The Writing is on the Wall for UNAIDS

The mainstream medical community is beginning to understand the limits of the Aids venture into Africa. Persons who are serious about improving the lives of the poorest in the world are thinking twice about the monies spent on the Aids campaign.

There is a call for the permanent disbanding of the United Nations Aids division, in order to re-focus efforts on the myriad of problems that plague Africans: Lack of food, water, work, safety, and basic medical care for malaria, tuberculosis, and dysentery.

The writing is on the wall for UNAIDS

By Roger England, chairman, Health Systems Workshop, Grenada
The British Medical Journal

HIV exceptionalism is dead—and the writing is on the wall for UNAIDS. Why a UN agency for HIV and not for pneumonia or diabetes, which both kill more people? [….]

UNAIDS should be closed down rapidly, not because it has performed badly given its mandate, which it has not, but because its mandate is wrong and harmful. Its technical functions should be refitted into WHO, to be balanced with those for other diseases.

Putting HIV in its place among other priorities will be resisted strongly. The global HIV industry is too big and out of control. We have created a monster with too many vested interests and reputations at stake, too many single issue NGOs (in Mozambique, 100 NGOs are devoted to HIV for every one concerned with maternal and child health),14 too many relatively well paid HIV staff in affected countries, and too many rock stars with AIDS support as a fashion accessory.

The mainstream has known for years that the idea of a sex plague in Africa was not supported by evidence, (from The International Journal of STD and AIDS, 2003):

“The conventional wisdom that heterosexual transmission accounts for most adult HIV infections in Africa emerged as a consensus among influential HIV/AIDS experts no later than 1988.

In that year, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Program on AIDS circulated estimates that 80 percent of HIV infections in Africa was due to heterosexual transmission…”

First, it was in the interests of AIDS researchers in developed countries – where HIV seemed stubbornly confined to MSMs, IDUs, and their partners – to present AIDS in Africa as a heterosexual epidemic

africamed.jpg

“Second, there may have been an inclination to emphasize sexual transmission as an argument for condom promotion, coinciding with pre-existing programmes and efforts to curb Africa’s rapid population growth.”

“Third, ‘the role of sexual promiscuity in the spread of AIDs in Africa appears to have evolved in part out of prior assumptions about the sexuality of Africans

(Gisselquist D et al. “Let it be sexual: how health care transmission of AIDS in Africa was ignored.” Int J STD AIDS. 2003;14:148 161).

Moreover, AIDS in Africa was always a different phenomenon than AIDS in America. The Aids definition for Africa was always based on commonly occurring clinical conditions.

In 1985, the World Health Organization called a meeting in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, to define African AIDS. The meeting was presided over by CDC official Joseph McCormick. He wrote about in his book “Level 4 Virus hunters of the CDC,” saying:

“If I could get everyone at the WHO meeting in Bangui to agree on a single, simple definition of what an AIDS case was in Africa, then, imperfect as the definition might be, we could actually start counting the cases…”

The results – African AIDS would be defined by physical symptoms: fever, diarrhea, weight loss and coughing or itching. (“AIDS in Africa: an epidemiological paradigm.” Science, 1986)

Those in the mainstream who are serious about improving the actual living conditions and future of Africans, are now turning away from the chronic red-ribbon campaign. The Aids ribbon, and Product (Red) campaigns, among others, which focus attention on intervening in the reproductive lives of Africans, have been made chic by celebrity endorsement, and are linked artificially to the idea of gay and African rights.

After the hundred million dollar failures of AIDS vaccine and microbicide campaigns, a call is emerging for a vast re-organization of efforts to assist in the lives of Africans, by attending to their daily needs – basic resources like food and water, and basic medical care for TB, malaria and dysentery.


One question remains
– is Roger England (along with David Gisselquist, and anybody else with a mind of their own), now a “denialist?”

Related Articles:

Addendum:

UNAIDS myths on AIDS pandemic costing billions – new report
May 20, 2008

UNAIDS – the UN’s specialist AIDS advocacy body – has systematically misrepresented the true nature of the AIDS pandemic, resulting in billions of dollars of wasted spending, according to a new report from the Campaign for Fighting Diseases.

According to report author Professor James Chin, UNAIDS has exaggerated the size and trend of the AIDS pandemic, and has over-hyped the potential for HIV in ‘general’ heterosexual populations outside of sub Saharan Africa.

Prof Chin was the epidemiologist who helped the World Health Organization design global AIDS surveillance methods in the 1980s, and is one of the world’s leading experts on the pandemic.

His report accuses UNAIDS of misleading the public by promoting the myth that everyone in the world is at risk from the pandemic. Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, extensive HIV transmission in heterosexual populations has not occurred, except in large commercial sex networks.

As a result this advocacy, some $5bn have been wasted since 2003 on providing prevention programmes for populations at almost no risk of HIV, such as school children and youth outside of sub-Saharan Africa. This figure now stands at $1bn per year and increasing.

These sums could be more usefully spent on targeting prevention programmes at those most at risk of HIV, including injecting drug users, gay men, and sex workers; or on trying to prevent the annual four million child deaths from easily preventable diseases such as measles.

Prof Chin stated: “UNAIDS is apparently concerned that support to AIDS programs might be reduced if HIV remains concentrated in the highest HIV-risk populations. UNAIDS continues to perpetuate the myth of “generalized” HIV epidemics to keep AIDS high on the political agenda, but it is resulting in billions of dollars of misdirected spending.”

The full report [HERE]

Liam

25 Comments

  1. I see this as part of an ongoing trend. “HIV/AIDS” is being dismantled from within.

    It’s finally becoming obvious to those on the inside that they’ve run out of steam.

    They’ve hit THE wall. Time to back away from it all.

  2. That’s going to leave the likes of Sharon Stone, Madonna and Annie Lennox pretty much with their g-strings round their ankles…that’s if then mow wear them at all.

    I agree that there seems to be a push for backing out by some. The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

  3. One question remains – is Roger England (along with David Gisselquist, and anybody else with a mind of their own), now a “denialist?”

    He makes good points. Period.

    It won’t be long before the only people left holding the bag on this issue are the psychopaths who have everything to lose when it falls apart.

  4. Addendum:

    UNAIDS myths on AIDS pandemic costing billions – new report
    May 20, 2008

    UNAIDS – the UN’s specialist AIDS advocacy body – has systematically misrepresented the true nature of the AIDS pandemic, resulting in billions of dollars of wasted spending, according to a new report from the Campaign for Fighting Diseases.

    According to report author Professor James Chin, UNAIDS has exaggerated the size and trend of the AIDS pandemic, and has over-hyped the potential for HIV in ‘general’ heterosexual populations outside of sub Saharan Africa.

    Prof Chin was the epidemiologist who helped the World Health Organization design global AIDS surveillance methods in the 1980s, and is one of the world’s leading experts on the pandemic.

    His report accuses UNAIDS of misleading the public by promoting the myth that everyone in the world is at risk from the pandemic. Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, extensive HIV transmission in heterosexual populations has not occurred, except in large commercial sex networks.

    As a result this advocacy, some $5bn have been wasted since 2003 on providing prevention programmes for populations at almost no risk of HIV, such as school children and youth outside of sub-Saharan Africa. This figure now stands at $1bn per year and increasing.

    These sums could be more usefully spent on targeting prevention programmes at those most at risk of HIV, including injecting drug users, gay men, and sex workers; or on trying to prevent the annual four million child deaths from easily preventable diseases such as measles.

    Prof Chin stated: “UNAIDS is apparently concerned that support to AIDS programs might be reduced if HIV remains concentrated in the highest HIV-risk populations. UNAIDS continues to perpetuate the myth of “generalized” HIV epidemics to keep AIDS high on the political agenda, but it is resulting in billions of dollars of misdirected spending.”

    The full report [HERE]

  5. I get the feeling they are now starting to really panic. The scientific establishment desperately need a way out of this mess. They are trying to find that way out, the problem is that with AIDS the lie is so profound and so extensive that they literally have no place to turn for that way out.

    Let’s just sit back and see them try to wriggle out. It will not be long now before fingers start pointing from on high, and then the vermin will start running and blaming it all on the “queers”. I can see it coming. That is what eventually will happen. I am convinced of it.

    I am pretty sure science will not take the rap for this without dragging the “queers” down with them. It would be like “the night of the long knives” all over again…just you wait and see.

    NB- Queers as in the reactionary fascist group that have taken over gay politics. This term is not a reference for all gay people. Many of us abhore the word, the politics and the image they have given us of victims.

  6. Manu, you’re probably spot on with that observation.

    There are opportunities for positive change in all of this.

    Since we’re aware of it, it might just be up to us to promote those positive changes.

  7. I repeat my comment from “Various and Sundry”:http://dan-variousandsundry.blogspot.com/2008/05/backing-out-not-so-slowly.html

    Spot on, spot on, spot on.

    Now take a look at “aidstruth.org” and the recent blood-frenzy of libel and character assassination they, John P. Moore, Tara Smith of Aetiology, and the NYTimes have been committing in plain view –

    And you wonder if Shakespeare was onto something, when he said that the lady was protesting too damn loudly, and too damn often.

    So, do you think that we’ll get a gift-basket apology – we being reporters (myself included), scientists, researchers, mathematicians, engineers, M.D.s, historians, citizens and activists – who’ve been pointing out, fearlessly, at great professional and personal peril – that the Aids machine (as Celia called it correctly), was a living monster?

    When the mainstream finds the courage to call “Aids” “too big and out-of-control,” and possessing a mandate that is “wrong and harmful,” then the fat lady is moving toward the microphone, and warming up her voice box.

    But where will it strand the ‘gay aids parade?’ Are gay men safe enough now to live without the Aids umbrella? The pre-figured death, the pre-pennance for their cultural sin?

    God, I hope so.

  8. Just posted on V&S:

    There are various little quotes from Shakespeare that could be applied to AIDS, JPMoore and Tarada Smith, here are a couple:

    AIDS
    If this were play’d upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an
    improbable fiction.
    -12th Night

    JPMoore:
    “And thus I clothe my naked villany
    With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ,
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
    -Richard III

    Tarada Smith:
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief. Your noble son (daughter) is mad. . . .

    For the both of them:
    All the infections that the sun sucks up
    From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him
    By inch-meal a disease!”
    -The tempest

    “Come, let’s away to prison;
    We two alone will sing like birds I’ th’ cage.”
    -King Lear

    Gays without the victim status? I don’t know…The collective will have to be more real and realistic as well as honest with themselves. I doubt they will do that on a collective scale. As yet i see little evidence for that. Though i think it is irrelevant here as i am pretty sure the powers that be will just drop the whole collective like a hot potato when the truth comes out.

    Only then will we know.

  9. Great job engaging the true believer at AME.

    I’m not quite sure though that it’s belief. Desire, maybe. Desire to believe.

    His approach is one I’ve seen a thousand times. His M.O. is to bludgeon us to believe in his faith. Or bludgeon any wanderers back into the faith.

    He’s rigid, unthinking, obsessed. Exactly the traits necessary to believe in HIV/AIDS.

  10. Greetings Gents,
    Ever wonder when all this “Back-tracking” will actually back track to when HIV =’s nothing? Well if you’ve noticed they like to do this on occasion just so they can devise clever ways to procure more research grants. Of course, all the back-tracking in the world will mean next to nothing to the hordes of gay men still being strung along by HIV as if this is their part of life’s ritual.

    Camp HIV has gotten so out of hand nowadays as seen here with: http://social.beonecity.com/sitetour.html plus all the glossy magazines and all those absolutely fabulous things to do and be a part of; http://www.SaddleUpLA.org … “Lifestyle HIV?” Oh Jesus!

  11. ” According to report author Professor James Chin, UNAIDS has exaggerated the size and trend of the AIDS pandemic, and has over-hyped the potential for HIV in ‘general’ heterosexual populations outside of sub Saharan Africa. “

    James Chin would have more credibility if he included ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ in that.

    For years, UNAIDS kept defending the use of antenatal clinic surveys (ANCs), even though no first year stastistics or humanities student would use pregnant women at urban maternity clinics to determin the HIV infection in the general population.

    It was wrong, which is why in ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ HIV statistics have been massively written down. Most dramatically, Sierra Leone went from 7% national infection rate (based on ANCs) to under 1% (using the statistically representative DHS surveys).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/05/AR2006040502517.html?sub=new

    How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated
    Reliance on Data From Urban Prenatal Clinics Skewed Early Projections

    By Craig Timberg
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Thursday, April 6, 2006; Page A01

    This article, which was a follow up to an article which appeared two years earlier in the Boston Globe

    Estimates on HIV called too high
    New data cut rates for many nations
    By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | June 20, 2004
    http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/06/20/estimates_on_hiv_called_too_high/

    was responded to by the UNAIDS version of Dana Perino, Peter Ghys as follows:

    ” HIV estimates, whether they are based on household surveys or surveys of pregnant women, need to be assessed critically as the epidemic evolves. Achieving 100 percent certainty about the numbers of people living with HIV globally, for example, would require repeatedly testing every person in the world for HIV, which is logistically impossible.

    Donnelly’s article might lead readers to think that AIDS is not as pervasive as once thought. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The actual number of people living with HIV globally continues to grow at alarming rates due to new HIV infections. ”

    PETER GHYS
    Manager, Epidemic and
    Impact Monitoring
    UNAIDS
    Geneva, Switzerland

  12. You’ve left us with a quote by Peter Ghys, which I’ll try to summarize for clarity:

    “We can’t test the actual people we say are ‘infected'” (with the results from a non-specific antibody test)…

    …BUT we’re sure, Sure and determined that there Must be even More than we thought (even though there are 1000s of percent less).”

    That’s the WHO/UNAIDS shuffle. Mo’ mo’ mo’. We want mo’.

    You’d think they’d be happy that there were 100s and 1000s of percent fewer ‘cases’ than they’d “predicted.” I mean, you’d be forced to think, based on their chronic behavior, that they are actually working to Spread “hiv” and “aids.” (That is, the idea of ‘hiv’ and the disease ‘brand’ “aids”).

    Some mottos:

    “UNAIDS – keeping poor people poor.”

    “UNAIDS – turning Tuberculosis into Aids, since 1994.”

    “UNAIDS – issuing death sentences all over Africa is our duty.”

    “UNAIDS – would you like some AZT with your food and …. Oh, sorry! You have no food and water! Here’s your Nevirapine instead.”

    And on….

  13. As for the guy at AME – he was at least a couple dozen times more polite than the radicals in the aidstruth crowd. I mean, he engaged, or did a better job of it, and wasn’t personally too venomous.

    I don’t mind sides, I don’t mind differences of opinion. It’s fine with me to be able to disagree. I’ll give ‘snout’ that – he didn’t libel and slander. He disagreed. Yes, with a stubbornly-held and I think, logically-wanting point-of-view. But that’s his right. As it is ours to pursue the available information and draw different conclusions than he.

    So, I don’t begrudge him his opinion. If the Aidstruth cabal could learn a little about honest differences of opinion in the sciences, we’d all be able to get on with this thing, and maybe solve a great deal of it.

  14. So, I don’t begrudge him his opinion. If the Aidstruth cabal could learn a little about honest differences of opinion in the sciences.

    Is it really about differences in the sciences? Really?

    Everybody is welcome to their opinion and to express it (even religions that want to behead me for being gay and doctors and scientists who seek to drug me to death…for being gay). But are we really talking about science here? Or is “science” just the window dressing?

    Given the ramifications of “AIDS”…the targetting of groups to be “tested”, stigmatized, drugged and eventually killed from those drugs…are we just talking about science in its most clinical, sanitized, and simply theoritical terms? Is it not connected to a larger reality?

    Is it “all good”?

  15. Well Dan,

    I don’t believe in homogeny of opinion. I don’t begrudge anybody their point of view. What I mind is the lack of liberty to explore or hold that point of view. The aidstruth cabal actively attacks, suppresses, and tries their damndest to silence any who oppose them.

    My issue with them is not that I think they’re incorrect in their analysis of the situation – it’s that they allow no other to exist.

    If you would forbid them from existing, you’d be them.

  16. The coverage continues:
    http://search.ft.com/ftArticle?queryText=Noble+untruths+about+HIV%2F&y=4&aje=true&x=16&id=071123000524&ct=0&nclick_check=1
    *

    Noble untruths about HIV/Aids

    By Christopher Caldwell, FT.com site
    Published: Nov 23, 2007

    There was good news and bad news in the annual report published on Tuesday by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) and the World Health Organisation. The good news was that there are a lot fewer people infected with HIV than we had thought – about 7m fewer, in fact. A small fraction of that decline was due to safer behaviour and better drugs, but most of it came from fixing flawed statistics. Hence the bad news: a quarter-century into an epidemic that has killed millions, the organisation that leads the fight admits that it has been doing so with shaky data. Certain doctors have been saying this for a long time and the UN has ignored them. This week’s correction was a reminder that, while the UN can sidestep local political squabbles, questions of accountability inevitably crop up again at the international level, with the stakes often much higher.

    Last year’s UNAids report showed 39.5m people infected with HIV. That figure has been adjusted to 32.7m. The old methods relied too heavily on “sentinel-site surveillance” – on extrapolating from data gathered at prenatal clinics. It was assumed that the rate of HIV in the population at large would closely track the rate among pregnant women in urban clinics. That turned out to be a mistake. This year the UN paid more attention to national surveys and blood-testing. Basic assumptions have been changed. India’s rate of infection has been cut in half. The new, more empirical count, is 33.2m cases worldwide. Aids is spreading more slowly than assumed and global HIV incidence appears to have peaked around 1998, according to the UN’s graphs.

    There is no occasion for complacency. Aids is still the leading cause of death in Africa and the fourth-leading cause of death in the world. It is still spreading rapidly in some countries, Vietnam and Indonesia in particular. Since its main vectors of transmission are powerful human drives – sex and addiction – it should not surprise us that, as soon as vigilance is relaxed, infections pick up again. This has happened even in the countries most successful at raising awareness about Aids, from Uganda to the US.

    But those who have been sceptical for years about the UN model of measuring HIV and Aids have been vindicated. None more so than James Chin, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Berkeley. Dr Chin’s book, The Aids Pandemic, published this spring, is not only a highly readable primer on Aids but also an attack on established ways of measuring its prevalence. Dr Chin has long suggested the late 1990s as the moment when the incidence of Aids levelled off, has zeroed in on the problem of over-reliance on prenatal sentinel sites and noted the particular weakness of the UN’s Indian data as early as 2005. He accuses Peter Piot, the Belgian who has run UNAids since its founding in 1995, of “epidemiologic nonsense”.

    Dr Chin describes UNAids’ epidemiology with the Horatian expression splendide mendax – meaning untruthful to a noble end. It sought “to avoid further stigmatisation” of infected groups, Dr Chin believes, and fostered a climate in which the public remained “fearful about HIV infections ‘jumping out’ from these foci of infection to spread into the ‘general population'”. This was an unlikely outcome, in Dr Chin’s view, but such worries kept vigilance and fundraising high. Helen Epstein, the molecular biologist and author, also said this week that the old numbers had “fitted perhaps a certain fundraising agenda”. While UNAids’ budget has grown exponentially in the past decade, it still complains, plausibly enough, that it is billions short of the money it needs to do its necessary work.

    Against the accusation that its numbers served an agenda, UNAids replied that it would have been “technically impossible” to manipulate data systematically, since they arose from surveys taken by different authorities in different countries. That is true, but off the subject. The raw country numbers were not the source of the error; the UN’s models and procedures were. All the UN’s important errors ran in the same direction; they were all overestimates Whether those errors were pardonable mistakes or intentional distortions does not matter as much as it seems. What matters is accountability. Who vets the UN’s scientific assertions? If the answer is “no one”, then it is fair to ask: how much of what the UN is saying about global warming, or Darfur, or infantile dysentery is genuine analysis and how much is hyperbole meant to rally troops and muster resources?

    We have assumed, with justification, that the nation-state is inadequate to fight a big global crisis such as Aids. But we also assumed, naively, that the new multinational structures would possess the same accountability that nations do. They don’t. Under the old system, the government rallies public support and tax money towards a given end. The loyal opposition keeps jealous watch over whether the means to that end are ethical and in the national interest.

    The new system works differently. Trustworthy international bodies provide an assessment of a crisis, which is assumed to be impartial. Politicians and other celebrities then rally their publics to donate in the spirit of voluntarism. George W. Bush, for example, has put the US on the hook for $15bn worth of help to Aids-ravaged countries in Africa, This initiative relies on data from UNAids and other sources to silence opponents who would rather spend the money on well-documented domestic needs such as, say, hurricane relief. There are advantages to this new system. It can be considerably more responsive. It resembles a small-town fire department more than a traditional deliberative town meeting. But it will lose legitimacy if the reports of fire prove politicised or exaggerated.

    The writer is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard

  17. And continues:

    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/print/156965.htm

    Myths behind AIDS might lead to billions in misspending

    Sunday, May 18, 2008
    By James Chin, Special to The China Post

    GENEVA — As health ministers gather for the World Health Assembly here this week, there is one organization that can justifiably feel smug. UNAIDS — the U.N.’s specialist AIDS advocacy body — has raised some US$110 billion for the next five years: thanks to its efforts, AIDS will shortly become the biggest single item in foreign aid.

    Raising money is the easy part. Spending it effectively is harder.

    Good managers know that good policy cannot exist without accurate data but UNAIDS has systematically exaggerated the size and trend of the pandemic, in addition to hyping the potential for HIV epidemics in “general” populations. While this distortion of HIV epidemiology has been useful for raising money, it has resulted in billions of dollars of unnecessary and misdirected spending.

    Part of UNAIDS’s fundraising success has been its ability to convince donors that the pandemic is getting worse and is also a potential threat to all people everywhere. But UNAIDS’s claims are not supported by the epidemiologic data.

    This data tells us that those at greatest risk of HIV infection are: heterosexuals and gay men who have unprotected sex with concurrent and multiple partners, within open or overlapping sex networks; regular sex partners of HIV infected persons; and people exposed to HIV infected blood, such as injecting drug users.

    In framing the global response to AIDS, UNAIDS has ignored this and promoted a range of myths that have more to do with political correctness than science.

    For instance, UNAIDS claims that poverty and discrimination are major determinants of high HIV prevalence. In 1987, John Mann, the first head of AIDS at the World Health Organization, claimed that being “excluded from the mainstream of society or being discriminated on grounds of race, religion or sexual preference, led to an increase of HIV infection,” a litany uncritically accepted by UNAIDS.

    All available data suggests the opposite. In Africa, AIDS is a disease associated with wealth. The richest people in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have HIV rates several times higher than the poorest, probably because wealthy men and women in these countries have more sex partners.

    Poverty and discrimination present barriers to gaining access to prevention and treatment but are not primary determinants of sexual behavior — the real determinant of sexual HIV transmission. The U.S. response to global AIDS — US$50 billion over the next five years (held up in the Senate but likely to pass) — is based on the poverty principle. This mistake could lead to all kinds of mis-spending down the line.

    In a similar vein, UNAIDS has consistently claimed that the world is on the brink of generalized heterosexual HIV epidemics. In 1997, UNAIDS chief Peter Piot gloomily foretold that “AIDS will cut through Asian populations like a hot knife through cold butter.” Aside from a few explosive heterosexual epidemics within large commercial sex networks in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and several states in India in the late 1980s to early 1990s, Dr. Piot’s dire and colorful prediction never occurred.A recent report by an independent commission on AIDS in Asia has acknowledged that epidemic sexual HIV transmission has not spread in Asia beyond the highest HIV-risk groups, such as gay men, injecting drug users, and sex workers, into any general population. However, UNAIDS’s perpetuation of the myth that everyone is at risk of AIDS has led to billions wasted on HIV prevention programs directed at general populations and especially youth, who, outside of sub-Saharan Africa, are at minimal risk of any exposure to HIV.

    UNAIDS’s proposed budget for 2008 includes US$1.9 billion for prevention programs aimed at young people and the workplace. While some of this will be usefully spent in sub-Saharan Africa, the rest is effectively wasted.

    At least US$5 billion has been wasted in this way in the last five years. Meanwhile, to the shame of the global health bureaucracy, a handful of diseases that are relatively inexpensive to prevent or treat — several vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrheal diseases, malaria and some acute respiratory infections — continue to account for about four million annual child deaths globally.

    UNAIDS is apparently concerned that support for AIDS programs might be reduced if most regional HIV rates are stable or decreasing and HIV remains concentrated in the highest-risk populations.

    These are realistic concerns but global and regional HIV rates have remained stable or have been decreasing during the past decade; HIV continues to be concentrated in populations with the highest levels of HIV risk behaviors; and HIV is incapable of epidemic spread in the vast majority of heterosexual populations.

    Continued denial of these realities will further erode whatever credibility UNAIDS and other mainstream AIDS agencies and experts may still have, and will seriously damage the future fight against this disease: let’s face the data and put the money where the real problems really are.

    James Chin, a former chief of the surveillance, forecasting, and impact assessment unit of the Global Program on AIDS of the World Health Organization, is clinical professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley. His monograph The Myth Of A “General” AIDS Pandemic is published by the Campaign for Fighting Diseases this month. He is in Geneva to meet policymakers at the WHA.

  18. And…

    Health expert calls for end to UN HIV programme
    Friday, 09 May 2008 08:17
    http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/austria/countries/switzerland/health-expert-calls-end-un-hiv-programme-$1222028.htm

    The joint United Nations programme on HIV and Aids should be “closed down rapidly”, according to a health management expert.

    Roger England, chairman of Health Systems Workshop – an independent advisory group on health management in poor countries – says UNAids should be disbanded as its mandate is “wrong and harmful”.

    Launched in 1996, UNAids is based in Switzerland and works in more than 80 countries worldwide against the spread of HIV and Aids.

    Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Mr England says the agency was set up on the argument that HIV and its impact are exceptional.

    But he writes that this argument is no longer valid and says the claims HIV needs its own body as it can tip households into poverty would also apply to all serious diseases and disasters.

    “HIV is a major disease in southern Africa, but it is not a global catastrophe, and language from a top UNAids official that describes it as ‘one of the make-or-break forces of this century’ and a ‘potential threat to the survival and well-being of people worldwide’ is sensationalist,” Mr England said.

    “Worldwide the number of deaths from HIV each year is about the same as that among children aged under five years in India.”

    He argues that “far too much is spent on HIV relative to other needs and that this is damaging health systems”.

    His estimates claim HIV causes 3.7 per cent of mortality but receives a quarter of international healthcare aid and a “big chunk” of domestic expenditure.

    “HIV exceptionalism is dead – and the writing is on the wall for UNAIDS,” Mr England said.

    “Why a UN agency for HIV and not for pneumonia or diabetes, which both kill more people?”

    He added: “UNAids should be closed down rapidly, not because it has performed badly given its mandate, which it has not, but because its mandate is wrong and harmful.

    “Its technical functions should be refitted into [the World Health Organisation], to be balanced with those for other diseases.”

  19. Surely now that mainstream AIDS establishment people are questioning the focus of the HIV-AIDS paradigm (even if not the veracity of the paradigm itself) this “foot in the door” phenomenon will encourage closer scrutiny of the paradigm in its entirety. If UNAids has been criticised for its self-serving deceit isn’t it likely that other facets of this colossal scam might be tarred with the same brush and encourage more rational critical appraisal.
    Poor Dr Bennett and Jaypee Mooreau – all those elite Cambridge years wasted on HIV – no wonder they have become so defensive, rabid and shrill. Even if they aren’t paid directly by industry this is going to see them out on the scrap heap. Now I can also understand why Dr Nick (MBBChir., PhD, PhD, BNO, PU, SAH, TAH, NBM, FLK) needs a sideline on top of his busy, busy life saving poor orphans.

  20. Hope and pray, Cathy; hope and pray. Nice of a few people in the middle of the mess to notice that starving people with vicious, corrupt cabals in government, need something besides AZT to make them feel better.

  21. Hope and pray is right Liam. ARV studies like this make me sick:

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/8/52

    “Malnutrition was another strong, independent predictor of mortality in our study. Estimated one year mortality was nearly 50% among patients with severe malnutrition. Previously, studies from industrialized countries have shown that malnutrition in HIV infection is associated with morbidity and mortality, even after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the late 1990s [30-32].

    More recently, studies from developing countries have found that malnutrition is an independent predictor of mortality in patients starting ART [8,12,13,33]. However, it is not clear whether targeted therapy for malnutrition will result in improved survival [34]. Studies of nutritional interventions in HIV patients are urgently needed in developing countries, where malnutrition is often a result of poverty and food insecurity.”

    Feeding starving Africans doesn’t result in improved survival??? Nearly half the patients in this study were severely malnourished (BMI
    <16kg/m2), only 15% had normal BMI.

    The mortality across all patients was astonishingly high at nearly 30% during a median 10 months follow-up, and two-thirds of them died within three months of starting ARVs. The authors rationalise this by saying these Africans had “more severe disease”.

    In other words, all these Africans caught “HIV disease” a long, long time ago, then hung around for years waiting for the great white doctors with their
    “life-saving” drugs, and then had the ingratitude to drop dead in an eerily co-ordinated manner within 3 months of taking said drugs.

    The adjusted mortality HRs were:

    WHO stage (IV vs I-III) = 1.46. Anaemia vs no anaemia (Hb > 12 g/dl): Hb < 8 - 9.2. Hb 8-9.9 = 7.5. Hb 10-11.9 = 4.03. BMI (vs > 18.5 kg/m2); <16 = 2.12. 16-18 = 1.27.

    If they died due to more advanced disease surely the HR for WHO stage would reflect this? Drug toxicity was mentioned in the discussion of the first draft, but this was strangely absent in the final draft. The drugs were stavudine + other ARVs or AZT + other ARVs. Gee, do you suppose feeding bone-marrow destroying drugs (aka the very dead elephant in the living room) to people with anaemia might be a bad idea?

  22. And more…and more and more!

    Moneyline.com:

    Mbeki was right : Inconvenient Truth?

    President Thabo Mbeki and the Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang might just have opened a can of worms with their HIV controversy. Nobody likes a bright spark one could argue and nothing is ever closed to an open mind. It was after all Nicolas Copernicus who argued against the established scientific community or rather the church that the earth revolved around the sun. Anyone arguing against the views of the church such as Galileo were hauled before the Inquisition and made to renounce their statements. Could we argue that very little has changed over the past 400 years when it comes to human nature and that the scientific community has now been replaced by the church?

    Neither party have ever given us their understanding of HIV/AIDS so we are unable to make an informed decision, yet without any explanation or information we belittle and chastise them for thinking different. What would be the definition of scientific proof which we hold so dear, when so many prominent scientists may argue for and against the very hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS? Today we may laugh at the very fact that 400 years ago we thought the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe. Yet, today we agree unanimously and with absolute scientific proof that the earth is not flat. Can we say the same about our hypothesis about HIV and AIDS?

    Could we argue that Thabo Mbeki had discovered the study of HIV infection rates conducted by the University of California with was concluded in 1997 and could not do the math either?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9270414?dopt=Abstract

    That study after all that was the largest and longest study of Transmission Rates of HIV in couples in the US. They took 82 HIV positive females and their husbands let’s call them Group A. They also took 360 HIV positive men and their wives, let’s call them Group B and monitored both groups over a period of 10 years.

    What happened after 10 years was that only 20% of woman in Group B tested positive for HIV and a mere 2.4% of males in Group A tested positive. Yes we can therefore conclude that the supposable male to female transmission rates are higher than female to male. We can also suppose that condoms stopped all HIV transmissions.

    The more important question however is why after 10 years of exposure has so few been infected considering the global rates of HIV/AIDS. The math does not add up and it must be a statistical anomaly alternatively the hypothesis that HIV alone causes AIDS is flawed. We could even be so bold as to argue that HIV itself is a myth.

    Should we in times of turmoil reject all possibilities when we are not certain if we are correct? Would it not be in the interest of better science to always keep an open mind? The question does remain. Will history treat Thabo Mbeki as the Copernicus of HIV/AIDS or as a president who was ill informed?

    http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/moneyonline/2008/05/31/mbeki-was-right-inconvenient-truth/


  23. Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over…Read the silly, but telling Independent article here

    Was it ever really really??

    What a total (De)Cock up!

    Hets can now do it to their hearts content again as the AIDS voodoo has been officially lifted.

    Kevin De Cock of the WHOrg. says:

    Now AIDS is officially a “disease” that affects only fags, blacks, junkies, poor people, whores and their clients, and that the greater threat of a generalised heterosexual pandemic was a “fantasy” they inflicted on the world.

    He does not say why though…Amazing no?

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