University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has a little blurb on its website.
“It’s unique but incredibly inclusive, everyone fits in somewhere”.
That includes the HIV and AIDS denialists who have been given the opportunity to flog “I Won’t Go Quietly” to the good people of London who wish to watch a movie about HIV/AIDS denialism. And let us get this clear, it is denialism. The same denialism that brought us the South African Salad school of HIV/AIDS prevention. Where an entire nation based it’s government HIV prevention scheme on quackery and paid the price.
It is estimated that 300,000 out of the world’s 35 million are due to this one single program. This isn’t cases during the period, this is the number of people predicted to have contracted AIDS above and beyond the normal rate. 1% of the world’s HIV sufferers are there due to a single act of quackery. This is the most conservative figure. If we include people who could have been saved by a more scientific approach being utilised earlier, this would be in excess of a million people
And this is without including the enormous scale of quackery in Africa where superstition with regards to AIDS and Catholic and Muslim beliefs have held back progress in controlling the disease.
To allow a viewing of this movie is a travesty to everything a study of Asia and Africa should be about. If you wish to discuss this in terms of anthropological answers to disease? I must say “Fuck You”. People are fucking dying and it’s not a handful of people. It’s 35 million who have a death sentence on them at this point.
Your first world anthropology is not needed when discussing a lethal disease. What we need is cold hard and cruel medicine so that anthropology doesn’t become archaeology.
So let’s take a gander at what’s on offer? From the press release.
The 80-minute documentary “I WON’T GO QUIETLY” by filmmaker Anne Sono is a portrait of six women from four countries, whose stories are shocking and almost unbelievable.
Six women maketh a scientific consensus. I did a little look into these women’s stories.
“Tamara was tested positive for HIV during her second pregnancy. She received a critical book on AIDS in a counselling centre run by the church. Together with her husband Ivan, she decided to keep the child and refused medical treatment. The child ist perfectly healthy, just like her little sister and her elder brother. The parents decided to never test their children for HIV. Tamara was murdered on 09/03/2012. The exact circumstances remain unclear.”
Wait what? Churches are fucking handing out quack bullshit about HIV? Wait what? You cannot be serious. There are people taking advice from institutes dedicated to prayer rather than medicine. I ask you? Would you walk into a McDonalds and ask for advice on how to fix your car? No. You would be considered an idiot to ask and an idiot to take the advice. Then why the hell is this acceptable to ask a bunch of priests about healthcare issues.
“Tatyana was diagnosed during her pregnancy. She took the drugs and gave birth to a child of whom the doctors said that it would only live 3-4 years. She gave her child AZT until she came across a newspaper article by a scientist who had proven that people died from the effects of the drugs. She discontinued the treatment at once. Lisa is now 7 years old, exceptionally intelligent and receives free ballet lessons because of her talent. In 2012 Tatyana was taken off the national register of people infected with HIV.”
If you are born HIV + then you will for 7 to 14 years before you get AIDS. The 3 to 4 year statement is nonsensical. We are seeing 7 to 14 years in places like Africa and India. In places with access to medicine and regular usage, we are seeing children who have lived their entire lives with HIV and are now in their mid 30s.
“Line was persuaded by doctors to take an HIV test because she was expecting the child of an African. The test turned out positive for both her and her partner. Neither one of them ever developed AIDS. The child is now in her twenties and perfectly healthy, without ever having been on any AIDS medication. Line was sued by one of her ex-partners, because she allegedly infected him with HIV: She was found guilty and served 2 years in prison.”
She knowingly was having unprotected sex while HIV+. And this movie is defending her actions?
Incidentally? The mother to child transmission rate of HIV is not 100%. It’s around 15 to 45% depending on delivery hygiene. With medical intervention it is less than 5% and children born can be given a retroviral prophylaxis to drop it even further.
I must point out that a 45% chance and a 5% chance are miles apart.
“As a baby, Lindsey was adopted by an American couple. In her home country of Romania she tested negative for HIV, whereby a subsequent test in the U.S. turned out positive. The parents gave her the recommended antiretroviral drugs and had to watch as she started suffering from extreme leg pain and stopped growing. They discovered an article by Dr. Peter Duesberg from Berkeley, who advised the parents to stop the treatment immediately. The leg pain disappeared and Lindsey was back to a normal weight within 2 months. In the early 90s, there were 12 other so-called “AIDS” Babies in Minnesota, of which Lindsey is the only survivor. Today she is a healthy young woman, who recently became a mother herself – however, her happiness was overshadowed by the authorities.”
Peter Duesberg was on the 44 member advisory panel for South Africa of prominent AIDS/HIV denialists. His particular actions were responsible for the afore mentioned 300,000 deaths. He’s got a Dr. in front of his name but as far as I am concerned you only get to keep the title of Dr. if you help people. He also thinks Oncogenes are “fraudulent” despite the mountains of evidence to support defective genetics in cancer cells.
Duesberg’s arguments have generally been constructed by selective reading of the scientific literature. For those who have read my usual criticisms of quackery, you would recognise this as a common tactic. Where single lines are taken out of context to support a scientifically flawed argument. In addition? He rejects evidence that contradicts his theses, requiring impossibly definitive proof, and dismissing outright studies over inconsequential weaknesses.
“Barbara was tested positive for HIV in her early twenties. The test was done without her prior consent during a hospital stay. However, instead of developing AIDS, she gave birth to four healthy children. Because she decided to deliver her fourth child at home instead of the recommended Caesarean section and furthermore chose to breastfeed her daughter, she was sentenced to 14 months on probation. The youngest daughter was placed in a children’s home, because she refused to give her the prescribed medication.”
I repeat. This is ridiculously dangerous behaviour. Millions of Africans and Asians are at risk (Remember, I work in a HIV “zone” where there is a higher than normal number of HIV+ people) for the disease and SOAS giving a voice to such is just dangerous.
“Karri was in her mid-twenties when she tested positive after her second pregnancy. The doctors advised her to make her will. She trustingly took the AIDS medication and became a classic example of an AIDS patient, popular with doctors and nurses. However, that changed abruptly after 11 years, when Karri decided to discontinue treatment due to the many side effects she was suffering from. During the four years without medication Karri felt better than at any time since having been diagnosed with HIV. Unfortunately, the drugs had already eaten a hole into her intestines, and in search of a new doctor she almost bled to death. Five doctors refused to operate on her because she had rejected the HIV treatment. In order to get an operation, she had to agree to the infusion of Ganciclovir. Shortly after she became blind and lost her ability to speak. She died on 26 April 2011.”
I will deal with the irritating “Classic AIDS patient due to medication later”.
But how much money do you bet that HIV/AIDS complications had a hand in this rather than the shady hand of big pharma?
Of note? One of HIV’s complications is an infection with CMV (Cytomegalo Virus) which can cause blindness. Ganciclovir + CMV + HIV has an effect causing retinal detachment too. However CMV is the main causative component. Anti-Retrovirals help preserve vision. So we don’t quite know if it was the medication or a common issue in untreated HIV.
Karri died of Pneumonia. The overlying cause was AIDS. According to Peter Duesberg? About 6% of deaths in the over 50s are from pneumonia, and “she is one of those. Big deal, It’s nothing. It’s consistent with everything I know.”
Anne Sono managed to highlight the emotional side to HIV/AIDS as well as its factual background. A brave portrait that encourages us to rethink everything we previously took as fact.
Based on quackery, 8 subjects of dubious nature and a completely unscientific viewpoint of how disease works.
A bold theory, if only we lived in a universe where it worked.
Critical voices keep growing louder as scandalous news about made-up sicknesses, useless or even dangerous medications and lethal side-effects are making the round.
The same applies to vaccines. It doesn’t mean they are scientifically valid. Why is it that we are willing to listen to people who make movies about 8 people, not to doctors who treat hundreds of HIV positive people?
Could it be that AIDS may be another one of those scandals?
Koch’s postulates were held to be true for HIV/AIDS and we have experimented enough on the virus to find out how it works.
“Years from now, people will find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those who excommunicated Galileo.”
(Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist)
Another famous name. Kary Mullis is the creator of PCR. Also rather wrong about AIDS since his own PCR keeps finding HIV in people with AIDS.
Remember, people with AIDS have HIV, people with HIV may not have AIDS. There are different strains of HIV with different progress rates. If you have the one that moves slowly then you can live a long time knowing you are HIV positive with no AIDS and so believe that you are perfectly fine.
WIth medicine we can stretch this time out so that HIV may not be the cause of death.
This film is dedicated to the pending questions surrounding HIV:
• What exactly is HIV? What constitutes AIDS?
HIV is a membrane bound retro-virus and is the organism that is scientifically accepted as the cause for AIDS.
HIV affects the white blood cells, specifically your lymphocytes destroying your specific immune system precipitating AIDS which is a crisis state where you lack the specific immune system to fight off pathogens. This results in repeated infections until something kills you. This also means you are prone to certain cancers.
This can range from diseases like TB, Pneumonia to ones like Kaposi’s sarcoma and systemic mycosis.
• Why have predictions about an impending epidemic in Western countries not come to pass?
We had an epidemic in Western Nations. What are you kidding me? We just had it in a population that was small and tightly knit.
Here, let Joe tell you a story. The epidemic hit the gay community. There were a bunch of reasons for this.
1. Gay men didn’t have a pressing need for using condoms, straight women do. Pregnancy. With the advent of anti-virals and antibiotics the majority of known STDs were now harmless. Syphillis once ate faces, now was a single shot.
2. Anal sex transmits the disease more rapidly than vaginal sex
3. Gay men didn’t have a social pressure that demonised sexuality leading to a culture of pick up sex. Gay men had more unprotected anal sex than women and straight men were having vaginal sex and with more partners.
4. Each Gay man is a bigger percentage of the population of gay people. In a town of 1000 men, around 30 would be expected to be gay. Even if each gay man sleeps with 3 other gay men that would be 10% of the population. You are just way more likely to come into contact with a sexual partner who has HIV.
5. The silent nature of the disease lead to it’s rapid spread before anyone noticed. In addition? Being a “Gay” disease meant that people were unwilling to make serious steps towards prevention of the disease and many HIV+ patients were treated quite appallingly.
The HIV community is still reeling from the damage caused to gay men (By contrast? Exclusive Lesbians have the lowest rate of HIV transmission. So to the “God Hates Gays” folk? Maybe, but he really likes Lesbians. Still? Use protection.) Even today gay men still form demographically one of the biggest sources of HIV. For a group of people who make up less than 3% of the population they have around 50% of new HIV cases.
There are fears that this is rising because a new generation of gay men are being born who didn’t experience the devastation of the epidemic in the 80s and 90s and there are fears among older gay men that they may see a second epidemic due to falling rates of condom usage.
The main reason why HIV didn’t spread to the level it did in Africa?
Medicine. We had good check ups, good education, good access to contraception and no religious (oh boy did they try though) rationale for not using condoms. A stable society helped us promote these things and actively encourage safe sex and education which helped prevent the spread of STDs through social medical programs.
It’s also the reason why Cholera is pretty rare too.
• Why is particularly Africa affected?
Because Africa lacks
1. Health Infra-structure
2. Universal Education
3. Stable Politics
This makes it rife for quackery which exists in spades. From the anti-condom stances of the Catholics to various practices in African Traditional Religion (such as the infamous “sex with virgin cure”).
In addition? War has ravaged large parts of Africa with rape being common.
So people don’t know about HIV/AIDS, there are no government schemes that are well funded to promote anti-HIV programs that work or they lack the resources and manpower to implement schemes. In every case such progress is opposed by quackery from various groups who are given equal credence.
It is also the home of the disease so it had longer to spread there. In addition? Our condoms kept our straight population safe while the Catholic opposition to condoms alongside Islamic anti-condom stances guaranteed a religious onus to not use condoms and the push of misinformation about condoms even after the discovery of HIV in the 80s.
So to sum up? Poor Social, Economic and Medical motivators. Religious opposition. Active quackery. War. Plus being the source of the disease. If we compare to India, where the disease is imported? The better access of medicine, secular society with religious support and stable society has enabled a stronger response to HIV and AIDS and a control of the disease. In addition? Educational programs are more successful in combating HIV especially with the roles traditional medicine and untrained medical personnel are given in spreading education rather than quackery in India.
• How can it be that a sexually transmitted disease allegedly affects 90% of the gay community yet spares heterosexuals in comparison?
90% of the gay community! That’s interesting!
It is estimated that 18% of Men who have Sex With Men (according ot the CDC) are HIV Positive. This is Gay, Bi or any group of genetically male people who have sex with other men. Not 90%. And this is without bringing up Lesbians.
This is a huge number if you look at the MSM as a population, but a tiny number overall. MSM make up 2 to 3% of the population. In the USA this is around 10 million individuals across the entire nation. The issue is that around 50% of all HIV cases come JUST from here for the prior mentioned reasons.
• How come there are HIV positive people, who are still healthy even decades after their diagnosis?
Because your body produces more T-Cells. There is not a finite number of them and we can keep making more ones. The problem is that there is a latency period where HIV numbers build up. The virus’s cycle is slower so the disease progresses slowly.
In addition? Anti-Retrovirals have slowly increased the life span of HIV positive people to the point HIV may be considered a chronic disease.
Do we have to accept death, just because a doctor tells us that we are going to die?
No. See above. The thing is with medication we can control HIV to the point you can live a normal life under medication.
The other option is not fantasy and fairy dust.
This film will change everything you thought you knew about HIV and AIDS. It invites you to start questioning what we are told by the so-called “experts” and to regain personal responsibility of your own body and life.
By replacing it with stuff no one knows about HIV and AIDS because it is “made up”. Dara O’Briain was right. Medicine is the only science where we consider quacks to be someone you can turn to in an “interest of fairness”. No one turns away from NASA to talk to the man who thinks the Earth is flat. No one turns away from a car mechanic to talk to the man who thinks pixies control your car.
When you use the term in inverted commas I have to start questioning credentials myself. Journalist is a rather daft word for documentary about nonsense. I mean the History Channel was claiming “ancient civilisations had contact with aliens”, does that mean we should believe such tripe?
Not one person on the making of list was medically trained.
And they helpfully have included a discussion panel.
The discussion panel afterwards will include:
- The Director, Ann Sono, who will be able to share behind the scenes details, stories that had to be cut, and follow-up.
Okay. So not a doctor.
- Joan Shenton, former national TV broadcaster and journalist, and award-winning documentary maker. She has just finished editing a documentary about a group of long-term ‘non-progressors’ – now branded ‘elite controllers’ by the AIDS orthodoxy just to make sure you believe there’s no hope of you emulating their success – and we hope to be announcing when that will be shown soon as well.
AIDS orthodoxy? You make it sound all cool. Long Term Non-Progressors?
But yes, Joan Shenton is none of these things. She is however a famous quack and HIV denialist. As for the LTNP/Elite Controllers?
Roughly 1 in 300 people are LTNP/Elite Controllers. These are people who are resistant to HIV’s progress of disease and many don’t know if they have HIV until discovered by chance or by the onset of symptoms later on. The clinical relevance of the classification is not definitive because some patients classified in this category have gone on to develop AIDS. It is likely, however, that these patients were not true LTNP patients or that the disease progression was retarded.
As for why they exist? Genetic traits confer greater resistance to HIV. This enables their immune systems to mount an actual resistance. These patients progress slowly even to the point of requiring anti-retrovirals let alone full blown AIDS. Some LTNP are affected with a weakened strain of HIV which explains their slow progress.
This can be due to
- Mitochondrial DNA. Different mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in humans may increase or a decrease rates of AIDS progression.
- Receptor mutations. A low percentage of LTNP have been shown to have inherited mutations of the CCR5 receptor of T cell lymphocytes. HIV uses CCR5 to enter these cells. It is believed that the Δ32 (delta 32) variant of CCR5 impairs HIV ability to infect cells and cause disease. An understanding of this mechanism led to the development of a class of HIV medicines, the entry inhibitors. This is not a common mutation though.
- HLA type (Human Leukocyte Antigen) has also been correlated with this. Strong correlations have been found between possessing the class 1 HLA-B*5701, 5703, and/or 2705 alleles and resistance to HIV.
- Antibody production. All individuals with HIV make antibodies against the virus. The issue is that latency (the virus in a dormant form with it’s DNA within the healthy DNA of a cell) has already been established. In most cases these antibodies are produced 2 to 4 years after infection. By this time the latent reservoir is established and the disease becomes impossible to eradicate. In some rare patients the antibodies are produced earlier. These are not true LTNPs but have a slower progression to AIDS. A true LTNP has a static state of HIV titres.
- APOBEC3G protein production. In a small number of people infected with HIV, the virus is naturally suppressed without medical treatment. These people may carry high quantities of a protein called APOBEC3G that disrupts viral replication in cells. “A3″ for short, is a protein that sabotages reverse transcription, the process HIV relies on for its replication. A3 prevents latent viruses from becoming active.
Note the differences in approach.
By contast? Her site offers as examples the cases of Jody Wells and Huw Christie as people who beat HIV. Both are dead.
Another case she showcased? Christine Maggiore, a Californian businesswoman who helped found an international group, now called “Alive and Well Aids Alternatives”. That was before her three-year-old HIV-positive daughter died of pneumonia and, in 2008, her own death.
- Mike Hersee, co-founder of HEAL London, who has been involved with a number of couples and single mothers and their battles to protect their children against the bullying and arrogant onslaught by the medical establishment, aided and abetted by an obseqious judiciary
Mike Hersee runs a quack organisation. I won’t be responsible for upping his traffic, so there is no link. If you want? Google Heal London. Mike in short runs the sort of anti-medical “group” that promotes quackery under the guise of freedom in the same way that people promote not wearing motorcycle helmets as freedom.
- At least one or two women who have found themselves in the same situation as women in the film and who will be able to answer questions personally
Do you notice the trend?
The experts discussing HIV and AIDS didn’t even know about the research into LTNP. Not one doctor among them. And how is it a panel discussion if everyone on it is a quack? Not one medical voice among the lot. Not one person who has worked with HIV patients as a whole. Instead what we see is someone dictating what the 299 in 300 must do based on the 1 in 300.
And here is the thing that is common among quacks. An emphasis on personal anecdote of a single person over knowledge and that personal anecdotes trump statistical evidence, experience and education.
SOAS should be ashamed of themselves for encouraging such a murderous stance when it affects so many people in Africa and Asia. SOAS and the University of London should stand for education rather than quackery. SOAS should stand for issues that help and promote health among Asian and Black people, not the quacks who promote disease. With this you betray African and Asian people. With this you betray the Gay
I wanted to end this on a note of hope. Remember how I said I will come to the effect of retrovirals later? 90 days makes all the difference.