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Expensive Beliefs

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. – Ambrose Peirce
Posted: June 7th, 2011 | By Bruce Gorton

The document is 15 chapters long, so it would take too long to answer it line by line. Instead I am doing the bits that leaped out to me.

Translation: Read the whole thing before taking my word for it.

Okay the preface:

It recognizes the reality that there are many people and institutions across the world that have a vested interest in the propagation of the HIV/AIDS thesis, because they have too much to lose if any important element of this thesis is proved to be false.

It accepts that these include the pharmaceutical companies, which are marketing anti-retroviral drugs that can only be sold, and therefore generate profits, on the basis of the universal acceptance of the assertion that “HIV causes AIDS”.

It also accepts that among those that share the vested interests of these companies are governments and official health institutions, inter-governmental organisations, official medical licensing and registration institutions, scientists and academics, media organisations, non-governmental organisations and individuals.

This sets of flashing warning lights to me. Why? Because if you look at climate change denialism, or the anti-vaccine movement or creationists or heck, even the tobacco lobbies you will get something along these lines – the other side has vested interests while we don’t.

The whole idea is to make the opposition out to be some sort of global conspiracy. Its about all you can do when they have the facts while the denialist camp does not. If you dismiss all sources of data right from the get go – then you have no data.

It recognizes that there are many well-meaning institutions and individuals in our country and the rest of the world who have innocently accepted and propagate the positions advanced by those who share these vested interests.

So either I am an evil corporate stooge selling poison for the evulz, or I am a dupe. Nice.

It also accepts that the HIV/AIDS thesis as it has affected and affects Africans and black people in general, is also informed by deeply entrenched and centuries-old white racist beliefs and concepts about Africans and black people. At the same time as this thesis is based on these racist beliefs and concepts, it makes a powerful contribution to the further entrenchment and popularisation of racism.

The AIDS virus was first found amongst gay white men. In South Africa the apartheid government was largely Christian, and not too fond of gay people. It left the disease to run its course with thoughts like “wages of sin” in mind. It didn’t stay a gay disease long and so it struck the general population.

In a way it reminds me of the central truth of Steve Biko’s concept of ubuntu – because the disease was seen as affecting a population the government of the day frowned on, it was ignored. But an injury to one is an injury to all – and viruses don’t much care about the preferences of those they infect.

Anyway after this we went through a period of social transition in which our ability to respond was reduced, and after that a period of outright denial. That is why we have such a problem with HIV – even as the rest of Africa has made strides in getting the disease under control.

It accepts that a Syndrome is a collection of diseases. It proceeds from the assumption that the collection of diseases generally described as belonging to the AIDS syndrome have known causes.

In other words, it accepts that AIDS is either a syndrome or a disease. It cannot be both. Its acronym correctly describes it as a syndrome. For this reason, it is not described as AIDD.

Actually a syndrome would be more accurately described as a collection of symptoms. So yeah, something can be both a disease and a syndrome.

It accepts the proposition that currently existing kits used to check the existence or otherwise of HIV give a “positive” result in response to a variety of medical conditions.

Accordingly, it accepts the assertion that these kits do not establish the presence or absence in the human body of HIV.

And that is why all positive results are followed up with a second test – when two tests are combined the chance of a false positive falls to 0.1%.

It rejects the argument to “break the silence” about AIDS by imposing the silence of the grave about diseases of poverty.

Fighting AIDS does not imply ignoring poverty. What the document is saying here is about as logical as arguing that we will fight poverty by eliminating animal rights activists.

It argues that an all-round approach should be adopted to deal with all diseases that affect our people.

It is based on the proposition that each one of our citizens has a responsibility to take all necessary measures to protect his or her health.

The big picture approach sounds very good right up until you realise that for a lot of diseases – there are specific cures. Anti-biotics, not carrots cure bacterial conjunctivitis.

The next fifteen chapters are going to be coming a day at a time for just over two weeks.

 
 


Comments

 

s.viddo.Ngcobondwana

June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

although the document is too long ,i think it will be helpful to publish the whole document so that those who accuse Thabo Mbeki of being a denialist can learn one or two things about the virus.
What amazes me about this document is that it is approximately 10yrs old but is still very relevant.
Can you also please invite some of the doctors who have done some comprehensive work on virology to coment on the document so that we can see where these facts are disputable.
Would please also read the following 2 documents, namely(1)The origins of HIV (2)Aids made in America.
Although these documents can be dismissed as the work of conspiracy theorist,but the uethencity of the cotnent can not be easily dismissed.Please do me that fafavour Mr G.

 

Bruce Gorton

June 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

s.viddo

I linked to it on wikisource.org.

 

Snout

June 9, 2011 at 4:03 am

It’s clear even from the preface that the author is confused at a fundamental level about what AIDS even is.

“It accepts that a Syndrome is a collection of diseases. It proceeds from the assumption that the collection of diseases generally described as belonging to the AIDS syndrome have known causes. It rejects as illogical the proposition that AIDS is a single disease caused by a singular virus, HIV. In other words, it accepts that AIDS is either a syndrome or a disease. It cannot be both. Its acronym correctly describes it as a syndrome. For this reason, it is not described as AIDD.”

This is muddle-headed nonsense.

In medicine a “syndrome” describes a group of phenomena that tend to occur together, implying a common aetiology. A “disease” is an abnormal bodily state or process. In practice the two terms are often used interchangeably to describe a given clinical presentation.

AIDS is a single disease of the immune system. AIDS-defining conditions are indicators or signifiers of that disease of the immune system, in the same way that symptoms and signs can be indicators or signifiers of other diseases.

It seems that Mbeki and/or the authors of “Castro, Hlogwane” never got past this basic semantic confusion, which was actively propagated by Duesberg, Rasnick, and other the other denialist sources he relied on to formulate his views on this “vexed question”.



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