April 1996 

AIDS in Africa?

Most patients are HIV-negative!

by Paul Philpott

We are told that HIV-caused AIDS is ravaging the African continent.

The dominant opposing view is that AIDS there is caused never by HIV, but rather by two primary factors:

(1) The same old things there that have always caused wasting, tuberculosis, chronic fever, persistent coughing, prolonged diarrhea, and other official AIDS conditions: malnutrition, poor public sanitation, recurrent tropical infections requiring toxic medications, and untreated drinking water contaminated with all manner of parasites.

(2) Recreational drug consumption, particularly among sex workers and others living in urban settings.
This view is consistent with the medical literature, which shows that "AIDS in Africa" occurs mostly in people who turn out to be HIV-negative.

A particularly impressive short report was published in the October 17, 1992 issue of Britain's prestigious medical journal Lancet [vol. 340, p971]. A team of Japanese researchers examined 227 Ghanaians diagnosed as having AIDS based on clinical symptoms, without benefit of HIV tests. When the Japanese showed up with HIV testing equipment, they performed on each patient "multiple laboratory diagnostic tests."
The result: 59% were negative for both HIV-1 and HIV-2!

"All the patients had three major signs: weight loss, prolonged diarrhea, and chronic fever," the report stated. "Many of them also had other AIDS-associated signs, such as lymphodenopathy, tuberculosis, dermatological diseases, and neurological disorders, though CD4 cells were not counted because of insufficient facilities."

The authors concluded that "The existence of other agents causing AIDS-like syndromes might be possible among these so-called HIV-negative cases."

It simply never occurred to them that the symptoms expressing in the HIV-positive patients might be brought on by the "other agents" causing the same symptoms in the HIV-negative cases, or that those "other agents" might be non-contagious factors common to them all, such as malnutrition and poor sanitation.

A second report, in a 1994 issue of the Journal of AIDS [7:8, p876], was just as damning to the official view. The authors examined frozen blood samples from 913 "suspected AIDS/HIV-infected patients" from "towns [with] the highest number of reported cases in Kenya."
No explanation was offered for what was meant by "suspected AIDS/HIV-infected patients." Apparently the patients all qualified as AIDS based on clinical symptoms, like the Ghanaian patients, or else they would not have been "suspected" of having AIDS or being HIV-positive. Unlike in the US, AIDS diagnoses in Africa are typically made without HIV testing due to lack of laboratory equipment.

When investigators subjected the blood samples to rigorous HIV testing (the scientists were from the World Health Organization Reference Laboratory for AIDS) they found that 71% were HIV-negative . The authors did not comment the obvious implications of their data.
A 1993 study of 122 tuberculosis (TB) patients in Nairobi, Kenya yielded similar results. Sixty-nine percent of the patients were HIV-negative. The authors observed that "the differences that exist between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients are minor" [American Review of Respiratory Disease 147, p958]. This is significant because TB is an official AIDS condition: a TB patient who is HIV-positive automatically qualifies for an "AIDS" diagnosis.

Why did these 122 residents of the same town develop TB? Does it really make sense to automatically blame HIV whenever it is found? Is there any logical basis for dismissing the majority of HIV-free cases that occur in the same population as resulting from a separate underlying cause?

Even in the face of a preponderance of HIV-negative patients, questioning the role of HIV in AIDS was inconceivable to the authors of these studies.

It occurs to us that "AIDS in Africa" is a contrivance that involves subjecting sickly populations to HIV tests, and arbitrarily declaring "AIDS" whenever positive results are achieved.