The Incidence Quagmire
by John Lauritsen
[Note 1]

    There have been three previous chapters on the topic of AIDS-incidence (Chapters IX, XII, and XVI). I am now going to repudiate everything I have written before on AIDS-incidence. Considering the utterly spurious nature of the AIDS-definition, I was wrong ever to think in terms of incidence. I was wrong to discuss gaussian distributions. I was wrong to make bar charts.

You cannot track a non-existent entity
    From the very beginning I realized that something was very wrong with the basic concept of “AIDS”, but it is one thing to sense something, and quite another to understand it analytically. Several AIDS-critics were influential in clarifying my thinking on the core problem of AIDS: whether it actually exists in any rationally definable way.
    Harry Rubin, Professor of Molecular Biology at Berkeley, the man who virtually created the science of retrovirology, gave a talk in Washington, DC in 1988, in which he expressed skepticism regarding the simplistic notion that the 20 (at the time) AIDS-diseases constituted a single entity caused by a single virus. This he referred to as “Cartesian reductionism” — the tendency to reduce complex phenomena to a single cause. Rubin's comments not only cast doubt upon the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, but upon the very existence of “AIDS” as well. [Note 2]
    Peter Duesberg, also Professor of Molecular Biology at Berkeley, has consistently ridiculed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definitions of “AIDS”, expressed by the formula: Indicator Disease + HIV = AIDS. The first part of the equation is absurd because of the extreme heterogeneity of the official AIDS-indicator diseases or conditions (about which more below). The second part of the equation is also absurd, because the HIV requirement can be satisfied in so many different ways: a positive result on the highly inaccurate HIV-antibody tests; a positive result on the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test; actually cultivating the virus from a patient's blood plasma [Note 3]; or, as is done in about half of the “AIDS” diagnoses, simply “presuming” that HIV is present. As Duesberg mischievously points out, dementia + HIV = AIDS, but dementia — HIV = stupid.
    Kawi Schneider in Berlin has vigorously polemicized for years against the core mythology of “AIDS”. In a 1989 article he wrote: “AIDS” is a fraudulent diagnostic label that, in conjunction with statistical patchwork, has created an epidemiological castle in the air, which can be considered the first freely invented pseudo-epidemic. [Note 4] In a recent letter to me he commented:

Even from the orthodox standpoint, “AIDS” is not the name of a disease, but rather the name of a coincidence, interpreted as causation, of lab parameters (antibodies and T-cell counts) and at least one item from the list of 30 conventional diseases known as “AIDS-indicator diseases”.... I never write or say “person with AIDS”, but “person with an AIDS-diagnosis”, never “spread of AIDS” but “spread of AIDS-diagnoses” ... never “HIV-infection” but “antibody presence indicated by a test”. (29 March 1993)

    For my part, I have coined the phrase, “‘AIDS’ is a phoney construct”, which has begun to catch on. For several years I have made it my practice to put “AIDS” in quotation marks, to emphasize the dubiousness of the basic concept. Some people find this annoying, and I'm sure that it is, but constant reminders are necessary to avoid slipping back into the mind-set of the orthodox AIDS-paradigm. This is exactly what happened with me on the question of incidence. One part of my mind saw clearly that “AIDS” was a phoney construct. At the same time, another part of my mind — misled, perhaps, by my professional experience in tracking things statistically, and my fondness for making charts and graphs — blithely went about analyzing the incidence of a non-existent entity.
    No doubt, instead of repudiating three previous chapters, I could simply have eliminated them. I decided to retain them for the record, to show how things looked at different times during the AIDS War, which is on one level an intellectual war. (In any war, the victory of one side or another does not obviate histories of the individual battles that preceded it, though to be sure, the victors usually have the prerogative of imposing their own version of reality on the official histories.)
    To further appreciate the absurdity of the CDC's surveillance definition of “AIDS”, let's look at the official AIDS-indicator diseases, which now appear to number twenty nine.

The 29 AIDS-Indicator Diseases
    Last January the CDC expanded the surveillance definition of “AIDS” still another time. Since I wanted to know exactly what and how many the indicator diseases were, I called the CDC, where I spoke to Press Officer Kent Taylor. My request turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined it would be. The CDC had never thought to compile a simple list of the indicator diseases, let alone a numbered list. But Taylor was resourceful, and got back to me in a couple of hours with the raw material from which I myself have made a numbered list. [Note 5]
    The following list is taken from a table, “AIDS-Indicator diseases diagnosed in patients reported in 1991, by age group — United States”, which appeared in the CDC's HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report of January 1992:

    1. Bacterial infections, multiple or recurrent (applies only to children)
    2. Candidiasis of bronchi, trachea, or lungs
    3. Candidiasis of esophagus (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    4. Coccidioidomycosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary
    5. Cryptococcosis, extrapulmonary
    6. Cryptococcosis, chronic intestinal
    7.Cytomegalovirus disease other than retinitis
    8. Cytomegalovirus retinitis (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    9. HIV encephalopathy (dementia)
    10. Herpes simplex, with esophagitis, pneumonia, or chronic mucocutaneous ulcers
    11 Histoplasmosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary
    12. Isosporiasis, chronic intestinal
    13. Kaposi's sarcoma (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”) [Note 6]
    14. Lymphoid interstitial pneumonia and/or pulmonary lymphoid hyperplasia (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    15. Lymphoma, Burkitt's (or equivalent term)
    16. Lymphoma, immunoblastic (or equivalent term)
    17. Lymphoma, primary in brain
    18. Mycobacterium avium or M. kansasii, disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    19. M. tuberculosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    20. Mycobacterial diseases, other, disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    21. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    22. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
    23. Salmonella septicemia, recurrent
    24. Toxoplasmosis of brain (either a “definitive diagnosis” or a “presumptive diagnosis”)
    25. HIV wasting syndrome

    On 8 December 1992 a letter was mailed by the CDC to State Health Officers, informing them: “On January 1, 1993, an expanded surveillance definition for AIDS will be effective.” The following AIDS-indicator conditions were added to the list:

    26. A CD4+ T-lymphocyte count <200 cells/μL (or a CD4+ percent <14)
    27. Pulmonary tuberculosis
    28. Recurrent pneumonia (within a 12-month period)
    29. Invasive cervical cancer

    To my knowledge, I am the first writer to compile a numbered list of the official AIDS-indicator diseases or conditions. It is a very mixed bag. Many of the diseases are caused by funguses, for example, candidiasis, coccidioidomycosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, and pneumocystis carinii. Others are caused by bacteria, like salmonella. Others, by mycobacteria, like tuberculosis. Still others, by viruses, like cytomegalovirus or herpes. And still others, like the various cancers and neoplasms, including lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma, have no established etiology. And still others, like dementia or wasting, are poorly defined and can have many different causes.
    Dementia is presented on the list as “HIV encephalopathy”, but it is difficult to imagine how a retrovirus, like HIV, could cause encephalopathy. Retroviruses, by their very nature, can only infect cells that are capable of undergoing cell division. Brain cells do not divide. Therefore, HIV does not and cannot infect brain cells.
    Some of the indicator diseases/conditions can be diagnosed presumptively. This is a charming situation. Not only can HIV be diagnosed presumptively, but some of the indicator diseases as well. This means that a physician, following the CDC's rules, would be able to diagnose someone who behaved eccentrically, or had difficulty swallowing, or had a bad cough, or just seemed in poor health, as having “AIDS” on the basis of a presumptive diagnosis of HIV infection coupled with a presumptive diagnosis of toxoplasmosis of the brain, or candidiasis of esophagus, or pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or a mycobacterial infection, or whatever.
    One also notices that two items on the list are known and expected consequences of AZT therapy: lymphoma and wasting. I'll have more to say about this below.

“AIDS” cases — present and future
    In February 1993 the CDC issued an “HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report” which covered all cases reported through December 1992. As of that date, a total of 253,448 Americans had received a diagnosis of “AIDS”, of which 249,199 were adult or adolescent cases and 4,249 were pediatric (under 13 years) cases.
    Although people were undeniably sick, the diagnoses themselves were arbitrary and irrational. They were based on the false premise that HIV is pathogenic. They were based on changing and inconsistent surveillance criteria. It would be wrong even to think of tracking incidence for such diagnoses, and I shall not do so. Never again will I make a bar chart of “AIDS” incidence!
    According to the report, 171,890 Americans had died of “AIDS” as of 31 December 1992; 169,623 were adults or adolescents and 2,267 were children under 13. The truth of the matter is that most of these people died of medical incompetence. They died because they were never warned against the things that made them sick in the first place. They died because they were given toxic drugs that they didn't need.
    Though it would be erroneous to speak of “AIDS-incidence”, it is still reasonable to wonder how many people in the future will become sick in ways that will be diagnosed as “AIDS”. Five years ago I was optimistic: it looked as though “AIDS-incidence” had peaked. Now I am much more pessimistic. On the horizon I see a large crop of new “AIDS” cases resulting from two phenomena: one, a resurgence of drug use among gay men, and two, the mass administration of AZT to healthy individuals who are HIV-positive.

Gay drug abuse
    In the last couple of years, gay men in San Francisco and New York City, two epicenters of the “AIDS epidemic”, have gone back to the levels of drug abuse and promiscuity that obtained in the 70s and early 80s. For the most part, they are young men who are new to the gay scene. (Most of those who behaved this way in the 70s have already died of “AIDS”)
    On Fire Island last August (1992), several thousand gay men attended a “Morning Party”, which was held to benefit Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). One person who was there told me that at least 95% of them were in a state of extreme intoxication from alcohol and such drugs as Ecstasy, poppers, and cocaine. The playwright Larry Kramer made the following comments:

I loathed the Morning Party. The Morning Party sent me into a depression I cannot begin to describe. After 12 years of the plague, I should come back and see the organization that was started in my living room having a party like that! First of all, to call it a morning party — the irony of the play on the word mourning.
        There were 4,000 or 5,000 gorgeous young kids on the beach who were drugged out of their minds at high noon, rushing in and out of the Portosans to fuck, all in the name of GMHC. [Note 7]

    It is now late March 1993, and I have just returned from a trip to London, where there is an explosion of drug use in the gay scene. Every Saturday night an estimated 2,000 gay men attend a dance club where drug consumption is the main activity. According to London sources, virtually 100% of the men are on drugs, from 3:00 in the morning, when the club opens, until it closes many hours later. Especially popular is a variety of Ecstasy, whose ingredients are claimed to include heroin. The police do nothing, and everyone believes that they are paid off. Poppers are sold legally in London. No one seems to think they even count as drugs, as gay physicians, writing in the gay press, have said that poppers are harmless.
    None of the major AIDS organizations have properly warned about the dangers of drugs. At most, their risk-reduction literature has urged people to use alcohol and drugs in moderation, so as not to affect the “judgment”. Drugs are portrayed as risky only to the extent that they might facilitate a lapse into “unsafe sex”. Poppers — which cause genes to mutate, which cause severe anemia, which can kill through heart attacks, which suppress the immune system — are depicted as bad only if they cause someone to forget about condoms.

    As discussed in Chapter XIX, AZT is capable of causing “AIDS” according to official CDC criteria. The salient point here is that a large though unknown number of healthy, HIV-positive individuals — at minimum, many tens of thousands — are currently on AZT therapy. Within a few years, nearly all of them will be dead. Most of the deaths will be attributed to “AIDS”. [Note 8]
    If the mainstream AIDS organizations were genuinely concerned about “fighting AIDS” (one of their favorite slogans), they would warn the public about the dangers of the nucleoside analogue drugs (AZT, ddi, ddc, d4T, etc.). They have done just the opposite. Such organizations as GMHC in New York City and Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) in London have colluded with AZT's manufacturer, Wellcome, to promote the deadly nostrum. [Note 9] I see no reason to pull punches here: GMHC and THT have played an active and important role in causing drug-induced illnesses that are diagnosed as “AIDS”.

An epidemic of lies
    A core fallacy inherent in any discussion of AIDS-incidence is this: not only the diagnoses, but to a large extent the AIDS-indicator diseases as well, are the consequences of disinformation. The present levels of “AIDS incidence” are the product of propaganda disseminated by the AIDS Establishment. The “epidemic” would subside quickly if the truth were told.

#    #    #

1. “The Incidence Quagmire” was first published as Chapter XXXII in John Lauritsen, The AIDS War, 1993. It was reprinted in Peter H. Duesberg (editor), AIDS: Virus- or Drug Induced?, Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996.

2. John Lauritsen, Chapter XII: “Kangaroo Court Etiology”, Poison by Prescription: The AZT Story, New York 1990.

3. This is almost never done. When attempts are made, it is impossible to cultivate HIV from the plasma of at least 50% of “AIDS patients”. [Addendum to footnote, 2010] The alleged “HIV-antibody” tests are unvalidated, so no-one knows what exactly they measure, let along how accurately they do so. At least 60 diseases or conditions (alcoholism, drug abuse, herpes simplex infection, past infection with malaria, recent flu vaccination, etc.) can cause positive readings on the Elisa or Western Blot tests. To date, no-one has successfully demonstrated the existence of HIV as an infectious, cell-free virus, using traditional techniques for isolating a virus. The VirusMyth and AIDS Wiki websites have many articles addressing the bogus “HIV-antibody” tests and the non-isolation of HIV.

4. “‘AIDS’ — die neue Religion” [“‘AIDS’: the New Religion”], June/July 1989. Schneider's views and those of other AIDS-critics can be found in the special issue of raum&zeit #4, “‘AIDS’ — Die Krankheit, die es gar nicht gibt” [“‘AIDS’: the Disease that Doesn't Even Exist”], Ehlers Verlag, Sauerlach, 1992. His critique of the media, “AIDS:Medicine, Moral und die Medien. Von der Virus-Theorie befallen” [“AIDS-Medicine: Morality and the Media. Infected with the Virus-Theory”], appeared in Wochenzeitung, Zürich, 19 June 1992.)

5. All of the information in this section is taken from a fax sent to me on 10 January 1993 by CDC Press Officer Kent Taylor.

6. [2010 note] The CDC still lists Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), once the hallmark “AIDS” disease, as an AIDS-indicator disease. At the same time, public health officials and top “AIDS experts” now realize and admit that KS is not caused by HIV. Rather than coming to grips with the obvious — that KS is not infectious, and that KS in gay men is caused by the frequent use of mutagenic nitrite inhalants (“poppers”) — they immediately shifted blame to a newly discovered virus, HHV6. When it became apparent that HHV6 could not be the cause, they shifted blame to still another new virus, HHV8. For more information click here.

7. Victor Zonana, interview with Larry Kramer, “Kramer vs. The World”, The Advocate.

8. My prediction has tragically come true. According to the CDC's most recent report, there were 583,581 deaths of people with
“AIDS” diagnoses through the year 2007. Of these deaths, 96% occurred after AZT was approved for marketing in 1987. For further information click here.

9. See Chapters XV (“GMHC Announces Campaign To Encourage HIV Antibody Testing”) and XXVIII (“Something Rotten in the British AIDS Establishment”) in The AIDS War.

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