Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Buy a red Nano, save an African life


Finally, eyeball proof that HAART works: Alicia visits Mombasa, with crew

Child dies on ARVs, after 14 years without ARVs. Why is Bono overlooked by the Nobel Committee?

Have the critics of HIV∫AIDS misled us? That’s what we are forced to ask after today’s Oprah Winfrey show, and NBC news, which was devoted to Bono and his new Red campaign to raise money for ARVs for needy Africans.

Not only did Oprah and Bono demonstrate that buying red versions of cool gear could save the lives of children with AIDS in Africa. But Alicia Keys reported finding out from her emotionally moving visit (with film crew) to Mombasa that some African children are not given ARVs for years after they are born with HIV, and may die as a result, even when they finally are given the drugs.

The clinic is dispensing ARVs to needy children now, however, courtesy of Oprah’s Angel network. But, we are shown, it may be too late. Sudi, one child photographed by her video crew as Alicia sat with his family trying to be encouraging, cried because he hadn’t had drugs until he was fourteen, though now he was getting them. You could see the tears running down his cheeks. Back in the studio, Oprah enquired after Sudi’s health, and Alicia with lowered voice confided that the poor child had “passed away” a week later. Well, it was a miracle that he had survived so long, Oprah pointed out, since he hadn’t been able to get the drugs until he was 14.

Having seen all this eyewitness testimony on screen with our own eyes we feel somewhat aggrieved. How could we have been taken in so easily by all the claims of HIV∫AIDS critics that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, and that the drugs aren’t any good for you? They simply don’t fit what one sees on the screen.

Well, now they can’t keep on saying this, because Oprah, Alicia Keys and Bono have told us and 22 million other viewers how much better the Africans feel when they are discovered to be suffering from HIV and are given ARVs at last, courtesy of those who buy red gear, whereby a portion of the price goes to Bono’s Red movement to deliver ARVs to the needy.

“Now customers can buy the best music player in the world and do something to help the world at the same time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re honored to work with Bono, (RED) and this team to contribute to an incredibly important initiative and help change the way people think about AIDS in Africa.”

Several other companies are offering red-colored products in support of Bono’s charity. The Gap is selling several red-colored clothing items, and Motorola is offering a red-colored RAZR.

Apple Offers Red iPod to Fight AIDS

(show)

Apple Offers Red iPod to Fight AIDS

By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

October 13, 2006, 2:06 PM

Apple said Friday that it had teamed up with U2 front man Bono to offer a special edition of the iPod Nano. However, unlike the full-size iPod that was designed for the band, this music player supports Bono’s charity Red, which fights diseases in Africa, primarily AIDS.

The 4GB Nano is enclosed in a red case, and will sell for $199 USD. For each unit sold, Apple will donate $10 to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. In addition, the iPod includes a special $25 Red iTunes Gift card, although it didn’t specify what percentage would go to charity.

“Now customers can buy the best music player in the world and do something to help the world at the same time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re honored to work with Bono, (RED) and this team to contribute to an incredibly important initiative and help change the way people think about AIDS in Africa.”

Several other companies are offering red-colored products in support of Bono’s charity. The Gap is selling several red-colored clothing items, and Motorola is offering a red-colored RAZR. While the some of the products have been available in the UK since April of this year, Friday marks the first day the products became available in the US.

“It’s wonderful to see this incredible level of commitment from companies that are willing to lend their creativity in the fight against AIDS in Africa, the greatest health crisis in 600 years,” Bono said in a statement.

Yes, readers, we are going to go out and buy a red Nano at once, or at least, as soon as we need one. For we saw with our own eyes Oprah Winfrey and Bono today showing us how if they buy a red $79.99 Motorola phone with two year contract, that will yield $17 for ARV medicine for those in need. Oprah scooped up ten, which meant $170, enough for ARVs for one African for one year. This was after she bagged ten red iPods, each of which meant $10 more drugs for Africans with HIV, and before she collected ten Armani red T shirts, and ten Armani Bono type wraparound sunglasses.

“This is so cool!” said Oprah. “Thank you Apple!” as she left the Apple store and with her arm round Bono’s shoulders continued on a Red item shopping tour of Chicago, with crowds of fans kept back behind ropes at the doorways of the stores, some of whom Oprah handed Armani sunglasses.

“That was so much fun!” she said.

Back in the studio, she welcomed Alicia King – “Don’t we all love her?!” – offering her a red T shirt. But Alicia turned it down, because she will buy a red T shirt herself to support the movement. She was just back as mentioned from visiting the family care clinic in Mombasa hospital. We see her visit on camera. She tells them she is so glad that they are feeling better on the medicines the Oprah Angels are able to provide.

On screen, Alicia sits with the HIV doomed family. One is Sudi, with tears running down his cheeks. Sudi hasn’t improved. He is the one that has had HIV since he was born, but only got medicines when he was 14, courtesy of Oprah’s Keep a child alive! network. But HIV has got him in its grip, regardless, and a week after Alicia’s encouraging visit, she reports, he died. But as Oprah notes cheerfully, it is amazing he stayed alive so long without treatment. Alicia agrees. She informs us that he would still be alive today if he had had ARVs when he was 3 years old.

“It is the simplest thing to save a life in Africa. It is so simple!” says Alicia.

Drugs have immediate effect

It wasn’t just Alicia, either, who told us how important and effective ARV drugs are in Africa. The woman in charge of the hospital gratefully described how the ARVs do good visibly and immediately to the chilren. “They start gaining weight, their height just shoots up astronomically, they have no fever, no infections, they no longer cough. A year later you can’t tell the difference between children with HIV and those without.”

How can HIV∫AIDS critics argue with that direct testimony?

Alicia reports that there are 25 million already dead from AIDS in Africa. “These children look at me and say if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be alive today.”

At this point, the basic facts having been established and a solution to the AIDS threat in Africa having been provided through shopping, it was time for the entertainment factor to be escalated, and so we were treated to Alicia Keys and Bono singing an unprecedented, never to be repeated duet: “Don’t give up Africa!”

Picture of a skeletal child…slogans appearing on the screen and melting away…”Don’t give up Kenya.”… “Don’t give up Uganda.”… “Don’t give up Zimbabwe.”… Don’t give up South Africa”…as the two mellifluous voices of the two superstars sigh, coo and squeak their way through the sentiment of the day… “It gonna be alright… Don’t give up, Please don’t give up. Whatever may come, whatever may go.. that river’s flowing… that river’s flowing. Don’t give up. There’s no reason to feel ashamed… Somewhere there’s a place. Africa…UHHHH FREEEEE KA AHAHAHAHAHAH….”

Bono’s launch of his Red campaign also won a mention on NBC news tonight. According to NBC announcer Brian Williams, the money “will help save the estimated 6500 Africans that die from AIDS every day.”

So where is the Nobel prize for AIDS?

The only people who seem to be insufficiently impressed so far are the Nobel Peace prize committee, who once again passed over Bono to celebrate a man who has brought a way of making a living to millions.

The lead singer of U2, born Paul Hewson in 1960, was among the favorites for the peace prize in the past two years. This year’s contenders also included former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“Over 60 percent of the money we took went on Bono, so it’s a bit of a disappointment for punters,” said Ken Robertson, a spokesman for the Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power Plc. “I’ve no doubt he’ll win it at some stage, perhaps when they need to re-energize it.”

Do the Nobel Peace Commitee know something we don’t? It’s not just Bono they haven’t favored, but where is the Nobel prize for Robert Gallo, once the most referenced scientist in the world, who first came up with the theory that HIV caused AIDS, and has stuck with that view through a pile up of contrary evidence over 22 years that would have defeated a lesser man?

Perhaps they are thinking of a combined Gallo Bono Peace prize, which would avoid getting into the embarrassing science of the matter.

But this would of course overlook the giant contribution of Anthony Fauci of NIAID in protecting the paradigm from nosy media reporters and others who might discover that it has not so far been proven in the scientific literature, which has on the other hand produced more reasons for rejecting it that you can shake a stick at.

Given that Anthony Fauci has pointed out that the solution to HIV∫AIDS may well be to add more HIV to stimulate the immune system (see previous post, NAR nominates Dr Anthony Fauci for Nobel – he has found the solution to AIDS), not to mention that HIV entry blocks the cell suicide of infected cells, and that antioxidants will stop HIV replication, perhaps he and Gallo, who first showed that HIV was not the cause of AIDS, and who has also shown antioxidants can protect the cells against cell suicide, can share a Nobel in Medicine for their contribution, now endorsed by the glamor and authority of Oprah Winfrey and Alicia Keys, as well as the renowned Bono.

Nobel Peace Prize Overlooks Rocker Bono for Bangladeshi Banker

(show)

Nobel Peace Prize Overlooks Rocker Bono for Bangladeshi Banker

By Sara Marley

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — As Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh won the Nobel peace Prize at 5 a.m. New York time, the Irish rock star Bono announced the Red charity in the U.S., backed by Gap Inc., Converse Inc. and Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks.

Motorola Inc. and Apple Inc. introduced Red-branded products in separate statements at the same time, with a portion of sales going to HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. Bono is appearing on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” today to promote the initiative.

The lead singer of U2, born Paul Hewson in 1960, was among the favorites for the peace prize in the past two years. This year’s contenders also included former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“Over 60 percent of the money we took went on Bono, so it’s a bit of a disappointment for punters,” said Ken Robertson, a spokesman for the Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power Plc. “I’ve no doubt he’ll win it at some stage, perhaps when they need to re-energize it.”

Last year’s peace prize went to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Egyptian director general, Mohamed ElBaradei. Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist, won in 2004.

Bono has been mentioned as a candidate for the peace prize since at least 2003, with the likes of Pope John Paul II, former Czech President Vaclav Havel and Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.

Geldof Too

Another Irish singer, Bob Geldof, 55, was nominated by a former member of Norway’s Parliament this year. He set up the 1985 Live Aid and 2005 Live 8 concerts to raise awareness and money in the fight against poverty. Australian bookmaker Centrebet gave each singer the same odds of winning, 33-1.

Bono wrote “Walk On” for 1991 Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, according to the World Entertainment Network.

Motorola will start selling a red version of its Razr phone in the U.S., donating $17 per handset sold to Bono’s charity, Leslie Dance, a Motorola vice president, said in an interview on Oct. 11.

Apple announced a $199 Red special edition iPod nano with a $10 donation to Bono’s Global Fund for each sale.

Apple has teamed up before with U2, which won five Grammy awards this year with the album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.” The first black U2 iPod, with the band members’ autographs etched on the back, was introduced in November 2004.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sara Marley in London at smarley1@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: October 13, 2006 09:55 EDT

93 Responses to “Buy a red Nano, save an African life”

  1. nohivmeds Says:

    Oh and Dan — please don’t stop commenting just because I’m around again. Because you see, I’m not going anywhere. I’m sure you can find a way to make your views known without demeaning mine — then, I wouldn’t feel such a need to attack back. Simple, really. Or perhaps not so simple, if you are using me to vent your resentments against the gay community? Something to think about. I certainly value everyone’s contributions here, whether I object to them or not.

  2. Truthseeker Says:

    As a gay man who’s been able to not get dragged into this self-loathing, self-denying, victim-mentality gay death cult for 25 years, I find I have less and less time for those who have been “absorbed” and have no desire to free themselves

    With all due respect, NotHIVMeds, this seems to be a very accurate remark from Dan if your last stream of posts are any guide. The bottom line is that you continue to take these meds on the theory that they are antibiotics? Did we not see that in one of your posts, which we are forced to skim too rapidly because they do not as requested concern the science and the literature alone but include insults and emotionalism of a high order which interfere with the cool objectivity with which this topic has to be dealt if truth is to emerge. Mention of your unmentionable body parts is also verboten for the same reason, and is not even humorous, as you appear to believe.

    If we are correct in recalling that you are taking ARVs despite your moniker because you fondly imagine they have some antibiotic effect, let’s remind you that our remark above was serious. In the face of the proven and admitted deleterious effects of ARVs you have to have a very good reason to take them. This does not include that you imagine you feel better, especially when you are in a self-demonstrated highly emotional state. There should be objective measurement of your improved health and also clear reasons why you should not prefer to take conventional antibiotics or whatever else in conventional medicine achieves the same objectives.

    As far as we can detect from your muddled emotionalism you are simply reluctant to give up a false belief you nurtured for so long in close proximity in your paralyzed brain to your desire to survive, so that the two got blended emotionally and you cannot tear them apart now. If you want to continue being a self flagellating nincompoop then continue believing that HIV does something, and take ARVs for it. If you want to be a ‘scientist” in the way you loudly profess to know and love then be one, and grasp the nettle. You were a fool and a sucker to believe in HIV causing harm for so many years and it is time to relinquish the beloved belief, as a viper in your bosom.

    If our impatient language shocks you, it is no more than you deserve for papering this blog with narcissistic double think when you have been specifically asked not to several times. If you wish to reply amd refute what we say in a style which answers the point, then refrain from emotionalism, insults and double think, and make clear scientific points, and we can do likewise, and perhaps stand corrected. But first, you have to take our points in hand, and not wallow in emotionalism and narcissism to the extent of attacking Dan for trying to bring home to you the cool and simple reasoned conclusions of the science you profess to love.

    If we are too rude perhaps you will forgive us if you learn that we were exposed to this kind of emotional thinking by several people at a GMHC meeting last night in New York City, and they were, like you, admirable human beings who did not deserve to be so misled by themselves, and we are especially tired of it today.

  3. nohivmeds Says:

    TS — Just so you know, I don’t take anything you write about ARVs seriously. You’ve never been on them, and were never faced with the decision. You’re heterosexual, you’re assumably healthy. You have absolutely no insight at all thought into my thought processes — your conjectures are mostly sad to me. But, I wouldn’t expect you to understand. I don’t come here for that.

    All that said — that is the 11th time you’ve lectured me on what somehow you perceive I don’t understand. Aren’t you tired of repeating yourself? Both Glider and Kevin and Kessler and YGB understand. If you can’t, then you can’t. But let’s agree to forego the 12th lecture, shall we? In return, I won’t made (educated) hypotheses about what moves you. That should be worth quite a lot.

    It is astounding to me how little you do understand about me. Gardner says that Interpersonal Intelligence shows large individual differences. You’re great on the nuts and bolts of microbiology, epidemiology, immunology — don’t try psychology. It’s embarassing.

  4. nohivmeds Says:

    And some advice, TS — Kessler, Glider, YGB, Kevin — all bright guys, obviously. Dan too — but can you not see that Dan is the only one here who seems to have a need (which strangely, you also seem to have) to demean gay men? I would find it hard to ally myself with such clear distorted and negative judgement and disdain, but perhaps that’s comfortable for you? After all, I did hi-jack this strand, didn’t I? Don’t worry, TS. You’re in charge. I’ll try to keep my “emotionalism” and all that other blither-blather you wrote about above, that all really just translates into “gay” on a lower setting, so as not to upset your sensibilities (or Dan’s for that matter). I pledge to give it my all to pass for cool, scientific, and above all, heterosexual! It will be my pleasure. What is it Bialy says about me in comparison to you when it comes to scientific reasoning?

  5. nohivmeds Says:

    Oh — and another thing you might be noticing about now — your attacks, Dan’s — they don’t faze me anymore! It’s great, because now I can still enjoy participating regardless! So plan on hearing from me. I feel really comfortable here. You’re a very gracious host, that I must say.

  6. Truthseeker Says:

    TS — Just so you know, I don’t take anything you write about ARVs seriously. You’ve never been on them, and were never faced with the decision

    That is precisely what we mean. You have little or no respect for others’ objective thinking, and too much respect for your own subjective thinking, particularly when you are in a dangerous situation, or so you are persuaded, and also are actually ill, a predicament which throws everyone off their normal level of mental performance.

    It is astounding to me how little you do understand about me. Gardner says that Interpersonal Intelligence shows large individual differences. You’re great on the nuts and bolts of microbiology, epidemiology, immunology — don’t try psychology. It’s embarassing.

    Again, you have no respect for objective observation when it involves your subjective feelings and beliefs. The fact that our analysis fits your behavior and predicts it time and again on this blog should weigh something, but no, you deny it as vehemently yet unspecifically as ever.

    The objective here is not to understand you, but to get you to discuss what you believe and what you are doing more obectively, and for you to stop attacking outside views of your belief in yourself and your subjective perceptions and in what others have told you, with overreactive insults, defensiveness, and doublethink. It is your own story which informs our comments, the story you told, of how you as a “scientist” never had an inkling that you were sold a bill of goods until enlightened by Celia Farber’s article in Harpers.

    If there is a better example of the fallibility of your subjective perceptions, we can’t imagine what it would be. Maybe it is time to separate, finally, your giant bag of conflicting emotions, including all the complex ones that you seem to have inherited as a gay, as described by Dan, who is a gay, and therefore cannot be outright rejected as a nonauthority as we mere heterosexuals can be, as well as your pride in being “scientific” (rather intermittently in our experience), as well as the great flux of fear and anger and fatigue that is caused by actually being ill, from your analysis, and at least listen to others who are not involved in such complexities, simple minded though they might appear to you.

    The HIV issue is not complicated in any way in its origin. A bad idea which should have been rejected immediately at the outset by reviewers and editors was given federal endorsement. All the complications arose because this gave many people a powerful reason to rationalize it, and gays – who had a powerful political reason to run with it – then proceeded to sacrifice themselves to it, rather than take responsibility for their own unprecedented ways of attacking their own health.

    You are part of a gay culture of apoptosis, as long as you support one inch of this irrationality. Stop doing it, if you want to lay claim to the status of ‘scientist’.

  7. nohivmeds Says:

    TS — I don’t have to “claim” the title “scientist.” Unlike you, I actually am one.

    And I would ask you, once again, kindly stop demeaning gay men. It’s really very unbecoming, and in this last rant, you actually sound positively homophobic.

    As for what you believe and what I believe regarding HIV, AIDS, whatever — your beliefs don’t bother me, TS — you’re entitled to them. And conversely, I’m entitled to mine.

    And that was the 12th lecture. Want to try lucky #13? I don’t think you’re getting it, TS.

  8. nohivmeds Says:

    Lemme just repeat that first part, so we’re all straight on it:

    TS — I don’t have to “claim” the title “scientist.” Unlike you, I actually am one.

  9. nohivmeds Says:

    …and to think we must suffer all of this because I won’t blanketly condemn ARV therapy……so much time wasted for so little. I mean, TS — why do you even care what I think?

  10. nohivmeds Says:

    Here’s my guess at this frisson, TS. You didn’t like hearing personal testimony from someone who is actually sick. You like those people to remain abstractions only. Well, I’m no abstraction, what is happening to me is not a bizzarre psychodrama, and what I’m doing about it is my business. I don’t demean your health choices. I don’t even ask about them. But my choices happen to be the real-world equivalent of everything that goes on in here — all the knowledge and information and yes, even the “emotionalism.” I’m living it, TS, and I’m living it here, for the world to see, with you, as my hopefully less angry and more benevolent host. This is the real world come knocking, and it won’t stop until it’s let in.

  11. Truthseeker Says:

    NTM, you are just digging a very large hole for yourself. Until you can read and respond to comment replies objectively, you cannot lay claim to being a “scientist”. Until you do that, you only reinforce the suspicions of many that psychologists are often incapable of rigor in science or out, and are therefore often unworthy of the label.

    Why should this blog be a parade ground for the fears, worries, misapprehensions, and imbalance of one who sees homophobia in every mention of gays, or who cannot discuss the value of ARV drugs without bringing in the accusation? We are trying to advance science here, not discuss your victimhood.

    The accusation is absurd anyway. You have already been through all this nonsense earlier. The software is set to bar you for 24 hours to cool down if you continue with this narcissistic exhibitionism.

    But we have prevented it with an override because we know you will return to your usual scientific objectivity immediately.

  12. nohivmeds Says:

    Well, I’ll take the lack of lecture 13 as a sign that something got through to you, TS. I do wish, for your own sake, that you would stop making pronouncements on gay culture and the gay community — I mean, you write as if you are well-acquainted with what is wrong with the gay community; so much so that one might be tempted to guess that you’re a member. Really, such intimacy in your writing.

    If you’re not a member, your sources are giving you very BAD info. I am involved in a gay community that is thriving — where I see political battles won, social battles won, a level of organization that has actually never previously been seen to fight for marriage (it surpasses the community’s level of organization for AIDS by far) — so, all I can do is tell you that you’re receiving some real downer info on the gay community that I doubt very much many gay men would agree with. And this info comes from — oh yes, Dan. Our friend who too, seems so very down on the gay community. Well then, no suprise concerning your views, TS. I’d just vet my sources more thoroughly if I were you — or even better — leave the gay community out of it? How bout that.

  13. nohivmeds Says:

    …..oh, and TS, I’m sure that you and I are digging this hole deeper together — I could never have done it without you! I hadn’t thanked you for your effort yet — let me do that: Thanks for your great work with the shovel.

  14. nohivmeds Says:

    Am I banned now, dear TS? Or should we call this one quits. Cuz you know if you ban me, I’ll just come back in some other form. I feel satisfied. How bout you?

  15. Truthseeker Says:

    We have removed the override. One more blatant flouting of regulations and the software will block your posts for a 24 hour cooling off period.

    The regulation referred to is 10 (c) 2a section 133 (p.541) which reads as follows:

    “No commenter shall distort the views of the blogger in any exchange in Comments”.

  16. nohivmeds Says:

    Please, Daddy — Do it!

    But block yourself for distorting my views too!

    It’s only fair.

    (And don’t you think I can get around the block?)

    Come on, TS, give it a break. Stop riding me, and I’ll stop giving you a hard time. And I nominate your faux (almost gay, really) tone of authority for knocking the dial off of the laughometer! You really are a kick.

  17. nohivmeds Says:

    Where is YGB when you need him? YGB — did you love the “Daddy” bit? I have to admit that I loved it just a little bit. Okay — enough fun — must run. Dinner plans.

    Bon soir, Truthseeker. Let’s torment each other a bit again some time. It really is a stitch. And this blog could use the levity.

  18. Dan Says:

    I’ll have to refrain from posting here when NHM is on a posting spree. I become a lightning rod, and the discussion quickly degrades as NHM’s ego and insecurities (that he projects onto me) become the center of attention.

    NHM, with nearly every post since this quote above, you’ve proven my statement to be correct.

    Truthseeker, I think you already understand, and you may have understood this for quite some time…but, for NHM, “AIDS” is practically inseparable from gay identity. This is why he and I butt heads.

    The intertwining of “AIDS” to our identity runs so deep for so many gay men, that they cannot even imagine a world without “AIDS”. It’s ours . We own it . Don’t you truthseeker, a heterosexual, even try to take away this most basic, fundamental part of our character/identity.

    Well, NHM, I don’t want it. You can have it. And you can foam at the mouth, and call me all sorts of names if it makes you feel better. “AIDS” is yours. It’s not mine. I understand if that makes me a “homophobe” in your book. I can live with that.

  19. kevin Says:

    First, I think the discussion in this thread is exceedingly important for a number of reasons that I plan to address in this post. Each contributor–TS, Dan, nohivmeds, Glider–you’ve all added to my understanding of this issue. Thank you. That said, as relevant as personal accounts are, personal attacks are completely irrelevant, and I hope a truce can be found between those of you who are bickering. As something of an ‘outside observer’, or in the least, a newer voice on this blog, I assure you that you all agree more than you might like to admit.

    Dan, your insights into the self-loathing that is rampant in the gay community are spot-on and in no way did I take them to be homophobic. Sometimes, honesty is unpleasant. I also did not take the comments personally, and I too am a gay male. I found them affirming, actually. Among several other comments that resonated with me, you wrote :

    My “frustration”, to put it mildly, is with the larger gay community that deeply believes in this death cult. It obviously encompasses “positives” and “negatives”.

    I completely understand this frustration and I fight it everyday with friends who are both believers in the paradigm and even with many of my more enlightened friends who question it. I’ve ended more than a few friendship with extremely intelligent gay friends because they were simply incapable of considering their irrational addiction to the self-loathing that HIV engenders, both in themselves and in the gay community in which they seek support. For me, the “sheeple” tendencies of the gay community, at large, are just not my cup of tea, with or without HIV; however, I would like to be more involved, but I’ve found, time and time again, that “the community” is not accepting of those who do not fit the stereotypes. I’m okay with that, but it is frustrating with an issue like HIV, where the stakes are so high.

    Nohivmeds, you are unwell and your first order of business is to change that. You must learn to tune out those who hinder your health progress or perhaps, taking a break from this blog might be in order. I enjoy your posts, but I know firsthand the task before you. From my own experience, I understand that your symptoms are certainly not imaginary. Anyone who doesn’t understand how difficult your predicament is simply hasn’t had to face such a situation, namely they’ve never had a systemic yeast infection. At first, I too wanted to say to you, “don’t use the ARVs”, “why not just try the anti-fungals”, but when I gave greater consideration to how I felt during my own sickest period, I reconsidered. As I stated previously, I might have used them myself since a severe fungal infection combined with secondary bacterial infections is a bit of catch-22. People who are unfamiliar with fungal infections may not understand, but in a nutshell, antibiotics must be strictly avoided if one ever hopes to fully recover from a fungal infection. I would implore you to limit the ARVs to as short a course as is needed since I whole-heartedly believe they do as much damage as they do good, even as an anti-microbial. Nobody really knows what the tipping point is regarding their deleterious effects, but I imagine it’s different for each person. It’s a risk that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Nevertheless, you must overcome the fungal infection if you are to break the cycle and truly achieve good health. If you’d like to email me for further details on what has worked for me, I’d be happy to discuss the details further. I know what you are going through. There is much that others could learn from truly considering the following quote from you:

    …my choices happen to be the real-world equivalent of everything that goes on in here — all the knowledge and information and yes, even the “emotionalism.”

    Conversely, TS wrote:

    There should be objective measurement of your improved health and also clear reasons why you should not prefer to take conventional antibiotics or whatever else in conventional medicine achieves the same objectives.

    I’d say that I agree completely with this statement since I believe that the conventional therapies for most of these opportunistic infections are sufficient to achieve improved health without the use of ARVs. However, many people, whether positive or negative, do not respond to anti-fungal therapy as I did. Once again, for those of you who are ignorant to the matter, long-standing fungal infections are pernicious and somewhat impervious to treatment, and I believe they account for a significant part of the immune suppression that is currently attributed to HIV. Since I’ve stated that ad naseum, I’ll move on, but it really is important to understand that if you are going to criticize HIV+ people for using ARVs. That said, the nature of the beast might lead some to develop defeatist attitudes and to wallow in self-loathing, whether willfully or subconscious. Very few who are severely ill will survive their HIV+ diagnosis unless they eventually reach a point where they can give up all belief in the dogma of paradigm. Make no mistake, I believe ARVs are as dangerous as the opportunistic infections, particularly if you use them in lieu of achieving the freedom of spirit to be well, but everyone deserves respect when it comes to navigating these very tough treatment decisions.

    Kevin

  20. nohivmeds Says:

    Thanks, Kev. That was lovely and amazingly well-considered. Thanks for your advice concerning my predicament — I’m confident that my strategy will work, as it’s worked previously. But it is true that the “tipping point” is unknown. I feel like I “sense” when that point is approaching, if that makes any sense.

    I’m sad to hear that you too feel disappointment in some gay men and in some ways at the community as a whole. I understand, actually, the feelings you and Dan express and have felt those things — but I started volunteering really actively in youth and other programs in my community many years ago now, and in general, I don’t hold members of my community to a higher standard than I would hold anyone, I allow for mistakes of the past without condemnation, and perhaps because I work with you, I lay the seeds for a positive future. I have found, as I let go of my feeling “disaffected” within the gay community, that I am more generous in my assessments of others. Where some might see “Disability Queens,” I see men who have been stripped of their confidence and detached from the world. Of course they participated in that — that they have a role to play in the fact that it happened — but that is in the past, and I am someone now, who for everyone, focuses on a hopeful future.

  21. nohivmeds Says:

    To expand a bit: I even understand and don’t feel anger at people like Gregg Gonsalves anymore either. I think a major thing happened in the gay community, we called it AIDS, and it sent a lot of people spinning in a lot of different directions. Some fought. Some felt like victims. So many responses. But I can’t look at those reponses and pretend that everyone should have chosen the responses I think would be best. And I can’t stand around and pretent that I always choose the right responses. If there was less judgement between us gay men about how we all respond to this, there would be so much more brotherhood. So — bottom line — I don’t judge and I don’t assign blame. I am, by discipline, a Developmental Psychologist. Each person develops uniquely. I might find some developmental outcomes unfavorable, but I can also understand where they came from, and have humility in the face of the choices of others, and in the face of my own. What more can we do for one another?

  22. Glider Says:

    Kevin,

    Excellent post. Thank you.

    Like you, I really hope Dan &NHM, who are two of my favorite posters, can patch up their differences. What do you say guys? There’s so much we can learn from one another.

    Moving on, you wrote: “Once again, for those of you who are ignorant to the matter, long-standing fungal infections are pernicious and somewhat impervious to treatment, and I believe they account for a significant part of the immune suppression that is currently attributed to HIV.”

    I’d go even further than that. I think systemic fungal infections, which can compromise the lining of the gut, taxing the immune system and disabling the nutrient-absorbing function in the process, account for MOST of the progressive immune suppression attributed to HIV.

    Glider

  23. Glider Says:

    NHM,

    Well done to you too! I’m pulling for you. Start drinking lots of kefir (it’s much better than yogurt) once you’re through pulsing 😉

    Glider

  24. nohivmeds Says:

    Glider,
    Thanks. I think that the fundamental problem is that I’m a multifactorialist, and I don’t take HIV out of the picture. I always say (have said) that HIV CANNOT be the sole necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS. But I don’t believe I can affirmatively say that it’s not involved somehow. Rebecca Culshaw and I discsused it as perhaps a signal, rather than a thing, the poz ab test — maybe it’s a biological signal of advancing oxidative stress — there are so many ways to view it. But this view is not consistent with this blog’s view, where HIV plays no role at all.

    So Dan and Truthseeker — what else can I say — they make fun of my views, at best, or say that I hold them because my thinking is immature, or because of my “emotionalism,” etc., etc., etc. None of those things are true. I hold them because I’m not taking any chances. I want all of it in play. And I don’t believe it’s been eliminated as a variable, from a purely scientific perspective — at least, not to my satisfaction, and I am a scientist, so I’ve a right to make that assertion.

    I’m not the only multifactorialist close to this blog either — Celia Farber describes her veiws that way as well. But for some reason, when I do it, it’s because there is some fundamental fault in me.

    I grant TS and Dan, I believe, legitimacy for their views. I don’t think they hold them because they don’t know enough, or are emotional because they’re not feeling well. That would be foolish. I would like the same legitimacy granted to my views. Clearly, we won’t agree, but there is no reason for the mocking and belittling I receive for holding these views (TS’s posts are too good an example of this). I find that kind of behavior unjustifiable and totally unnecessary. I don’t believe I have all the answers, so I don’t act like I do by telling others that their answers are wrong. TS and Dan don’t like my answer, which is fine with me, but does not appear to be fine with them.

    Thus, the difficulty of making things better between all parties.

  25. YossariansGhostbuster Says:

    NHM

    What criteria did you use to decide to restart ARV’s ?

    The candidiasis ? the staph infection ? or CD-4 count ?

  26. nohivmeds Says:

    the infections alone (there was also a conjunctivitis that kept moving around from eye to eye, and a sinus infection). the cd4 count has been stable (albeit on the low end) for over a year now. i never make these decisions based on those numbers.

    the infections coming all at once indicated to me that something was amiss. i’ve been through this before. i’ll terminate the ARVs when the side effects overwhelm — usually about 6 months.

  27. nohivmeds Says:

    YGB — good to hear from you, by the way.

  28. YossariansGhostbuster Says:

    Tell us about the antibiotics you took for the staph etc..

  29. Truthseeker Says:

    Everyone talking sense again, Thank God. We were afraid NTM was having some kind of gay transport from hand to hand combat. Almost every sentence was a double entendre. Is this entirely necessary? Perhaps it is a live example of what other posters have just established, which is that some gays tend to infuse almost every issue and act with gayness, including AIDS itself, as if it was a necessary part of their gayness without which they would lose their identity. It all sounds very plausible to us.

    However, on this blog one would like to keep comment clear of gay sexual exhibitionism, if you don’t mind, just as one would want to keep it clear of straight sexual exhibitionism. This is a science blog, not a gay cruising area, as we have explained before. In fact, given what more than one poster has now established as the tendency for AIDS to be part of the gay identity of some gays, this must be kept out or it will muddy discussion further, as in NHM’s case, except as an important topic in itself. Important because something has to account for the lemming like behavior of so many gays, other than gullibility.

    As far as using ARVs for other purposes than to chase down HIV, that seems very worth exploring as a topic because it will throw light on whatever it is about ARVs that recommends them to patients so much. If fungal infections are impervious to antibiotics, or even they go hand in hand (sounds wrong to us, but that’s what you posted, certainly possible if other flora are needed to defeat it soundly), one has to decide if the fungi arose because of the immune dysfunction, or whether they help cause it, initially or later.

    There is a lot of chicken/egg mystery in AIDS, it seems clear. Surely giving up sex for a time should be one move. But the idea of using ARVs because they are lethal for fungal infections which won’t go away otherwise is a new one to us. Given all the science, it seems absurd to risk it, but if you have thought it through, that’s your decision. All this blog argues is that the fundamental HIV justification for ARVs has nothing to recommend it. The literature indicated that in the beginning and now indicates it more than ever. What does the literature indicate for using ARVs for fungal infection? Or is this all hearsay medicine?

  30. nohivmeds Says:

    YGB — zithromax and flagyl.
    TS — the ARVs are potent antimicrobials — that’s not new — one thing we all agree on is how incredibly cytotoxic they are. And fungal infections are notoriously hard to treat — that’s not new either — and are associated with immunosuppression themselves, as are the drugs normally used to treat them. I don’t think the science is heresay. I think people are experimenting. I see what I’m doing as an experiment — it’s the only real way to know. We can discuss trying it (whether it’s “absurd” may be a little strong) till we are blue in the face. Unless someone gives it a shot, it’s just talk. I think Kevin might agree that with immunosuppression of mysterious origin one has to keep an open mind and be willing to take some risks.

  31. nohivmeds Says:

    If you think about it, TS, people take these sorts of risks with cancer all the time. When I was first diagnosed, I knew that the cure was worse than the disease, in all likelihood. But that didn’t mean that there wasn’t a time and place for use of the “cure.” We use thalidomyde now to treat some cancers. Taking poisonous substances to cure disease is not a new concept.

  32. nohivmeds Says:

    In other words, we have a long history of understanding that sometimes you must bring the body low in order to build it up again. We’ve been doing it for centuries, across a wide variety of cultures.

    And thanks for the alteration in tone. It’s much appreciated.

  33. Truthseeker Says:

    Clearly, we won’t agree, but there is no reason for the mocking and belittling I receive for holding these views (TS’s posts are too good an example of this).

    Not belittled as a human being. You are mocked only for your emotionalism, projected psychology of homophobia, etc, but doubly so because you claim so often to be a scientist, although you show no sign of it in a) your history of unthinking acceptance of HIV and ARVs, or now b) in your current emotionalism when your view is challenged as psychically based uncertainty by those who are more decided, based on the literature and common sense, which show a perfect lack of justification for your fear of HIV, if one rejects social and emotional pressures on judgement.

    If you wish to escape being judged on this score as emotionally driven, you must demonstrate here the professional scientific reasoning mode you claim and avoid getting hepped up by exciting gay thoughts and anxieties that others are tilting against you as a hysterical queen or whatever it is you imply and keep your posts scientific, which you have demonstrated you can do when in the mood.

    The difference between a professional and an amateur is that the professional can maintain standards even when not in the mood. Your posts appear to be partly mood driven. This makes them interesting in their variety but not terribly persuasive as science, even though they provide grist for endless smug sermons from Mount NAR.

    For this you are entirely forgiven a) because you are ill (a very disturbing mental influence) and b) suffering the unfortunate consequences of believing for years that ARVs are manna from heaven, or the wafer handed out in kneeling Communion in the Church of the Holy Paradigm of Gay Emancipation from Blame, or whatever it is in your mind that still carries over to your reluctance to let go, so you fall between two stools – the HIV stool and the not HIV stool – with what you are now describing as a Multifactorial Theory.

    Which theory you apparently don’t recognize even now is equivalent to a non-HIV theory in even in the mind of Dr Fauci, for the very good reason that he believes that there is no way of shoring up belief in HIV unless it is the ONLY cause of “AIDS”, the sufficient and necessary cause, and “AIDS” does not include the immune impact of other causes, which must be ignored, all of which incredible and silly logic is the fundamental root cause of the increasing laughable state of the paradigm, which claims to be airworthy by virtue of additional wings stuck on its nose, fuselage belly and each of its wheels when its two main wings have been lopped off by the papers published by mainstream researchers.

    However, you still insist that it flies because as it was sitting on the ground with its engines roaring for the last twenty two years you couldn’t see out of the windows since Dr Fauci had drawn every blind, and you were convinced by loudpeaker messages from the captain describing its altitude and air speed that it was in fact flying, so you cannot believe even now that you were not up in the air, but sitting on the runway blocking other flights.

    You are still sitting on the ground expecting to take off, because you haven’t troubled to get off the plane and examine its absurd configuration. That is why you are mocked. As a human being, of course, you are totally respected, and sympathized with. But why you and so many others feel and think in this way is a key topic and must be explored to the hilt, which is why we keep bringing it up. You might be the best person to explain, from the horses’s mouth, as it were, and that is why we wish you would testify, and why we try to release you from your hypnosis.

    But until that happens others commenting as they have above are being very helpful, thank God, since our own researches are rather ineffective, as the post we are writing about last night’s party will explain, if you ever let us write it.

  34. Truthseeker Says:

    And thanks for the alteration in tone. It’s much appreciated

    Oops. Hope the above didn’t spoil this relief. We really appreciate the new theme of using poisons as medications, which we agree offers much to debate which is relevant here.

  35. nohivmeds Says:

    You did spoil it, TS. Why do you think you spend so much time dissecting my personality? It’s like you’re an 8th grade girl passing notes about a boy you pretend not to like, but secretly wonder about. Again, very gay behavior, TS. Gossipy. Ridiculous. I am not psychanalyzing you — please refrain from doing the same to me. At this point, your incredulity at my views is just plain silly.

    Your new post crosses the line. You are a homophobe — and by the way, so is your friend Dan. Just because someone is gay, doesn’t mean they can’t have distorted feelings about gays.

    I’m not hypnotized and if you keep (this was lecture #14) insisting that I am, I will keep disrupting your precious little blog. Drop it. Move on. You know about as much about gay men and gay culture as I do about her Royal Highness, the Queen (not referring to you, of course, but to Elizabeth). Stick to what you know.

  36. nohivmeds Says:

    Oh, and TS — I didn’t ask for your forgiveness. You are really a piece of work. It is you who should be asking for mine.

    We established, with Kessler’s help, why ARVs, acting as potent anti-microbials, might have some positive effect. Yet, you seem to keep forgetting that FACT. That SCIENTIFIC FACT. Perhaps a little emotionalism on your part?

    Had I wanted to, I could have ripped your pathetic psychology to shreds–I know you know that’s true. I haven’t done that, but it hasn’t stopped you from your armchair psychoanalysis –which is much less than impressive, to be kind.

  37. kevin Says:

    TS wrote:

    If fungal infections are impervious to antibiotics, or even they go hand in hand (sounds wrong to us, but that’s what you posted, certainly possible if other flora are needed to defeat it soundly), one has to decide if the fungi arose because of the immune dysfunction, or whether they help cause it, initially or later.

    Fungal infections are CAUSED by overuse of antibiotics–broad spectrum antibiotics, in particular. Anti-fungals are a completely different animal than antibiotics. The connection between the two is that the natural balance of flora in the body is disrupted by repeated use of antibiotics which kills the good bacteria, thereby creating an environment favorable for fungal overgrowth and immune disfunction and poor nutrient absorption (as Glider pointed out previously). I’ve lived it.

    I’m not sure if others have corrected your misunderstanding on this issue, TS, as I haven’t read the most recent posts. If so, I apologize, but understanding the causative role of antibiotics is crucial to understanding what I and Glider believe to be the missing component in all this. Other things can certainly cause flora imbalance but antibiotics are the ubiquitous offender.

  38. Truthseeker Says:

    Are you saying that overuse of antibiotics is a cause of immune dysfunction, fungal infection and malabsorption of nutrients?

  39. kevin Says:

    Personally, I cannot vouch for ARVs as being anti-microbial but many people seem to benefit from their use, initially. Their anti-microbial effects is born of clinical speculation which I have learned is usually more compelling than numerical data alone. That said, I can vouch for the indisputable improved health after resolving a fungal infection using anti-fungals. My life has completely changed.

    Beginning as a child with frequent ear infections, I was spoonfed antibiotics constantly and there is no doubt in my mind that my subsequent immune problems are tied to my history of using potent antibiotics so freely (doctor approved, of course). The anti-fungal medication worked for me because I made the other changes necessary. These infections are pernicious and impervious because you must maintain a strict diet avoiding simple carbs and other food sources for the fungus and you must otherwise treat your body with great care during recovery. Most people in today’s society are not willing to take responsibilty for the health to that degree. The antifungals absolutely will not work if you do not follow the diet. I know this is new for a lot of people but many quality health care professionals have known of and treated this condition since the late 70s–BEFORE Aids. Please seek out a book entitled The Missing Diagnosis by Dr. Truss for proof of that. He was a pioneer.

    My generation, gen X, is the first generation to grow up from womb to tomb with so much chemical intoxication in so many areas of our lives: the food we eat, the products we use on and in our bodies, the countless pills we take, the cumalatively polluted air we breath and on and on….. Is it any wonder that immune problems are so common.

    In my mind, HIV is undoubtedly not responsible for AIDS. I’ve been tested and tested and tested again…always negative but my immune problems were very real and hopefully a thing of the past now that I understand why I was sick. Make no mistake, I am not and never have been a willing victim.

  40. kevin Says:

    Are you saying that overuse of antibiotics is a cause of immune dysfunction, fungal infection and malabsorption of nutrients?

    Maybe.

    Facetiously Yours,
    Kevin

  41. Glider Says:

    Kevin,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Since I began posting here a year or so ago I’ve often felt as if I was the only one who “got it” and who realized how very important improving the health of one’s gut is for people who are immune suppressed. I think having a severely out-of-whack ecology in the gut is the primary condition that underlies AIDS. As I’ve written on this and other boards, I think this condition a) causes immune suppression; b) predisposes sufferers to test HIV+; and c) causes the illusion of gradual t-cell decline.

    Although I agree that antibiotic overuse is the prime culprit, I strongly suspect that other factors which are commonplace in at-risk subsets of the gay community also play a necessary role in forming the basis for the condition that results in the unique type of ‘AIDS’ seen in gay men. (I won’t discuss these other factors on this board because TS has asked that I not write about graphic subject matter.)

    Glider

  42. kevin Says:

    You’re welcome, lol. You’re certainly not crazy. I was also glad to learn of someone else on this blog who is educated regarding the yeast component of this illness. I think we’ll be vindicated in the end and fungal infections will be accepted as a major cause of severe immune dsyfunction and all the health problems that flow from that. You’re probably right about the co-factors and I could guess many of them correctly, I imagine.

    I think the test are just complete bunk. Still, I suppose I’m lucky that I didn’t test positive considering how sick I was during that time and how many times I was tested.

  43. Truthseeker Says:

    I won’t discuss these other factors on this board because TS has asked that I not write about graphic subject matter.

    No, we just implored posters not to be graphic, but to use euphemisms and other arms length ways of protecting the innocent and the squeamish from exposure to the obscene (ie something that should be offstage) while they may be eating their lunch.

    Special Note: The software of this blog has gone wrong recently and cannot display Comments for editing very well, so a host of comments deserving of the green border have gone unsaluted.

    Everyone who has posted in the past two days is hereby awarded five green borders.

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