It was a typical night on excite, meaning I was posting an article I found interesting, this time it was from the New York Times and about the Bush administration not promoting condom use as a way to prevent aids.
When Marriage Kills
I’m not going to pretend I am an expert on AIDS or HIV, lupus and drug interactions I know more about but what I know about both ADIS and HIV is pretty much what is out there on the mainstream media. Then a friend on the board writes a post about HIV being a hoax and provides this link.
Is HIV a hoax?
He’s a very reliable poster not one of the more “web wackos” out there so after a brief discussion I of course become curious. Then you know what happens next….I start reading, with the purpose in mind to prove him wrong, at least initially.
I read a lot of information written by Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati, who believes AIDS can be caused by other agents, and that HIV is a harmless virus. He also feels that AZT and the antiviral drugs are killing people, that AIDS is caused by reactions to drugs and many other toxic things we humans do to our bodies. One part that especially bothered me was his connection to prednisone, something I’ve taken frequently over the past years. I know from personal experience how drugs cause damage to body organs, especially the liver. For me some of the health problems I have now resulted from drugs that were felt necessary to treat other symptoms.
Interview with Dr. Al-Bayati
Then I came across this story. I’ve included it in full because I think it’s an important one:
My Bout of So-Called AIDS by Christine Maggiore
This past March , I had the unsettling experience of being diagnosed with an AIDS defining condition. The news arrived with cruel precision on the 10-year anniversary of my testing HIV positive, coinciding perfectly with the orthodox axiom that we get a decade of normal health before our AIDS kicks in. The diagnosis was based on a grade 3 Pap smear with cervical dysplasia, a result that insinuates cancer. Devastating enough on its own, my HIV positive label added a layer of complication.
As you may know, cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer were added to the AIDS definition in 1993 causing the number of women classified with AIDS to increase notably. Even though some 65,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with cervical cancers, and only a small fraction of these (about .0015%) are among women that test positive, HIV + cervical abnormalities = AIDS.
I imagined Dr. Matilde Krim cackling with delight at this seemingly tragic turn of events. Director of the orthodox AIDS research group AmFar, Krim had pronounced me "delusional" in a national television broadcast last fall for daring to consider myself healthy. According to the good doctor, I am merely enjoying the so-called latency period between testing positive and getting sick. During her interview, she did everything short of wish I would die of AIDS.
As an outspoken representative for alternative AIDS views, a full time mascot for healthy HIV positives, and a new mother for the second time, tackling this challenge was the last assignment I wanted. The diagnosis was totally inconvenient to my life and work. I fell prey to despair, called my husband and sobbed into the phone. Together, we recovered my rationality. I dried my tears and asked the doctor to perform another test.
Given the unreliability of diagnostics in general, and the fact that Pap smear slides are read by lab technicians for a matter of seconds, this seemed a perfectly reasonable request. She refused, however, imploring me to "stop being in denial," and acquiesced only after I politely but unrelentingly insisted. Holding my own was emotionally exhausting, and in the end it felt more as if she were humoring me than respecting my judgment.
The second Pap came back grade 2, a slightly less concerning level of diagnosis. According to my doctor, this suggested the presence of Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, a supposedly contagious condition associated with cervical cancer. Since I have never been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, my husband's never had one, we've been together for six years, and all my previous Paps have been normal, I questioned the new results. My skepticism seemed to reinforce her notions I was lolling in denial. Our conversation turned contentious.
I cited information refuting the HPV/cervical cancer hypothesis, Professor Peter Duesberg's well-referenced deconstruction in particular. I recalled how the assumption that HPV caused cervical cancer had risen to popularity in the late 1970s following the complete failure of the Herpes Virus/cervical cancer hypothesis of the 1960s. That according to studies, half the American adult population is infected with HPV yet only 1 percent of women develop the cancer, and while equal numbers of men and women have HPV, men rarely develop penile cancers.
My doctor responded by recommending I see a specialist.
After much discussion, the new gynecologist acknowledged the presence of HPV only correlates with cervical cancer in some cases, and there is no evidence of a direct, causal relationship.
Both gynecologists agreed I should disregard the second test and consider the one indicating cervical dysplasia to be correct. Both recommended a colposcopy
to prepare for a biopsy, and urged me to act promptly. Instead, I decided to gather other opinions from holistic health practitioners.
In consultation with a naturopath, I determined I would follow the gynecologists' advice and act as if the worst-case scenario were true, that I had cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. Together, we created a protocol that would serve to better my health no matter what diagnosis, if any, were correct. This program included detox, colon hydrotherapy, digestive enzymes, daily juicing, food combining, some new supplements, and regular exercise, something I'd slacked off on since the birth of my daughter. On my own, I added ozone therapy to the regimen.
Life went on as normal, apart from the whirr of the juicer every morning and arranging for childcare during the ozone infusions.
Although I vacillated between dauntless, nervously hopeful and scared, my confidence in what I know about HIV and AIDS did not waiver. What makes sense in times of health makes the same sense in time of health challenge. I felt no temptation to suddenly regard my positive HIV test as an illness in need of treatment. Sometimes I worried how others might interpret or use my situation, but the possibility of cancer did not inspire any panicked denouncing or erosion of what I understand about science, medicine, natural health, HIV and AIDS. If given a choice, I would have preferred not having to deal with another dreaded diagnosis, but as long as life dished it up, I accepted the opportunity to learn.
In August, I had a new Pap smear performed by a third gynecologist. I used an assumed name and did not mention my HIV status. This time the result was normal.
My doctor was at lunch when I called with the good news, so I left a message with the front office manager who was totally unimpressed. She explained, "That happens all the time. Most women get an abnormal Pap after having a baby. We just run the test again and it usually comes back normal. If not, the doctor gives them this little cream and that takes care of it."
Until that moment, neither doctor had mentioned an abnormal test was normal after childbirth, that second smears are routinely performed in such cases, or that there was any "little cream."
I have since discovered that the overwhelming majority of my female friends, all HIV negative, some with children, have received abnormal Pap results like mine. For them, a second test was a matter of course rather than a hard won concession. In every case, their results reverted to normal with no therapy.
Testing HIV positive often means being treated differently, with prejudice, based on unfounded assumptions, and as though well informed decisions are elaborate forms of denial. It seemed the dysplasia diagnosis confirmed my doctors' beliefs about HIV, and my supposed illness was the expected outcome. I felt frustrated, and even humiliated. I had to insist on getting what everyone else receives without discussion, the chance to be a healthy human being until proven otherwise.
Whenever I speak in public someone invariably asks, "If HIV doesn't cause AIDS, why do a lot of people who test HIV positive get sick and die?" I think a better question is: How does anyone who tests positive remain well?
Between the initial devastation of the diagnosis, the subsequent social isolation, dire predictions by doctors, lab tests measuring our remaining time, medical care that assumes our inevitable early demise, AIDS organizations poised to usher us into death, negative expectations of friends, family and the public, constant media reports on the incurable fatal virus, pressure to consume toxic drugs, to regard ourselves as infected, abnormal, and ill, pitches to sell off our life insurance, exchange work for disability, and get a handicapped parking pass, and the orders to keep a safe, latex-covered distance from people we love, I wonder how so many of us manage to live.
According to official definitions, I had AIDS a few months ago. I'll never know if the detox, ozone treatments, and dietary changes "cured" me, if the diagnosis changed along with my name, or as with most women, my cervical abnormalities went away on their own, if they ever existed in the first place. Of one thing, however, I feel certain: My knowledge and convictions prevented me from accepting an unverified diagnosis, engaging in unnecessary invasive procedures, and from believing my ability to live in health had come to a crashing halt.
All too often, our options are limited by medical authorities that encourage us to believe the worst, disregard the facts, deny our intuition, doubt our health, and quietly obey orders. I offer my experience with hopes that those of you also labeled HIV positive will create a foundation of knowledge that supports your choices and that enables you to act in your best interests when faced with life's many challenges.
Christine has become very outspoken in her battle to convince people that you can live well with HIV. There are a lot of articles out there about her and her struggle with this as well as her reaction to her initial diagnosis of HIV back in 1992.
What struck me is I have had abnormal pap smears, exactly as she did. The first time I panicked thinking…cancer…..however mine was just the same as hers shortly after having a child and a subsequent pap smear was an all clear. This was before my lupus diagnosis. Later when it again happened, after a pregnancy even with the lupus I didn’t panic, I merely waited and was retested. Statistics back up that changes do happen with the cervix during pregnancy and that even if a pap smear done shows a problem most doctors wait until after the baby is born. I know first hand doctors treat things with me differently knowing my health history than they do a “normal” person. So I can understand her frustration with the assumption it had to be the HIV.
Then I started on with the next problem with HIV, the deaths of millions in Africa. Is it really AIDS or is it what Africa has faced for decades, malnutrition. For that I turned to the UN for information on malnutrition and diseases, especially with young children.
Infectious diseases are the immediate cause of death for most of the 11 million children under the age of five who die each year in the developing world. But the risk of dying from those diseases is far greater for children who are hungry and malnourished.
The four biggest killers of children are diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria and measles. Taken together, these four diseases account for almost half of all deaths among children under the age of five. Analysis of data from hospitals and villages shows that all four of these diseases are far more deadly to children who are stunted or underweight.
In the case of diarrhea, numerous studies show that the risk of death is as much as nine times higher for children, who are significantly underweight, the most common indicator of chronic under nutrition. Similarly, underweight children are two to three times more likely to die of malaria and acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia, than well-nourished children.
Lack of dietary diversity and essential minerals and vitamins also contributes to increased child and adult mortality. Iron deficiency anemia greatly increases the risk of death from malaria, and vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system, increasing the annual death toll from measles and other diseases by an estimated 1.3-2.5 million children.
Millions of people, including 6 million children under the age of five, die each year as a result of hunger. Of these millions, relatively few are the victims of famines that attract headlines, video crews and emergency aid. Far more die unnoticed, killed by the effects of chronic hunger and malnutrition, a "covert famine" that stunts their development, saps their strength and cripples their immune systems.
Where prevalence of hunger is high, mortality rates for infants and children under five are also high, and life expectancy is low (see map and graphs). In the worst affected countries, a newborn child can look forward to an average of barely 38 years of healthy life (compared to over 70 years of life in "full health" in 24 wealthy nations). One in seven children born in the countries where hunger is most common will die before reaching the age of five.
Not all of these shortened lives can be attributed to the effects of hunger, of course. Many other factors combine with hunger and malnutrition to sentence tens of millions of people to an early death. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which is ravaging many of the same countries where hunger is most widespread, has reduced average life expectancy across all of sub-Saharan Africa by nearly five years for women and 2.5 years for men.
Even after compensating for the impact of HIV/AIDS and other factors, however, the correlation between chronic hunger and higher mortality rates remains striking. Numerous studies suggest that it is far from coincidental. Since the early 1990s, a series of analyses have confirmed that between 50 and 60 per cent of all childhood deaths in the developing world are caused either directly or indirectly by hunger and malnutrition.
Relatively few of those deaths are the result of starvation. Most are caused by a persistent lack of adequate food intake and essential nutrients that leaves children weak, underweight and vulnerable.
As might be expected, the vast majority of the 153 million underweight children under five in the developing world are concentrated in countries where the prevalence of undernourishment is high.
Even mild-to-moderate malnutrition greatly increases the risk of children dying from common childhood diseases. Overall, analysis shows that the risk of death is 2.5 times higher for children with only mild malnutrition than it is for children who are adequately nourished. And the risk increases sharply along with the severity of malnutrition (as measured by their weight-to-age ratio). The risk of death is 4.6 times higher for children suffering from moderate malnutrition and 8.4 times higher for the severely malnourished.
Now after reading that and reading about how AZT and some of the other drugs used to treat AIDS in reality kill cells, is it any wonder why people who are already malnourished are still dying? With the billions we spend not only here but in the world on AIDS, if it is true that malnutrition and weak immune systems are the main cause, wouldn’t that be a better way to not only save lives but at a much lesser cost? It costs more to provide a person with the drugs given than to provide clean water and food.
I’m not sure at this point if it is a hoax or not…but I can definitely state there should be a lot more research done to disprove it or prove it. Just incase the unthinkable is true, and as with other diseases it’s not the disease that will kill you but the cure……
Some other articles I read while doing research on this:
Article about a New York orphanage and AIDS
Article onChristine Maggiore