ARE WE WELL INFORMED ABOUT HIV/AIDS?
By Christian Fiala
View the 27 slides and read the transcript below.
The author is a medical doctor working in a general public hospital in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Vienna. He has been engaged in HIV/AIDS since more than 10 years, especially interested in the question: “Are we all in danger of HIV/AIDS?”. He published a book in 1997 with the title “Do we love dangerously?” and numerous articles. He is member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel.
The title of this presentation is “Are we well informed about HIV/AIDS?” It will show some statements which all of you know. These are statements we have heard since 10-15 years. In the notice section you will find facts and data contradicting these statements.
One of the statements everybody knows, is: “An HIV-test shows whether a person is infected with AIDS or not”. It is very interesting to look at the information the producer of the HIV-Test is giving. The company Abbot from the United States, one of the biggest producers of HIV-tests, writes of his own HIV-test: “at present there is no recognised standard for establishing the presence or absence of HIV-antibodies in human blood.” In other words, the producers of the HIV-test, omit there is no way to show whether a person has HIV-antibodies and is infected or not. This is quite a remarkable statement.
See also at: http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/index/hivtests.htm
2.) “We are facing a world-wide epidemic” is another statement all of us know. Let us again have a look at the data. Most of them come from the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations or UNAIDS. Here you see the number of AIDS-cases from different reports of WHO which is increasing over the years. But the total number of AIDS-cases consists of actually reported cases and estimated cases which have never been reported. The number of reported AIDS cases represent the number of actually sick people and this number is very small. On the other hand, you have the estimated number of AIDS cases. This figure does not represent sick people, it has been added by the statistician of the WHO and UNAIDS for estimated underreporting.
Now we will compare over the years the number of actually reported AIDS-cases and the number of estimated cases. This shows us that the increasing number of AIDS in the world is not because there are actually many sick people, but because the statisticians have added more and more “estimated” cases, which nobody has ever seen. In other words, the “world-wide epidemic” is a statistical artefact and happening only in the publications of WHO.
3.) Another phrase we constantly hear is “AIDS is a new disease”. So let’s have a look at the question, what is AIDS? A patient in United States and in Europe has AIDS, if he has one or more diseases out of a list of 30 old, well known diseases together with a positive HIV-test. For example, someone who has tuberculosis and a negative HIV-test: he has tuberculosis. Someone who has tuberculosis and a positive HIV-test is called an AIDS patient since 1993. No wonder AIDS is called a new disease because we have a new definition and instead of calling these patients tuberculosis, some of them are called AIDS patients now. In other words, AIDS is an old disease with a new name.
4) Another phrase you heard is “AIDS started spreading in the early in the 80-es”. So, let’s have a look again at the data. I will show the data from France, but they are very similar for most of the European countries. These data come from the French Minister of Health. Before you start analysing the data, you should be aware of a fact, most of you will ignore: The definition of the disease AIDS has changed several times since the first patient has been given the diagnose “AIDS”. The first definition is from 1985, then we had a new definition in 1987, and another on in 1993. As you can see in the statistic, every new definition let to an increase of AIDS-cases: it is therefore safe to say that AIDS is not a new disease, it is a disease by definition. And we whenever you introduce a new and broader definition you get higher numbers of AIDS-cases.
5.) AIDS is not a new disease, it is a disease by definition. And whenever you introduce a new and broader definition you get higher numbers of AIDS-cases. This is especially the case in United States where the definition of AIDS is different from the definition of AIDS in Europe. In 1993 a new definition has been adopted, which almost doubled the number of reported AIDS cases in United States. If all these new AIDS-patients (the white field in the graph) would take the plane and come to Europe, they would not be called AIDS patients any more because the AIDS definition in Europe is different. Again: “AIDS is a disease by definition”.
6.) Another statement everybody knows and remembers is “Uganda, a small country in Africa, is the epicentre of this world-wide epidemic”. So, let’s have a look on AIDS in Uganda. This is a photocopy of the reporting form for AIDS-cases from the Ministry of Health in Uganda. It should be completed and handed over to the Ministry of Health by a doctor when he has an AIDS-patient. So what do the doctors of Uganda have to fill out when they think they have patient with AIDS. There are two class of signs, major signs and minor signs. An AIDS patient in Uganda has to have two major signs like diarrhoea (at least one month) and weight-loss (no wander that someone has weight-loss after one month of diarrhoea). Furthermore he has to have one minor sign, like itching (not surprising that someone has itching if he lives in poor hygienic conditions). This patient has to be called AIDS following definition used in Uganda and in most other African countries. Also a patient who has tuberculosis with fever, weight-loss and cough for at least one month will be called AIDS. Furthermore I want to underline that an HIV-test is not necessary and is not even mentioned in this AIDS reporting form from Uganda. In conclusion the so-called AIDS cases that are reported from Uganda and other African countries are sick people suffering from old, well known and treatable diseases which are the consequence of poverty. Just to remind you how poor Uganda is: the national budget for health per person and per year is 1.27 $ and only one third of this amount is paid by the government. The other two thirds come from the donations.
7.) But let us have a look at the number of actually reported AIDS-cases from the “epicentre”. Uganda is a very poor country with a population of about 18 to 20 millions. The number of AIDS cases reached a maximum in 1991 with 10.000 patients. That is to say in 1991 there have been 10.000 people diagnosed with fever, diarrhoea, weight loss etc. The number of sick people dropped in the following years. It is difficult to understand why this country has been called the epicentre of a world-wide epidemic.
A copy of the reporting form from Uganda can be found at:
8.) Another headline we still remember is, Uganda will be depopulated because AIDS is ravaging and killing the population. So let’s have a look on the actual situation of the population and it’s growth. As you can see, the number of children per woman remains high. Even in 1995 the average women in Uganda had 6.9 children and the population is still growing. (All these data are from the Minister of Health in Uganda and can be found on their homepage.) So the question arises, how can a supposedly deadly disease ravage in Uganda without any effect on the population and it’s growth? Furthermore it is very difficult to understand why Uganda is called the epicentre of a new disease.
9.) Another tale, everybody of you knows is “HIV is transmitted heterosexually”. Let’s have a look on some data. In Germany in the region of Berlin, Bavaria and Lower Saxony, all women giving birth are screened anonymously for HIV since some years. This gives us some information on the situation in the general heterosexual population. Here is the result of this huge mass-screening: “the result confirms the hypothesis of a minimal spread of HIV among the heterosexual population.” But many of the HIV positive woman came from Africa, leading to the following conclusion: “the low result of HIV positive women we found in Germany are therefore an over estimation of the real situation”. In other words, no heterosexual spread could be documented in Germany after 20 years of spread of HIV.
10.) Another very interesting tale comes from Thailand. We all have been told that Thailand is one of the countries most hit by AIDS. By coincidence Thailand has a high number of sexually transmitted disease, the so called STDs. On this graph you see some data from the Thai Ministry of Health. On the left you see Bangkok with the highest number of sexually transmitted diseases compared to all other regions, whereas Bangkok has a low number of HIV and AIDS cases. In contrast to the northern region of Thailand, which is part of the so-called Golden Triangle, the world biggest opium producer. There you have a rather low number of sexually transmitted diseases but you have a high number of HIV and AIDS cases. This shows that HIV is not transmitted sexually in contrast to all the other well known sexually transmitted diseases.
11.) We often come across the statement that HIV is transmitted heterosexually only in Africa and Asia. This is difficult to understand and would mean that people in these countries have a very different sexuality. Concerning this aspect, we find some very interesting data in a study published by the company Durex, one of the biggest condom producers. The study has been conducted in different countries all over the world and is called “Global Sex Survey”. The authors compared the number of partners, the number of intercourse per year and asked people whether they wanted more sex and whether they wanted more adventurous sex. The results show that United States, France and Germany are world leading in the number of partners and the frequency of intercourse of sex. Not enough with that, people in these countries are also leading when it comes to the desire of more sex and more adventurous sex. Nevertheless WHO/UNAIDS claims that these countries don’t have an important heterosexual transmission of HIV in contrast to Thailand and South Africa. But when you look at the data you find that people in Thailand and South Africa have a rather low number of partners and a rather low frequency of intercourse. But they are apparently more satisfied with their sexuality, as they rarely want more. So the question remains, why should HIV be transmitted heterosexually in those countries with the lowest frequency of sexual activity, as WHO claims?
12.) Another tale that is told goes: “prevention campaigns have been successful and that’s why we have so few HIV/AIDS cases in Europe”. Let’s have a look on some data concerning this claim. I choose Germany, as the people there are said to behave rather rationally in the international comparison. In this diagram you find the number of condoms sold per person per year in Germany. Interestingly this number has not really changed even after the condom campaigns. This makes it difficult to understand how the condom campaigns should have had an impact on the spread of an infectious disease.
13.) Nowadays we hear frequently that the number of AIDS cases decreases because we have such a good treatment. Again let’s have a look on the number of AIDS cases. In this diagram you see the number of AIDS cases in France, which is very similar to most European countries. You can see that the maximum of new AIDS-cases has been in 1993-94. What you should remember is that the new treatment just started in 1996, two to three years later. So everybody who claims the decline in AIDS-cases is due to this treatment, is also claiming that the drugs have been effective two to three years before they even came on the market. It is more likely that the reduction of new AIDS-cases is simply the result of the small number of people at risk to get sick from what is called AIDS.
14.) One question arises after all these data: What are the consequences of the world-wide hysteria of HIV/AIDS? That’s when things get really serious and tragic. Here you see slides WHO/UNAIDS showed at a conference in 1999 in Adis Abeba. (http://www.unaids.org/publications/graphics/addis/index.htm)
This conference had been organised to counsel Finance Ministers of African countries. UNAIDS is asking the question: “How to mobilise far more resources for HIV/AIDS?” and gives the answer right away:
- “One billion or more is needed per year that is a six-fold increased of the money spent actually”
- “To devote more of domestic budget to HIV/AIDS activities”
- “Redirect existing project resources that could be supporting AIDS billions of dollars that are programmed for social funds, education and health projects, infrastructure and rural development”
So UNAIDS is asking Finance Ministers of Africa to cut the budget for all these areas and to sped more money on HIV/AIDS. The consequences of these recommendations can be found in Thailand on the next slide.
15.) Thailand behaved and did what the West said, not like South Africa. So we can study the consequences of the recommendations from UNAIDS/WHO. This slide shows the money spent in Thailand for HIV/AIDS: throughout the years the total money being spent increased dramatically. And the donation coming from the outside countries have been important at the beginning. But then the European and the North American countries reduced their engagements and left Thailand alone with the increasing amount to be paid by the National budget. So the Western is initiating a very expensive process in a developing country and then withdraws when it gets really expensive.
16.) How is it possible that most people still believe in an AIDS-epidemic?
In order to understand this, we have to realise that we are not in a scientific discussion but in a religious one. And we all know that scientific facts and data have no meaning in a religious discussion, i.e. virginity of Mary. This explains why facts are of no importance in the actual discussion about HIV and AIDS. Nobody takes notice of the facts, not the media, not the public and not even most scientists.
17.) But there are some other important aspects in the HIV/AIDS hysteria.
Every society needs some common belief that holds them together. The goal of such a common belief is not to be scientifically true, but to serve as a tool to unify the society. Furthermore this common belief has to be different from the common beliefs of surrounding societies. Therefore they should ideally be in contradiction to scientific facts, to make sure no other society has chosen the same belief. Another aspect of the common beliefs is their changing nature. They can only prevail as long as most people belief in them, whatever the scientific data are showing. Therefore they have to be replaced by a new belief, as soon as the number of heretics is getting too big.
Having these reflections in mind, we can expect the HIV/AIDS hysteria to disappear in a few years. History will add it to the long list of short-lived beliefs of humankind, like the crusades, blood-letting, fear of communist countries and forest dying in Europe.