We last explored the AIDS epidemic in a series of six articles beginning in September, 1993. Now, four years later, there is more evidence and new theories about this controversial and highly politicized disease. On December 1, "World Aids Day," the news media tried to outdo each other with reports which, as usual, tended to increase our fear, but not our knowledge, of the dreaded disease. We heard that there are more cases than we should have expected, that the people are sicker than before, that there may be some minor help from the "cocktail" multi-drug medication and that the incubation period for the disease is again lengthened, now to ten to eleven years.
But there are serious problems with this scenario. As we mentioned in February, 1994, a minority of doctors at that time were unconvinced that HIV (human immunovirus) caused AIDS, because there was no acceptable scientific proof. There still isn't. Robert Koch, a famous German bacteriologist, formulated a system of four postulates for establishing causation of disease. These postulates have not been met in the case of AIDS. There remains only a theory that HIV, along with other risk factors, is the cause of AIDS. But there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS, nor in fact, that it causes any disease. However, the prevailing opinion in medical circles and the government remains that HIV is a contagious agent that always results in AIDS.
The compelling logic presented by these skeptics is that if HIV caused AIDS, or even if HIV were just a necessary part of the cause, every case of AIDS would have to test positive for HIV. But this is not the case. The so-called AIDS epidemic in Africa has over 70% of the patients with HIV negative blood (see Lancet, October, 1992, for a related study). The cause of their epidemics can be more plausibly pinpointed as starvation and other compromises to their immune systems.
AIDS--acquired immune deficiency syndrome--is not the name of a specific disease. It is really a construct of clinical conditions. If these conditions occur in a patient who tests positive for HIV, he is said to have AIDS. If he tests negative, the disease is given a different name, more clinical. The US Center for Disease Control claims that AIDS patients always have HIV positive blood. Other Health Organizations claim that the clinical picture is all that is necessary, HIV blood not withstanding. Wasting of the body is one of these symptoms, which is also associated with chronic infections, unsanitary conditions and malnutrition.
When the press says millions in a country are dying of AIDS, this is only an estimate of the number of people that are HIV positive. There is ample evidence that people with HIV positive blood can lead long and productive lives as long as they eat well, exercise regularly, do not take drugs, excess alcohol or tobacco products.
Skeptics about the HIV-AIDS connections implicate the roll of AZT, an extremely toxic drug originally given indiscriminately to all "AIDS" patients. Its documented side effects are exactly the same as the symptoms of full-blown AIDS. The simple reason behind the success of newer therapies may be the reduction or elimination of this toxic drug in the treatment.
To be continued...
Dr. Tandavan, 77, retired nuclear physician and hospital staff president, lives in Chicago, where he specializes in alternative healing arts. Visit his home page at the Hinduism Today Website.