Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society

David Crowe, President
Phone: +1-403-289-6609
Fax: +1-403-289-6658

Kathleen Newell, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
Phone: +1-403-220-0129

Can We Learn From Parenzee?

Dr. Henry Bauer
May, 2007

The opportunity to question HIV = AIDS dogma in a court of law came about via an Adelaide, Australia news story:
Sex 'doesn't spread HIV':

COLIN JAMES, LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR October 24, 2006 03:12pm

SOUTH Australian prosecutors have been forced to defend claims by a prominent lawyer that the HIV virus cannot be spread by sexual contact. Kevin Borick, QC, yesterday began a four-day hearing in the Supreme Court in a bid to prove HIV – which causes AIDS – is not transmitted sexually. Mr Borick is seeking leave to appeal against the conviction of an Adelaide man, Andre Chad Parenzee, 35, who had unprotected sex with three women despite knowing he was infected with HIV. The case is being closely monitored by state and federal health officials, who are concerned it could undermine more than two decades of public education about the need to practice safe sex. During his opening address yesterday Mr Borick told Justice John Sulan there was "no evidence for sexual transmission of HIV can be found even in the best conducted studies published from the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States of America and Africa". Prosecutor Sandi McDonald told Justice Sulan she would be extensively questioning two "experts" called by Mr Borick about their credentials to give evidence.

In my view, the following points are salient:

The judge’s decision not to grant Parenzee leave to appeal came as a considerable disappointment to me, and doubtless to many others. The transcripts of testimony and cross-examination of mainstream experts showed them to be voicing opinions, not citing pertinent scientific publications. Gallo was evasive as well as offensive, and on cross-examination admitted that the evidence he had published did not constitute proof that HIV causes AIDS. When one mainstream expert e-mailed Nobel Laureat Kary Mullis for support, he received a reply that led to his being called back for further cross-examination, during which he as much as said he did not think anyone should be convicted of transmitting HIV. Altogether, there had seemed to be ample substantive reasons to expect a favorable verdict for Parenzee. What went wrong?

Preamble: The whole HIV/AIDS business, of which the Parenzee case is an integral part, is not a matter of conspiracies. The behavior of certain individuals may well seem egregious and blameworthy, but they are able–or induced or encouraged–to behave like that because of structural features of contemporary medical science and medical practice and the intertwining of commercialism with every aspect of modern life. Trying to assign blame and casting aspersions is not merely unproductive, it is counterproductive, in two respects. First, it makes it easier for ‘the opponents’ to further discredit dissident views; second, it sidetracks dissident efforts from concentrating on the substantive issues and on looking for practical strategies that might, within existing institutional frameworks, force a focus on the scientific evidence, which is overwhelmingly favorable to the dissident case–just so long as the dissident case is seen in minimalist terms: what it is necessary to prove, in order to cast sufficient doubt on HIV = AIDS dogma.

The first newspaper accounts of the judge’s decision not to grant Parenzee leave to appeal included the following:

If Judge Sulan’s decision reflects established standards for scientific testimony in courts of law, then those standards seem incompatible with realities about scientific activity in (at least) two respects:
  1. Opinion; relying on or critiquing the work of others; qualifications in the topic under discussion.
  2. The need for an alternative theory when arguing that a given theory is wrong.
    • “qualifications in the topic under discussion”

      Science studies–the interdisciplinary field comprising primarily but not only history, philosophy, and sociology of science–has long recognized that false trails followed too long by a mainstream orthodoxy can sometimes be corrected only by relative outsiders, who lack the blinkered biases of those working in the mainstream. Famous examples of major advances made by relative outsiders include Mendel’s laws of heredity, Wegener’s notion of continental drift, and Einstein’s revolutionary papers published while he was an obscure patent examiner.

    • “relied upon opinions of others”; “Neither…held practical experience” The previous point applies also here to a certain extent: Wegener relied on the maps drawn by others, and on the geological and faunal and floral facts published by others–he synthesized those in a manner that no one within any of those fields had done. Where evidence from more than a single discipline is pertinent, it is almost necessarily the case that a synthesis be made by a relative outsider.

      Nor had Einstein carried out any of the experiments for which he proposed his revolutionary interpretations.

      Review articles in science are of necessity often written by people who may not have carried out work personally in most or even any of the special areas whose current state they are assessing. Review articles typically rely entirely, or almost entirely, on the published work of others.

      Concerning HIV/AIDS, evidence from several different fields needs to be brought together: from virology, epidemiology, immunology–and, perhaps most crucially, from science studies, which can cite the many earlier instances where medical science went wrong as it has over HIV/AIDS.

    • “failed to give an alternative theory”

      Indeed, a mainstream dogma in science is not usually abandoned until an alternative theoretical framework is available. But that is for practical reasons, and it is not a sound basis for maintaining that the dogma is in fact correct. Dogmas are not ditched to leave a vacuum because scientific paradigms serve to summarize existing facts in a manageable framework and thereby to guide further research, and such a summary and such a guide are needed–even when a dogma is wrong, the further work it stimulates will, sooner or later, bring the evidence that finally gives a clue to a better alternative theory–by serendipity, not by design.

Irrespective of the above, the Sulan decision underscores the need to identify exactly what is necessary to establish sufficient doubt about the HIV = AIDS dogma.

In my opinion, to accomplish this it is not necessary to establish that HIV does not exist, it should suffice if one can establish that HIV is not sexually transmitted so efficiently that it could be responsible for the epidemics of AIDS claimed to be ravaging Africa now and those that ravaged within a few years several relatively isolated communities of fast-lane gay men in metropolitan areas of developed countries. The evidence for lack of efficient sexual transmission exists in ample amount in official data on the prevalence of HIV (more accurately, the prevalence of positive HIV-tests) over the past quarter century; for example, studies of transmission have invariably delivered probabilities on the order of only 1 per 1000.

As to whether any danger is associated with possibly transmitting HIV, the fact that HIV does not cause AIDS is evident from the known thousands of HIV-negative AIDS patients–especially those afflicted with Kaposi’s sarcoma–and from the known thousands of HIV-positive people who have remained healthy for as much as two decades.

Subsidiary points include the evidence that HIV-positive people can revert spontaneously to HIV-negative–notably infants and recovering drug addicts. In devising strategies for legal proceedings, one might do well to concentrate on other than such subsidiary points, however, keeping that ammunition in reserve to defeat prosecutorial cross-examinations.

If there is indeed the need to present an alternative theory, I point without false modesty to the conclusions reached from my collation of HIV-test data [*]:

  1. A positive HIV-test is an entirely non-specific indication of a reversible stimulation of the immune system (a stimulation that remains to be fully understood, but which quite possibly reflects oxidative stress, as the Perth Group have argued).
  2. The likelihood that a given stimulation of the immune system will produce an “HIV-positive” response is mediated by an individual’s age, sex, and race.

Every published fact about HIV can be accommodated by those two postulates, including a large number of phenomena that HIV/AIDS theory is helpless to explain. Furthermore, ample data demonstrate that HIV and AIDS are not correlated: not chronologically, not geographically, not in their relative impact on women and men, not in their relative impact on different racial groups. Back to the Parenzee case, and with relevance to all other similar legal actions. Evidence, fact, scientific considerations may not be decisive in a court of law, for at least the following two reasons.


* Literature citations documenting the evidence referred to above, as well as fuller discussions, are in the book published 27 April 2007: Henry H. Bauer, The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, McFarland.

© Copyright Tuesday, April 24, 2007: Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society and Dr. Henry Bauer.