Better AIDS drugs, or just fewer suicides?

December 19, 2009

(click to view image source)

I’m on a roll this month with AIDS research reports that intrigue me, particularly because so many of them raise more questions than they answer.  I’m not sure if there is a Holiday uptick in these reports, or if the cold weather just means I have more time on my hands to sit at the computer.

In any event, this study recently reported a greater than 50% decrease in suicides among “HIV-positives” in Switzerland since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), aka the AIDS drug cocktail that includes protease inhibitors.

The report tries to explain the decrease by stating:  “In the pre-HAART era, high suicide rates were driven by disease progression, which at that time could not be prevented.”

There is no reference given to support this supposition.  It is also very possible that researchers are guilty of AIDSpeak, referring to laboratory markers such as viral load and cd4 counts, rather than actual illness, which is what really matters when referring to “disease progression”.

When HAART was first proposed, it was with a great deal of hyperbole and optimism, to the extreme of coining the term “Lazurus Syndrome”.  It is not surprising that people with such an ominous diagnosis hanging over their heads would take encouragement from this psychological media blast.

So the question my mind still begs:  are reports of increased life expectancy on HAART likely biased by this previously unreported fact?

In other words, if fewer poz people on HAART are offing themselves prematurely, would that not skew the research numbers on life expectancy?

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The slippery slope of AIDS drugs

December 18, 2009

pills and more pillsA review of this week’s list of research into current treatments for so-called HIV infection shows how patients seeking care in their doctor’s office can end up being on a long list of pharmaceutical drugs, mostly to treat the effects of ARVs (antiretroviral drugs).

There is a push to get more and more people on these drugs, regardless of whether they are actually presenting with any symptoms of illness. Some AIDS proponents even want healthy people with no positive test results to start taking the drugs, in the name of “prevention”.

The dangerous effects (there really is nothing “side” about them) of these drugs is downplayed.  We are told the new drugs are safe and effective, yet the research indicates otherwise.

One recently published study questioned which statin drug is best for treating dyslipidemia, the lipid disorder associated with disfiguring body changes known as lipodystrophy.  The answer was:  Crestor (rosuvastatin).

Fine.  Obviously AIDS drug researchers are admitting ARVs have serious unwanted effects.  Their answer to this problem?  More drugs, of course.

Unfortunately, the fix is also well known for having a long list of side effects.  Crestor is associated with so many damaging effects that I will only list the categories mentioned here:  musculoskeletal, renal, hepatic, respiratory, nervous system, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular,  endocrine, hematologic, dermatologic, genitourinary, hypersensitivity and “other”, which includes “flu syndrome”, infections, and a host of lab abnormalities!

Once a patient presents to his or her doctor with complaints from one of these drug-related effects, they are then prescribed additional drugs, which only adds to the momentum of ultimate drug abuse.

This is precisely how I ended up being on more than two dozen pharmaceutical drugs simultaneously, before quitting all of them in 2007.

Lipo is only one of the many complications poz people on HAART experience, and it may not be the worst one, but because its effects are so visible and disfiguring, patients will go to extremes to try to treat it.  Collagen implants for sunken cheeks and buttocks is a popular topic on the popular website aidsmeds.com, for example.

We have moved past the time when people were so ill from infections resulting from immune dysfunction that ARVs may have actually helped–the so-called “Lazurus effect”.  There may, in fact, be a role for such drastic intervention, but only in extreme cases.  To recommend lifelong chemotherapy to healthy people is beyond problematic, it is unethical.  AIDS proponents hate to hear it said, but those who benefit the most from this strategy are pharmaceutical companies and their investors.

Anyone facing the choice of taking AIDS drugs deserve access to all the information they need to make an informed choice.  No one should be pressured to do so when the evidence supporting their use is contradictory and the effects are so drastic.

More and more of us who are “poz” and have health problems are discovering we can extend our lives and improve the quality of our lives more effectively by consciously improving our health with lifestyle choices, rather than relying on drugs that ultimately create more new symptoms than they cure.

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New webcam for youtube videos

July 15, 2009

I just posted a new video on youtube, discussing the LOTTI study I blogged about yesterday. Video is a new medium for me and I had such a positive response from my first video that I hope it helps get this message of hope out to more people.

This second video has far higher quality, thanks to a better webcam.  Thank you, Michael!

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LOTTI: Take a vacation from AIDS drugs

July 13, 2009
Basket full of AIDS meds

Wastebasket full of meds

Start memorizing this acronym: LOTTI. It could change your life if you are on one of the AIDS drug cocktails, also known as HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy).

LOTTI stands for the LOng Term Treatment Interruption study, which recently reported that those of us who have had success with “treatment interruption” might not be all that unusual.

Although some results from the LOTTI study were first reported back in November, 2008, the complete report wasn’t published in the journal AIDS until April and didn’t hit my radar screen until this month, when it was finally published on Medscape.  In an industry that often falls over itself rushing to trumpet breaking news to the media, this sluggishness to report good news (for people on HAART, if not the pharmaceutical industry) is certainly suspect.

Good News! Drug vacations DO work!

The randomized, controlled, prospective  LOTTI study concludes that those patients who took vacations from their HAART drugs fared as well clinically as those who took their drug cocktail continuously. “The two strategies may be considered clinically equivalent,” stated the study’s authors. Even more importantly (though not emphasized in the report): more than a fourth of those who quit their cocktail of drugs never had to restart them, even though the mean length of time in the study was more than four years!

What is so exciting about this scientifically controlled study is that it offers hope to those who are currently taking anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, but are concerned about long term effects, or are already experiencing illness because of toxicity. Based on the study’s results, there are not only no good reasons for HAART patients to stay on the drugs continuously and indefinitely, there are several advantages to stopping them: Read the rest of this entry »


The Village Voice buries the bodies

April 3, 2009
Liam Scheff

Liam Scheff

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I’ve recently gotten to know Liam Scheff personally. He is a compassionate man who takes his role as an independent journalist seriously. Now, he has is the focus of attacks by the media because he exposed the painful and horrifying story of forced drug trials on orphans in New York City.

I  am lending my blog to Liam to respond today:


by Liam Scheff

There are at least 200 dead children lying in the wake of the high-dose drug studies done by Columbia Presbyterian on orphans in NYC. The perpetrators won’t release a single medical record, not even to participants.

Children weren’t paid, families weren’t paid, weren’t asked.

The children and infants used in major drug trials were Read the rest of this entry »


Marketing AID$ is big bucks (updated)

March 6, 2009

It is not just about saving lives or finding a cure. It’s very much about making money, and AIDS treatments have long been considered a global marketing opportunity.

$700 AIDS Marketing Report from aarkresearch

$700 AIDS marketing report from aarkresearch

Mainstream AIDS proponents hate to have this issue brought up and would like to pretend that no one is getting rich from the current test-everyone-and-give-them-drugs public health strategy.

Yet virus co-discoverers Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier have become millionaires thanks to Read the rest of this entry »


“Reduce the burden” is focus of new website

February 27, 2009

There is a new website online for those questioning the mainstream AIDS hypothesis, and I’m impressed.

reducetheburden.org is a veritable warehouse of research documentation from dozens, perhaps hundreds of sources ranging from Natural News to the AP, challenging the status quo about AIDS and making it a bookmark site for anyone confronting a chronic disease.

Here is how RTB describes itself on the homepage:

RTB is an idea, a website, and a social movement whose aim is to improve the lives of Aids patients worldwide, by improving understanding of the over-simplified and often incorrect publicly advertised Aids diagnosis.

screenshot from reducetheburden.org

screenshot from reducetheburden.org

RTB avoids getting bogged down Read the rest of this entry »