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Nick Bennett, yes, we're all individuals on the dissident side, with many disagreements as well as many areas of agreement. So what? What does that have to do with anything?
The point of my post was simply to point out to you a plausible explanation for your assertion that Hiv negative people with the same risk factors don't get lowered CD4 counts in some selected studies. We have studies that show that psychological stress causes t-cell depletion. The Hiv+ diagnosis goes well beyond stressful -- it is a hammerblow to the psyche like no other, known to cause suicides, murders, and other unpleasantries. Now that's a situation that should be studied further. I would also theorize that the stressful effect is much worse in Third World people than it is in, say, San Francisco gay men, who often accept the diagnosis in a very blasť fashion since it is considered by many of them to be an important component of gay identity.
For normal people in Thailand or Africa, it's quite different. To them, the diagnosis is a life-ender. Just like that, you get pronounced positive, and your life is over, your hope is gone. All your grand plans, down the toilet. And not only will nobody sleep with you anymore, nobody will want to come near you. They think they will get Aids just by touching you. That's one of the lovely things the Aids establishment has done to the simple people of the Third World by planting the panic of a deadly germ in their minds. You don't need a pac-man virus eating your t-cells. The gossip of your neighbors alone will do you in.
Would Hiv+ people get Aids if they didn't know they were Hiv+, didn't do drugs, didn't have malnutrition, didn't drink from the same water they defecate in? I don't think so. You'd probably consider it unethical to deliberately withhold Hiv+ info from a person. Personally I think it would be extremely ethical. Lots of people don't want to know their Hiv "status." Why not enroll them in an experiment?
People are still presenting in "end stage Aids," are they? You mean they are presenting, not having had a Hiv test? What percentage of people are doing so, and which of the many criteria for defining "Aids" is being used with each person? Which of the many criteria for diagnosing someone "Hiv+" is being used in these end stage cases? I assume you must know they are Hiv+, otherwise, how can you say they have "Aids?" Oh, except if they are African, then under the Bangui definition you can say they have Aids without a test! Or if they are Thai, you can call your "end stage" presenters Hiv+, hence "Aids cases," if they have two positive Elisas from a single blood sample. But they wouldn't be Aids cases in America or Australia, would they? Because there you need to run the more specific test, the Western Blot, as well (requiring four reactive bands for a positive diagnosis in Australia, but only three in the US). Of course, this wouldn't work in England, because there the WB is not considered reliable!
Mr. Bennett, forgive me impertinence, but I suspect that many of your never tested end stage Aids cases are just cases of tuberculosis and other common diseases, relabeled as Aids. Even one of your Aids establishment supporters, Daniel J. Ncayiyana, MD, Editor, The South African Medical Journal, has said:
"I am quite confident in my own mind that many cases identified as AIDS (according to their symptoms) are not AIDS...The numbers given must, of necessity, include people who possibly have other conditions."
--Now Magazine, 9-15 March 2000
Why do you waste precious bandwidth debating whether we are "skeptics," "dissidents," "denialists" or whatever. What does that have to do with anything?
You say that "psychological impacts on physical health, while real, don't result in pneumocystis pneumonia and KS!" Well, that sounds logical re KS, which seems to be connected more to nitrite use than anything else (though I know you guys have blamed it on a new virus, what a surprise!). But couldn't depleted immune cells, caused by the overwhelming, devastating, almost intolerably depressing knowledge that one possesses the "deadly virus" -- that one is essentially a leper as far as the community is concerned -- foster the conditions that might give rise to pneumocystis pneumonia? Help me with that, I'm not a medical person.
I mean, you people have been saying for 20 years that you get pneumocystis pneumonia because Hiv eats your t-cells, right? Why couldn't you get it because stress and depression eat your t-cells?
We (groups like Alive and Well and others) have had many reports from people who, immediately after their positive diagnosis, started getting sick with diseases associated with Aids. It seems unlikely that the slippery little lentivirus could have chosen that precise moment to do his dirty work. It seems more sensible to conclude that such people are suffering from psychological devastation. The fact that some of them then had another test, which came back negative, upon which event their "Aids" symptoms immediately ceased, would seem to strongly suggest that the diagnosis caused their ailments. You have heard of the Nocebo effect, I presume? Is that not a fairly well proven phenomenon?
Yes, as you say, "it seems simpler to invoke a single cause" just as it is simpler to attribute Aids to God's wrath against the sexually uninhibited, as many people do. Or to attribute misfortune to punishment for sins committed in a previous life. But we're not looking for answers that are simple, are we? We're looking for answers that are correct, and can be validated by reference to the real world, not by high tech bean- counting of t-cells, alleged Hiv proteins or other means that are fraught with problems and create self-fulfilling prophecies.
Competing interests: None declared