Respectful Insolence

Yesterday, I commented on the tragic death of HIV/AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore, who was HIV-positive herself and refused to use antiretroviral drugs during her pregnancy to prevent maternal-fetal transmission of the virus and insisted on breast feeding even though the virus can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk. Her cultish clinging to the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS against all scientific evidence showing otherwise cost her daughter her life in 2005 and, very likely, cost her her own life a few days ago. I concede that it is quite possible that Maggiore did not die of AIDS, but the circumstances surrounding her death, from what I can glean from news reports, are damned suspicious for for an AIDS-associated pneumonia.

Leave it to HIV/AIDS denialist crank Celia Farber, writing on on the blog of that HIV/AIDS denialist blogger Dean Esmay (who, by the way, really, really doesn’t like me) to jump into the fray and provide an “alternate” explanation. Not unexpectedly, her claim is that Christina Maggiore did not die of AIDS. Rather, according to Farber, a combination of stress and a “radical detoxification” regimen killed Maggiore. However, even if her account is accurate (a huge “if” given that Maggiore has never been particularly forthcoming with her medical history), then, no matter what killed Maggiore, HIV or quackery, her case stands as a shining example that pseudoscience and antiscience kill. Farber starts:

I got the devastating news yesterday that my very good friend Christine Maggiore died at home on December 27th, from a bout of bilateral bronchial pneumonia, that afflicted her in recent weeks, and which she was unable to overcome.

Of course, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) frequently presents as bilateral pneumonia; so at this point the story continues to sound suspiciously like AIDS-related pneumonia. Indeed, in patients over 50, PCP is often how HIV infection first presents. Of course, in older patients, the reason is that the index of suspicion for HIV infection tends to be lower and primary care doctors may not look for it, but in Christine Maggiore’s case clearly her refusal to be treated for her HIV infection could conceivably have led her to present the way that AIDS patients used to present back in the 1980s; i.e., with an opportunistic infection like PCP as the first sign. Before I get to the meat of the topic, I can’t resist pointing out a bit of drama typical of Farber:

The news has been shattering to all who loved her around the world. Speaking for myself, I can say that Christine Maggiore was one of the strongest, most ethical, compassionate, intelligent, brave, funny, and decent human beings I have ever had the honor to know. I spoke to her in great depth about all aspects of life, death, love, and this battle we both found ourselves mired in, and I will be writing about her and about those conversations here, in the future. No matter what she was going through, and it was always, frankly, sheer hell-every day of her life, since 2005, she faced, acute grief, sadistic persecution, wild injustice, relentless battle, and deep betrayal-she was always there for her friends, and she never descended to human ugliness. She always tried to take the high road. She always tried to be stronger than any human being could ever be asked to be. I feared for her life, always. I feared the battle would kill her, as I have felt it could kill me, if I couldn’t find enough beauty to offset the malevolence. This is a deeply occult battle, and Christine got caught in its darkest shadows.

While I understand the pain the death of a loved one produces and even though one never likes to speak ill of the dead, I have to point out that Maggiore brought that “sheer hell” on herself to a large extent when her cultish belief in HIV/AIDS denial led her to fail to take simple steps that could have prevented the death of her daughter. Her medical neglect arguably directly led to her daughter’s death and the “persecution” described by Farber was nothing more than the medical and legal establishment trying to discover the truth. That Maggiore got off without punishment does not mean that she was not responsible for the death of her daughter.

I have no doubt that Maggiore suffered horribly from the grief that comes from losing a child, and I’m not unsympathetic to that. She suffered a loss that no parent should have to suffer, made all the more tragic because it was potentially preventable. Indeed, the clear preventability of Eliza Jane Scovill’s death is why my sympathy for her mother only went so far. While my sympathy for Eliza Jane for having had her young life snuffed out prematurely by AIDS, my sympathy for Eliza Jane’s mother ended at the point where she hired an HIV/AIDS denialist hack, toxicologist Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati, to try to whitewash her daughter’s autopsy report and try to spin the cause of death as being from an antibiotic reaction and the cause of her profound anemia as being due to a common childhood virus based on a highly dubious extrapolation. My sympathy also bumps up against her prominent role in spreading a denialist philosophy that has led to the deaths of an estimated hundreds of thousands in Africa. As for this being a “deeply occult” battle, Farber is more correct than she knows, but not in the way she thinks. The battle is “occult” in the sense that HIV/AIDS denialism is very much like magic and the occult; it is based on faith, not science, and its adherents cling to it in the face of all evidence, science, and reason to the contrary like some dark religion.

So what did actually kill Christine Maggiore? Well, if we’re to believe Celia Farber, quackery killed her:

She had apparently been on a radical cleansing and detox regimen that had sickened her and left her very weak, dehydrated, and unable to breathe. She was shortly thereafter diagnosed with pneumonia and placed on IV antibiotics and rehydration. But she didn’t make it.

Later in the post, Farber tries to refute the reports that Maggiore had been ill for a while:

She had been HIV positive since 1992, and never had an AIDS defining illness. Her foes have predictably begun their attacks, and there is already a misleading statement from the LA County Coroner’s office, against whom Christine was scheduled to testify two days from when she died, stating that she had had pneumonia for six months. This is incorrect, but helps foster the impression that it was an AIDS related pneumonia (PCP) which is a longer term illness.

This is a twisting of what the news reports actually said, which was: “According to officials at the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, she had been treated for pneumonia in the last six months.” To me that means she had been treated for pneumonia sometime within the last six months. It does not mean that she had had pneumonia for six months prior to her death. But leave it to Farber to dishonestly spin it that way. Also, that Maggiore lived symptom-free with HIV for 16 years does not mean that HIV doesn’t kill. As Nick Bennett explains, a period of 16 years is not too far outside of the range for the normal progression of untreated HIV infections.

More importantly, though, Farber’s account has a glaring inconsistency. Can you see what it is? Here Farber is, trying to argue that Maggiore was as healthy as the proverbial horse, aside from her understandable emotional distress over the death of her daughter due to AIDS, and yet she was undergoing a “radical detoxification regimen.” (One wonders if she was undergoing the Gonzalez regimen, which is certainly a radical detoxification regimen–and about as dubious a “therapy” as there is.) So here’s my question: If Christine Maggiore was so healthy, why was she undergoing such a radical detoxification regimen? True, sometimes healthy people undergo such regimens for vague symptoms or as a “preventative” measure, but usually only people who have a serious illness are drawn to the radical detoxification regimens. Healthier people, a.k.a. the “worried well” who are most drawn to “alternative” medicine, tend to opt for much less radical detoxification regimens. Yet, here we have Christine Maggiore undergoing a “detox” regimen so radical that Farber perceives it as being plausible that the regimen was what caused Maggiore to lose weight, become weaker, and finally become susceptible to the pneumonia that killed her.

I can’t help but think of an alternate explanation, one that fits more with the facts as we know them so far. I admit I’m speculating, but, without hard evidence from an autopsy to tell us what killed Christine Maggiore, I submit to you that my speculation fits the know facts better than Farber’s histrionics. My explanation would be that Maggiore had been ill for a while. Because she had become ill, she started a “radical detoxification” regimen. Perhaps she even had a little dry cough that got a bit worse, which she would never allow herself to recognize as an early symptom of PCP. She became weaker and thinner not primarily because of whatever quack regimen she was undergoing but because of HIV. Most radical detoxification regimens, even the worst, usually do not sicken people to the point of being so weak they are susceptible to fatal pneumonia–unless, of course, they are already seriously ill.

There is, of course, one way for HIV/AIDS denialists to prove me wrong, and it’s one area where I actually agree with Celia Farber:

We all agree that it is imperative that an impartial and thorough autopsy bring to light all facts about Christine’s cause of death, and the state of her immune system, and how these facts might bring us all closer to the ultimate truth we all seek.

I agree with the expressed sentiment, and, if an autopsy is done and it turns out that Maggiore did not die of an AIDS-related pneumonia, I will forthrightly admit my speculation was incorrect. I will also point out that, even if Maggiore did not die of AIDS, it would not in any way validate her HIV/AIDS denialist beliefs, although no doubt that’s exactly what denialists like Farber and Esmay would try to do. I will also point out that, if Farber’s account is confirmed, then Maggiore’s death would be prima facie evidence that unscientific quackery can kill.

If, on the other hand, however, an autopsy is performed and it does show PCP and other evidence of AIDS, will Farber and Esmay concede that AIDS killed Christine Maggiore? I sincerely doubt that they would, if the behavior of HIV/AIDS denialists after the death of Eliza Jane Scovill and Dean Esmay’s comment this morning are any indication:

The child never tested positive for HIV, Rune, not even in the autopsy. Instead, once the coroner found out it was Christine, they simply declared it to be AIDS even though all the symptoms the child showed looked like a pretty simple case of an allergic reaction to penicillin.

The child was perfectly healthy with no issues at all until she got an earache and sniffles. The autopsy even confirmed that at the the time of death, the child’s leukocyte count was elevated-if she had a suppressed immune system, it wouldn’t have been. Also, if her immune system was depressed, she shouldn’t have had a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic.

So unless you’re saying that “AIDS” is now defined as the *possible* presence of HIV in your mother’s body, and that typically a child with AIDS is perfectly healthy, then one day gets the sniffles and an earache and dies suddenly-with symptoms identical to an allergic reaction to penicillin-then, there’s far more to explain than what you’re pointing to here.

It is not true that Eliza Jane did not test positive for HIV in her autopsy. Indeed, HIV protein was detected in her brain. Nor was Eliza Jane’s death due to an antibiotic reaction, an utterly ridiculous and desperate pseudo-explanation concocted by the antivaccine HIV/AIDS denialist Mohammed Al-Bayati. If there is an autopsy and it shows that Christine Maggiore died of AIDS-related pneumonia, expect more of the same dissembling. Expect more dubious attempts to spin the results as being something else. Expect HIV/AIDS denialists to trot out Dr. Al-Bayati again, who will dutifully examine the autopsy report and come up with an equally inane “explanation” for Maggiore’s death as he did for Eliza Jane’s.

Unfortunately, all of this speculation, while important from a public health perspective and to refute the pseudoscience that is HIV/AIDS denialism, risks detracting from two tragic facts. First, a young girl died of a potentially preventable condition. Second, the girl’s mother died, possibly–even likely–of the same potentially preventable condition, leaving her husband and son without a loving mother. While I have almost no hope that this tragedy, whatever the cause of Christine Maggiore’s death is determined to be or not to be, will silence HIV/AIDS denialists or even make them truly “rethink” their position, I do hope that Maggiore’s survivors, her husband Robin and her son Charlie, can somehow find some peace and manage to get on with their lives after their mourning is finished. A cultish ideology claimed at least one, and probably both, of them.

Comments

  1. #1 dt
    December 31, 2008

    I believe we will see the usual canards being trotted out of how poorly she was and how her immune system was weakened because of the huge stresses she was under.

    As I have pointed out in the past, I find it strange that others suffering the stress of say losing a child, or being diagnosed with breast cancer, or being sued in the courts don’t all succumb to pneumocystis pneumonia, fungal meningitis, toxoplasmosis like the HIV denialists seem to do. There is something almost unique about the immune system of a denialist – it is robust enough to reject the ravages of one of the most virulent agents that can target it (HIV) but at the merest hint of a bit of stress, it seems to fall apart, with HIV having nothing to do with it.

    Like you say, there is a disconnect here. Either Christine was unwell in recent months, having had at least one attack of pneumonia, feeling weak and weary and run down by stress, not eating well, feeling ill enough to undergo radical detox, and ill enough to succumb to another bout of pneumonia, or she wasn’t, and was “perfectly healthy” until her sudden and unexpected death. The denialists will try and play this one both ways, methinks.

    It’s just like a rerun of EJ, where Al Bayati tried to hedge his bets as well.

  2. #2 Seth Kalichman
    December 31, 2008

    All the reasons Christine Maggiore died her not completely unexpected death. I am reminded of how Christine Maggiore went to great lengths to explain the death of other AIDS denialists from any cause other than HIV/AIDS. Her explanation of David Pasquarelli’s death was among the most contorted I have seen. You can be sure that we will see a zillion variations of non-AIDS-related causes of Christine Maggiore’s death, especially given that she stood that ground for so many other denialists. It will be like a tribute, trust me. She had a cause and she will be martyred. Most common will be that AIDS zealots like myself killed her…the stress we caused her brought her immune system to fail, just as the stress of jail killed David Pasquarelli. It was probably the law & Order Retro episode that caused her CD4 cells to evaporate.
    But when it comes to her cause of death, I for one will take the family at their word.
    She had pneumonia they have said. Which type really does not matter. It is so rare for people under 55 to die of pneumonia the CDC does not even record deaths from pneumonia among people under age 65. Among elderly people, age 65 and older, influenza and pneumonia combined account for less than 3% of all deaths. Across all age groups, including infants and the elderly, pneumonia ranks 67th among all causes of death in the US. In 2004, 58,564 people in the US died of pneumonia, of which 3,649 (6%) were under the age of 55. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm) We can extrapolate that probably around one in three of those are AIDS-related.

    Also as her family has stated, I also fully believe Christine Maggiore underwent a holistic cleaning ritual or procedure, whatever that is. How many people does that thing kill each year? How many healthy 52 years have died of a coffee enema?

    Watching the denialists deny the undeniable is what is most remarkable about this whole sorted affair.

    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/

  3. #3 DavidCT
    December 31, 2008

    Unfortunately changing the minds of true believers with an irrational worldview is unlikely to happen. The best you can hope for is to reach the undecided sitting near the “event horizon” and keep them from being sucked into the black hole of stupid.

  4. #4 tim gueguen
    December 31, 2008

    So Farber is still into HIV denial. I remember her from the days when she wrote a column for Spin mag. Of course claiming HIV might not be the cause of AIDS was a bit more believeable in 1986 than it is now.

  5. #5 BD
    December 31, 2008

    Regrettably I think your view of “impartial” and Celia Farber’s are likely to differ substantially. Farber has said that an investigation into whether her Harper’s article contained errors of fact was impartial – it was conducted by the Rethinking AIDS organization (http://www.rethinkingaids.com/GalloRebuttal/overview.html). Farber is likely referring to an investigation along similar lines to Al-Bayati’s appalling attempt to re-interpret EJ’s cause of death. How is it possible for Peter Duesberg to still be an NAS member and a professor at Berkeley? Perhaps there needs to be a fresh and concerted campaign to hold him accountable.

  6. #6 Robster, FCD
    December 31, 2008

    Excellent, and very similar to what I was thinking.

  7. #7 thordora
    December 31, 2008

    Maybe I’m dense, but what is the point of denying something that’s killing you? Aside from a possible mental disorder? If the child had AIDS, and the mother did nothing to treat it, isn’t that considered child abuse? How is this allowed?

    I’ll be over here, trying to make this make sense….I just don’t get the point…

  8. #8 Robert C
    December 31, 2008

    Ditto what dt said.

    As I said in another post, a few months after I recovered from PCP, KS, MAC, anemia, thrush and wasting — oh, and denialism — I got into a discussion with a current denialist — a civil conversation I might add — in which said denialist told me the reason I had gotten sick was because I had been depressed. He went so far as to quote a line from The Wizard of Oz — something about Auntie Em telling Dorothy, “Now you go feed those hogs before they worry themselves into anemia!”.

    Now, I don’t about anyone else, but I think I’ll pass on taking medical advice from The Wizard of Oz! But, in all seriousness, this is often the kind of insanity that gets passed off as knowledge in that world.

    So, for some reason, MY depression caused oral hairy leukoplakia, KS, PCP, disseminated MAC, anemia, thrush and extreme weight loss — in that order. But, my mother who has battled extreme depression her entire life, has never had one of these medical problems. Very odd.

    So, yes, it does not surprise me one bit that Christine’s death — which I still admit we know very little about — is being attributed to sadness, isolation, grief, etc. I’m not saying people absolutely cannot die of these things, but let’s be real.

    As for those people who get a kick out of demonizing her, calling her a murderer, etc. — and I’m not trying to excuse her responsibility in all this — but the absolute extreme denial that goes along with this is so far beyond normal I would venture to call it a major psychological problem. Believe me, I was there — and when I suddenly realized what I had been doing to myself for the previous seven years, I had a severe mental break. Seven years of brainwashing came crashing up against the reality of my life, and it took some time to reintegrate those two worlds, to be honest. So, please try to have SOME compassion for her and her family.

  9. #9 Chris Noble
    December 31, 2008

    As I said in another post, a few months after I recovered from PCP, KS, MAC, anemia, thrush and wasting — oh, and denialism — I got into a discussion with a current denialist — a civil conversation I might add — in which said denialist told me the reason I had gotten sick was because I had been depressed.

    The basic pattern is that if you follow the advice given by Denialists and still progress to AIDS or even die then it is always your fault and not theirs.

    You will be accused of secretly doing poppers, heroin or crack.
    You will be accused of not being a true dissident.
    It will be your fault because you didn’t eat the right food.
    It will be your fault because you didn’t take anti-oxidants.
    It will be your fault because you didn’t do ozone therapy.
    It will be your fault because you took antibiotics.
    It will be your fault because you didn’t take antibiotics.

  10. #10 PalMD
    December 31, 2008

    MY depression caused oral hairy leukoplakia, KS, PCP, disseminated MAC, anemia, thrush and extreme weight loss

    No, it didn’t (except for possibly the weight loss).

    Also, i meant to point out on the earlier post that pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common pneumonia in HIV patients and can kill you just as dead as PCP (or PJP). The few detail we have certainly point to PCP, but reaching back in my clinical memory of treating end stage AIDS, it was often multiple illnesses that killed. Histo, toxo, MAC, PC/jP, PML…you name it, it kills.

    This case is terribly sad, and I have to point out the compassionate note in the other post…Orac’s concern that her surviving child lost a loving mother. Just because she suffered from an enduring delusion doesn’t mean she was a bad person—it just makes her even more pitiable. Of course, that doesn’t help EJ.

  11. #11 Julie Stahlhut
    December 31, 2008

    Let me see if I understand this. A group of people known for rejecting conventional medical care in favor of unsupported alternative treatments are now explaining that Ms. Maggiore died because she treated her own life-threatening illness with alternative medicine?

    This is just too sad for words. As pig-headed as Christine Maggiore was, I feel sorry for her, her late daughter, and the surviving members of her family. And as Thordora said: What was the point?

  12. #12 J Todd DeShong
    December 31, 2008

    With Ms. Maggiores’ death so current, and still so raw for many, myself included, I hate to say how much I agree with this post. I personally, am a devout “AIDStruther”, as they say, whole heartedly feel that Ms. Maggiore “dug her own grave, so she should lie in it”, so to speak. Yet at the same time, I feel there should be a span of time in which we should refrain from casting aspersions and let her family and friends mourn her passing! Even I need a brief mourning period for a woman whom I have called “a baby killer” and “a toddler killer” on my blog, http://www.dissidents4dumbees.blogspot.com before once again joining the fray of this War Against the Denialists.
    Let us be respectful of her family and friends and supporters as they process her passing. It is what we should do as caring, loving human beings.
    Sincerely,
    J. Todd DeShong

  13. #13 Robert C
    December 31, 2008

    PalMD, I was being sarcastic. Obviously I know depression didn’t cause those diseases — that’s what I was told by a denialist.

    Just wanted to make that clear in case it wasn’t — God forbid I’m mistaken for a current denialist. I wear my ex-denialist badge proudly, thank you.

  14. #14 Third man in waiting
    December 31, 2008

    The point, for me, is that Peter Duesberg has to go. He should be run out of Berkeley and flown to a comfortable cell in The Hague.

    Duesberg’s scientific quackery and dishonesty convinced Thabo Mbeki, an intelligent but scientifically unqualified man, to denounce common sense. Duesberg then actively advised Mbeki and his incompetent government. Their actions led to something like 300-400,000 excess deaths as ARVs were refused and then not distributed.

    Sadly a third of a million dead people is just a statistic. Maggiore and EJ put a human face – and a Western one, which unfortunately seems to be necessary to get attention in our unfair world – on Duesberg’s lasting legacy. Maggiore probably had issues of her own in not accepting her diagnosis, but even she credited Duesberg with her denialism. She spoke with him, and he taught her how to die. She spread his virulent message to others with passion. Her own daughter, she killed/allowed to die. She then killed herself/let herself die, following Duesberg all the way to the grave.

    Duesberg can say whatever he wants in America, where the First Amendment is more important than a few hundred thousand African lives. Can’t someone, somewhere sue this bastard? Can’t Berkeley kick him out? Can’t the NAS take a sniff of the air outside its ivory tower and revoke his membership?

    Can’t someone make a statement? What about starting a list of scientists who won’t cite PNAS or publications with Berkeley authors until the thug is gone? Would that be so unethical?

  15. #15 Snout
    December 31, 2008

    Denialism is a psychological trap.

    For many denialists it takes actually getting ill and facing the real threat of imminent death to muster up the psychological strength to admit they have been wrong, and that they really need to rethink. Some don’t face reality even then.

    Christine was ensnared in the denialist trap more horribly than most. Firstly, she had been set up as a spokesperson for the cause – thrust forward as the public face of many others who had an investment in making sure she never wavered.

    But when EJ died, her chances of ever escaping denialism all but vanished, because in order to rethink her position she would have had to face the fact that not only had she been so publicly wrong all this time, but that she carried responsibilty for the death of someone she cared deeply about. That’s a predicament I would never wish on anyone, and I’m not surprised she was never able to productively ask herself, “What if everything you thought you knew about AIDS was wrong?” The answer, obvious to everyone outside denialism, would have been personally near-unbearable.

    While Maggiore made her own decisions and ultimately took her own role in the propagation of the denialist cult, I can’t help feeling deeply sorry for her tragic situation. It is the Duesbergs, the Bauers, the Al-Bayatis, the Perthians etc who construct the denialist trap while never suffering its personal consequences that make me fume.

  16. #16 vs
    December 31, 2008

    O/T (CAM)

    It’s a new year and Deepak Chopra strikes back at the Wall Street Journal which published an excellent article by Steve Salerno “The Touch that Doesn’t Heal ” on  CAM (Chopra calls it integrative medicine.) in an article titled “Leave the Sinking Ship

    Deepak Chopra, MD! along with Andrew Weil, MD! and Rustum Roy, PhD! “invite the Wall Street Journal and its staff writers to
    board the lifeboat of integrative health, rather than go down with the Titanic, in yet another failing business sector–healthcare.”

  17. #17 PalMD
    December 31, 2008

    Oops! Sorry Robert C! I’m so used to reading wacko stuff, i forget that some people have a sense of humor…

  18. #18 DLC
    January 1, 2009

    I’ve been sitting on this reply box for a couple hours now.
    At first, I was flabbergasted. Admittedly, only a repeat of the reaction I had when I first encountered this story.
    Do none of these “Denialists” remember the 1980s ?

    I do. I knew people who died of AIDS, before the invention of the “cocktail”. Aww hell with it.

    Happy New Year.

  19. #19 DLC
    January 1, 2009

    Clarification:
    I wasn’t sitting there staring at the screen for two solid hours. I tried to write a reply, didn’t like it, went and did something else for a while, came back tried again, didn’t like that and finally wrote the above after another break.

    Second: “aww hell with it . . . happy new year”
    was a poor closer. It was my intention to leave this topic, but do so on an “up” note — a wish for a happy 2009.

  20. #20 Seth Kalichman
    January 1, 2009

    The death of Christine Maggiore is tragic just as her life was tragic.
    She was mislead by Peter Duesberg and David Rasnick and other AIDS Denialists. Ultimately she promoted their pseudoscience at her own peril. Many others were harmed by her relentless promoting of false information that confused people about HIV testing and treatment.

    We should respect the decision of an informed person to refuse treatment for any serious medical condition. But the problem with AIDS denialism is that people are making testing and treatment decisions based on misinformation and disinformation spread by AIDS pseudoscientists and conspiracy theorists.

    The sad story of AIDS denialism that enmeshed Christine Maggiore is told in a new book Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy (all Royalties donated to buy HIV medications in Africa) for more information visit http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/

  21. #21 Tom Roussell
    January 1, 2009

    Some people will rebel against any type of authority their whole lives. It somehow adds meaning and drama to the way they think, and for them truth is something you create yourself and has nothing to do with the facts. Science can have this problem too, but it usually gets worked out. Happy New Years’ Everyone. Keep your thinking flexible and sharp! Tom

  22. #22 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    God Bless Christine, and her family. After her daughter died of an obvious anaphilactic shock from her first time on antibiotics, Christine was attacked on the internet, on tv, and in the worldwide press as a denialist monster.

    She was scheduled to testify in court this week, only 3 days after she passed, and no doubt the enduring stress of coming through a Christmas without her daughter, and fearing that she would be the one put on trial instead of the coroner, and enduring nonstop attacks against her was taking its emotional and psychological toll.

    Just a few weeks prior, the tv show Law and Order SVU, had done an episode based on Christine, that portrayed a psychotic mother who was the cause of her childs death by not giving the child aids meds. At the end of the episode, the mother also died. Christine very much internalized this by saying “That is what they want me to be. They all want me to die”.

    The only thing that surprises those of us who knew her, was that she had come this far without a major emotional and physical breakdown.

    Rest in peace, Christine. My heart goes out to her husband and son.

    And for all of you who do not understand the impact of stress and health:

    Studies have shown that people with Type A behavior (unusually aggressive, competitive, work-oriented, and urgent behavior) have a much higher incidence of heart attacks than do Type B people, who exhibit fewer of these traits. In addition, Type A behavior is associated with high cholesterol, triglycerides, glucocorticoids; a greater insulin response to glucose; increased severity of coronary artery lesions; and greater range and magnitude of blood pressure and catecholamine responses to timed tests (Elliott & Eisdorfer, 1982). As stated earlier, stress increases catecholamines, and the increase of plasma catecholamines enhances platelet aggregation, lowers the threshold to cardiac arrythmias, induces narrowing of the blood vessels, and suppresses insulin secretion (McEwen & Stellar, 1993). All of these combined can lead to a very high risk of heart attack or angina.

    Psychological stress has also been shown to increase susceptibility to viral infection. Subjects exposed to stress showed increases in infection rates from 74% to 90%, and clinical colds rose from 27% to 47%. Earlier studies have shown that medical students have an increased risk of mononucleosis during examination periods (McEwen & Stellar, 1993). This is not surprising, as stress does suppress the immune system; latent viruses then have an easier time resurging, since the body cannot defend itself as well (Brosschot, et al, 1994). This is supported by studies showing that colds and other infections manifest themselves on weekends after busy and stressful work weeks. Additionally, studies on monkeys have shown that ulceration showed up most severely during the rest and recovery periods, rather than during the stress period itself (McEwen & Stellar, 1993).

    In conclusion, psychological stress does have a significant affect on the immune system. It raises catecholamine and CD8 levels, which suppresses the immune system. This suppression, in turn, raises the risk of viral infection. Stress also leads to the release of histamines, which can trigger severe broncoconstriction in asthmatics.

  23. #23 Julian
    January 1, 2009

    @Michael Geiger –

    you sure you want to go into cause of death on a medical blog? I don’t think you’ll fair very well considering the people who make up Orac’s readers.

  24. #24 Elizabeth Reid
    January 1, 2009

    I’m not a doctor myself, but it seems to me that someone who was qualified to say that a person had obviously died of anaphylaxis would probably know how to spell “anaphylaxis”.

  25. #25 Dr Aust
    January 1, 2009

    A tip of the hat to Snout for squarely nailing the particular tragedy of Ms Maggiore and the psychological trap of denialism – and also to Robert C for some stand-out posts.

    I would love to think the deluded folk who read Maggiore’s book would read this thread. But I shan’t be holding my breath ’til they do.

  26. #26 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Thank you Elizabeth, for correcting my spelling. I really did mean to do a spell check on it, but by the time I got to the end of the post it had slipped my mind.

    @ Julian:

    You are correct. I have no desire to go into cause of death on Orac’s blog. Especially considering those who make up Orac’s readers such as the one singing “ding dong the witch is dead” in regards to Christine Maggiore’s passing. There would be no point to discuss such matters with these individuals.

    However, as a long time friend of Christine’s, I do feel it important to share my own opinions and experiences with those who do have sincere questions about the discussed matter.

    And after all, I simply presented the obvious. The verification that Christine was indeed under tremendous stress. I simply presented how those who attacked Christine as a murderous denialist insane mother had themselves contributed to her stress and eventual death.

    Of course I realize how the hackles will come up on that one, as we humans have a tendency to such when we are exposed for our own misdeeds as being the ultimate culprits behind the outcome.

    And it is not difficult to find these attacks against Christine. They are all over the net for any who google her name and spend even a few moments researching it. All of the attacks Christine has endured over the last few years have been unrelenting.

    Of course this contributed to her stress and eventual illness, and only a fool would deny that. She certainly endured a stress I doubt most who post here could ever truly understand as one must often have experiential understandings or know the person personally to empathize or fully comprehend such matters. Some can do so, some cannot. No big deal either way. What is done is done.

    Furthermore, I was also just presenting a mere smattering of the known scientific facts about stress and pneumonia. Facts that are certainly well known experientially by real doctors and real people, including, quite likely, your own grandmama.

    At any rate, best to you and yours in the New Year,

    Michael

  27. #27 dt
    January 1, 2009

    Michael Gieger, whatever caused EJ’s death, it certainly was not an antibiotic allergy. We don’t really want to go here, again.
    Stress can cause a degree of minor immunodeficiency. This can predispose people to an increased attack rate of “normal” everyday infections. It will never cause severe opportunistic infections like PJP, MAC, Toxo, PML, CMV associated with profound CD4 lymphopenia. Except in the denialist world, where this happens all the time. But never to those without the misfortune of coincidentally having the “harmless” HIV positivity.

  28. #28 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Oh, and by the way Dr. “Aust”. Your first name would not begin with an F, would it, as in Dr. “FAust”, as in “Faustian Bargain”? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_with_the_Devil

    Just wanted to let you know that I read Christine’s book “WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT AIDS WAS WRONG” years ago, and I hand out copies of it all the time. I find it a wonderful contribution to summarising the issues of hiv/aids. I would suggest you read it yourself.

    http://www.amazon.com/What-everything-thought-about-wrong/dp/0967415306

    ” Clear, concise and completely accurate, Maggiore’s powerful little book is highly recommended reading for anyone who has ever had the doubt about any aspect of the ‘global AIDS pandemic,’ and is absolutely compulsory reading for those few never have.” — Harvey Bialy, PhD Editor at large, Nature Biotechnology

    ” This book exposes the many incongruencies in conventional wisdom and establishes why we must question how AIDS research and treatment are currently conducted. The paradox of the search for an AIDS cure is that the thing most neededopen debate and scientific exchangeis the thing most feared by the AIDS establishment.” — Bob Guccione, Jr. Editor and publisher, Gear magazine

    ” This splendid book is a perfect text for provoking university students. It requires them to think critically about sexuality and public health, obliging them to scrutinize the unscientific dogmas churned out by the AIDS orthodoxy. Maggiore’s book should be required reading for all undergraduates.” — Charles Geshekter, PhD Department of History, California State University, Chico

    ” Until recently, I was a physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the number-one funded AIDS research center in the country. Before January of 1998, my knowledge of AIDS was typical; I knew that HIV caused AIDS because that’s what the textbooks said. I had no reason to think otherwise and never knew or cared that anybody thought differently. I ordered this book on a whim, but once I started reading it, I didn’t stop until I hit the back cover.
    ” I used to think that medical research wasn’t politically directed and financially motivated, and that pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t compromise patient well-being for a profit. I used to think the FDA was there to protect the American public. Now I know better. Now I tell the story of AIDS to anyone who will listen.” — Rob Hodson, MD Former professor of anesthesiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham

    A succinct summary of the gaping holes in the official view of AIDS, this book has become an underground classic. Christine Maggiore, whose own HIV positive diagnosis didn’t stop her from disobeying the authorities and giving birth to a healthy child, challenges all the politically correct opinions about the health crisis. A straightforward, jargon-free little book that provides volumes of highly explosive intellectual ammunition in its brief pages.” — Ian Young Author, The Stonewall Experiment: A Gay Psychohistory
    Michael

  29. #29 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Celia Farber { 01.01.09 at 2:34 pm } at the Dean Esmay blog:

    Consider the very esprit of this class act sentence: “Plus, he was an AIDS denialist.”

    Just as there is no such thing as a “ni&&er” there is no such thing as an “AIDS denialist” other than a measure of hate, fear, phobia, and primitivism in the heart of whoever used the word. If those who take the position that the HIV/AIDS theory is whistle-clean, functioning, consistent, and solid were so sure they were right, they’d obviously not have to descend to the use of a de-humanizing spray-button that does the work, through prejudice and fear, that they don’t want to burden their actual souls with.

    If you go to http://www.aidsmythexposed.com, you can see for yourself hundreds of people around the world who write in discuss with one another the intense journey of being HIV positive, marked for death, and trying to find ways to strengthen the body, cast off the death sentence, transcend the stigma, survive the hate they encounter when friends and loved ones discover they don’t believe HIV necessarily will kill them, make the right choices about treatment vs. non treatment, and most importantly, how to become and remain human in the face of such overwhelming hatred-the kind that flashed in Scott’s comments.

    In all diseases, people take different routes. In all diseases, people factor in the deeper reasons why they got sick, how the mind affects the illness, how to walk the line between toxic treatments that “work” and those that do not.

    Nobody denies the existence of AIDS-a fairly crude word used to describe an array of problems that arise when the body becomes weakened and depleted, and immunity is lowered. Speaking for myself, after 22 years, I am still unclear what the definition IS.

    When Christine’s daughter E.J. died, after a flu, with her eyes open, in cardiac arrest, after a short but healthy life, after taking an antibiotic, and with an immune system that was intact, as measured by her high level of total lymphocyte counts, (between 10,000 and 14,000) and no HIV positive test result (her blood was corrupted) and when her older brother tests negative to this day (would HIV skip one child and infect only the second one?) and when Christine dies in her sleep after a short battle with bronchial pneumonia and nothing at all is known about her immune system status, I simply have to say that I am very confused about what it means anymore to say that a person died of “AIDS.”

    AIDS, when I began writing about it, in 1986, was a slow, extreme, devastating disease, that did not strike people dead all of a sudden like this. It took time. It took time to develop opportunistic infections (Christine, in 16 years, never had one,) the collapse of the immune system was slow, and the illnesses that manifested were fairly consistent.

    When detractors of AIDS skeptics shout “AIDS!” at every turn, they are just reinforcing their superstitious, sloppy, unscientific, and non-rational approach to a profoundly complex set of medical questions.

    An honest person might say: If E.J. had an intact immune system, by WHO standards (total lymphocyte count) and never tested positive, then we can’t say she died of AIDS, even if we hate her mother.

    About Christine, an honest person would say: “I will refrain from comment, no matter how much the urge to lord my superior morality and intellect overwhelms me, until I have some information about her immune system, lymphocyte counts, CD4 cells, exact cause of death, etc. ” This would show the rest of us that the person does not wish to win dishonestly, but wishes for truth. It would also suggest an absence of malice.

    Now, regarding the credibility of LA Country Coroner James Ribe, I am staggered by Scott’s comment. Scott, you must not have made yourself aware of the fact that Ribe is a widely discredited coroner against whom a massive, bulging dossier of complaints, lawsuits, etc, exists, and who has been shamed repeatedly in and out of court, including having to admit that he made egregious errors in autopsies that sent innocent parents to prison who were later released when the cases were re-examined. Christine used to call me and tell me about these shocking violations Ribe had committed, and being Christine, she never said anything without documenting it first.

    Ribe was scheduled to be cross-examined within two days of Christine’s death, in a lawsuit the family had brought against the LA County Coroner’s office, for their gross mismanagement in the handling of E.J.’s autopsy. Two short facts: The first autopsy found no cause of death. When Ribe was brought in, it took him a few months to construct an “AIDS” death for Eliza Jane. That secondary interpretation, which drove Christine’s critics so wild with lust, was actually handed over to the L.A. Times before it was given to Christine and Robin. Yes I am serious. Christine got a call from an L.A. Times reporter who asked her to comment on her daughter’s death from AIDS. She said: “I don’t even know what you are talking about.”

    It would be days before the family got their own copy.

    If that, to you, does not reek of foul play, if that is what respectability looks like, then I suggest you are overly devoted to your guiding ideologies and can’t think straight.

  30. #30 Dr Aust
    January 1, 2009

    …I have no desire to go into cause of death on Orac’s blog. Especially considering those who make up Orac’s readers such as the one singing “ding dong the witch is dead” in regards to Christine Maggiore’s passing. There would be no point to discuss such matters with these individuals…

    I don’t see much of the kind of sentiment you indicate in that comment on this thread, Michael. Maggiore’s death is a tragedy for her and for her surviving family, especially her son. Many people here have said so. The tragedy of her death, though, is made the greater because it was probably preventable, as almost certainly was her daughter’s. That – and the psychological toll of denialism so pithily summed up by Snout – is how most people here see things.

    Since this is a blog read by many doctors, scientists and the science-interested, it is not surprising to find that most of the ire expressed here is actually directed against the pseudo-scientific and scientific originators and “enablers” of Christine Maggiore’s fateful denialism. The tragic flaw in Professor Duesberg’s character, I would contend, lies precisely in the fact that he would almost certainly never be able to consider, even for a moment, that he might bear a measure of responsibility for Christine Maggiore’s and her daughter’s fates.

  31. #31 Seth Kalichman
    January 1, 2009

    David Crowe (who has not yet been proven to exist see http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/) said:

    “A week and a half ago, Christine was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia and did not conjure the strength to overcome it”

    In the US, deaths from pneumonia under age 65 are exceedingly rare except in AIDS patients. Among people 65 and older, influenza and pneumonia combined account for less than 3% of all deaths. Across all age groups, including infants and the elderly, pneumonia ranks 67th among all causes of death in the US. In 2004, 58,564 people in the US died of pneumonia, of which 3,649 (6%) were under the age of 55. We can extrapolate to conclude that around one in three of young people who die of pneumonia have AIDS.

    The denialists will have us believe that this 52 year old woman who had at least at some point tested HIV+, refused treatment, made AIDS denial her cause, and tragically had a baby die of a what the LA coroner ruled AIDS…that this woman succumbed to pneumonia that was not AIDS-related?

    That’s why they call it denial.
    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com

  32. #32 Seth Kalichman
    January 1, 2009

    David Crowe (who has not yet been proven to exist see http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/) said:

    “A week and a half ago, Christine was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia and did not conjure the strength to overcome it”

    In the US, deaths from pneumonia under age 65 are exceedingly rare except in AIDS patients. Among people 65 and older, influenza and pneumonia combined account for less than 3% of all deaths. Across all age groups, including infants and the elderly, pneumonia ranks 67th among all causes of death in the US. In 2004, 58,564 people in the US died of pneumonia, of which 3,649 (6%) were under the age of 55. We can extrapolate to conclude that around one in three of young people who die of pneumonia have AIDS.

    The denialists will have us believe that this 52 year old woman who had at least at some point tested HIV+, refused treatment, made AIDS denial her cause, and tragically had a baby die of a what the LA coroner ruled AIDS…that this woman succumbed to pneumonia that was not AIDS-related?

    That’s why they call it denial.
    Seth Kalichman

  33. #33 stammering Dave
    January 1, 2009

    Thousands of people with “A” personalities are subjected to public scrutiny, public ridicule, and spiteful caricature on a daily basis, quite a few of them for many, many years. They are called politicians. They rarely get a moment’s privacy. They are tailed by protesters everywhere they go. They receive regular threats of physical violence (you know, similar to the ones Michael Geiger has made about prominent HIV scientists). All of it at a volume and frequency that surpasses anything Maggiore ever encountered, and all the while holding down a job with staggering responsibilities.

    Strange enough, but Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, Rod Blagojevich, and Dick Cheney are all still alive.

  34. #34 Chris Noble
    January 1, 2009

    It is also worth adding that if you do a “detox” or a “cleanse” and your symptoms get worse it is not a sign that the “treatment” is working. It is not a side effect of detoxification. It is not a sign of “rapid die off of parasites”. It is an indication that “detoxes” and “cleanses” don’t work.

  35. #35 Alcoholics Anonymous
    January 1, 2009

    Chris said, and I will always love to quote: “It is an indication that “detoxes” and “cleanses” don’t work”.

    THAT explains it Chris!

    I have always suspected you to be either an alcoholic or a drug addict who has not detoxed or bathed in years. Fully explains the stench left in my nostrils after reading each and every one of your oh-so-thoughtful posts.

    Please Chris, for our sake and the sake of all of our nostrils, do go detox for a day or two, and please do go take a shower and cleanse yourself for a change.

    Seriously, Chris. It won’t kill you to put down the bottle or take a bath once in a while. I promise.

  36. #36 Robster, FCD
    January 1, 2009

    Wow, Celia is just plain flat out ignorant. EJ never had an HIV test because her mother wouldn’t allow it. Autopsy, on the other hand, clearly demonstrated, with controls, that EJ was infected, and displayed massive HIV infection of the brain.

    Michael, Celia and others can attack the coroner all they want for giving an answer they didn’t like, but with all the different people who conducted all those tests, performed all those investigations, and all of the evidence supporting pediatric AIDS and PCP pneumonia as the cause of death, all you have to fall back on is some murky conspiracy and the claims of a wholly unqualified supporter of Maggiore that it was a misdiagnoses, pointing to anaphylaxis of a completely new type.

    Michael, you came here, trotted out the lie that EJ died of an allergic reaction of a type never before seen in medical history, and while matching the signs of pediatric AIDS (something that you have ignored repeatedly), that you don’t want to discuss the details of her death. No surprise there.

    And I see that you still believe that stress causes AIDS, without accepting the criticism that of all the stressed and or depressed people out there, the only ones who develop AIDS are coincidentally the ones infected with HIV.

    What does this make it, Michael? How many of your fellow anti science evangelists have died of the disease that they deny the evidence for? How many more, Michael? How many more before you come to your senses and quit denying the evidence right before your eyes?

    ——-

    Michael will do as he has done so many times before, become more and more indignant, begin making personal attacks, and eventually earn himself a ban until he can calm down.

  37. #37 Joseph C.
    January 1, 2009

    Michael will do as he has done so many times before, become more and more indignant, begin making personal attacks, and eventually earn himself a ban until he can calm down.

    Looks like it has already started. In a really sad and pathetic manner no less. It’s just as well as it further underscores the anti-rational basis behind the “re-thinkers”.

  38. #38 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Huhhh???

    Try that again in plain English there Rob and Joseph.

    Could you please clarify, exactly what it was, other than daring to disagree with the likes of you, that I had presented in my posts above that qualifies me as needing your pity or underscores some imagined “anti-rational basis behind the “re-thinkers””.

    Otherwise, the only rational conclusion anyone could possibly draw out of your babbling posts is that you and your posts themselves, are completely irrational.

  39. #39 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    DT, same goes for you. Please clarify what you mean as you seem to be rambling. You seem to have one foot in reality and the other on a banana peel.

    You said, as if you are expert on the subject: “Stress can cause a degree of minor immunodeficiency.”

    What degree of stress causes what degree of immunodeficiency, DT?

    And please share with me quantitatively what stress Christine was under having lost her child, having been accused by you of murder, having been excoriated in the press, tv, and internet, having been the recipient of murder threats, having been scheduled to testify against the coroner just 3 days after she passed away.

    Just how much stress was she under, DT?

    And what would be the immune system susceptibilities resulting from such stress in any mere hiv negative person, such as yourself, if you were in her shoes?

  40. #40 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Oh, and by the way Rob and DT and of course Chris Noble, it really is a pleasure to hear from you all again. Just like the good old days. How nice of you to come out to join us in this celebration of Christine Maggiore’s life and accomplishments in forwarding good science.

    What’s that? Your not here to celebrate her life?

    Oh. Excuse me. I didn’t mean to interrupt whatever it is that all of you are here celebrating.

  41. #41 Joseph C.
    January 1, 2009

    Mikey,

    It’s quite simple. Since you don’t have science or reason on your side, you’re degrading into low-level insults. And you’re failing at that as well. Sad, really.

  42. #42 Lurkbot
    January 1, 2009

    Well, I for one am grateful for this clarification. Obviously stress is the answer to everything!

    Stress had never existed in human history until it was invented in 1981. Then it started causing all these symptoms that no one had seen together as a syndrome before, killing people by the thousands. The fact that these same people were also infected with a new virus that no one had ever seen before was of course purely coincidental.

    Then, in the 90s, people began being treated with combinations of antiretroviral drugs and this lowered their stress levels so much that they stopped dying, at least in such prolific numbers. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    How could you morans possibly think that a virus that attacks the immune system itself could possibly cause immune deficiency, when stress is so obviously the culprit? Stop drinking the Kool-Aid!

    I for one welcome our new non-science-based overlords!

  43. #43 Michael Geiger
    January 1, 2009

    Dear Lurkbot, again it seems that without some rational clarification of who you are calling morons on Kool-Aid, it would seem that you too are a babbling fountain of irrationality and are likely referring to your own self.

    Lurkbot, could you please clarify which of the following researchers you are addressing as a moron, all of whom have investigated stress and found it to be a leading indicator as regards the health of the immune system:

    (Elliott & Eisdorfer, 1982)

    (McEwen & Stellar, 1993)

    (Brosschot, et al, 1994)

    Or are you referring to the 2001 National Academy of Sciences/UCLA study that was the first to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms linking stress and HIV infection.

    “Popular science has widely suspected that stress weakens the immune system,” said Dr. Steve Cole, lead author and UCLA assistant professor of hematology-oncology. “Now we’ve uncovered two reasons why.”

    Or are you referring to the recent: 2005: Ironson Gail Psychosocial factors predict CD4 and viral load change in men and women with human immunodeficiency virus in the era of highly active antiretroviral treatment. Psychosomatic medicine 2005;67(6):1013-21.

  44. #44 Robster, FCD
    January 1, 2009

    Michael, Christine’s only contribution to science was to conduct a non clinical trial, with an n of 2, demonstrating that untreated HIV/AIDS typically leads to death. Perhaps I should “reappraise” that statement. She did seek treatment, but not for HIV, in the form of “detox” and “cleansing” from some nut. Pseudoscience and quackery to the end.

    If only she hadn’t dragged so many with her.

    Why is it Michael, (1) with all those stressed and depressed individuals out there, that only HIV positive ones develop AIDS, and (2) why is it that HAART, targeted against HIV, prevents disease progression and greatly increases lifespan of HIV+ individuals?

  45. #45 PalMD
    January 2, 2009

    I thing you guys should take i easy on Michael because he has an advantage that you all lack—he has the creative ability to look at the data and see something completely different than qualified people. He can see that, despite any lack of real education of his own in the field, all of the doctors, virologists, and epidemiologists are wrong. Really, it’s amazing.

  46. #46 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Rob,

    As I said before, you are going to need to clarify your broadly brushed statements in order for any rational communications to occur.

    Could you please show me where these two statements posed as questions by you are proven to be facts:

    #1 with all those stressed and depressed individuals out there, that only HIV positive ones develop AIDS,

    Please clarify what you are asking me to answer here, Rob, because Aids is not in itself a disease. It is a description of a condition of immune suppression, and for you to claim that hiv is the cause of it would require more proof than simply labeling it as such. Particularly as all of the aids defining diseases are not even placed under the umbrella description of “AIDS” unless someone is diagnosed as hiv positive. So exactly which of the AIDS defining actual diseases are you claiming are only found in hiv positives that other highly stressed, but hiv negative individuals are immune to?

    The fact is, not a single one of them are restricted to only hiv positives, therefore your assumption that they are is automatically falsified as nothing but circular logic that fails to be proven in anyones reality. So please reword your question and please base it on verified and proven facts, not wordplay.

    and next you asked:

    (2) why is it that HAART, targeted against HIV, prevents disease progression and greatly increases lifespan of HIV+ individuals?

    Please state your sources for what you are presenting here as facts, as there is no study that shows haart prevents disease progression. Most studies are simply comparing the years of highly toxic high dosage AZT monotherapy versus the effects of various other less immediately toxic but still black label drugs.

    Such comparisons do not prove haart the effects of haart to be lifesaving, but merely verify they are less quick to result in death than AZT.

    Furthermore, your statement is also not backed up by any studies whatsoever that show such increased lifespan in those taking haart versus those who do not. Such evidence is the minimal required for you to present that haart does any such thing. Considering the CDC claims that fully 50% of hiv positives are not taking any aids drugs, it should be very simple to enroll a study between the 50% that chooses to, and the 50% that chooses not to take the drugs.

    There are no such studies Seth, so you have no proof of your supposition as being a statement based upon any facts, and as such, is confirmed again as nothing more than a statement of your personal beliefs.

    Furthermore, the CDC graph at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hus/previous.htm#editions clearly shows that the slope of the curve for median age of death shows no pronounced turn upwards following haart 1996 to 2004.

    Therefore, a reasonable conclusion is that haart is not proven to increase anyones lifespan.

    This clearly shows your supposition that any lifespan increase has nothing to do whatsoever with haart, and in fact, lends credence to the likelihood that any such improvement is likely psychosomatic in origin.

    Therefore, Rob, your questions are fully answered. My turn:

    If AIDS patients are now enjoying a virtually normal life-span, who are the people still dying at median age 45? If HAART is saving lives, why aren’t those lives longer?

  47. #47 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Dear Palmd,

    Thanks for your concern, but my IQ of 137, which undoubtedly is quite a bit higher even than your own, should shield me sufficiently from those who lack my own higher skills of comprehension and interpretation of the symbology of data.

    The only question would be whether I have sufficient patience to tolerate the slower comprehension speed of those whose IQ is lesser and whose comprehension skills are weak.

  48. #48 cooler
    January 2, 2009

    According to the CDC 90,000 people died of pneumonia in 1999.

    “Pneumonia is a lung disease that can be caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, and sometimes fungi. The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate nearly 90,000 people in the United States died from one of several kinds of pneumonia in 1999.”

    If you have HIV antibody and pneumonia you have AIDS, w/o is pneumonia. A hypothesis solely based on correlation thats an artifact of the definition! Even a 100% correlation doesn’t prove anything since all people that die of old age have wrinkles, it doesn’t mean wrinkles cause death in old people!

    And the HIV hypothesis is far less than a 100% correlation that since most HIV people are totally healthy, but the CDC can extend the latent period from 10 months to 10 years like they did to get around that!

    No animal model, no viral load ever photographed from a pateint with the EM, a virus that in 1/1000 cells, never has a wild animal died of SIV.

    The basis of the hypothesis is some correlation where the cause and effect are seperated by in this case almost 20 years. Well I’m sure all those people who died of pnemumonia had eaten ice cream 20 years ago. There is a near 100% correlation between people who eat ice cream and people that die of pneumonia! It must be the cause when its the there, and when it isn’t the original disease is then responsible!

  49. #49 Lurkbot
    January 2, 2009

    An IQ of 137, and he thinks I reversed my focus for the third paragraph of my last post?

    I guess there’s no correlation between IQ and reading comprehension. But then surely every idiot must have read in the last 20…oh, I give up. I don’t speak Whackaloon.

  50. #50 Orac
    January 2, 2009

    Thanks for your concern, but my IQ of 137, which undoubtedly is quite a bit higher even than your own, should shield me sufficiently from those who lack my own higher skills of comprehension and interpretation of the symbology of data.

    LOL!

    You know, bragging about one’s IQ does not impress; indeed, it strikes me as a pathetically desperate ploy to “prove” one’s superiority. Here’s a hint: IQ has little to do with the ability to construct a logical, coherent argument, as you yourself demonstrate. Moreover, methinks you are too enamored of your IQ; perhaps it gives you a false sense of your own ability to understand things outside of your field.

  51. #51 anonimouse
    January 2, 2009

    Please stop feeding the HIV denialist trolls.

  52. #52 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Orac, said: “perhaps it gives you a false sense of your own ability to understand things outside of your field”.

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to point out exactly what it is that I failed to understand. And in concise and clear english, with clarity, unlike the posts of Aust, DT, Rob, lurker, and Palmd, who so far, have said nothing, nor backed up even a single word of their collective babblings with any verified or verifiable facts.

    So please do, Orac, and this time without running away to hide behind your own bloated blatherings, please do point out my exact errors in anything I have posted above.

  53. #53 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Michael, Intentionally dense again? 1, you are the one playing word games and you know it. I’ll try this one more time. Why is an HIV+ individual far more likely to develop said diseases than other individuals? It isn’t just stress or depression, as those are not as strongly predictive as being HIV+, and are not only present among HIV+ individuals.

    2, more word games, and suggestions of plainly unethical studies. I could offer you studies, but you will lie, claim they are biased, or simply ignore that I posted them. We have been through this over and over, and still you deny the evidence. Search pubmed on your own.

    Which specific link at the cdc site are you asking us to look at? The CDC certainly thinks that HAART has improved life expectancy. Probably because they actually looked at the evidence. A page number would be nice, too. I did find in the 06 pdf that since HAART became available, death rates from HIV have dropped and number of years lost by 75 for every 100,000 residents is down by half or more in most groups. Interestingly, the sharpest decrease in death rates was between 95 and 98. Wonder why that was…

  54. #54 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    cooler, There is a reason why HIV status is important. People who are HIV+ are far more likely to develop diseases like pneumonia (only an AIDS defining illness if you have two cases in a year, but you should know that since you posted it just a day ago, or don’t you read your own posts), especially rare types, like PCP.

    Hence, even if they do get better, they are still at a much higher risk of developing another opportunistic infection. The average person doesn’t develop PCP and KS and shingles. But an HIV+ person can, especially without treatment.

  55. #55 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    By the way, PalMD.

    I thank you for the compliment, and sincerely agree.

  56. #56 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Rob, your present question is indeed much more carefully and clearly worded. And therefore is much easier to get to the point.

    You asked “Why is an HIV+ individual far more likely to develop said diseases than other individuals?” You also stated: “It isn’t just stress or depression, as those are not as strongly predictive as being HIV+, and are not only present among HIV+ individuals”.

    I think you are clearly on track here to getting closer to the crux of human health issues. You are correct, there are most generally other often obvious factors than just stress or depression. Of course it is difficult to quantify either of these two factors, and certainly one needs to factor in length of time, physical condition, diet, toxins such as drugs, both legal and illicit and the various interactions, frequencies, and quantities of such, along with genetics, beliefs, level of consciousness, ie; likelihood to be suffering from lower levels of internalized shame, guilt, grief, fear, and add to this the pathogens that any risk group is also more exposed to, in both pathogens and frequencies and quantities, and certainly other unknowable factors as well.

    So obviously, in considering all of the factors involved, it becomes quickly obvious that there are so many variables that the very idea of blaming illness on a single pathogen such as hiv quickly becomes obvious to be a very immature and childish way of perceiving reality.

    As to your question, or point number 2, or whatever it is you wrote: “more word games, and suggestions of plainly unethical studies. I could offer you studies, but you will lie, claim they are biased, or simply ignore that I posted them. We have been through this over and over, and still you deny the evidence. Search pubmed on your own”.

    You again seem to be rambling incoherently. Could you please try again with clarity and based upon verifiable facts.

  57. #57 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Rob, you said to Cooler: “People who are HIV+ are far more likely to develop diseases like pneumonia”.

    They are also more likely to be stressed, depressed, with a history of drug abuse and are also likely to be taking black label known toxic drugs, and are also more likely to have had previous health problems completely unrelated to aids issues. The are more likely to be socially isolated, suffering from lower levels of consciousness, suffering from internalized self loathing, have poor diets, and be weakened by the effects of the black label drugs they are taking.

    What exactly does hiv have to do with any of that?

    Nothing at all.

    You also said to Cooler “The average person doesn’t develop PCP and KS”.

    Why would they unless they too had the same issues as discussed above.

    Furthermore, PCP and KS were only predominant in the gay community who had their own exclusive cofactors such as poppers abuse. These have never been the major issues of the hiv positives in Africa, inner city blacks, or hemophilliacs.

    Explain this, or it becomes obvious that these are not in any way, shape, or form exclusive to hiv, but are solely exclusive to lifestyle factors.

  58. #58 Militant Agnostic
    January 2, 2009

    As I have said about Cooler previously, and I think this also applies to Micheal Gieger – they are unable to use Occam’s Razor because they are not allowed to have sharp objects.

    Lurkbot – Surely there must be an English to Whackaloon translator on the internet somewhere.

    Tom Rousell nailed it

    Some people will rebel against any type of authority their whole lives. It somehow adds meaning and drama to the way they think, and for them truth is something you create yourself and has nothing to do with the facts. Science can have this problem too, but it usually gets worked out.

    With regard to the couple of harsh comments om Christine Maggiores death in the previous thread, contrary to to what Micheal Gieger implied Orac came down on them like a ton of bricks. I think the venom of those comments may have resulted the commenters losing a friend to HIV denialism.

  59. #59 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Mil Ag, you too have just done nothing but ramble incoherently, without any point, while making completely unsupported accusations such as

    “they are unable to use Occam’s Razor”.

    And what exactly is your own fully and supported proofs and evidences of my inability to use Occam’s Razor?

  60. #60 cooler
    January 2, 2009

    Yes, mil agonstic et al, what were the scientific papers you read that convinced you HIV killed nearly every person infected and can you please cite and breifly summarize them so we can make sure you even read them. Waiting, spamming a website doesn’t count.

  61. #61 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Prove to us, then, Michael, that you have such a big IQ, and didn’t make a mistake and accidentally moved a decimal point. (And remember that Linus Pauling believed some pretty crazy things, too, and was pretty damn smart in his own right)

    What exact link and page at the CDC were you referring to? I found tables in both the 06 and 07 reports that showed that death rates and years lost dropped sharply in the 90s, as well as a commentary that said that HAART was largely responsible, as well as a paper cited that said that HIV+ individuals may be able to have a normal life expectancy due to HAART, so I would be greatly surprised if you are being honest, or even remembering the data correctly. Lets see that page.

    Your argument that HIV status has everything and nothing to do with AIDS is baffling. Why is HIV status so predictive? Because HIV depletes an important part of the human immune system, for which there is ample scientific evidence, or that stress is the only factor, but somehow, only people who are HIV+, even if they don’t know it, even before HIV had been discovered, have a defined set of risk factors that no other stressed group has. That is where you fail to use Occam’s razor.

    But hey, keep pushing those old rumors about poppers being the cause of KS instead of HHV8.

  62. #62 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Robster, see: Age Distributions of AIDS Diagnoses and AIDS Deaths, 1982-2004
    from annual “Health, United States” reports.

    You also said: “Your argument that HIV status has everything and nothing to do with AIDS is baffling. Why is HIV status so predictive?”

    Yes, it can be baffling. Though things begin to fall into place as not baffling at all, the moment you expand your preconceptions to a place of considering that the understanding that the tests do not seem to be finding a sexually transmitted retrovirus may be incorrect, but that they are more likely finding markers of other processes at work.

    This is evidenced and fact based in multiple ways. The elisa and WB tests are antibody tests. They look for several antigen bands and the accumulation of certain bands determine who is said to be hiv positive.

    Yet, the more one is exposed to the various factors that spring all of these proteins on this band test, the more the tests are likely to show as positive.

    Once these AB tests are confirmed, not by witnessing a virus, but by agreeing with each other as positive for a certain number of bands, then one is given PCR tests to determine how much of whatever is springing the AB tests is done.

    But the circular logic of using PCR is evidenced by the easily verified fact that hiv negatives on both the elisa and wb tests very commonly register as having “viral loads” from low counts to high counts on the PCR tests. So now we are using 3 nonspecific tests as confirmation of each other. Still not confirmed by any verified present retrovirus.

    Therefore, if the basic problem is in the diagnosis as having a retrovirus to begin with, then one is forced to look at all other possibilities. Once looked at from this perspective, one quickly notices that nearly the only ones taking the hiv tests are those who are most likely to set off the antibody tests to begin with, ie; the ones who expose themselves to the most likely stressors, conditions, and various groups of pathogens that are also verified in science journals to set the antibody tests off. This also fully explains why the correlation between hiv tests and any illness exists in the first place.

    Great way to keep the blood supply safe, which by the way is what the hiv tests were designed for, as they were not designed to diagnose disease. But surely a terrible way to diagnose the masses of people who nonetheless demanded some sort of test to find out if they had a certain retrovirus.

    Yet the actual connection between the tests and any actual retrovirus is very week and also based on suppositions that what the tests are finding are reactions to a retrovirus, as you will see next.

    Let me give you a good example. the protein weight p24 is commonly the only antigen used to evidence that a retrovirus is supposedly the cause of tissue or cell infection. Most research labs researching hiv infection base ALL assumptions of infection ONLY on p24.

    But waitacottonpickinminute…..Lets investigate p24 for just a moment.

    GOOGLE p24, and you will see it is far from specific for any retrovirus, and that it is not even proved to have anything to do with verified isolated retrovirus. Although it is proved to often have to do with rna in yeasts, as well as rna transcription that is common in all plants and animals, and also, and GET THIS, p24 has much to do with the Golgi apparatus and capsid proteins in human cells.

    Don’t take my word for it, google it yourself.

    Suddenly, the reasons why hiv baffles you and science and medicine becomes quite self apparent. Evidently science moved on and other branches of science than the hiv researchers soon discovered that what is being used as hiv markers, and is claimed as specific for hiv were indeed NOT specific at all, but HIV research fully and most likely intentionally ignored this, and thus hiv science remained stuck in mistakes and miscalculations of 1984.

    However, if you simply disregard all of this, and are only capable, or willing to look at it from only one pov that hiv is what is being evidenced by elisa, wb, and pcr, then you can only see only what will fit in line that that pov, as hiv researchers do.

    Once you step back and look at other more logical possibilities that fully fit the other aspects , suddenly it becomes quite apparent that hiv is not even sexually transmitted, the tests truly are innacurate. That whatever it is they are indicating has nothing to do with a retrovirus, and then and only then can you even begin to look at what actually is verified and verifiable, and not just projecting onto it what you have been programmed by repetition to believe, or what you simply want to believe.

    Really, quite simple. not baffling at all. The only thing that remains baffling is why anyone would yet continue to believe in hiv in the face of such verified and proven evidence of error.

  63. #63 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Robster, You are also going to need to decide if KS is specific to hhv8 or is specific to hiv. Your first posts about it indicated it as being hiv specific, your second post about it indicated it is hhv8 specific.

    And yes, it could have indicated both. But it could just as easily indicate poppers as the vast majority of those admitting using poppers dealt with KS and/or pcp. Why would you rule it out as an impossibility. Do you believe sniffing that shit is healthy, even though it is a proven mutagenic cancer causing agent when it was tested on animals?

    Oh, nevermind. This one is going to go in a circle too, unless you are capable of investigating and understanding the statements of my just prior post.

  64. #64 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Self, you said: “Really, quite simple. not baffling at all. The only thing that remains baffling is why anyone would yet continue to believe in hiv in the face of such verified and proven evidence of error”.

    Could you clarify what you mean by “error”?

    Yes, I can.

    I mean, the greatest mistake in impact and the deadliest scientific blunder of all time.

    And all who block proper scientific review of hiv/aids science are fully culpable in exacerbating it, and fully culpable of every preventable death by facing the actual causes of illness instead of chasing this boogeyman ghost of a belief.

  65. #65 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    HAHAHAHA! There are more than one p24s, Mikey! Yes, there is a golgi associated protein, but there is also the HIV capsid protein, one of the proteins coded for by the gag gene. Wow. Complete and total lack of scientific literacy there. From that completely basic error, the rest of your claim completely falls apart.

    And you still haven’t explained why HIV status is so strongly predictive of a specific subset of diseases.

    I searched the pdfs for 04-07 for “Age distributions” and nothing more than details of how figures were produced came up. Try again. Specific year. Specific page. I have a very strong suspicion from the title that you didn’t read what you think you did.

  66. #66 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    KS is caused by HHV8. KS is not found only in HIV+ individuals, but it is far more common to HIV+ individuals. KS is not caused by amyl nitrate.

    I rule it out because it has been demonstrated to be false in the scientific literature, check pubmed.

  67. #67 Snout
    January 2, 2009

    Michael siad:

    GET THIS, p24 has much to do with the Golgi apparatus and capsid proteins in human cells.

    Err, no. You are talking about two completely different proteins (that’s what the “p” stands for) that both happen to be approximately 24 kilodaltons in size (that’s the “24” bit).

    Furthermore, the CDC graph at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hus/previous.htm#editions clearly shows that the slope of the curve for median age of death shows no pronounced turn upwards following haart 1996 to 2004.

    Therefore, a reasonable conclusion is that haart is not proven to increase anyones lifespan.

    Umm, no. You are parroting Henry Bauer’s nonsense. Large increases in life expectancy for a population over a short period don’t result in large increases in median age of death in the same period. They result in large falls in mortality. The median age of death increases incrementally over subsequent years, but doesn’t fully reflect the increased life expectancy until all the cohort has lived their extra years of survival. Henry simply doesn’t understand the math. Hint: your age of death cannot be registered until you actually die.

    Is anyone keeping a list of all of Michael’s made-up factoids?

    Can I nominate “Kaposi’s is not a major issue among African HIV positives” as well?

  68. #68 Chris Noble
    January 2, 2009

    GOOGLE p24, and you will see it is far from specific for any retrovirus, and that it is not even proved to have anything to do with verified isolated retrovirus. Although it is proved to often have to do with rna in yeasts, as well as rna transcription that is common in all plants and animals, and also, and GET THIS, p24 has much to do with the Golgi apparatus and capsid proteins in human cells.

    This has been personally explained to you before. The label p24 simply means that the protein has a molecular of 24 kilo Daltons. Not every protein that has a molecular weight of 24 kilo Daltons is HIV p24. The amino acid sequence is important not just the number.

    Your paragraph that I quoted has 76 words. It is unique. There are millions of other paragraphs containing 76 words but they are not the same.

    Why is it that you still don’t understand this very simple concept after such a long time?

  69. #69 Dianne
    January 2, 2009

    Can I nominate “Kaposi’s is not a major issue among African HIV positives” as well?

    A good one. Particularly since simply putting “Kaposi’s, Africa” into medline results in 614 hits.

    I’d also like to add his claim that PCP pneumonia isn’t a problem in groups who acquire HIV by means other than homosexual contact, given that PCP pneumonia is more common in hemophiliacs without other risk factors than in hemophiliacs who were also gay males.

  70. #70 Dianne
    January 2, 2009

    I’d also like to add my inquiry to this “stress” theory of immunosuppression. Any time a child goes missing or is killed, the parents are suspected. This is logical from the law enforcement point of view–most people who are murdered are killed by those closest to them–but clearly very stressful for the parents, innocent or guilty. Why aren’t the parents of Madeline McMann dead of stress? Their daughter is missing–having a child missing is said to be even more stressful than the death of a child because of the lack of closure and fear/hope that the child might still be alive out there, maybe suffering horribly but maybe able to return to you some day–and they were suspected, villified in the media, and investigated by the police. Yet their immune systems seem to be working fine. Neither of them has died of PCP or any other sort of pneumonia. Why might that be? What caused Ms Maggiore to die in the face of stress–and I agree that she has undergone horrific stress that I would wish on no one–but nonetheless stress that many others have survived without so much as a clinically apparent infectious illness?

  71. #71 jeremy
    January 2, 2009

    Just popping in to say that this is a great forum. Even as a non-science professional, it’s amazing how quickly you can spot smoke and mirrors from hard scientific reality after following science blogs for a while. Story and comments are a great summary of the HIV/AIDS denialism position.

    Ciao

  72. #72 Rune from Oslo
    January 2, 2009

    Michael Geiger | January 2, 2009 12:48 AM

    “Thanks for your concern, but my IQ of 137, which undoubtedly is quite a bit higher even than your own,…..”

    Stephen Hawking:
    “I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.

    * Response upon being questioned as to his IQ, in interview with Deborah Solomon “The Science of Second-Guessing”, The New York Times (12 December 2004)”

  73. #73 Militant Agnostic
    January 2, 2009

    Rune – I will definitely steal that Hawking quote. It parallels my experience – I have known intelligent people who were memebers of Mensa, but everyone I met who flaunted their Mensa membership turned out to be a complete idiot.

  74. #74 Orac
    January 2, 2009

    Indeed. I love that Hawking quote, so much so that I Googled it. It’s legit:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/magazine/12QUESTIONS.html

  75. #75 Michael Geiger
    January 2, 2009

    Gees, guys. 137 test score is not all that. Actually I would have thought that many here on the science blogs have much higher IQ’s, as they so often seem to me to be utterly brilliant idiots.

    And by the way I do concur with you that IQ is meaningless, for the very reason that any rational mind is still fully capable of misunderstanding and wrongly rationalizing the symbology of data, or of missing the “bigger picture” while rationalizing any given belief.

    To me, that is exactly what Gallo and company had done when they rationalized that a mere 36 out of 72 of serum samples from aids patients that had tested as showing RT activity, meant that a retrovirus is the probable cause of aids. After all, that is the basis of the evidence he presented in SCIENCE 1984. Excuse me, but I fail to follow that kind of logic, even with having an IQ anywhere over what would be considered by all as an idiot.

    History does show this rationalization to often enough be the case among any who are to be considered intelligent. That is the very reason that I believe that none of us can afford to simply rationalize that HIV is the cause of AIDS simply because someone in a position of authority who is deemed to be intelligent said so on the white house steps.

    After all, it IS just as often more of a liability to have a high IQ than not to, as the human mind can indeed rationalize itself into believing nearly anything. I myself am not sure what the happy medium would be, but I am comfortable with 137. Not too high that I would think myself so brilliant that I am so smart as to be infallible, but not too low either, to believe I deserve to suffer the remarks of how stupid or ignorant I am because I disagree with many of your own seemingly overly smug, puffed up, and self declared as all knowing about hiv’ists that all of you orthodox believers seem to present your own selves to be when confronted by anyone and everyone who disagrees with you on anything at all.

    Back to Rob,

    Rob, surely, I would not want you to rely on my own decimal points. But do it for yourself. Now that you have found the tables from the cdc HUS reports, make yourself a little chart for all years from 82 to 2004 from the HUS reports. You will need to begin with the figures from HUS 1988 for the 1982 figures, and so on, as the figures were adjusted over the years.

    Next to each year, keep track of age at diagnosis of aids and age of death. Then find the median ages of both categories per year.

    Now look at what you have on your chart: the median pre-haart age of aids diagnoses and median pre-haart age of aids deaths, and you also have the median post-haart ages for both as well. Now compare pre-haart to post-haart and what have you got?

  76. #76 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Reading comprehension, Michael. Year and page, please.

  77. #77 Rogue Epidemiologist
    January 2, 2009

    Okay, suppose for just one minute there was an iota of truth to the idea that Eliza Jane Scovill died of amoxicillin allergy…

    Did no one look at her blood levels of IgE and IgA? Surely they must have been sky high.

    Not trying to troll, btw.

  78. #78 anonimouse
    January 2, 2009

    Of course, what’s latent in all of Geiger’s ramblings is blaming the victim – i.e., the reason HIV+ people are sick isn’t because of the virus, but because they are bad people doing bad things to their bodies. Using that logic, Christine Maggiore brought her death upon herself, right, Michael?

    Right?

  79. #79 Snout
    January 2, 2009

    Speaking of Henry Bauer’s idiocy, check out this little gem on his site:

    Another aspect that has long amused me is “Primary Infection (or Acute Infection). Primary HIV infection is the first stage of HIV disease, typically lasting only a week or two, when the virus first establishes itself in the body. Some researchers use the term acute HIV infection to describe the period of time between when a person is first infected with HIV and when antibodies (proteins made by the immune system in response to infection) against the virus are produced by the body (usually 6 to 12 weeks) and can be detected by an HIV test.”
    This may be the only disease where “Acute Infection” is used to describe a phase where there are typically no symptoms, and the infectious agent can’t even be detected in any part of the body.

    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/ucla%e2%80%99s-aids-%e2%80%9cbeetroot%e2%80%9d-institute-discovers-how-hiv-kills-cells/#comment-2162

    The guy is beyond ignorant, he’s a dangerous lunatic.

  80. #80 Third man in waiting
    January 2, 2009

    Meh, Bauer. Acute infection is just the part where HIV smashes the t-cell populations in the gut and other lymphoid tissues. You know, the smashing they never recover from? Oh, and did you hear of those flu-like signs? Nah, no symptoms at all.

    See, that’s the problem with doing some chemistry until you’re almost 40, looking for the Loch Ness Monster for the next 35 years, and then declaring yourself an overnite expert in HIV immunology in your middle seventies. Anyone who believes a thing Bauer writes is as far off-rocker as he is.

  81. #81 Ben
    January 3, 2009

    Certainly HHV-8 might contribute to African Sarcoma, why this insistence that it is related to HIV? Is it a correlative factor?

  82. #82 cooler
    January 3, 2009

    HHV8 is just another bogus microbe they’ve invented in recent years to explain away the real cause of KS, poppers.

    How many new deadly microbes have coincidentally involved in the past 20 years? West nile, hepatitis C, HHV -8, HPV, HIV, all based on partial corrleations and nothing else, with window periods extending to decades when no one is sick.

    Sounds like a bunch of D list scientists with wild imaginations. Luckily, these bogus microbes have made billions of dollars for drug companies like Chiron.

    Did you guys hear, nearly every person that dies of Pneumonia has eaten bread in the past 20 years, infact Christine had a couple slices 17 years ago, it must be the cause of her death!

  83. #83 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    cooler gets another F.

    How dare people discover viruses that he doesn’t understand!

    West Nile also has a very sort window, and HPV isn’t a new discovery.

  84. #84 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    West Nile was discovered in 1937. It didn’t make it to the US until 2001, which explains why cooler thinks it is new.

    We had evidence of HepC in the 70s, with identification in 87, and independent verification in 88. Acute HepC infection shows symptoms (sometimes mild, sometimes moderate) shortly after infection. Cooler’s problem appears to be that HepC infection isn’t always cleared, and can become chronic.

    KS is found primarily in the US among gay men with HIV infection, but it is not unheard of in North Africa and the Mediterranean region, where it is not isolated to sexual practices or amyl nitrate (popper use). Also, those who use poppers don’t always develop KS, but KS does not develop without HHV-8.

  85. #85 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    That should read, those who develop KS don’t all use poppers, but KS does not develop without HHV-8.

  86. #86 Becky Bets
    January 4, 2009

    Hey, just saw a new posting at dissidents4dumbees

    http://dissidents4dumbees.blogspot.com/2008/12/christine-maggiore.html#comments

    This was a private communication between AIDS Rethinkers when Celia Farber and Peter Duesberg won their Clean Hands Award. How did this leak? Is there a mole, a spy?

    Who the hell let this out!

    Please, do not read and do not share

    BB

  87. #87 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Orac you said:

    “Here’s a hint: IQ has little to do with the ability to construct a logical, coherent argument”.

    Orac, I am particularly thrilled that you’re such an expert on logical arguments, since your IQ obviously isn’t something to brag about even for a loser, because you also said:

    “I agree with the expressed sentiment, and, if an autopsy is done and it turns out that Maggiore did not die of an AIDS-related pneumonia, I will forthrightly admit my speculation was incorrect. I will also point out that, even if Maggiore did not die of AIDS, it would not in any way validate her HIV/AIDS denialist beliefs, although no doubt that’s exactly what denialists like Farber and Esmay would try to do.”

    I consider that a solid piece of basic logical thinking. Congratulations! Regardless what Maggiore died it wouldn’t validate her beliefs, that stands to reason. But you see, Orac, the thing about logic is that it is universally applicable. That’s how we can have, f. ex., analogous arguments. So what’s up with this:

    “If, on the other hand, however, an autopsy is performed and it does show PCP and other evidence of AIDS, will Farber and Esmay concede that AIDS killed Christine Maggiore?”?

    PCP is evidence of AIDS, in fact proof, because it should force a concession from Farber and Esmay on pain of being called denialists?!

    How is it, Orac, that HIV/AIDS theory can be proven by Maggiore’s death, but it can’t be disproven?

    It seems you’re so enamoured of your low IQ that you have strayed far beyond your competence by pontificating on logic and coherence. I’m convinced all the highly trained medical and scientific minds that make up your devout following here must be thinking exactly the same.

    Or have they not noticed that the argument they are all gathered here to celebrate is a classic example of the purest pseudoscience?

  88. #88 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Alice,

    No matter what Christine died of, it won’t change the evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS. An anecdote does not alter the hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed research articles.

  89. #89 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Robster,

    Thanks for restating the premise FCD, but I got it first time, as you will see if you actually read my post.

    I guess you don’t have much of an IQ to boast of either, since all you could do was parrot mindlessly the supreme pseudoscience you are being fed here.

    Are you guys also same old, same old in bed?

  90. #90 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Well then, Alice, do explain to us lesser beings how an anecdote overcomes evidence?

    Would being hit by a bus have disproved the theory that HIV is the cause of AIDS? Obviously not. So why would Christine’s death by any other means than AIDS related pneumonia act to disprove said theory?

    Please do explain your mighty logic.

  91. #91 Orac
    January 4, 2009

    How is it, Orac, that HIV/AIDS theory can be proven by Maggiore’s death, but it can’t be disproven?

    Speaking of incoherent and illogical arguments, Alice takes the prize. That’s a straw man, by the way. A pretty massive one. I didn’t say that AIDS theory could be proven by Maggiore’s death. What I said was that an autopsy could tell whether AIDS killed her, and even if AIDS didn’t kill her it would have no bearing on whether HIV caused AIDS. There’s plenty of other evidence independent of Maggiore’s existence and story that shows that HIV causes AIDS.

    Robster nailed it.

  92. #92 Michael Geiger
    January 4, 2009

    By the way I do concur with you that IQ is meaningless, I mean, just look at Robster and Orac for living proof, as they are living examples that any rational mind is still fully capable of misunderstanding and wrongly rationalizing the symbology of data, or of missing the “bigger picture” while rationalizing any given belief.

    To me, that is exactly what Gallo and company had done when they rationalized that a mere 36 out of 72 of serum samples from aids patients that had tested as showing RT activity, meant that a retrovirus is the probable cause of aids. After all, that is the basis of the evidence he presented in SCIENCE 1984. Excuse me, but I fail to follow that kind of logic, even with having an IQ anywhere over what would be considered by all as an idiot.

    History does show this rationalization to often enough be the case among any who are to be considered intelligent. That is the very reason that I believe that none of us can afford to simply rationalize that HIV is the cause of AIDS simply because someone in a position of authority who is deemed to be intelligent said so on the white house steps.

    After all, it IS just as often more of a liability to have a high IQ than not to, as the human mind can indeed rationalize itself into believing nearly anything. I myself am not sure what the happy medium would be, but I am comfortable with 137. Not too high that I would think myself so brilliant that I am so smart as to be infallible, but not too low either, to believe I deserve to suffer the remarks of how stupid or ignorant I am because I disagree with many of your own seemingly overly smug, puffed up, and self declared as all knowing about hiv’ists that all of you orthodox believers seem to present your own selves to be when confronted by anyone and everyone who disagrees with you on anything at all.

    Back to Rob,

    Rob, surely, I would not want you to rely on my own decimal points. But do it for yourself. Now that you have found the tables from the cdc HUS reports, make yourself a little chart for all years from 82 to 2004 from the HUS reports. You will need to begin with the figures from HUS 1988 for the 1982 figures, and so on, as the figures were adjusted over the years.

    Next to each year, keep track of age at diagnosis of aids and age of death. Then find the median ages of both categories per year.

    Now look at what you have on your chart: the median pre-haart age of aids diagnoses and median pre-haart age of aids deaths, and you also have the median post-haart ages for both as well. Now compare pre-haart to post-haart and what have you got?

  93. #93 Michael Geiger
    January 4, 2009

    Robster, in case you are unable to do the math yourself, what with your own limited abilities, Professor Henry Bauer has already done the math himself.

    Haart, unlike what you have been misled and are now misleading others to believe, has quite obviously extended no-ones life:

    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/haart-saves-lives-but-doesn't-prolong-them/

  94. #94 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Again, Mikey, page number and year. I request this because I can’t find a figure in the HUS reports with the title you are pointing to. Searching the PDF simply does not come up with it, regardless of the keywords chosen.

    ——

    Thanks, Orac.

  95. #95 Michael Geiger
    January 4, 2009

    Robster, are you really as simple minded as you appear to be?

    Never mind, the evidence is in on that question. Case closed.

  96. #96 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Micheal, I have been extremely patient. The table that you told me to look for, “Age Distributions of AIDS Diagnoses and AIDS Deaths, 1982-2004″, doesn’t show up when I search for it in the PDF, so I have to ask you to give me the year and the page number, rather than click through every single page looking for something that in all likelihood, you gave the wrong name for, or is in another source.

    I can only assume that you know you don’t want to have another p24 moment and have us all laugh at you again.

    Year and page number, please.

  97. #97 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Robster, in case you are unable to do the math yourself, what with your own limited abilities, Professor Henry Bauer has already done the math himself.

    The only thing that Bauer has demonstrated is his ignorance of the subject that he has the hubris to criticize.

    His main misconception is that he thinks that the median age at death for people with AIDS for a given year should be equivalent to the life expectancy for the people living with AIDS for the same year.

    Bauer started deleting my polite explanation of his errors. So much for his whining about censorship. At least I got Bauer to admit one thing. He is specifically targeting a lay audience that doesn’t have the understanding necessary to evaluate his mathematical masturbations.

    I also asked Bauer whether he had discussed any of his calculations with qualified epidemiologists at Virginia Tech where he is an emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies. Bauer simply deleted my question.

    Bauer personifies the typical crank. The only people who take him seriously are the people who desperately want to believe that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

    Bauer even goes so far as to compare HIV and AIDS to his pet subject of parapsychology.

    HIV/AIDS and parapsychology: science or pseudo-science?

    To establish such claims, one might ask at the minimum to be given samples of actual particles of this miraculous agent; but they are as unavailable as the poltergeists and apparitions that constitute some of the more exotic claims made by some parapsychologists.

    He demonstrates that he is completely incapable of even considering that he is mistaken by deleting my simple comment which consisted of a URL – wwww.aidsreagents.com

    Bauer might be able to delude himself. He might be able to to fool his target audience. He can’t change reality.

  98. #98 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    “What I said was that an autopsy could tell whether AIDS killed her” (Orac)

    Exactly. Thanks for confirming that you are too stupid to see that all your core arguments are cicular. I didn’t expect otherwise.

    You are maintaining that if Maggiore was diagnosed with PCP, people like Farber and Esmay, who do not consider it proven that HIV causes anything, should concede that HIV killed her directly or indirectly. How could they concede that unless you think a PCP diagnosis constitutes some kind of proof that HIV causes AIDS? An HIV + PCP diagnosis only has a specific meaning to those who already believe HIV is the cause of AIDS. Pretend for a moment that I am an infidel like Farber or Esmay and please do explain on which grounds you demand such a concession.

    You cant, because your “argument” is entirely circular and confused. Let me untangle for you: You can either celebrate Christine’s death with another sermon to the choir, or you can talk about what an autopsuy might reveal in terms of HIV causation and what “denialists” should concede.

    Trying to have it both ways, while denying that’s what you are doing is not only pseudoscience, it’s intellectual cowardice. It also confuses morons like Robster and makes him chase his own tail endlessly, which might be amusing to watch at first, but endless repetition tends to become boring. Don’t your boyfriends ever tell you this?

  99. #99 dt
    January 4, 2009

    All I know is that Bauer confesses he doesn’t have a clue, which is backed up by his failure to understand simple concepts like survival analysis estimations.

    As for you, Michael, I am also intrigued. Can we have the Fig# and Page# of the report you are harping on about?

    Your inability to tell us forces me to draw one of 2 conclusions:
    1. You can’t because you are making this up as you go along, or
    2. You can’t because you are quite overcome by the complexity of the question, despite your astronomical IQ.

    Tell us which it is and we’ll see if I am right.

  100. #100 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Alice,

    Orac accepts that HIV causes AIDS based on the totality of the scientific literature.

    Maggiore’s evidence was her personal anecdote that she was Alive and Well despite being HIV+.

    When Maggiore ceased being Well it should have caused her to rethink her position. Unfortunately she didn’t. When Maggiore ceased being Alive it should cause you and all the other “rethinkers” to rethink your position.

  101. #101 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Nice job dodging the question, Alice.

    BTW, your homophobia is showing…

  102. #102 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Chris,

    Nice attempt to save your boyfriend’s ass (Oh,oh! there I go revealing my homophobia again). But of course Christine’s claim was not based only on her own story. That’s a lazy and moronic even for you. Besides it wasn’t Christine who had to concede anything, it was denialists such as Farber and Esmay.

    Put a little effort into this will you, Chris? You and Orac are giving AIDStruthers a bad name.

  103. #103 Orac
    January 4, 2009

    Exactly. Thanks for confirming that you are too stupid to see that all your core arguments are cicular. I didn’t expect otherwise.

    You are maintaining that if Maggiore was diagnosed with PCP, people like Farber and Esmay, who do not consider it proven that HIV causes anything, should concede that HIV killed her directly or indirectly. How could they concede that unless you think a PCP diagnosis constitutes some kind of proof that HIV causes AIDS? An HIV + PCP diagnosis only has a specific meaning to those who already believe HIV is the cause of AIDS. Pretend for a moment that I am an infidel like Farber or Esmay and please do explain on which grounds you demand such a concession.

    Ah, so that’s why denialists so vociferously deny that AIDS killed Eliza Jane, even though she had an AIDS-defining pneumonia (PCP) AND HIV proteins detected in her brain, which showed histology characteristic of HIV encephalopathy? I get it now. No matter how much scientific evidence shows that HIV causes AIDS, it wouldn’t matter to you.

    Of course, if you and fellow HIV/AIDS denialists truly believe that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, why did Maggiore hire that hack Al-Bayati to try to “prove” that it was an antibiotic reaction that killed Eliza Jane rather than PCP pneumonia and HIV encephalopathy? Why didn’t you all just say that it didn’t matter that there was HIV p24 protein detected in Eliza Jane’s brain because HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Really, you denialists need to get your stories straight. You don’t seem to have the strength of your own convictions. The Eliza Jane Scovill case could have been the perfect opportunity for you to bring in front of California courts all the “evidence” you could muster that the HIV found in EJ’s brain was irrelevant because HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Yet Maggiore did not choose to do that. Instead, Al-Bayati constructed a risibly incompetent and fantastical story about a fatal allergic reaction to amoxicillin as the cause of her death.

    I’ve written about this before, by the way:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/12/an_hivaids_skeptic_questions_my_honesty_1.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/12/more_rebuttals_of_hivaids_skeptics_1.php

    As have others:

    http://www.distributedrepublic.net/archives/2005/11/29/hiv-dissidents-continued/

  104. #104 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Chris,

    Just so that Robster will understand that the same logical fallacy is being repeated over and over, tell me something. When you cease to be alive should Orac rethink the sum of the scientific evidence?

    If not, why should Farber and Esmay rethink because of one death?

  105. #105 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Page 199 of the 2007 HUS has a table that is the closest that I have found in that particular HUS to suggesting change in life expectancy.

    Table 30 (page 1 of 4). Years of potential life lost before age 75 for selected causes of death, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin: United States, selected years 1980-2005

    Between 1990 and 2000 (1996?) the years lost before age 75 per 100,000 residents drops by about half or more for most groups.

    Page 450 of the 2007 HUS has this to say about premature death, though.

    Decreases in AIDS incidence and in the number of AIDS deaths, first noted in 1996, have been ascribed to the effect of new treatments, which prevent or delay the onset of AIDS and premature death among HIV-infected persons and result in an increase in the number of persons living with HIV and AIDS.

  106. #106 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    But of course Christine’s claim was not based only on her own story.

    You are correct. She also used other people such as Winstone Zulu and Rex Poindexter as anecdotes in her movie.

    http://www.theothersideofaids.com/meet_the_people.html

    Both of these people became seriously ill after following Maggiore’s advice.

    There are also many other anecdotes such as David Pasquarelli and John Kirkham who are no longer Alive and Well.

    When you base your position on such anecdotes then you must be prepared to change your position when the anecdotes change.

  107. #107 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Alice, Would you mind addressing my previous question?

    Would being hit by a bus have disproved the theory that HIV is the cause of AIDS? Obviously not. So why would Christine’s death by any other means than AIDS related pneumonia act to disprove said theory?

    ——–

    Very interesting, isn’t it, how many HIV denialists are so anti-gay.

  108. #108 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Chris,

    Just so that Robster will understand that the same logical fallacy is being repeated over and over, tell me something. When you cease to be alive should Orac rethink the sum of the scientific evidence?

    If not, why should Farber and Esmay rethink because of one death?

    Alice meet logic.
    Logic meet Alice.

    Now that you’ve both been introduced why don’t you get to know each other a bit better.

  109. #109 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Orac,

    You seem to have a little trouble focusing on the original point here. I take it it’s because you have conceded it.

    We can proceed if you really want to. Up front I’d hav eto say that supposed medical professionals who opine only from the shelter of psudonymous blogs, but run, tail betwen their legs, when asked to pur their mouths and reputations where their mouths are in real-life debates, don’t deserve, much respect. That means you, Coward.

    But very well, since you seem to be struggling with this as much as Robster, let me straighten out your messy logic and distortions of fact once more.

    1. “Ah, so that’s why denialists so vociferously deny that AIDS killed Eliza Jane, even though she had an AIDS-defining pneumonia (PCP)”

    My dear friend, there you go again. Please try to understand that it’s only to the believers that PCP equals AIDS, just as stigmata or other religious miracles is only proof of God’s existence to the members of cetain faiths. You are persisting in incorporating your pseudoscientific convictions.

    2. “Of course, if you and fellow HIV/AIDS denialists truly believe that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, why did Maggiore hire that hack Al-Bayati to try to “prove” that it was an antibiotic reaction that killed Eliza Jane rather than PCP pneumonia and HIV encephalopathy?”

    you get dearer as a friend to me with every statement you are making, Orac. Christine wanted an independent look, a second opinion at the cause of death, because the coroner, James Ribe, is a known crook and apparently so incompetent that he couldn’t tell the daughter had AIDS without the benefit of the mother’s HIV test results. Secondly Ribe’s quackery was used by you fellows in a massive propaganda campaign and demands for a public lynching.

    3. “The Eliza Jane Scovill case could have been the perfect opportunity for you to bring in front of California courts all the “evidence” you could muster that the HIV found in EJ’s brain was irrelevant because HIV doesn’t cause AIDS”

    There you go AGAIN, Orac. “HIV p24″ and “HIV” aren’t the same thing to those of us who are not yet part of the congregation, just as the historical person Jesus is not necessarily the same thing as God.

    Now try to understand how a basic argument for and against works when the conclusion is not part of the premise.

  110. #110 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    On another note, is there any chance that the “cleanse doc” and the “MD who is really smart and very well versed in natural health care and not at all into the HIV paradigm” who let Maggiore die at home will face legal repercussions.

    http://www.deanesmay.com/2009/01/02/in-her-own-words-a-dec-19-email-from-christine-maggiore/

    The “cleanse doc” apparently convinced Maggiore that dying was a sign that the detox was working. The MD failed to pick up on the fact that Maggiore had pneumonia and then allowed Maggiore to go home after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

    Jay Gordon seems to have been shamed by his involvement with the death of EJ but that doesn’t seem to have solved the problem. Maggiore would have eventually found a doctor who was willing to pander to her delusions.

  111. #111 Joseph C.
    January 4, 2009

    We can proceed if you really want to. Up front I’d hav eto say that supposed medical professionals who opine only from the shelter of psudonymous blogs, but run, tail betwen their legs, when asked to pur their mouths and reputations where their mouths are in real-life debates, don’t deserve, much respect. That means you, Coward.

    That you are reduced to making sadly false statements about Orac not blogging under his real name reveals the thinness of your position. You’ve got nothing else to throw but that very weak sauce.

    Refusing a phony debate set up by a bunch of New Agers like yourself just shows decent judgment on Orac’s behalf. Setting up such events is a well-known tactic of woo-woos, particularly creationists. Besides, real science ain’t settled by debates.

    Really, you’ve just got cheap insults and nothing else. Just like Mikey Geiger, JB Handley, and every other ego-bigger-than-their-brain woo that posts on here.

  112. #112 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Please try to understand that it’s only to the believers that PCP equals AIDS, just as stigmata or other religious miracles is only proof of God’s existence to the members of cetain faiths.

    Believers? Heh. Reality doesn’t care about belief. Reality isn’t some post-modernist concept. That is why we have the scientific method to separate anecdote and belief from evidence.

    PCP does not equal AIDS. PCP is PCP. PCP with HIV coinfection is AIDS. This is important because an AIDS patient is much more likely to develop others.

    Christine wanted an independent look, a second opinion at the cause of death, because the coroner, James Ribe, is a known crook and apparently so incompetent that he couldn’t tell the daughter had AIDS without the benefit of the mother’s HIV test results.

    She wanted an independent look, so she asked someone from her group? I don’t think you understand the meaning of independent. She picked the person who would tell her what she wanted to hear. A crank that had no experience or training in reviewing or conducting autopsies. An individual so disgusting as to cover for violently abusive parents by calling shaken baby syndrome a vaccine injury.

    Her independent look was to pick a dependent, untrained quack.

    If she was really so concerned, why not pick a real independent expert?

    Because she deep down knew that she could not deal with the possibility that she was at fault.

    There you go AGAIN, Orac. “HIV p24″ and “HIV” aren’t the same thing to those of us who are not yet part of the congregation, just as the historical person Jesus is not necessarily the same thing as God.

    HIV p24 is coded for by the HIV gag gene. Your level of belief doesn’t have any bearing on this.

    Also, you are making us atheists look bad. Please drop it.

  113. #113 Becky Bets
    January 4, 2009

    Attention all AIDS Denialists!
    Gary Null has announced a special on Coffee Enemas.
    Since Celia Faber proclaimed that Christine Maggiore died of a radical detox, coffee enema sales have gone down the toilet.
    This special will not last – these things are going like shit through a goose!
    Poor Gary Null, he was just about to announce a whole new product line of specialty enemas… Crappuccino, Iced Poopuccino, Asspresso and the ever popular Assresso Fartte
    Hurry Now!

  114. #114 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Of all the pathetic attempts at argument here, Joseph might just have edged into the biscuit spot with this:

    “That you are reduced to making sadly false statements about Orac not blogging under his real name reveals the thinness of your position”

    If that’s the case, my position must be thicker even than the growth between your ears. Perhaps your thought Orac was a real name? Look if it exceeds your reasearch skills to scroll to he top of the page, let me quote the relevant passage for you:

    “Orac is the nom de blog of a (not so) humble pseudonymous surgeon/scientist”.

    I have no doubts that running from debates with those one smears would appear as an act of heroism to somebody like you, Joseph.

    Chris, we have no idea what really went on with the cleanse doc. It might very well have been a quack, but that was an informed choice on Christine’s part. If you are worried about quacks, how about looking into Nick Bennett’s alternative business ventures? Personally I think it is more worrying if it is true the MD didn’t pick up on the pneumonia.

    Do you think the quacks with an MD after their name and who kill thousands of people with prescription drugs every year face legal repercussions?

    How many people went to jail over the Vioxx scandal? How many of the scientists and doctors in the pay of tobacco companies are in jail? I think you should start a blog about that, Chris. You might actually have something to write about.

  115. #115 Becky Bets
    January 4, 2009

    Attention all AIDS Denialists!
    Gary Null has announced a special on Coffee Enemas.
    Since Celia Faber proclaimed that Christine Maggiore died of a radical detox, coffee enema sales have gone down the toilet.
    This special will not last – these things are going like shit through a goose!
    Poor Gary Null, he was just about to announce a whole new product line of specialty enemas… Crappuccino, Iced Poopuccino, Asspresso and the ever popular Assresso Fartte
    Hurry Now!

  116. #116 Joseph C.
    January 4, 2009

    If that’s the case, my position must be thicker even than the growth between your ears. Perhaps your thought Orac was a real name? Look if it exceeds your reasearch skills to scroll to he top of the page, let me quote the relevant passage for you:

    Fail. He also blogs under his real name. Many he just pastes in the same articles he posts here. So much for your awesome research skills.

  117. #117 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Joseph,

    Let me make this simple for you, is Orac a pseudonymous name for a blogger,Yes or No? Do his opinion pieces on Maggiore appear here, Yes or No?

    Nobody claimed “Orac” calls himself Orac in all other contexts and aspects of his life.

  118. #118 Orac
    January 4, 2009

    You seem to have a little trouble focusing on the original point here. I take it it’s because you have conceded it.

    It is not.

    It is because you are a troll, and I tire of your nonsense. My patience is not without its limits. In short, you bore me. I love sparring with people who have an honest disagreement with me and can back it up with actual science. You don’t qualify.

  119. #119 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Seriously, Orac’s secret identity is the internets worst kept secret, excepting [redacted by the Church of Scientology], of course.

  120. #120 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Ah I see, Orac, you have not conceded the point; you are just running from another debate in your inimitably heroic style.

    I like the one about your limited patience. It makes you sound really important and busy even in defeat.

    Same thing with the “actual science” part. Perhaps we should waut for the actual autopsy then. Or do you mean you are now going to explain to me how “HIV-p24″ became HIV-p24?

    Why do I doubt that?

  121. #121 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    So, with your interest in debate, Alice,

    Would being hit by a bus have disproved the theory that HIV is the cause of AIDS? Obviously not. So why would Christine’s death by any other means than AIDS related pneumonia act to disprove said theory?

  122. #122 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Chris, we have no idea what really went on with the cleanse doc. It might very well have been a quack, but that was an informed choice on Christine’s part.

    Christine surrounded herself with people who told her what she wanted to hear. This the antithesis of an informed choice.

    She found doctors who did not advise her to test EJ for HIV. This had disastrous consequences.

    She found a doctor who didn’t insist on her being admitted to hospital when she had a life-threatening pneumonia. This had disastrous consequences.

    Doctor shopping is dangerous.

    My question to Orac is what do you do if you know that one of your patients will just go and find another doctor if you tell them something they don’t want to hear?

    How many of the scientists and doctors in the pay of tobacco companies are in jail?

    If you want to talk about ethics then Peter Duesberg received tobacco company funding.

  123. #123 Bronze Dog
    January 4, 2009

    You should really try paying attention to what’s being said, Alice.

    Oh, and these “debates” are often very cowardly to “challenge” people with. Usually, the woos just shotgun canards, straw men, and so forth and immediately declare victory if the skeptic is slightly slow in shooting one down. They also have a habit of setting bizarre, arbitrary standards that have nothing to do with science and everything to do with postmodernist hippie shit. Like rambling on about a blogger using a pseudonym on one blog.

    Oh, and Orac’s real name is an open secret. He blogs under it as well, elsewhere. Of course, that doesn’t stop some nuts from trying to “out” him repeatedly.

  124. #124 Danio
    January 4, 2009

    So, with your interest in debate, Alice…

    *crickets*

    Wow, next time we order a batch of trolls, can someone please remember to uncheck the ‘extra odious’ box? I’m feeling exceedingly grumpy after reading through Alice’s vituperative leavings.

  125. #125 Joseph C.
    January 4, 2009

    Nobody claimed “Orac” calls himself Orac in all other contexts and aspects of his life.

    Your claim was:

    Up front I’d hav eto say that supposed medical professionals who opine only from the shelter of psudonymous blogs

    I just pointed out that you were obviously wrong in this statement. Now you’re trying to deflect by broadening the scope of your original non-point.

  126. #126 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    “So, with your interest in debate, Alice,

    Would being hit by a bus have disproved the theory that HIV is the cause of AIDS? Obviously not. So why would Christine’s death by any other means than AIDS related pneumonia act to disprove said theory?” (Robster)

    But Robster, sweetest child, I am not debating this point with you because we agree. I have tried desperately to save you from the direct embarrasment of repeating the original argument verbatim for you with explanatory text inserted. But seeing that Orac hasn’t gotten it either, I will oblige, as long as you understand it wasn’t MY idea to expose your complete lack of reading comprehension. I would have preferred to see the discussion advance, alhthough I didn’t expect it to. One more time for Orac’s choir, here is the demonstration of this blog’s
    pseudoscientific foundations:

    “I agree with the expressed sentiment, and, if an autopsy is done and it turns out that Maggiore did not die of an AIDS-related pneumonia, I will forthrightly admit my speculation was incorrect. I will also point out that, even if Maggiore did not die of AIDS, it would not in any way validate her HIV/AIDS denialist beliefs.” (Orac)

    Robster, do you understand that the last half here is in essence the same as your hit-by-bus argument? If you do, we can proceed to my answer:

    “I consider that a solid piece of basic logical thinking. Congratulations! Regardless what Maggiore died of, it wouldn’t validate her beliefs, that stands to reason.” (Alice)

    See? I am in full agreement with you. You can choose to re-score your imginary point endlessly, or you can read on to the real problem

    “But you see, Orac, the thing about logic is that it is universally applicable. That’s how we can have, f. ex., analogous arguments. So what’s up with this:

    “If, on the other hand, however, an autopsy is performed and it does show PCP and other evidence of AIDS, will Farber and Esmay concede that AIDS killed Christine Maggiore?”?

    How is it, Orac, that HIV/AIDS theory can be proven by Maggiore’s death, but it can’t be disproven?’ (Alice)”

    Do you get it now, Robster?

    The question is not how Maggiore’s death can disprove HIV/AIDS theory ok? We agree it can’t. The question is why her death should force confessions from people who don’t subscribe to HIV/AIDS theory in the first place. What would her death PROVE?

    Do you or do you not see the logical asymmetry here?

    Chris Noble tried to squeeze out of it by lamely suggesting that all HIV disbelief is based on the health or sickness of a few people,and that Maggiore’s death therefore should overcome this disbelief. This is an even more absurd and pseudoscientifc version of Orac’s position, since HIV positive people inevitably get sick and or die, just like everybody else. But at least it shows that Chris Noble has understood what I was talking about.

    He is quite possibly the only one.

    However, Chris’s understanding doesn’t much go further than that. Just look at this embarrasing display:

    “Christine surrounded herself with people who told her what she wanted to hear. This the antithesis of an informed choice.”

    Chris, Christine made very conscious and deliberate choices about whom to associate with and whom to see in a professional capacity. She even went aggainst the MD who didn’t detect the pneumonia. That is the essence of informed choice and independent decision-making. Why am I not surprised you don’t understand that?

    “If you want to talk about ethics then Peter Duesberg received tobacco company funding”

    And here everybody can see what it all boils down to for Chris. Get Duesberg! The entire field of medical and corporate ethics to Chris boils down to, Get Duesberg!

    Chris, you can start your new blog with an exposé of Duesberg’s ties to the tobacco companies and how that has biased his reasearch. If by the time you have done that, you feel you have run out of ideas, you can call your blog “Johnny One-Note’s Obsession” and repost your Duesberg exposé endlessly, or you can invite guest writers with broader interests and knowledge.

    Chris

  127. #127 franklin
    January 4, 2009

    Christine wanted an independent look, a second opinion at the cause of death, because the coroner, James Ribe, is a known crook and apparently so incompetent that he couldn’t tell the daughter had AIDS without the benefit of the mother’s HIV test results.

    Apparently, Christine Maggiore did seek the opinions of “two nationally recognized MD pathologists.” But it seems that she chose to keep their findings under wraps. I wonder why.

  128. #128 Alice
    January 4, 2009

    Joseph,

    Right you are and I have been caught with my hand in the cookie jar, you clever boy.

    Now that we’ve got that out of the way, please tell me where Oraci has ever debated anyone in person on the issue of Christine Maggiore, or failing that (surely not!) where I can fidn all these opinion pieces about Maggiore posted in his own name.

  129. #129 AG
    January 4, 2009

    Right!

  130. #130 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Robster, do you understand that the last half here is in essence the same as your hit-by-bus argument?

    Yes. I do, and it shouldn’t have taken this long to get to your point, dodging the question so long.

    But we see that you don’t have an answer, just that there is no level of evidence that would convince the denialists.

    The question is why her death should force confessions from people who don’t subscribe to HIV/AIDS theory in the first place. What would her death PROVE?

    To answer that, we need to look at the meaning of the word prove, used in this context. Prove, in your sentence, most accurately is understood as test. What does her death test? The HIV/AIDS theory can be used to make predictions, which can then be tested. So, as untreated HIV infection causes AIDS in those lacking a genetic resistance, and the associated opportunistic infections (Christine’s pneumonia is a match) can cause severe illness and death if not properly treated. Fasting and “cleansing” are not the proper treatment, and she died, which is the predicted outcome.

    Yes, we all die, but HIV/AIDS denial leads to an earlier death, in this specific case, especially sad as she leaves behind a family already poorer by one due to her delusions.

    Chris, Christine made very conscious and deliberate choices about whom to associate with and whom to see in a professional capacity.

    Yes. People who told her what she wanted to hear. Badly informed, but informed nonetheless.

    Get Duesberg!

    You brought up tobacco, and it was pointed out to you that Duesberg is linked by funding. Then you threw a most amusing fit.

    Suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that St. Duesberg’s ethics (or lack thereof) is off limits. It isn’t tobacco money that is his greatest bias, but rather his inability to admit that he could be wrong. No matter how much evidence is compiled, he has a Nobel Prize, which means that he is always right, except when he isn’t, and even then, it is reality that is wrong.

  131. #131 A's Ghost
    January 4, 2009

    Unfortunately Orac has begun to censor me. As I can’t run around switching mail addresses and names, and surely after this, computers, I can only invite anybody who has outstanding issues to continue on Newaidsreview or another uncensored forum.

    Joseph, you’ve caught me with my hand in the cookie jar; I stand corrected, Orac i snot a pseudonym. Now please tell me where Orac has appeared in person to debate the Maggiore case(s)or failing that (is it possible?!) where he has posted his blog speculations regarding these cases under his own name?

    Robster,

    Duesberg does not have a Nobel Prize

  132. #132 A's Ghost
    January 4, 2009

    Unfortunately Orac has begun to censor me. As I can’t run around switching mail addresses and names, and surely after this, computers, I can only invite anybody who has outstanding issues to continue on Newaidsreview or another uncensored forum.

    Joseph, you’ve caught me with my hand in the cookie jar; I stand corrected, Orac i snot a pseudonym. Now please tell me where Orac has appeared in person to debate the Maggiore case(s)or failing that (is it possible?!) where he has posted his blog speculations regarding these cases under his own name?

  133. #133 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Chris, Christine made very conscious and deliberate choices about whom to associate with and whom to see in a professional capacity.

    In an “informed choice” the information is supposed to come before the choice.

  134. #134 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Chris, Christine made very conscious and deliberate choices about whom to associate with and whom to see in a professional capacity.

    The list of those responsible for the fatal advice she received can be found here.

    http://www.aliveandwell.org/html/top_bar_pages/aboutus.html

    Alive & Well Advisory Board
    Dr Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, PhD, DABT, DABVT
    Pathologist, Toxicologist
    President of Toxi-Health International
    Dixon, CA

    Dr Christine Anderson, DC, DICCP, D Hom
    Doctor of Chiropractic and Homeopathic Medicine
    Family Wellness Center
    Los Angeles, CA

    Dr Rudolph Ballentine, MD
    Author of Radical Healing
    New York, NY

    Dr Harvey Bialy, PhD
    Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Miami School of Medicine
    Miami, FL

    Dr Richard De Andrea, MD, ND
    Medical Advisor for the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine
    Medical Doctor and Naturopath
    Santa Monica, CA

    Gavin de Becker
    Author of The Gift of Fear
    President of Gavin de Becker, Inc.
    Founder and Chair of The Domestic Violence Council
    Los Angeles, CA

    Dr Ettiene de Harven, MD
    Professor Emeritus of Pathology
    University of Toronto
    Saint Cezaire sur Siagne, France

    Dr Peter H. Duesberg, PhD
    Member of the National Academy of Sciences
    Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA

    Eleni Eleopulos, MSc
    Professor of Medical Physics
    University of Western Australia
    Perth, Australia

    Dr Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH
    Pediatrician
    Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
    University of Southern California Medical Center
    Los Angeles, CA

    Dr Juan Jose Flores, MD, PhD
    Former director of El Patronato Veracruzano de Lucha Contra el SIDA
    Gynecologist
    Veracruz, Mexico

    Dr Charles Geshekter, PhD
    Professor of African History
    California State University, Chico
    Chico, CA

    Dr Roberto Giraldo, MD
    Specialist, Infectious and Tropical Diseases
    Cornell Medical Center
    New York, NY

    Neville Hodgkinson
    Medical Journalist
    Former Science Correspondent for London Sunday Times
    London, England

    Dr Robert Hodson, MD
    Former Professor of Medicine
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Birmingham, AL

    Dr Philip Incao, MD
    Medical Doctor and Homeopath
    Founder of Steiner Holistic Medical Center
    Denver, CO

    Dr Dennis Kinnane, OMD, LAc, RPH
    Doctor of Oriental Medicine
    Los Angeles, CA

    Dr Andrew Maniotis, PhD
    Program Director for the Department of Pathology, Anatomy, Cell Biology and Bioengineering
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Chicago, IL

    Dr Kary B. Mullis, PhD
    1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
    La Jolla, CA

    Peggy O’Mara
    Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine
    Santa Fe, NM

    Dr David Rasnick, PhD
    Chemist
    Creator of Protease Inhibitors
    Visiting Professor at University of California, Berkeley
    San Francisco, CA

    Dr Rodney Richards, PhD
    Chemist
    Creator of HIV Diagnostics
    Founding Scientist, Amgen
    Denver, Colorado

    John Robbins,
    Founder of EarthSave Foundation
    Author of Diet for a New America and Reclaiming Our Health
    Soquel, CA

    Leonard Saputo, MD
    Holistic Medical Doctor
    San Francisco, CA

    Frank Shallenberger, MD
    Holistic Medical Doctor
    Carson City, NV

    Charles Thomas, PhD
    Professor of Medicine (retired)
    Harvard Medical School
    Johns Hopkins University
    President of Pantox Laboratories
    San Diego, CA

    Valendar Turner, MD
    Professor of Emergency Medicine
    Royal Perth Hospital
    University of Western Australia
    Perth, Australia

    Rudolf Werner, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    University of Miami School of Medicine
    Miami, FL

  135. #135 Orac
    January 4, 2009

    Joseph, you’ve caught me with my hand in the cookie jar; I stand corrected, Orac i snot a pseudonym. Now please tell me where Orac has appeared in person to debate the Maggiore case(s)or failing that (is it possible?!) where he has posted his blog speculations regarding these cases under his own name?

    Gee, you wouldn’t happen to be Casey Cohen, would you? See:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/01/just_how_stupid_do_they_think_i_am.php

    In any case, to see my post on the Maggiore case under my own name, be patient. You only have to wait, oh, around six hours.

  136. #136 Elmira Gulch
    January 4, 2009

    Nobody can claim Christine would have lived longer by embracing the HIV fairy tale. Nobody in any developed country is interested in comparing morbidity and mortality between “HIV-positives” on HAART with those that are not. Given the amount of money that has gone into proving the emperor has not got a naked ass you’d think just a tiny amount could be used to do such a study. The cynic in me says the reason nobody has done such a study is that it would be the definitive end to the AIDS Empire. Without such a study you can all claim “plausible deniability” – the refuge of cowards and abusers of power.
    So, in the absence of any such data from developed country let’s look elsewhere.

    Why is it that in Tanzanian “HIV positives” without treatment median survival is 11.5 years [1] and in Uganda among untreated “HIV positives” the time from seroconversion to death was a median 9 years? [2] Interestingly the time from CD4 count less than 200 (HAART eligibility – except it wasn’t available) to death was 34 months. Yet in cohorts from Africa and Thailand the time from seroconversion to eligibility for HAART was 6.1 years and then time from “treatment” to death only 2.1 years? [3]
    Total time to DEATH with TREATMENT 8.2 years???
    People not treated when their CD4 cells dropped under 200 lived nearly 50% longer?

    Who are the fucking “denialists” here?

    1. Isingo, R., et al., Survival after HIV infection in the pre-antiretroviral therapy era in a rural Tanzanian cohort. Aids, 2007. 21 Suppl 6: p. S5-S13.
    2. Van der Paal, L., et al., HIV-1 disease progression and mortality before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in rural Uganda. Aids, 2007. 21 Suppl 6: p. S21-9.
    3. Wandel, S.E., et al., Duration from seroconversion to eligibility for antiretroviral therapy and from ART eligibility to death in adult HIV-infected patients from low and middle-income countries: collaborative analysis of prospective studies. Sex Transm Infect, 2008. 84 Suppl 1: p. i31-i36.

  137. #137 Elmira Gulch
    January 4, 2009

    Nobody can claim Christine would have lived longer by embracing the HIV fairy tale. Nobody in any developed country is interested in comparing morbidity and mortality between “HIV-positives” on HAART with those that are not. Given the amount of money that has gone into proving the emperor has not got a naked ass you’d think just a tiny amount could be used to do such a study. The cynic in me says the reason nobody has done such a study is that it would be the definitive end to the AIDS Empire. Without such a study you can all claim “plausible deniability” – the refuge of cowards and abusers of power.
    So, in the absence of any such data from developed country let’s look elsewhere.

    Why is it that in Tanzanian “HIV positives” without treatment median survival is 11.5 years [1] and in Uganda among untreated “HIV positives” the time from seroconversion to death was a median 9 years? [2] Interestingly the time from CD4 count less than 200 (HAART eligibility – except it wasn’t available) to death was 34 months. Yet in cohorts from Africa and Thailand the time from seroconversion to eligibility for HAART was 6.1 years and then time from “treatment” to death only 2.1 years? [3]Total time to DEATH with TREATMENT 8.2 years???
    People not treated when their CD4 cells dropped under 200 lived nearly 50% longer?

    Who are the fucking “denialists” here?

    1. Isingo, R., et al., Survival after HIV infection in the pre-antiretroviral therapy era in a rural Tanzanian cohort. Aids, 2007. 21 Suppl 6: p. S5-S13.
    2. Van der Paal, L., et al., HIV-1 disease progression and mortality before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in rural Uganda. Aids, 2007. 21 Suppl 6: p. S21-9.
    3. Wandel, S.E., et al., Duration from seroconversion to eligibility for antiretroviral therapy and from ART eligibility to death in adult HIV-infected patients from low and middle-income countries: collaborative analysis of prospective studies. Sex Transm Infect, 2008. 84 Suppl 1: p. i31-i36.

  138. #138 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Alice, Terribly sorry. I suppose it is only Duesberg’s monumental ego justifying his refusal to accept evidence. I got him confused with Mullis, who is just as (if not more) of a quack.

    ——-

    Thanks, Chris, for the list.

    With the homeopaths, naturopaths, “oriental” medicine (its either medicine or it isn’t) and chiropractors, and the execrable al-Bayati, it is clear that Christine was not interested the best advice available, but in surrounding herself with supporters.

  139. #139 Joseph C.
    January 4, 2009

    Given the amount of money that has gone into proving the emperor has not got a naked ass you’d think just a tiny amount could be used to do such a study.

    But you’re a woo. It doesn’t matter what study they do. You’ll either move the goal post and demand more studies or you’ll call whatever studies they do, no matter how methodologically sound, bogus. You can’t lose!

  140. #140 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Yet in cohorts from Africa and Thailand the time from seroconversion to eligibility for HAART was 6.1 years and then time from “treatment” to death only 2.1 years? [3]
    Total time to DEATH with TREATMENT 8.2 years???

    Michael (I assume it is Michael Geiger writing under his 500th pseudonym – who else could misread a study so badly?) you somehow managed to skip over the bit which reads In total, 794 (38.3%) patients died, most of them (762, 96.0%) while not on ART.

    There is a difference between eligibility for treatment and treatment.

    In South Africa this difference resulted in an estimated 300,000 deaths.

  141. #141 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    Oh yeah, thats definitely Michael.

  142. #142 The Perky Skeptic
    January 4, 2009

    Gavin de Becker is on the Alive and Well board??? That’s disappointing. The guy wrote a damn fine book on domestic violence. It just goes to show that no one’s past accomplishments shield them from denialism. We all have to keep our critical thinking faculties honed so we don’t slide down that rabbit hole. :/

    Man, Alice TOTALLY fails the internet if she can’t find Orac’s real name online! I’m looking forward to reading the non-pseudonymous post. :)

  143. #143 Chris
    January 5, 2009

    Orac said “In any case, to see my post on the Maggiore case under my own name, be patient. You only have to wait, oh, around six hours.”

    In the mean time you can go over here:
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=449

  144. #144 Elmira Gulch
    January 5, 2009

    Joseph C – So when I post peer-reviewed studies from the establishment I get dismissively called a “woo”? And like Tara “C into the future” Smith you decide that kind of study isn’t worth doing because your own “woo precognition” has intuited how I would respond to a well designed, properly conducted trial? Is that the best you can do? Sorry but that is pathetic.

    Noble I really expected rather better from you! The median time to progression of AIDS and death are the measures used – and the only way one can compare. If I quoted actual numbers of death I would be comparing what to what exactly?
    So Chris – just to clarify:
    In a French study comparing the eras of monotherapy (1994-95), dual therapy (1996), early HAART (1997-1999) and late HAART (2000-2002) “median survival increased from 31.9 months to >76 months” [1] – that doesn’t sound so impressive to me.

    Now think about that – monotherapy (mostly AZT) “conferred” just over a median 2.6-year “survival” while horribly impoverished Ugandan and Tanzanian people, with no clean water, food, and horrible living conditions and no access to any medicine lived a median 9-11 years. And even with “great progress in HIV treatment”, HAART still only conveyed a 6 year 4 months median survival. And you wonder why Christine and others would pass on your “magic medicine”?

    I’d love to be able to present data that compares healthy “HIV-positives” taking or not taking HAART with matched controls, but that study hasn’t been done.
    Why not Chris?

    1. Couzigou, C., et al., Differential improvement in survival among patients with AIDS after the introduction of HAART. AIDS Care, 2007. 19(4): p. 523-31.

    And no I’m not Michael Geiger – I’m nowhere near as nice as he is, and last time I looked I didn’t even have a penis.

  145. #145 BD
    January 5, 2009

    Here’s a quote from that paper:

    “Mortality rate was 57.9/100 person-years (PY) (95% CI: 53.6-62.6) during the period of monotherapy, 38.8/100 PY (95% CI: 35.2 – 42.9) during the bitherapy-HAART transition period, and 23.7/100 PY (95% CI: 21.5 – 26.1) and 7.1/100 PY (CI: 6.3 – 7.9) for the early and late HAART periods, respectively (Figure 1. and Table III).”

    So that’s a decline from 57.9/100 PY to 7.1/100 PY. And this paper only includes individuals who had received an AIDS diagnosis, the majority with a CD4 count of less than 150. Seems entirely consistent with a dramatic benefit of treatment.

    The reason why there’s a “>” in front of “76 months” (6.3 years) in the above quote is that >75% of the “late HAART” cohort were alive at the time of the analysis.

  146. #146 Chris Noble
    January 5, 2009

    “Elmira”

    You wrote

    Yet in cohorts from Africa and Thailand the time from seroconversion to eligibility for HAART was 6.1 years and then time from “treatment” to death only 2.1 years? [3]Total time to DEATH with TREATMENT 8.2 years???

    and gave this paper Duration from seroconversion to eligibility for antiretroviral therapy and from ART eligibility to death in adult HIV-infected patients from low and middle-income countries: collaborative analysis of prospective studies as a reference.

    The title of the paper should give you a clue.
    The figure you cite is the median time from treatment eligibility to death not the time from treatment to death.

  147. #147 dt
    January 5, 2009

    Give it up “Elmira”.

    At least you acknowledge that this was “a well designed, properly conducted trial” (or at least you did until you realised that it actually completely undermined your position, rather than supported it. Now you will probably describe it as “a poorly run trial with no untreated controls run by a group of pharma shills”)

    Your inability to understand any of the papers you cite is only matched by your brazen chutzpah.

  148. #148 Elmira Gulch
    January 5, 2009

    Mr acronym BD – you are entirely missing the point. Admitting that the late HAART cohort has a > 76 month survival NOW with improved HAART does NOT negate the fact that earlier mono- and dual-therapy and possibly even early HAART still had higher mortality than Africans living in abject poverty, with not much of anything especially “modern medial services”.
    The fact that there are no real apples to compare with apples is entirely the fault of your ilk; for in your refusal to support well designed studies to verify the “life saving” benefits of ARVs I think you ladies do protest too much.

    Oh goodness Noble the title sure did give it away – when it stated “time from ART eligibility to death”. Sixteen to 36% of the Cote d’Ivoire and Ugandan cohorts did in fact start on ARVs. Baseline median CD4 cell counts in the African cohorts (no data from the Thai cohorts) were between 409 – 553 cells/ul. Handy that most people died before “treatment” isn’t it?
    How about other untreated populations?
    “Survival times varied by age and by study site. Adjusting to age 25-29 years at seroconversion, the median survival was longer in South African miners: 11.6 years [95% confidence interval (CI) 9.8-13.7] and East African cohorts: 11.1 years (95% CI 8.7-14.2) than in Haiti: 8.3 years (95% CI 3.2-21.4) and Thailand: 7.5 years (95% CI 5.4-10.4).” [1]
    To date I have seen NO study that proves HAART prolongs lives. I’ve seen plenty that demonstrate that the longer you are on HAART the more likely you are to die from a non -ADI.
    While it isn’t very scientific, I went back and had a look at the list of activists that had died that Michael posted on aetiology. For the ones where diagnosis date was available (n=9) I worked out median and mean time from diagnosis to death in that tiny cohort. The range was 5-18 years, median 13 years and mean 11.7 years.

    This Brazilian study used KMSA and depending on what AIDS criteria (CDC-97, CDC-93 or MSBR-98*) was used, median survival was 32, 41 and 85 months, respectively.[2]
    · MSBR-98 defines HIV+ + CD4 cell count less than 350 cells/ul

    This US study also used KMSA and other means to assess median time from HIV diagnosis to death preHAART to postHAART – 58 vs 79 months. Like that BD?

    I’ll give it up “BD” when you can prove HAART is “life-saving”.

    1. Todd, J., et al., Time from HIV seroconversion to death: a collaborative analysis of eight studies in six low and middle-income countries before highly active antiretroviral therapy. Aids, 2007. 21 Suppl 6: p. S55-63.
    2. http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102259225.html
    3. http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102263569.html

  149. #149 BD
    January 5, 2009

    You’d have been better off not bothering, Ms. Gulch. You’re comparing studies of survival after seroconversion with a study of survival AFTER AN AIDS DIAGNOSIS with treatment. I can only surmise it was a deliberate and shamefully transparent attempt to deceive, like Celia Farber’s comments about total lymphocyte counts in children. The Ugandan study you cited does provide an estimate of the time from AIDS to death:

    “For the 117 (53 prevalent, 64 incident) cases who developed AIDS (WHO stage 4), the median survival from AIDS to death was 8.5 months (95% CI 4.7-12.0).”

    And in the French study you quoted, this was the effect of treatment on survival after an AIDS diagnosis (these are your words):

    “In a French study comparing the eras of monotherapy (1994-95), dual therapy (1996), early HAART (1997-1999) and late HAART (2000-2002) “median survival increased from 31.9 months to >76 months” [1] ”

    Perhaps you can tell us whether you think 31.9 months is greater than 8.5 months, and whether you think >76 months is greater than either of those values.

    You also wrote: “Nobody can claim Christine would have lived longer by embracing the HIV fairy tale. ” If Christine had AIDS, as the evidence strongly suggests is the case, then the French study you cited suggests that treatment could have extended her life by at least another six years, and almost certainly longer given that treatments have continued to improve since the time that study was conducted (and hopefully will have improved further six years from now).

  150. #150 BD
    January 5, 2009

    The French paper that Ms. Gulch cites is strikingly consistent with the Palella NEJM paper on the effect of treatment on mortality among individuals with an AIDS diagnosis:

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/338/13/853

    To quote the Ioannidis essay from a couple of years ago in PLoS Medicine: “most research questions are addressed by many teams, and it is misleading to emphasize the statistically significant findings of any single team. What matters is the totality of the evidence.” Thank you for the citation, Ms. Gulch.

  151. #151 MRS Elmira Gulch
    January 5, 2009

    That’s “Mrs” Gulch to you BD – there you go making assumptions again. Mr Gulch is alive and well and currently serving 30 years for unlicensed knitting.
    More nitpicking irrelevance; the whole point is time from diagnosis – death because you lot want to ram ARVs down people’s throats as soon as they test “positive” – “hit hard and hit early” not when they have all progressed to AIDS.
    A lot of the cohort in the Brazilian study would not be classed as “AIDS” even in the US. It’s hardly my responsibility that what is defined as “HIV disease”, “PWAs” etc. keeps changing from place to place and time period to time period – your masters can wear that one.
    And why ignore the US data? Seventy nine months from HIV DIAGNOSIS to death. How would that “extend Christine’s life by 6 years”?

    “If Christine had AIDS” so you finally admit that question isn’t settled then?

  152. #152 Chris Noble
    January 5, 2009

    Oh goodness Noble the title sure did give it away – when it stated “time from ART eligibility to death”. Sixteen to 36% of the Cote d’Ivoire and Ugandan cohorts did in fact start on ARVs. Baseline median CD4 cell counts in the African cohorts (no data from the Thai cohorts) were between 409 – 553 cells/ul. Handy that most people died before “treatment” isn’t it?

    Why do you persist in this display of ignorance and stupidity?

    Duration from seroconversion to eligibility for antiretroviral therapy and from ART eligibility to death in adult HIV-infected patients from low and middle-income countries: collaborative analysis of prospective studies

    Of the people who died 96% were not being treated. Thus the figure you gave is not the median time from treatment to death.

    Overall 287 out of 2072 patients started ART (13.8%). Of the 794 patients who died only 32 (4%) had started ART.

    Mortality for those who started ART – 32 out of 287 (11%).
    Mortality for those who had not started ART – 762 out of 1785 (43%).

    It sure looks like ART is saving lives to me.

    None of the Thai cohorts started ART. Which groups had the higher mortality the African cohorts or the Thai?

    It is difficult to imagine how anyone can take a study like this and attempt to use it to argue the exact opposite of what the data shows but this is the standard procedure for HIV Denialists.

    You’re doing great. Keep on going.

  153. #153 dt
    January 5, 2009

    Well now, Mrs Gulch, the US study you cite shows that survival after an AIDS diagnosis was doubled if ARVs were given, and that “The protective effect of HAART on survival after AIDS diagnosis was highly significant”. Forget that bit, did you?

    As regards the survival times from diagnosis, please remember that HIV can be diagnosed at any stage of infection – immediately after acquisition, or sometimes as long as 10 or 20 years later, or sometimes not even until after an AIDS death (cf EJ). So please beware of quoting data “from diagnosis” unless you qualify the statement precisely.

    I presume you are familiar with the Danish studies of their entire cohort of positives showing that from the time of HIV diagnosis and with the help of ARVs, survival is predicted to average 39 years? I’m sure Charlie and Robin would have appreciated the extra time.
    http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/146/2/87

  154. #154 Prometheus
    January 5, 2009


    “It is difficult to imagine how anyone can take a study like this and attempt to use it to argue the exact opposite of what the data shows…”

    Oh, I don’t know. It’s not that hard for me to imagine how they do it. Here are my top three nominations for the mechanism of misinterpretation:

    [1] They don’t understand the science in the study.

    I get this all the time at my ‘blog – people who find a phrase or two in a paper that they think means that their “hypothesis” is correct (or, at least, they think it sounds like what they read on whale.to). These are the folks who will argue with you that “fire can’t melt steel” (despite the millenia of human experience doing just that) or similar nonsense.

    [2] They just read the abstract (or sometimes only the title).

    It’s funny how often the abstract of an article can give a false impression of the results and even the conclusions. I’ve read a number of papers – even in prestigious journals – where the results did not justify the conclusions. But, you can only find that out if you read the article.

    [3] Impaired reality testing.

    After all, if you find it impossible to even think that your pet “theory” might be wrong, even seeing it in “black and white” isn’t going to convince you. At least some of these people are so far gone that they read “up” and see “down”. These are the same folks who will rant about “black helicopters”, “New World Order” and “Rosicrucians” if you let them.

    There, you see? It wasn’t all that hard. You just have to remember that there are people surfing the ‘net who are unaware of their own congitive limitations.

    Never ascribe to malicious intent that which can be explained equally well by a combination of ignorance and mindless perseveration.

    Prometheus

  155. #155 BD
    January 5, 2009

    I wonder what Charlie Maggiore will make of all this when he grows up. Will he realize that his parents were duped?

    Gulch, you’ve gone from citing a large and informative published study to a meeting abstract which only focuses on individuals who died (and contains no information on when people were diagnosed). Nevertheless, the abstract reports that the people that died lived significantly longer if they had received HAART (even though they’d only received a median of 9 months of treatment). So I guess my question to you is: why do you ignore all the data that contradicts you, even the data in the studies you are citing? It appears very likely that Christine Maggiore had AIDS, the detection of PCP in her daughters lungs with GMS in the absence of other risk factors for immune deficiency shows her daughter certainly did, and now Maggiore has died of bilateral pneumonia at the age of 52.

    http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/ma?f=102263569.html

    AIDS-Related Mortality: Improved Survival with HAART but Causes of Death Unchanged.

    Folch E, Hernandez I, Vetter T, Browning J, del Rio C, Lennox J; Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

    9th Conf Retrovir Oppor Infect Feb 24 28 2002 Wash State Conv Trade Cent Seattle Wash Conf Retrovir Oppor Infect 9th 2002 Seattle Wash. 2002 Feb 24-28; 9: abstract no. 756-W.
    Emory Univ. Ctr. for AIDS Res., Atlanta, GA

    BACKGROUND: AIDS death rates have decreased since 1995 due to HAART. As survival increases, AIDS-related illnesses may decline as causes of death. We analyzed causes of death in a large, inner city clinic to determine if such a change has occurred.METHODS: Retrospective review of medical records and death certificates of a random sample of 20% of adult patients with HIV who died in 1995 (pre-HAART) and 2000. Comparisons were made using chi(2), Fisher’s exact test or Student’s t-test. Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank test were used for survival analysis, and Cox proportional hazard model for hazard ratios.RESULTS: 204 patients were included, 144 of whom died in 1995 and 60 in 2000. There were no significant differences in age at HIV diagnosis, illicit drug use, hepatitis B/C status, or proportion of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment between both groups. Overall clinic mortality decreased by 64%, from 719 (22%) deaths in 1995 to 297 (8%) in 2000 (p less than 0.0001). Mean time from HIV diagnosis to AIDS was not different (32 vs 31 months). However, both the mean time from HIV diagnosis to death (58 vs 79 months) and from AIDS to death (26 vs 48 months) were significantly longer for patients who died in 2000 (p less than 0.01). Infections (56 vs 65%), organ failure (22 vs 17%), neoplasia (8 vs 8%), and end-stage AIDS (10 vs 12%) were the major causes of death and were not statistically different between 1995 and 2000. Subgroup analysis showed that only neurological failure was less frequent in 2000 (p=0.03). Median time on HAART for patients who died in 2000 was 9 months. Median time on mono or dual therapy was similar for both groups. Following an AIDS diagnosis, those patients who never took therapy survived a mean of 22 months, those who took mono/dual therapy survived 33 months and those who took HAART survived a mean of 50 months (p=0.0016). The protective effect of HAART on survival after AIDS diagnosis was highly significant after adjusting for gender, age, race, and CD4 count (RR=0.43, 95% CI 0.28-0.67, p=0.0001).CONCLUSIONS: Causes of death have not changed in this population in the HAART era. However, even short-term use of HAART is associated with a dramatic improvement in survival time.

  156. #156 Chris Noble
    January 5, 2009

    As regards the survival times from diagnosis, please remember that HIV can be diagnosed at any stage of infection – immediately after acquisition, or sometimes as long as 10 or 20 years later, or sometimes not even until after an AIDS death (cf EJ).

    About a quarter of all HIV diagnoses occur at the same time as an AIDS diagnosis. That means that these people are walking around unaware that they are infected with HIV until they end up in hospital with a severe opportunistic infection.

  157. #157 Chris Noble
    January 5, 2009

    There, you see? It wasn’t all that hard. You just have to remember that there are people surfing the ‘net who are unaware of their own congitive limitations.

    I have no problem at an academic level. However, at a personal level, when I try to imagine someone can apparently read a paper like this and then argue the exact opposite all I end up with is a severe headache.

    Duesberg, in his Biosciences paper, tries to argue that the Palella paper Declining Morbidity and Mortality among Patients with Advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection actually shows that HAART actually increases mortality.

    If only the cognitive dissonance in his brain could be harnessed then the world’s energy problems would be solved.

  158. #158 Kathryn
    January 6, 2009

    ” ‘Maggiore’s book should be required reading for all undergraduates.’ — Charles Geshekter, PhD Department of History, California State University, Chico”

    I’m so glad I decided not to go to CSU Chico. My school’s history department doesn’t make policy on medical issues.

    –Kathryn

  159. #159 Seth Kalichman
    January 6, 2009

    Kathryn
    Not so sure Geshekter is off base. He is suggesting that a denialist book be required reading. He is speaking about what he knows best. Denialism.
    AIDS denialism, like Holocaust denialism is more about distorting history than medicine. Fortunately, the demise of untenured denialist faculty (Culshaw, Maniotis etc.) means that the future of academic denialism will likely depart with the really old guys – Duesberg, de Harven, Geshekter, Bauer. These guys are all men over 70.
    Once they are gone that will probably be it.
    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/

  160. #160 dt
    January 7, 2009

    Maggiore’s book should be required reading, as long as people are first required to read books such as “How we know what isn’t so” by Thomas Gilovich, and “Why people believe weird things” by Michael Shermer.
    http://www.amazon.com/How-Know-What-Isnt-Fallibility/dp/0029117062
    http://www.amazon.com/People-Believe-Weird-Things-Pseudoscience/dp/0805070893/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

    They must also be required to know what happened to Eliza Jane and Christine Maggiore. Sometimes seeing the woo and pseudoscience first hand does wonders.

  161. #161 Chris Noble
    January 7, 2009

    …the future of academic denialism will likely depart with the really old guys – Duesberg, de Harven, Geshekter, Bauer. These guys are all men over 70.

    It always amuses me when HIV Denialists give this quotation from Max Planck

    A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

    Tragically, Duesberg gets to outlive many of the people who fall for his pseudoscience.

  162. #162 Seth Kalichman
    January 7, 2009

    One thing for sure, a career in AIDS pseudoscience is a dead end.
    Andrew Maniotis is a Visiting Assistant Professor. What is a Visiting Assistant Professor?
    Rebecca Culshaw did not go up for tenure is now a full time Mom. Publishing in the American J of Physicians and Surgeons wont fly with any intelligent promotion committee.
    Even some of the old guys get booted, like Bialy.
    At least the system seems to work in these cases.

  163. #163 X3
    January 8, 2009

    It’s amazing how stupid and lame some of the comments are on this blog. AIDS science IS pseudoscience. All of this “denier” gibberish is just a scam by a bunch of greedy and ignorant buffoons to hold on to their their perverted little mainstream worldview. The idea that medical science, or that any science doesn’t make mistakes is idiotic beyond measure. In fact the people who support the mainstream view of AIDS are deluding themselves and really just cultists. The fact is that there is no real logical definition of AIDS, and there are no facts to support it. Don’t believe me? Just do the work ! Take the time to go out and research the initial papers done by Dr. Robert Gallo in 1984 and you’ll see some of the worst science ever conducted. He based his conclusions on three poorly done, radically and completely inconclusive studies. These studies were not peer reviewed, nor has there ever been any studies to replicate them. The entire scientific establishment at the behest of the Reagan administration just went full steam ahead into a ridiculous direction and they got hundreds of thousands of people killed in the process. Instead of speaking out of ignorance about ” pseudoscience ” first take a course in research methods, then read the actual studies and see if they measure up. If you have even half a brain you’ll find that they are totally fraudulent and prove NOTHING. Then you can see what a fraud the established medical science is surrounding so-called AIDS.

  164. #164 HCN
    January 8, 2009

    X3 said (in his double posting, kind of ignoring the error message, yeah, some of us are used to it): “Take the time to go out and research the initial papers done by Dr. Robert Gallo in 1984″

    Well that is certainly current. NOT!

    Oh, and Mr/Ms X3, even Reagan is dead. Do try to keep up with the current news in politics and science.

  165. #165 dt
    January 8, 2009

    “The idea that medical science, or that any science doesn’t make mistakes is idiotic beyond measure.”

    Thing is X3, that science does make mistakes. It’s meant to be all about uncertainty and error. Scientists understand this, which is why hypotheses get made and rejected and gradual progress toward the truth is made.

    The trouble is that AIDS denial “pseudoscience” does not understand this. It clings to old disproved hypotheses, and points to any scientific advances in the field of HIV as representing conflicts and disagreements rather than progress.

    Let’s take Kaposi sarcoma as an example. Why was it commoner in some groups of AIDS patients than others? Why did it occur in non-HIV infected people? Was it caused by CMV, or HIV itself, drugs or something else? When HIV science debated these issues or produced new hypotheses and studies, they were scorned by the denialists as not being able to make up their minds, for being inconsistent and for having been “wrong before”. Then it was discovered that KS was due to HHV-8, and all the clinical and epidemiological inconsistencies finally clicked beautifully into place. What did the denialists say? “Stupid doctors! Can’t even decide what causes KS! That’s just more proof it’s the poppers!”

    Gallo’s studies from over 25 years ago may not measure up to the standards expected today. The techniques he was able to use have been improved on and superceded. His work and conclusions were remarkable by the standards of the day. It was published in peer-reviewed journals. His hypotheses have been verified and fulfilled, and his work replicated. Retrovirology has moved on, and is now in a totally different dimension to what it was quarter of a century ago. As for saying all the research studies are “fraudulent”? Your sweeping (and incorrect) generalisations show you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

    Unfortunately the denialsists are the ones stuck in a time warp, constantly harking back to old research or outdated methods which they seem to feel must be valid today. Your post is just proof of the same.

  166. #166 Dianne
    January 8, 2009

    He based his conclusions on three poorly done, radically and completely inconclusive studies.

    Strong statement. But what about the details? What makes you describe the studies as “poorly done”? What could have been done to improve the studies or what studies should have been used instead to produce a more conclusive result? For that matter, which papers are you talking about: Gallo has published hundreds of papers in the field of HIV research. In short: what are your specific criticisms of the papers in question and why do you feel that these criticisms negate the conclusions?

  167. #167 Andrew B.
    June 11, 2009

    I’m a poz person and I know my perspective may not fit here. I am not nor ever could be an M.D. or equivalent. But perhaps for personally therapeutic reasons, I have to comment. My philosophy regarding HIV and my HIV, is to defy it but not deny it. Defy, don’t deny. I have been blessed; I am doing great. Good labs, no meds. But I know that may change some day. And that is ok but in the mean time, I’m one fighting dude.

    But learning of learning of Celia Farber, Peter Duesberg and the likes is deeply disturbing to me. Many people enter professions in which we learn and face the very dark nature of some of humanity. When we see such things, what innocence was left, is gone. This feeling returns when I read of the selfish indulgence, the ego’s and ultimately, the harm caused by these people. Of course we may be able to explain it away similarly to the way we describe the psychopathology of others that do harm. But it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t help.

  168. #168 tim
    July 16, 2009

    how pathetic that those who refuse to believe that their construct are all hiv positive and bitter.

    ‘let the dead bury their dead’.

  169. #169 J Todd DeShong
    January 13, 2010

    Hi Orac,
    One year after her death the AIDS Denialist Celia Farber has released Maggiore’s autopsy report…KIND OF!
    Dr. David Posey performed the autopsy. However, the denialists will not release that report. Instead, they had Al~Bayati (the quack who re~wrote EJ’s autopsy) do the same hatchet job on Maggiore’s autopsy.
    Here is the report:
    http://justiceforej.com/20091205-ChristineMaggiore-Report-AlBayati.pdf
    Al~Bayati says she died of renal failure due to anti~biotics. However he does concede that Pneumocystis jerovichi was in her lungs and elsewhere…but still does not think she had AIDS.
    Orac, Dec ’08 you wrote:
    “If there is an autopsy and it shows that Christine Maggiore died of AIDS-related pneumonia, expect more of the same dissembling”
    You have been proven correct!
    Sincerely,
    J. Todd DeShong

  170. #170 Andy Lindsay
    January 6, 2011

    If someone can show me HIV VIRUS in my blood ill quite happily take your medications . Unfortunately no-one can so the medications can do one.

    Actually , the stress that Christine was under i can only weigh up against the stress i was under every time i went to kiss a girl. Deliberating wether to tell her before i kissed her or after id kissed her , that i was HIV + was one of the most stressful things i ever had to do next to living with the terror of everything i was told.

    YOU GUYS MAKE ME SICK TO THE PIT OF MY STOMACH @ THE POSTS YOUV MADE.

    RIP Christine and im sorry you lost your friend Celia.

    Andy.

  171. #171 Scientizzle
    January 6, 2011

    Andy,

    You’ve been gravely mislead by Farber & friends.

    If you haven’t already, and if you’re interested in an actual HIV researcher’s direct work with the virus, go over to ERV’s scienceblog site

    Don’t put your life, and the safety of others at risk by swallowing the HIV/AIDS denialism.

  172. #172 Yusef Kilnelkisujik
    April 17, 2011

    M
    Ihgnggjggggny
    Iuggugugugg

  173. #173 Chartier
    May 14, 2011

    Excuse me ?

    Aren’t we all going to die ?

    Personally, I don’t like medicine relating to cancer and aids because I think they are worst than the disease.

    In all war, you have dead in each camp and I have choosen mine.

    Anyway : how do you explain that 30 years after, aids as caused so few dead ? Experts were expecting and “sold” a pandemic : were it is ? 0,0000x% of death.

    I feel you detailed post pathetic, really

  174. #174 novalox
    May 14, 2011

    @chartier

    I find your necromancing and pathetic trolling most depressing, really.

  175. #175 Marry Me, Mindy (fkaPablo)
    May 14, 2011

    It’s Saturday, which means the necromanmcers come out!

  176. #176 ArtK
    May 14, 2011

    Necromancers? I think that Orac’s been infected with necrophiliacs.

  177. #177 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 14, 2011

    The only point worth responding to in Chartier’s necromantic screed is his second-to-last:

    Anyway : how do you explain that 30 years after, aids as caused so few dead ? Experts were expecting and “sold” a pandemic : were it is ? 0,0000x% of death.

    That fallacy has been discussed here before, and I don’t think we ever figured out the perfect name for it.  Argument From Avoided Consequences, perhaps?  It usually takes the following form:

    1. Experts warned that a possible consequence of not addressing dangerous situation X might be nightmarish situation Y.
    2. Nightmarish situation Y failed to happen.
    3. Therefore dangerous situation X was never really dangerous after all and it was all scaremongering.

    How do we know that argumentation in this form is fallacious?  Because we can substitute premises that we know to be true for 1 and 2, and get a result that we would all agree was false.  For instance:

    1. Experts say that it’s dangerous to go skydiving without a parachute.
    2. I went sky-diving with a parachute and I survived.
    3. Therefore the dangers of skydiving without a parachute are totally overblown.

    See?  No one but a fool would think that 3. actually follows logically from 1. and 2.  It doesn’t even make the argument non-fallacious if we specify in 2. that the recommended intervention was not followed:

    1. Experts say that if you drive drunk, you could cause a fatal accident.
    2. I drove home drunk and nothing bad happened.
    3. Therefore it’s really very safe to drive drunk and all those experts are just scaremongering old ninnies.

    The experts warned that continuing the promiscuous habits of the 1970s and not practicing “safe sex” in the age of AIDS could result in a huge death toll.  Public awareness of AIDS rose, due in no small part to high-profile AIDS sufferers such as Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, and Liberace, and as a result, many people accepted “safe sex” as the way things had to be for the foreseeable future.  Since people did change their behavior, how much sense does it make to sneer that we didn’t get the death toll that was predicted to ensue from people not changing their behavior?  Not a bloody lot.  Especially when we look at parts of the world where public awareness did not rise and people took no measures or the wrong measures against AIDS (think Africa.)  The death toll there has been tragic, even with the development of multi-drug regimens that have made long-term survival of AIDS sometimes possible.

    The old saying goes, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  If your only contribution to the debate is to argue that the problem must be imaginary because the worst possible case didn’t come true, you’re definitely part of the problem.

  178. #178 dedicated lurker
    May 14, 2011

    There are 33 million people worldwide infected with HIV. There are two million new cases a year. That’s pandemic to me.

  179. #179 JJ
    September 21, 2011

    There is one thing – wasn’t she the person, that was tested for hiv antibodies about a dozen times and had oall possible results from positive, through inconclusive to negative? Correct me if I’m wrong

  180. #180 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 21, 2011

    JJ-

    I think you’re confusing her with a famous boxer.

  181. #181 Larry Silverstein
    February 16, 2012

    Shalom,

    A few Arabs with box cutters out-smarted a $50 billion Defense System. Saddam Hussein had WMD! Israel is a Democracy! Oswald killed JFK!

    Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs is another fable you should read, you F–KING MORONS!

    YOU are the ones with AIDS! YOU are Brain Dead!

    This is all about EUGENICS!

    Hitler learned it from America! He was one of the first of the NWO to cut the number of the World Population.

  182. #182 Beamup
    February 16, 2012

    Any actual evidence to support your threadomantic ranting, or are you just making up whatever sounds good?

  183. #183 Bronze Dog
    February 16, 2012

    Ew. Someone’s was stroking their ego and it left a mess.

    Anyway, as Beamup asked, you got any evidence, or just copypasta insults?

    Oh, yeah, since I can’t resist low-hanging fruit at the moment:

    1. Spending money on a defense system does not guarantee effectiveness. Life not a video game. Expensive does not automatically equal good.

    2. The technology level of a weapon, tool, or tactic is not an objective measure of effectiveness. Again, life is not a video game. Sometimes simplicity is more effective.

    3. If you were going there (and I’ve seen many who chose to), no, race does not factor into competency. Being of Arab ancestry is of negligible importance to the question. Life is not a tabletop RPG. You do not get automatic racial bonuses or penalties based on heredity.

    4. Everything I’ve seen certainly implicates Oswald as a lone assassin of JFK. The “magic bullet” story assumes that the passengers were sitting in the car like LEGO people.

    A general observation of mine, apologies for the psychobabble: Conspiracy theorists, especially American ones, seem to form their elaborate conspiracies to maintain the image of their country as being a Shangri-La, safe and unassailable by outside forces. Therefore, they attempt to rationalize disasters as being planned and carried out by the ones in power. They do this because they don’t want to deal with a world where a lone assassin can kill the President, or one where “inferior” foreigners can launch competent terrorist operations. They also don’t want to deal with the complexities of a chaotic, often unpredictable world where no one holds absolute power. “New World Order” conspiracy theories provide a comforting illusion of a comparatively simple, black-and-white, orderly world, so long as they don’t think about the insane logistics that would be necessary to maintain such control. It also provides the believer with his own delusion of control by allowing him to think he understands everything, while sacrificing his ability to understand the implications of human diversity and individuality.

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