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« The role of South African Jewry— past and present | Main | Community giant passes away »

November 13, 2008



Life expectancy in Gaza is about 85% higher than in South Africa.

If the right to life is the most basic human right, then The SAHRD should immediately investigate what is going on in their own back-yard!


Correction... Life expectancy in Gaza is about 45% higher than in South Africa.

Religious Fundamentalist 1

So BD, now you're going to tell the demographers and actuaries how to do their job too?


My stats aren't good enough to advise actuaries. They will have to do their own calculations when working out life insurance premiums in Gaza and SA.
However, I am "qualified" to tell The SAHRD what to do.


Steve , 330 000 deaths from AIDS in SA, because free ARVs weren't rolled out? Where do you get that figure from? SAMA, TAC, Stats SA, UNAIDS, the US NIH, where exactly? Sounds greatly exaggerated to me, careful not to get caught up in all the hysteria...And I do know a lot about HIV/AIDS including a lot of the science, so don't tell me I don't know nothing...

I don't see how this figure of 330 000 tallies with the known actual death stats from SA over the last decade or so, a lot of the media coverage on AIDS in SA has been woeful and atrocious and hysterical (this doesn't mean Manto and Mbeki are right on their weird stance on AIDS of course so I don't want to be called some AIDS denier because I question the source of your AIDS death figures) but the SA media shouldn't be taken as some kind of gospel when it comes to their often hysterical and misleading coverage on the AIDS pandemic. It's not as if the SA media are only full of shit when it comes to Israel and to be trusted on everything else, why one set of rules for the Middle-East and another set of rules for other news including AIDS stats?

The AIDS death figures are known to be all over the place to those knowledgeable on the subject - largely insider knowledge (unless you do the research), totally contradictory figures have been put forward by WHO, SAMA, Stats SA, TAC and others, and journalists are clueless. And I mean the figures are totally contradictory and all over the place, you have no idea.


It's true you know. My MD friends working at the Gen told me that they're not allowed to put "AIDS Related" as a cause of death on any death certificate they issue. They have to put the actual infection that killed them and it's usually TB. TB that wouldn't have killed them unless they had AIDS, but still TB only.

I think that whatever the figure is, it must be adjusted to take in TB figures (if it hasn't already), because it's rare that TB kills, unless it's HDR or XDR and those cases are relatively rare in themself.



Please take a stab at the following questions....

(1) How many South Africans are dying of Aids annually?
(2) How many South Africans are infected with HIV?
(3) How many South Africans are currently taking ARV's?


Lawrence, the stats come from a "A study from the Harvard School of Public Health published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome"

More info at this earlier post:


thanks for that Steve, may get back to you on that....if I got the time. Will be sure to read it though.


You can't trust mickey-mouse schools like Harvard.


Following is an excerpt from a religious program featuring Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Munajid, which aired on Al-Majd TV on August 27, 2008:

Muhammad Al-Munajid: What is the position of Islamic law with regard to mice? The Shari’a refers to the mouse as “little corrupter,” and says it is permissible to kill it in all cases. It says that mice set fire to the house, and are steered by Satan. The mouse is one of Satan’s soldiers and is steered by him. If a mouse falls into a pot of food – if the food is solid, you should chuck out the mouse and the food touching it, and if it is liquid – you should chuck out the whole thing. Because the mouse is i-m-p-u-r-e!

According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature. How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry? Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice. Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.


maybe BD, the fact that Muslim radicals hate and issue a fatwa against Mickey Mouse is all the fault of Israel and US foreign policy, maybe Obama will blame their hatred of Mickey on root causes, like lack of sanitation, poverty in general.


Seriously I want to get back to the AIDS thing..

I hope I don't come to regret this because it opens a massive can of worms, but such is real life.

hmm I see it is a new paper, but the "data" it extrapolates from is very old, dinosaur stuff, make that dinosaur in the AIDS closet stuff..

I mean the whole Uganda HIVNET 012 nevirapine and oral AZT mother to child HIV prevention trial from like ten years back on which these researchers base their "findings", their pseudo-statistical gibberish. I mean that was such a controversial trial, with big problems and unresolved issues, to put it euphemestically. You all have no idea....

The whole claim of the paper you cite Steve rests on "data" in that UNAIDS Uganda trial that is highly questionable, and extrapolations from this dubious so-called data that are not backed up by ACTUAL death stats (you know as in figures predicated on the ACTUAL DEATHS of real flesh and blood PEOPLE) at all! Where are the ACTUAL death stats from SA from a reliable source, like Stats SA? There is a massive contradiction in that paper that I don't have time to get into...

The 330 000 dead in SA is mere extrapolation, if not out and out confabulation, predicated entirely from the "findings" of an oral nevirapine HIV mother to child prevention trial in Uganda from a decade back that remains after all these years mired in deep controversy and worse - that's all! In fact there is no real statistics in that paper at all (nothing but pie in the sky abstractions predicated on highly dubious clinical findings), and no science neither - the paper is shoddy in the extreme, in fact it is very poor, disgraceful even. Fraudulent in fact.

Absurd extrapolations based on the dubious Uganda HIVNET 012 trial, all the parameters there from that trial including the efficacy of nevirapine on reducing HIV transmission from mother to child highly questionable, never mind the supposed safety of nevirapine which is just breezingly assumed, when that is the wooly haired mammoth in the room, that is what was seriously called into question by this self-same trial these researchers base their findings on! That is the central controversy of the HIVNET 012 trial, that the researchers don't even acknowledge to be an issue, they don't even brush it aside, they just ignore it like it ain't there. Like what controversy dudes, we're scientists affiliated with Harvard, aren't you impressed?

Actually there total failure to acknowledge the well-known pertinent FACTS re the HIVNET 012 trial that is the basis for their uh research, makes them not even remotely credible. This trial is a liablility to their case yet they count it as an asset! This is the rub, the flaming central controversy of the whole Uganda trial (of which Steve and everybody else here is oblivious) which these Harvard associated researchers (which so impresses BD) consider a beacon of light in the African AIDS darkness, the beacon they choose to navigate by and base their uh "statistics" on. To extend the metaphor, since their lighthouse's torchbeam went out (like years ago), they steer their ship onto the rocks and sink. Steve who doesn't know anything about it, sees their phantom ship riding high on the waves, when it lies broken on the bottom of the ocean.

None of you people know about that trial, I mean you have no idea..tell me something new. That's not all you don't know, you have no idea...

As for the Harvard School of Public Health, all the worse for them, no surprises there though. They are so corrupted to the gills, they know who butters their bread..

The authors of that paper don't even acknowledge any controvery re the Uganda trial whatsover, like it never existed and never had serious ramifications that have been swept under the carpet. In fact, that trial, more than anything else raised a red flag on the safety or otherwise of nevirapine re prepartum mother and baby, and these researchers breezingly skip over these objections by not acknowledging them at all! welcome to Harvard medical science.

In a world where real medical science, rather than mindless advertising in the service of profits for Big Pharma, was actually done, these so-called scientists would be called to account, even fired for fraudulent so-called research, the editors and peer-reviewers (were there any? oh yes Big Pharma yes-men I'm sure) of the Journal of AIDS called to account for greenlighting the publication of a fraudulent paper, and said editor/s even fired. The Harvard School of Public Health held to account (by who? that is the question) for gross abuse of public trust and funds in promoting fraudulent science-free findings; both on AIDS deaths in SA, and deriving these dubious figures from the selling of fraudulent science on the efficacy of the "miracle" ARV nevirapine since (this is the rub) predicated in toto on a trial of dubious and infamous merit and value re the efficacy and safety of nevirapine re prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child.

But of course we live in the real world, not one where say the clouds are made of candy-floss and the earth is hollow, and deep inside this hollowed earth chipmunks keep the earth turning by spinning on their treadmills...
There is a parallel here with the media deceit and the like re their Middle-East coverage and anti-Israelism in general, but as far as I know I am the only one to see it, because you guys have one set of rules for Middle-East bias in the media, society etc and another set of rules for everything else.

To anybody interested, I have two words, one whistle-blower - Jonathan Fishbein.

Now Steve go sit on the lid of that Pandora's box that I have opened, see if you can get it shut..


Which amphetamines are you taking?


Lawrence, whats ur position on ARV's generally? do u support taking them? Do u think there is a link between HIV and AIDS?

I am not being funny. Just want to understand ur position on the subject.


According to Health System Trust SA, they counted 67 000+ deaths caused by TB in 2006. They also estimated that this was a gross underestimate and that these numbers rise steadily each year. There is also an article on their website about how the treatment of HIV is the best way to prevent TB. I'm seriously not joking. Doctors are not allowed to put "AIDS Related" as a cause of death on death certificates and therefor, the "official stats" are cleverly conceled by being hidden under their secondary infections.

But back to the mouse topic, lets spare a moment for Farfur, the militant Mickey Mouse who was interrogated to death by Israeli soldiers because he didn't want to sell his land. I loved that mouse.


Can anyone answer my questions that were initially directed to Lawrence?

(1) How many South Africans are dying of Aids annually?
(2) How many South Africans are infected with HIV?
(3) How many South Africans are currently taking ARV's?


Derikboy, Farfur mouse died because he couldn't get away from that black Israeli. If they had created him using better technology he might have survived.

They used the same bobble head technology that was used for Woofles from Pumpkin Patch. Woofles suffered a similar fate - though no Israelis have yet been linked to the incident.


Lawrence, I make bold to say that my position on this issue has been informed by those amongst us who, in the pursuit of developing a better life for all, reject the snake oil and quakery theories represented by those who presume to mistake phantom ships riding on the ocean for the real thing.

Seriously though, you are correct, I don't know anything on this subject. But in simple terms, it will help me to understand your position if you answer Mike's questions. And what was the whole Uganda controversy?

Lawrence, what profession ae you in if I may ask?


You refer to "phantom ships." Yes, they are a worrying phenomemon. But even more concerning are the "pirated ships" like the Saudi tanker recently hijacked. If it is blown up, we wont be rejecting "snake oil" but it will, instead, be ejecting real oil.


For those of you who want to leave South Africa, it might be an idea to emigrate to Somalia...

But who are these modern-day pirates?
According to residents in the Somali region of Puntland where most of the pirates come from, they live a lavish life.
"They have money; they have power and they are getting stronger by the day," says Abdi Farah Juha who lives in the regional capital, Garowe.
"They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns," he says.
"Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. They have become fashionable."
Most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years - in it for the money.
And the rewards they receive are rich in a country where almost half the population need food aid after 17 years of non-stop conflict.
Most vessels captured in the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden fetch on average a ransom of $2m.
This is why their hostages are well looked after.
The BBC's reporter in Puntland, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, says it also explains the tight operation the pirates run.
They are never seen fighting because the promise of money keeps them together.
Wounded pirates are seldom seen and our reporter says he has never heard of residents along Puntland's coast finding a body washed ashore.


Steve and Mike I posted up a comprehensive response re ARVs and nevirapine, but perhaps because of its massive size (there is a lot of science involved), it wouldn't come up and is waiting approval, I was told my post could be potential spam - could you please make sure to approve it, I spent a lot of time on it that I don't really have, because I think this an important subject, I may have sent it through twice as well, so just let the one post through..

thanking you in advance


My reference to amphetamines was due to your style rather than your content.
I am not qualified to debate ARV's.
Can you please answer the 3 questions that I asked?


oh yes I just wanted to add something of an apology to Mike and BD for a somewhat excessively blunt tone, it did cross a line and was rude. It's just where I am coming from, I don't want to sound condescending (and I realise much of the above can easily be construed as patronising) but I do know things that are heavily censored by a media that is serving numerous vested interests. What I mention above is just the tip of the iceberg, AZT is much worse than nevirapine, seriously - I didn't even bring up the vast literature on AZT toxicity which is far more extensive and well-documented than nev toxicity. It's just that no matter how well intentioned you guys are (what's that about the road to hell paved with good intentions) you are endorsing something, that is potentially lethal, deadly, and those who suffer the most are the ones alreadly marginilised on society's borders - the indigent - let them eat ARVs! the impoverished with their hard lives who don't know their rights, who are pawns in a cruel unfunny game that has made me cry real tears - let them eat ARVs! So when you guys (like everybody else) say the things you do, it is like a flag to a bull to me. So I kinda go over the edge very easily, just the way all of us can lose our tempers with the know-nothing anti-Zionist Fisk and Pilger worshipers even if they are not anti-Semitic.

Anyway Mike I just wanted to tell you that I do appreciate your blog here, I think you are doing a fantastic job (more than I ever did speaking out against modern-day Judenhass and anti-Israelism, in fact I have done so little), although I do think you are too soft on many anti-Israel critics, but can't please everybody.


Lawrence, I'm glad I managed to salvage your comment :) havent read it yet but I will in good time.

Also, my previous comment was not poppycock - it was satirical and sarcastic. I was deliberately trying to sound like Thabo.


to BD - yes I did realise that BD re your amphetamine comment, albeit after I posted up that massive post of mine! that's why I apologise to you, sorry once again - I just overreacted.

those 3 questions I can't answer offhand BD, I would have to check, I am a little out of touch with the latest figures I gotta be honest, plus I remember last I checked those figures on say the numbers of South Africans on ARVs was harder to come by then I initially thought, I did know the figures you know from like 2 years back, but I can't even remember what that was. As for the figures on HIV infection rates, I did bloody know this, can't recall offhand, you know I had the figures (and sources for those figures) on my desktop back in SA, but don't have that with me, and I never backed it up on disc - there are problems there with getting accurate figures, from MCC and SAMA and the HIV Clinicians Group, WHO and the rest, but this touches on another controversy shiiiiiit ok enough, really I am tired.

wow this page is getting difficult to load, hmm we all know who is responsible for that!


What about the people infected by Aids who believe that taking ARVs actually improves their quality of life? Are they bullshitting us? Or are they bonkers?


Some partial answers to my 3 questions? (IHowever I am not suggesting that Wikipedia is the gospel and am only using it as a short-cut! I welcome other sources)

In the light of the attached figures, two points immediately come to mind.
(1) Aids is the biggest problem currently facing this country.
(2) Anyone who argues that ARVs are dangerous and ineffective has a heavy responsibilty to bear when the "received wisdom" suggests that they are beneficial.

HIV and AIDS in South Africa are major health concerns, and around 5.5 million people are thought to be living with the virus in South Africa.

The majority of patients who require antiretroviral therapy in South Africa are still not receiving it.

The South African National HIV Survey estimated that 10.8% of all South Africans over 2 years old were living with HIV in 2005.

There is an average of almost 1,000 deaths of AIDS a day in South Africa.

The ASSA2003 model estimates that 345,640 South Africans died of AIDS in 2006.

It is estimated that there were 1,400,000 AIDS orphans in South Africa in 2007.

In 2006 the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women was 29.1%.


BD I wrote up another comprehensive post to address your concerns but stupidly wrote it on-line in the comments box and not off-line, to ensure I didn't lose it, then I lost it just before posting it! and I can't be bothered to rewrite it, I just don't have the time - but very quickly wiki is an unfunny joke on anything remotely controversial, on AIDS and ARVs they are about as reliable as electronicintifada and the BBC on Israel, no exaggeration.

Wiki - any idiot can write up anything there and usually does, they are an unfunny joke, a symptom of our dumbed down culture on anything remotely important - although this doesn't make them any worse than the media, but there you go. Received wisdom!! give me a break, whose received wisdom - Big Pharmas and their fellow gangsters of assorted stripes, their useful idiots at wiki? in actuality the real scientific wisdom in this regard which most people can't be interested in, would mean there would actually have to be empirical evidence of both safety and efficacy for ARVs, and in particular the RT inhibitors - and that all depends on what you read and what your sources are. I can't keep going on about this but I barely touched the surface on that other big post of mine...AZT I haven't even got into, much much worse than nev - I can't stress this enough, extensive medical literature on its severe adverse and even fatal toxicity, its lack of efficacy, re the necessity for intracellular triphosphorylation - complex problems here - nothing wiki and the TAC would understand, acknoweldge or want to know about...can't keep writing up massive posts, and this thread is getting old. Maybe when AIDS comes up again in the future will have the time but not now.

as far as the ASSA models go, they have been chucked out in the past because they had no bearing at all on the death stats for the particular years concerned, when those stats eventually became available through Stats SA, ultimately the most reliable and extensive of all in SA death data numbers and evaluation, break-downs etc (despite numerous problems that I simply don't have time for), they are the primary source, they get the records from hospitals, clinics, health depts. If you check with the latest actual total death numbers from SA (which I did have to hand back in SA but not with me and I don't have time for this) for the latest year on record from Stats SA and take into account all the non-Aids rel deaths that you know people have always died from and still do - old age, the horrific levels of violent death in SA, the road carnage deaths, diabetes rel, cancer, heart disease rel, malnutrition and other indigence rel illnesses esp among rural indigent and children especially, incl dyssentry, cholera outbreaks, non-AIDS tb (problematic as Db points out, but there always was non-AIDS tb in SA long before AIDS hit the scene, it remains widespread - this is a whole other quandary - can't explain all the big problems here with adequate distinctions between the 2 types of tb, no time), suicide numbers etc - you will see that the ASSA models as they have always been in the past, have no bearing to the actual numbers of deaths of actual people in SA, same mistake as that fraudulent paper from Harvard that Steve cited..going round in circles here, they wash each other's dirty linen.

BD please Wiki is just atrocious, it's actually very difficult to get accurate figures here re HIV numbers and deaths, a whole other problem, I can't keep writing up big posts, but BD a red flag is when you see MODELS, not real data based on REAL CONFIRMED and DOCUMENTED deaths of REAL FLESH AND BLOOD PEOPLE, do you see the problems here and the dubious extrapolations, this sound familiar, I am repeating myself re Steve's citation and the dubious extrapolations from the Harvard paper

This whole subject DB is more confusing, complex and tied to more vested interests than you can know, and i don't just mean big money, I mean there are reputations and careers at stake, there are psychological and sociological factors involved that are deep-rooted and hardly anybody is aware of them, I can't do all this justice in a few comments even if I had nothing else to do - a book of a thousand pages is needed to really set it all out (and much of it very very technical med jargon)! Really I'm serious. So going to wiki just isn't going to tell you anything. Imagine some alien comes from another planet, arrives in your lounge and asks what tribe on earth you belong to, you say Jew, and he asks you about who the Jews are and then asks you to tell him all about the Jews, their culture, religion, history etc in ten minutes and then you have barely started with anti-Semitism and he aks you why people hate the Jews, the Christians the Muslims, the Nazis, the Left and you have five minutes to answer, so you see the problems here DB?

ok this already too long and my answer is in truth far too brief! my original comment was much longer and more technical re AZT pharmacology.

But BD in closing, any doctor friends you have wouldn't know anything most likely, almost certainly - they are about as clued up as wiki. Another time in the future I may post more on AIDS and ARVs, gotta go.



Thank you for your reply.

You state that Wikipedia is an "unfunny joke". As I stated, I welcome other sources.

So kindly supply us with some more accurate figures. It is imposssible to discuss this matter if you do not provide this blog with alternatives to those you believe to be rubbish.

Surely the Wiki figure that states "In 2006 the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women was 29.1%" was reasonably accurate?
If it isn't please state how you think it was concocted and what you reckon is more realistic.

Please also answer my previous comment which deserves a straight- forward answer. If you are unable or unwilling to do so, I will have to conclude that you are writing nonsense...

"What about the people infected by Aids who believe that taking ARVs actually improves their quality of life? Are they bullshitting us? Or are they bonkers?"


When Judge Edwin Cameron informs us that ARV's are helping him, should we conclude that he is deluded, lying, bullshitting or allied to "Big Pharmas".
Is the man a fraud?


On second thoughts, my Cameron question is irrelevant. Of course, ARV's might work for the wealthy with good health-care, but for poverty stricken South Africans they will be a waste of time.

The only question arises whether it is medically sensible to give ARVs to pregnant women diagnosed with HIV. I would have thought that it was ,but I am not a doctor, so I can't be sure.

Much confusion is perhaps related to the fact that Aids denialism, a la Manto, has been linked in SA to being anti- ARVs.


Lawrence and Steve,

I suppose that in the SA context Mbeki's irrational response to AIDS was probably partially related to an undisclosed attempt to control the burgeoning SA population. This is something that has not been widely discussed in the local media but was privately proffered by white cynical rationalists.

If 2-3million South Africans have died since 1994 from Aids, then one might conclude, that there is now less pressure on various social sevices than there would have been if these people had survived. I am not condoning this unstated govt "policy" but i suppose, that from an ANC perspective, it does have a certain kind of logic.


BBC WEBSITE 20/11/08
Rapid drug treatment of babies with HIV dramatically cuts their risk of death and debilitating disease, international research shows.
The study prompted the World Health Organization to change its guidelines, which had recommended delaying therapy until symptoms became apparent.
It found giving antiretroviral therapy (ART) straight after diagnosis cut the risk of death from Aids by 76%.
The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, of 377 HIV-positive South African babies, found that babies given treatment immediately after they were diagnosed with HIV cut their risk of dying from the infection to just 4%.
In comparison, the risk of death for those whose treatment was delayed until their levels of key immune system CD4 cells began to fall, or other symptoms emerged, was 16%.
Immediate treatment also cut the chance of disease progressing measurably by 75%, from 26% to 6%.
The findings were so conclusive that treatment for all babies was re-assessed at the preliminary stage of the trial.

Professor Diana Gibb, from the Medical Research Council clinical trials unit worked on the study.
She said: "We did not expect to see differences so soon between the infants receiving early treatment and those in the group where treatment started only when immunity was falling or symptoms developed."
Lead researcher Dr Avy Violari, from the Comprehensive International Program of Research on Aids (CIPRA-SA) said: "Our results reinforce the view that there are no reliable predictors for small infants as to how their disease is progressing.
"CD4 counts do not tell us with enough accuracy if babies under a year of age are becoming sick.
"What was alarming was the speed of disease progression; some infants could seem fine in the morning and get sick and die by nightfall. Some did not even make it to the hospital.
"When these early data were analysed, it became clear that treating all infants at the earliest opportunity after diagnosis was the best course of action."

Her CIPRA-SA colleague Professor Mark Cotton, who also played a key role in the study, said he was delighted that the study had led to changes in the WHO guidelines.
He said: "It is to be hoped that this will save countless babies across the world, especially in low-income countries where mother-to-child transmission is still common.
"However, in order to start ART early, it is important to undertake HIV viral diagnosis very early in life which does require a programme with both manpower and resources."
Professor Gibb also stressed that avoiding mother-to-child transmission in the first place was the top priority.
She said: "These drug regimens are no picnic for these babies and even with improved outcomes in early life, there is still no cure for Aids."
The WHO issued a statement in which it confirmed the study had been instrumental in its decision to revise its guidelines.


What do you think about the above BBC report?


the entire study is the usual fraud and out and out gibberish with ARVs actively promoted by the med journals, BD will want to know why? like I said before I would have to write a book up here in the comments thread to explain adequately, and for who? you? you are not interested, you you keep shooting from the hip, you do not reflect on anything I write at all, you digest none of it, comprehend none of it, ruminate on none of it, and I don't have the time. But these scientists who carried out this study are just indulging in the same old same old dubious claims of those overselling (to put it mildy) the claims of the Uganda HIVNET group, if I were to explain exactly why I would have to write a whole fucking article, and for somebody like you who wouldn't appreciate it and would just keep repeating more of the same old ARV propoganda without reflecting on anything I wrote or bothering to look beyond Wiki and ARV salespeople like this Gibb twit, you obviously fail to comprehend even dimly absolutely anything I write by the very fact that you rush off to the BBC and wiki, I mean you really don't understand at all anything I write, and all that is IMPLICIT in what I write is over your head.

Further up you tell me I'm talking nonsense, and you wouldn't know a virus from a fried egg, give me a break. If after I have exposed the whole HIVNET trial for the fraud that it was (and how would you know otherwise? you wouldn't have), if after I have listed all those govt medical agencies and the like who definitely conclude that nevirapine and AZT are higly toxic and why, even fatal - and you imply that I am talking nonsense, anything I write about the above newer study in SA you are so impressed with, wouldn't make any difference to you.

But here is just one red flag
She said: "These drug regimens are no picnic for these babies and even with improved outcomes in early life, there is still no cure for Aids."

Gee no kidding, no picnic really? there is so much wrong with this study I would have to write a 50mb article to expose all the chicanery, but BD I have neither the time nor the patience to do this for one person who won't take notice of anything I write anyway, for the reasons I list above..

maybe if you were more polite, when I have the time, but I really don't have it now, plus there are problems with the testing of the babies that demands so much explanation, and is a whole other controversy - and I can't hold your fucking hand for you, I already told you to do the whole thing justice requires a book, but you don't get what I'm saying at all, not at all.



I think that your style can be a bit "alienating" and it does sometimes make a barbed response inevitable. Sorry to say this, but you only have yourself to blame. I realize that we all have different styles and it is refreshing that you do not conform to the standard, but when complex
matters are being discussed, an avalanche of words can be a bit offputting. If you think I am being unfair, check the length of your second sentence in your above comment, circa 150 words! Is that English?? I reiterate.. you give the reader the impression that you are taking speed.

As far as I can see from your comments, you think that ARV's are a total
disaster/sham but you have not said much about how widespread HIV/Aids is in SA. You rubbish all the figures but you put nothing in their place. As a result, it is difficult to fully understand your views and precisely where you are coming from.

However, I thank you for your input and look forward to reading your take on other Supernatural matters.


BD sorry again, I keep on having to apologise to you for my barbed responses, it's just if you knew what I Know you would probably have a nervous breakdown dealing with the horror of it all. I almost did, really. So it's difficult to hold back on this subject, everything that I have tried to bury just comes out, and with it my unashamed anger which I took out on you, when I would rather take it out on those who deserve it like our so-called SA AIDS experts that are not (that would mean for starters everybody involved in CHERT) and the Heywoods and Geffens of the world (now you have two reasons for hating him, not just his anti-Israel propogandising) and likewise another reason for really hating the M&G.

BD writes:
"As far as I can see from your comments, you think that ARV's are a total
disaster/sham but you have not said much about how widespread HIV/Aids is in SA. You rubbish all the figures but you put nothing in their place. As a result, it is difficult to fully understand your views and precisely where you are coming from."

yes BD I understand what you are saying, I just can't explain it all in a few quips is all. It is difficult to explain where I am coming from because the whole subject of HIV/AIDS is so swept up in so much hysteria (like those AIDs figures that are often very dubious, half-truths and misinformation), and dubious billion dollar vested interests like big pharma, and not least the iatrogenic murder that goes with it. I have to be careful what I write here, I have to be very specific, the reasons being that people (including yourself) have been so overexposed for in excess of twenty years now to AIDS hysteria and the "wonder-drugs" of ARV propoganda and the corollary propoganda that dumps anybody who questions all this (ie ARV
efficacy and dubious AIDS stats figures, HIV infection rates) with the Mathias Raths of the world and AIDS denialism. Look at how Mike himself, and Steve responded to my first big post!

As far as ARVs are concerned, I am against the use of the RT inhibitors, the protease inhibitors appear to be far safer, although their efficacy is likewise dubious, the literature here is still time will tell perhaps.

I understand why my position appears confusing, but like I have said twice before, it would take a book to explain.

For example, just on HIV infection rates, there are big problems here with the numbers, since the testing in SA is not adequate, not up to scratch, does not compare with US NIH guidelines for HIV testing for the most part. Lack of (for the most part) confirmatory Western Blot testing (among asymptomatic adults) in SA is a big problem, there are other problems though..not least of which is a lack of standardisation of HIV testing around the world. Now you didn't know that did you? If you relpy what difference does it make what HIV test people have? Well I will pre-empt that, it makes a big difference, the same people have gotten different HIv status results with different assays (ELISA, Blot, PCR) - the reasons for this entail very complex biochemistry, and I simply cannot get into it here.

An intelligent question to ask then:
So the TAC and the media and many AIDs "experts" in South Africa (why name names, I mean I don't have that much free time on my hands to write all their names up here) don't know what they are talking about and are talking through the holes in their brains then?

Answer: YES

so asking me what are the HIV numbers for Southern Africa is like asking me how many sparrows died in the last European winter, what the exact cod fish numbers are in the North Atlantic at any one time etc. Get the idea? Anybody who tells you they know is thus full of shit, they don't know. That includes any (often self-proclaimed) AIDS "experts' who don't know,
they are just pretending to know (to themselves as much as the rest of the world), their careers may depend on it, there are psychological reasons, they also need funding, the bigger the numbers, the more funding they are liable to get for all their often third-rate so-called research, the more they are feted by the media, the more paid for conferences they get to attend and pretend they are the saviours of the world.

Sadly this is news to all of you... BUT science is not always objective and never has been. This is ho hum yawn old hat to all historians and sociologists of science. Look up Thomas Kuhn for starters.

more to follow...(please be patient, far more coming after this, and I mean much much more, luckily I have the time for now..)


BD sorry again, I keep on having to apologise to you for my barbed responses, it's just if you knew what I know you would probably have a nervous breakdown dealing with the horror of it all. I almost did, really. So it's difficult to hold back on this subject, everything that I have tried to bury just comes out, and with it my unashamed anger which I took out on you, when I would rather take it out on those who deserve it like our so-called SA AIDS experts that are not (that would mean for starters everybody involved in CHERT) and the Heywoods and Geffens of the world (now you have two reasons for hating him, not just his anti-Israel propogandising) and likewise another reason for really hating the M&G.

BD writes:
"As far as I can see from your comments, you think that ARV's are a total
disaster/sham but you have not said much about how widespread HIV/Aids is in SA. You rubbish all the figures but you put nothing in their place. As a result, it is difficult to fully understand your views and precisely where you are coming from."

yes BD I understand what you are saying, I just can't explain it all in a few quips is all. It is difficult to explain where I am coming from because the whole subject of HIV/AIDS is so swept up in so much hysteria (like those AIDs figures that are often very dubious, half-truths and misinformation), and dubious billion dollar vested interests like big pharma, and not least the iatrogenic murder that goes with it. I have to be careful what I write here, I have to be very specific, the reasons being that people (including yourself) have been so overexposed for in excess of twenty years now to AIDS hysteria and the "wonder-drugs" of ARV propoganda and the corollary propoganda that dumps anybody who questions all this (ie ARV
efficacy and safety and dubious AIDS stats figures, HIV infection rates and rel) with the Mathias Raths of the world and AIDS denialism. Look at how Mike himself, and Steve responded to my first big post!

As far as ARVs are concerned, I am against the use of the RT inhibitors, the protease inhibitors appear to be far safer, although their efficacy is likewise dubious, the literature here is still time will tell perhaps.

I understand why my position appears confusing, but like I have said twice before, it would take a book to explain.

For example, just on HIV infection rates, there are big problems here with the numbers, since the testing in SA is not adequate, not up to scratch, does not compare with US NIH guidelines for HIV testing for the most part. Lack of (for the most part) confirmatory Western Blot testing (among asymptomatic adults) in SA is a big problem, there are other problems though..not least of which is a lack of standardisation of HIV testing around the world. Now you didn't know that did you? If you reply what difference does it make what HIV test people have? Well I will preempt that, it makes a big difference, the same people have gotten different HIV status results with different assays (ELISA, Blot, PCR) - the reasons for this entail very complex biochemistry, and I simply cannot get into it here.

An intelligent question to ask then:
So the TAC and the media and many AIDs "experts" in South Africa (why name names, I mean I don't have that much free time on my hands to write all their names up here) don't know what they are talking about and are talking through the holes in their brains then?

Answer: YES

so asking me what are the HIV numbers for Southern Africa is like asking me how many sparrows died in the last European winter, what the exact cod fish numbers are in the North Atlantic at any one time etc. Get the idea? Anybody who tells you they know is thus full of shit, they don't know. That includes any (often self-proclaimed) AIDS "experts' who don't know,
they are just pretending to know (to themselves as much as the rest of the world), their careers may depend on it, there are psychological reasons as well, they also need funding. The bigger the AIDS numbers, the more funding they are liable to get for all their usually third-rate so-called "scientific" research, the more they are feted by the media, the more paid for conferences they get to attend and pretend they are the saviours of the world.

Sadly this is news to all of you... BUT science or what passes for it these days, esp in medicine, is not always objective and never has been. This is ho hum yawn old hat to all historians and sociologists of science. Look up Thomas Kuhn for starters.

more to follow...(please be patient, far more coming after this, and I mean much much more, luckily I have the time for now..)


sorry for the double post ok back on track

If I am short-tempered here it is precisely because of shams like the one study you cite published in the NEJM (I have read the original paper here) in which babies are poisoned by a class of drugs that includes AZT that has been known to be fatally toxic to ADULTS for more than forty years (AZT was prescribed as a cancer drug in the 1960s in the US but discontinued because it was killing ADULTS faster than the cancer!), and yet this same drug is pushed as improving the future health prospects of these tiny BABIES if their poison regimen ie ARV therapy is begun as early as possible.

All this in a study partially co-funded by the drug company Glaxo (manufactures AZT) and Abbot Labs (which manufactures the ELISA test kits used for HIV testing). Surprise surprise they claim success even as their same paper tactily admits adverse ARV and nev toxicity in both groups (you have to know how to read between the lines), the early treatment group and the deferred group.

Like their predecessors in the fraudulent Uganda trial using the same specific drugs ie AZT and nevirapine, in a study in which the same organisational bodies are involved, NIH, UN AIDS and the small-time mafia SA equivalents (like everybody who greenlit this CHER crap). But no Fishbeins here to blow the whistle.

Their supposedly wondrous findings are based on the administration of a class of drugs classified as highly toxic and potentially fatal by the FDA, admitted by Glaxo themselves and used in the case of AZT - as an experimental POISON in the lab in which protective clothing has to be worn!! You think that maybe that's why the AZT bottles come with a warning label embossed with a skull and cross-bones (YES REALLY YES REALLY) and the written message: "Warning Poison - do not ingest" (no I am not making this up, if only I were. I have held a bottle of AZT in my own hand, read the scary label). Now this is on the bottles of AZT used in the lab, but on the Glaxo bottles of AZT they give HIV patients (including in this CHERT trial naturally), this label is not there...

No surprises there, would you give it to your 4 kg two month old baby if it was? It's the same drug, not a little bit different, no chemical compounds have been added or removed - it is the IDENTICAL drug - azidothymidine/ziduvodine/AZT - administered to months old BABIES whose immune systems may already be compromised in many cases. Yes I know they don't mention any of this about AZT on the unfunny joke that is the TAC website, they wouldn't now, would they?

Without access to the raw data much of the NEJM paper's claims (well like all of them) are highly suspect. Even on its own suspect terms, the best that could be said about this study is that if you start ARV cytotoxic therapy on tiny little babies not yet two months old, less of them are killed from the drugs than if you defer the therapy for a few months and start killing them later, for whatever complex seemingly counter-intuitive reasons that may be the case!! I'm not saying all the babies died from the drugs btw rather than AIDS, of course not, not at all - it's complex, can't explain it all in a few sentences.

Also need to see the raw data. Yet that is the kindest most generous interpretation of this entire suspect study,that is taking the conclusions of this study at face value, on its own highly dubious highly suspect terms. And taking a study like this on its own terms is something that only the know-nothing public and media and moron scientists and doctors do, and the insiders whose reputations, careers and funding is on the line and whose knowledge of the relevant science is third-rate (well it kind of has to be) - well don't ask them any hard questions that's for sure. They don't want to know, how would they sleep at night? Hello McIntyre, Gibb, Cotton and Violari.

When I was reading that paper I saw the usual predictable red flags that make the whole study another exercise in pernicious ARV Big Pharma advertising, BD if you read the original paper you would have no idea what any of those red flags are, any more than if you read it in Chinese. You would be bamboozled and impressed by all the stats they throw at you (and their stats cannot be taken at face value neither). Like you were so impressed as were Steve who blogged on it (well this thread's very title duh) and Mike of course and whoever else, by a fraudulent Harvard paper of fraudulent cooked-up AIDS death "stats" predicated on a fraudulent scandalous ARV trial from the turn of this century, in which Big Pharma, the NIH and UNAIDS were implicated in frankly iatrogenic murder.

Imagine if somebody was to blog on the marvelous achievements of Western medicine since WW2, and to say one of the greatest acheivements was the wonder-drug thalidomide which did away with the nuisance of one of the side-effects of pregnancy, morning sickness and no ill-effects on the foetuses, who were all born healthy little babies. Hey the "experts" at the time said it was safe.

Newsflash to Big Pharma and their hirelings - nature knows more than you, if there is morning sickness in pregnancy it is there for a reason, heard of the no free lunch thingy.

Now to get back to this ARV study reported from the BBC, same class of drugs (not all the same drugs used, this newer study also used protease inhibitors, the alarm bells go off with the AZT and nev), albeit considerably different protocols and experimental design I acknowledge - so what, same Big Pharma funding, same big "health" beauracracies NIH, UNAIDS involved
(and their SA equivalents who do and believe whatever they are told by the Big Dudes overseas), just a different cast of paid up whores (oh sorry was I supposed to say medical researchers), different African guinea pigs... but you know a guinea pig is a guinea pig. gee I wonder what that means?
Newsflash - all studies financed by Pharma (in whole or in part like the one above) by researchers dependent on their funding and often with their own agendas, and their reps and careers at stake as is certainly the case with McIntyre and Gibb and Violari and others, are always suspect and cannot be taken at face-value.

They are often, in fact routinely overturned as the often all too common adverse side-effects of the drugs comes out and their often oversold overhyped Ferrari-like efficacy become better known for the Ford Edsel duds that they often turn out to be. It is simply not feasible to get into the nitty-gritty details (and without the raw data it is not worthwhile) here and I really don't have the time, and I have already spent too much time on this but I want to post up stuff that shows you the bigger picture. That is you cannot see any of this in a vaccuum...

John Ioannidis,a well-known epidemiologist at Tufts University in Mass had this to say (taken from the web):

" In a series of influential analytical reports, he has documented how, in thousands of peer-reviewed research papers published every year, there may be so much less than meets the eye.
These flawed findings, for the most part, stem not from fraud or formal misconduct, but from more mundane misbehavior:miscalculation, poor study design or self-serving data analysis [hello Tygerberg and Baragwanath AIDS "experts" - Lawrence].

"There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims," Dr. Ioannidis said. "A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true."

The hotter the field of research the more likely its published findings should be viewed skeptically, he determined.

Take the discovery that the risk of disease may vary between men and women, depending on their genes. Studies have prominently reported such sex differences for hypertension, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, as well as lung cancer and heart attacks. In research published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ioannidis and his colleagues analyzed 432 published research claims concerning gender and genes. Upon closer scrutiny, almost none of them held up. Only one was replicated.

Statistically speaking, science suffers from an excess of significance. Overeager researchers often tinker too much with the statistical variables of their analysis to coax any meaningful insight from their data sets. "People are messing around with the data to find anything that seems significant, to show they have found something that is new and unusual," Dr. Ioannidis said.

In the U. S., research is a $55-billion-a-year enterprise that stakes its credibility on the reliability of evidence and the work of Dr. Ioannidis strikes a raw nerve. In fact, his 2005 essay "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" remains the most downloaded technical paper that the journal PLoS Medicine has ever published. [you see what you guys don't know -
Lawrence. Try let this sink in, pause, reflect, do not spit out and forget it five minutes from now]

"He has done systematic looks at the published literature and empirically shown us what we know deep inside our hearts," said Muin Khoury, director of the National Office of Public Health Genomics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We need to pay more attention to the replication of published scientific results."

Every new fact discovered through experiment represents a foothold in the unknown. In a wilderness of knowledge, it can be difficult to distinguish error from fraud, sloppiness from deception, eagerness from greed or,increasingly, scientific conviction from partisan passion. As scientific findings become fodder for political policy wars over matters from stem-cell research to global warming, even trivial errors and corrections can have larger consequences. "

Two papers published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine by Benjamin Djulbegovic from the University of South Florida and Ramal Moonesinghe from the CDC have delved into the issues raised by Ioannidis and suggested possible ways to mitigate this apparent failure of scientific enterprise. One of the suggestions is to ensure that experimental results are
independently replicable. "More often than not, genuine replication is not done, and what we end up with in the literature is corroboration or indirect supporting evidence," says Moonesinghe. The culprits appear to be the proverbial suspects: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Jonathan Sterne and George Smith, a statistician and an epidemiologist from the university of
Bristol in the UK, point out in a study in British Medical Journal that "the widespread misunderstanding of statistical
significance is a fundamental problem" in medical research. What's more, the scientist's bias may distort statistics. Pressure to publish can lead to "selective reporting;" the implication is that attention-seeking scientists are exaggerating their results far more often than the occasional, spectacular science fraud would suggest.

Cash-for-science practices between the nutrition and drug companies and the academics that conduct their research may also be playing a role. A survey of published results on beverages earlier this year found that research sponsored by industry is much more likely to report favorable findings than papers with other sources of funding. Although not a direct indication of bias, findings like these feed suspicion that the cherry-picking of data, hindrance of negative results, or adjustment of
research is surreptitiously corrupting accuracy. In his essay, Ioannidis wrote, "The greater the financial and other interest and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true."

Academic bias could also be to blame. As Ioannidis puts it, "Prestigious investigators may suppress via the peer-review process the appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings, thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma." Advocates of prevailing paradigms have been observed to band together in opposition against alternative ideas
with perhaps more antagonism than one might expect from objective scientific debate. And the opposition isn't limited to publication of new science; jobs and grants are also more easily allocated to those affiliated with the scientific party in power.

Ioannidis is adamant that the problem is widespread. "I have heard from scientists from many different fields who think that the problems are the same in their fields as well," he says. "This is a potentially severe crisis, unless we realize the issue and try to address it."


still more to come...


ok some more very RELEVANT articles like this one..


Lies, Damn Lies and Sloppy Statistics

A study of articles published in top science and medical journals shows that a large proportion contain statistical errors.

These are primarily caused by transcription or typesetting errors, or the incorrect rounding of figures.A study published in BMC Medical Research Methodology 1 claims that a high proportion of papers published in leading
scientific journals contain statistical errors. Not all of these errors led to erroneous conclusions, but the authors found that some of them may have caused non-significant findings to be misrepresented as being significant. Again, we find evidence that what is published in scientific and medical journals may not be as true as it should be.

Emili Garcia-Berthou and Carles Alcaraz, researchers at the University of Girona in Spain, have found that 38% from a sample of 32 papers in Nature, and four out of 12 sampled in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) contained one or more statistical errors. They examined the numbers within each, to see whether the data presented actually led to the statistical conclusion the authors drew, and also whether there was anything fishy about the numbers themselves.

Apart from simple typographical errors, the problem appears to arise through careless rounding of results. In unedited of
data, the last digits in the numbers recorded will tend to have the values 0-9 at random, since these digits represent small
values, and are thus the ones that are hardest to measure. If those numbers are rounded carelessly, however, 4s and 9s (which
tend to get rounded up to the nearest half or whole number) will be rarer than they should be. The two researchers duly discovered that 4s and 9s were, indeed, rarer than chance would predict in many of the papers under scrutiny.

It was difficult to establish to what extent false conclusions were reported because of this type of error. The researchers estimated that in 4% of papers, the conclusions were invalidated to some extent. In one case there was no doubt.

A number supposed to be statistically significant was explicitly mis-stated, and a false inference drawn in the paper's conclusion.

There is no suggestion that any of the errors observed was a deliberate fraud. But there do seem to have been rather a lot of them.

As with everything in science, readers of scientific and medical journals rely on the process of peer review to ensure the reliability of what they are reading. Yet the review and fact checking process is itself imperfect. Journals like BMJ and Nature are able to devote only a limited amount of time to checking and recalculating the numbers, otherwise the review
process would grind to a halt. However, in the light of these findings leading journals will be raising the awareness of their reviewers to issues of statistical accuracy.

A suggested remedy is for researchers to publish raw data as well as statistical analysis and conclusions. That way, anyone who wishes to do so can check the calculations. For some years, Nature has offered supplementary information online to accompany its papers, although this is probably of interest only to workers within the field.


and how about this to give you an idea of big Pharma corruption - Lawrence:



by Shankar Vedantam - Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. recently funded five studies that compared its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa with Risperdal, a competing drug made by Janssen. All five showed Zyprexa was superior in treating schizophrenia. But when Janssen sponsored its own studies comparing the two drugs, Risperdal came out ahead in three out of four. In fact, when psychiatrist John Davis analyzed every publicly available trial funded by the pharmaceutical industry pitting five new antipsychotic drugs
against one another, nine in 10 showed that the best drug was the one made by the company funding the study.

"On the basis of these contrasting findings in head-to-head trials, it appears that whichever company sponsors the trial produces the better antipsychotic drug," - Davis and others wrote in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Such studies make up the bulk of the evidence that American doctors rely on to prescribe $10 billion worth of antipsychotic medications each year. Davis pointed out the potential biases in design and interpretation that produced such contradictory results. Other experts note that industry studies invariably seek to boost the image of expensive drugs that are still under
patent. Moreover, they say, the trials are relatively brief and test drugs on patients with simpler problems than doctors
typically encounter in daily practice.

By contrast, when the federal government recently compared a broader range of drugs in typical schizophrenia patients in a
lengthy trial, two medications that stood out were cheaper drugs not under patent. The medication that worked best for patients with severe, intractable schizophrenia was clozapine, whose sales lag well behind every other drug in its class. And an earlier leg of the study found that the largely unused drug perphenazine had about the same risks and benefits as far more
expensive competitors that are widely assumed to be safer.

Reliance on industry-sponsored studies is not limited to psychiatry, but experts say the problem is exacerbated in areas of medicine where the goal of trials is not to demonstrate cures but to measure symptomatic relief, which allows more latitude in how the results are interpreted and marketed. Now a growing chorus of experts is asking whether the research establishment needs to be reoriented toward publicly funded studies that might better guide clinical decisions and the billions of tax dollars the government itself spends on treatment.

"A perfectly independent agency has to be set up that says, 'Here are the areas where trials must be done,' " said Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "There will be two classes of trials -- the believable ones and the non-believable ones."

The problem is not that companies fabricate results, experts say. Researchers, in fact, want drugmakers to sponsor more studies, not fewer. But ostensibly valid industry studies can be misleading in multiple ways, Davis said. Some use too low a dose of a competitor's drug, while others choose statistical techniques that show their drug in the best light. Virtually all
test drugs on patients with relatively straightforward problems.

Davis warned that the circular results he found could undermine the confidence of clinicians and patients, and even cast doubt on medications that are genuinely superior. He and Rennie also questioned academic researchers' role in these studies.

Davis, who joked in an interview that he no longer gets to fly first class to Tokyo and Monte Carlo since he stopped accepting money from pharmaceutical companies, guessed that 90 percent of industry-sponsored studies that boast a prominent academic as the lead author are conducted by a company that later enlists a university researcher as the "author."

"We know that happens all the time," Rennie said. "The only reason that the company wants a non-company person as an author is to give credence to an advertisement. . . . The whole entire paper from start to finish is an advertisement. It is a much

more subtle and telling ad than anything they can publish as an ad."

Drugmakers defend their studies, and Davis emphasized that the drugs do help patients. But doctors, he said, cannot afford to take the results at face value.

Sara Corya, medical director for neuroscience at Eli Lilly, a company Davis singled out for praise for the quality of its studies, said that conflicting results do not cancel each other out, and that they help clinicians understand the strengths of different drugs. Corya and Davis noted that Lilly has strict rules to prevent author-shopping.
"The reality is that even in head-to-head comparisons, study results will differ for a variety of reasons, some transparent,

some opaque," added Mariann Caprino, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, whose antipsychotic drug Geodon did not perform as well as Zyprexa in two trials funded by Eli Lilly. Pfizer's own studies found that Geodon was superior to Zyprexa in one trial and inferior in another.

"What this all means," Caprino said, "is there is no substitute for the judgment and experience of the clinician in selecting among a fortunately broad palette of medicines."

But several experts say industry-sponsored trials are failing to answer the questions doctors really need answered: Which drug works best for which patient? Are differences in drugs worth the differences in cost? How many patients are likely to recover entirely, rather than just show progress in the right direction? Head-to-head trials of similar medications may show
statistical differences in how they perform, but those differences may not mean very much for doctors and patients, said Robert Rosenheck, a Yale psychiatrist.

What a clinician wants to know is whether the patient she is treating will get better on a drug, said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "If they are not going to get well, what is the better approach? The public is less interested in statistical significance and more interested in clinical significance."

The difference between the two was highlighted by the recent study of antipsychotic drugs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Rather than focus on how some symptom or side effect waxes and wanes, the government trial focused on the big picture: How do typical schizophrenia patients fare on the drugs over the long term?

The results were sobering: Regardless of the drug, three-quarters of all patients stopped taking it, either because it did not make them better or had intolerable side effects. The discontinuation rates remained high when they were switched to a new drug, but patients stayed on clozapine about 11 months, compared with only three months for Seroquel, Risperdal or Zyprexa, which are far more heavily marketed -- and dominate sales.

"Clozapine is better by far than the other antipsychotics," said Carol Tamminga, a psychiatry professor at the University of
Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, who wrote an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry about the trial.

"The question is: Why do doctors not use it?"

The drug requires more careful monitoring to prevent potentially fatal bone-marrow toxicity, she said, but a national monitoring program ensures it is used properly. Tamminga agreed that marketing may play a role in why the drug is not used more often.

"Clozapine is less marketed," she said. "It is off patent. Even when it was on patent, it has never been as actively marketed as the other drugs."
The government study also provided the big picture missing from company-sponsored trials, said Jeffrey Lieberman, a Columbia University psychiatrist who led the first phase of the study: "The drugs work, but only so well. They are not meeting expectations."

By focusing on the horse race -- which drug is marginally better -- industry studies obscure the reality that better drugs are needed overall, agreed Rennie, who is a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

"Finding the 100th similar antipsychotic drug is not where the research should be," he said. "It should be to develop new drugs, not 'me, too' drugs."

Rennie said that government agencies such as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs that disburse billions of dollars for treatment should rely on publicly funded studies.

"There are lots of questions that drug companies are not going to be primarily interested in," agreed Robert Temple, a senior official at the Food and Drug Administration. He has long been a personal advocate of what he calls a "national problems laboratory."

But Uwe Reinhardt, a political economist at Princeton, said drug companies, device manufacturers and even physicians are reluctant to delve into questions of cost-effectiveness because such inquiries may find that the latest, most expensive treatment is not worth the cost.

"I have come to believe a lot of inefficiency is quite deliberate and supported by Congress," he said. "One person's inefficiency is another person's income."


more to point is btw that none of this is happening in a VACUUM.


And this from one who would know, Richard Smith, former editor at the British Medical Journal: The article below is A MUST READ, read it and then re-read it. Unless you understand the point Smith, who has real insider knowledge here, is making, you cannot begin to comprehend any of this...



Reproduced from: Smith R (2005) Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies. PLoS Med

2(5): e138
Copyright © 2005 Richard Smith

Richard Smith graduated in medicine from Edinburgh. He worked in hospital medicine in New Zealand and Scotland before

joining the British Medical Journal. He was editor of the BMJ and chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group for 13 years.

In September 2004 he became the chief executive of a new company started in Europe by the UnitedHealth Group, the United

States largest health and well being company, to work with the National Health Service and other European health services. He

is a visiting professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has written and broadcast on a wide range

of topics and has a degree in management science from the Stanford Business School.
Dr. Smith is the Board of Directors at the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a position for which he receives no remuneration


“Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry”, wrote Richard Horton, editor

of the Lancet, in March 2004 [1].

In the same year, Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, lambasted the industry for becoming

“primarily a marketing machine” and co-opting “every institution that might stand in its way” [2]. Medical journals were

conspicuously absent from her list of co-opted institutions, but she and Horton are not the only editors who have become increasingly queasy about the power and influence of the industry. Jerry Kassirer, another former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, argues that the industry has deflected the moral compasses of many physicians [3], and the editors of
PLoS Medicine have declared that they will not become “part of the cycle of dependency…between journals and the pharmaceutical industry” [4]. Something is clearly up.

The Problem: Less to Do with Advertising, More to Do with Sponsored Trials
The most conspicuous example of medical journals' dependence on the pharmaceutical industry is the substantial income from

advertising, but this is, I suggest, the least corrupting form of dependence. The advertisements may often be misleading

[5,6] and the profits worth millions, but the advertisements are there for all to see and criticise. Doctors may not be as uninfluenced by the advertisements as they would like to believe, but in every sphere, the public is used to discounting the claims of advertisers.

The much bigger problem lies with the original studies, particularly the clinical trials, published by journals. Far from discounting these, readers see randomised controlled trials as one of the highest forms of evidence. A large trial published in a major journal has the journal's stamp of approval (unlike the advertising), will be distributed around the world, and may well receive global media coverage, particularly if promoted simultaneously by press releases from both the journal and the expensive public-relations firm hired by the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the trial. For a drug company, a
favourable trial is worth thousands of pages of advertising, which is why a company will sometimes spend upwards of a million
dollars on reprints of the trial for worldwide distribution. The doctors receiving the reprints may not read them, but they
will be impressed by the name of the journal from which they come. The quality of the journal will bless the quality of the drug.

Fortunately from the point of view of the companies funding these trials—but unfortunately for the credibility of the journals who publish them—these trials rarely produce results that are unfavourable to the companies' products [7,8]. Paula Rochon and others examined in 1994 all the trials funded by manufacturers of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for
arthritis that they could find [7]. They found 56 trials, and not one of the published trials presented results that were unfavourable to the company that sponsored the trial. Every trial showed the company's drug to be as good as or better than the comparison treatment.

By 2003 it was possible to do a systematic review of 30 studies comparing the outcomes of studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry with those of studies funded from other sources [8]. Some 16 of the studies looked at clinical trials or meta-analyses, and 13 had outcomes favourable to the sponsoring companies. Overall, studies funded by a company were four times more likely to have results favourable to the company than studies funded from other sources. In the case of the five studies that looked at economic evaluations, the results were favourable to the sponsoring company in every case.

The evidence is strong that companies are getting the results they want, and this is especially worrisome because between two-thirds and three-quarters of the trials published in the major journals — Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, and

New England Journal of Medicine —are funded by the industry [9]. For the BMJ, it's only one-third — partly, perhaps, because the journal has less influence than the others in North America, which is responsible for half of all the revenue of drug companies, and partly because the journal publishes more cluster-randomised trials (which are usually not drug trials) [9].

Why Do Pharmaceutical Companies Get the Results They Want? Why are pharmaceutical companies getting the results they want? Why are the peer-review systems of journals not noticing what
seem to be biased results? The systematic review of 2003 looked at the technical quality of the studies funded by the industry and found that it was as good—and often better—than that of studies funded by others [8]. This is not surprising as the companies have huge resources and are very familiar with conducting trials to the highest standards.

The companies seem to get the results they want not by fiddling the results, which would be far too crude and possibly detectable by peer review, but rather by asking the “right” questions—and there are many ways to do this [10]. Some of the methods for achieving favourable results are listed in the Sidebar, but there are many ways to hugely increase the chance of producing favourable results, and there are many hired guns who will think up new ways and stay one jump ahead of peer reviewers.

Then, various publishing strategies are available to ensure maximum exposure of positive results. Companies have resorted to trying to suppress negative studies [11,12], but this is a crude strategy—and one that should rarely be necessary if the company is asking the “right” questions. A much better strategy is to publish positive results more than once, often in
supplements to journals, which are highly profitable to the publishers and shown to be of dubious quality [13,14]. Companies
will usually conduct multicentre trials, and there is huge scope for publishing different results from different centres at different times in different journals. It's also possible to combine the results from different centres in multiple combinations.

These strategies have been exposed in the cases of risperidone [15] and odansetron [16], but it's a huge amount of work to discover how many trials are truly independent and how many are simply the same results being published more than once. And usually it's impossible to tell from the published studies: it's necessary to go back to the authors and get data on individual patients.

Peer Review Doesn't Solve the Problem
Journal editors are becoming increasingly aware of how they are being manipulated and are fighting back [17,18], but I must confess that it took me almost a quarter of a century editing for the BMJ to wake up to what was happening. Editors work by considering the studies submitted to them. They ask the authors to send them any related studies, but editors have no other mechanism to know what other unpublished studies exist. It's hard even to know about related studies that are published, and it may be impossible to tell that studies are describing results from some of the same patients. Editors may thus be peer reviewing one piece of a gigantic and clever marketing jigsaw—and the piece they have is likely to be of high technical quality. It will probably pass peer review, a process that research has anyway shown to be an ineffective lottery prone to bias and abuse [19].

Furthermore, the editors are likely to favour randomised trials. Many journals publish few such trials and would like to publish more: they are, as I've said, a superior form of evidence. The trials are also likely to be clinically interesting.

Other reasons for publishing are less worthy. Publishers know that pharmaceutical companies will often purchase thousands of

dollars' worth of reprints, and the profit margin on reprints is likely to be 70%. Editors, too, know that publishing such studies is highly profitable, and editors are increasingly responsible for the budgets of their journals and for producing a profit for the owners. Many owners—including academic societies—depend on profits from their journals. An editor may thus
face a frighteningly stark conflict of interest: publish a trial that will bring US$100 000 of profit or meet the end-of-year budget by firing an editor.

Journals Should Critique Trials, Not Publish Them

How might we prevent journals from being an extension of the marketing arm of pharmaceutical companies in publishing trials that favour their products? Editors can review protocols, insist on trials being registered, demand that the role of sponsors be made transparent, and decline to publish trials unless researchers control the decision to publish [17,18]. I doubt,
however, that these steps will make much difference. Something more fundamental is needed.

Firstly, we need more public funding of trials, particularly of large head-to-head trials of all the treatments available for treating a condition.Secondly, journals should perhaps stop publishing trials. Instead, the protocols and results should be made available on regulated Web sites. Only such a radical step, I think, will stop journals from being beholden to companies. Instead of publishing trials, journals could concentrate on critically describing them.

This article is based on a talk that Richard Smith gave at the Medical Society of London in October 2004 when receiving the

HealthWatch Award for 2004. The speech is reported in the January 2005 HealthWatch newsletter [20]. The article overlaps to a

small extent with an article published in the BMJ [21].

Examples of Methods for Pharmaceutical Companies to Get the Results They Want from Clinical Trials

Conduct a trial of your drug against a treatment known to be inferior.
Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug.
Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug (making your drug seem less toxic).
Conduct trials that are too small to show differences from competitor drugs.
Use multiple endpoints in the trial and select for publication those that give favourable results.
Do multicentre trials and select for publication results from centres that are favourable.
Conduct subgroup analyses and select for publication those that are favourable.
Present results that are most likely to impress—for example, reduction in relative rather than absolute risk.


more to come! just one more final post I promise to anybody out there.


OK no more articles, just some closing remarks..

If I am on occasion barbed and pissed off in discussing this subject, stop and think WHY. Maybe I know more than you do (I have barely gotten started trust me, the above is nothing) and you are being hoodwinked by a lot of vested agendas, not least of which is a multi-billion dollar industry. And you know there are the lives of people at stake, that's real people just like you and me, for God's sake, not only their lives, but their long-term health. So please try not to parrot everything you
read in Business Day, Time, or frankly The Journal of AIDS (which often enough is just an extension Big Pharma) and the NEJM (ditto), they are all of a piece, for the most part.

You don't believe everything you hear about Israel from the BBC and the M&G and the like. Well let me tell you that is not all they are lying about.

Apologies to BD again, it's just that I vented my fury on you (who doesn't deserve it) when I wish I had Zackie Achmat's ass to kick! And I can tell you some very few things about Achmat's (esp Achmat) and Cameron's cases and their apparent thriving on ARVs (it's complicated, albeit I do not know nearly enough in both cases, because I don't have enough of the relevant details to hand, I can't actually monitor them with CCTV in their homes for example to see exactly how they are doing, and not how they say they are doing, I don't know what ARvs they are taking exactly, in what dosages and with what frequency, how long they have been on them, with any breaks from treatment, and how their regimens may have changed over time, other factors like other meds and their personal medical history - this is why it is so complex. Also remember they are adult males, not babies, not juveniles, and they both score a plus on the socio-economic side ie adequate nutritious diet and other related variables - all this naturally helps to offset effects of ARV toxicity)

Frankly I am glad that Achamt is quite literally having a taste of his own medicine! I see he got married, didn't know.

You all think you know irony, trust me you don't begin to know. This is not intended to be condescending, I'm just saying..

Really I gotta go, the stuff I have neglected to do aargh..



Many thanks for posting the above. I read most of it, although as a non-scientist, I obviously struggled with some of it.

I think, ironically enough, that some of the above discussion has shown Supernatural at its best, although as a non-scientist, I am unfortunately ill equipped to debate effectively with you. I have done my best from a position of total ignorance.

As a general point, the Manto "garlic/ beetroot legacy" probably stiffled serious debate about ARV's. Nobody, with any sense, wanted to be associated with her ideas, so a real critique of ARV's became non PC. Ironically enough, Manto may have been the biggest boon to the widespread acceptance of ARV's.

As a general point... if I am to take on board your comments, then I have to conclude that HIV, AIDS and ARV's is a highly complex and murky subject. You have certainly convinced me about that!

I still believe that Aids is killing thousands of people in South Africa although I suppose it is impossible to put a precise figure on it. I assume that you concur.

I wanted to try and find out South African mortality rates in 1988 (to compare it to 2008) and, by chance, came upon the following. I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions, but it seems to me that, whatever one things about the current situation, one has to conclude that "things aint what they used to be!"

Title: HIV infection in South Africa, 1982-1988 -- a review.
Author(s): Sher R

SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL JOURNAL, 1989 Oct 7;76(7):314-8.

A review of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in South Africa between 1983- 88 is presented. 166 cases of AIDS have been seen in South Africa thus far, with a mortality rate of 59.2%. There has been a predicted and alarming increase in the number of cases of AIDS in the black population. A total of 1857 HIV antibody-positive sera have been tested by various laboratories in the RSA, but this figure excludes sera found to be positive in the mining industry. The HIV-positive and AIDS cases include members of all population groups. A number of surveillance studies are presented. These revealed that beyond the groups at high risk for HIV infection, the prevalence of this infection is still very low. Of an estimated 710,000 blood donors tested, 244 were positive for HIV-1 antibodies. Although 1 case of HIV-2 infection was detected in South Africa, this does not constitute a problem at present. No evidence of infection with HIV-1 was detected in southern and central African Sera taken between 1970-74. In the absence of a vaccine and specific treatment, a change in sexual behavior to 1 of safer sex practices through education is the only means that exists to contain the spread of the epidemic.


BD writes;
"I still believe that Aids is killing thousands of people in South Africa although I suppose it is impossible to put a precise figure on it. I assume that you concur"

I concur 100%. And not only in SA of course, Lesotho, Angola, Zim, Congo, Mozambique, Malawi etc - where it is likewise ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to know what the HIV numbers actually are, despite the lies from WHO and UNAIDS and the like. You must understand it's not even guesswork, it is confabulation, drawing a number out of a hat stuff. If we don't really know what the numbers are for SA, and we don't despite the big lies to the contrary, we certainly don't know what they are for places like Zim and the Congo, where deteriorating infrastructure, hopeless and failed or rapidly failing "health" beauracracies, often inadequate record keeping and documentation re their African populations especially in isolated rural areas, and of course pervasive violence and tyranny in Zim and Congo (which doesn't exactly make for a hospitable environment to do the necessary unglamorous bread and butter research even for those so permitted) are all-encompassing realities (there are other factors I haven't even touched on) that make even a sincere task to find out even tentative HIV positive figures among the populace an almost hopeless one from the get-go.

And there is very little sincerity and transparency to go around here - so many vested interests. And Medicine Sans Frontieres don't know the numbers neither btw. No NGO or govt dept or UN organisation knows, and they are often deeply corrupted (as I have only begun to point out in my posts above), and handicapped by incompetence (which goes together with the corruption). And this is without taking into account the highly inadequate testing throughout Africa (because real accurate testing is prohibitively expensive, and that's not good for business, and it's not good for already underfunded and overstretched govt health depts, hospitals and clinics and NGOs always asking for the hand-outs). Plus who says they know what they are doing, or want to know? MSF for one certainly don't.

It's a trial balance - money/expense budgets on the one side, and impoverished Africans on the other side, what do you think wins out here? So this hopelessly and pervasively inadequate HIV testing on the continent (with all that implies...THINK about it - terrible implications...) undercuts any even tentative guesses re HIV numbers. It is the deeply cracked glass foundation which itself is built on quicksand on which these HIV numbers/stats are built, and so renders all these HIV infection rates and numbers higly suspect to put it mildy, and ipso facto AIDS death numbers/stats are often guesswork at best, confabulation at worst. SA does keep the best records here, and even here of course numerous problems, but where you see MODELS, PROJECTIONS,PREDICTIONS steer clear (like the Harvard paper that got this thread going) - they are pure gibberish having zero bearing on the actual documented deaths of real flesh and blood people, as I have mentioned before. They have been shown up to be false time and time again, gross exaggerations. There has been a lot of squabbling about this behind the scenes that is censored out by the media, and of course not only the media, but the med journals.

The media can't be bothered to get the facts straight, they wouldn't know where to begin or how, to call them clueless is to be overly kind, like calling R Kasrils just a little bit biased on Israel, but one who has the best interests of Jewish Israelis at heart. Journalists writing on AIDS and ARVs in SA newspapers are like Allister Sparks and Robert Fisk writing about the eviiil Jeeew nation, you know there are parallel sociological/psychological factors involved, but who knows this, I mean in both cases? That is another subject.

Also the media are big business, Big Pharma are big business...I'm not saying there is a conspiracy, of course not. But corporate media and Big Pharma do not occupy antagonistic positions, hardly. One doesn't need to be a commie or Marxist to see the problem here, and I'm no Marxist!

BD again:
"As a general point... if I am to take on board your comments, then I have to conclude that HIV, AIDS and ARV's is a highly complex and murky subject. You have certainly convinced me about that!"

Yes it is very complex (I have barely even begun to outline the complexities involved, scientific and other - trust me) and it is very very murky, you already know more PERTINENT facts now than most all GPs anywhere for example and for sure the vast majority of microbiologists, pathologists and related who know nothing PERTINENT here for the most part. I could tell you some stories...
(And I have hardly told you anything much, barely begun!!) They wouldn't and don't want to know. Do you see why? It's not a good career move, so better to hear no evil see no evil. Other reasons as well. Yes my contempt for most doctors and related professionals is rather great, I admit. For good reasons.

HIV/AIDS is in fact even murkier and nuanced than you can imagine, like I told you I have barely gotten started. It isn't a black and white thing at all as you allude to. What is really?

And that reminds me, you bring up some pertinent points re Manto with her 'let them eat garlic', which makes me wince. Her and Rath, who wants to blame the Anglo-US invasion of Iraq on Big Pharma (there is a lot I blame them for but this is of course ridiculous and nuts). And you know of that fruitcake David Icke, the one with the 'alien lizards in the White House freemason conspiracy' nutter, (whose books are popular in SA - scaaaary); likewise he is against ARV use in Africa, pointing out Big Pharma corruption but so what? The guy is insane, a mad hatter nutjob (and anti-Semite btw).

And so as you point out, anybody, including med scientists and microbiologists and others who criticize the use of ARVs and HIV stats etc are just tarred with the same brush as these mad hatters of the world by the media and all the other usual suspects (like a whole multi-billion dollar mafia industry) in order to throw suspicion off the high priests of the medical establishment and Big Pharma themselves (never mind the near BLANKET CENSORSHIP which has only arguably gotten worse as the years have past); and so misdirect people, deflecting scrutiny from their dubious practices and dubious science and atrocious track records. And hey it works! And then their are Pharma's paid hirelings with their megaphones who naturally are mislabeled "experts", and the media fawn before them. And the public, not knowing any better, hang on to every word they hear and read from the media. The three blind mice, Pharma and the medical establishment leading the media leading the public, see how they run, see how they run...

To summarise, pervasive censorship and deceit (including more and more in the med journals who have tied their flags to the Big Pharma mast), misrepresentation and blatant mendacity in the name of health care along with the 'guilt by association with quacks like Rath and the like' tactic by so many very powerful vested interests and their hirelings, is what is going on here. Not to mention the careers and reputations at stake, around the world.

It is so much more complex though, like a layer cake. There is so much more.... Like I wrote in those series of posts yesterday, none of this is happening in a vacuum, and it is necessary to see the bigger picture, that is the pervasive corrupting plague of Big Pharma in Western Medicine, their tentacles in the journals, their intimidation of all too compliant drug and health regulatory bodies, and how so many med health professionals across the board for reason I have already touched on, are in the tank for them. What then of hospitals, clinics, govt health depts, they are then hardly immune to this pervasive reach of Big Pharma. Hardly! They are all a part of the same medical culture, they all play on the same team, no questions asked. Those very few that aren't are often clueless (even wilfully so), not questioning what they are told. I repeat myself I know but it is so pervasive a problem, so insidious, it cannot be stressed enough, ever. There are a few who do know, who are not a part of this pernicious culture, but they have no real voice. voices in the wilderness. They are shut out and they often squabble amongst themselves!

And then there are other things that I haven't even mentioned, have barely even alluded to.

BD I very vaguely remember that paper by Ruben Sher (who btw did himself start to question the wisdom of giving AZT to pregnant women and their babes given their adverse toxicity which he became aware of, although he was hardly vocal about it - muttering about it would be the best way to put it. When were those 'mutterings' of his about AZT, my memory is not what it was - late 90s it must have been).


I assume that you have seen this recent ISS report. I think it states that 30% of SA's population is infected with HIV.
( I realize that you will be highly critical of its findings!)

"A lethal cocktail." Research Council report on the financing of HIV/AIDS programmes ISSTIAIDSREPORTDEC07.PDF -
by C Schulz-Herzenberg -


yeah BD, Shulz-Herzenberg is a well-known researcher at the ISS in Cape Town. And she has written and researched on some interesting and important stuff re the politicisation of the SA judiciary, SA voting patterns and the like.

The ISS report of her's you cite though, weeeelll naturally I have BIG problems with it. Although well-intended and sincere in her research, it is not only way too superficial in it's coverage of the whole controversy (despite it's size). Worse than that - you wouldn't know there were any problems with ARVs (and specifically RT inhibitors here like AZT) whatsoever, and HIV testing in SA as well, recognised by many med scientists around the world (including at the US NIH, but those that know don't want to make waves..not good for their careers for one, got to be team players and get with the programme) going by her ISS report. It is MCC/TAC/mass media boiler-plate for the most part, although to be fair to her she does bring up some interesting points...

The real science here is beyond her, it's not that she doesn't even understand it, which she so obviously does not, she has no idea what it is, even vaguely. Even in outline. Yes BD you are right, I don't think much of that 30% HIV positive figure, it's just an unfunny joke. Do you think she can tell you why? Of course not. She wouldn't know why an unprecedented serum dilution ratio of in excess of 200:1 on ELISAs for HIV testing is to put it mildly not exactly conducive to accuracy, nevermind such excessive dilution is even protocol here (even overseas), nor why. She probably doesn't even know that it is not indicative of definitive HIV status in the US and Canada (only an aid to diagnosis), and if any lab there told you you were HIV positive based SOLELY on ELISAs (even a hundred successive ones and you were positive on all one hundred) the personnel at the clinic lab concerned would be guilty of gross negligence, liable to be sued, and even could be brought up on criminal charges!

You need a confirmatory Western Blot (even 2 successive Blots performed independently by 2 qualified health professionals) to confirm HIV status. Western Blots are so much more accurate, because of the discrete HIV protein banding employed here, in ELISAs it's all mixed together (all the HIV proteins are mixed together I mean) and this is highly problematic (to put it mildly!). There are complex reasons for this...technical stuff, another subject.

Yet even here with the Blots there are problems because of a lack of standardisation around the world! That is testing for a different number of distinct HIV protein bands is done in different countries, the more bands used in the assay, the better. That is the more accurate we know the assay to be. You may not be surprised to hear that in Africa they test for the least number of HIV protein bands on the WB (when they even employ the assay), in the First World they test for more, and so more accurate - yet even in the First World no standardisation! You see what a Pandora's Box this is?

Both ELISAs and Western Blots are antibody assays, and I haven't even gotten started on the implications of the fact that all antibodies (even monoclonal ones) are known to be polyspecific and are capable of cross-reaction with other antigens. The vast overwhelming majority of the clinicians who do the testing here (esp in Africa and SA) don't REALLY understand this properly or even what this means, I mean the nitty-gritty technical implications. Hardly at all in fact. Just because you know how to drive a car doesn't mean you know the first thing about car engines, same with these clinicians and other health professionals really re the assays they work on. They don't know, they are just told, "if this band changes colour..", they don't really know ALL that it means or may mean..seriously.

And if they knew, could they keep their jobs? I mean do you think labs in SA could be bothered with the additional expenses, additional training for staff, more man-hours needed, for real accurate HIV testing. All this cuts into profits at private labs and in govt clinics and hospitals, already underfunded...think about it. So anybody making waves here would simply be told to shut up and get with the programme and if he/she didn't, then he/she would be fired or his/her work environment would become very hostile and unbearable. This is not hypothetical, I haven't even told you some alarming TRUE stories. However this is very very rare, because most such lab staff are clueless regarding all that I mention and haven't even mentioned here, which is a helluva lot trust me! And of course they need to remain clueless to avoid any cognitive dissonance, and so they largely do...

But how can you spare expense here when PEOPLE'S LIVES are at stake? Trust me, Shulz-Herzenberg and the like don't even know what I mean (namely what I mention and allude to above), don't even begin to know. There is an industry here remember, and those riding in its wake..This is why one needs to look deeper and really deeply reflect on so much, that I have only alluded to.

Just one well-known implication of the fact that all antibodies are known to be polyspecific and are capable of cross-reaction with other antigens,is that this translates to high rates of false positives among that population demographic that is on the bottom end of the socio-ecomomic scale - ie the indigent. Why? Well the higher level of non-HIV related illnesses the indigent inevitably suffer from (think of all the variables here: undernutrition and malnutrition, polluted environment, unclean drinking water, polluted air in densely populated slums (from coal and wood fires for example), associated high stress levels, in certain parts of Africa many tropical diseases incl yellow fever, don't forget malaria etc etc) translates to overlytaxed, overstressed and compromised immune systems among this demographic. Which means...their immune systems are in perpetual overdrive, so many different kinds of antibodies being produced by their adaptive immune systems, many different kinds of antigens in their bodies that their antibodies are locking onto, and also the sheer number of these foreign antigens in their bodies (not like you and me). OK so this means that when these people are tested for HIV there are going to be far higher levels of false HIV positives among them then the other demographics higher up on the socio-ecomic scale, because they have more non-HIV antigens for their antibodies to lock onto, to cross-react with. Given the lack of antigen specifity re antibodies, more cross-reactions, translates to more false positives on antibody assays, esp on the 'milkshake' ELISA, and not just with the indigent demographic, but you and me too! just so much more so in their case.

This is just one big controvesy that is BURIED, I mean it's in the technical literature, but one needs to connect the dots even here, very difficult to follow all the strands, easy to get side-tracked by often very technical irrelevancies, and to see the implications re HIV testing (both HIV1 and HIV2) but it's all largely ignored, brushed aside - that is the high rates of false positives among the indigent, for the reasons I mention above, and I have grossly oversimplified it of course.
I mean there is a big big industry here, and a lot at stake.

Now do you think Shulz-Herzenberg and the like have a clue here? Of course not, so everything else she writes is often meaningless and likewise misinformed. So much of the AIDS and ARV rhetoric is built on quicksand once you understand the problems re ELISAs for HIV testing ALONE (I haven't even gotten onto the others), esp on the indigent, but also on people like you and me! Shulz-Herzenberg knows and understands none of this and wouldn't want to (she is clueless re the science, most everybody is) she would have to come off her high horse for one and what is the position of ISS here, what about her job...This is why one needs to look deeper into things as I say, take into account careers, reputations, related sociological and psychological factors, other factors.

Now this is why BD (and anybody else out there) if you personally know of people who are HIV positive, well they may not be! Because depending on a number of complicated factors (and I haven't even really begun to explain, even outline, even allude to everything that contributes to false positives, like if one has recently been vaccinated! Trust me you can't even guess what they all would be, and Shulz-Hersenberg wouldn't begin to know) they may have gotten a false positive status! And they thus are likely to be depressed, suicidal and even taking highly adverse to their health ARVs for no reason, other than the reason of profit for Big Pharma! This is what I mean by a Pandora's Box and the horror of it all.

This is why you need to reflect deeply on all this, and pause and digest...The TAC, the MCC, SAMA, the ISS, GlaxoSmithKline and Big Pharma, the health depts, hospitals, the media - they wash each other's dirty linen, most are running around like decapitated chickens. You will get nowhere going from one to the other, a truer picture does not emerge about the realities of the Middle-East by running off to see what Neo-Nazis say, then Hamas and other jihadists around the world and then the BBC, SABC and the local media as a whole, and then anti-Semitic Leftist academics from Berkeley to Paris to Wits to Melbourne Uni - you get nowhere. Just different shades of anti-Semitism in different guises, different liars telling the same or different lies, the rhetoric just changes a bit depending on your source, but at the end of the day you get nowhere. The truth evades you entirely. Same here with ARVs and HIV numbers and related, going from one group of vested interests here, like the paid up whores of the Biotech and Pharma industry to the headless chickens of the TAC to the other headless chickens that are the media morons, to the clueless talking heads at whatever institute may be the case, to the politicians, to careerists everywhere, in government, in "health" care, in the corporate sector (to repeat), the NGOs. They repeat each other's dubious stats and ARV claims, round and round we go, the truth about any of it is avoided at all costs. It has to be, do you understand?

So to any HIV positives you know, encourage them to go for additional tests (incl requesting Blot, insisting on it even!) but this is problematic, the lab will want to know why you want an additional test perhaps, go to a different lab, don't tell them person concerned is positive, or has been told he is positive - don't make them suspicious (there are psychological factors here really), or that he is in a risk group (like homosexual or a drug addict even if the person concerned is!), I haven't even got into why the clinicians may be unconsciously more sloppy in testing protocols for risk groups than if this is not the case - trust me I know this sounds strange, unbelievable and perplexing! Then go for other tests (even months apart) at other labs, insist on a Blot - make sure said subject has not recently been vaccinated or had malaria (high risks for false positives, also depends on vaccine) and there are other things I haven't even mentioned. Look I know of people (and not just a very few) who have gone for one test, they are HIV positive, then another test later and negative, then another later positive, then negative again, then negative again, then positive (from different labs and even at the same lab)!! And this is just on ELISAs and even PCRs. I know this is very confusing and that I haven't cleared things up, only revealed how really murky it all is. What a scandal that is totally CENSORED, like the CENSORSHIP on the Middle-East conflict, think about it BD, just really THINK about it. It's like particle physics, the more you know the less you know; until you realise you don't know anything, you really don't know anything!

There is so much more, BD really. I have STILL barely even gotten started. But citing paper after paper THAT ADDRESSES NONE OF THIS, report after report THAT ADDRESSES NONE OF THIS by all these headless chickens, the same dubious regurgitations is meaningless..this is why it is so difficult to get any pertinent facts here, it is a mine-field in fact. Nearly impossible, esp if you have no relevant technical knowledge.

You need to STOP and see the bigger picture. You need to be aware of the real history of Western Medicine (not exactly taught in med school) and its endless screw-ups, the politicisation of science, the corruption of science through Big Industry, the corruption of the funding and grant process, the fact that the history of science shows that screw-ups and blunders and simply wrong ideas, the demonisation of genuine pioneers and whistle-blowers from Newton to Edison, from Tesla and Boltzmann to the Wright Brothers, from Semelweiss to Rachel Carson (whistle-blower) by all the so-called experts (the Catholic Church is nothing compared to Big Science) has been in fact routine, the sociological/cultural nature of scientific knowledge and its dissemination, the pernicious role of the media, other dynamics. Other dubious scientific endevours involving lots of Money and Big Industry eg the GMO controversy, gene therapy etc because one needs to see the forest...the other dubious unsafe and ineffective drugs that Big Pharma has fostered on us over the decades, you need to see the forest.

No short-cuts here, often heavy books on these numerous interrelated topics, even technical and academic books on the subject, Thomas Kuhn (history of science rel), Illich (namely Medical Nemesis), M Angell, Bodenheimer, Jacky Law, J Kassirer, Waen-Ho (on GMOs and Big Business), James Le Fanu and plenty others, and even then you have just gotten into it.. If you do not see the forest for the trees here (and you don't), you will never be skeptical enough of whatever paper, even book you read. You will not be able to tell fact from fiction, believe me it is always very difficult and sometimes nigh impossible, depends...! And I haven't even gotten onto patents and TRIPS and all the controversies there, the intellectual theft by Big Pharma of the intellectual property of indigenous peoples!

here just a very few more RELEVANT articles:
more on Big Pharma's shennanigans, a MUST-READ, blow your mind stuff.
on why Big Pharma and their whores exxagerate "female sexual dysfunction" (to put it midly) so as to sell more dubious drugs. Bravo to BMJ for publishing this.
on ethics committees and whether they are protecting patients enough.

BD my advice, drop the HIV/AIDS and ARVs on the net surfing, you are just going to get nowhere (I mean you can go to fringe conspiracy websites but you don't want to!), although of course you may beg to differ. I know things that I cannot explain adequately even with these big posts of mine, but I am actually saying what more than a few med scientists, molecular biologists, virologists, biophysicists are saying, a lot of it off the record! - I mean from Berkeley to Chicago U, to Columbia Uni to Toronto U, from Amherst to the Max Plank Institute, from Australia to India, from Trieste U to London to Rutgers. Get the idea. These guys do not get lectureship fees from Abbot Labs like Violari (who co-authored that paper you cite from the NEJM) and never would! ALL CENSORED, you think you have experienced censorship re Israel with the SA media (BD, Steve and Mike and whoever else), you think you know what censorship is?? nevermind misrepresentation and bald faced LYING. hahaha and no it's not funny, not at all.

THINK about what I write on this thread, re AZT and nevirapine, re ELISA tests, US NIH protocols re HIV testing, lack of standardisation of testing around the globe, re Fishbein and the Uganda trial - all FACTS (believe me I wish I were making that stuff up about AZT, but either it has a skull and cross-bones 'Warning Poison - do not ingest. wear protective clothing' label on the lab bottles, that aren't on the Glaxo bottles prescribed for patients...or not. It does), and the fact that you didn't know about any of this, until I started writing up here.

Why not? Because the powers that be, the headless chickens CANNOT ANSWER ANY OF THE ABOVE WTIHOUT LYING. There is too much at stake, way too much, so many vested interests, so much big business, so many careers, so many pointless reports and papers that should never have been published in the first place, and on and on..

So people like me are DANGEROUS, and have to be stopped at all costs, so they call me a nazi or whatever, and if anybody out there thinks that addresses or somehow answers the actual FACTS I bring up here on this topic (and if this were a book, I would still be on the intro), well then I can't help you.

So what recommended reading for AIDS can I give you? Offhand I can't really think of that many books that I would unreservedly recommend, because all tainted by so much that is wrong, and misinformed. Even a well-researched book like 'The River - A journey to the source of HIV and AIDs' by Ed Hooper has so much that is simply wrong, i


damn my screw-up sorry to continue..

Ed Hooper's book The River, yeah it's a good read, but much of it is simply dubious because he doesn't know the REAL science. And his central premise remains completely unproven.
And this is one of the best books on African AIDS, and I cannot think offhand of any others I would recommend for the reasons I have stated and for many that I haven't!

Western AIDS has its own distinct dynamics and the books that specifically relate say to AIDS in North America, well they are often less prone to hysteria, and dubious figures, and unquestioning acceptance of ARVs, even if the authors aren't too clued up. Sometimes they are, sometimes not.

One of the best remains Randy Shilts's "And the Band Played on" (made into a movie), one of the very earliest popular books on the subject from when '86 or thereabouts, when it was still largely perceived as a gay Western disease (GRID). EVen though of course outdated now, it remains nearly unprecedented for its thoroughness and research and I promise you so much that is eye-opening, lots of dirty behind the scenes stuff that you just wouldn't really know otherwise, stuff that will make you go 'I didn't know that about the gay cruisin' culture in San Fran and New York! what the hell!" and much more re the NIH's and NCI's cock-ups, the politicisation of the disease, the social culture of the time which explains a lot, why the disease spread so rapidly etc.

But it is of course very out of date (and US gay AIDS focused of course), but for starters I recommend it.



Thanks for your response to Schulz-Herzenberg.

I suppose that one just has to conclude that re HIV/AIds, South Africa is totally fucked. (As it is a sexual disease, I am at liberty to use the "f' word!)

I am sure that a lot (most/all) of your points are valid. One has to conclude that re SA there is no sensible way forward to deal with the HIV/Aids health epidemic; the virus has bolted and there are no reins to pull it back.

My other analogy is that when AIds arrived in SA it checked into a 5 star hotel. It was the best place on the planet for it. So comfortable. Great bed. The "room service" was fab although the bill has turned out to be astronomical. I suppose the moral of the story is...never use the mini bar?



If you were ever unfortunate enough to be ill with Aids, what sort of medication would you take?

I assume that you wouldn't take ARV's. But is there anything that you believe would help you?


Mike and Steve

I know this thread is a year old, yet you should know exactly what this comment is going to be about...oh wait how would you?

I'm sure it's just one of those amazing inexplicable things, you know that the most important big post of mine - from the first page of comments - on antiretroviral drugs from this thread has just disappeared, gone into oblivion like it never was, right? It was originally placed between my own post dated November 18th 2008 at 16:14 and Blacklisted Dictator's post dated November 18 at 22:34 (easy to figure out the context).

You know the really pertinent commentary that goes into big details on the fraudulent Uganda HIVNET 012 trial and the toxicity of nevirapine? You know, the one massive post which is crucial for understanding the context and content of my other subsequent posts on this self-same comments thread on abuses and scandals in contemporary medicine, that post - it's just gone. Amazing isn't it. Rereading the first page of comments, BD's response and Steve's responses to me toward the end of the first page now make no sense whatsover. Well since my post is gone, that is to be expected.

In fact Steve comments, "Lawrence, I'm glad I managed to salvage your comment :) havent read it yet but I will in good time."

If you were so glad you managed to salvage it, a pity it has since been uh gobbled up by the uh internet gremlins, some unfortunate technical glitch I'm sure?

Since I am one of very few people anywhere to know anything substantial about the fraudulent Uganda HIVNET trial (being most pertinent here) and ARVs in general, and certainly the only one posting at IAS; it's kind of curious that the only knowledgeable person on the murky subject of ARVs had has his post disappear like that, don't you think? I mean out of all the large number of posts I've put up over the years which are still there, odd wouldn't you say?

Not being a paranoid nutter, I'm sure that nobody from the TAC, Nathan Geffen for example, would request Mike or Steve to have that post of mine disappear quietly like it never was. I mean that post of mine, MORE SO THAN ANY OTHER ON THIS THREAD really shows up the self-righteous TAC line on the safety of ARVs and honesty and transparency of the drug testing process for the big lie and travesty that it is. I mean that post of mine more than any other shows up say Geffen really badly, especially since Geffen is on record on calling the whole travesty of the Uganda HIVNET 012 trial one merely of "bookkeeping errors". That post of mine - that has since gone down the rabbit hole, the only post of mine ever to simply disappear like that from IAS, ain't that incredible - just so happened to show up via easy-to-verify-for-yourselves references the true facts of the Uganda trial, like you know the deaths of babies and the serious harm to pregnant women from the drugs and the deliberate fraud instigated by Boeringher-Ingelheim and UNAIDS to cover it all up, with checkable references to the cover-ups, the shredding of documents, the wilful changing/erasure of case numbers so they couldn't be tracked down, oh yes and did I mention the little fucking inconvenient fact of uh deaths from the drugs? All this thanks to J Fishbein's whistleblowing. A cover-up and scandal admitted and acknowledged by the US National Institue of Health itself after a thorough review of the affair and of course Fishbein himself. So it's not like the TAC could scream 'AIDS Denialists' and sweep it all under the carpet, conveniently for them. Of course that's exactly what the TAC have done anyway, sweep the whole Uganda trail under the carpet like it never was. Of course once one knows the facts here re the Uganda AZT and nevirapine trial which you would do if that post of mine didn't disappear like that (how convenient for Geffen and the TAC), well you would know that the TAC simply can't be trusted. A reminder - Geffen's handwaving reference to the trial, mere bookkeeping errors!

Just to be clear on something - Geffen and his ilk cannot argue against me on ARVs without lying through their teeth (bookkeeping errors re the Uganda trial for example) and making use of other unscientific irrational argumentation (like calling me an AIDS denier for example) and they know it. That is why Geffen would never respond to me on the horrors of ARVs on any forum, including at IAS, because he knows that I can and will so easily expose him as nothing but a lying know-nothing scientific illiterate who is in over his head, which is what he is. Even as he rationalises his stance in this regard in the form of projection. Gettit? Probably not. Of course one cannot easily imagine Geffen or some other TAC goon desperately indulging in behind the scenes skullduggery of attempting censorship and hoping Lawrence (who else after all is going to know?) none the wiser. That would imply Geffen is a less than upfront and honest play by the rules kind of guy. So really, once again, why even imagine that kind of skullduggery?

So even though such behind-the-scenes connivance by Geffen or somebody else from the TAC naturally never happened at all, even if it did (I mean in our parallel imaginary world), well IAS is a blog run by Mike and Steve, upstanding guys who believe in free speech, transparency and the like and they would never be a party to such a wilfully duplicitous scheme merely on Geffen's request, or some other TAC goon perhaps. I mean to give in to the TAC in this regard? Why? For what reason? Out of some sense of loyalty to an anti-Israel NGO by the by, merely because Mike and Steve just happen to know some of the TAC dudes who are not beyond threatening IAS with litigation and implying they are fascists by the way, and Geffen even calling Mike anti-Semitic (re their take on the Israel-Arab conflict and debate on this very blog)!! That wouldn't make any sense of course, for Mike and Steve to oblige a group of people who threaten them with litigation and indulge in baseless ad hominems, misrepresentations and outright lying against Mike and Steve themselves (never mind Geffen lying about me by the way, calling me a racist without any evidence). Do the regulars here remember what I am talking about? It's all archived here, hopefully it doesn't all disappear down the rabbit hole (like this thread for that matter)!

Of course Mike and Steve have continued after all that, to be on speaking terms with Geffen and Isaacs! Yes after all that, I don't know nor care to know just how cuddly Mike and Steve are with Geffen and Isaacs these days. Doesn't it just make you want to puke though, isn't it pathetic? Does it make any sense?

So naturally these totally ficticious and absurd musings on how Mike and/or Steve would respond to a request from a TAC goon (that never even happened of course, this is purely ficticious naturally) for my post to go into the blackhole of the worldwideweb's ether, are unnecessary. Mike and Steve would not oblige by disappearing my comment (the only one ever!), which proves highly convenient for the TAC and Geffen most of all. it's simply that the TAC have incredible luck in regard to technical internet and computer gremlins (at IAS at least) - like winning a lottery, I mean what are the odds? Hey people win lotteries, I know...


Fact is, among other things, ARV "therapy" is responsible for the premature deaths of toddlers, whose very often short lives are hampered by epileptic convulsions and other severe CNS disorders, liver, kidney, gastrointestinal, cardiac and bone marrow disorders and much more besides - thanks solely to being "saved" by uh AZT and nevirapine! I wish to God I was making this up, if only. Never mind the (euphemism alert) anti-Israel venom of the TAC leadership, the TAC is the most shrill know-nothing organisation that actively promotes a medical sanctioned murder and maiming that is arguably on a scale and scope unprecedented in the history of medical malpractice in the Third World.

Guess what, I have a copy of that post of mine that just happened to disappear down the rabbit hole, I saved it on my hard drive. Yay. Good thing I did that, no? Yes Mike and Steve I knew you would be happy about that. So I'm posting it back up in its entirety. Remember if it is not in the proper original place and context where it should be on the first page of the comments thread (see above), well that's not my fault now is it? It's the fault of an internet gremlin that happens to be partial to the TAC.

Now let us hope some internet gremlin doesn't disappear this post and the following of mine down the digital black hole of oblivion, or for that matter this whole thread! You never know...I wouldn't put it past the uh internet gremlins.

So below are the posts (originally one single massive post) on the scandalous Uganda trial and nevirapine toxicity and medical malfeasance in this regard that I am being compelled to repost since ....sigh, what can I say? The original post just disappeared (did I mention that before now?), a post that just happened to be written by the only person posting up at IAS who has any competent knowledge in regard to ARV pharmacology and their documented (albeit largely censored) adverse toxic and even fatal effects on human patients and HIV/AIDS in general and modern medicine as a whole.

The following several posts below have been broken up from the original single very large posted comment that disappeared, in order to ensure their getting through to IAS and not being blocked as spam (which happened the first time). So below is a multiple posting of the ORIGINAL UNEDITED POST DETAILING THE FRAUDULENT UGANDA AZT AND NEVIRAPINE TRIAL ON HIV POSITIVE PREGNANT WOMEN AND NEVIRAPINE TOXICITY THAT WENT DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE. GOOD THING I HAPPENED TO CHECK NOW, ISN'T IT? Yes the 'subtle' easy to miss disappearance into the Bermuda triangle of the single massive comment (now below) didn't pass me by anyhow. Good thing Mike and Steve that I'm such a sharp eyed eagle right?

Remember everything that I write below re the Uganda HIVNET 012 trial and the whistleblowing by Fishbein, Nathan Geffen dismisses as simply "bookkeeping errors". A reminder - these posts below (originally one single post) should be read in its original context on this thread commentary (see above). Thus my blunt tone to BD in the posts below for which I later apologised. Also, to prevent these posts below from being blocked as potential spam I have removed the http://www. from the url's on the numerous links I provide, please add them as necessary to the beginning of the links.

If anybody wants to know why after a year I put this up, well it's still accessible on search engines, it's the internet after all, and this is important stuff. At least I think so!


Here is my fairly comprehensive reply re ARVs, those "miracle" life-saving drugs gaggag.

drum roll.....

How many of you actually have a clue about ARVs, AIDS deaths etc? Just believe whatever you have been told by the scientifically illiterate media, the blind leading the blind. To BD - your argument from ridicule is not a scientfic argument, you don't have the vaguest clue about any of the science here.

Mike just because I don't support poisoning impoverished preganant mothers and their babies with nevirapine so that Boehringer Ingelheim's stock price can shoot up, doesn't mean I am an AIDS denier. I know that, you, like most everybody else, being a "naive believe whatever you are told by the moronic media naturally beholden to big business" - since the media are big business - on everything outside of Israel related topics, would neve question what you are told by airhead journalists who don't know any med science - but maybe it's about time to start, never too late.

BD, your questions are irrelevant to the issue at hand, the safety or otherwise and efficacy or otherwise of nevirapine. Of which you have no comprehension.

What is so difficult about even googling "Jonathan Fishbein"? Do I have to do all the hard work here? That's a rhetorical question btw. hear no evil, see no evil....

So what happened in Uganda then?

how about checking Fishbein's website

oh no don't let uncomfortable facts about a massive scandal and cover-up organised by UNAIDS that went right to the top, and the US NIH was complicit, after several pregnant women were seriously harmed and many of their babies died (easily over 30) from the "miracle drug" nevirapine and AZT - yes they really fucking did, but don't let that bother you BD and Mike, just ignore the facts, and ask me if I'm on crack, oh so funny just cracks me up - pun unintended. Fishbein, a high ranking official at the US NIH who blew the whistle on the cover-up, was fired for his troubles, but he took it further, there were calls for a congressional hearing, the Senate Finance Committee scrutinised the case, there was an internal review at the NIH...this is a well-known scandal by anybody with a clue about the facts re the politics and corruption of the AIDS industry and Big Pharma, it is a dark chapter in the history of medical science and public medical and drug policy, well-known to all medical science journalists for one, but I forget we don't really have any in South Africa to speak of. A dark chapter in a never-ending history of scandals and iatrogenic (you will have to look that up BD, not that you will) killings and maimings that Big Pharma is responsible for. Haven't you heard of thalidomide, progestin, Vioxx, PPM, bupropion,venlafaxine etc etc? No probably not anything but thalidomide, or you don't somehow thing it relevant?, Just because Big Pharma has killed and maimed people in the past in the name of health care doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing now with ARVs, right?

a brief overview of the affair
pasted below:


A study aimed at showing whether a single dose of an AIDS drug could prevent mothers from passing the virus to their newborns was so sloppily run that it should be disregarded, a fired oversight expert said on Tuesday.
Dr. Jonathan Fishbein, who is disputing his dismissal by the National Institutes of Health, says he is a whistle-blower being victimized because he shed light on careless practices by doctors testing drugs in Africa.
The NIH says his allegations are false and endanger the lives of babies because people will be afraid to use a valuable drug.
The trial of more than 1,000 mothers and newborns in Uganda was the main basis for using a single dose of the drug, Boehringer Ingelheim's nevirapine, to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus.
Nevirapine is also widely used in cocktails of HIV drugs that keep patients with the incurable infection healthy.
A committee of experts at the Institute of Medicine has been asked to determine if the trial was so flawed as to make the data useless, and thus force a reassessment of the practice of giving HIV-infected mothers a dose of the drug to protect their babies.
On Tuesday Fishbein told them that he did not trust any of the findings from the 1997 to 1999 trial, called HIVNET 012.
"HIVNET 012 is a study so poorly conducted that its data must be rendered invalid as a matter of law, policy and human health," Fishbein told the committee.
Under questioning, Fishbein said even laboratory tests done to show whether infants had become infected with the AIDS virus should be disregarded.
Fishbein said investigators focused only on showing nevirapine works overlooked its often dangerous side-effects.
"African life, it would appear, is not to be regarded as highly as American life," Fishbein said.


Since Fishbein was a high-ranking official at the NIH before he got fired for not follwing the game plan, being a team-player, he forgot that he was supposed to serve the interests of multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical firms after all, since Fishbein was and is very much a firm believer in HIV/AIDS science, he's no AIDS dissident or denier, I wonder what the point is of your dumb questions Mike?

Why don't you ask Fishbein if he believes HIV causes AIDS, merely because he exposed sloppiness and cover-ups in a nevirapine and AZT trial that seriously harmed mothers and severly harmed their babies' health, many later died. For which Fishbein has earned accolades from numerous med scientists from around the world for his whistle-blowing (those not working for drug companies). Maybe BD who doesn't understand nor know about any of this, wants to ask Fishbein if he is on amphetamines too?

Below taken from the documents page at HonestDoctor:

Fishbein was vindicated by the NIH Director’s Report (Ruth Kirschstein) to Deputy Director, NIH in 2004. This report, prepared at the direction of E Zerhouni Director, NIH, vindicates Jonathan M. Fishbein, M.D. of wrongdoing and describes the NIH Division of AIDS (DAIDS) as “a troubled organization.” Dr. Zerhouni knowingly withheld this vital document from Congress for nearly a year while allowing NIH officials to continue unjustified termination proceedings against Dr. Fishbein. Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman, U.S. Senate Labor, HHS Appropriations subcommittee requested information on the Fishbein case in a July 3, 2004 letter. Dr. Zerhouni responded to Chairman Specter in a September 14, 2004 letter, never informing him that his own internal review had found Fishbein’s allegations of misconduct at DAIDS to be credible and his termination unwarranted. NIH hid this favorable report from Dr. Fishbein and his lawyer even though it should have been produced through both the FOIA process and the EEO discovery process.



and what of the cover-up in the Uganda trial itself? Boehringer Ingelheim itself was critical of the Uganda trials. Of special note is the hand-written instruction on the first page by an NIH official directing the report "to be destroyed when audit is upon us."
details here

Here is an article from the Boston Globe about the orchestrated cover-up by the NIH

from the above pasted below:

Fishbein, a private sector safety specialist, was hired by the NIH in 2003 to improve the safety of its AIDS research. He alleges that he was fired because he raised concerns about several studies and filed a complaint against one of the division's managers alleging sexual harassment and a hostile workplace.

In a series of developments relevant to the internal review, the news media have reported that:

An NIH AIDS study in Africa violated federal safety regulations.

Senior NIH managers engaged in sexually explicit pranks and sent expletive-laced e-mails to subordinates.

NIH-funded researchers have used foster children to test AIDS drugs since the late 1980s.

An internal report, written on Aug. 9, 2004, by a special adviser to NIH chief Elias A. Zerhouni but never made public, raised concerns that the NIH's efforts to fire Fishbein at the very least gave the ''appearance of reprisal."

The report says no documentation was ever provided to Fishbein suggesting poor performance until after he expressed concern about the safety of one sensitive AIDS study and filed a formal complaint alleging that the division's deputy director was acting unprofessionally with subordinates.

The report said after formally filing a complaint about the conduct of the deputy director, Dr. Jonathan Kagan, Fishbein was inexplicably forced to begin reporting to Kagan, who then went ahead with efforts to fire Fishbein. The report said Kagan and the division's director, Dr. Edmund Tramont, acknowledged that Kagan ''uses sexually explicit and colorful language, saying that no one ever complained until" Fishbein did.

Fishbein's lawyer, Stephen M. Kohn, said Friday that he had not seen the report, but he hailed its conclusions.

''NIH's internal admissions are unprecedented and damning. Dr. Fishbein was right; NIH must fix its troubled management and stop harassing the whistle-blowers," Kohn said.


and here for the report from Dr Betsy Smith, an independent reviewer expert called in from the US NIH Division of AIDS to examine the detailed protocols of the HIVNET 012 Uganda trial, her report is scathing and vindicates Fishbein, included in her report, documents failure to properly register infant deaths timeously including in at least one case for more than a year after death, failure to follow-through adequately on case studies, failure to properly report on adverse side-effects in accordance to protocols, improper and incomplete records and more, and thus that the entire trial's scientific worth is thus rendered void, the safety and efficacy of nevirapine seriously (never mind AZT) called into question.

Maybe BD wants to ask Dr Betty Smith, independent expert reviewer for the US NIH DAIDS if she is on amphetamines. Maybe Mike wants to know if she believes that HIV causes AIDS.

What about the Joyce Ann Hafford case in the US? She died from liver failure from nevirapine, admitted to by senior AIDS experts at the NIH.

What about the reports from the NIH's Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) to researchers in late August 2003 after Hafford's death, detailing liver complications that could arise from use of the drug, like you know fatal liver toxicity that kills and in an agonising way. Maybe BD wants to ask the NIH PACTG if they are on crack, and maybe Mike wants to ask them if they believe that HIV causes AIDS.

Have you guys heard of something called the peer-reviewed medical literature and medical reports issued from university and research institutes?
Well this may surprise you because of course you don't read the literature (why would you when you can get your info from Nathan Geffen and the other morons at the TAC), but there are published papers documenting nevirapine toxicity written up by REAL medical scientists who have examined the effects of this drug (never mind other ARVs like AZT) on real human beings including its effects on newborn infants.

High rates of severe liver and dermatological toxicities are well-known to researchers, all are life threatening and some have proved fatal, The FDA issued special safety alerts about nevirapine in 2000. The Guay study of the HIVNET trial recorded an 80% rate of “laboratory abnormalities” for mothers and a 20% rate of “serious adverse events” in newborns in both the Nevirapine and AZT groups. These infants had blood and tissue infections, pneumonia, blood cell death, severe rash and insufficient oxygenation of bodily tissues.

On account of its severe toxicity, nevirapine is categorised by the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) in its register of approved drugs for prescription "under exceptional circumstances" only, and only to persons with pronounced immunological and/or clinical deterioration.

In 2001 the US Centers for Disease Control contraindicated the administration of nevirapine even for short-term treatment as an anti-HIV prophylactic to medical workers suffering from accindental needle-stick injuries, in view of reports by the FDA's drug toxicity reporting system of the drug's severe acute hepatic (that's liver BD) toxicity, in at least one case requiring liver transplant!!, after an average of just two weeks on nevirapine!

But maybe BD wants to ask the researchers concerned at the FDA and the EMEA if they are on amphetamines and maybe Mike wants to ask them if they believe that HIV causes AIDS.

Nevirapine is a chemotherapeutic drug and is categorised as such - all chemotherapeutic drugs have significant cytotoxic activities.
It is hardly conventional to administer chemotherapeutic drugs to pregnant women or neonates, in view of their known adverse side effects.
THIS IS WHY nevirapine is not licensed for perinatal administration in the US, Europe or Canada, or in any other first world country, still (as far as I am aware)! It is illegal for doctors to prescibe this drug to HIV positive perinatal women in these nations outside of approved experimental trials, it is a criminal offence punishable by the law!! No I am not making this up. At least this was the case two years ago, last I checked, I don't know of any change...

As for the much vaunted US FDA - a massive recent (a few years ago) survey reveals that agents come under pressure to greenlight the use of drugs whose safety and efficacy are dubious and unproven, there are billions of dollars at stake in the Pharma industry after all, this article from the WASHINGTON POST exposes the ugly facts...

Many FDA Scientists Had Drug Concerns, 2002 Survey Shows
By Marc Kaufman

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 16, 2004;

Almost one-fifth of the Food and Drug Administration scientists surveyed two years ago as part of an official review said they had been pressured to recommend approval of a new drug despite reservations about its safety, effectiveness or quality. The survey of almost 400 scientists also found that a majority had significant doubts about the adequacy of federal programs to monitor prescription drugs once they are on the market, and that more than a third were not particularly confident of the agency's ability to assess the safety of a drug.

The results of the survey, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, appear to support some portions of the controversial Senate testimony last month by FDA safety officer David J. Graham. The 20-year agency veteran told senators that the FDA was unable to keep some unsafe drugs off the market, and that scientists who dissented about drug safety and effectiveness were sometimes pressured and intimidated.

Graham's testimony, at a hearing into the sudden withdrawal from the market of the arthritis drug Vioxx, put a spotlight on the FDA's safety and management record. Top FDA officials later criticized Graham's testimony as inaccurate and unscientific, but the survey results indicate that some other agency scientists share similar views. "I think this provides evidence that among the reviewing scientists at FDA, their experiences mirror the testimony I gave before Congress," Graham said yesterday. "It also shows the unfortunate experience of many mirrors what happened to me when I tried to bring safety issues to my managers and the American public."

The complete survey will be made public today by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, two public interest groups that received the documents through the Freedom of Information Act process. The Washington Post obtained a copy yesterday. When the inspector general's report on the effectiveness of the FDA's drug review process was released in March 2003, administration officials focused on the conclusion that FDA reviewers and drug sponsors "have confidence in the decisions FDA makes." The report also highlighted the agency's effectiveness in reducing the time it takes to review a new drug approval.

The survey was conducted as part of the inspector general's inquiry, but only parts of it were included in the report. The dissenting voices of some FDA scientists were not generally represented in the study, by former inspector general Janet Rehnquist. In a statement, the FDA said yesterday that the study showed that overall, "FDA medical reviewers found their work at the agency to be rewarding -- a result consistent with many other quality of workplace surveys conducted throughout the government which have shown that FDA workers are proud of the agency and the service it provides to the American people."

While the final inspector general's report emphasizes the agency's successes, the survey, conducted at the FDA's request, found underlying concern and discord. For instance, 36 percent of scientists said they were only somewhat confident, or not confident at all, in the FDA's decisions regarding drug safety. When it came to drug effectiveness, 22 percent of scientists said they were only somewhat confident, or not confident at all, in the agency's decisions. As described in the report, drug manufacturers reported significantly greater confidence in both categories.

Some of the most dramatic Senate testimony that Graham delivered involved what he described as efforts by FDA supervisors to silence him and pressure him to limit his criticism of the safety of some drugs. In the survey, 63 of 360 respondents -- 18 percent -- said they had been "pressured to approve or recommend approval for a [new drug application] despite reservations about the safety, efficacy, or quality of the drug."

Similarly, 21 percent of survey respondents said the work environment at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research either allowed little dissent or stifled scientific dissent entirely. Steven K. Galson, acting director of the center, has acknowledged some problems regarding safety reviews and the handling of internal scientific dissent at his agency but has described them as limited. Nonetheless, the agency last month asked the congressionally chartered Institute of Medicine to look into the FDA's system for assessing drug safety.

The FDA drug reviewers were also highly skeptical of the agency's ability to monitor the safety of prescription drugs once they are on the market. In all, 6 percent said they were "completely confident," 28 percent said they were "mostly confident," 47 percent said they were "somewhat confident" and 19 percent said they were "not confident at all." Rehnquist's report found that some FDA reviewers believed that the speeded-up process for reviewing drugs required by Congress was causing morale problems among overworked scientists. More than half of respondents said they did not think there was sufficient time to conduct an in-depth, science-based review in the six months required for drugs given "priority" status.

Graham, who participated in the inspector general survey, said he had never seen the complete survey results before. The findings are consistent with a 2001 study conducted by Public Citizen's Health Research Group



maybe BD wants to know if veteran FDA safety officer Graham is on amphetamines and maybe Mike wants to ask him if he believes HIV causes AIDS.

But don't let any of this bother you, heck you have all been calling for nevirapine and AZT to be given to pregnant women for years, calling anybody opposing it an idiot or worse, and now you would have to admit that maybe you don't know what you are talking about, and whose ego can handle that?

I mean the TAC must know what they are talking about, doesn't Zackie Achmat have a degree in English or something? I mean the media must know what they are talking about, the editors and journalists are well versed in medical science, right? Just like when they pronounce on the Middle-East...And we all know the politicians in the DA know everything about ARVs, and would never put the interests of big business ahead of the poor. You people are so super-naive. Oh yeah you are also clueless re the science. You mean you didn't read the above (everything I mention) in the Star nor the Cape Argus nor Business Day? excuse the base slang but all I can say is....well like duh.

Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, what does that mean? Who here has a fucking clue? Can anybody tell me why that alone should send alarm bells ringing to anybody remotely concerned with the health of patients being prescribed these drugs (pregnant women or otherwise), to anybody remotely knoweldgeable of basic genetics, inclusive of knowledge re endogenous microRNAs and basic microbiology and cellular physiology - a knowledge none of you obviously possesses, not at all. I don't want to be rude, but I want to be frank. There is a lot at stake here, people's fucking health and well-being, their LIVES and you don't have a clue. You are like little kids playing with loaded guns and you don't know that they are guns and loaded with real bullets.

What about those med scientists who know the science and greenlight all this anyhow? You have got to look deeper at a groupthink mentality and old boy network, do whatever you are told by the higher-ups, remember what's good for business, never mind follow the fucking the vast majority of doctors frankly are clueless, they don't know anything pertinent here.

Steve writes:

"Lawrence, I make bold to say that my position on this issue has been informed by those amongst us who, in the pursuit of developing a better life for all, reject the snake oil and quakery theories represented by those who presume to mistake phantom ships riding on the ocean for the real thing."

Agreed re the Mathias Raths of the world (and the like), a quack if ever there was one. However when it comes to snake-oil salesmen you ought to take a good look at Big Pharma, their track record is atrocious. Often when Big Pharma and their paid up whores in the med science field speak of snake-oil salesmen they are engaging in simple projection.

Steve you have been informed by those amongst us blabla in pursuit of a better life blabla, this is frankly poppycock, who has informed you exactly? Can you say? I mean reps for BI, Glaxo or Merck? or the med scientists working for them? or getting grant money from them, or put under pressure directly or indirectly by colleagues and the like to "play ball"? Or those at the MCC and SAMA and med school profs who never would rock the boat, that would make their professional lives hell, intolerable, and who wants that? I mean principles give me a break! Plus doctors and many med scientists don't have a great track record when it comes to independent thinking, not good for business anyhow. They need their grant money, research funds, safe tenure, nice practice as the case may be - don't let unpleasant scientific facts, even very basic ones, get in the way of making a good living. And the vast majority of doctors know nothing.

As for the African poor, fuck em, plenty more where they came from, breed like rats anyway, too many of them, think of this as a eugenic experiment (doctors and many scientists were the staunchest eugenecists Mike and Steve did you know that?) and unlike back in the good old days where we could call these inferior specimes what they were, now we can call this a life-saving endevour to help the poor and underpriveleged, the liberals who always say they want to help the poor will hail us, whilst at the same time we destroy their health, even their very lives and we portray ourselves as saints and heros in the process, the media will venerate us and we make big money for massive mulinational Pharma companies - we kill a couple of birds with one stone, ain't that sweet? And we trot out the old man Mandela who believes whatever he is told like all the other sheep, I mean with Mandela on our side we got it made, and if anybody begs to differ, well we have the media on our side, never mind the entire med establishment, so we just call them Nazis, AIDS deniers, always works.

[Please note - the above is SARCASTIC, but I am trying to make a point that will go over most everybody's heads frankly]

Derikboy brings up some interesting and important points that I am well aware of, although it is far more complicated than he is aware of....But this is another matter and I don't have the time, I am neglecting important work to write all this up, I hope some people appreciate it.

As for my profession Steve, for a number of reasons I will not disclose that.


I have not taken the time to search out some of your comments from a year back and delete them.

I don't know what you are talking about, nor am I very interested. Nothing was deleted by myself or by Mike.

Your conspiracy theory about Nathan and Doron getting us to remove your views is beyond all imaginations of lunacy.

Your insults grow increasingly childish but knowing where they come from I remain unaffected by your vulgar slander.

Generally I'd offer to investigate if it had been remarked as spam, which I bet is the case, but given the rude manner in which you talk down to me I'd rather not waste my time.


well given how buddy buddy you have been with Geffen in the past, it's certainly not beyond "the imaginations of lunacy", even if I admit far-fetched. So my apologies. After all Geffen is a bully and a liar, so it is not beyond the "imaginations of lunacy".

yes given the urls on the original post, it is conceivable that it was removed as spam.

However with that said, let's face it, the fact that you remain/ed on speaking terms with Geffen and his ilk from the TAC after his attacks on you and Mike, this is simply lame. If you had told Geffen and Isaacs to get lost after that whole broohaha way back when, I would never have entertained such far-fetched speculations in the first place.

Are you still so buddy buddy Steve with Geffen and Isaacs? Oh wait I don't care to know.

Glad to know you are unaffected by my vulgar slander Steve, unlike the babies and adults on ARVs who are definitely affected by them. Many of them end up permanently harmed or dead even, based on inadequate Russian roulette testing. Let's not forget that.


Incredibile la frase, mi piace:)


Riesige Danke, wie ich Sie danken kann?

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