplicate these results in their own labs.
    Now we have two major claims:
    1. HIV exists and is a retrovirus
    2. HIV causes AIDS
    I’m sure you’ll agree there should be evidence for these two claims. And it would be an insane demand upon those who don’t believe these claims to prove that they are wrong.
    I don’t believe in gnomes, elves and HIV. But I’ll start believing in them as soon as somebody proves they exist. I won’t hld my breath.
    But you’re right of course, that not all of these posts are strictly on-topic. But then, to return to the epidemiological field, you started out with a study where the conclusion was already in place before the experiment was done. They started with the basic premise that HIV is sexually transmitted, then went out to “prove” it. That’s preconceptual science, and you know that ain’t right.

    [quote=Hank Barnes]I am so pleased with this discussion that tonite I am going home to have lots of condomless sex with my wife!!!:)[/quote]
    Way to go, Hank! I’m going to do the same with strangers. Although I may ask them for their name afterwards (but only if it was good).

    [quote=Tara]Sex was one risk factor–tattooing was another. No one doubts that needles are a major way to transmit the virus, so once again, you’re beating a strawman here.[/quote]
    A strawman?? The way you put it, sex and tattooing were one and the same factor. You claim that the needles are just another way to spread the virus, which you also postulate to be the transmissible factor (!)
    I assume you know your profession. So why are you bamboozling us, Tara?

    [quote=Dave S.]How about THIS one?[/quote]
    Oh man! The same picture again. Yes, it’s a legitimate EM.
    Is it HIV? Only if you take Dave’s word for it. (I don’t, and I wouldn’t buy a used car from him either). This is a beautiful picture of microvesicles. They are a normal part of cellular transport. These vesicles bud from membranes and can contain all kinds of material that has to be transported elsewhere. From the conical shape of the cores you can already conclude that it’s not a retrovirus. This type of virus has a capsid that looks spherical (icosahedral) or tubular.

    [quote=Richard]Also, it is widely known that the efficiency of heterosexual transmission varies depending on a range of factors – including viral subtypes, behaviour, co-infection with other pathogens, immunologic competence, and so on – and that as a result, heterosexual transmission is more efficient in southern Africa than in the US[/quote]
    Thank you, Richard, for that explanation. A world of incomprehension opens up to me.

    [quote=Richard]Misleading your public into believing that heterosexual transmission cannot occur or even that it is rare would have severe public health consequences and serve to damage those essential prevention efforts already under way.[/quote]
    What prevention efforts, Richard? Making sex miserable with numbing condoms? Or killing off serologically positive victims with AZT? Why, oh why do some people get such a charge out of spoiling sex for others? Underachievers?

    [quote=Virus packaging is notoriously inefficient; they make up for it with packaging tons of the virus. Additionally, viruses undergo numerous shape changes in reaction to their specific environment[/quote]
    Not the viruses I worked with. Who are you trying to fool, Shygetz? Just because Dan is not a virologist, that doesn’t mean you can impress him with outrageous lies. You must have been born with the gift of chutzpah. Here’s another one of your outrageous canards:
    [quote]Otherwise, unless you have evidence that these scientists are wrong (you know, evidence…surely you’ve heard of the notion)[/quote]
    Well, I’ll be… Have YOU ever heard of the notion of evidence? These scientists must give evidence that they are right, not the other way round! And then you have the nerve to write:
    [quote]All of the particles are known to be HIV by various immunochemical and molecular tests, as well as various bioanalytical and biophysical analyses.[/quote]
    All molecular markers, for catsake! Where they assume that they are specific for HIV, which they didnt isolate. Lots of markers. No virus.
    Tell me, Shygetz, if someone pricks you, do you bleed? (Shakespeare, sort of).

    [quote=GE]Are you claiming that the Electron Micrographs are not of HIV viruses, Dan? And if so, what evidence do you have that they are EMs of something else?[/quote]
    I can’t speak for Dan (but he probably does). And if Dan doesn’t claim these electron micrographs are NOT of HIV, then I do so. And you want evidence they’re not?? You’ve got to be joking. I’ll show you a picture of my uncle. And if you don’t believe it’s my uncle, I’ll ask you for evidence, how’s that?
    [quote]I would therefore submit that you’re making some pretty serious insinuations, Dan. That’s not a very good idea if you want to be taken seriously by scientists.[/quote]
    I take Dan seriously. A lot of the early “HIV pictures” were out and out fakes. The later ones depict microvesicles that are abundant in every living higher organism.
    I’m not too sure if I should take YOU seriously, Eddie.
    (Who paid for your education, if you had one, that is?)

    Well folks, You gave me lots of ammunition today. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

    W.G.

  85. #85 Richard
    May 3, 2006

    Nat wrote:

    “Do primates develop AIDS?”

    Yes. SIVsm is typically (although a recent report indicates, not entirely) apathogenic in it’s natural host (Sooty Mangabeys) but causes AIDS in rhesus macaques and humans (it is the direct ancestor of HIV-2).

    HIV-1 can cause AIDS in chimpanzees, despite many claims to the contrary. There were two cases reported in the late 90s, one was multiply infected (more than one HIV isolate), the other I think maybe infected with an HIV that had passaged through another chimp. There was another report in 2001 of several more chimps showing immunological signs of progression, might be worth checking with the researchers to see if any have progressed to clinical disease. It’s actually kind of surprising, given that chimpanzees are the natural host for SIVcpz (which is the direct ancestor of HIV-1 in humans) and have therefore had more time to co-evolve with the virus.

    Wilhelm, your post is pretty much indecipherable, although I doubt this will impede your ability to convince yourself that it summarily dispenses with everyone’s comments in the thread. I think you may have attributed some comments by Nancy Padian to me. I don’t buy your argument about Duesberg, he was working with similar RNA viruses back in the 60s. Thanks to the wonders of PubMed Central, several of Duesberg’s earliest papers are available full text online, you should take a look.

  86. #86 Nat
    May 3, 2006

    Hank

    Epidemiological evidence that HIV causes AIDS would come from a longitudinal cohort. Of which there are many running world-wide. Hopefully some of them have been measuring AIDS and HIV and the important covariates. Have any suitable studies published these results?

    These cohorts offer stong disease aetiology evidence. IF the basic science backs them up. I am not qualified to comment on these types of studies (particularly in-vitro).

    I won’t make any more comments on this topic. One must recognise the limits of one’s training…

  87. #87 McKiernan
    May 3, 2006

    Gigablast has interesting hits on a commenter named Navy Davy. Seems he’s the same as D.D. Steele according to one site. Same person appears to be the winner over at Superior AIDS Rethinking Action Awards; as a lawyer by the name of D.D. Steele won an administrators 2005 Award:

    It says: A California lawyer who is suing GlaxoSmithKline over the use of AZT for a boy pricked by a syringe. He claims, among other things, that the risk of cancer from AZT is well documented, but essentially hidden on the drug’s label. This case is very important for protecting children from coercive medication, in this case instigated by Planned Parenthood. David Steele has questioned the connection between HIV and AIDS for several years.

    I find that quite puzzling and wonder if a commenter that is continually dragging out the topic of AZT shares the same concerns.

  88. #88 Tara C. Smith
    May 4, 2006

    Wilhelm–

    Again, I’ll note that even Duesberg disagrees with you. It’s really, really hard to take anyone seriously who says HIV has never been isolated. Nevertheless, you ask:

    The way you put it, sex and tattooing were one and the same factor. You claim that the needles are just another way to spread the virus, which you also postulate to be the transmissible factor (!)
    I assume you know your profession. So why are you bamboozling us, Tara?

    First, I specifically said that sex and tattooing were 2 distinct risk factors. This is in the study described in the OP, which few people want to address, preferring instead to throw out red herrings already beaten to a pulp in the previous Padian thread. I’m not going to address those again–they’re back in the old thread for all to see.

    You suggest drugs were an unexamined risk factor. You also say that you’re a scientist, and that “I have learned early on that if someone publishes a theory, that same person must provide experimental evidence for it. And it must be possible for others to duplicate these results in their own labs.”

    So tell me–where’s the experimental, repeated evidence that AIDS is caused by drug use? Did Duesberg test that? Who duplicated it for y’all to keep spreading that “theory?”

  89. #89 john
    May 4, 2006

    “So tell me–where’s the experimental, repeated evidence that AIDS is caused by drug use? Did Duesberg test that? Who duplicated it for y’all to keep spreading that “theory?”.

    I don’t care whether it’s a valid theory or not. I do think Duesberg would have done a number of studies had he been funded. And if he had just been funded and his studies didn’t reveal the expected results, THEN you could ask “where’s his evidence”.

    Speaking of Duesberg, please come listen to him and respond

  90. #90 Tara C. Smith
    May 4, 2006

    John, many studies aren’t funded–often times because the applicant doesn’t lay out his case for funding well. Duesberg’s misunderstandings/misrepresentations of basic infectious disease epidemiology, if present in his grant applications, alone would probably be enough to get his grants rejected. Hell, I can see that, and I’m just a peon–but I know enough to be sure to have my information correct when I go off looking for money.

  91. #91 Shygetz
    May 4, 2006

    Wow. I thought HIV/AIDS deniers were a bit out there, but Wilhelm, just…wow.

    Oh, you poor gullible slob! They told you that it was “HIV”, and you believed that! Where did they get that “HIV” from? A cell culture, stimulated with a mitogen, right? Well, the con artists who worked with that “virus” don’t even have the foggiest notion what they were growing. Did they produce real virus particles? No, they didn’t. All they could come up with was some slop that contained certain markers that they ascribe to HIV. See the (circular) logic in this? 1. They assume they have a retrovirus bamed HIV.
    2. Retroviruses have reverse transcriptase activity.
    3. They demonstrate a few molecular markers, such as reverse transcriptase activity.
    4. They conclude: So it’s HIV!

    Let’s clear a few things up. The viral genome of HIV has been fully sequenced many, many times (look it up on NCBI if you don’t believe me). DNA sequencing can and have been used to determine the identity of HIV, both in a host and in culture.
    We can determine from that DNA sequence which proteins will be produced from HIV. The presence and identity of the protein can and has been determined by mass spectrometry.
    We can utilize the DNA sequences to construct artificial versions of the HIV proteins. These proteins have been generated and carefully studied. They fold into the same shape as in the isolated virus. They also react to the same antibodies (even those that require a properly folded protein to react). We can and have examined where the antibodies bind to the isolated, artificial protein and used that to successfully predict which antibodies will be neutralizing and which will not be neutralizing.
    Not to mention that HIV has been isolated from clinical patients, and identified with immunochemistry, PCR, and EM.

    Not the viruses I worked with. Who are you trying to fool, Shygetz? Just because Dan is not a virologist, that doesn’t mean you can impress him with outrageous lies.

    If you’ve worked with viruses at any level beyond passing them around, I’ll go out, buy a hat, and eat it. Tell me, what was the virion/PFU ratio for your favorite virus? I don’t even know what virus you worked with, but I’ll make a bet with you…it was above 50. Hell, it was probably well above 50. That is in large part because most viruses package inefficiently. They can afford to because of their high copy number, but it does increase the amount of oddly-shaped virions and viral junk that you have to try to clean up from your sample. Mathematical modeling of assembly found that changes to virion structure that decreased malformation also decreased assembly rate, and vice versa; therefore, the viruses accept a fairly high rate of malformation in order to replicate quickly when it needs to.
    And all known viruses undergo conformational changes as a result of environmental signals. That’s how they infect cells. You should know that, if you know anything about viruses (which you don’t.)

    All molecular markers, for catsake! Where they assume that they are specific for HIV, which they didnt isolate. Lots of markers. No virus.

    What the hell do you want in order to prove it’s HIV? An EM of the virus holding a sign saying “Hey Ma, I’m HIV!” No, that would also be a molecular marker. The entire genome has been sequenced. All structural proteins encoded have been observed and identified by mass spectrometry, and most (if not all) have been crystallized and studied by X-ray diffraction. HIV has been clinically isolated and identified in culture by PCR, immunochemistry, and EM. It’s been shown to have cytotoxic effects in culture, and closely associated with cytotoxicity in clinical cases. It has been cross-reacted with both clinical and recombinant antibodies. This is all very, very strong evidence that HIV exists. You have presented no evidence to the contrary. What’s more, you have called me a liar, when clearly either you are ignorant of the topic, or are a willful liar yourself.

  92. #92 Shygetz
    May 4, 2006

    Dan, I may have come off as too defensive. If you question was merely a question and not a veiled attack, then I apologize.

    The reason why the EM pictures don’t look like the cartoon are primarily two-fold. The first is that the cartoon was of the capsid. HIV is an enveloped virus; the dark blob in the center is the increased electron density from the capsid, and the outer covering is a heterogeneous piece of the host cell membrane that the virus wears like camoflauge. The second is due to the resolution of the instrumentation. The cartoon is a theory-level resolution, based on physics-level math. The pictures are based on lensed electron detection, and has much lower resolution. This leads to blurry pictures with experimental uncertainty associated with the electron density.

    Unfortunately, none of them have been isolated from the uncultured plasma of an “AIDS” patient.

    There have been several biochemical assays used on clinical samples directly, most notably PCR (which is highly selective and can be validated by sequencing) and immunochemistry (which is extremely sensitive and can be highly selective if done properly). Also, clinical isolates are a valid way of examining viruses, and have been used in HIV studies.

  93. #93 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    What a fascinating (not really) discussion — and nice to see you Richard Jefferys, of TAG and TAC. TAC by the way is a terrorist organization that is currently being prosecuted as such in South Africa — it’s always nice to know the viewpoint of gun-toting terrorist groups like TAC. Thanks for bringing those to the table, Richard. Too bad you don’t use your full name here. Mr. Jefferys has been deployed by TAC (in particular, by John P. Moore) to assassinate the character of scientists and others who question the HIV=AIDS paradigm. He has done this to me, to Dr. Rebecca Culshaw, and here now to Hank Barnes. He is a plant. Any blogger who doesn’t realize that Mr. Jefferys is a plant is an idiot.

    There is a lot of shouting going on around here about who has scientific credentials and who does not, and therefore who should comment. To all of that I say — bullshit. I have scientific credentials. Scientific credentials, like a PhD, don’t necessarily vindicate your views or even make you a smart person. Most lab rats could get through a PhD program.

    What’s 100% clear from the studies on incidence discussed is: it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to measure the incidence of a virus that is so rarely transmitted — this is called (and I imagine Dr. Smith is familiar with this term) a “low base-rate event,” meaning that it happens so rarely, it is actually impossible to have confidence in any estimate of incidence. This is the case with HIV, even when you consider anal receptive intercourse. For such a threatening virus, it sure is hard to get. It does also appear that it requires certain conditions, many still unkonwn now, for sexual transmission to occur(someone mentioned timing of infection — obviously potentially important in transmission, since after initial infection, there’s practically no virus in the blood, which is why it must be amplified by PCR to even see it).

    In any case, the discussion drew out the usual, and totally inappropriate term, “denialist.” Folks, we use that term to describe people who DON’T BELIEVE THE HOLOCAUST EXISTED. To use it here is offensive to every Jewish person in the world. Try “dissident.”

    And I would recommend that folks like the lovely Dr. Smith, who “speak down” to non-scientists, not be trusted too much. Speaking down is a sign that Dr. Smith needs to build herself up a bit — you see this often enough in science. Any smart person can read an epidemiological study, work it through, and offer an intelligent analysis of it. Doesn’t require a PhD, never did. Get over your degree, at least, Tara. I’m not running around flaunting mine.

  94. #94 Guitar Eddie
    May 4, 2006

    Mr. Biernbaum:

    When has Tara ever condescended to or anyone? Huh? Show your evidence. Right now, you’re just babbling. From my experience, Dr. Smith has never talked down to anybody.

    Furthermore I believe this perception of condescension on the part of some is a function of there being too many chips on too many shoulders.

    GE

  95. #95 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Well, Guitar Eddie, I guess each person has a different viewpoint concerning condescending language. It’s interesting that you refer to Tara as both “Tara” and “Dr. Smith” and to me as “Mr.” Biernbaum, though (so, my PhD isn’t as impressive?) How many chips do you have on your shoulders right now? The only one I’m counting on mine is the fact that I am HIV+, so tread carefully.

  96. #96 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Well, Guitar Eddie, I guess each person has a different viewpoint concerning condescending language. It’s interesting that you refer to Tara as both “Tara” and “Dr. Smith” and to me as “Mr.” Biernbaum, though (so, my PhD isn’t as impressive?) How many chips do you have on your shoulders right now? The only one I’m counting on mine is the fact that I am HIV+, so tread carefully. There’s a little condescending language for you!

  97. #97 Shygetz
    May 4, 2006

    Denialist is a general term for those who continue to deny some phenomenon in the face of overwhelming evidence and scientific consensus (e.g. global warming denialist, HIV/AIDS denialist, and yes, Holocaust denialist). Sorry if you don’t like the term, but it fits.

    And for a virus that’s so hard to get, there sure are a lot of people with it.

  98. #98 Tara C. Smith
    May 4, 2006

    And I would recommend that folks like the lovely Dr. Smith, who “speak down” to non-scientists, not be trusted too much. Speaking down is a sign that Dr. Smith needs to build herself up a bit — you see this often enough in science. Any smart person can read an epidemiological study, work it through, and offer an intelligent analysis of it. Doesn’t require a PhD, never did. Get over your degree, at least, Tara. I’m not running around flaunting mine.

    Nor am I. I’ve never asked anyone to call me “Dr”, and never said I was right simply because I am degreed. (Indeed, I’ve written on the correct and incorrect use of arguments from authority previously). And I completely agree that it doesn’t take a degree to read and understand scientific study–that’s one of the reasons I write here, is to point out interesting areas of research to people of varied backgrounds. If I didn’t think they were capable of reading the original studies, I wouldn’t bother to link them. Funny enough, it’s usually the folks like Hank et al. who come in with their hero-worship posts, discussing Duesberg’s accomplishments, etc. to dismiss any criticisms of his writing.

    Perhaps you think I’m “condescending” because of my attitude toward Hank. This isn’t because I think Hank is incapable of comprehending studies–it’s because I know from prior experience that he’s intellectually lazy, and continues to parrot the same old tired lines even when the opposite has been shown to be true. That amuses some people, but not me.

    I will, occasionally, ask a commenter if they have a background in a certain area, but that’s not the same as a degree. For example, I’ve certainly never taken any formal coursework studying “intelligent design” or other types of creationism, but I consider myself pretty well-educated on the subject because I’ve devoted way too many hours to reading about the topic. One need not have a degree to have an educated opinion–but one does need to have done sufficient research in order to have enough understanding of the topic to discuss it intelligently. That’s all I ask.

  99. #99 Guitar Eddier
    May 4, 2006

    “Well, Guitar Eddie, I guess each person has a different viewpoint concerning condescending language. It’s interesting that you refer to Tara as both “Tara” and “Dr. Smith” and to me as “Mr.” Biernbaum, though (so, my PhD isn’t as impressive?) How many chips do you have on your shoulders right now? The only one I’m counting on mine is the fact that I am HIV+, so tread carefully.”

    Firstly, I refer to Tara as both “Tara” and “Dr. Smith” merely to avoid being redundant in my writing. Also, I was not aware that you had a PhD. What is your degree in?

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re HIV+. Are you presently undergoing treatment? I will remember you in my prayers to the Mystic Law for you recovery and continued health and happiness.

    Relately, I as yet have no chips on my shoulders, Mark. And, if I am allowed to, I prefer to keep my rhetorical sword in its scabbard.

    GE

  100. #100 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    Hank responds, cheerfully, to various comments about Hank:)

    Tara sez: This isn’t because I think Hank is incapable of comprehending studies–it’s because I know from prior experience that he’s intellectually lazy,..

    Yeah, but I’m full of vim and vigor:) Well, let’s test this hypothesis. I located and found the Padian study, more than 7 years ago. It was published in the “American Journal of < Epidemiology” in 1997. You’re an epidemiologist, right?

    So, outta curiousity, when did you first read the Padian study, Tara?

    … and continues to parrot the same old tired lines even when the opposite has been shown to be true.

    Still waiting for the opposite epidemiological study of Padian, that did find some (any?) seroconversions from sex with HIV+ folks.

    HB

    p.s. It is a glorious day to be alive! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming.

  101. #101 tonyl
    May 4, 2006

    Hank Blustered: Bean-Counter Alerts!!! — Tonyl & Dave S.

    Why not address the Padian data and conclusion, instead of tap-dancing on the margins?

    Tap dancing around the margins? I think pointing out yet another of your repeated mis-characterizations of the study’s scope, findings, and conlusions cuts right to the heart of the matter. What you said about the paper was a lie! We pointed the many lies out to you. We pointed out that you were shown that these statements were incorrect the first time you made them. How is this dancing around the margins?

  102. #102 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    Bean-Counter alert: Part II!!!!

    Tonyl,

    Here are the 3 scientific facts I cited regarding Padian:

    Scientific Fact No. 1:

    In 1997, Padian was the largest and longest study of heterosexual transmission of HIV in the United States. (Padian, page 354.)

    Scientific Fact No. 2:

    For 6 years, Padian followed 175 discordant couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) who had a whole lotta sex. In fact, 38% had anal sex, although this number decreased over time to 8%. (Table 3, Padian at 355.) Still, that’s a lotta heterosexual buggering.

    Scientific Fact No. 3:

    I quote: “We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study.” . (Padian, pg 354.)

    So, to recapitulate — having sex with HIV+ people over 6 full years revealed:

    1. Heterosexual intercourse: no seroconversions
    2. Anal intercourse: no seroconversions
    3. Using condoms: no seroconversions
    4. Not using condoms: no seroconversions
    ___________________________________________

    So, where is the lie, dumbass?

    Oh, you “quibble” that not every couple was in the study for 6 years. Well, 6 years was the duration of the study — yes there was some variation of how long folks remained in the study — some stayed to the end, some dropped out early. Duh. What’s the big deal, bean-counter?

    Are you going to address Padian’s central data and central conclusion or not?

    Fondly,

    Hank

    p.s. Orac has a post that a man of your station in life might enjoy:)

  103. #103 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    Hank, you continue to ignore the seroconversions that occurred before entry into the study. The seroconversions that occurred before the individuals involved were aware that at least one partner was HIV positive. The seroconversions that are relevant because the chances of a seropositive person just happening to acquire a seropositive sexual partner in a population where prevalence is as low as it amongst American heterosexuals are very low. The odds that 17% of seropositive individuals recruited to Padian’s study did it by chance are even more remote.

    Of course in trying to make the question of heterosexual transmission completely reliant on Padian (which is completely non-scientific), you also ignore the many, many HIV positive Americans whose only identified risk factor is heterosexual activity and the two transmission cohorts that I have mentioned to you several times in which 2 guys passed HIV on to 19 sexual partners.

  104. #104 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Mark Biernbaum wrote:

    “What a fascinating (not really) discussion — and nice to see you Richard Jefferys, of TAG and TAC. TAC by the way is a terrorist organization that is currently being prosecuted as such in South Africa — it’s always nice to know the viewpoint of gun-toting terrorist groups like TAC. Thanks for bringing those to the table, Richard. Too bad you don’t use your full name here. Mr. Jefferys has been deployed by TAC (in particular, by John P. Moore) to assassinate the character of scientists and others who question the HIV=AIDS paradigm. He has done this to me, to Dr. Rebecca Culshaw, and here now to Hank Barnes. He is a plant. Any blogger who doesn’t realize that Mr. Jefferys is a plant is an idiot.”

    Mark, there are so many blatant lies in this paragraph that it is difficult to know where to start. I am indeed Richard Jefferys, I do work for TAG and you’re right that I should have amended the typepad thing to include my last name (I usually do, as you know from my posts at New AIDS Review). But this has all been gone over on this blog before (Hank initially accused me of working for a for-profit website called The Body before I corrected him). TAG’s financials, my position at TAG, etc. have all been discussed (I think it was on the previous Padian thread). So I didn’t figure there was a great deal of mystery about my identity.

    I do not work for TAC, so what you mean by saying that I am “of TAG and TAC” I do not know – perhaps you could explain? Perhaps you could also offer your evidence that TAC is a “terrorist” organization? This is a slander promulgated by the messianic German vitamin salesman Matthias Rath, and the accusation was thrown out by the courts in South Africa. You also state – as fact – that I am being “deployed” by TAC and John Moore! I’m sorry Mark, but if you actually knew anything about me you would realize what a bizarrely paranoid claim this is. But you don’t, and you actually don’t know anything about my relationship with either TAC or John Moore.

    You also accuse me of assassinating your character – can you provide any examples? I certainly assailed the content of Rebecca Culshaw’s three published papers, but can you offer an example of character assassination? You are also suggesting that I am attacking Hank Barnes character by pointing out that he is a lawyer and Federalist Society member by the name of David Steele. I wish you would spend a few moments considering why a member of the Federalist Society would seek to embrace gay men that share his views about HIV.

    I did, I freely confess, attack the character of Peter Duesberg. I suggested that Mark Wainberg’s description of him as a “scientific psychopath” was a masterpiece of understatement. This was based on an email he sent me wherein he offered jaunty speculation about the cause of death of a gay “friend,” punctuated by an exclamation mark.

    For the record, Mark Biernbaum tried to have me banned from posting to the “New AIDS Review” blog, based on the fact that my posts were disturbing. That long and depressing thread (including Mark’s request that I be banned) is at:

    http://www.newaidsreview.org/posts/1145348671.shtml

  105. #105 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    Dale,

    You’re a reasonable fellow — in your opinion, Why were there no seroconversions during the prospective study?

    And, Isn’t this a surprising result?

    Hank Barnes

  106. #106 Dave S.
    May 4, 2006

    Some assorted replies.

    Wilhelm Godschalk says:

    [quote=Dave S.]Since 5 is small compared to the population of the United States throughout time, it’s the same as 0.[/quote]
    Ever heard of experimental error, Dave? Standard deviation and all that?

    I have, but how does “experimental error” enter here? Please be as specific as you can. If you wish to argue that these deaths were not caused by anthrax, then please do so. If you can’t or won’t, then Hank continues to stand refuted on that point.

    Oh man! The same picture again. Yes, it’s a legitimate EM.
    Is it HIV? Only if you take Dave’s word for it. (I don’t, and I wouldn’t buy a used car from him either).

    No, you don’t have to only take my word for it. The photos were from the CDC and the University of Florida. Is your entire argument to consist of “They’re lying!”. Not much one can say about that.

    This is a beautiful picture of microvesicles. They are a normal part of cellular transport. These vesicles bud from membranes and can contain all kinds of material that has to be transported elsewhere. From the conical shape of the cores you can already conclude that it’s not a retrovirus. This type of virus has a capsid that looks spherical (icosahedral) or tubular.

    So…we just have to take your word for this? I guess it’s different when it’s your word.

    Dan says:

    I’m not worried whether scientists will take me seriously. I’m just a layman, trying to understand all of this from a layman’s point of view. Whether you take me seriously or not isn’t important. But if you want others to take YOU seriously, you should treat laypersons with respect and not be condescending. Just a little advice.

    In my experience, scientists don’t mind the questions of laymen Dan. I for one welcome honest questions, although I do not consider myself a scientist. Everyone is a layman in most areas.

    What they do mind is people telling them that they are just closed minded dogmatists and basing their understanding on faith while ignoring the data – while at the same time admitting they don’t really know much about science in the first place. That’s irritating as hell, as it would be for anyone in any field.

  107. #107 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    Hank,
    Personally I find it a relieving result. It says that HIV, while infectious, isn’t generally that easily transmitted between heterosexuals in stable partnerships. If I were studying HIV, I would find it a frustrating result because it makes it far more difficult to identify the risk factors that influence transmission.

  108. #108 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    Personally I find it a relieving result. It says that HIV, while infectious, isn’t generally that easily transmitted between heterosexuals in stable partnerships.

    That’s totally true, I’m with ya! Whatever HIV is, the harder it is to get, the better. But, you’re still dodging a bit. “Relief” isn’t a scientific principle.

    Since, Padian unscientifically refused to make an a priori hypothesis (a huge red flag), she cannot compare her actual results to any predicted results.

    So, are you “relieved” because you are surprised by the data (no seroconversions)?

    HB

    BTW, how did you learn about the Padian paper?:) (just kidding)

  109. #109 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Richard Jefferys. You are indeed a TAC plant. You co-authored the “rebuttal” to C. Farber’s article, and your name appears at the bottom of the TAC-sponsored website, http://www.aidstruth.org — here’s the quote:

    “This website was developed in March, 2006, by Bob Funkhouser of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nathan Geffen of The Treatment Action Campaign, Dr. John P. Moore of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Professor Nicoli Nattrass, Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, Richard Jeffrey of the Treatment Action Group, Jeanne Bergman of HealthGAP, Gregg Gonsalves of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Dr. Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory.”
    Funny how your name got in there if you have nothing to do with TAC. And I am not talking about the Rath lawsuit, and you know it. I’m talking about the AZT lawsuit and the destruction of NAPWA’s offices which TAC has been credited with, and the fact that the South African government considers TAC a terrorist group and thus did not invite them to the important U.N. discussion on AIDS. Don’t even try to defend TAC — men who carry guns and intimidate people working in offices doing outreach on nutrition are terrorists, and you’re one of them. And your relationship with Moore is well-known. And this is why I tried to have you removed from NAR — because TAC is notorious for their “plants.”

    You have so much time to blog, RJ; does the Palm Foundation know what you do with your time? What would they say if I printed out all of your insane comments and sent them to your funder? Are they really funding you to work on vaccine research, because if so, you don’t seem to spend much time doing it. I’ll be in NYC next friday and I would like to meet you in person. Are you up for that? Just for fun, bring Gregg Gonsalves. It will be a grand old time. I’m quite serious.

  110. #110 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    Hank,
    I’ve told you before that I learned about Padian from you. As far as Padian not having an a priori hypothesis, I’m not certain that you can draw that conclusion. One would have to see whatever paperwork was filled out to obtain permission and/or funding for the study. I assume though, since heterosexual transmission of HIV was already established on the basis of case studies and CDC data, that her hypothesis likely had to do with behavioural factors influencing transmission.

    “Surprised” by the data? Not particularly – but of course I did not read this paper when it first came out but at a much later date. Certainly from what I remember of the media hype from back in the 80s and early 90s it may have been an unexpected result at the time.

  111. #111 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    That’s cool, Dale. We’ll have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.

    You’ve been a gentleman during all our skirmishes.

    Pop in to say hello more often. Keep me honest and on my toes.

    Best,

    Hank Barnes

  112. #112 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    And Schwartzy — it would be hella hard for me to be in “denial” regarding something I’ve got, don’t ya think? I think it’s rippin’ hysterical when someone calls and HIV+ person an HIV-”denialist.” I mean, that’s classic.

  113. #113 tonyl
    May 4, 2006

    Well, lets take a look at Hanks increadibly morphing claims:

    Original: It was the longest and largest epidemiological study of heterosexual tranmission of HIV

    after someone pointed out longer and larger studies it changes to the new claim:In 1997, Padian was the largest and longest study of heterosexual transmission of HIV in the United States (emphasis mine)

    Why narrow it to 1997 and only the US? Oh, because you needed to save face when it was pointed out that your claim was wrong.

    Lets move on to claim 2,
    origionals:NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON (175 discordant couples), after unlimited, abundant, (dare I even say wild and kinky?) sexual acts over 10 years contracts HIV. Not one.
    and
    For 10 years, it followed 175 discordant couples, who had a lotta sex. “Discordant” means for each couple, 1 person was HIV+, and one was not.

    After it was pointed out that this is innacurate, (and the abundant, unlimited kinky sex comment was a complete and total fabrication) you failed to acnowledge your previous error and the claim morphed to:
    For 6 years, Padian followed 175 discordant couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) who had a whole lotta sex.

    which is still misleading, since it didn’t follow 175 couples for the full 6 years. In addition, can you qualify “had a whole lotta sex”? I didn’t see it skimming the report, could you point out exactly where it said they were having “a whole lotta sex”? How about just giving a number of times during the study that would qualify as “a whole lotta sex”? Especially when close to 15% of the couples studied abstained from sex. It wasn’t even particularly risky sex since 74% consistantly used condoms by the end of the study. Gee, that leaves 11.5% not abstaining or consistantly using condoms. Wow 20 couples! Of those, how many were using condoms inconsistantly? How often were they having sex? How many of those 20 were followed for more than 6 months?

    Are you going to address Padian’s central data and central conclusion or not?

    Are you going to stop mischaracterizing the study and claiming it “proves” that HIV is not an STD? Especially when sexual transmission has been documented in other studies wchich have been posted on this and previous threads?

  114. #114 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Mark, I don’t work for Los Alamos National Labs, GMHC, HealthGAP, etc. etc. – you’re arguing that we’re all TAC plants because TAC’s server is hosting the site? Your claims about TAC are apparently based on a lawsuit brought by Anthony Brink, which you seem to accept as factual. Forgive me for demurring and awaiting the court’s verdict. My relationship with John Moore is “well known” – how so? Be specific. FYI, Hank has claimed some kind of nefarious link in the past because we’re both from the UK.

    You did not provide any examples of my assassinating your character or Rebecca Culshaw’s. Yet you seem to feel free to attack my character and make baseless claims about me. This strikes you as appropriate?

    If you want to write to the Palm Foundation, please go ahead. Obviously, if I wanted to complain to your employer about the comments you have made about me (which I don’t), I would be at something of a disadvantage (as I would have been with Hank), because the transparency here is all completely one-sided.

    I find this whole exchange awful. Like many others before you, concern and denial about your own health status has been directed outward into vicious attacks on people that you in fact know next to nothing about. If this kind of dialogue typically leads people to want to meet with you in person, I am afraid I am an exception.

  115. #115 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Sorry no formal meeting — could have been useful. And of course I’m referring to the Brink case, and I guess we’ll all wait until the court issues its verdict — although I’ve seen some of those briefs, and I wouldn’t say it looks good for you guys. And TAC doesn’t just act as the “server” for that site, they author it, as do you — otherwise, why the obligatory actual mention of your name at the bottom of the site page, Richard, now honestly. You either are or are not involved with TAC, and that site makes it clearer than visine that you are. Why deny it? I thought you guys loved that site. I know John Moore loves the site. I’m not saying anything that isn’t out there already, Richard, like the attacks by TAC on the NAPWA offices, which you don’t, I notice, contradict — that’s interesting. People can read about that themselves. A meeting would have been a good idea — but you seem afraid of good ideas, which doesn’t surprise me; in any case, I’m confident we will meet at some point. Some other time then, RJ.

  116. #116 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Mark, if I spent time contradicting every erroneous claim you made in your posts, the Palm Foundation really would have cause for concern. All the people listed contributed to that site, which is why they’re listed as authors, including Nathan Geffen from TAC. That is the purpose of the listing! What I’m denying – because it is a paranoid fantasy – is that it makes all the listed contributors “TAC plants.” What do you actually know about TAC’s history, the GSK lawsuit, Zackie Achmat, etc.? You’ve been sold a bunch of lies by some truly nasty people, and I’m sorry for that. I see you still haven’t produced any examples of my assassinating your character, or Rebecca Culshaw’s; do you feel any need for transparency and accountability? Or do you feel entitled to lob unsubstantiated accusations at people who disagree with you?

    And what do you do for a living? How are your efforts helping HIV-infected people in South Africa? Have you talked to Medicins Sans Frontiers about their treatment program in Khayelitsha, or is it your thesis that MSF are simply trying to poison people with ARVs? Your ignorance is inexcusable, your puerile attacks and veiled threats are reprehensible. Best of luck to you.

  117. #117 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Your vocab is really impressive, Richard. You guys really do “insulting” in a high-brow fashion don’t you? Considering you know so little about me, I’m surprised at how audacious you are. I know all about the Brink case, RJ, so that should tell you something what I know. I really think you should reconsider a meeting next Friday — say about 4pm? I can be at the TAG offices to make it convenient for you. No more of this on-line squabbling; you should know who you’re defaming in person, I think. You can link directly to my email through NAR — so let me know about the meeting. I’m dead serious about it. And I’m dead serious about the issues too. Which I think you know. If you find me ignorant, well, you haven’t been paying much attention to me and haven’t done your homework on who I am (which I don’t believe for a second). If you find me reprehensible, well that’s perfectly fine with me, RJ, as the feeling is mutual.

    You people need to understand that I’m not planning on shutting up, regardless of how many insults you toss my way. I’m going to continue to talk, and not just on my behalf — but on behalf of A LOT of gay, HIV+ men who share my views. It would not be a good idea to ignore us — that hasn’t worked in the past — the dissident movement has only grown through the use of your current, demeaning tactics. Time to try something new, Richard. They say a new HIV dissident is born every minute.

    Try the meeting with me for starters, Richard — it will have to happen some time. Why not start a real dialog next Friday? I’ll also be available in the city on Monday the 15th. You pick the date and time — whatever works best for you. How is that for considerate?

  118. #118 Hank Barnes
    May 4, 2006

    Have some of y’all heard of this fellow, Larry Kramer?

    He’s an important fellow in the gay rights movement — helped found ACT-up and Gay Men’s Health Crisis in NY.

    Anyway, he has an interesting perspective on the subject.

    Money quote:

    I want to say — this is Larry again — that unfortunately, those who — most of the activists, the AIDS activists, who speak for us now are so in the pockets of the bureaucracy of the drug companies of the anti AIDS, that they have become almost fascist in ramming down their treatment notions down the rest of us. The research that is done today is pretty much dictated by a small handful of pea brains called Treatment Action Group, TAG, which has a stranglehold on what is researched, what the drug companies release, how it’s tested, and that is the guidelines that all of us are told to take all of this poison more and more of it — that that all comes out of a handful of people, because — namely because the rest of us aren’t out there fighting, forcing — the power is in numbers, not just in a few of us.

    Small handful of peabrains? Hmm. To whom could he possibly be referring?:)

    Hank Barnes

  119. #119 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Mark, once again you are making demonstrably false claims. I am “defaming” you. I am tossing “insults” your way. Can you cite any? To the best of my recollection I have never insulted or defamed you (unless wish to you count my most recent umbrage where I described your ignorance as inexcusable and your actions as reprehensible). On the thread on New AIDS Review your insults started with “you must be dense” and went downhill from there. You later claimed that I had been sent to attack you even through the thread had nothing whatsoever to with you. Do I really have to go and cut and paste all the insults and accusations you have thrown at me and contrast them to what I wrote about you? I will happily do so if you are going to continue to lie.

    And Hank/David, Larry Kramer may well be right about the size of my brain. If it would render HIV harmless I would happily settle for a cranium the size of a cardamom seed. But that, sadly, is not the case.

  120. #120 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Told you, RJ, not continuing this on-line. Want to meet in person. Either next Friday afternoon or Monday the 15th at a time of your choosing. Cut and paste to your heart’s content, ok. I don’t care. I want to meet. Your organization supposedly represents me and my needs. I want a meeting. No more on-line scuffling.

  121. #121 Wilhelm Godschalk
    May 4, 2006

    Well, time for me to reply to some of the preudo-science that has emerged. Before I sit down to write some comments here, I first play the fragment of “The othe side of AIDS” where Mark Wainberg is spouting his venom. The mere sight of that unspeakable man gets me in the right mood to fight the orthodox HIV-believers.

    As my previous post was described as “undecipherable” (too much, too sudden?), I’ll split this one up into parts. And I think I should pay our hostess the honor of answering her first:

    [quote=Tara]Again, I’ll note that even Duesberg disagrees with you. It’s really, really hard to take anyone seriously who says HIV has never been isolated.[/quote]

    Well, you’d better get used to it. To state my position clearly: It is NOT: “HIV does not exist”. Such a negative would be hard to prove. I can’t deliver scientific proof that Santa Claus doesn’t exist either. But my position is very clearly: “They say HIV exists, but I’ve never seen any proof that it does. Only a lot of hot air. And I’m not the only one who failed to see that evidence. I’m in good company, as other scientists are concerned.”

    Isolation of a virus means that you are able to find the particles in a density gradient, after centrifugation. No cowardly excuses, such as “molecular cloning of DNA”.
    This isolation has been achieved for numerous viruses. Why not for HIV?
    So Peter Duesberg disagrees with me? Well, that happens among scientists. He has been wallowing in retroviruses during his whole career. He is the world’s major expert on retroviruses, and I respect him highly. But… he was part of a group of young researchers in the sixties who had the ridiculous idea that cancer was caused by a retrovirus. And that’s when I already disagreed. When the “war on cancer” petered out, it became the “war on AIDS”. And the virologists just went on doing the same work they had done on cancer, because it was the only work they knew how to do.

    [quote]First, I specifically said that sex and tattooing were 2 distinct risk factors.[/quote]

    Yes, you did, Tara. And that’s exactly the point I criticized. They are really one and the same risk factor. This epidemiological study was based on the assumption that seroconversion is caused by “HIV-infection”. Once you use that as a starting point (which was done), then it makes no difference if an inmate is infected by a tattooing needle, or a somewhat thicker needle in the anus. It’s a virus infection in both cases.
    If you want to consider other, really different risk factors, you should look at the food being served, drugs smuggled into the prison, medical treatments given, etc.
    This is a purely epidemiological matter of setting up an experiment properly. Unbiased, and without an agenda.
    And where were the control groups in this Georgia study? Aren’t they indispensable with any such study?

  122. #122 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Mark, if you feel TAG is not representing you or your needs appropriately, you can write to the organization, the board of directors, the funders or all of the above. You could set up a critical website, publish critical articles, etc., etc. If you cannot read what you have written publicly and understand why I would not have any desire to meet with you privately, then I am really at a loss. In my working life, I have not come across any situations wherein lies, unsubstantiated attacks and insults are a useful prelude to requesting a meeting with someone.

  123. #123 Wilhelm Godschalk
    May 4, 2006

    Another one for Tara:

    [quote]John, many studies aren’t funded–often times because the applicant doesn’t lay out his case for funding well.[/quote]

    That’s right. It has always been that way. But I’ve known about grant applications before NIH politicized them. Duesberg was the darling of the granting institutions, and he could get all the research money he could handle. Besides, he worked (and works) in the world-famous Virus Lab at UC Berkeley, where Nobel laureate Wendell M. Stanley used to be the director. Duesberg is an old hand at writing research proposals. But his ideas suddenly didn’t sit well with the new politics at the granting institutions. So his funding was cut off abruptly. There was even a presidential committee hearing in 1988, just to attempt to discredit him.
    And now, the people who took his funds away are taunting him: “So you think that AIDS is caused by recreational drugs, huh? Prove it!” Well, obviously, without research money there’s very little you can prove.
    The HIV-addicts have it easier: They refuse to prove anything. They just want us to believe… or else.

  124. #124 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    I’m curious what expertise Peter Duesberg would be considered to have to test any AIDS hypothesis that didn’t involve a virus? And even with a virus, does he have any expertise that would qualify him to conduct human research?

  125. #125 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Richard, I asked for a meeting with you specifically — after all, to everyone reading this, you are the “face” of TAG. I want to meet with the person who gets to make comments on the internet — and that would be you. We have a serious situation on our hands. You believe HIV+ people should be taking their meds, yet we know they’re going off of them at higher and higher rates. Patients are not following their doctor’s “orders,” and the C.F. article only added in number to those who are “leaving the fold.” If you don’t think that’s important to discuss, then I don’t understand what would be important to you. Without a dialog, more and more will “leave the fold.” The more you protest the establishment of such a dialog, the less defensible your position becomes in the perception of the public. Consider that. I’ll meet with you whenever you’re ready to really acknolwedge what is at stake here.

  126. #126 Tara C. Smith
    May 4, 2006

    Wilhelm,

    You seem to make the assumption that what works for one virus, works for every virus. This isn’t so. Additionally, many viruses are isolated from tissue culture cells–do you also feel that the existence of, say, the influenza virus is in dispute?

    You also ask

    And where were the control groups in this Georgia study? Aren’t they indispensable with any such study?

    I addressed that in my post:

    The real topic they were investigating here were risk factors for HIV transmission. These they could look into, because they knew that, in their sub-population of people, they had become HIV-seropositive during their time in prison, and they could try to tease out what put them at a high risk of becoming so. They compared these, then, to control inmates who were re-tested and found to still be negative for HIV antibodies. They then interviewed these men (the cases and controls), asking about “sex, drug use, and tattooing behaviors during the 6 months before incarceration and during the incarceration period.”

    You also say:

    Duesberg is an old hand at writing research proposals.

    I’m sure he is, which confuses me all the more that he makes such atrocious claims about infectious disease epidemiology in his manuscripts. If his grants were the same style–for instance, making up his own laws of epidemiology and tried to sell them to a review committee made up of people who understand epidemiology–I can see why he was denied funding for his AIDS studies.

  127. #127 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    Tara, as an assistant professor, it would honestly behoove you to actually try to make contact with peter duesberg before you demean him in such a way. it’s really silly and ludicrous on your part. he’s very easy to reach at Berkeley. Why not try calling him?

  128. #128 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    Hi Mark. I’m not Tara but I too think Duesberg makes indefensible claims in his recent (as in 1993 onwards) papers.

  129. #129 Tara C. Smith
    May 4, 2006

    I’m not “demeaning” him. I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy, yada yada yada, but assertions he’s made without support have been pointed out many, many times on here. And if he won’t even listen to his colleagues who have much more clout than I do or likely ever will, I don’t see why I should waste my time pointing out things I know have already been pointed out to him.

  130. #130 Zach
    May 4, 2006

    I’m curious to know how sex and tatooing are the same risk factor. Assuming they have an equal amount of risk of 1 in 100 of contracting HIV per act (sexual or tatooing event), then engaging in both activities once a day for a week would be 14/100. However, eliminating one activity, but still engaging in the other once a day for a week would reduce risk to 7/100. They can have the same chance of risk but are still separate factors. If they were the same, you would stop engaging in both simultaneously.

  131. #131 Wilhelm Godschalk
    May 4, 2006

    Right… and now Shygetz. The worst of them all.
    First of all: I’d like to invite you to go out, buy a hat and eat it. Yes, I’ve worked with viruses myself. I’ve isolated them (by ultracentrifugation). And in those enlightened times we didn’t worry about virion/PFU ratios. A virus preparation should be pure, no other crap in it. If you put it in an analytical ultracentrifuge, you should see only one peak. But the present crop of virus-hacks wouldn’t know about such things as analytical ultracentrifuges, because they only produce an indeterminate sludge that displays certain markers that should “prove’ they have a virus by the tail.

    [quote]Let’s clear a few things up. The viral genome of HIV has been fully sequenced many, many times (look it up on NCBI if you don’t believe me). DNA sequencing can and have been used to determine the identity of HIV, both in a host and in culture.[/quote]

    They sequenced WHAT? Let me clear a few things up too. The viral genome of a retrovirus consists of RNA. From there they make a virtual leap to pieces of DNA which they say come from HIV by the action of reverse transcriptase. We have to take their word for it, because there is no intact virus to isolate RNA from, to check if it’s the right code. So they take a piece of DNA (!), sequence it, and claim: “This is the HIV genome”. Then they write a paper about it, with 15 authors or so, and place the sequence in the NCBI. Phoooye!! Do you realize that, before long, we’ll have to dump 25 years of biomedical science, because it’s all crap?

    [quote]We can determine from that DNA sequence which proteins will be produced from HIV. The presence and identity of the protein can and has been determined by mass spectrometry.[/quote]

    Of course you can! But the fatal flaw is that you don’t really know where that DNA comes from. Well, it’s from the host, of course, but there’s not a shred of evidence that it’s viral in nature. And even if it’s viral, that still doesn’t prove that it comes from HIV, if there’s such a virus.
    Thousands of papers appear each month, building on the basic premise of an infectious retrovirus named HIV. But everybody seems to forget that the most basic work (showing by isolation that the virus exists) has never been done.

    [quote]We can utilize the DNA sequences to construct artificial versions of the HIV proteins. These proteins have been generated and carefully studied. They fold into the same shape as in the isolated virus.[/quote]

    The first two sentences are correct. But get a load of the third sentence: …the same shape as in the isolated virus (??!!!!) You said “the isolated virus”??? Where is that paper describing that isolation, Shygetz? I couldn’t find it, and neither could Kary Mullis.
    So, summarizing, they can produce proteins coded by an mRNA that in turn is coded for by some thedevilmayknowwhat DNA.
    Well, that’s a remarkable achievement in itself. But… “HIV-proteins”?? Getouttahere! Does it become clear now why I called you a liar? All this “HIV-science” is so totally off-the-wall that any layman can see that it makes no sense. So I can’t believe you’re lacking the intelligence to see it too. No, you’re too intelligent to believe all that nonsense. So you must be willfully deceiving people.

    [quote]That is in large part because most viruses package inefficiently.[/quote]

    No. Virus self-assembly is a beautifully efficient process that follows strict geometrical rules (check out the X-ray crystallographers; Rosalind Franklin, Don Caspar, Aaron Klug, John Finch). Only since HIV was invented, were all those excuses introduced. All those oddities were never reported for other retroviruses. And RSV has been known since 1911.

    Oh, before I forget:
    [quote]Not to mention that HIV has been isolated from clinical patients, and identified with immunochemistry, PCR, and EM.[/quote]

    Isolated? With PCR? You could amplify any piece of genetic material that comes out of a patient with PCR. Only trouble is, you can’t tell where that material came from. Identify it with immunochemistry? Well, eh…duh… we don’t really know what produced the antibodies, because we don’t have the real undisputed virus. Can you see the problem? It looks like a dog chasing its own tail.

    [quote]And all known viruses undergo conformational changes as a result of environmental signals. That’s how they infect cells. You should know that, if you know anything about viruses (which you don’t.)[/quote]

    No, I don’t know that. Which probably means it’s just another story told at the annual campfire of the Friends of HIV Society. Sure, it’s possible to induce a conformational change in a virus if you expose it to pH 12. But that’s probably not what you meant.

    [quote]What the hell do you want in order to prove it’s HIV?[/quote]

    Just isolation from an AIDS patient, without co-cultures, CPR, and other hanky panky. And pleaaaase no sloppy banter about “molecular cloning” (of DNA, for catsake!)
    All the things you mention have indeed been done. But on what? You’re missing the most fundamental piece: The evidence that a real virus has been isolated.
    Better face it, Shygetz: I’m neither ignorant nor a liar. I’m one of those pesky critics who notice the the Emperor’s clothes are just not there.

  132. #132 Dale
    May 4, 2006

    I wonder how scientists identified viruses before analytical ultracentrifuges and whether when ultracentrifuges came along if any of those scientists dismissed this new fangled technology as artifactual?

  133. #133 Dan
    May 4, 2006

    “There was another report in 2001 of several more chimps showing immunological signs of progression, might be worth checking with the researchers to see if any have progressed to clinical disease”

    Have any of the chimps progressed to cervical cancer yet?

    Did the gay chimps progress to PCP and KS?

    Did the African chimps progress to TB and malaria?

    With all the other leaps of logic in “HIV/AIDS”, these questions seem entirely appropriate.

  134. #134 Laura
    May 4, 2006

    Ok I have been following this thread and others and the common reasons people deny HIV causes AIDS are no isolated virus and the delayed onset which leaves open the possibility there could be other causal factors. So my question is if that is the case do you deny that HSV2 or HSV1 causes Herpes? I ask because early on the only way to detect it was to take a sample from the lesion and culture it. It wasn’t until recently that they were able to detect it by antibodies from a blood test. Up to 20% infected are asymptomatic. The only way to detect it are antibodies and there are other factors that lead to an outbreak. Such as stress, immunosuppression etc. So to say without a doubt that HIV cannot cause AIDS doesn’t really make sense because it doesn’t display any external symptoms immediatly to culture. But Herpes doesn’t always either nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that HSV2 doesn’t cause it even if they don’t have symtoms. So considering substantial research has been completed and there is a correlation to being HIV positive and developing AIDS I do not deny other factors could play a role as well but maybe just in activating the virus. So I think it is a bit early to rule it out. I can understand not wanting to believe it causes it but I thnk it is more dangerous to deny it.

  135. #135 Richard Jefferys
    May 4, 2006

    Dan wrote:

    “Have any of the chimps progressed to cervical cancer yet?

    Did the gay chimps progress to PCP and KS?

    Did the African chimps progress to TB and malaria?

    With all the other leaps of logic in “HIV/AIDS”, these questions seem entirely appropriate.”

    Non-human primates with AIDS, like humans, develop infections that would otherwise be controlled by memory T cells. Exactly which infections in your body are being controlled by memory T cells will depend on your history of exposure to persistent pathogens (the same is true for non-human primates although, unsurprisingly, the pathogens are often different). Your history of exposure to persistent pathogens will vary depending on several factors, including geography, sexuality and simple chance. This is well known from transplantation immunology. If you are going to have a kidney transplant, you will be tested for antibodies to things like CMV, in order to help assess your risk for CMV reactivation in the setting of transplant-related immunosuppressive treatments.

  136. #136 Mark Biernbaum
    May 4, 2006

    You should “waste your time” Tara, because you’re demeaning his scientific integrity and you’re a colleague. You’re taking pot-shots without bringing your questions (I don’t deny their legitimacy) directly to him and giving him a chance to respond to YOU. What you’re doing, from my standpoint as a scientist, by not giving him the “right of rebuttal” is rather unethical. Does your Chair or Dean know how you talk about senior scientists, even if it is Peter Duesberg?

  137. #137 Zach
    May 5, 2006

    I’ve done some work with bacteriophages and isolating their DNA. Granted they are bacterial viruses and not animal viruses but the same principles apply. You would first lyse the cell and then add DNases and RNases to eliminate host nucleic acid. Then you inactivate those enzymes and lyse the viral coat. After this, you then precipitate the nucleic acid. To determine the nature of the genome, you treat a sample with DNase or RNase and perform agarose gel electrophoresis comparing digested with undigested nucleic acid. Testing the nucleic acid to see if it causes the suspected disease would be difficult for an animal virus due to the tendency for in-vitro cultures behaving differently from in-vivo. For phage it’s easy. You just inoculate bacterial culture with the nucleic acid, plate, and look for plaques. Despite the differences, this should work for animal viruses.

  138. #138 Richard Jefferys
    May 5, 2006

    Mark, does your tactic of threatening people with going to their superiors/funders/etc. ever work? Are you accountable to anyone? I know you’re registered with the Webster Chamber of Commerce and have a website for the “Institute for Self and Interpersonal Studies” but there doesn’t seem to be anything on it (www.isis-institute.org).

  139. #139 Chris Noble
    May 5, 2006

    For the record I have already given Wilhelm Godschalk this citation from 1987.

    Fine structure of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and immunolocalization of structural proteins.

    It contains high quality electronmicrographs of HIV. It also has immunoelectron microscopy of the HIV virions demonstrating that HIV-gp120 and gp41 are localised on the surface of the virion and that HIV p24 is localised in the conical core.

    I guess it is just a wild coincidence that anti-HIV antibodies bind to these “vesicles”.

  140. #140 Mark Biernbaum
    May 5, 2006

    I’m not threatening anyone, Richard. I’m pointing out, as a former academic, that what Tara is doing could indeed threaten her tenure — I’ve seen it happen before. As for the Institute, that is my consulting firm, and our website is not up yet, but thant you for noticing us! We do research consulting nationally, so if TAG ever needs any help (that’s kind of funny, actually), we’d be happy to consider working with you. Right now, we are booked with projects through August, but beyond that, we’re available.

    The standard right of reply given in science is a long-standing, respected idea, Richard. Tara owes that right of reply to Peter Duesberg. I suggested she contact him in order to cover herself. I’m not the only person who reads this site who has noticed that she is untenured.

  141. #141 Mark Biernbaum
    May 5, 2006

    And Richard, you seem to specialize in finding out information about people; why not abandon TAG and start your own private detective firm? You really have a talent for this. Did you also manage to find out that all of my firms clients are confidential?

    Once again, Richard, I am requesting a meeting with you publicly. So far you have declined to meet with me once publicly. Will you do that again? After all, I am a member of the population you are dedicated to serving, and like I’ve said, we have important issues to discuss.

  142. #142 Mark Biernbaum
    May 5, 2006

    Let me just explain for everyone how tenure files work. At all public universities, each faculty member has a file which contains teaching evaluations, evidence of scholarly work, etc. Anyone can submit a letter to be placed in this file, as part of it is a public document, and in general, letters of substance, if received, must be placed in the faculty member’s file. These files are used anytime a faculty member is up for a new contract or up for tenure or promotion. Once a letter is placed in a faculty member’s file, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have it removed.

    There are tacit and not-so-tacit “rules” that govern the dialog between scientists/colleagues. If Tara did not post on this website that she had an academic affiliation, then her comments here would have no impact on her file. As she does draw attention to her affiliation, her comments here can be directly linked to and/or placed in her file. She needs to consider that. Being a newbie, she doesn’t likely know completely how shooting from the hip like she does here can come back in the future to haunt her.

    The way out of this, now that she has thorougly demeaned Peter Duesberg (and it doesn’t really matter if one million people have done that before her — her file is concerned with her conduct alone) is for her to make contact with Duesberg and put her questions to him. Then, she is covered. Otherwise, she is traveling on a very thin line. When I said that I’d seen this before, I wasn’t lying. People do indeed lose jobs over these kinds of issues in academia. I’ve no interest in writing a letter to Tara’s superiors, but if the defamatory and slanderous comments about Duesberg and other scientists continue, I would participate, with others, in the construction of such a letter. This is how we protect the need for legitimate and tempered dialog in academia. They aren’t my rules, and when I was an academic, I didn’t particularly care for them, but that’s how things work. So, bottom line — you should be more careful, Tara. You seem to have a lot going for you. I wouldn’t mess it up by making disparaging comments about senior scientific colleagues. I’m sure you know that’s frowned upon, and the fact that you are doing it on your blog does not protect you.

  143. #143 Dale
    May 5, 2006

    Mark neglects to mention that in order for a comment to be slanderous or defamatory, it has to be demonstrably false. I fail to see where Tara has posted anything that would qualify.

  144. #144 Guitar Eddie
    May 5, 2006

    Mark,

    Do you have any evidence that Tara has demeaned Duesberg? Because I’ve read her remarks regarding his assertions and I found no instances where she’s ever demeaned Duesberg in any manner.

    Furthermore, what you’re saying seems to be implying that Tara has impugned his character. Unless you can back up that assertion, you might want to tone down your retoric a bit.

    Put up or shut up.

    GE

  145. #145 Mark Biernbaum
    May 5, 2006

    Duesberg is an old hand at writing research proposals.
    Tara writes:
    I’m sure he is, which confuses me all the more that he makes such atrocious claims about infectious disease epidemiology in his manuscripts. If his grants were the same style–for instance, making up his own laws of epidemiology and tried to sell them to a review committee made up of people who understand epidemiology–I can see why he was denied funding for his AIDS studies.

    “atrocious claims”
    “making up his own laws of epidemiology”

    That’s defamation, Eddy, sorry. In science, we don’t generally speak like that. We might say, “highly unlikely claims” and “deviations from standard understandings of epidemiology,” but Tara’s language choices are inflamatory. And that’s just one example.

    Are you by chance, Eddy Curtis? Anyway — She’s a smart woman. She understands what I’m talking about. Every assistant prof in the country knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there. We might want to say things like “atrocious” about other people’s research, but we don’t, because we know what kind of reputation that gives an assistant professor, and that kind of reputation makes it harder to get tenure. It’s a fact of academic life. That’s all. You choose your words carefully while on the tenure track, or you take risks. Best of luck to you, to Tara, and to eveyone else who posts here. I’m taking off, and I’m sure that won’t upset a soul.

  146. #146 Guitar Eddier
    May 5, 2006

    `”atrocious claims”
    “making up his own laws of epidemiology”‘

    ‘That’s defamation, Eddy, sorry. In science, we don’t generally speak like that. We might say, “highly unlikely claims” and “deviations from standard understandings of epidemiology,” but Tara’s language choices are inflamatory. And that’s just one example.’

    Sorry, Mark, but I see nothing defamatory about those phrases you’ve quoted. Unless, of course, Duesberg is so incredibly sensitive that he’s easily offended by the slightest criticism; I would then suggest he might need to consult a Psychologist.

    Relatedly, phrases like “highly unlikely claims” and “deviations from standard understandings of epidemiology,” as I understand things, are generally used in an explicitly academic/clinical setting or a scientific paper. A blog is none of those things. Hence the politese a bit less formal than it would be in academic/clinical setting. This is especially true when scientists are speaking to non-scientists.

    Besides, I’ve heard that people have contacted Tara’s superiors with similar allegations and they’ve been blown off. No legal was taken on the part of the complainants.

    No I’m not Eddy Curtis. I am male.

    GE

  147. #147 Shygetz
    May 5, 2006

    My hat is fairly tasty, but you still don’t know what you’re talking about.

    They sequenced WHAT? Let me clear a few things up too. The viral genome of a retrovirus consists of RNA. From there they make a virtual leap to pieces of DNA which they say come from HIV by the action of reverse transcriptase. We have to take their word for it, because there is no intact virus to isolate RNA from, to check if it’s the right code. So they take a piece of DNA (!), sequence it, and claim: “This is the HIV genome”. Then they write a paper about it, with 15 authors or so, and place the sequence in the NCBI. Phoooye!! Do you realize that, before long, we’ll have to dump 25 years of biomedical science, because it’s all crap?

    Interesting, as the hosts have also been thoroughly sequenced, and the HIV sequences are entirely different. Interesting that they find similar sequences for different cultures HIV isolates. Interesting that in situ hybridization using probes based on these sequences detects the virus.

    Also, interesting that the sequenced RNA encodes for viral structural proteins; wonder why host eukaryotic cells need capsid proteins? Interesting also that antibodies to these proteins bind to HIV; also interesting that some of these antibodies neutralize the cytotoxicity of HIV in culture. Interesting that the crystal structures of the HIV proteins can be computationally docked to produce an intact virus that matches the size and rough shape of the increased EM density. Interesting that immunofluorescence using these antibodies only detects HIV-infected cells. Interesting that GFP-tagged HIV proteins have been seen by microscopy to be in the viral buds (sorry, you seem to think they are microvesicles that are filled with infectious viruses but completely unrelated). Shall I continue, or is this enough bioanalytical evidence to make my point?

    Yes, I’ve worked with viruses myself. I’ve isolated them (by ultracentrifugation). And in those enlightened times we didn’t worry about virion/PFU ratios.

    Which means that, in those enlightened times, you had no idea about the infectivity of your virus. So, you have no idea how well the virus packages. I do. They package inefficiently, for various energetic and evolutionary reasons. But, if you insist, show me your data that states they package very efficiently.

    But get a load of the third sentence: …the same shape as in the isolated virus (??!!!!) You said “the isolated virus”??? Where is that paper describing that isolation, Shygetz?

    HIV has been isolated and cultured many, many times. I don’t know of an instance when HIV has been isolated and imaged directly from a patient, but so what? It has been isolated and cultured from a patient, and experiments done with appropriate controls to correct for host effects have found HIV. Surely you’ve heard of controls…

    So, summarizing, they can produce proteins coded by an mRNA that in turn is coded for by some thedevilmayknowwhat DNA.

    No, they can produce proteins from cDNA copied from genomic RNA from HIV, with controls for uninfected host cells. But surely you knew that.

    “HIV-proteins”?? Getouttahere! Does it become clear now why I called you a liar? All this “HIV-science” is so totally off-the-wall that any layman can see that it makes no sense. So I can’t believe you’re lacking the intelligence to see it too. No, you’re too intelligent to believe all that nonsense. So you must be willfully deceiving people.

    OK, then what is this? Interesting that these random host proteins fold into a structure that looks curiously like a virus. Also interesting that, if you do this with an un-attenuated strain, they are actually infectious in culture. But, they are just random proteins from the host (that aren’t encoded by host DNA, by the way) that happen to form complexes that have the structure and properties of a virus, but aren’t really a virus…

    Surely you can’t be that stupid, so you must be lying.

    Isolated? With PCR? You could amplify any piece of genetic material that comes out of a patient with PCR. Only trouble is, you can’t tell where that material came from.

    Surely you know something about PCR, or else you wouldn’t talk about it. Which means that you know that specificity in PCR is obtained by primer design. And can be verified and sourced by sequencing and product in situ hybridization.

    No. Virus self-assembly is a beautifully efficient process that follows strict geometrical rules (check out the X-ray crystallographers; Rosalind Franklin, Don Caspar, Aaron Klug, John Finch). Only since HIV was invented, were all those excuses introduced. All those oddities were never reported for other retroviruses. And RSV has been known since 1911.

    No one is saying that virus structures aren’t elegant; I am saying that the packaging process is inefficient.

    And you’re right, only HIV has been said to be an inefficient packager. Someone better notify the Sendai virus researchers, who said that ~5% of the virus is appropriately assembled.

    No, I don’t know that. Which probably means it’s just another story told at the annual campfire of the Friends of HIV Society. Sure, it’s possible to induce a conformational change in a virus if you expose it to pH 12. But that’s probably not what you meant.

    OK, you virus genius you, tell me the molecular mechanism by which a virus may gain entry to a cell without changing shape. I won’t be holding my breath.

    Just isolation from an AIDS patient, without co-cultures, CPR, and other hanky panky.

    After we isolate it (which we have), how do we prove to you it’s HIV? Can’t use PCR, Em wouldn’t impress you (it’s just microvesicles), immunofluorescence could be anything, in vitro cytotoxicity requires culture…so what do you want?

    Right… and now Shygetz. The worst of them all.

    For your purposes, yes. An analytical and biophysical chemist with research experience in the study of virus structure would be the worst of them all. Glad to be of service.

  148. #148 Richard Jefferys
    May 5, 2006

    Tara, if anything weird and Harvey Bialy-esque happens you could check in with the Department of Child Health & Development at California State University, Sacramento. According to his laudatory (perhaps suspiciously laudatory) student feedback page, Mark Biernbaum was fired from his position as Assistant Professor there.

    http://www.sacrate.com/database/search.asp?type=prof&prof=1177

    It is actually slightly disconcerting how much information is available via Google.

  149. #149 Tara C. Smith
    May 5, 2006

    Once again, Mark, you’re putting words in my mouth. I never made any comments about Duesberg’s research program; I’m referring to the various review articles he’s written on AIDS–none of which, of course, stem from his own research productivity.

    Additionally, Duesberg is well aware of this website (he’s been copied on all conversation between myself and Harvey Bialy, for instance) and is free to comment here, just as anyone else is. So are William Dembski, Michael Behe, or any of the other ID proponents whose views I’ve also criticized. And indeed, this has already been brought to the attention of my superiors, as GE mentioned.

  150. #150 Mark Biernbaum
    May 5, 2006

    RJ — that’s a student website. The student thought I’d been fired. In fact, I resigned. If you want to verify this, please call VP David Wagner at CSUS. His number is: 916-278-6078. Now you are guilty of defamation and I will ask my lawyer to initiate proceedings.

  151. #151 Tara C. Smith
    May 5, 2006

    *sigh*. Can’t a single one of these HIV threads go without a threat from someone of a lawsuit?

    With apologies to those of you who are actually trying to discuss the science, I’m shutting this down. Few rotten apples, your know the deal.

  152. #152 Dave S.
    May 5, 2006

    This lawsuit threat is just silly. Clearly this Mark Biernbaum doesn’t have much knowledge of libel law. Nevertheless, I’m sure his laywer will be pleased to take his money.

  153. #153 Tara C. Smith
    May 5, 2006

    Test