The Truth Behind AIDS
by Jeff Kaplan
There is a belief which is being promulgated in the world today, that if one becomes infected with HIV, he or she will ultimately develop ARC (Aids Related Complex), then AIDS, then die. This teaching is hammered at medical people constantly, and by AIDS volunteers to the general public, for the purpose of "educating" us into engaging in "safe sex," and by wearing a condom. Being an RN, I have had my share of having to endure these incredibly boring talks on AIDS, which involve the same information (propaganda), repeated year after year. They include: Advise patients to wear a condom during sex, use universal precautions, don't recap needles to avoid possible HIV or Hepatitis contamination, wear gloves to avoid contaminated blood and body fluids, the AIDS epidemic will soon turn into a pandemic, infecting as many in the general population as it does in the male homosexual population. We need new AIDS drugs, and we need an AIDS vaccine, If you accidentally get a needle stick while administering a drug to an AIDS patient, begin AZT right away as a precautionary measure, and don't worry if it makes you sick to your stomach or makes you start vomiting. Teach them about the AIDS Disease, how it weakens the immune system so that the person ultimately does not die of AIDS, instead he dies of an "opportunistic infection", like pneumonia, or tuberculosis, etc.. Teach the patient that it is extremely important for him to maintain his medication regimen, and not quit taking his meds. Suggest an AIDS support group, such as a local "Task Force," which can provide counseling, and support, and "help", and medical supplies, and food, since many of your patients will no longer be able to work and provide income for themselves... This is just part of what we have to listen to.
We are also told that the HIV virus can infect the T cells and take over, and begin replicating thousands of little HIV viruses all over the body, ultimately destroying that person's health, and causing him to die a horrible death. It isn't hard to believe either! If one is in the medical field for any length of time, you will eventually encounter AIDS patients. They are some of the sickest, most pathetic, disease-ridden individuals you will ever lay eyes on. It is very sad. To make matters worse, all of their family members, and "roommates" and friends, have a grim look on their faces every time you walk into the room. If you want to have a happy life, and enjoy your job, working with AIDS patients is not very fulfilling, believe me! I am a Christian and I have the deepest compassion for patients who "have AIDS." I have compassion for all my patients, and they have certainly been no exception! What it boils down to is, I work for Jesus my Lord. He would be compassionate and loving and caring, how could I be otherwise? For this reason, I do my utmost to get out the truth, to anyone who will hear me. This is what this report is all about.
I had a patient, diagnosed with AIDS, who was receiving IV Foscarnet at $3500 per infusion, three days per week. The other four days, he received IV Gancyclovir, at $1000 a dose. On two separate occasions, during his IV Foscarnet infusions, he experienced chills, fever, and restlessness. He was thrashing around like a crazy person, both times. Both times, I piled on the blankets, and he could not get warm enough, and would continue to shiver like his whole body was vibrating. I took him to the emergency room both times, as he refused to have the ambulance take him. I learned that this same scenario was repeated while another nurse was on duty. To my astonishment, I found that his doctor kept him on this same drug which initiated these reactions, IV Foscarnet. This same patient was on AZT, and other meds, including antibiotics. He died a few months later. I was nurse to several HIV/AIDS patients. Everyone that I knew of, died. All of them were much younger than I. One particular patient I had, a white female, told me about a friend of hers, a month before she passed on. He was also diagnosed with AIDS, and lost over 60 pounds during the course of his disease. He decided to commit suicide, so he stopped taking his medication. She said she saw him nine months later, out in the street, with his shirt off, all his weight back on, and sporting a nice, healthy tan. She asked him if he had changed his mind about his meds, and decided to begin taking them again? He informed her that he never touched another pill since that last day he quit them. Next day, I went to her Father's place of work, so he could fix my watchband. He gave me a new one, and in the process, he told me the same story that his daughter had told me the day before! He did not know she told me the same thing a day earlier. What was going on?
I began to study this subject, and go below the surface of all the information, which was being spoon-fed to me, and other nurses, from lectures, videos, and required reading. Food for thought: Many of the essential oils make life impossible for viruses, as well as bacteria and fungus. HIV is one of the weakest of viruses known. Why is it neccessary to destroy one's health in the name of "treatment", when more powerful, less toxic measures are available? (assuming that HIV really does cause a disease).
I began to notice the "side effects" of AZT, as I instructed my patients on their medications. AZT, also known as "Zidovudine", is an anti-viral drug. It's purpose is to manage HIV and AIDS infection. Sounds reasonable enough. It's purpose is to prevent viral replication, specifically, retro-viral replication.
(1)AZT's action is to destroy the enzyme in the RNA, which is called, "Reverse Transcriptase". RNA is simply a photocopy of the DNA, of a cell. The DNA, is the blueprint of the cell, where all your characteristics come from. When a cell divides, to reproduce itself, it must replicate the DNA, in order to make an exact copy of itself. The DNA is the master blueprint of the cell, and controls all activity of the cell. The replication of DNA, is called DNA Synthesis. The process of photocopying of the DNA, by RNA, is called Transcription. The RNA is directed by the DNA to complete the construction of different parts of the cell.
(2) Some viruses, are known as "Retro-Viruses". These have no DNA. Retro means backward, and what these retroviruses do is, they work "backwards." Therefore, in the case of retroviruses, the master blueprint of the cells is encoded on the RNA, and not the DNA, since no DNA is present in these viruses. After infection, these retroviruses can "reverse photocopy" themselves into DNA. This is the opposite effect of the normal DNA photocopying to RNA. The reverse photocopying is known as "reverse transcription". Once this happens, on rare occasions, the normal photocopying process of the cell can be used to reproduce the retroviruses. The replication and survival by the retro-virus is completely dependant upon the viability of the host cell. If the host cell dies, the virus itself dies also. Even the supposed discoverer of the HIV virus, Dr. Robert Gallo, a retrovirologist with the Natl Institute of Health, knew this fact.
(3) Virologists refer to AZT as a "chain terminator" of DNA synthesis. Rapidly dividing cells busily making DNA are the most likely targets, to be killed by AZT.
(4) AZT stops replication of the DNA because its chemical structure is almost identical to thymidine, one of the nucleosides of the DNA. It looks like Thymidine to the enzymes which do the assembling of the DNA, but no further nucleotides can be joined to it. This effectively stops replication of the DNA, so the chain ends prematurely, and the cell dies. In some cases the cell mutates and the person gets cancer. This is all AZT does. It stops DNA replication. All it ever does, is kill cells, or occasionally, make them cancerous.
(5) In the 1960's , AZT came out as a cancer drug. It was found to be too toxic even for cancer patients, and was put on the shelf. Scientists are able to order AZT for research from biochemical companies. The AZT is sent in small vials, containing 1/20th the normal dose given to HIV+ individuals. A skull and crossbones is on the labels, with warnings not to ingest it, have any skin contact, or get splashed with it. Skull and crossbones warnings only come with substances accorded the highest level of toxicity.
(6) Why is this drug so toxic? There is so much cellular DNA or RNA in the body, and a very minute amount of viral DNA or RNA, that it is obvious that cellular DNA is the primary target of this drug. It has been found, on average, for every infected white blood cell, there are 1000 uninfected white blood cells. AZT is nondiscriminatory, in that it kills all white blood cells, as well as all red blood cells. In this example, it is killing 1000 normal, uninfected cells, to every one abnormal, or infected cell. This is considered a very high toxicity index, even if HIV were the cause of AIDS, but there isn't even proof that it does cause AIDS.
Here are some of the AZT specific diseases recorded in Aids patients, according to Medical Economics Data of the PDR, 1992: Anemia, Leukopenia (depressed white blood cell levels), severe nausea from intestinal intoxication, muscle atrophy, polymyositis (muscle inflammation), lymphoma, acute, non-viral hepatitis, neurological diseases, including insomnia, headaches, dementia, mania, Wernicke's encephalopathy (associated with a thiamine deficiency, due to chronic alcoholism), gastric carcinoma or hyperemesis (severe nausea and vomiting, resulting in acidosis, dehydration, and severe weight loss). Also, ataxia (the drunken walk), was noted, along with seizures. After one year on AZT, impotence in men, and squamous carcinomas were reported. Several other effects have been recorded also, such as anorexia, tremors, back pain, restlessness, anxiety, confusion, decreased mental acuity, dizziness, fainting, somnolence, headache, insomnia, abdominal pain, granulocytopenia (abnormal reduction in granulocytes-a type of white blood cell). When one realizes that all cells are destroyed, one might soon come to the realization that maybe this is why we see the "wasting syndrome" in advanced AIDS cases. These cases are advanced simply because the men on AZT have been on the drug for a longer period. Stop DNA replication, and you kill the cell. Kill enough cells, and you waste away, and look like a prisoner out of Auschwitz, or Buchanwald, or the Gulag. Soon after that, you are dead. This fulfills the "death by AIDS" prophecy. Yes, the disease is incurable alright, as long as the victim adheres to the doctor's prescription for AZT, and the myriad of other anti-viral medications.
According to Dr. Willner, "Deadly Deception," "the AIDS hypothesis is totally fraudulent. It's perpetrators are guilty of criminal fraud and murder. The HIV virus does not, and could not cause any serious disease. AIDS is not transmitted sexually, nor is it contagious by any method. He states that, in the United States, more people die from sleeping pill overdoses, than die from AIDS. He also stated that AZT was found to be too toxic to treat cancer. In April of 1984, Dr. Robert Gallo, of the National Institute of Health, announced that he had discovered the cause of AIDS: HTLV=III, later known as HIV. The same day, April 23rd, 1984, Dr. Gallo filed for a US patent, for an HIV test kit, which would ultimately make him very wealthy. Margaret Heckler, Secretary of Health and Human Services, encouraged him, by stating, "Today we add another miracle to the long honor roll of American medicine and science." Dr. Gallo recommended the drug, AZT, as the only viable treatment modality available at the time, for the purpose of destroying the virus. Margaret Heckler awarded the very lucrative contract to Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceutical Company, even before the first scientific paper ever appeared in any U.S. journal. AZT was basically a drug in search of a disease. It had been found to be too toxic, even for cancer patients. President Nixon had declared his war on cancer in 1971, and 20 billion dollars were allocated in this war on cancer. Retroviruses became the main object of study, as the research sought out a viral cause of cancer. AZT, being an anti-viral drug, was used, and failed miserably in its application, as noted above.
(7) (8) Retroviruses are the most heavily studied of all viruses, thanks to the war on cancer research. They have been shown to be the most harmless of all viruses, and in fact, the most harmless of substances, with no history of ever having caused one single disease, or condition. All of a sudden, in 1984, Robert Gallo stated that HIV was the virus responsible for some 25 different, unrelated diseases classified under the AIDS umbrella. AIDS is a blanket term, or syndrome, that is, it is a collection of different, unrelated disease conditions, such as: Kaposi's sarcoma, pueumocystis carnii pneumonia, Toxoplasmosis, Aspergillosis, Candidiasis, Cryptosporidosis, Primary Lymphoma, dementia, etc. Virtually all HIV + people are started on AZT, and many if not all of them become violently sick, and refuse to continue with it. While on AZT, these people get regular blood transfusions, since the AZT destroys their red and white blood cells. According to Dr. Willner, Aids is caused by AZT, and other drugs, and in Africa, malnutrition.
(9) He also states that the test for HIV is completely inaccurate, predicts nothing, and can cause severe illness through intense fear. Historically, even proven vitamin deficiency diseases such as Pellagra, Beriberi, and Scurvy, were all once popularly thought to have been caused by a bacteria. The Louis Pasteur school of thought was, that disease is caused by microorganisms. This created a lot of "bacteria chasing" in the quest to eradicate disease.
(10) In recent years, the focus has shifted to virus hunting, as the source of disease.
(11) Regarding AIDS, out of over 60,000 papers written with money obtained from AIDS grants, not one paper proved scientifically that HIV causes Aids.
(12) The 25 different diseases under the AIDS umbrella, have always existed. The causes of acquired immune deficiency have been listed in medical textbooks for over 70 years. They are: malnutrition/starvation, drugs, radiation, and chemotherapy. "AIDS" in Africa is what it has always been...slow starvation, and malnutrition. Nothing has changed except the name. When the people are fed, they get better. If a doctor diagnoses a different condition, or disease other than AIDS, he receives no grant money for "research." If he diagnoses AIDS, he gets the money. AIDS is the number one political disease in the world.
(13) The way to avoid AIDS? Stay away from the drugs! (legal or otherwise). The reason the homosexual community is still the leading group with AIDS in America, is because they are unquestionably the biggest drug takers. All drugs, legal and illegal, are liver toxic. Gay men routinely take "Poppers," i.e. Amyl Nitrate pills to increase and heighten sexual activity. Amyl Nitrate was the medicine of choice for chest pain, prior to the advent of Nitroglycerin tablets. (Davis's Drug Guide). Amyl Nitrate is very toxic, and is very destructive to the immune system. Amyl Nitrate is an inhalant, which acts as a vasodilator, which is an agent that opens up blood vessels against angina. They are also "psychoactive" in that they produce a "high," and facilitate anal intercourse by relaxing smooth muscles. Along with these "poppers," other drugs used by gay men, and drug users in general included: cocaine, amphetamines, Quaaludes, barbiturates, ethyl chloride inhalants, heroin, phenylcyclidine, marijuana, and other injected drugs. This does not include the many antibiotics which gay men have taken by the armfuls, due to the weakening of their immune systems, brought on by these "recreational drugs."
(14) In "AIDS - The Good News Is, HIV Doesn't Cause It." the authors point out in many people diagnosed with AIDS, that HIV is not present. Those that do show the virus show it isn't present in sufficient amounts to cause the disease. No one has been able to induce AIDS by injecting chimpanzees with HIV viruses cultured in the laboratory. Why? Because monkeys don't take drugs! HIV is a very weak virus, which is characteristic of retroviruses in general, according to Duesberg and John Yiamouyiannis.
(15) In 1882, one of the greatest microbiologists of all time, Robert Koch, published a landmark study, describing the three criteria for establishing beyond any reasonable doubt, the proof of a microbe causing a disease. The first criteria was the microbe or germ must be found growing abundantly in every patient, and every diseased tissue. Second, the germ must be isolated and grown in the laboratory. Third, the purified germ must cause the disease again in a different host. These principles are known as Koch's Postulates.
(16) Koch's Postulates have been the standard for over 100 years, as the "acid test" to determine if there is a cause and effect relationship between a microorganism, and a disease. The HIV hypothesis, fails all 3 of these postulates. HIV is not found in every case of the disease, and it is not found in the time-course of the disease. When it is found, it is found in such small numbers, that it cannot be considered to be clinically significant, or relevant. HIV can be cultured in the lab with great difficulty, and by adding 10 million cells which are free of any retro-virus antibodies, that otherwise would neutralize and stop the culture from growing, as happens naturally in humans. It has also never once been observed that it is HIV that slaughters T-Cells by the thousands.
(17) This cannot be true, simply due to the fact that retroviruses do not kill the host cell. Being the most thoroughly studied viruses, out of the different viruses studied, it was discovered that HIV is rarely found in T-Cells. (1 virus per 10,000 to 1 million cells, and when it was found on extreme rare occasion, it was dormant, and not even replicating!) If they are active, retroviruses cause the cells they are infecting, to multiply more rapidly. It would be suicide for a retrovirus to kill a host cell, that it depends upon for survival. Therefore, the belief that the virus disintegrates the cell is in direct contradiction to the facts.
(18) In the 1950's, a frightening disease epidemic took place in Japan, known as SMON, which stands for Subacute Myelo Optico Neuropathy. Virtually all research efforts were geared toward a viral cause. Victims suffered paralysis in the legs, blindness, internal bleeding, diarrhea, nerve degeneration, and a wide spectrum of intestinal problems. Research money was spent on hunting viruses, and people continued to suffer and die. Leading up the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo, the Japanese government was getting anxious to find the cure. Meanwhile, the drug being used to treat SMON, Clioquinol, was found to be the cause of the disease. It was supposed to kill the amoeba that purportedly was causing the intestinal bleeding in SMON patients. The doctors did not look at the "side effects" of the drug, which in truth, were unwanted direct effects. Doctors in general, overlook iatrogenic causes of disease. This is understandable, as it would entail admitting that their treatment protocol was the cause of the condition. In Japan, the number of SMON cases had risen and fallen with the sale of Clioquinol. On experimentation, SMON-like symptoms were created in dogs and cats, using this drug. The drug was banned, and SMON disappeared.
(19) The HIV virus is so rare, that it isn't even found in people who test "positive" on the Elisa Western Blot tests. What they do find are antibodies that are specific to retroviruses. This is how a person is diagnosed as being HIV +. It is based on the antibodies that are present, not the virus itself. Antibodies are present in our blood, for the purpose of "mopping up" and carrying antigens, or microorganisms to the "dumpster" so to speak. The "dumpster" may be the blood stream, which carries out the offending, unwanted microorganism, or it may be an abscess, or boil, or other form of elimination out of the body. (Robert O. Young, "The ph Miracle"). Bacteria and virus conditions occur when the immune system is compromised, or weakened, via any number of factors, which may include chronic debilitation through poor nutritional intake, drugs, sleep deprivation, depression and anger or any number of negative emotional states, radiation, and chemical exposure through pollution, food, and personal care products. Often, Candida, and parasite infestations accompany bacterial or viral presence. If an individual is diagnosed as being HIV +, based on the presence of certain antibodies, why would he or she need to be vaccinated? Vaccinations are supposed to impart "passive immunity." That is, they are supposed to cause antibodies to form, due to the introduction of a particular strain of bacteria or virus. If antibodies impart immunity, then the HIV individual is already immune to the retrovirus, in this case, HIV. Why would a vaccine need to be given to stimulate more antibodies, when they are already present? The answer is very simple. There is no more need to take a vaccine, than there is to take a drug. The HIV virus is completely harmless. The drugs are what causes the different diseases that are labeled as "AIDS".
There is a mountain of evidence to show that Aids is a "manufactured disease" that has brought in tens of millions of dollars in revenue to the likes of Robert Gallo, and Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceutical Company, and the other pharmaceutical companies who profit from this "disease." Dr. Willner states that the names of people who question the validity of HIV=AIDS, reads like a virtual Who's Who in science.
(20) Along with Dr. Duesberg, who is an international authority on retroviruses, and is a member of the national academy of sciences, and received its highest honor, are; Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, and 1993 Nobel Laureate, inventor of the Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is the most accurate measure of the presence of viruses in the world today; Dr. Robert Root Bernstein, Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University, leading authority on Aids; Dr. Gordon Steward, Professor Emeritus, in Public Health, University of Glasgow, and World Health Organization Consultant on communicable diseases; Dr. Charles A. Thomas, Jr., Harvard Biologist, Founder of the Group for the scientific reappraisal of the HIV=AIDS Hypothesis; Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, pioneer AIDS researcher, founder of the AIDS Medical foundation. According to Dr. Willner, the number of prominent scientists who adamantly refute the HIV=AIDS hypothesis, exceeds 500!
There is much more information on this subject, and many questions which come to mind. Through all the media-induced hysteria that has been generated over HIV viruses condemning people to a horrible death by AIDS, it is worth noting the sheer lack of logic, lack of evidence, and lack of scientific honesty and integrity involved, throughout the entire process. I strongly urge anyone not to be caught up in the hysteria and media-hype. Stop and think: Is God so "mean" that He would allow people to suffer from a horrible slow death that is caused by accidentally catching a little virus? Those who would say that God is "punishing' that person for their sin, are grossly ignorant of God's love and mercy and compassion. God has given us tools to use to help bring our physical bodies, as well as our mental and spiritual bodies, back into a state of wholeness, and wellness. If we are out of balance, why not help ourselves with the tools that God has given us to work with? These include pure, organic, essential oils. Many viruses cannot live in the presence of essential oils. Essential Oils increase the oxygenation to the cells, and raise the frequency, and create a negative ion environment-all very hostile, and lethal conditions to any invading, or infective microorganism.
Peace and Calming is one essential oil blend I would highly recommend to anyone being frightened by doctors, or nurses, or the media or well-meaning friends as regards to HIV. Use any essential oils that you like, but take care of your body. Eat a more alkalinizing diet. Drink more water. Get outside and walk, and run, and skip, and jump, and hop, and smile, and laugh. Pray, and be thankful for your many blessings. Praise God for His goodness and protection. Pray for others. Remember that the world is full of lies. The HIV=AIDS is one of the biggest of all time. - Jeff Kaplan RN
You can find out more about the best essential oils in the world at:
References: Davis Drug Guide For Nurses, 1997, 5th Edition.
"Aids-The Good News is, HIV doesn't cause it. The bad news is, "recreational drugs" and medical treatments like AZT do." Dr. Duesberg co-authored this book with another Ph.D.
"The Shocking Truth is at last revealed in Deadly Deception: The Proof That Sex and HIV Absolutely Do Not Cause Aids." Author, Dr. Robert E. Willner, M.D., PhD, stunned Spain, in 1993, when he inoculated himself with the blood of an HIV+ hemophiliac patient. He did this on a popular TV show in Spain. This event was never mentioned in the US press, however the October 3, 1993 edition of The London Times headline read, "African Aids Plague a Myth." Inside, the headlines screamed, "The Plague That Never Was". Again, the story was not mentioned in the US Press. When Dr. Willner was asked why he did what he did, he stated, "I do this to put a stop to the greatest murderous fraud in medical history. By injecting myself with HIV + blood, I am proving the point, as Dr. Walter Reed did to prove the truth about yellow fever. In this way, it is my hope to expose the truth about HIV in the interest of all mankind."
"Inventing the Aids Virus," by Peter H. Duesberg, who is former professor of molecular and cell biology at University California at Berkeley, a pioneer in retrovirus research, and the first scientist to isolate a cancer gene, and recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Grant from the Natl. Institutes of Health. His articles challenging the HIV=Aids hypothesis have appeared in Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature, British Medical Journal, Cancer Research, and Proceedings of the Natl. Academy of Sciences. This book is over 700 pages.
Jeff graduated from Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing Program in June of 1990, and worked at 3 different hospitals in Lee County, Florida (in the Fort Myers area), from 1992-94, and 2000-2002. In the interim, Jeff worked in Home Health, which is what he is doing now, as well as working with a retired holistic health practitioner in Ft. Myers, FL.
Why I Quit HIV
by Rebecca V. Culshaw
As I write this, in the late winter of 2006, we are more than twenty years into the AIDS era. Like many, a large part of my life has been irreversibly affected by AIDS. My entire adolescence and adult life – as well as the lives of many of my peers – has been overshadowed by the belief in a deadly, sexually transmittable pathogen and the attendant fear of intimacy and lack of trust that belief engenders.
To add to this impact, my chosen career has developed around the HIV model of AIDS. I received my Ph.D. in 2002 for my work constructing mathematical models of HIV infection, a field of study I entered in 1996. Just ten years later, it might seem early for me to be looking back on and seriously reconsidering my chosen field, yet here I am.
My work as a mathematical biologist has been built in large part on the paradigm that HIV causes AIDS, and I have since come to realize that there is good evidence that the entire basis for this theory is wrong. AIDS, it seems, is not a disease so much as a sociopolitical construct that few people understand and even fewer question. The issue of causation, in particular, has become beyond question – even to bring it up is deemed irresponsible.
Why have we as a society been so quick to accept a theory for which so little solid evidence exists? Why do we take proclamations by government institutions like the NIH and the CDC, via newscasters and talk show hosts, entirely on faith? The average citizen has no idea how weak the connection really is between HIV and AIDS, and this is the manner in which scientifically insupportable phrases like "the AIDS virus" or "an AIDS test" have become part of the common vernacular despite no evidence for their accuracy.
When it was announced in 1984 that the cause of AIDS had been found in a retrovirus that came to be known as HIV, there was a palpable panic. My own family was immediately affected by this panic, since my mother had had several blood transfusions in the early 1980s as a result of three late miscarriages she had experienced. In the early days, we feared mosquito bites, kissing, and public toilet seats. I can still recall the panic I felt after looking up in a public restroom and seeing some graffiti that read "Do you have AIDS yet? If not, sit on this toilet seat."
But I was only ten years old then, and over time the panic subsided to more of a dull roar as it became clear that AIDS was not as easy to "catch" as we had initially believed. Fear of going to the bathroom or the dentist was replaced with a more realistic wariness of having sex with anyone we didn’t know really, really well. As a teenager who was in no way promiscuous, I didn’t have much to worry about.
That all changed – or so I thought – when I was twenty-one. Due to circumstances in my personal life and a bit of paranoia that (as it turned out, falsely and completely groundlessly) led me to believe I had somehow contracted "AIDS," I got an HIV test. I spent two weeks waiting for the results, convinced that I would soon die, and that it would be "all my fault." This was despite the fact that I was perfectly healthy, didn’t use drugs, and wasn’t promiscuous – low-risk by any definition. As it happened, the test was negative, and, having felt I had been granted a reprieve, I vowed not to take more risks, and to quit worrying so much.
Over the past ten years, my attitude toward HIV and AIDS has undergone a dramatic shift. This shift was catalyzed by the work I did as a graduate student, analyzing mathematical models of HIV and the immune system. As a mathematician, I found virtually every model I studied to be unrealistic. The biological assumptions on which the models were based varied from author to author, and this made no sense to me. It was around this time, too, that I became increasingly perplexed by the stories I heard about long-term survivors. From my admittedly inexpert viewpoint, the major thing they all had in common – other than HIV – was that they lived extremely healthy lifestyles. Part of me was becoming suspicious that being HIV-positive didn’t necessarily mean you would ever get AIDS.
By a rather curious twist of fate, it was on my way to a conference to present the results of a model of HIV that I had proposed together with my advisor, that I came across an article by Dr. David Rasnick about AIDS and the corruption of modern science. As I sat on the airplane reading this story, in which he said "the more I examined HIV, the less it made sense that this largely inactive, barely detectable virus could cause such devastation," everything he wrote started making sense to me in a way that the currently accepted model did not. I didn’t have anywhere near all the information, but my instincts told me that what he said seemed to fit.
Over the past ten years, I nevertheless continued my research into mathematical models of HIV infection, all the while keeping an ear open for dissenting voices. By now, I have read hundreds of articles on HIV and AIDS, many from the dissident point of view but far, far more from that of the establishment, which unequivocally promotes the idea that HIV causes AIDS and that the case is closed. In that time, I even published four papers on HIV (from a modeling perspective). I justified my contributions to a theory I wasn’t convinced of by telling myself these were purely theoretical, mathematical constructs, never to be applied in the real world. I suppose, in some sense also, I wanted to keep an open mind.
So why is it that only now have I decided that enough is enough, and I can no longer in any capacity continue to support the paradigm on which my entire career has been built?
As a mathematician, I was taught early on about the importance of clear definitions. AIDS, if you consider its definition, is far from clear, and is in fact not even a consistent entity. The classification "AIDS" was introduced in the early 1980s not as a disease but as a surveillance tool to help doctors and public health officials understand and control a strange "new" syndrome affecting mostly young gay men. In the two decades intervening, it has evolved into something quite different. AIDS today bears little or no resemblance to the syndrome for which it was named. For one thing, the definition has actually been changed by the CDC several times, continually expanding to include ever more diseases (all of which existed for decades prior to AIDS), and sometimes, no disease whatsoever. More than half of all AIDS diagnoses in the past several years in the United States have been made on the basis of a T-cell count and a "confirmed" positive antibody test – in other words, a deadly disease has been diagnosed over and over again on the basis of no clinical disease at all. And the leading cause of death in HIV-positives in the last few years has been liver failure, not an AIDS-defining disease in any way, but rather an acknowledged side effect of protease inhibitors, which asymptomatic individuals take in massive daily doses, for years.
The epidemiology of HIV and AIDS is puzzling and unclear as well. In spite of the fact that AIDS cases increased rapidly from their initial observation in the early 1980s and reached a peak in 1993 before declining rapidly, the number of HIV-positive individuals in the U.S. has remained constant at one million since the advent of widespread HIV antibody testing. This cannot be due to anti-HIV therapy, since the annual mortality rate of North American HIV-positives who are treated with anti-HIV drugs is much higher – between 6.7 and 8.8% – than would be the approximately 1–2% global mortality rate of HIV-positives if all AIDS cases were fatal in a given year.
Even more strangely, HIV has been present everywhere in the U.S., in every population tested including repeat blood donors and military recruits, at a virtually constant rate since testing began in 1985. It is deeply confusing that a virus thought to have been brought to the AIDS epicenters of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the early 1970s could possibly have spread so rapidly at first, yet have stopped spreading completely as soon as testing began.
Returning for a moment to the mathematical modeling, one aspect that had always puzzled me was the lack of agreement on how to accurately represent the actual biological mechanism of immune impairment. AIDS is said to be caused by a dramatic loss of the immune system’s T-cells, said loss being presumably caused by HIV. Why then could no one agree on how to mathematically model the dynamics of the fundamental disease process – that is, how are T-cells actually killed by HIV? Early models assumed that HIV killed T-cells directly, by what is referred to as lysis. An infected cell lyses, or bursts, when the internal viral burden is so high that it can no longer be contained, just like your grocery bag breaks when it’s too full. This is in fact the accepted mechanism of pathogenesis for virtually all other viruses. But it became clear that HIV did not in fact kill T-cells in this manner, and this concept was abandoned, to be replaced by various other ones, each of which resulted in very different models and, therefore, different predictions. Which model was "correct" never was clear.
As it turns out, the reason there was no consensus mathematically as to how HIV killed T-cells was because there was no biological consensus. There still isn’t. HIV is possibly the most studied microbe in history – certainly it is the best-funded – yet there is still no agreed-upon mechanism of pathogenesis. Worse than that, there are no data to support the hypothesis that HIV kills T-cells at all. It doesn’t in the test tube. It mostly just sits there, as it does in people – if it can be found at all. In Robert Gallo's seminal 1984 paper in which he claims "proof" that HIV causes AIDS, actual HIV could be found in only 26 out of 72 AIDS patients. To date, actual HIV remains an elusive target in those with AIDS or simply HIV-positive.
This is starkly illustrated by the continued use of antibody tests to diagnose HIV infection. Antibody tests are fairly standard to test for certain microbes, but for anything other than HIV, the main reason they are used in place of direct tests (that is, actually looking for the bacteria or virus itself) is because they are generally much easier and cheaper than direct testing. Most importantly, such antibody tests have been rigorously verified against the gold standard of microbial isolation. This stands in vivid contrast to HIV, for which antibody tests are used because there exists no test for the actual virus. As to so-called "viral load," most people are not aware that tests for viral load are neither licensed nor recommended by the FDA to diagnose HIV infection. This is why an "AIDS test" is still an antibody test. Viral load, however, is used to estimate the health status of those already diagnosed HIV-positive. But there are very good reasons to believe it does not work at all. Viral load uses either PCR or a technique called branched-chained DNA amplification (bDNA). PCR is the same technique used for "DNA fingerprinting" at crime scenes where only trace amounts of materials can be found. PCR essentially mass-produces DNA or RNA so that it can be seen. If something has to be mass-produced to even be seen, and the result of that mass-production is used to estimate how much of a pathogen there is, it might lead a person to wonder how relevant the pathogen was in the first place. Specifically, how could something so hard to find, even using the most sensitive and sophisticated technology, completely decimate the immune system? bDNA, while not magnifying anything directly, nevertheless looks only for fragments of DNA believed, but not proven, to be components of the genome of HIV – but there is no evidence to say that these fragments don’t exist in other genetic sequences unrelated to HIV or to any virus. It is worth noting at this point that viral load, like antibody tests, has never been verified against the gold standard of HIV isolation. bDNA uses PCR as a gold standard, PCR uses antibody tests as a gold standard, and antibody tests use each other. None use HIV itself.
There is good reason to believe the antibody tests are flawed as well. The two types of tests routinely used are the ELISA and the Western Blot (WB). The current testing protocol is to "verify" a positive ELISA with the "more specific" WB (which has actually been banned from diagnostic use in the UK because it is so unreliable). But few people know that the criteria for a positive WB vary from country to country and even from lab to lab. Put bluntly, a person’s HIV status could well change depending on the testing venue. It is also possible to test "WB indeterminate," which translates to any one of "uninfected," "possibly infected," or even, absurdly, "partly infected" under the current interpretation. This conundrum is confounded by the fact that the proteins comprising the different reactive "bands" on the WB test are all claimed to be specific to HIV, raising the question of how a truly uninfected individual could possess antibodies to even one "HIV-specific" protein.
I have come to sincerely believe that these HIV tests do immeasurably more harm than good, due to their astounding lack of specificity and standardization. I can buy the idea that anonymous screening of the blood supply for some nonspecific marker of ill health (which, due to cross reactivity with many known pathogens, a positive HIV antibody test often seems to be) is useful. I cannot buy the idea that any individual needs to have a diagnostic HIV test. A negative test may not be accurate (whatever that means), but a positive one can create utter havoc and destruction in a person’s life – all for a virus that most likely does absolutely nothing. I do not feel it is going too far to say that these tests ought to be banned for diagnostic purposes.
The real victims in this mess are those whose lives are turned upside-down by the stigma of an HIV diagnosis. These people, most of whom are perfectly healthy, are encouraged to avoid intimacy and are further branded with the implication that they were somehow dreadfully foolish and careless. Worse, they are encouraged to take massive daily doses of some of the most toxic drugs ever manufactured. HIV, for many years, has fulfilled the role of a microscopic terrorist. People have lost their jobs, been denied entry into the Armed Forces, been refused residency in and even entry into some countries, even been charged with assault or murder for having consensual sex; babies have been taken from their mothers and had toxic medications forced down their throats. There is no precedent for this type of behavior, as it is all in the name of a completely unproven, fundamentally flawed hypothesis, on the basis of highly suspect, indirect tests for supposed infection with an allegedly deadly virus – a virus that has never been observed to do much of anything.
As to the question of what does cause AIDS, if it is not HIV, there are many plausible explanations given by people known to be experts. Before the discovery of HIV, AIDS was assumed to be a lifestyle syndrome caused mostly by indiscriminate use of recreational drugs. Immunosuppression has multiple causes, from an overload of microbes to malnutrition. Probably all of these are true causes of AIDS. Immune deficiency has many manifestations, and a syndrome with many manifestations is likely multicausal as well. Suffice it to say that the HIV hypothesis of AIDS has offered nothing but predictions – of its spread, of the availability of a vaccine, of a forthcoming animal model, and so on – that have not materialized, and it has not saved a single life.
After ten years involved in the academic side of HIV research, as well as in the academic world at large, I truly believe that the blame for the universal, unconditional, faith-based acceptance of such a flawed theory falls squarely on the shoulders of those among us who have actively endorsed a completely unproven hypothesis in the interests of furthering our careers. Of course, hypotheses in science deserve to be studied, but no hypothesis should be accepted as fact before it is proven, particularly one whose blind acceptance has such dire consequences.
For over twenty years, the general public has been greatly misled and ill-informed. As someone who has been raised by parents who taught me from a young age never to believe anything just because "everyone else accepts it to be true," I can no longer just sit by and do nothing, thereby contributing to this craziness. And the craziness has gone on long enough. As humans – as honest academics and scientists – the only thing we can do is allow the truth to come to light.
March 3, 2006
Rebecca V. Culshaw, Ph.D., is a mathematical biologist who has been working on mathematical models of HIV infection for the past ten years. She received her Ph.D. (mathematics with a specialization in mathematical biology) from Dalhousie University in Canada in 2002 and is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at a university in Texas.