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What Is AIDS?
“There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear” (Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth)
(Note: This article is based on the groundbreaking research and insights of investigative researcher/journalist Liam Scheff , original work by The Perth Group, insights of Cal Crilly and Janine Roberts, whose work Mr. Scheff has cited at the Reduce The Burden website, http://www.reducetheburden.org, and those of Robert Cathcart, Thomas Levy, and Irwin Stone.)
AIDS. A word that elicits intense fear, loathing, and/or sorrow anywhere on earth. A new plague. And it’s real. Millions have died from it. Millions are still sick and dying from it. But what is it, really?
This seems like such a simple question, since AIDS is a household word worldwide. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. But what you find in the medical research literature, if you look carefully, is that it is not a simple question at all. The public image is not the reality of the syndrome.
What is the image, and what is the reality?
Image: The common understanding seems simple. They say you get AIDS by getting infected with a virus called HIV. They say the HIV tests detect this retrovirus. They say that it’s transmitted by sharing intravenous drug needles or having unprotected sex with HIV-positive partners. Especially if you’re gay, black, Latino, Asian, or poor.
Reality: There’s something really wrong here. Infectious diseases can’t know your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or social class. But the HIV tests really are weighted this way. HIV testers usually counsel straight white middle class people who test positive that it’s probably a false positive, and always counsel gays, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and poor people to take the drugs. So what’s going on here?
There’s more. The HIV tests don’t actually measure any virus. They are actually tests for a pattern of antibodies (immune system proteins) that is "typically" found in AIDS patients. There’s a problem: it is also a pattern caused by other diseases and conditions, such as herpes, candida, parasites, alcoholism, drug abuse, influenza, syphilis, and even ordinary, healthful pregnancy. And there is no clinical evidence that someone with a positive HIV test will ever get AIDS, and some people who are HIV positive never do get AIDS. And the HIV tests actually even state this in their literature.
Wait, there’s more. When Robert Gallo said he found what he called "HIV" in the blood samples of AIDS patients, he said he also found it in their saliva. But then he said it can’t be transmitted by coughing or kissing. How is it possible for a virus to be transmitted sexually, but not in saliva?
And more. In 1997 a scientist named Dr. Nancy Padian completed a 10-year study of HIV transmission. Among the 47 couples who remained in the long follow-up study, one of whom was HIV-positive and the other HIV-negative and used condoms only intermittently, none of the HIV-negative partners became HIV-positive. None. Her conclusion was that “Infectivity for HIV through heterosexual transmission is low.” Why didn’t the world find out about this study?
Image: The Viral Load tests indicate the progression of AIDS.
Reality: The Viral Load tests, like the HIV tests, do not detect viruses or disease progression. They measure the level of "RNA particles" - the immune system's reaction to infection and other trauma. A high "viral load" test is an indication that the immune system is fighting any infection. Someone who is effectively fighting off a cold or influenza will have a high "viral load." It is not a measure of illness.
There is only one effective test of whether you have a compromised immune system: your CD4 T-cell count. Normal counts are 400-1600. When you have a cold, flu, or other illness such as mononucleosis it will often drop dramatically.
Image: The AIDS drugs slow or stop AIDS progression.
Reality: The life extension attributed to these medications is illusory. AIDS pharmaceutical medications initially appear to be “life-saving” or “life-extending” because they are biocides – they kill bacteria and fungi because of their general toxicity. These drugs are extremely toxic, and are extremely harmful to the immune and internal repair systems of the human body. And like other toxic medications used in the past such as mercury, the AIDS drugs appear to cause temporary remission of symptoms. But the anti-retroviral medications (such as AZT and Combivir) are DNA terminators, a class of drugs that destroy the body's cell reproductive ability. Eventually they kill the patient by destroying bone marrow that produces the body's blood supply. The synthetic protease inhibitors (such as Kaletra) interfere with normal connective tissue creation and repair, creating deformed tissue and muscle wasting. These medications actually cause and promote the disease progression commonly associated with AIDS..
Image: AIDS is a death sentence disease, and nothing else is effective against it.
Reality: It is not a death sentence. Proper nutrition, in combination with intensive natural therapies that boost the immune system and stop disease progression, are effective in treating immune deficiency, to overcome infection, and to restore white blood cell counts to healthy levels. For example, see http://www.healthy-again.net/immunedisorders.pdf
What do we have here? We have a series of very serious contradictions in the HIV-AIDS connection. The AIDS mainstream scientists and health officials are very quiet about it. The AIDS “dissidents” waffle between “HIV and AIDS don’t exist” and “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” but none of them do anything to really help people diagnosed as HIV-positive who really are sick.
There is no significant voice for the truth. Here in the U.S., AIDS activist organizations and health centers are funded by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture AIDS drugs. In Africa, funds that were once used for infrastructure projects - sanitation and food independence - have now been diverted to the manufacture or importation of AIDS drugs.
There is another way of looking at it, but it turns this pattern, what we call the HIV-AIDS “paradigm,” upside down.
Back to the drawing board. And back in history. A long time.
First, what is it that we are talking about? AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This is not a “disease” in itself. It’s the inability to fight off disease vectors and toxins, the vulnerability to succumb to them. There are bacteria, funguses (molds), and chemical toxins all around us in the air, in our food and water, and in our contact with others. People who have a strong immune system are able to deal with this; the immune system has numerous ways to stop these invaders from causing disease. People with weak immunity get ill all the time, and need constant antibiotic therapy to keep them from dying. We know that adequate nutrition and sufficient ascorbate - vitamin C - are needed for immune health.
History is filled with stories of deadly diseases, from the deaths of individual young people to the massive plagues of Europe. Why would this happen, sometimes even in cases where people seemed to have sufficient food? Why did some people survive, even though they must have been exposed to the same disease vectors? There are stories about Nostradamus, whose “rose pills” (containing ascorbate) apparently saved hundreds of people from the plague. For those that died, their immune systems were not up to the challenge of crowded living conditions, poor sanitation, contaminated water, and lots of disease vectors all around. (Does this sound familiar? Does this sound like conditions in many parts in Africa today?).
The answer is provided by the works of Albert Szent-Györgyi in 1930, Fred Klenner in 1949 and especially Irwin Stone in 1979. Albert Szent-Györgyi was the first to identify and isolate ascorbate (vitamin C) and identify it as essential to immune health and to recognize that humans and guinea pigs could not synthesize it internally. Klenner provided the first hint of using it for treatment of serious disease: he discovered that polio could be effectively treated - in fact cured - by intravenous ascorbate (vitamin C); he was probably the first physician to use intravenous ascorbate to fight disease. But it was Stone who clearly identified the medical-social problem in his groundbreaking work "Eight Decades of Scurvy." He discovered that the amount of ascorbate consumed by most humans was insufficient to maintain our immune systems: the entirety of humanity was in a state of subclinical scurvy.
This is unfortunately still the case. The title of his article should have been "150 Millennia of Scurvy." The amount of vitamin C recommended by government sources is barely enough to prevent scurvy-induced death during illness.
Lack of immunity - AIDS - is a very old syndrome, dating from the origins of our species. We need adequate food, and especially this one particular nutrient – ascorbate, what we usually call vitamin C – to provide the raw materials for our immune systems. Without eating enough food and ascorbate we fall prey to the mildest bacteria or fungus. Unlike other animals - which synthesize it in their livers or kidneys - we must consume it to survive. Early humans consumed ascorbate by eating vegetation and fruit that had it, or by eating raw animal organ meat. When we migrated from the birthplace of humanity - Kenya - which had food and plenty of ascorbate-laden plants, they faced immune deficiency.
Fast Forward to the “AIDS” era
Fast forward to the 1980s. Scientists at the CDC were looking for the “cause” of what appeared to appeared to be a new communicable disease: AIDS. Hundreds of gay men were very ill and dying.
These researchers did not look at what these young men afflicted with AIDS had been doing to their bodies. They were sick and dying from ordinary fungus or bacterial infections and/or chemical toxicity. They had been living in the “fast lane,” malnourished, ascorbate levels down to near scurvy, consuming and injecting themselves with recreational drugs, and often self-administering daily enemas, which slake off the the colonic mucosa, part of the immune system. They had been taking immune-suppressive pharmaceutical drugs to overcome STDs and other infections. They had used toxic, carcinogenic amyl nitrite “poppers” for sexual enhancement.
But these researchers were not looking for something ordinary. There was a great deal of hysteria surrounding it, combined with a public homophobia. It was at the end of a failed decade-long expedition to find a viral cause of cancer that had been led by Robert Gallo. (Many other researchers had by this time figured out that chemical toxicity caused cancer, not some ephemeral virus.) They needed a new disease and a new disease vector. They were virus hunters. So they looked for a virus, something that could be identified as "the cause" so as to label these gay men as having and transmitting the disease to each other.
When Gallo and Luc Montagnier found some similar-looking virus-like particles (“retroviruses”) in blood and saliva samples from patients suffering from the syndrome, they seized upon them as the “likely cause.” Because of the prominence of Gallo and the hysteria surrounding AIDS, no one asked the obvious questions: Was this cause, or just correlation? Was it possible that these particles were the result of cells under oxidative stress from chemical or disease toxins, and not the cause?
No hard evidence
There was no hard evidence that these particles would actually cause immune system failure. But the medical establishment forged ahead anyway, convinced that they had found the cause of AIDS. To this day, there is still no evidence that these particles cause AIDS. Neither the original AIDS researchers - Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo - nor anyone else has ever isolated large quantities of HIV from diseased tissue or blood. In more than 25 years since Gallo supposedly identified HIV as the cause of AIDS, no one has been able to identify the mechanism by which it acts to cause AIDS.
The HIV tests - Identifying (Misdiagnosing) More Victims
Without any evidence of causation, Gallo suggested a “test” for an immune reaction (antibody) pattern that was similar to that of these very ill men (which he then patented). This pattern is also present for dozens of ordinary illnesses: herpes, candida, parasites, alcoholism, drug abuse, influenza, syphilis, and many other illnesses, and even ordinary, healthful pregnancy. There are two tests now used to "confirm" the HIV diagnosis, but both of them have the same problem. They diagnose that the immune system is challenged (or has been challenged in the past) in some way. Neither of these tests detect any virus, they do not indicate infection with any particular disease, and they do not predict AIDS.
To make matters worse, the HIV tests have sociological interpretation (yes, you read correctly, sociological, I am not kidding). The tests are interpreted based on race, class, and sexual orientation. Never mind that disease vectors cannot know these things, or that the outcome of a medical test should be determined by a strict scientific measurement and not on something sociological. If you are white and middle class, a positive test will likely be discounted, but if you are black, Latino, Asian, or poor, a positive test will be handed to you like a death certificate.
A Toxic Solution to a Presumed Cause
The drug companies, always eager to help out and make a few bucks along the way, offered up a failed chemotherapy drug called AZT (it killed too many cancer patients) to supposedly stop the replication of the supposed - but unverified - causative particles.
AZT seemed to help AIDS patients temporarily – it is toxic enough to kill bacteria, fungus, and everything else in its path – but it also killed the patients, sometimes within a few months. AZT and its slightly less toxic successors harm organs, including the intestines and liver (spawning a new epidemic of hepatitis) and the immune system. In other words, while they do kill infections, they actually cause AIDS rather than alleviating it. Toxic drug Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. They keep the patient alive while slowly killing him or her.
Once AZT and its successors were in use the drug companies had a real thing going. They became the saviors of AIDS patients. AIDS support organizations became cheering squads for the drug companies (including receiving funding from them). And once on the drugs, people were told they couldn’t stop taking them because they would become very ill if they did. This was in fact the case, because the drugs had further compromised their immune systems. A medicinal catch-22.
HIV - What was it, after all?
It wasn’t until years later that some cell researchers began to look into these odd “retroviruses” to find out what they really were. They found that HIV-like particles were in fact generated by cells under stress and degradation, and began calling them Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs). More recently, they have been referred to as exosomes – particles created by cells that appear to be immune system messengers.
These HERVs or exosomes are likely what Gallo and Montagnier had found! They had mistaken causation and correlation. The AIDS patients were extremely ill. Their cells were under stress and producing HERV or exosome particles, and Gallo and Montagnier had interpreted them as causative viruses.
AIDS is a "disease catchment"
So there you have it. What we have here is an industry that has created a public image that matches its goals: a definition of a new deadly plague, millions of people suffering a range of illness and symptoms that have been carefully categorized to fit the definition of that disease - a "disease catchment," an elusive retrovirus identified as the culprit, and generic, fraudulent "HIV" tests that we are told verify infection, which define and enlarge the catchment.
AIDS is just a name given to various combinations of ordinary illnesses, chemical toxicity, and ascorbate levels near zero. In Africa, add the combination of extreme malnutrition, toxic assault from industrial waste, and drinking septic water. The result: ordinary disease, immune deficiency and cell stress. This is interpreted (by the tests, and, in Africa, by a visual illness description called the "Bangui Definition") as HIV positivity or AIDS progression. Toxic drugs are then administered which may kill a current disease vector (notably fungus infection, the most common “AIDS-identifying” illness) but cause long term cellular and immune system destruction.
AIDS: An Enormous Pharmaceutical Fraud
The pharmaceutical companies have made billions of dollars from this new, invented disease. They have created extremely expensive (and extremely toxic) anti-viral and protease-inhibiting drugs, based on the original mistaken/fraudulent identity of the "cause." AIDS activist organizations all over the U.S. have become pharmaceutical drug marketers. Much of the aid money going to Africa goes in the form of AIDS drugs, testing, research into "non-transmission" to other adults and children, and propaganda.
The Answer to AIDS
AIDS is a completely curable syndrome. Resolve any immediate illness with non-toxic antibiotics and/or anti-fungal agents and rebuild the immune system with intense nutritional therapy, and it is no longer a life-threatening syndrome. For people who have not taken the drugs, it may take some time to overcome their real underlying illness and/or toxic exposure. For people who have taken the drugs, it is a longer haul, since their immune and organ systems may be severely compromised: many months of intense therapeutic supplementation and non-toxic antibiotics and especially non-toxic anti-fungal agents to stave off opportunistic infection. For example, see http://www.healthy-again.net/immunedisorders.pdf
This has been confirmed by the work of Gary Null in New York, Ian Brighthope in Australia, Laurence Badgely in California, and Matthias Rath in South Africa, who have successfully treated AIDS patients with intravenous or high-dose oral vitamin C and other nutrients.
In Africa, the current failed cynical strategy of diagnosing malnutrition and ordinary illness as AIDS and administering drugs must be reversed. Instead, aid money must be used to rebuild the food, sanitation, and economic infrastructure to provide people with a healthful environment in which to work and live, and universal provision of therapeutic doses of vitamin C (50-100 mg/kg body weight).
Most animals produce ascorbate in their livers or their kidneys in huge quantities, and create even more when they are under stress. They don’t have to worry about going to the cupboard and taking more when they feel tired or are stressed out, their bodies do this automatically. Wild animals rarely get ill. (They also don’t get heart disease, but that is a matter for another article…).
Unfortunately, we humans have been cursed with a genetic defect. Unlike most animals, we cannot synthesize it from blood sugar. And we now know, as a result of the work of Dr. Robert Cathcart and Dr. Thomas Levy, that the massive amounts of ascorbate typically synthesized in animals under stress is sufficient for humans to fight off most common deadly diseases.
The AIDS dissidents
There are two main “camps” of AIDS dissidents.
Rethinking AIDS is an organization that, for the most part, embraces the hypothesis and writings of Dr. Peter Duesberg, who first challenged the HIV AIDS hypothesis in his classic work "Inventing the AIDS Virus." He says that HIV exists but is a “harmless passenger virus” (whatever that means). He had no explanation of why the particle existed or where the particle came from, and he suggested that the illnesses of gay men had more to do with their lives than any disease vector. To his credit, Duesberg's questioning of HIV probably deterred thousands of people diagnosed as HIV+ from taking the toxic AIDS drugs, sparing them from the deadly spiral of harm to organs and long-term immune destruction. However, he did not suggest any solution to their plight, and he was denounced publicly by AIDS activists and marginalized in his university work. (Oddly, a recent article on the Rethinking AIDS website by Etienne de Harven suggests that the alleged HIV particles seen by Montagnier were HERVs, but then bemoans the fact that none of his compatriots in Rethinking AIDS seemed to understand the issue when he presented it at a conference.). Their primary slogan is "HIV does not cause AIDS," leaving people in the dark about what AIDS really is or what it is caused by.
The Perth Group, centered around dissidents in Perth, Australia, publicly declares that HIV “does not exist” and “cannot be isolated” so that it cannot be the cause of AIDS, and proposed in an early paper (1988) that oxidative stress and ordinary diseases are what AIDS represents. In some ways, this is somewhat in keeping with what I have introduced above, but their argument and research do not address the root cause: ascorbate depletion and malnutrition. Ironically, the primary Perth paper suggests in its conclusion that "prevention, and possibly even cure, may be achieved with the use of appropriate antioxidants" but the discussion never proceeded. They are completely focused on the HIV-AIDS debate itself.
Neither camp really acknowledges the need to focus on immune health - that AIDS is a real syndrome that needs medical attention (specifically, immune enhancement) - leaving one with the impression that they believe that it is just a fiction created by the medical establishment. It's all well and good to correctly state that the diseases attributed to AIDS are really ordinary diseases given a new label, but it leaves the victims out in the cold. As a result, these dissidents are left open to claims by AIDS activists that they are “denialists,” casting them in the same light as Holocaust denialists. I fault both “camps” because neither has much to say regarding helping the millions of people who really are actually sick, suffering, and dying from immune deficiency - the vulnerability to succumb from ordinary illness - now labeled as AIDS.
American Chemical Society, Thinking what no one had thought: Albert Szent-Györgyi and the discovery of vitamin C, http://acswebcontent.acs.org/landmarks/landmarks/hungary/index.html
Robert Cathcart, Vitamin C, Titrating To Bowel Tolerance, Anascorbemia, And Acute Induced Scurvy, Medical Hypotheses, 7:1359-1376, 1981
Peter Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus, Regnery Publishing, 1996
Thomas Levy, Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins, Xlibris Corp, 2002
Janine Roberts, Fear of the Invisible, Impact Investigative Media Productions, 2008
The Perth Group critique of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: http://www.theperthgroup.com/SCIPAPERS/MHMONT.pdf
Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Reappraisal of Aids: Is the Oxidation Induced by the Risk Factors the Primary Cause?, 1988, http://theperthgroup.com/SCIPAPERS/reappraisalofaids.html
The Perth Group: Virus Challenge: http://www.theperthgroup.com/CONTINUUM/VirusChallenge.pdf
Rethinking AIDS: http://www.rethinkingaids.com
Liam Scheff, Reduce The Burden, Cal Krilly, and the HERV revelations, http://reducetheburden.org/?p=3102&cpage=1
Irwin Stone, Eight Decades of Scurvy, Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Volume 8, Number 2, 1979, Pp. 58-62
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