The Origin of the "Transmission" of AIDS
The transmission of AIDS from person to person is a myth. The homosexual transmission of AIDS in Western countries, as well as the heterosexual transmission of AIDS in Africa and in other underdeveloped countries, is an assumption made without any scientific validation.
Nor is there any logical scientific explanation for AIDS being "transmitted" primarily through homosexual sex in the West and "heterosexually" in poor countries. The sexual transmission of AIDS is an assumption based upon the high frequency with which AIDS occurs in drug addicted gay males in the developed world, and the similar frequency of the syndrome in both sexes within the underdeveloped countries.
Whenever there is an outbreak of a new disease, the first question to answer is: What are the new circumstances surrounding the individuals contracting the new illness.
In the report of the first 5 cases of AIDS to the CDC by Michael Gottlieb in June, 1981, he informed the CDC that "four had serologic evidence of past hepatitis B infection", "two of the five reported having frequent homosexual contacts with various partners", "all 5 patients had laboratory-confirmed CMV disease or virus shedding within 5 months of the diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia", and "all five reported using inhalant drugs, and one reported parental drug abuse" (Gottlieb et al MMWR 1981; 30:250-252).
There is nothing in this report that could suggest a sexually transmissible germ as the cause for the new condition. Homosexuality has existed forever! The new circumstances around the people who were experiencing the collapse of their immune systems was the use of drugs by some members of the gay community in the USA and Europe, use that began in the late sixties and early seventies. The toxic nature of AIDS has been evident since the very first report of the new syndrome. There was no need to posit a microbe as the cause of this new toxic condition.
However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decided, in an editorial note commenting upon Gottliebs report, that "the fact that these patients were all homosexuals suggests an association between some aspect of homosexual lifestyle or disease acquired through sexual contact and Pneumocystis pneumonia in this population" (MMWR 1981; 30:250-252).
Even long before HIV was discovered and proposed as the cause of AIDS, the US Public Health Service decided upon the contagious nature of the new syndrome. On November 5, 1982 the CDC published "AIDS: Precautions for Clinical and Laboratory Staffs" (MMWR 1982; 31:577-580). Four months later the CDC, together with the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, recommended the prevention of AIDS as if it were an infectious and transmissible disease (MMWR 1983; 32:101-104). They decided that AIDS was infectious and sexually transmitted without having any scientific proof for it.
In his recent book Luc Montagnier confesses: "It was in 1982 that AIDS began to capture the attention of researchers. By that time we knew, by the number of reported cases among homosexuals, that we were dealing with a communicable disease." (Montagnier L. Virus: The Co-Discoverer of HIV Tracks Its Rampage and Charts the Future; New York: WW Notton & Co., 2000: page 42).
Robert Gallo, writing about "The AIDS Virus" in 1987, stated: "AIDS is probably the result of a new infection of human beings that began in Central Africa, perhaps as recently as the 1950s", and "it appears that the virus has had more time to spread in Africa than it has had in any other part of the world." Regarding the so-called T-lymphotropic virus III (STLV-III) of African green monkeys, he said: "A plausible hypothesis is that STLV-III somehow entered human beings, initiating a series of mutations that yielded the intermediate viruses before terminating in the fierce pathology of HTLV-III" (Gallo R. Scientific America 1987; 256:47-56).
The above is the supposedly "scientific" basis for the infectious and contagious view of AIDS.
The researchers and the institutions searching for the cause of AIDS in the early 1980s, groups that today continue making worldwide AIDS policies, seam to ignore that there exist epidemics of toxic diseases, epidemics of nutritional deficiencies, epidemics of high blood pressure, epidemics of cancer, epidemics of mental diseases, epidemics of allergies, etc. They consider only epidemics of infectious diseases. Also, it seams that these groups ignored the regular diseases that can affect gay people.
These researchers and their institutions are impregnated with a microbiologic prejudice, by which all diseases must be caused by germs. Gallo and Montagnier have both spent most of their lives searching for the virus that causes cancer.
It is unnecessary to emphasize the ethnic and sexual prejudices inherent in the above statements.
The world, conditioned through a century of panic toward microbes and other prejudices, committed a mistake about the etiology of AIDS. There was no way to avoid it. Similar errors had been committed with pellagra, beriberi, and scurvy, to mention only a few examples. Tragically, this time the consequences of the mistake are far more tragic.
All individuals experience sexual activity. Similarly, all people eat and sleep. The epidemiological correlation of AIDS with sexual life, as well as with eating and sleeping, is perfect. Therefore, in the same way that it is said that AIDS is sexually transmitted, it could be said that it is transmitted through eating and sleeping.
During recent decades the new circumstances surrounding gay males who developed AIDS in the West included their exposure through their life style to drugs and other immunological stressors. In the West AIDS is mostly confined to male homosexuals because they are more frequently exposed to immunological stressor agents, not because of their sexual preferences. Homosexuality has always existed. However, in the late sixties and early seventies, gay males in the United States and Europe introduced drugs and aphrodisiacs to their life styles.
On the other hand, the new circumstances surrounding individuals of both sexes in the poorest countries of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, are their involuntary exposure to the never before seen high levels of poverty, malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, infections, and parasites. Here both sexes are equally exposed to immunological stressor agents. Therefore, in these countries the risk for AIDS is equal for both genders.
The perinatal transmission of AIDS from mother to child during pregnancy and delivery, as well as the postnatal transmission through breast milk, are also myths without any scientific validation. Both mothers and infants who react positively on the tests for HIV, or who develop AIDS, do so due to exposures to immunological stressor agents.
Currently, humans, animals, and plants around the world are suffering from some level of immune suppression due to multiple, repeated, and chronic exposure to the alarming worldwide increment in immunological stressor agents, which can have chemical, physical, biological, mental, and nutritional origins. Immunodeficiency is pandemic.
Individuals can be exposed to immunological stressors involuntarily through their conditions of life and voluntarily through their life styles.
AIDS is the worst possible immunological human condition; if the course of AIDS is not arrested, it will eventually cause the death of the individual. Additionally, AIDS is the tip of an iceberg; beneath AIDS there are many other mild to moderate immunodeficiencies with or without clinical manifestations.
AIDS began in the second half of the last century, at a moment when the immune systems of humans were already saturated and could not tolerate further challenges and aggravations. AIDS is an alarm bell for an endangered species. However, HIV does not permit the real danger to be seen and the proper measures to be taken. The increasing epidemic of AIDS in underdeveloped countries of Africa and Asia demands strong measures to be taken before the population of these continents vanish.
In the seventies a new medical science was born, IMMUNOTOXICOLOGY, which studies the effects of toxicants that can poison the immune system. About thirty years ago immunologists began to be preoccupied by the increasing amount of new immunosuppressive conditions that animals and humans were suffering due to voluntary or involuntary exposures to a great variety of substances and materials.
Similarly, during the last few decades and due to the alarming worldwide increment in stressor agents affecting the human ecosystem, new medical sciences have had to be created, including dermatotoxicology, genotoxicology, neurotoxicology, endocrinotoxicology, cardiotoxicology, and hepatotoxicology. We must devote our attention to this and take the necessary actions to guarantee the future of our species. We ought to stop panicking about germs. Currently the real problems are toxicants, poverty, and malnutrition.
Here are just some of the references about immunotoxicology:
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1994 LUSTER MI, PORTIER C, PAIT DG & GERMOLEC DR. Use of Animal Studies in Risk Assessment for Immunotoxicology. Toxicology 92(1-3):229-243.
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1996 BURNS LA, MEADE BJ & MUNSON AE. Toxic Responses of the Immune System. In: KLAASEN CD, AMDUR MO, DOULL J. Casarett and Doulls Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. Fifth Edition. Unit 4.12. New York: McGraw Hill. P. 355-401.
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1996 DE SWART RL, ROSS PS, VOS JG & OSTERHOUS AD. Impaired Immunity in Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina) Exposed to Bioaccumulated Environmental Contaminants: Review of a Long-Term Feeding Study. Environ Health Perspect 104 Suppl 4:823-828.
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1997 NEAUNE PH & LECOEUR S. Immunotoxicology of the Liver: Adverse Reactions to Drugs. J Hepatol 26 Suppl 2:37-42.
1998 VANDEBRIEL RJ, VAN LOVEREN H & MEREDITH C. Altered Cytokine (Receptor) mRNA Expression as a Tool in Immunotoxicology. Toxicology 130 (1):43-67.
1998 THOMAS PT. Immunotoxicology: Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Nutr Rev 56(1 Pt 2) pS131-134.
1998 BIAGINI RE. Epidemiology Studies in Immunotoxicity Evaluations. Toxicology 129(1):37-54.
1998 ZELIKOFF JT. Biomarkers of Immunotoxicity in Fish and Other Non-Mammalian Sentinel Species: Predictive Value for Mammals? Toxicology 129(1):63-71.
1998 KIMBER I & SELGRADE MJK. T Lymphocyte Subpopulations in Immunotoxicology. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. 302 p.
1998 VAN LOVEREN H, GERMOLEC D, KOREN HS, LUSTER MI, NOLAN C, REPETTO R, SMITH E, VOS JG & VOGT RF. Report of the Bilthoven Symposium: Advancement of Epidemiological Studies in Assessing the Human Health Effects of Immunotoxic Agents in the Environment and the Workplace. International Program on Chemical Safety (UNEP-ILO-WHO), the World Resources Institute (Washington, DC), the European Science Foundation, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (USA), the Environmental Protection Agency (USA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (USA), CDC (USA), and the American Crop Protection Association (Washington DC). November 12-14, 1997, Bilthoven, The Netherlands. RIVM, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment. Bilthoven, The Nederlands. RIVM, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven. Tel 31 30 2749111. Fax 31 30 2742971.
Roberto A. Giraldo