an excerpt from "Fear of the Invisible" by Janine Roberts
AIDS - The Redefined Epidemic - or how to keep AIDS numbers up!
I had always imagined that illnesses are defined according to their clinical symptoms - and that their diagnosis was strictly a scientific matter. I would think that the vast majority of people would think likewise. I had been thus shocked when I discovered polio was given new rules for diagnosis to cover-up the failure of the poliovirus vaccine. I had not thought that politics could interfere with such matters.
But I now have to report that much the same has happened with AIDS - again, it seems, to hide the failure of a medical theory. I have discovered that there have been several changes to the official definition of AIDS since the illness was first described - with Africa being given its own extraordinary and unique diagnostic rules. The result is that, in the USA, Africa and Europe today, it is not necessary to be HIV positive to be diagnosed with AIDS. Indeed, in the USA and Europe it is not even necessary to feel ill or to have any evident clinical symptoms of illness.
1982 CDC: AIDS clinically diagnosed by symptoms of illness
At first AIDS was diagnosed clinically like most other diseases - by the evident symptoms of illness. In 1981-2 it was described as a condition in which two illnesses, fungal pneumonia (PCP) and severe Thrush, appeared together, often accompanied by a skin cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma. These 3 illnesses became known as the ‘AIDS Indicating'. The principal cause of death was PCP, caused by a fungus that is normally harmlessly and present in nearly all of us, but which had suddenly become a killer. Once diagnosed, death was usually less than eleven months away. A few hundred such cases were diagnosed in the UK and USA in the early 1980s. The patients were all in the urban partying gay scene in which a great deal of anal sex was fuelled by intensive and multiple drug taking. Their illnesses were at the time varying said by scientists to be caused by inhaled recreational drugs, by medical immune-suppressant drugs heavily prescribed for STDs, by a new mutant form of syphilis or by a new virus spread by promiscuous sex,
1984 CDC: HIV antibodies are now the key diagnostic symptom.
AIDS was redefined in 1984 after HIV was declared its cause. The presence of the virus became the major AIDS defining condition - as detected by finding an antibody with the HIV test. If antibodies against an HIV protein were found, then it was predicted confidently that within 10 years one of the above AIDS-defining and death-producing illnesses would follow. If a patient already had these illnesses, but the virus were absent, then it was said that the virus had killed all the cells it could live in. As many were now found to be ‘HIV [antibody] positive' despite looking healthy, a panic rapidly spread. It was soon predicted that 1.5 million Americans were already infected and well on the way to dying of AIDS.
1987 CDC: HIV no longer necessary for an AIDS diagnosis.
As I reported in the last chapter, the CDC in 1987 ran into trouble when it lobbied the White House for greatly increased funding for AIDS research, on the basis that AIDS was now a major epidemic among heterosexuals. When the White House demanded the evidence, the CDC was forced to slash its estimate of the number of Americans infected from 1.76 million to 600,000 (a cut some have since mistakenly attributed to the just-introduced antiretrovirals).
The Chicago Times reported on May 31, 1987 that ‘the nation has become transfixed by a fear of deadly disease not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s' but this fear, it said, was ill-founded for ‘AIDS still ranks as one of the rarest of diseases.' ‘Deaths from AIDS are far less frequent than the various forms of heart disease that kill more than a million Americans every year, rarer even than deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, influenza and pneumonia, motor-vehicle accidents, homicide, suicide or accidental falls in the home.'
At the same time, statistics from San Francisco indicated the AIDS epidemic might be ending. Professor Andrew Moss, an epidemiologist at the University of California, reported in 1987: ‘the serioconversion rate [numbers testing HIV antibody positive} in gay men crashed quite a few years ago. San Francisco's doing new estimates and they're a lot lower than any previous estimates' - in fact down from 21% in 1982 to just 1% in 1983 and continuing downwards for the next four years.
Remarkably, some who previously tested positive were now testing negative, as was reported by John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Professor Susanna Cunningham-Rundles of Cornell said: ‘I believe there are people who have encountered the virus and successfully fought it off.'
But within months the CDC regained the epidemic it was beginning to lose by the most extraordinary of tactics. It issued new diagnostic rules for AIDS that would allow it to continue to grimly warn that America was in grip of a vast AIDS epidemic. It did so by quietly instructing doctors that they should now diagnose AIDS even in the HIV negative if they suffer from any one of a very extended long list of ‘AIDS-indicating illnesses.'
It thus reversed the ruling it had made only three years earlier when it made a positive HIV test a requirement for an AIDS diagnosis. It still states on the websites of both the CDC and the UK health authority that a positive HIV test is not a precondition for AIDS diagnosis. This is despite these authorities maintaining that HIV is the cause of AIDS!
I am sure this is equally astonishing for many of my readers - so I invite you to go to the CDC website and check for yourselves. (A scan of the text is in the book)
The CDC then produced a list of some 17 illnesses that it says should be diagnosed as AIDS without laboratory evidence of HIV infection. It stated that ‘with laboratory evidence against HIV infection', (that is, with a negative HIV test) ‘any of the provided list of diseases could be diagnosed as AIDS,' (This is called the ‘Section 1 B' list) Remarkably this list includes the three original AIDS diseases, PCP fungal pneumonia, severe Candida (Thrush) of the throat or lungs, and Kaposi Sarcoma. These were in future to be called AIDS even after a negative HIV test. Since these original AIDS diseases were diagnosed in some 63% of all AIDS cases in the UK in 2006, a positive HIV test is now almost redundant for an AIDS diagnosis.
I am sure that if questioned, the CDC will explain that results of the test can be ‘inconclusive' or even ‘negative' because HIV hides very efficiently in its victims. But, I wonder if this is a case of the ‘Emperor's Clothes' - the story of a naked monarch who believed he was dressed because he trusted what he was told? We are told in this case that we must trust that the virus is causing the illness despite its absence.
Onto this list, as not requiring a positive HIV test for an AIDS diagnosis but a CD4 count below 400, in 1987 went a further 14 new ‘AIDS indicating illnesses,' including bronchitis ‘of any duration' and a herpes ulcer suffered for more than a month. This is despite these illnesses having existed for centuries before AIDS arrived and having their own bacteria, viruses or fungi, that have to be present for the illness to be diagnosed. Not for the latter the privilege of being absent on duty!
This redefinition also allowed that, after a positive HIV test, a person could be diagnosed with AIDS if he or she was diagnosed with just one of a different and longer list of illnesses provided by the CDC, including septicaemia, pneumonia, meningitis, bone or joint infection, an abscess in an internal organ caused by streptococcus or other bacteria. Why such illnesses need HIV was not explained. For children, ‘multiple bacterial infections' would henceforth be sufficient for an AIDS diagnosis! Thus despite the apparent absence of HIV, a child might be put on powerful antiviral drugs.
Finally, and even more surprisingly, the CDC ruled that people who ‘have either a negative HIV antibody test' or ‘an opportunistic disease not listed in the definition as an indicator of AIDS', may be diagnosed with AIDS ‘on consideration of ... a history of exposure to HIV.' This totally astonished me. Under this, even a person with flu could be diagnosed as having AIDS despite a negative HIV test, if a friend had a positive HIV test.
By redefinition, AIDS thus became an illness that can have the most incredible range of symptoms. No wonder this redefinition caused an immediate panic! In Italy the new definition immediately put up the AIDS figures by 188%. In the US it went up by 280%! AIDS thus became by definition a collective name for a legion of old diseases, without even the need for HIV to be present. But critically this also meant that any specialist working on just one of these disorders would now be able to tap into the growing AIDS budget.
Also most importantly, with this redefinition came a great watering down of the risk factor attached to an AIDS diagnosis. With so many people now diagnosed with AIDS in the absence of the original deadly ‘AIDS Indicating diseases’, the average life expectancy after diagnosis now went up greatly without any need for medication.
1993 CDC: Feeling ill no longer a necessity for an AIDS diagnosis.
In 1993 the last major formal redefinition of AIDS took place, one that would again greatly swell the size of the AIDS epidemic. This time the CDC did not replace the 1987 definition but added to it that AIDS could now be diagnosed in people who had none of the ‘AIDS Indicating’ illnesses – and even if they did not feel ill! The CDC predicted that this redefinition would more than double the number of official AIDS cases.
The new provision added to the definition was that a person without evident symptoms of illness could be diagnosed with AIDS if they had less than 200 CD4 white blood cells in a micro-litre (μL) of blood – half the level mentioned in the previous redefinition. The CDC estimated that there were at that time 120,000 to 190,000’ Americans who did not know they had AIDS since they were not ill, had no AIDS symptoms but who did have a CD4 Count of below 200.
The CDC explained, ‘ the population of HIV-infected persons with CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts of less than 200/uL is substantially larger than the population of persons with AIDS-defining clinical conditions’ i.e. the redefinition would more than double the numbers diagnosed with AIDS!
This time the effect of the redefinition was not just to put up the numbers in the epidemic, but to vastly increase the numbers of people who would immediately be prescribed the expensive chemotherapy drugs commonly known as ‘antiretrovirals’. The CDC said all American citizens with a 200 CD4 below 200 had to be warned that they already had AIDS – and instructed to start immediately on these drugs, even if they did not feel ill and were otherwise quite robust. This also meant in practice that many now put on these drugs were more able to withstand their severe side effects.
On top of this, the CDC made a further major change. They also directed there was no need to wait to take the drugs until one had a below 200 CD4 count! In future, antiretroviral drugs could be prescribed if the CD4 count was below 500, in order to stop AIDS starting by preventing infection.
If these people were not ill beforehand, they were likely soon to be, as they now faced a lifetime on powerful chemotherapy. (Some of the antiretroviral drugs are also marketed as chemotherapy against cancer – but for that purpose, only for a limited period because of their side effects.)
The very fact they were diagnosed with AIDS was enough to make many to start to feel ill. Such a diagnosis will be a very major source of stress all on its own.
This time the UK only partly followed suit. It said without any symptoms of illness, a person should only be diagnosed with AIDS if they had a CD4 Count below 300 and were also HIV positive. But in the UK, as in the US, in future it would be irrelevant for an AIDS diagnosis to ask if they felt unwell.
The new definition also added 3 diseases to the list of 23 ‘AIDS-indicating illnesses. Onto the list came TB, bacterial pneumonia and invasive cervical cancer. The addition of TB alone would greatly swell the numbers of the poor diagnosed with AIDS – especially as TB could now be diagnosed as AIDS even in the absence of HIV.
Cervical cancer was added as a result of lobbying by lesbian women who were acting in solidarity with their gay brothers. Until then very few women were diagnosed with AIDS, but this could not last, or so thought Maxine Wolfe in 1993. She logically explained that, as a virus caused AIDS, it must be an illusion that women were not getting AIDS. ‘We don’t know if women were really asymptomatic. They simply did not have male-defined symptoms.’ Cervical cancer was thus added. The result was; ‘In the half-year following, over 9,000 cases in women were reported. The number of women said to have AIDS in the US went up by 300%.’
How this is reconcilable with the vaccine announced in 2007 against a different virus said to cause cervical cancer I just cannot guess. It is another mystery of government diagnostic rules.
By 1997 according to the CDC, 61% of all new AIDS patients in the US were, at the time of their diagnosis, not suffering from any of the AIDS defining illness– and yet were put on antiretrovirals for the rest of their lives. They were told that without the drugs they were certain to die just as fast as did AIDS patients during the first years of the epidemic.
But they were misinformed. Most of the early patients were only diagnosed with AIDS after coming down with deadly Fungal Pneumonia. If patients today were similarly diagnosed with AIDS, far fewer would be diagnosed – and their life expectancy after diagnosis would be far shorter.
But, a major new killer in AIDS cases has now emerged – kidney failure, a known side effect of antiretroviral drugs. It is now a major killer in AIDS cases in the West – yet is still not listed as an ‘AIDS indicating’ illness. Other known side effects of these drugs are cancers and heart disease – and again these are now major killers in AIDS cases. But AIDS patients in the West are still surviving longer than they did in 1984 – the redefinitions have ensured this by including those without evident symptoms at the time of diagnosis.
More in article on Sexual Transmission
The 1987 redefinition is on the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/other/mmsu3601.pdf
Chicago Tribune, November 15, 1987
Chicago Tribune, December 11, 1987
Chicago Tribune, December 20, 1987
The CDC definition of AIDS, and lists of AIDS defining diseases, are also available on http://www.righto.com/theories/aidsdef.html The 1993 redefinition was published in MMWR 41 (RR-17)
Yet there is reportedly no mention of AIDS in three major overview studies of cervical cancer published in April 1999 in the New England Journal of Medicine (accessible via www.nejm.org ).
MMWR Supplement, CDC, August 14 1987