I was really mad this morning. I glanced at my new issue of Discover, and noticed yet another article glorifying HIV Deniers. Its not online yet, but its a seven page spread on Peter Duesberg.

So I brought it to work with me so everyone had to vomit as much as I did. They changed my perspective a bit.

First, Im still mad, but Im not as mad. I dont think they are glorifying him– I think theyre playing to the ‘fair and balanced all sides’ game that ‘journalists’ think is so clever these days, which is still pathetic.

On the one hand, Jeanne Lenzer plays off of EXPELLEDs theme. You could hear ‘Bad to the Bone’ playing as Duesberg walked down the street with his bike, being described as a ‘golden boy’ turned ‘bad boy of science.’ ‘Radical new theory getting serious attention’. Photos of Duesberg in a lab coat. Looking angelically into the distance. Persecuted to such extremes he no longer can afford his two personal secretaries (excuse me, how many scientists have a personal secretary??). And like William Dembski who can no longer use his Baylor ID card at Baylors cafeteria, Duesberg is no longer invited to colleagues houses to stay, for free, during conferences.

And gosh, hes saved so many lives! Why Billy Bob has been HIV+ for 23 years and hasnt taken any drugs!

On the other hand, this article does seem to paint Duesberg as a delusional old Nazi, commenting on how he flippantly refers to blacks as ‘Schwartzes’. Though she misses the opportunity to point out that idiots like Rev Wright say that HIV was invented to kill black people… and use ‘evidence’ provided by a racist ass to that effect… ugh.

That being said… Who cares if Duesberg is an ass? Im an ass to the degree I dont care if youre an ass as long as your science is good. Sure Id prefer to work with nice people, but I can deal with assholes as long as their science is good.

That is where this article fails miserably. Duesberg made some goddamn stupid comments in this article like:

“He knew that HIV is a retrovirus– the subject of his own heralded research– and that retroviruses dont kill the host cells they infect. If anything, they make them proliferate.”

No. One problem I have with my experiments is that I sometimes put too much virus on my cells, and I kill them all. By ‘kill them all’, I mean 48 hours after I put viruses on, say, 100,000 cells, they are all dead. Nothing is left but scraps of cell membrane. HIV-1 kills the cells it infects. Btw, this might be a side effect of Ms. Lenzer of being lazy, but its HIV-1. Not ‘HIV’. I might not be anal about apostraphes, but I am on that point. HIV ≠ HIV-1≠HIV-2. HIV-1 and 2 are different but related creatures, with different evolutionary histories. lol! I guess its like a primatologist getting irritated when someone calls a chimpanzee a ‘monkey’.

Hes also got some prize pig statements about a disease that often goes hand-in-hand with AIDS, Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Duesberg appears baffled by epidemiological studies of HHV8 (human herpes virus 8). HHV8 is kinda like Mono (EBV). Its usually fairly harmless… unless you become immunocompromised, like through AIDS or organ transplant, and you get KS lesions. Its not transferred blood-to-blood, so you cant get it through blood transfusions or IV-drug-use. This floors Duesberg:

Since nitrites (referring to poppers, cause Grannies making home-made cool-whip get AIDS from poppers) are powerful carcinogens, Duesberg thought this explained why gay men frequently developed KS but other risk groups, such as hemophiliacs and heterosexual drug abusers rarely did.

You dont get infected with HHV8 through blood. Hemophiliacs and heterosexual drug users are therefore not ‘other risk groups’ for HHV8. Theyre ‘other risk groups’ for HIV-1 because its blood born. Seriously, Duesberg? Seriously??

He makes other claims and demands about HIV-1 that go relatively unchallenged. Sure she puts in the ol ‘Other scientists dont agree’ crap, which is refuted with ‘But Nobel laureates agree with Duesberg!! Look here is an obstetrician that believes him!’. *rolleyes*

And then we stupid scientists are left with a stern warning from Ms. Lenzer:

Right or wrong, for more that two decades Duesberg has surely paid a price for his beliefs.

[when asked why he keeps pushing this issue] “I dont want to be ‘a good German.’”

Awwwwwwwww. Awww isnt that cute. Shorter Jeanne Lenzer:

The racist homophobe who has killed millions of people with his denialism has paid for his beliefs, you Nazis!

**vomit**

**flips off Jeanne Lenzer**

My final note on this article, should you happen to see it online as ‘support’ for Duesberg. Duesberg is a ‘scientist’ to the degree he has previously published nice science. But did he ever really understand what being a scientists means? In this article he sobs:

“We had vigorous debates. But I thought that was good science. You challenge ideas. I thought it was all in good spirit.”

Is that was Duesberg, and Creationists, think is ‘good science’? Being contrary? Debating things?

Of course a huge bit of fun in science is thought experiments– What was the world like 3 billion years ago?? How did retroviruses evolve? Are they young? Old? Are they our ancestors??

But those thoughts mean nothing if you dont back them up with experimental data. Not only that, if there are competing ‘thought experiments’ with data, you must take their data into account. Scientists are slaves to data. It doesnt matter if you are a racist, you beat puppies, or youre a nephew loving Creationist. If you have data to support your claims, we must accept your data.

Duesberg has painted himself into a corner in that no one trusts him anymore. He might have neato ideas on cancer, and no one will ever believe him because he blew his science ethos on batshit HIV crap. No one believes he ‘follows the data’ anymore, so his thought experiments cant be tested by him anymore. Hes lost control over his own ideas. He might as well be an undergrad again.

Hes the scientist who proclaimed the wolf was a figment of our imaginations and let millions of people die. No one is going to believe him when he says ‘WOLF!’ or ‘NOT WOLF!’ ever again.

*shrug*

Comments

  1. #1 Thomas S. Howard
    May 8, 2008

    Yeah, I can remember when SciAm had an article on his ideas about aneuploidy and cancer not too long ago, they had to go to great lengths to demarcate them from his HIV nonsense. The editorial page was entirely devoted to that purpose, and the article itself was careful to make the distinction again.

  2. #2 Sili
    May 8, 2008

    While I enjoy your fast mind and tongue (or typing, I guess), could you slow down for a bit and explain what “cool-whip” has to do with aids?

    Also – what are blacks called in German if not “Schwarzes”?

  3. #3 ERV
    May 8, 2008

    I am only familiar with that word as a derogatory term the equivalent of ‘nigger’.

    And, Duesbergs ‘hypothesis’ is that ‘drug use’, specifically the use of ‘poppers’ cause AIDS. Poppers are traditionally used to make homemade whipped cream, and are an ingredient in friggen Cool Whip.

  4. #4 Thomas S. Howard
    May 8, 2008

    Because amyl nitrate, the substance most usually connected with poppers, is prescribed for angina, which is a common affliction in the elderly. The point being, neither it nor cool-whip have much to do with AIDS, other than both sometimes being used props in sex, which does.

  5. #5 Thomas S. Howard
    May 8, 2008

    ERV: Damn it. I checked, no one had explained poppers yet so…I still like mine better.

  6. #6 PalMD
    May 8, 2008

    Amyl nitrate ampules (poppers) have for decades been a popular gay party drug for various reasons.

    Very different from Whippets.

    Needless to say, no drugs have been linked to HIV, except as certain drug delivery systems, such as needles.

  7. #7 MikeG
    May 8, 2008

    Ugh! What an odious little twit!
    I hadn’t come across an HIV denier until last year. I was flummoxed! It was like someone told me: “the cold isn’t caused by a virus, it’s because of aliens!”
    I looked like a gasping fish out of water for a while…

  8. #8 Hey You
    May 8, 2008

    Girly you’re missing all the action. Go read Ben Stein discussing his divorce from reality. It’s final don’t cha know?

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/interviews/benstein.html

    The man is too weird for words.

  9. #9 Eric
    May 8, 2008

    I don’t get this “portray all sides of the story” bit the media seems to pull. It always seems to be “scientific community” on one side and “crackpots” on the other, with equal coverage for both. Do journalists just lack judgment, so they can’t figure out what is real and substantive and cover primarily that?

  10. #10 Sili
    May 8, 2008

    Ah – thank you.

    I knew perfectly well what poppers are – and I think I’ve heard of Duesberg’s crazy talk in that connection – but ‘Cool-whip’ is entirely alien to me …

    To me ‘whipped cream’ is made with, well, cream and a whisk. No, I don’t have a particularly interesting sexlife, thank you very much.

    And re “Schwarzes” you’re prolly right. I should have read more of PD’s wikipedia article. I just assumed the interview was conducted in German in Germany. Stupid me.

  11. #11 Chris Noble
    May 9, 2008

    Good analogy to Expelled.

    The same conspiracy theories crop again and again.

    PS. Whipped cream uses nitrous oxide as a propellant. Alkyl nitrites are different. Neither cause AIDS or KS.

  12. #12 Sebastian
    May 9, 2008

    As an actual german, let me weigh in on the “Schwarzes”-issue: “Schwarzer” (masculine, the feminine and plural would be “Schwarze”) simply means “black person” in german (schwarz=black), and is *not* considered to be derogatory. The equivalent to the n-word would be… well, the n-word. German racists use it as well.

    And being german, let me just say that I’m seriously ashamed that my country still produces such homophobic, racist fucktards (pardon my french) like Dueseberg – even though he was born in ’36. And like you said: it’s not only that he’s a fucktard, he spews out some seriously insane crap. Creationists are a nuissance, who in the worst case might set your country’s level of education back some generations. HIV deniers, however, are dangerous. They *kill* people.

    Man, am I angry.

  13. #13 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    May 9, 2008

    Ha, I was going to warn you about this article, but I see you already found it.

    Did you catch the “Galileo gambit” on page 49? A Doucheberg supporter, Christian Fiala, talks about a “history of dissenters being right,” then goes on to compare Duesberg to Ignaz Semmelweis. There is a much bigger history of dissenters being wrong, perhaps best expressed by Carl Sagan:
    The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

  14. #14 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    May 9, 2008

    Lenzer clearly does not know her stuff. On page 48, she paraphrases Duesberg on the “common assumption” that anti-retroviral therapy has dramatically reduced AIDS deaths. Does she agree that this is merely an “assumption”? Because she says nothing to counter that incredible statement.

    In the very next paragraph, she quotes Max Essex about anti-HIV drugs, many of which are specific inhibitors of HIV enzymes: “If you include three of them at once… as soon as that happens, the immune system recovers.” Is this just an “assumption”? Because I think there are a lot of actual published studies backing this up. And did she notice, “immune system recovers” – not “HIV levels drop.” That is also studied and published, not an assumption. If Lenzer had the capability to actually check these things out, she could have written a much more meaningful article about how Duesberg is wrong, still wrong, and refuses to see the multitude of evidence which has stacked up against him.

    Discover has been going downhill since the change of ownership. I decided not to renew my subscription, and I’m glad of it. Come to think of it, at least they got rid of those annoying and boring columnists, who I think of as “print bloggers.”

  15. #15 Moses
    May 9, 2008

    Hes the scientist who proclaimed the wolf was a figment of our imaginations and let millions of people die. No one is going to believe him when he says ‘WOLF!’ or ‘NOT WOLF!’ ever again.

    Well, that’s a stupid thing to say. Unless, of course, you’ve got the data to prove your claim. Giving the bash a whole twist of irony I find damn amusing.

    And, no, I’m not on Duesberg’s side. Or the HIV denialist side. Rather, I’m on the side of poking a hole in your self-righteous, over-reaching hypocrisy so that you may see it from the eyes of another who happens to not be your enemy. Maybe it will wake you up and make you a better writer instead of sounding like an hysterical fool.

    Seriously, Duesberg killed millions… May as well blame the Holocaust on Darwin then…

  16. Happy to read your article this morning. I just read that Discover article last night, and thought it was interesting, but then I am coming as a total outsider to the whole issue.

    Discover’s article did smack a little of making a big deal out of a minority idea, which set off a few alarm bells. Thanks for weighing in with a cudgel and pointing out the holes.

  17. #17 Felstatsu
    May 9, 2008

    Moses, what exactly do you think will happen if HIV deniers aren’t taken down? Their statements lack any connection to reality and science, and often include statements saying actions known to spread HIV in the real world are really safe. The world is at a population number over 6 billion, I don’t have the number for people infected with HIV, but picture for a moment what will happen to the number of infections if everyone with HIV stopped doing anything to prevent spreading it to others who don’t have HIV. They all go out and stop taking their meds, have unsafe sex with multiple partners, ect. How fast do you think it would spread if the majority of people started believing these articles?

    There’s nothing self-righteous about this and no over-reaching hypocrisy, ERV has spent a very long time studying HIV, knows this article is complete and utter crap, and it rightly pissed off with the level of positive coverage it’s generating because if it gains enough traction millions of people really can wind up infected with a presently incurable disease that leads to a lot of deaths as it wrecks their immune systems.

  18. #18 SLC
    May 9, 2008

    Prof Duesberg is just another example, thankfully rare, of a once competent scientist who turns into a whackjob. One need only mention such luminaries as Linus Pauling, William Shockley, J. Allen Hynek, and Brian Josephson. Unfortunately, a PhD or a stellar scientific reputation doesn’t provide immunity from nuttiness.

  19. #19 CL
    May 9, 2008

    newbie here, and am unfamiliar with this guy Duesberg, although he certainly sounds like a big pile of brown stuff. Is he just saying that recreational drug use leads to AIDS…is that really what he argues?

    CL
    http://www.coulterlewkowitz.com/

  20. #20 Felstatsu
    May 9, 2008

    To be honest I’d love to be able to answer your question CL, but this guy is so many different types of crazy that I’m having trouble following what his deranged mind is trying to say.

    I think what he’s trying to say is that gay men get KS (and the HHV8) because they use poppers but other straight drug users don’t get KS because they don’t use poppers, and all this is within the population that has AIDS. Just don’t take my words at more than face value cause I’m not entirely sure what he’s trying to say actually.

  21. #21 Sebastian
    May 9, 2008

    @Felatsu: There are *already* people dying thanks to the deniers. The gouvernment of South Africa, for example, refuses to aknowledge that the cause of AIDS is the HI virus, and consequently does not implement necessary actions, or even public awareness programms.

  22. #22 Felstatsu
    May 9, 2008

    @Sebastian

    True, but without the numbers for that I avoided bringing it up since Moses up above seems interested in numbers. Hence the thought experiment asking him to picture what happens when everyone with HIV stops working to prevent its spread.

    I believe it was also mentioned somewhere that medical staff have been executed because of deniers talking about how the medical community is intentionally spreading HIV too. Between not having numbers and not even wanting to think about doctors trying to help people getting shot because some HIV denier spouted some BS I chose to not initially bring it up. Since it’s up and out now though, I invite Moses to also consider what happens when doctors get executed because deniers say they’re really spreading HIV? How many deaths could result from just one? Another thing to think about is, even if you’re not fatally wounded, what happens if you get a badly broken bone and find out the only nearby doctor was killed for spreading HIV because a denier said so? How happy are you going to be knowing you have an extra few days of pain followed up by a poor recovery due to complications from taking so long to treat the injury?

    HIV/AIDS kills people even now and deniers who say stuff like this guy make the death count rise faster. Who knows if some of those deaths were people who could’ve lived long enough for a treatment to be found too. The only thing HIV deniers do in this world is spread pain, misery, and untimely death in the end.

  23. #23 John Kwok
    May 9, 2008

    Hi Abbie,

    Can’t believe that Peter Duesberg is alive and kicking. I thought he might have assumed room temperature by now. He’s just like Dracula….. or my “pal” Bill Dembski. Once you think you’re safe in the water, then look out, because they’re baaaaack!

    Am a bit surprised that a formerly credible science magazine like Discover would be a willing platform for Duesberg’s mendacious intellectual pornography.

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers,

    John

  24. #24 katie
    May 9, 2008

    Sorry to report in from the anality squad…but it really bothers me when people use the wrong “born” in “blood-borne”. Cheers.

  25. #25 JimNorth
    May 9, 2008

    According to WHO (the World Health Organization, 2004) there are about 39 million infected persons in the world. http://www.who.int/hiv/facts/hiv2003/en/ If each of these people passed the disease onto one uninfected person, it would take only 5 such transmission generations to infect 1 billion people.
    Thank goodness we have people like PD and governments like that of South Africa (with one of the highest rates of infection) to keep us save. (snark)

  26. #26 pec
    May 9, 2008

    “Is that was Duesberg, and Creationists, think is ‘good science’? Being contrary? Debating things?”

    Scientists should NOT debate or be contrary! That would defeat the whole purpose of contemporary science. If you don’t present a united front you will lose the trust of the public, of consumers. And then who would buy the drugs? And drugs have become one of the most important industries in the world. If we want our economy to stay afloat we better not debate anything that might damage drug sales.

    Duesberg is a complete moron for not even seeing the financial angle. What does he think science is? A quest for truth? Ignoramus!

  27. #27 pec
    May 9, 2008

    “what will happen to the number of infections if everyone with HIV stopped doing anything to prevent spreading it to others who don’t have HIV. They all go out and stop taking their meds, have unsafe sex with multiple partners”

    If an HIV patient takes their “meds,” they can still spread the infection if they have unsafe sex. How can you possibly be so ignorant and gullible as to think the HIV drugs make sex safe?

    If an HIV denier advises HIV patients to have unprotected sex and spread the virus to others, then that would be irresponsible and unethical. But advising an HIV patient not to take AZT and HAART is entirely different.

  28. #28 LanceR
    May 9, 2008

    Pec! “Good” to see you over here at ERV’s place!

    I’m gonna have to warn you, though… ERV is not your usual blogger. ERV actually *works* in the field of HIV/AIDS. Your usual denialist crap won’t work here.

    HIV Deniers *do* encourage HIV patients to have unprotected sex. After all, HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, right? You can just take a shower to prevent infection, right? Advising a patient not to take the drugs that *will* keep him/her alive is ethically equivalent to encouraging an alcoholic to keep drinking.

    As I said over on the Denialism blog, learn something. The stupid is burning my eyes.

  29. #29 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    May 10, 2008

    Scientists should NOT debate or be contrary! That would defeat the whole purpose of contemporary science.

    You can debate as far as your evidence takes you. The evidence was against Duesberg in 1987 and it is immensely more so today. Denying evidence goes against science.

  30. #30 William Wallace
    May 11, 2008

    pec raised some good points.

    LanceR, my guess is ERV won’t respond to pec, she’ll leave it to others.

    Can anybody here present the best case of the opponent without scarcasm?

  31. #31 William Wallace
    May 11, 2008

    BTW, I am not an HIV denier or whatever. As far as I know (which is watching interesting PBS documentaries, and talking to people I know who are infected with HIV), HIV does cause AIDS, but I would like to here the opposing viewpoint presented in a non-sarcastic manner.

  32. #32 Richbank
    May 11, 2008

    I had just read the article when I saw this. I just skipped over all of his HIV lunacy, but I wanted to mention when I saw his comments about aneuploidy commonly accompanying cancer, I wanted to shout “Correlation does not equal causation!” I’m a High school senior and I know that.

  33. #33 Michael Turner
    May 11, 2008

    “… idiots like Rev Wright say that HIV was invented to kill black people… and use ‘evidence’ provided by a racist ass to that effect… ugh.”

    By which I assume you mean Leonard Horowitz? (You can’t be referring to Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid.) Dr. Horowitz (“Dr.” because he’s a former dentist; has no PhD) is no prize, certainly. However, as the principal (though not original) author of his Wikipedia bio, I have yet to find any evidence he’s a racist. Does he pander to some racists? Pretty clearly: to Nation of Islam, to white militia survivalists in backwoods Idaho. He’ll take customers and press notices wherever he can get them. He himself is jewish, albeit a Messianic Jew (i.e., says he believes that Jesus was the Messiah), which I suppose gets him through certain doors that might otherwise be closed to jews. A lot of epithets stick to the man, but “racist” is not, I think, one of them. However, if you happen to know otherwise, please e-mail me with substantiation, or edit the evidence (with clear citation) into the Wikipedia article.

    (By the way, if you find Horowitz’s Wikipedia bio too gentle, be aware that I’m restrained by Wikipedia NPOV and policy on Wikipedia about biographies of living persons.)

  34. #34 trrll
    May 11, 2008

    Duesberg is really a sad case. He clearly did important science in his youth, but he seems to have become “stuck” on a pet hypothesis and is simply unable to let go of it. Of course, in scientific research, setbacks are frequent, and it can be a benefit to have confidence in one’s own hypotheses. And many scientists don’t really believe any results that they have not confirmed in their own laboratory. Since Duesberg no longer does research, it is possible that this may be a factor. Still, the reasoning in Duesberg’s later HIV papers is so flagrantly bad, including some real howler errors in basic math, that I can’t help wondering if he is suffering from some kind of neurological mishap or illness.

  35. #35 BD
    May 13, 2008

    Discover has been covering Celia Farber/Duesberg since it was bought by (former?) lover Bob Guccione, Jr. who also supported her fraudulent tracts on the topic in his magazine Spin. From Wiki:

    “During her time as a writer at Spin, Farber was romantically involved with the magazine’s publisher, Bob Guccione, Jr.[16] In 1994, a Spin employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Guccione, Jr. and the magazine, alleging sexual discrimination and favoritism.[2] Farber was a key witness in the ensuing trial, as the prosecution alleged that Farber’s relationship with Guccione, Jr. led to her promotion and other job opportunities.[16] Ultimately, the jury found that Spin editors had created a “hostile environment” and awarded $90,000 to the plaintiff; the remainder of the charges, including those of sexual favoritism, were rejected.[16]”

    This was a prior interview in Discover, in which she makes transparently false claims about objectivity:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2006/oct/celia-farber-interview-aids/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=

    Farber has also recently lied blatantly about a Lancet study, to try and con people with HIV into believing that ARVs do not reduce mortality.

    http://aras.ab.ca/articles/popular/200706-FarberHIVAlive.pdf

    Farber writes: “A paper published in 2006 in The Lancet reported the results of a large study that tracked 22,000 HIV-positive people between 1995 and 2003. It found that the drug therapy they received, known as HAART (Highly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy) did not “translate into a decrease in mortality.””

    - What the paper actually does (see http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673606691526/fulltext) is compare the treatment response *during just the first year of ART” in discrete, separate cohorts from each calendar period (95/95, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001 & 2002/3). Mortality is extremely low (~2%) in the first year for each cohort because of the success of the therapies. What the paper shows is that this early (first year of treatment) mortality has not declined by much when the different calendar periods are compared: in 95/96, 2.2% (27 out of 1232) people died during the first year of treatment; in 2002/3, 1.3% (25 out of 1932) of people died during the first year of treatment.

    Because this early mortality is significantly associated with starting therapy with very advanced disease, it is not surprising that the *average* improvement in viral load and CD4 response (after one year of ART) that has occurred over the calendar years in each cohort has not further decreased this early mortality; an average improvement in viral loads and CD4 at one year across each entire cohort would not be expected to benefit the small subset of individuals within those cohorts who still initiate therapy with advanced illness (it is even possible that some of these individuals had encountered denialist falsehoods about HIV and AIDS and believed them, thus not seeking care until diagnosed with a serious opportunistic infection). The improvements in surrogate markers seen in recent calendar periods should lead to a longer duration of benefit, and enough time has yet to pass to facilitate that analysis (you can’t do 10 year follow up of a cohort that started ART in 2003 in 2006!).

    The study cited by Farber was not even an evaluation of the impact of HAART on mortality, the same authors have already studied that question in the CASCADE cohort: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10791383

    It’s just one example of her deliberate duplicity, aided and abetted by Duesberg (who actually features the Lancet paper on his website, presumably hoping no one reads more than the abstract).

  36. #36 carter
    May 19, 2008

    Yada Yada Yada, Blah Blah Blah……
    Crazy apologist rants completely astound me. WTF? You don’t even stop to think, just play follow the leader. Since when does HIV science have any shred of logic? Sorry folk’s but 24 years gone it doesn’t. If people weren’t dying of complications from your wishful thinking AZT combinations, this would be laughable, but it isn’t. You ignore your own science when it doesn’t work. You fluff off competing ideas. And you try your damndest to quell anybody who even slightly disagrees with you. You’re really all a sad bunch suffering from protective stupidity and I am really glad I am not on your side.

  37. #37 Gos
    May 20, 2008

    ERV,

    #1) There are no nitrites in Cool Whip. I have a tub of the stuff in my fridge and I checked. You’re thinking of Redi-Whip, the canned topping that you spray on a pie.

    #2) There are no nitrites in Redi-Whip either. The propellant used in Redi-Whip is nitrous oxide, not amyl nitrite (nor butyl nitrite, cyclohexyl nitrite, etc.)

    #3) If you don’t know the difference between amyl nitrite and nitrous oxide, what kind of scientist are you? I’d like to see you go to a dentist for a root canal, and when he breaks out the gas mask, you say, “No thanks, I brought my own,” and whip out a bottle of poppers, just to see how hard he falls on the floor laughing at your dumb ass.

    #4) (AND THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT I HAVE TO MAKE) When I listened to people like you and took AIDS cocktail drugs, I went from “seroconversion” to nearly dying from AIDS-related pneumonia — not in 10 years, but in TWO. When I started listening to people like Duesberg, I began to recover my health, and today, nearly a decade after I almost died of AIDS from listening to “me too” lunkheads like yourself, I am actually in better health today than I was 20 years ago, and 20 years ago I was a teenager.

    Speaking from experience as a PWA, I’d say that far from killing me, Duesberg and others like him saved my life. If you want to know whose hands are bloody, check Bob Gallo’s.

    — Gos

  38. #38 Felstatsu
    May 21, 2008

    I’m not an idiot, I know that the meds doesn’t suddenly make it safe for someone to have unprotected sex without spreading it. While the meds might make them a little less infectious (depending on the type of drug, and how well it works on the strains currently living in the infected person), it certainly isn’t going to affect their chance of infecting someone else by more than a few percent, assuming the medication affects those chances at all.

    I was simply making a point, one that you obviously missed somehow. Please put your brain back in your head, don your thinking cap, and then reread the comments so that you can notice my point being about HIV deniers messages taken together. I have heard of HIV deniers saying the disease doesn’t really exist, so it’s not much of a jump to think that someone who doesn’t really show any AIDS symptoms yet would drop everything they’re doing to prevent its spread if they start believing the denier. Stopping their meds would at best do nothing to their likelihood of spreading the disease, but more likely without the meds repressing the virus is that the person would have a higher virus count and be more likely to infect someone else should a path for infection exist.

    When I said stop doing everything to prevent it spreading to others, I included all treatments since they can affect the virus count and development of HIV in an infected person, not because our current meds are enough to prevent it spreading on their own.

  39. #39 Felstatsu
    May 21, 2008

    Missed putting the @pec on top of my response up above.

  40. #40 SC
    May 22, 2008

    “… idiots like Rev Wright say that HIV was invented to kill black people… and use ‘evidence’ provided by a racist ass to that effect… ugh.”

    By which I assume you mean Leonard Horowitz? (You can’t be referring to Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid.)

    A bit of clarification: Wright cited Washington’s book, I believe, as evidence of the evil acts of which racist governments have shown themselves capable. Washington does not argue in Medical Apartheid (which I recommend, by the way) that HIV was invented to kill black people.

  41. #41 Gos
    May 22, 2008

    …Though one has to wonder why it is that HIV seems to be targeting blacks. According to the CDC, the average African-American is ten times more likely to contract HIV or to die of AIDS than the average white person.

    What actual virus in history has ever chosen its victims according to race?!?

    I know of only one virus that chooses its victims this way, but it’s not a virus that infects cells, it’s a virus that infects minds, and it’s called “prejudice”.

    An actual virus wouldn’t behave this way, but a meme (or “thought virus”) would behave in exactly this fashion.

    — Gos

  42. #42 SC
    May 22, 2008

    Gos,

    Unclear on your argument. Are you suggesting that the causes of these differences across groups are sociological in nature, and can only be addressed by confronting inequality and structural violence? If so, I agree.

  43. #43 ERV
    May 22, 2008

    Gos– Good for you. That was pointed out to me in comment 6, 31 posts before you showed up. Way to be a poster-boy for literacy.

    As to your second point, ya, HIV-1 is a man-made construct designed to kill Africans/African Americans and homosexual men.

    And Avian Flu and Nipah and Tsunamis are man-made constructs designed to kill SE Asians.

    And lyme disease is a man-made construct designed to kill L.L. Bean customers.

    And tornadoes are man-made constructs designed to kill trailer park dwellers in Midwest US.

    *rolleyes* Jesus christ think for 30 goddamn seconds.

  44. #44 SC
    May 22, 2008

    Ah, again I’m not reading thoroughly enough. Didn’t notice that Gos was the loon from above, so gave him/her the benefit of the doubt.

    Sometimes I can begin to believe that these people are really professional blog actors posing as nuts, paid by Sb to keep comment threads lively. That bit of self delusion comforts me.

  45. #45 ERV
    May 22, 2008

    Unfortunately, Gos has been haunting my blog (old ERV) for over a year now.

    Not a paid troll.
    :(

  46. #46 Dustin
    May 22, 2008

    Chagas was invented to kill South Americans. It’s true!

    Really, though, it’s sad that despite all of our technology, our days of totally eradicating diseases are over. Not because we don’t know how to do it, but because cultural trends are simply going to prevent it from being done.

  47. #47 SC
    May 22, 2008

    Unfortunately, Gos has been haunting my blog (old ERV) for over a year now.

    Not a paid troll.

    I kind of feared you’d say something like that. Alas. You have my sympathy.

  48. #48 Gos
    May 22, 2008

    SC wrote: “Unclear on your argument. Are you suggesting that the causes of these differences across groups are sociological in nature, and can only be addressed by confronting inequality and structural violence? If so, I agree.”

    What I’m saying is that a real virus wouldn’t pick its victims based on race. No virus in history has ever done this — not for social reasons, not for reasons of poverty, and not for behavioral reasons. In fact, no one here can explain that 10:1 ratio without resorting to discredited, scientifically bankrupt, and racist arguments.

    A propaganda campaign, on the other hand, can be invented by a government, and can target specific groups.

    The phenomenon that we call “HIV” is not a virus at all, it’s a propaganda campaign. And yes, it was invented by the US government.

    ERV wrote: “Way to be a poster-boy for literacy.”

    I love it — a self-proclaimed “scientist” who doesn’t know the difference between alkyl nitrites and nitrous oxide is critiquing my level of literacy.

    ERV wrote: “Unfortunately, Gos has been haunting my blog (old ERV) for over a year now.”

    ERV, I don’t know you from Adam. Unless our paths crossed once before and I don’t remember it, I first saw your blog only two days ago.

    Still, no, I’m not a paid troll — unlike Chris Noble, not to mention others here, I’m sure.

    — Gos

  49. #49 SC
    May 22, 2008

    Gos,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Whackjob status: CONFIRMED

  50. #50 Gos
    May 22, 2008

    SC wrote: “Whackjob status: CONFIRMED”

    Aaaah, name-calling — the refuge of the man without a leg to stand on in the debate. If you could refute my point, you would. Instead, like most of those on your side of this debate, you resort to name-calling.

    Go ahead — I’ve heard ‘em all: Whackjob, denialist, conspiracy theorist, troll, etc…

    They called me a whackjob 20 years ago when I was going around saying that marijuana should be legalized. Today, 70% of the American people agree with me, and the other 30% are the same 30% who stand by George Bush no matter how many lies he’s caught telling.

    Sixteen years ago, they called me a whackjob for saying that crack babies don’t suffer genetic or permanent damage. Today, many of those crack babies are teenagers; one who will soon be a teenager is my bright, healthy and otherwise OK daughter.

    Ten years ago, I was called a whackjob for saying that the Y2K bug was a hoax, and that the only “crash” that was gonna happen on New Year’s Day 2000 was a head-on collision between a carload of UFO-chasers and a carload of born-again Christians, promptly at 12:01AM, caused when the drivers of both vehicles looked up from the road to stare at the sky.

    …Well, I was wrong about the car crash…

    So, if by “whackjob”, you mean someone whose views are consistently outside the mainstream and which just as consistently end up being vindicated by history, then I accept the title of “whackjob” as a badge of honor.

    — Gos
    “Nobody here but us heretics…”

  51. #51 Tyler DiPietro
    May 23, 2008

    “What I’m saying is that a real virus wouldn’t pick its victims based on race.”

    It took me a whole four seconds of research to find a 2002 CDC survey that found this:

    “This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that incidence rates were at least two times greater for blacks than whites for eight of 42 nationally notifiable diseases; however, substantial gaps exist in the reporting of racial/ethnic data for the 42 diseases, which accounted for approximately 1.3 million of the cases reported by NNDSS. Public health practitioners and policy makers might use these results to address disparities in disease rates among blacks and other racial/ethnic populations, but they also should work to close gaps in data reporting to accurately measure progress toward achieving the national health objectives.”

  52. #52 Dustin
    May 23, 2008

    What I’m saying is that a real virus wouldn’t pick its victims based on race.

    That might be true. But HIV doesn’t do that, so I’m struggling to see what possible relevance that statement has to the issue at hand.

    I’ve heard ‘em all: Whackjob, denialist, conspiracy theorist, troll, etc…

    They laughed at Galileo. Of course, they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

  53. #53 Gos
    May 23, 2008

    Tyler,

    Thanks for including more than you needed to with that quote, because I’m about to use all but the first statement against you.

    Look at the rest of that quote: “…substantial gaps exist in the reporting of racial/ethnic data for the 42 diseases, … Public health practitioners and policy makers might use these results to address disparities in disease rates among blacks and other racial/ethnic populations, but they also should work to close gaps in data reporting to accurately measure progress toward achieving the national health objectives.

    So what the report is saying, in black and white, is that these numbers show a great deal of racial disparity in reporting of disease — so it’s not that these numbers reflect actual ratios of affected blacks vs. whites, but the ratios of reported cases. (That’s what you get for doing only four seconds of research.)

    Now, look at the diseases for which the highest ratios are reported:

    First of all, none of them are viral diseases. Again we are left wanting for a single virus which picks its victims based on race.

    All but a handful are diseases — mostly STDs — for which the vast majority of cases reported are based on presumptive diagnoses, rather than actual testing. This leaves plenty of room for prejudice to work its magic on the figures. Of those that aren’t STDs, blacks are reported to be 9 times more likely to get malaria (even though scientists tell us that the same gene which makes blacks more susceptible to sickle-cell anemia is likely responsible for blacks being more resistant to malaria,) and more than twice as likely to get Hepatitis B, but actually less likely than whites to get Hep A or C.

    These numbers might as well have come from a random number generator. Why would blacks be only a third as likely as whites to get E. Coli, but exactly as likely to get salmonella? I guess whites eat as much undercooked fried chicken as blacks, but three times as much contaminated BBQ? Obviously, these numbers make no sense.

    Perhaps next time, you’ll do more than four seconds’ worth of research, and actually read the paper you’re citing, or at least read the part you’re quoting, so that you can (conveniently) omit the part where the authors point out themselves that the data they’re reporting is basically invalid, due to a severe racial disparity in reporting which reflects a need, in the authors own words, to “close gaps in data reporting” in order to get more accurate measurements in the future.

    Now, while we’re talking about CDC reports, explain this:

    According to the CDC, there were over 7,000 deaths in 2005 from HIV disease among blacks, but only about 5,300 deaths among whites. Adjusted for population ratios of whites to blacks, this means that the average black person in the US is 9.39 times more likely to die of AIDS than the average white person.

    Now here’s the funny part: According to the very same report, there were more than 5 times as many deaths among whites from viral hepatitis, compared to blacks. (4,395 among whites vs 872 among blacks.)

    So somehow, of these two viral diseases, both of which are said to be transmitted the exact same ways, hepatitis manages to get transmitted by bodily fluids mostly among whites, but HIV is transmitted by the same means mostly by blacks, and here’s where it gets really bizarre: This could only happen if there’s no interracial sex going on at all in America, and no IV drug users of one race ever share their needles with members of other races. If we consider interracial friendship among IV drug users, not to mention interracial sex (after all, this isn’t 1948), then there’s absolutely no reason that both viruses shouldn’t target the same subsets of both populations. We certainly wouldn’t expect the members of one race to be 9 or 10 times more likely to die from one and at the same time see five times more deaths among another race from the other. It just doesn’t make sense, any more than it makes any sense to expect that you could take a beaker of purple dye, and pour the red pigments into one beaker and the blue into another.

    But it gets even more bizarre than that. Similar racial disparities exist within risk groups. According to a semi-recent CDC fact sheet, black MSMs were more than 8 times more likely than white MSMs to be HIV-positive, and black MSMs who used IV drugs were more than 11 times more likely to be HIV-positive than white MSM-IVDUs.

    According to a June 2005 report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a study conducted in 5 major US cities found that seroprevalence among white MSMs to be 21%, but more than twice that (46%) among black MSMs.

    So even within risk groups, the same racial disparities apply. How does HIV know the difference between a black MSM and/or IVDU and a white one?

    …I’m still waiting for an answer. Find one virus that has ever picked its victims based on race, or otherwise explain why HIV should be any different from every other virus in history.

    — Gos
    “Nobody here but us heretics…”

  54. #54 Gos
    May 23, 2008

    Dustin wrote:

    “…HIV doesn’t [pick its victims based on race], so I’m struggling to see what possible relevance that statement has to the issue at hand.”

    Perhaps you should check out the CDC reports that say otherwise.

    I’ve already explained the relevance of the following references in my previous post, so I’m not going to go into it again. But here are the CDC references:

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/resources/factsheets/msm.htm

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5424a2.htm

    Both of the above show a huge racial disparity in seroprevalence among MSM, and the first one also shows a similar racial disparity among MSMs who use IV drugs.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_10.pdf

    The above mortality statistics show the average black person to be 9.39 times more likely to die of HIV infection than the average white person.

    So, yes, HIV most certainly does appear to pick its victims according to race. If you want to claim otherwise, I’d suggest you scour the CDC’s website looking for even one report that shows similar HIV risk for whites and blacks.

    Until such time as you can produce such an article, consider yourself served.

    Who’s looking like Bozo the clown now?

    — Gos
    “Nobody here but us heretics…”

  55. #55 Tyler DiPietro
    May 23, 2008

    Gos, I was going to respond to that point by point, but halfway through I realized that it was basically one long argument from incredulity, exemplified by this passage:

    “These numbers might as well have come from a random number generator. Why would blacks be only a third as likely as whites to get E. Coli, but exactly as likely to get salmonella? I guess whites eat as much undercooked fried chicken as blacks, but three times as much contaminated BBQ? Obviously, these numbers make no sense.”

    Simply dismissing data with an “argument” to the effect of “well, that just makes no sense to me” doesn’t cut it.

    The rest of your post is nothing but ad hoc rationalizations. You contradict yourself by saying that none of the diseases are a viral disease, but then acknowledge that malaria and Hepatitis B were among those surveyed. You don’t bother to explain why viruses should be singled out in this analysis in the first place (as opposed to gonorrhea, which is caused by a bacterium). You also falsely accuse me of omitting the fact that they acknowledged reporting discrepancy, when any reader can look above to see that such are explicitly acknowledged in the passage I quote. Then you stack the deck in your favor by asserting, based on nothing but your personal preferences, that all disparities in diseases are due to the reporting discrepancies and/or presumptive diagnosis. While that may be your personal opinion, it is nowhere indicated in the document, you’ve done nothing but presume conspiracy prematurely.

    All in all, you’ve done a lot of huffing, puffing and chest beating, but your claims are a lot of hot air. Not unusual for HIV deniers.

  56. #56 Tyler DiPietro
    May 23, 2008

    Okay, I misread this paragraph to being an accusation that I omitted something:

    “Perhaps next time, you’ll do more than four seconds’ worth of research, and actually read the paper you’re citing, or at least read the part you’re quoting, so that you can (conveniently) omit the part where the authors point out themselves that the data they’re reporting is basically invalid, due to a severe racial disparity in reporting which reflects a need, in the authors own words, to “close gaps in data reporting” in order to get more accurate measurements in the future.”

    But you seem to be saying that I would if I had simply read the paper. I’m sorry to inform that not everyone argues in the fashion you are apparently accustomed to, i.e., in extraordinarily bad faith. I added that as a caveat to the data at hand, knowing full well that you’d seize upon to dismiss the data out of hand (because they obviously contradict your previously stated position that racial disparity is exclusive to HIV).

  57. #57 ERV
    May 23, 2008

    No, confusion is part my fault– Im not notified if a comment is flagged as junk/moderation, and some of Goss comments got stuck and I didnt know to approve them so the conversation would make sense.

    Gos– If you keep your hyperlinks-per-comment down to one or two, I dont think they will get flagged for moderation :)

  58. #58 Dustin
    May 23, 2008

    I’m sure someone has pointed at his 900 pound gorilla before, but I’m going to do it again because that motherfucker is one ugly ape. Racial disparity does not mean that it is because the virus attacks one race more than another, particularly since it is obvious that the disparity is due to differences in sexual behavior, differences in access to healthcare, differences in population density, and so on.

    I think you might need a refresher in statistics, and you can find a good quick one here.

  59. #59 Don Smith, FCD
    May 25, 2008

    Abbie,

    OT but a suggestion for you. You should learn a few HTML entities here: http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_entities.asp plus the next page.

    I think the sentence that looks like this to me “HIV â% HIV-1â% HIV-2.” was probably meant to be “HIV ≠ HIV-1 ≠ HIV-2″

    (that entity is ≠)

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