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A confused Larry Kramer asks Peter Duesberg to explain his own case


But playwrights don’t read science papers it seems

As mentioned in the last post, ACT UP founder and Bush whacker Larry Kramer, who feels that other officials in Washington have it in for the gay comunity, but that NIAID director Tony Fauci is his best buddy, was sufficiently disconcerted by the appearance of the Celia Farber Harper’s article damning HIV drugs and the whole theoretical foundation of HIV?AIDS, that he actually asked Peter Duesberg to clarify the scene for him.

Duesberg had sent him a copy of his 2003 paper for Biosciences, which gives every reason under the sun why HIV?AIDS is clearly the worst scientific hypothesis since Aristotle thought that women had fewer teeth than men (apparently like Larry with HIV it didn’t occur to him to check the evidence for himself). The paper, Larry weakly replied, was a bit beyond his capacity, though he would “try” to get through it.

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“Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted. He did not do so because he thought he knew. Thinking that you know when in fact you don’t is a mistake to which we are all prone.” – Bertrand Russell, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish, Unpopular Essays,1950

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Interestingly, however, Larry then informed Duesberg that his liver transplant wasn’t due to taking anti-HIV drugs, since he didn’t take any of these or any other drugs, including poppers, since being diagnosed HIV positive in 1987. He only started taking anti-HIV drugs after the liver transplant, he wrote, when they were required.

If this is the case, we hasten to say, then it appears that his liver transplant was not due to drug intake, recreational or medicinal, and we apologize to him for ever suspecting it was.

(There are other reasons of course to need a liver replacement; possible Larry drank too much, or contracted hepatitis B and C from the thousands of personal encounters he has owned up to, not to mention heavy doses of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and other medicinal but non-anti-HIV drugs. But without suggesting that he is misleading us, it does seem oddly inconsistent not to avail himself of the very drugs that ACT UP, the group he founded, wrenched from the grasp of unwilling officials and researchers before they had time to clear them for safety, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people if the scientific critique is correct.)

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The liver, the largest organ in the body, is essential in keeping the body functioning properly. It removes or neutralizes poisons from the blood, produces immune agents to control infection, and removes germs and bacteria from the blood. It makes proteins that regulate blood clotting and produces bile to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. You cannot live without a functioning liver.

In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue replaces normal, healthy tissue, blocking the flow of blood through the organ and preventing it from working as it should. Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, killing about 26,000 people each year. Also, the cost of cirrhosis in terms of human suffering, hospital costs, and lost productivity is high.

Causes

Cirrhosis has many causes. In the United States, chronic alcoholism and hepatitis C are the most common ones.

Alcoholic liver disease. To many people, cirrhosis of the liver is synonymous with chronic alcoholism, but in fact, alcoholism is only one of the causes. Alcoholic cirrhosis usually develops after more than a decade of heavy drinking. The amount of alcohol that can injure the liver varies greatly from person to person. In women, as few as two to three drinks per day have been linked with cirrhosis and in men, as few as three to four drinks per day. Alcohol seems to injure the liver by blocking the normal metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Chronic hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus ranks with alcohol as a major cause of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in the United States. Infection with this virus causes inflammation of and low grade damage to the liver that over several decades can lead to cirrhosis.

Chronic hepatitis B and D. The hepatitis B virus is probably the most common cause of cirrhosis worldwide, but it is less common in the United States and the Western world. Hepatitis B, like hepatitis C, causes liver inflammation and injury that over several decades can lead to cirrhosis. Hepatitis D is another virus that infects the liver, but only in people who already have hepatitis B.

Autoimmune hepatitis. This disease appears to be caused by the immune system attacking the liver and causing inflammation, damage, and eventually scarring and cirrhosis.

Inherited diseases. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, galactosemia, and glycogen storage diseases are among the inherited diseases that interfere with the way the liver produces, processes, and stores enzymes, proteins, metals, and other substances the body needs to function properly.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In NASH, fat builds up in the liver and eventually causes scar tissue. This type of hepatitis appears to be associated with diabetes, protein malnutrition, obesity, coronary artery disease, and treatment with corticosteroid medications.

Blocked bile ducts. When the ducts that carry bile out of the liver are blocked, bile backs up and damages liver tissue. In babies, blocked bile ducts are most commonly caused by biliary atresia, a disease in which the bile ducts are absent or injured. In adults, the most common cause is primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease in which the ducts become inflamed, blocked, and scarred. Secondary biliary cirrhosis can happen after gallbladder surgery if the ducts are inadvertently tied off or injured.

Drugs, toxins, and infections. Severe reactions to prescription drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, the parasitic infection schistosomiasis, and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion can all lead to cirrhosis,

That is, we apologize if what he says is true, and not yet another example of the strange amnesia that seems to overtake so many HIV positive gay men who come down with AIDS symptoms of immune deficiency when asked if they have been in the habit of enjoying recreational drugs.

The confused statement he made to Duesberg is so clumsily phrased, however – he claims that Duesberg says that drugs are “the cause of HIV infection”, which is an amazing lack of understanding to show after twenty years of this discussion – that we suspect that he may have forgotten what he did take.

After all, the liver is what processes drugs like every other chemical adulteration in the bloodstream and it is the leading cause of death in “AIDS” patients in the last five years, even though it is not an AIDS symptom at all, according to the CDC. If Larry never took drugs of any kind it is an incredible coincidence that he had to have a liver transplant, which is hardly the most common operation among the non-drugtaking section of the population.

But who are we to question the word of a popular playwright? Here is what Duesberg, faced with this bafflingly inconsistent claim, politely wrote to set him straight.

Regarding the paper, “The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics ….”: This study describes evidence that all those AIDS defining diseases, e.g. Kaposi’s sarcoma, pneumonias, yeast infections, tuberculosis, dementia, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, etc, that have exceeded their long established backgrounds in the US and Europe since the 1980s can be reduced to the long-term use of recreational drugs and since 1987 also to prescriptions of DNA chain-terminators and other toxic chemicals as anti-HIV drugs. Indeed liver disease, which is not AIDS-defining and thus not (yet) attributed to HIV, is now the leading cause of death among AIDS patients. The liver is the primary target of chemicals, toxic or not. Yet, HIV is not (yet) said to infect the liver.

Thus the conclusion that AIDS is chemical, rather than viral, is restricted to what’s above established levels of old diseases and is now described as AIDS. Accordingly current AIDS includes a low percentage of AIDS defining diseases with long-established environmental, genetic and so-called idiopathic causes. Take for example the 50 cases of KS that were diagnosed annually in the US before AIDS, and the rare cases that Moritz Kaposi first described in Vienna over 1000 years ago….

I do not “say” that drugs “are the causes of infection. I say that drugs are the causes of AIDS-defining and other diseases, and that HIV is a harmless passenger virus. A passenger virus is defined as one that infects long before a disease occurs, that is neutralized by antibodies and is biochemically inactive and is therefore often undetectable during the course of a disease (Gallo’s nemesis!), and that is not necessary for any of the diseases its associated with. All this applies directly to HIV, is standard scientific knowledge and not my invention.

Perhaps even this muddle headed playwright who, as the founder of the most aggressive and disruptive activist group, ACT UP, is personally responsible for so much of the gay appetite for insufficiently tested HIV drugs and their consequences, will finally get the message, and instead of accusing the Bush administration of trying to kill off the gay population of the US will realize that his adored Tony Fauci has been with his help unwittingly or not trying to do that for the last two decades.

That is, of course, if everything Duesberg says is right. And given that he has maintained his impeccably argued and intensely peer reviewed critique of the HIV?AIDS theory as arrant nonsense in every respect for two decades without a whiff of refutation in the same peer reviewed high level journals, a critique which even a child could understand unless he or she were wearing HIV=AIDS spectacles like virtually all scientists, doctors, health workers, activists and officials in the field, we know of no reason whatsoever to doubt it.

25 Responses to “A confused Larry Kramer asks Peter Duesberg to explain his own case”

  1. DB Says:

    “The confused statement he made to Duesberg is so clumsily phrased, however – he claims that Duesberg says that drugs are “the cause of HIV infection”, which is an amazing lack of understanding to show after twenty years of this discussion.”

    This lack of basic understanding about “HIV” from Mr. Kramer is shocking, but entirely understandable. Somebody with this loose of a grasp on the basics of “HIV/AIDS” has lead the charge to get toxic pharmaceuticals into gay men’s (and others) bodies. It all makes perfect sense…unfortunately, in a macabre kind of way.

    “…and instead of accusing the Bush administration of trying to kill off the gay population of the US will realize that his adored Tony Fauci has been with his help unwittingly or not trying to do that for the last two decades.”

    I doubt that Mr. Kramer will have an epiphany. Instead of dealing with the possibility that he was in fact, very wrong, he’ll most likely find himself doing mental gymnastics to avoid realizing his place in this morbid debacle.

  2. Dean Esmay Says:

    There is also the distinct possibility here that the man really is just that confused, and that he may come to his senses and realize he was duped by scientists like Gallo whom he thought were friends to his community but were really only self-interested charlatans.

    It remains that he could do tremendous good, if he were to come to realize that, right or wrong, Duesberg makes compelling arguments and that much of this all needs careful re-evaluation. After the disaster of AZT, you would think/hope Kramer would be willing to rethink.

    Some might say that Kramer can’t do this without admitting guilt, but I would say that redemption is far from impossible for those who realize they’ve made a horrible mistake and seek to do something about rectifying it.

  3. DB Says:

    “…he may come to his senses and realize he was duped by scientists like Gallo…”

    Are you saying that Larry Kramer couldn’t think for himself and therefore put ultimate trust in medical authority? Are you saying Mr. Kramer is simply an innocent pawn in this macabre game? As a gay man who watched all this unfold (to my disbelief and horror), I find Larry Kramer to be as culpable in this madness as Gallo and Fauci.

  4. Martin Kessler Says:

    Larry Kramer is a playwright. That should give Mr. Kramer more not less ability than the average person to understand the written word. I myself do not posess any special expertise in medicine, molecular biology etc. but I found Duesberg (and others like John Lauritsen) to be perfectly understandable in laymans terminology. That HIV equals AIDS is a theology. In Christianity, one can argue how many Angels can stand on the head of a pin but one cannot question their existence. In AIDS theology, one can argue (or perform research) on HIV and invent as many mechanisms for its activity as you please but look for alternative causes (outside of HIV) for the AIDS defining diseases, and that’s heresy. Larry Kramer is a believer in AIDS theology and may be uninterested in understanding a good scientific explanation. Most of the recreational drugs gay men like Kramer used were to some extent gay identity drugs – drugs that defined the hedonistic lifestyle of those that acquired their diseases. One guy I talked to who quit his recreational drugs for about a month said he was bored to death without them. Sad testament.

  5. Poz_Brotherhood Says:

    I may be mistaken, but I don’t think I am, but I seem to remember Larry Kramer as being one of the ‘party drug’ circuit I witnessed when I was young and lived in NYC, right when AIDS started. And yes, he was a vicious, bitter YOUNG queen then. I talked to him numerous times on the phone as he was part of an inner circle that I worked in.

    I’m going to work on confirmation from those I know that are still alive that know him. (Most of them are dead, and lived the exact lifestyle I lived and Duesberg describes).

  6. Glider Says:

    In a 2001 article Kramer says he was on AZT and 3TC PRIOR to his liver transplant. In fact, he blames his liver condition on resistance to 3TC:

    “I never took the cocktail and my HIV viral load is 700 and my T cells are 300 plus and pretty much always have been. The only anti-HIV drugs I’ve ever taken are AZT [Retrovir] and 3TC [Epivir], both of which I still am on. It was my developing resistance to Epivir that caused my hepatitis B, previously pretty dormant, to fulminate into the liver disease that now is requiring a new liver.”

    http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hep_b/news/082901b.html

  7. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    I think it’s a waste of time to be angry with Larry Kramer. We have to remember what the setting was at the time — gay men were dropping like flies. Everyone was panicked. The fact that he can’t now reverse course is not surprising either. For myself, it was very difficult to do that, and I am a scientist. It’s painful to believe that one’s been duped by people we were supposed to be able to trust.

    Also, it is very important to remember that although Dr. Duesberg’s theory is compelling, his data is all correlational — it doesn’t prove causation. In order to do that, he would have to explain, in terms of our physiology, exactly how it is that exposure to chemicals and toxins depletes the immune system. This is not just a problem in his theory, it is a problem in all theories of AIDS currently. Not one theory, including the HIV theory and the nutritional deficiency theory, has yet to identify the causal mechanism. This is what we must push for. We need to understand exactly how HIV, or chemicals, or nutritional deficiencies end up destroying the cellular immune response. No theory has done that yet. So we are out here on our own without a theory of causal mechanism. Correlations are interesting, and each theory can point to many interesting correlations in support of their theory, but none so far has a clear idea of how T4 Lymphyocytes actually decline — and that is the key to understanding AIDS. I’m insisting, these days, that all of these scientists focus on that question. We all should insist on that.

  8. cmono1 Says:

    Mark: Although I dislike minimizing peoples’ deaths, a relatively small number of gay men died in the early 1980s. Check the statistics. I think they started “dropping like flies” when testing and AZT were introduced. I don’t doubt that panic existed at the time, but isn’t it possible that some scientists jumped on a chance to have an epidemic to deal with and inadvertently helped to generate fear which caused more suffering and even death in a domino effect?

    And the early cases of pneumonia and Kaposi’s sarcoma should’ve been linked to poppers which nearly no one disputes were common almost exclusively among gay men (in major cities at least)…which would explain why they in particular seemed to be getting sick. These men were treated with powerful pharmaceuticals which probably exacerbated their conditions. My point with all this is that the “epidemic” should’ve ended there. It’s been drug out now by pooling different groups of ill people together with hemophiliacs and IV drug users, using very questionable tests, considering deterioration of health due to ARVs to be “AIDS,” and frequently “moving the goalposts.” So, when you say that we need to focus on what the mechanism is that causes “AIDS” it begs the question of what “AIDS” is in the first place. And I think it’s a construct that could have a different answer for every part of it.

    Even mainstream AIDS researchers and specialists don’t rely as heavily anymore on lymphocyte count to predict or indicate disease. I’m surprised you haven’t run across dissident information about this. There are people who are healthy with a low count and people who are sick with a high count. Only a limited amount of lymphocytes can be measured anyway. Regardless, lymphocyte counts are only correlated with “AIDS,” so I’m wondering why you would consider the mechanism for lymphocyte depletion to be something we should be solely invested in.

    By the way, have you heard of the Perth Group and their ideas about what “AIDS” may be? Duesberg does not have the monopoly on alternative hypotheses. If you want, check out their website at theperthgroup.com They bring “oxidative stress” (admittedly a broad concept that should be looked into further) into the picture.

  9. DB Says:

    “I think it’s a waste of time to be angry with Larry Kramer. We have to remember what the setting was at the time — gay men were dropping like flies. Everyone was panicked.”

    Mark, I agree with you to a certain extent that it’s a waste of time to be angry with Larry Kramer. The damage has been done, nothing can change that.

    I distinctly remember the setting at the time. I lived in a mid-size midwestern city, and gay men WERE NOT dropping like flies! There was hysteria aplenty though! I wouldn’t personally know anybody with “AIDS” until 1990. So, my experience is that we were immersed in hysteria, gross exagerration and hyperbole and little more at that time. Maybe things would have been different for me if I lived in San Francisco?

    Larry Kramer started ACTUP on a foundation of hysteria, and a complete lack of knowledge of the “science” behind “HIV” (as truthseeker has given us a glimpse of what Mr. Kramer actually knows about “HIV”). ACTUP would help to create the unholy alliance between the “gay community” and the pharmaceutical companies. Even at the time, with all the fear and hysteria, I thought that this bond was a bad idea. I still didn’t really know “what” was supposedly “happening”, since I didn’t see any actual evidence of it, but the rush to make love with the pharmaceutical companies (and “expect” them to “save us”) made me worry at that time.

    “AIDS” aside…Larry Kramer’s been a broken record for as long as he’s been in the spotlight. His mantra is: everybody hates gay men. No matter what he’s been able to get accomplished…he still continues his pathetic mantra.

  10. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Hi to everyone who doesn’t use their real name (pet peeve of mine — sorry, but when the chips are down, names count).

    I have heard of the Perth group and studied their data, and it is indeed very interesting. I also know that some people do well with very few T4 Lymphocytes, although that is not true of the majority it too is interesting.

    Here’s the rub — the basic phenomenology of AIDS is a steady decline in T4 Lymphocytes. That is what any theory has to explain, and thus far, I’m quite certain that no theory has. Whether or not one can live a long a fruitful life with say 50 T-cells is not the point — the question is how one got there in the first place. The point from a scientific perspective is to produce real data that connect causes (drugs, HIV, nutritional deficiencies) to effects (in this case, I focus on the gradual decrease in T4 Lymphocytes — one could examine other effects too). The existence of causes and effects is the existence of correlations only. The causal mechanism is what connects the causes to the effects.

    The point is that no theory has supplied us with a causal mechanism for the gradual decline in T4 cells yet. A causal mechanism connects causes to effects by more than mere correlation. Correlations abound in science, and especially in the science we are all so passionate about right now. We should be done with correlations after 20 years, and we’re not. That’s my point. And yes, CMONO1, T4 decline is only “correlated” with AIDS. Again, you make my point for me. It’s all correlation. No one has a clue why exactly the decline takes place, and why it causes some (but not all people) to die. We have theories in abundance that indicate productive research directions concerning why the decline in T4 Lymphocytes takes place. But not one of them can explain exactly why — not one of them has elucidated a causal mechanism. So from my perspective, they are all equally useless. Interesting, but at this point, useless. Helpful, but as per the causal mechanism, useless. I’d like to know exactly why those cells decline? What is the physiological mechanism? I hope I’m not the only one who cares about this.

    For more information on what the difference between cause, effect, correlation, and causal mechanism is, I would refer everyone to a book by a former mentor of mine, Barbra Koslowski, called “Theory and Evidence.” She can explain it, apparently, better than I can. The introductory chapter rocks, and should provide helpful guidance in this area.

  11. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    An additional note on the dissidents and their data — remember that in the late 80s, we all yoked our dreams to a set of scientists who said they had the answer. Turns out they were wrong. I’m not willing to throw my support at this point to anyone who can’t elucidate a causal mechanism, and we should all be hesitant to throw our hats in with the first/last/newest/greatest theory that comes along. I predict many theories will come along — and it’s possible, even likely, that several of them will end up being right — AIDS is likely “multicausal” — meaning, like complex diseases like lung cancer, it has many causes — not just one or two. In fact, that is what the current data from both the establishment and the dissidents suggests. In the end, it is likely that we will identify many factors that contribute to what we call “AIDS.”

    So, I suggest to everyone to be wary of pledging allegiance to anything but your own mind and its ability to make good decisions for you, and you alone. Don’t forsake one God for another God. Be your own God. Take what you can use from all of the theories — but take it all with a grain of salt. Our original mistake, and Larry Kramer’s mistake as well, was to forget to pass the salt.

  12. cmono1 Says:

    People can put up whatever names they want on here, so I don’t put much stock in them. And why then would you post on the blog of someone with a nom-de-plume?

    I’m afraid that you might not be understanding me. T4 lymphocyte counts can vary depending on the lab, hour, day, etc. You’re basing “AIDS” on this disputable marker. In other words, a “decline” could be the result of so many mundane factors, and may not actually be a true decline at all. You can call this dissident information, but usually they pull these inconsistencies directly from orthodox research. “AIDS” is such a conglomeration of things that I can’t understand how you can simplify it to a decline in T4 cells.

    Also, I question if the “majority” of people have a decline in T4 lymphocytes. “AIDS” researchers themselves admit they only scrape the tip of the iceberg with their studies of “HIV+” individuals. Most of the time they are researching people who are on toxic meds or who have other factors that would definitely complicate the data.

    And most dissidents do think for themselves and do not always agree with some spokesperson like Christine Maggiore or Peter Duesberg.

  13. DB Says:

    cmono1,

    I agree with everything you said in this last post.

    As far as anybody ever being able to figure out what “AIDS” is…first thing you’ll have to do is pick a definition and stick with it. “AIDS” has been a moving target almost from the get-go.

    I’m of the mindset that “AIDS” is a debacle from beginning to end, a complete construct. Yes, gay men were getting sick in the late ’70’s and early 80’s. But since “HIV” trumped any other research as to why some gay men were getting sick with uncommon ailments, we may never know why that was occurring. Creating a mythical virus for their ailments and lumping Haitians, IV drug users, hemophiliacs and dark folks from Africa only added to the absurdity, and created a category that embodied “stuffing a square peg into a round hole”.

    As a gay man who never fully believed in the “HIV” faith, I’m loathe to continue the charade. I think there are a lot of gay men, even those who call themselves “dissidents”, who really don’t want to let go of their faith. They want some kind of “AIDS” to persist, as the very concept of a “gay disease” serves some functions in their lives.

  14. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Well, I guess I went to all those funerals for “no” disease, and have seen my own T4 Lymphocytes decline rather dramatically over an eight-year period “just because.” (and don’t worry — it’s a “true” decline — you certainly assume I’m an idiot! — thanks for your generosity). Eight years of my own data is what I’m basing my conclusions on — and my data, apparently, are not too dissimilar to many others. What explains it, this gradual decline? And don’t tell me drugs, or malnutrition or HIV meds or HIV — because a causal mechanism has not been demonstrated in any of those cases. Those are all interesting theories, but that’s all they are at this point — theories. And that really pisses me off.

    Also, the deaths of 40+ people I know were not “constructs.” You can debate with me what caused those deaths, but people did die. And they are still dying. (perhaps now for different reasons, but dying all the same). Sorry my demand for good science upsets you so. You can drag Social Constructionism out of the closet day after day if you’d like, but people are still going to die. Social Constructionism can’t, I dont’ think, claim it ever actually saved a life. It’s interesting to deconstruct things and makes for great coffee-talk. And I’ll acknowledge that the way the disease has been constructed has been profoundly problematic — but that’s the past. I think we all get that at this point if we’re even on this site — we understand the construction of the disease. That is entirely beside the point as far as I’m concerned. People are still dying today; T4 cells are still declining. No theory has been proven. My concern is science, plain and simple.

    And yeah, sure, you can use any name you’d like on this website — I use my real name because I am publicly standing behind my words, and you know what — I do think that’s important in a contentious debate like this — it’s called “authenticity,” and I am going to question the authenticity of my critics today. Reveal yourselves, why not? And if you’ve been following my dialog with the blog’s host, you know I don’t approve of pseudonyms — for anyone — but that doesn’t mean I won’t participate.

    Google me. I’m out there. I’ve done my time doing research for the gay community. This isn’t Literary Theory 312 at college and we’re not reading Derrida. We’re talking about people who have died, and others who will die. I want to know why. You sound as though you have figured it out to your satisfaction — I’m happy for you, honestly. But I am not satisfied. And I won’t be until people stop dying and we’ve explained what happened physiologically. Lacan and Derrida won’t help me or anyone else figure that out.

    As for people wanting something like “AIDS” to continue — perhaps there are such people — I tend to think that Gregg Gonsalves is one of those people, but even I would really be loathe to put that on him, and believe me, I have reason. I certainly am not someone who wants “AIDS” to continue. I want an answer. A scientific answer. And I really resent the accusation that I am somehow still longing for something like “AIDS.” After all, I don’t know any of you from Adam, and you don’t know me at all either, so why attempt to psychoanalyze one another? That’s just destructive bull crap. And mean too, actually. Unkind. Not encouraging of further comment here. Perhaps that’s what was intended? Congrats, then. Done.

  15. Dean Esmay Says:

    Oh, come on back Mark. I don’t think anyone meant it to be personal. And I do think that, particularly among young people who weren’t there to see the death, there really does seem to be a mentality that HIV is what unites the gay community. Yes, I am NOT a member of that community but I’ve had many friends in it and I do think it’s fair to say the mentality exists, and while it’s probably not anyone’s PRIMARY motivation for anything, it sadly plays a macabre part, even if only subconsciously. We’re all human.

    I would otherwise like to say I utterly agree with just about everything you’ve said. I admire Peter Duesberg, but he may be wrong about many things. To go another direction, there are people like Root-Bernstein who accept that HIV seems to deplete t-cells but who suggest there have to be other factors in play before you advance to AIDS. And so on and so forth. It all, really, ought to be funded and looked at. The great tragedy is that we’ve made it illegal to work with HIV without a government grant, and the grants are only given to people who accept the single hypothesis that we’re all so critical of. That to me is the real corruption, the real tragedy. Indeed, it makes one wonder what other areas of science are just like that that we don’t know about.

  16. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Wow, sanity wins the day. Thanks, Dean.

  17. cmono1 Says:

    Wow. I really didn’t think I was going to piss you off like that. I never said that people aren’t dying or that they aren’t sick. I just question T4 lymphocyte counts. No one said you were an idiot, so cut the dramatics. And, no, Mark, based on your data alone I am not convinced of anything just as you wouldn’t be convinced if I said I know 40+ who DON’T have a steady decline in T-cells. I’m not saying your T4 cells aren’t declining, but as to what this REALLY means, that’s debatable. I also wonder if we’d have any declines such as yours in “HIV-negative” individuals.

    Dissidents aren’t going to have the information you are chiding us for not having due exactly to what Dean brought up – we haven’t been given money, a real voice, or a chance to “deconstruct” a mess of a “syndrome. No, I don’t think I’ve figured it out, but through my own research I’ve found that surrogate markers used in diagnosis and monitoring of “AIDS” aren’t as valid as I thought. And judging by the data I’ve come across, I really doubt it’s a virus behind all this.

    My name is Rick Tillin and I’m a lowly student working paycheck to paycheck, certainly not a person that someone truly important has time for. So, please don’t go. I’ll jump back into my place with the rest of the groundlings and spare the scientific prima donnas my ignorant babble.

  18. Poz_Brotherhood Says:

    mark, i really value your views and appreciate the balance you bring to the issue about ‘correlations’, from both the dogmatic and dissident perspectives.

    i however, am not a scientist. i am a human being. i am a man that is driven, like i believe all human beings are, by thoughts, feelings and emotions. i have seen too many friends die and watched them leave their bodies to ignore the fact that first and foremost we are spirit. both ‘hiv’ perspectives seem to have divorced themselves from this reality, particularly western medicine which reduces each one of us to a statistic or correlation. what a load of crap.

    i don’t care anymore about t-cells or viral loads or wmd’s. i know how i created my illness. that i can attest to. it wasn’t a virus that did it to me, or a person that ‘infected me’. i don’t even know what my illness is anymore as it relates to the western model. ten years, 50 t-cells and i’ve never been sick. not even a cold. it’s that simple.

    the ‘illness’ i can taste and smell and live with is the choices i have made that have been self-destructive and a denial of this spirit. the deep depression that has resulted from 44 plus years of childhood and adult sexual trauma, grief and loss has taken it’s toll on me. i can attest to that because i am the one who has lived though it. i and only i am the one that can heal it. and i am.

    will i die in the end? absolutely. not one of us is getting out of here alive. but as i have said to many pwa’s i have counselled, if you are motivated by the need to save your life then give up now. that motivatioin is based on fear and fear is what got us into this place to begin with. heal your life. become more conscious of who you are and what your purpose is. open your heart and love and allow yourself to be loved. (to me, the most difficult challenge).

    one perspective i have always carried is this: t-cells are produced by the thymus gland. the thymus gland correlates to the ‘heart chakra’. a closed heart chakra cannot produce t-cells effectively and fulfill it’s purpose. that is the core of my belief and what i have witnessed in my self, watching my t-cells fluctuate with my sense of well-being or periods of greater stress and ‘dis-ease’.

    on another level i have always loved the quote i once heard about louis pasteur. on his deathbed he had an epiphany. “my entire life’s work has been a fraud. it’s not the microbe, it’s the terrain”.

    a hole in the ozone layer, polluted water, air, food and land. a world full of trauma and terror, fear and victimization. the earth’s immune system is struggling as are it’s human inhabitants. as above, so below. why can’t we see this? is ‘hiv, the virus that causes aids’ nothing more than a distraction?

    until we look at life, or illness or disease from a holistic perspective we will never solve anything. we will just continiue to deny our true essence and spend our lives reading scientific articles that in the end mean very little. you can spend years and billions rearranging the furniture (in a petri dish) but in the end you still only have the same old ugly furniture.

    this is just my perspective, thanks for listening. it will be part of an essay i am working on called “acceptable suicide: the consciousness of the aids epidemic”

  19. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    CMONO1 (or Rick, which sounds nicer) — I am just as interested in why HIV- people suffer a decline in T4 Lymphocytes. I don’t give two shits about the HIV virus, actually. And I know the dissidents don’t have data because they’ve not been funded — but having data and having a theory are two different things, and they don’t have a theory of causal mechanism either — for those who are neg or poz. Pick a marker, any marker, and I guarantee you that there is no theory of causal mechanism.

    T4 Lymphocyte declines have been related by correlation to drug use, exposure to environmental toxins, chemotherapy, certain autoimmune diseases, malnutrition, depression — lots of people show such declines. What the decline ultimately means for each person is probably different, as all the contexts are different. The Pasteur quote is right on the money. But the decline in overall white blood cell count, or in a specific group of white blood cells is a widely accepted marker of decline in cellular immunity. And a decline in cellular immunity has caused and will continue to cause many people serious problems.

    Sorry you find me dramatic, but again, you don’t know me or my life, so it would be inappropriate of you to characterize my response that way, given you know nothing of the “terrain,” the response emanates from. Again, you’re just being unkind in your projections.

    Tom, of course, I totally adore your perspective and think it’s got the most going for it of any of the perspectives I’ve heard — honestly — but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t scientific questions of interest here — not that you have to be interested in them, but I am, if that’s okay.

  20. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    BTW, I’ll not respond to anymore comments in this strand. I’ve said enough, I think. I’ll just havet to wait and see what “truthseeker’ throws us next.

  21. cmono1 Says:

    Mark: I realize now that I was misunderstanding your view of AIDS; I thought you considered it a unique type of immune deficiency. About T-cells…I’ve taken in what you’ve said and I’m going to do more research. I can see how you’ve taken some of my comments as unkind, but I honestly wasn’t trying to be cruel to you. We both really don’t know each other and through a computer it’s hard to know how to take someone at times. Can we please move past this? If you forgive me for calling you a prima donna, I’ll forgive you for calling me riff-raff. :-) I’m interested in what you have to bring here, even if what I have to say is irrelevant to you, and I’m willing to listen better.

  22. DB Says:

    Mark,
    I know you’re not going to respond, that’s ok. I’m using a pseudonym, and I’m probably the “riff-raff”.

    Sorry, but you don’t have a monopoly on “AIDS” funerals. I’ve had friends die of “AIDS” as well. And yes, I’m loathe to continue the debacle and artificial construct of “AIDS”…dead friends or not.

    What you seem to be proposing is a new disease definition: Tcell decline disease. Maybe there’s a future in it. God, I hope so. I’d hate to see this whole “AIDS” thing just disappear. Let’s keep the “AIDS” paradigm in place, because as we all know, it makes perfect sense. Let’s just take “HIV” out of the equation. Let’s keep counting Tcells and terrorizing people. Hopefully there will be some drugs to take for this new disease because I’d hate to see the pharmaceutical companies suddenly lose out. Poor dears, they need us to be sick and scared so they can make money.

    I hope you’re successful with your new disease. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will need treatment. I won’t be one of them, thank you. I’m seeing through the bullshit these days.

  23. truthseeker Says:

    To all those who have posted informative comments on the science discussed here, including Mark, many thanks.

    Please keep combative personal stuff off this area, however, since it just clogs up the effort of this blog to illuminate the scene.

    Any complaints about the blog of a personal nature, insults and so forth, kindly email directly to the author of the blog, as available in the right hand margin.

    Such email is kept confidential unless its release is specifically OK’d by both authors. Thanks. AL.

    PING:
    TITLE: Postscript On Africa
    BLOG NAME: Dean’s World
    Via Hit & Run, I found this fascinating 2001 story from Rolling Stone by Rian Malan: AIDS in A…

  24. David Lowenfels Says:

    Mark Biembaum wrote:

    Also, it is very important to remember that although Dr. Duesberg’s theory is compelling, his data is all correlational — it doesn’t prove causation. In order to do that, he would have to explain, in terms of our physiology, exactly how it is that exposure to chemicals and toxins depletes the immune system. This is not just a problem in his theory, it is a problem in all theories of AIDS currently. Not one theory, including the HIV theory and the nutritional deficiency theory, has yet to identify the causal mechanism. This is what we must push for. We need to understand exactly how HIV, or chemicals, or nutritional deficiencies end up destroying the cellular immune response. No theory has done that yet. So we are out here on our own without a theory of causal mechanism. Correlations are interesting, and each theory can point to many interesting correlations in support of their theory, but none so far has a clear idea of how T4 Lymphyocytes actually decline — and that is the key to understanding AIDS. I’m insisting, these days, that all of these scientists focus on that question. We all should insist on that.

    There is a scientist who is answering the questions of pathophysiology. His name is Dr. Heinrich Kremer, and hs is a retired German MD. Kremer’s writings here

    A decline in CD4 counts is caused by a cytokine shift from Type-1 to Type-2. The result is less Th1 cells, which use NO gas in the cell-mediated immunity, and more TH2 cells, which live primarily outside the bloodstream and promote antibody synthesis by B-cells.

    Th1/Th2 cells cannot be differentated by surface protein binding, which is how T-cells are counted.

    A good indicator for the strength of the Th1 cell-mediated reaction is lack of skin anergy on the DTH test. Unfortunately, this test is no longer manufactured. Second best is the Lymphocyte Transformation Test (LTT), which is another functional test, and not a useless quantitative one like CD4 counting.

    Hypercortisolism is also part of the vicious cycle of CMI decline and TH2 activation, however the disease is essentially an autoimmune disease triggered by oxidative stress.

    refer to the work of Dr. Alfred Hässig, who was Kremer’s mentor: Interview with A. Hässig

    Only recently in 1998, did Peterson et al show that intracellular glutathione controls the switching between the synthesis Th1 and Th2 cytokines. It is an evolutionary biological mechanism to protect from extreme inflammation, namely in the immune defense against parasitic worms. At least that is the evolutionary function, but today this fire-alarm gets triggered too often by environmental and lifestyle stressors: infectious, toxic, traumatic, nutritional and psychological stress.

  25. angie villarreal Says:

    PING:
    TITLE: Postscript On Africa
    BLOG NAME: Dean’s World
    Via Hit & Run, I found this fascinating 2001 story from Rolling Stone by Rian Malan: AIDS in A…

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