Edited excerpts from "Fear of the Invisible"
AIDS and SEX
in 2004 the UK government headlined: ‘Recent increases in new HIV diagnoses have been largely driven by infections acquired through heterosexual intercourse'. And yet the small print of the same government report stated; ‘Men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) remain the group at greatest risk of acquiring HIV infection within the UK, accounting for an estimated 84% of infections diagnosed in 2003 that were likely to have been acquired in the UK' - and, out of 6,606 new cases of ‘HIV infection in 2003, only 43 cases were among heterosexual or lesbian women born in the UK, and only 57 cases among UK born heterosexual men! That is right - in an entire year, there were only 43 new HIV cases among women born in the UK - and 57 among UK heterosexual men! Since a person with a fungal infection or recent flu jab can falsely test positive for HIV, this simply is not enough cases to sustain an epidemic.
The numbers of deaths listed in AIDS statistics are also not what they seem. They are not ‘deaths from AIDS', as one might be forgiven for presuming. The small print reveals these are ‘deaths among the HIV-infected,' leaving open the actual cause of death. This makes these figures not only highly misleading, but meaningless. Likewise in 1997 the CDC acknowledged that: ‘Reported deaths [on CDC AIDS statistics tables] are not necessarily caused by HIV-related diseases!'
So how do the UK health authorities justify saying that heterosexual and female cases are greatly increasing? Solely by adding African immigrants ‘presumed infected in Africa.' It is among them that are found nearly all the heterosexual and female cases of ‘AIDS'. But, why? (On Africa - please read the separate article)
it all began as Dr Robert Gallo briefed the media in the days following the April 1984 press conference, where he announced the discovery of what we now call HIV, a virus that causes AIDS. This caused a panic began among the public. Most heterosexuals had not dreamt the ‘gay' epidemic could affect them, but now they learnt it was among them all, straights and gays alike
Yet, none of Gallo's four Science papers published at that time had attempted to prove AIDS sexually transmitted, or explicitly that it would infect heterosexuals. They had not even tried to address these issues. So why then this panic? Because a virus cannot discriminate between infecting men and women. They are all 'equal opportunity' infectors. True, nearly all AIDS victims at that time were men - and gay males at that - but if it were a virus that caused AIDS, then women were sure to fall ill equally too as were all heterosexuals. The early start among gay men was put down to their 'unrivaled promiscuity' - the heterosexuals would come down soon.
In 1985, the CDC astonished and horrified America by estimating that over 1.5 million American heterosexuals ‘must' be already infected. It was predicted terrifyingly that they would die within two years. In 1987 the CDC increased this to 1.8 million. The Journal of the American Medical Association calculated: ‘With a mortality rate that, two years from diagnosis, exceeds 80%, this illness now ranks as one of the most serious epidemics confronting man in modern times.'
From newspaper reports, few private physicians in Chicago would administer the Gallo-invented AIDS blood test, as they had utterly no remedy for positive. ‘I don't want to be the first doctor to have his patient jump off the Sears Tower when he gets his results,' Dr. David Coynik told the Chicago Tribune, adding he discouraged patients from taking the test. There were also doubts about its accuracy. When a large number of blood donations were retested after having tested positive, they were found to be negative, which did not say much for the accuracy of the test.
Nevertheless Dr. Merle Sande, the head of a Californian AIDS research task force, confidently stated: ‘We are clearly in the midst of a major medical catastrophe ... the eventual magnitude ... could be absolutely enormous.' In 1987 Oprah Winfrey predicted; ‘By 1990, one in five heterosexuals will be dead from AIDS.' It was as if she had announced the Apocalypse. These reports also brought fear of death into love making, linking it to deep phobias.
But then it turned out that the US Government's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had based its frightful predictions solely on extrapolations from the proportion of gay men falling ill at the 1981 peak of the San Francisco epidemic. It had applied this percentage to the entire American population - without any clinical evidence of illness in the rest of the population. They also predicted that women were far more likely than men to get AIDS, as vaginas could hold infected spermal fluid for longer. This was despite clinical reports that far fewer American women were getting AIDS.
Many members of the gay community had greeted with enormous relief the declaration that a virus caused AIDS. Toxicologists had earlier told them that their lifestyle caused their illnesses, but the discovery of this virus now surely had lifted the blame from their drug taking and partying lifestyle?
It soon became politically correct to grimly warn ‘AIDS will affect all' - no matter that it was still practically confined to the gay community. After all, if it were caused by a virus and transmitted by sex, it must affect women and straight men equally. Before I looked into its history, I had long believed the same. I presumed HIV to be relatively easy to pass on sexually. My private life was governed by this supposition.
But when I now sought confirming scientific evidence, I discovered to my surprise that in 1986 Gallo reported: 'Data from this and previous studies have shown that receptive rectal intercourse, for example, is an important risk factor for HTLV-III [HIV] infection. We found no evidence that other forms of sexual activity contributed to the risk.' This shocked me. I had thought the evidence was otherwise. Surely if a virus were responsible, it would infect both partners equally?
I then found that in 1987 the major ‘Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study' had similarly reported ‘in gay men the only significant sexual act related to becoming HIV antibody positive and progressing to AIDS is receptive anal intercourse.' This on-going massive study was founded on the presumption that HIV to be spread only by sex.
Spermal fluid is itself immune-suppressant. It contains chemicals that protect the sperm from a woman's natural defensive system. Could the above findings be explained by spermal fluid weakening the immune system of a receptive partner by getting into their blood through skin tears during anal sex? I was not sure.
But still no scientific evidence emerged that supported the idea that heterosexuals were equally in danger. This led in late 1987 to the Reagan Administration asking the CDC; ‘How did you know that 1.8 million Americans are HIV infected?' the official who compiled AIDS case reports, E. Thomas Starcher, replied to their astonishment; ‘It's just a guess.' Another CDC researcher reported: 'I was at the meeting; we were a subcommittee, and supposed to make these predictions. It was really just off the tops of our heads... The main problem we had is that there are no good data. The data do not exist.'
The Education Secretary, Bill Bennett, in some surprise then asked James Mason, the director of the CDC, 'You mean this thing is not exploding into the heterosexual community?' Mason replied, ‘No, it's not.' Bennett angrily responded: 'Well, why have you been telling everybody that it is?' The Chicago Times thus reported on November 15. 1987: ‘Among heterosexuals, the AIDS epidemic has never really begun.'
Wiley at Berkeley also reported: ‘The chances of acquiring the AIDS infection are much less than for syphilis or gonorrhoea, even herpes; less than almost any other venereal disease you can name, on the order of 1 to 1,000 contacts' A chart was produced showing in 1987 there was a 91.7% correlation between homosexuals using recreational drugs and getting AIDS - but only a 4.3% correlation with heterosexual sex.
However the CDC, backed by lurid headlines in the media, continued to warn that most of those infected would come to a terrible death, not right away but in five to ten years. The panic spread. Gays were blamed for infecting heterosexuals, evicted from their apartments and even refused medical help.
Nearly a decade later, in 1996, The Wall Street Journal would find the focus of the Federal AIDS education campaign was still on warning heterosexuals, rather than homosexuals, about their risk for AIDS. It also discovered that there was no scientific justification for this, since homosexuals remained at far greater risk. It reported that the CDC, in consultation with the advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, had decided to stress the danger to heterosexuals to make it easier for politicians to fund the war on AIDS and to protect gays from discrimination. A high-up ‘source' told The Wall Street Journal; If most people in the U.S. feel they are at very low risk, there will be little support for AlDS-prevention effort.' ‘There is a real concern that funding ... will be cut.'
The resulting investigative article was entitled ‘AIDS fight is skewed by federal campaign exaggerating risks.' It commenced: ‘In the summer of 1987, federal health officials made the fateful decision to bombard the public with a terrifying message: ‘Anyone could get AIDS'.' But; ‘While the message was technically true, it was also highly misleading. Everyone certainly faced some danger, but for most heterosexuals, the risk from a single act of sex was smaller than the risk of ever getting hit by lightning.'
Behind this terrible fiasco with the most horrific of consequences, lay a fundamental scientific dilemma. The reality was that in the West it was still mostly men, and gay men at that, who were going down with AIDS. This was not reconcilable with a ‘virus-only' theory of AIDS causation. Many scientists knew this - but they feared to seem to question this theory. It had apparently become almost a religious doctrine.
So, despite the lack of evidence, legal measures were promoted to prevent heterosexual infection. Illinois made an AIDS test mandatory before marriage. Colorado debated making the transmission of HIV punishable with 4 years in prison. West Virginia considered making it first-degree murder. Today, around the world, in many countries and states, it is a grave criminal offence to have sex after being found HIV positive without warning the partner.
But at that time, the panic created was fought by other voices that started to appeal for some sanity, pointing out that AIDS was already declining among gay men and that accidental falls in the home killed more people than did AIDS in the USA.
Meanwhile the CDC struggled to get a grip on other difficulties facing the ‘HIV virus' theory. As Gallo had noted, it was extremely difficult to find HIV in AIDS victims - but this was explained now by saying it mutated fast - so fast that it was hard to identify. No routine methods against viruses seemed to work against it. No anti-virus measure cured it. It was like attacking an invisible enemy.
But - what about heterosexual transmission of HIV? Surely this was later proved beyond a shadow of a doubt? I then discovered that the largest controlled scientific study ever carried out on the risk of HIV infection through heterosexual sex was by Dr. Nancy Padian in 1997. It was well designed. She identified 175 heterosexual couples with one partner HIV-positive. She then monitored them for up to 6 years to see how long it would take for the HIV infection to spread from one partner to the other.
The couples, as one would expect, were initially counselled on their need to take precautions - but were then left to make their own decisions. Afterwards it was discovered that one quarter of the couples did not consistently use condoms.
But the results of this study were totally unexpected - and apparently embarrassing for the scientists involved. They reported: ‘no seroconversions occurred among exposed partners,' In other words, not one case of HIV transmission! (the book here scans this text from the original paper)
This study remains of high repute. As far as I know, no one has questioned its methodology. The authors noted in its conclusion: 'Neither condom use, total number of sexual partners since 1976, nor lifetime number of sexually transmitted diseases was associated with infection'.''
The lead author, Professor Nancy Padian, still plays a major role in AIDS research. In 2007 she is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine. In 1991 she cast doubts also on the accuracy of earlier studies that tried to measure the risk of infection from heterosexual acts. She reported that these ‘studies may not have adequately controlled for other confounding nonsexual routes of transmission such as risks associated with intravenous drug use. At first blush, cases that appear attributed to heterosexual transmission may, after in-depth interviewing, actually be linked to other sources of risk ... Furthermore, it is often difficult to establish the source of infection in such couples.'
But, I am most surprised to find that Professor Padian has recently attempted to backtrack from her findings without withdrawing the paper in which they are found. She stated, on a website set up in 2006 to defend the HIV theory of AIDS: ‘Individuals who cite the 1997 Padian et al. publication or data from other studies by our research group in an attempt to substantiate the myth that HIV is not transmitted sexually are ill informed, at best. Their misuse of these results is misleading, irresponsible, and potentially injurious to the public.'
She then explained how she has been so seriously misinterpreted: ‘A common practice is to quote out of context a sentence from the Abstract of the 1997 paper: "Infectivity for HIV through heterosexual transmission is low".' But misleadingly she had failed to quote her words immediately preceding these. They were that they observed ‘no new infections' by HIV in the years in which they were monitoring heterosexuals That is not ‘low transmission' but zero. I am citing the main body of her paper, not its abstract.
Padian also claimed that people have failed to understand her research correctly by not noting ‘couples were strongly counselled to use condoms and practice safe sex.' She concludes: ‘That we witnessed no HIV transmissions after the intervention documents the success of the interventions in preventing the sexual transmission.' However, she distorts her own research. Her paper had reported that a quarter of the couples studied did not use condoms consistently.
I believe that her recent attempt to deny her own research conclusions is clear evidence of the pressure scientists are now under to protect their careers by conforming to beliefs promulgated by the AIDS establishment.
In her original paper, despite not observing any such cases, she presumes that the couples she had excluded from her study as inappropriate because both were already HIV positive at the start of her project, must have previously infected each other through sex.
Having made this assumption without having any proof of it, she then produced from this an ‘estimated' risk of HIV infection 'through male to female contact' of '0.0009', with the female to male risk factor being ‘eight times' less than male to female - in other words, an HIV positive heterosexual man would pass on HIV once in a thousand acts of unprotected intercourse, and a HIV-positive women would infect a man once in 8,000 unprotected acts! (It is a surprising, but exactly the same figure of 0.0009% was reported to be the Ugandan male to female risk factor for HIV infection, in a study by other authors published in Lancet in 2001.)
It scarcely needs to be said, but these risk levels are so low that they are scarcely detectable, are totally insufficient to maintain an epidemic - and utterly unprovable. And as I noted, she actually observed no cases of transmission at all.
This makes it very hard for me to accept as accurate the World Health Organization 1992 estimate that 30% of all pregnant women in Uganda were HIV infected through sex. These women would have had to be incredibly sexually active to achieve this.
There is other evidence supporting near zero transmission through heterosexual sex. The Journal of Infectious Diseases reported; ‘The probability of transmission of
HIV-1 from male to female during an episode of intercourse has been
examined in seven studies. Analysis of data from North American and
European studies of heterosexual couples provide estimates of per-sex-act HIV-1 transmission of approximately 1
in 1000 (0.001, ranging from 0.0008 to 0.002).' Again, these figures are based solely on ‘estimates.'
Peterman found 'eleven wives remained uninfected after more than 200 sexual contacts with their infected spouse.' Also, in one of the largest ever studies on 'HIV positive' haemophiliacs and their wives', no wives became 'HIV positive ' during the study. This was despite each couple having vaginal intercourse a large number of times. The authors 'calculated that in 11 couples unprotected vaginal intercourse occurred a maximum of 2,250 times (minimum 1,563) without transmission of HIV.'
Then, in the largest of all European studies, spanning six countries, it was concluded 'the only sexual practice that clearly increased the risk of male-to-female transmission was anal intercourse...[and that] no other sexual practice has been associated with the risk of transmission'.
All this is highly surprising, for the heterosexual transmission of AIDS in Africa is now the gospel accepted by nearly all media and health workers - apparently totally on the basis of not reading the relevant science papers, and trusting in a very uncritical medical establishment and the sexual stereotyping of Africans.
The official 2003 Annual Report on HIV/AIDS in San Francisco, the supposed centre of the American AIDS epidemic, reported that from 1999 to 2003 there was no increase in HIV infection in San Francisco - despite there being at the same time an enormous increase among homosexuals in such STD infections as rectal gonorrhoea and syphilis.
This report went on to say: ‘HIV remains relatively rare among heterosexuals, blood transfusion recipients and children.' It gave figures. Out of all the US AIDS cases since the start of the epidemic, 95% were male in San Francisco, 92% male in California and 82% male in the US. Most of the victims in San Francisco were also white (72%) - with only 12% being African-Americans. Some 76% of all HIV infections were in males having sex with males. Critically, only 4% of AIDS victims in San Francisco were female and only 1% of all AIDS victims were thought infected through heterosexual sex.
As for male haemophiliacs, while they frequently have immune system problems, their wives remained HIV uninfected ‘despite a high prevalence of asymptomatic clinical and immunologic abnormalities in the haemophiliacs, we found their wives, on average, to be normal with respect to T-cell subsets and other surrogate laboratory markers.'
Similar figures are reported for the UK. According to government statistics, only 64 women born in the UK were found newly HIV infected in 2004. This contrasted to several thousand men. In 2007, after having made HIV testing a routine part of antenatal care, the UK's Health Agency reported that, of the 178,493 UK-born women tested in 2005, only 75 were found HIV positive - a fall to nearly half of the low incidence reported one year earlier (0.04% as against 0.07% of those tested in 2004). The same report stated: ‘The 2356 new diagnoses of HIV infection among men who have sex with men reported in 2005 was the highest ever.' Similar statistics have now been produced for twenty years - and yet women are still being warned in the press that they are equally at risk.
The main players are simply ignoring the inconvenient official statistics. Dr. Robert Gallo in 2007 told a trusting journalist: ‘It is true that the virus is more easily transmitted from men to women. Women are at the greater risk.'
Chicago Tribune January 27, 1985 This statement was by Dr Thomas C. Quinn .
Chicago Tribune December 15, 1985.
Chicago Tribune January 27, 1985.
The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, 1990.
CDC Contraception Technol Update. 1985 Dec;6(12):161-3. PMID: 12280299. This particularly quoted Mary E. Guinan, Assoc. director of the CDC's Sexually Transmitted Diseases division.
Stevens CE, Taylor PE, Zang EA, et al. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection in a cohort of homosexual men in New York City. JAMA 1986;255:2167-2172
Kingsley et al., 1987.
http://www.statepi.jhsph.edu/macs/dossier/MACS%20Dossier.pdf Also see report in the Chicago Times of June 1 1987.
Research by the Perth Group and others has indicated that spermal fluid can itself be toxic if it gets into the blood - as it might do on the less well-protected anal route. www.perthgroup.com
Chicago Tribune (CT) - Sunday May 31, 1987
Chicago Tribune (CT) - Sunday November 15, 1987
Amanda Bennett and Anita Sharpe, AIDS fight is skewed by Federal bodies exaggerating risks, Wall St. Journal, 1st May 1996
Chicago Tribune (CT) - May 31, 1987
Papadopulos-Eleopulos, E., 1988, Reappraisal of AIDS: is the oxidation induced by the risk factors the primary cause? Med. Hypo 25:151
Padian NS, Shiboski SC, Glass SO, Vittinghoff E. Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in northern California: results from a ten-year study. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1997;146:350-7
Nancy Padian is a Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California and she has worked on the heterosexual transmission of HIV since 1984. She is a frequent participant in annual NIH Office of AIDS Research planning workshops and has chaired the workshop on international research for the last four years. She is an elected member to the Institute of Medicine
Padian NS, Padian NS, Shiboski SC, Jewell NP. Female-to-male transmission of human immunodeficiency virus. JAMA 1991;266:1664-7.
Kamali A, Quigley M, Nakiyingi J, et al. Syndromic management of sexually-transmitted infections and behaviour change interventions on transmission of HIV-1 in rural Uganda: a community randomised trial. Lancet 2003;361:645-52.
Gray RH, Wawer MJ, Brookmeyer R, et al. Probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act in monogamous heterosexual, HIV-1 discordant couples in Rakai, Uganda. Lancet 2001;357:1149-1153.
J Infect Dis 1990,161:833-877
Peterman T A; Drotman D P; Curran J W Epidemiologic reviews, (1985) Vol. 7, pp. 1-21.
van der Ende ME, Rothbarth P, Stibbe J. Heterosexual transmission of HIV by haemophiliacs. British Medical Journal 1988; 297(6656): 1102-3.
European Study Group. Risk factors for male to female transmission of HIV. British Medical Journal 1989; 298: 411-414
Kreiss JK et al. Antibody to human T-lymphotropic virus type III in wives of hemophiliacs. Ann Intern Med. 1985 May;102(5):623-6.
http://aras.ab.ca/articles/scientific/200703-GalloInterview-Lambros.pdf Also see the final footnote to this chapter. WHO and UNAIDS in 2008 reported they now accept that there has been no AIDS epidemic among heterosexual people outside of Africa and that it is unlikely to happen.
Padian's paper of 1997 in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed that, in a 10 year follow-up prospective study of heterosexual couples of whom only one partner of either sex was positive, ‘no seroconversions occurred among exposed partners', suggesting no transmission of HIV via the vaginal route.
Professor Robert S. Root-Bernstein.' The Evolving Definition of AIDS.'