Friday, April 29, 2011

The ‘Berlin Patient’, Curing AIDS? Curing HIV?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/04/17

A few days ago Michael Geiger sent an alert about a story in Vienna Review that is remarkably evenhanded about AIDS Rethinking and HIV Skepticism:
Vienna Review is by and for budding journalists, and it is very heartening to see such evidence-based writing in this type of publication.
The Berlin patient had been in the news some time ago, ballyhooed as pointing to a potential cure (!) for HIV/AIDS, albeit at the cost of bone-marrow transplant, which might well be worse — or at least more immediately fatal — than the disease. At any rate, last December David Crowe had written an insightful debunking of that ballyhooing:
As the title suggests, Crowe points to the need to distinguish between “AIDS”, which does exist albeit in differently defined guises over the years, and “HIV”, which may or may not exist but certainly doesn’t cause AIDS.
That essential distinction is continually and deliberately blurred by mainstream’s vigilantes, perhaps most obviously in their propaganda against “AIDS denialism”.

An ever-present difficulty is that there’s too much to try to keep up with. I have a  Google Alert set for “HIV”, and it brings about a dozen items a day on average, far too many of which deserve comment. The Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society news page mentions some of the most noteworthy items. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice (OMSJ) also comments on noteworthy news; and it has very heartening reports on its successes in defending individuals charged with “HIV”-related “crimes.
But it’s necessary also to keep reading in the tidal waves of the mainstream HIV/AIDS literature whose many inadequacies deserve to be ferreted out. Just now I have a pile of stuff about “treatment” to wade through.
My background in science studies makes me also very interested in the wider context of HIV/AIDS matters. As I learn more about current circumstances as well as continuing trends in medical science and practice, it seems increasingly clear that the flaws in mainstream HIV/AIDS matters are mirrored in much of drug-centered practices in medicine. A correspondent led me recently to start reading about treatments of mental illness, and to look at the psychiatric Bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, now in its fourth edition (DSM-IV). Anyone who has wondered whether perhaps psychiatric practice might be based on pseudoscience will find the answer there, in the resounding affirmative. One reason so many kids are being prescribed Ritalin and the like nowadays is because the criteria for diagnosing “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” (pp. 83-85) read like an accurate description of what untutored lay people regard as the normal activity of healthily lively young boys.

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