Bad Science: The AIDS hoax (part II)

In the first instalment of this series I focused on the page devoted to what they call “The Aids Conspiracy“. I showed how the majority of the opinions and the “facts” presented in that page have been soundly refuted by science, and are totally invalid. This also illustrates that pseudoscientists would uncritically endorse any (expert?) opinion as long as it re-enforces their presumptions. But what about the evidence?

Ah, yes, the keyword: evidence. In this post we will explore how (in familiar pseudoscientific methodology) misrepresents scientific evidence in order to advance their agenda of eliminating vaccines (and probably all science-based medicine?). In the same AIDS page, has a sub-section entitled: “Cause of AIDS” with an item “AIDS and Vaccines” clearly implying that vaccines have either started or helped spread the AIDS virus. In that page there is a link to “Vaccinations and AIDS Citations” which presumably provides scientific evidence to back up the assertions made in the previous pages.

Or maybe not. Let’s have a look at the cited research, actually read what is available for each piece of research, and then draw our own conclusions instead of the ones feeds us! It is also worth noting that all cited research was published between 1983-1986 with only one exception published in 1992. Way to be accurate! Anyway, to the research (all emphasis in quotes is mine):

  • Scheier, R, Hepatitis vaccine: the Danger of AIDS Transmission, Z Hautkr, 1984 Apr 15; 59(8):502-506.

    From the abstract:

    The safety of the hepatitis B vaccine H-B- Vax derives from a very strict screening of plasma donors as well as an extensive production process consisting of several purification and three inactivation steps. During a follow up of about 20 000 vaccine recipients over a 7 year-period, no known occurrence of AIDS or other infectious diseases have been associated with the vaccine. Also no known case of AIDS occurred in a group of 200 000 persons at low risk vaccinated since 1981. The hepatitis B vaccine is highly recommended…

  • Macek, C, “AIDS Transmission: What about the Hepatitis B Vaccine?“, JAMA, 1983 Feb 11; 249(6):685-686.

    I could not find any information about this article.

  • NA, “The Risk of AIDS after Hepatitis Vaccination,” JAMA, 1985 May 24-31; 253(20):2960-2961.

    This is an anonymous article with no information available.

  • Taubman, L B, et al, “The Question of Possible Relationship Between Hepatitis B Vaccine and AIDS“, AM J Med, 1984 Apr; 76(4): A 59.

    This is merely a letter to the editor as opposed to published research, and I could not find any more information (without buying the article).

  • Kato, S et al, “Hepatitis B Vaccination and AIDS,” JAMA, 1985 Jul 5; 254(1):53.

    […] evidence confirming the absence of AIDS transmission by this hepatitis B vaccine was stated to be the following: 1) The AIDS virus is specifically inactivated by the inactivation procedures used in the vaccine’s manufacture. 2) The vaccine contains no detectable AIDS virus nucleic acid sequence. 3) The serologic markers of infection with AIDS virus are not observed in vaccine recipients. In Japan, we studied Merck’s Heptavax-B (lot 2374) in 74 health care workers who had no history of hepatitis B infection and determined, in addition to the safety and antigenic potential of the vaccine, the percentage of T-cell and B-cell subsets (OKT3, OKT4, and OKT8), the OKT4/OKT8 ratio, and mitogenesis by phytohemagglutinin or concanavalin A at 3 and 9 months after the 1st vaccination. A group of unvaccinated, age-matched health care workers were used as controls. The Table provides a summary of the results. As shown therein, no difference from the control group was observed in any test item after 3 or 9 months. Follow-ups have been continued for longer than 9 months in some vaccinees, and there has been no change even after 20 months. From these observations, it can be inferred that there is little possibility of the hepatitis B vaccine made by Merck causing AIDS, based on the fact that no abnormality was observed in the T-cell phenotypes of the people who received the vaccine

  • Schwartz, AM, et al, “Hepatitis Vaccine and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome“, 1983, JAMA, Oct: 99(4):567-568.

    No information available

  • Sacks, H S, et al, “Should the Risk of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome deter Hepatitis B Vaccination?” A Decision Analysis.” JAMA, 1984 Dec 28; 252(24): 3375-3377.

    We formulated a decision-analytic model that compares the risk of death from hepatitis B and AIDS in those vaccinated with the risk of death from hepatitis B alone in those who wait two years for a synthetic vaccine. For individuals with 5% annual risk of hepatitis B, the best current estimate is that vaccination now would save 25 lives per 100,000. The best current estimate of the rate of vaccine-induced AIDS is zero, and one can be 95% confident that the rate is less than eight per 100,000. The rate would have to be considerably higher before postponement of vaccination would be rational for those for whom vaccination has been recommended.

  • Papaevangelou, G et al, “Risk of AIDS in Recipients of Hepatitis B Vaccine“, NEJM, 1985 Feb 7; 312(6):376-377.

    No info available on this paper. However, another paper from the same research group, “Lack of antibodies to LAV/HTLV-III in hepatitis B vaccine recipients“, had this to say:

    There is no evidence up to now that the currently available plasma hepatitis B vaccine transmits the agent of AIDS. To support further the safety of this vaccine we examined 137 vaccinees for the presence of antibodies to LAV/HTLV-III. […] Antibodies to LAV/HTLV-III were not detected in any of the sera examined, providing evidence for safety. We believe that these data increase the acceptance of hepatitis B vaccine.

  • Francis, DP, et al, “The Safety of the Hepatitis B Vaccine. Inactivation of the AIDS virus During Routine Manufacture“, JAMA, 1986 Aug 15; 256(7): 869-872.

    From the abstract:

    In the United States, one hepatitis B vaccine (Heptavax-B) has been licensed for the prevention of hepatitis B virus infections. Even though this vaccine has been shown to be highly effective and well tolerated in controlled trials and has been recommended for use in those at risk for acquiring infection by hepatitis B virus, many individuals have been reluctant to be immunized for fear of contracting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In this study, we demonstrate that each of the three inactivation steps used in the manufacture of Heptavax-B independently will inactivate the infectivity of high-titered preparations of the AIDS virus; recipients of the hepatitis B vaccine do not develop antibodies to the AIDS virus; the hepatitis B vaccine does not contain detectable levels of nucleic acids related to the AIDS virus. These observations clearly demonstrate that vaccination with the currently available hepatitis B vaccine poses no demonstrable risk for acquiring AIDS.

  • Schultz, TF, “Origin of AIDS,” Lancet, Mar 7, 1992, 339(8797):867.

    Could not get a hold of the paper. However, the subject of the origin of AIDS in relation to vaccines -especially the polio and hepatitis B vaccine, was discussed in detail in the previous instalment of this series.

You see from those citations where access is available, one can easily conclude that all the fearmongering originating from the website is unsubstantiated and can only do harm.

Furthermore, a pattern emerges: charlatans will cite scientific research, even if it refutes their position (!), with the hope that no one will notice. A list of scientific publications will mind-boggle the lay person who is not up to the task of searching for and reading medical research papers. What the people have done is to post anything that has the keywords “vaccines” and “AIDS” as evidence that vaccines cause AIDS! This is how Bad Science works…

Of course my goal is not to thoroughly debunk the website -this is relatively easy due to the utter nonsense one can find there, but also very time-consuming due to the huge amounts of such nonsense. My goal is simply to illustrate some of the techniques that pseudoscientists and charlatans are using in an effort to promote their favorite woo-woo. And the misrepresentation of science is one of their main weapons