CDC Releases HIV/AIDS Data For 1995:
What HIV/AIDS Epidemic?
By Paul Philpott
Low Totals and Downward Trends Continue for Both
HIV and AIDS;
Case Load Remains Confined to Drug Users, Blood Recipients,
release of the CDC's official HIV/AIDS data for 1995 comes fifteen years
after the first recorded case of AIDS, and eleven years after everybody
agreed that AIDS was contagious, caused by HIV, and would "explode" into
the general population. But once again AIDS confines itself to the same
old risk groups characterized by non-contagious factors associated with
AIDS symptoms even in the absence of HIV. How much longer can the CDC's
official view survive its own data?
"Nothing the wise men promised has happened, and everything
the damned fools said would happen has come to pass!"
Reporters, health officials, university professors and medical doctors
advance the impression that each year more Americans become HIV positive
and develop AIDS than the year before. HIV and AIDS are "growing," they
tell us, and "everyone is at risk." Women, blacks, heterosexuals and young
adults are all portrayed as groups in which HIV and AIDS are "explod-ing."
But each of these claims is false. The fraction of Americans who are
HIV-positive has never increased since testing began in 1985. And since
1993, the number of new AIDS diagnoses reported each year as been fewer
than the year before, for all groups, including women, blacks, heterosexuals,
and young adults.
Tiny Number of Risk-Free Americans are HIV-positive
The CDC's most recent HIV serosurveillance report (1) presents
graphs showing HIV seropositivity for each year from 1985 through 1993
for blood donors, military recruits, and Job Corps applicants. They show
that HIV seropositivity is low and shrinking among each of these groups.
The group with the smallest fraction of HIV-positives--blood donors--is
also the one that best approximates the general population, those outside
the official risk groups. Blood donation centers explicitly discourage
official AIDS risk group members (gays, drug injectors, their heterosexual
partners, hemophiliacs, and transfusion recipients). In 1993, the most
recent year for which statistics are available, only one first time donor
in 7,000 (or 1.75 donors in 10,000) was found to be positive for HIV. That
fraction corresponds to only 44,000 out of a maximum possible 250 million
risk-free Americans, and assumes that all of the positives found in the
sample told the truth when they reported not belonging to an official risk
It is important to note that this tiny fraction does not indicate an
increase over previous years. In fact, HIV-positivity in 1993 was down
by about 50% or more for all the groups surveyed as compared with 1985,
the year testing was introduced. This does not mean that HIV is infecting
fewer people each year, necessarily. It could simply mean that the bulk
of HIV-positive Americans was identified soon after HIV testing was introduced,
and they have increasingly opted out of blood donations, military enlistments,
and Job Corps participation.
In any case, screenings of first time blood donors are the only available
source of HIV prevalence among risk-free Americans. These results show
that there is currently no more than one HIV-positive risk-free American
out of 7,000, and there is no evidence to suggest that this tiny figure
represents an increase over previous years.
Could increased condom use be playing a role in suppressing an HIV epidemic?
No. Since HIV is barely even transmissible via vaginal intercourse, there
could be no chance of a heterosexual epidemic even if nobody ever used
condoms. Furthermore, there is no reason to think that condom use has increased
significantly during the AIDS era. The real epidemics of teen pregnancies
and true STDs have not declined, and according to a Knight-Ridder
article, "industry reports say condom sales remain flat and have even declined
among consumers under age 25". One study found that even among couples
with one partner known to be HIV-positive, only half used condoms.
Even If HIV Did Cause AIDS...
These data directly support two important conclusions:
(1) There is no justification for claims that HIV has ever infected--or
could ever possibly infect--a relatively large or growing number of risk-free
Americans. Since there is only one HIV-positive risk-free American per
7,000, (1) and it takes an average of 1,000 unprotected acts of vaginal
intercourse to transmit HIV, (3) then one act of random, unprotected
vaginal intercourse among Americans outside the risk groups has only one
chance in seven million (7,000 times 1,000) of resulting in the transmission
of HIV. That's less than the risk of being struck by lightning, dying during
child-birth, being injured in an elevator ride, dying of food poisoning
at a fast-food restaurant, (6) or of hitting a hole in one. (7)
(2) HIV is not a newly introduced virus, as is required by the contagious
AIDS theory. When germs are introduced into a population, incidence of
infection increases over time until it reaches a constant, "endemic" level.
Periods of increase are called "epidemics" (or "pandemics" when occurring
at the same time among people in different nations). But epidemics can
also result when sanitary conditions change for the worse, permitting old
viruses to infect more people at one time.
Epidemics caused by new germs are easy to distinguish from those caused
by sanitary breakdowns. When a new germ is introduced, incidence of that
germ will increase in the entire population, while positivity for germs
already residing in the population will remain constant. On the other hand,
when an epidemic results from poor sanitation, positivity for all germs
will increase, but only in sub-groups experiencing the poor sanitation.
The available evidence demonstrates that positivity for all germs--not
just HIV--jumped among individuals who adopted unsanitary practices that
prior to the 1970s were relatively uncommon: drug-driven "fast lane" gay
sex, drug injecting, and therapy with hemophilia clotting factor.(9)
Meanwhile, incidence of HIV has remained constant and low in the surrounding
general population.(1) This strongly suggests that HIV is a virus
that has resided in the American population as long as any other.
How to Call a 7% Drop a 16% Increase
The number of total new cases reported in 1995 was less than the number
of new cases reported in 1994, and the number for 1994 was less than for
1993, the year when AIDS hit its peak.(2) The same is true for women,
blacks, heterosexuals, babies, teenagers, young adults...everybody!6
Specifically, the total number of new adult American AIDS cases reported
in 1994 was 78,863 and for 1995 it was 73,380, which represents a 7% drop.
Furthermore, new cases were down for women (by 2%), blacks (by 7%), black
men (by 7%), black women (by 4%), so-called heterosexual cases (by 5%),
babies (22%) and young adults (by 3%). Only teenage boys showed an increase
(3%), but there were so few of them (238 in 1994 and 245 in 1995) that
their numbers are hardly relevant.
So how are HIV/AIDS alarmists able to claim that AIDS is "growing?"
One method is to cite cumulative figures. Although the number of new
cases has dropped each year since 1993, the cumulative number keeps growing.
HIV/AIDS advocates do not describe the 73,380 new cases in 1995 as a 7%
drop from the 78,863 new cases in 1994. Instead, they describe it as a
16% increase of the total number of cases recorded since 1981. The same
trick is used to make it appear as though AIDS is "exploding" in specific
groups, such as women, blacks, and young adults, even though AIDS is actually
declining in those groups.
A second method is to note that specific groups are grabbing a bigger
share of the AIDS pie...without mentioning that the AIDS pie is shrinking.
For example, the 13,764 new cases among women in 1995 was 19% of the 73,380
annual total, compared with the 14,081 new cases among women in 1994, which
was 18% of the 78,863 total for that year.(2) So while 2% fewer women
were diagnosed with AIDS in 1995 than in 1994, the fraction of women among
total new cases was one percentage point higher.
The same phenomenon attends the other "heterosexual" groups, which the
alarmists interpret as evidence of various AIDS "explosions." Consider
the "explosions" of AIDS in children and teens. There were only 800 cases
of infant-AIDS reported in 1995, down from only 1,034 in 1994.(2)
As for teenagers, only 405 developed AIDS in 1995, slightly less than the
412 reported in 1994.(2) And these cases are as confined to the risk
groups (with the babies consuming their street drugs in utero)(11)
as are the adult cases, including 99% of the teenaged boys.2 Yet most Americans
are under the impression that AIDS is overrunning maternity wards and high
schools. Any health professional, biology professor, or physician will
likely tell you that each year thousands of babies and teens develop AIDS--and
that the numbers are growing!
Lack of AIDS Outside Specific Risk Groups
If "everyone" was really at risk for AIDS, then there would be large
numbers of AIDS cases found outside of the original risk groups identified
over ten years ago. Yet since 1981, when the CDC began to document AIDS,
95% of the 473,141 identified American cases have been diagnosed in patients
describing themselves as gay men who do not inject drugs (55%), drug injectors
(34%), heterosexuals who knowingly have sex with drug injectors (4%), women
who knowingly have sex with bisexual men (0.5%), and recipients of blood
products (2.5%).(2) The remaining 5% represents 19,119 total identified
AIDS patients who have not reported such status to health professionals.
(These numbers do not include the "unidentified" cases for which risk status
information is not available.)
But a July 23, 1993, New York Times article by correspondent
Lawrence K. Altman revealed that a large fraction of these few supposedly
risk-free patients have lied about their status. According to Altman's
report, Dr. John Ward, Chief of the CDC's Surveillance Branch, stated that
"the CDC conducted a pilot study in South Florida, re-interviewing people
whose AIDS had initially been reported [to the CDC] as due to heterosexual
transmission." As a result, "forty percent of the men initially reported
as heterosexual cases were reclassified" as gay men or drug injectors,
and 14% of the women were reclassified as drug injectors.
Using these findings, of the 19,119 U.S. AIDS cases identified originally
by the CDC as occurring outside the official risk groups, 40% of the 7,857
men and 14% of the 11,261 women may have hidden their risk status from
health care providers, leaving only 14,400 risk-free cases (3% of the total
473,141). During the fifteen years of AIDS, 14,400 comes out to only 960
per year, less than the number of Americans (1,044) who died from influenza
in 1993 (the most recent year for which influenza mortality has been tabulated).(8)
However, even this estimate of the number of risk-free AIDS patients
in the U.S. might be too high.
Johns Hopkins University researchers examined 95% of the 37,436 AIDS
cases reported from 1981 to 1991 in New York City.(11) New York City
is America's AIDS capital, with 16% of all U.S. AIDS patients, more than
the combined total of the cities with the next four largest AIDS populations
(in order: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Houston), and two-and-a-half
times more than L.A.(2)
The Hopkins researchers identified official risks (gay sex, drug injection,
hetero-sex with gays or drug injectors, and blood therapy) for all but
40 of the men and 26 of the women, or just 0.2% of the total. In other
words, through ten years AIDS remained 99.8% confined to patients who revealed
one or more of the official risks.
The data from Britain are just as damning to the official view, showing
that AIDS there is 99.9% confined to the official risk groups. The London
Sunday Times reported on June 23 that "of the 12,565 people in Britain
who have developed AIDS since the disease was first diagnosed in 1982,
a mere 161 (0.1%) have been heterosexuals not exposed to a high-risk category,
such as drug abusers or bisexual men."
These figures conclusively refute claims that "everybody is at risk,"
and also falsify any contagious theory of AIDS.
The Unofficial Risks
The official AIDS risks are those practices (sex, needle sharing, transfusions)
believed to facilitate the transmission of HIV, the official cause of AIDS.
AIDS diagnosed in gay men is assumed to result from the sexual transmission
of HIV from another gay man, in drug injectors from shared needles contaminated
with HIV, and in transfusion recipients from blood contaminated with HIV.
The predominating alternative view of AIDS recognizes HIV as having
no pathological capacity, and traces AIDS primarily to the health-destroying
effects of narcotics (among gays and drug injectors), blood injections
(among transfusion patients and hemophiliacs), abject poverty (in under
developed regions), and pharmaceuticals prescribed even to symptom-free
people who test HIV-positive.(9,10, 12)
According to this non-contagious view, some risk group members with
multiple exposures to non-contagious risk factors will never acquire HIV;
thus this theory predicts (correctly)(9,10) a small number of risk
group members who are HIV-negative but have AIDS symptoms. Also, some clinically
healthy people with limited or no exposure to non-contagious factors will
acquire HIV; thus this theory also predicts (correctly) (9,10) some
healthy people who are HIV-positive but never develop AIDS.
Prevalence of Unofficial Risks in AIDS
How prevalent are unofficial risks (street drugs, repeated infections
with--and toxic treatments for--a variety of toxic microbes, and toxic
treatments for the non-toxic HIV) in Americans diagnosed with AIDS?
The original AIDS patients diagnosed in 1981 were described in the medical
literature as "previously healthy gay men." Careful examination of their
medical history, however, reveals that they were anything but "previously
healthy." All these patients had an extensive history of non-injected street
drug consumption, a long list of venereal and parasitic diseases requiring
repeated toxic treatments, and an average of over one thousand anal sex
partners prior to developing their AIDS conditions.(9) All subsequent
studies confirm that gays who develop AIDS are characterized by a variety
of factors that distinguish them from the vast majority of gays who do
not develop AIDS, street drug use being chief among these. A 1995 study
found that street drug consumption is more prevalent among gay men with
AIDS symptoms than is HIV.(10)
Common factors among the gay men who represent 55% of U.S. AIDS cases
and the 34% who identify themselves as drug injectors are a long history
of street drug consumption (9,10) and a long history of various non-HIV
infections.9 If these two groups were put together under the common heading
"drug users with a history of multiple infections," they would officially
account for 89% of all American AIDS.
Like street drugs and chronic bouts of non-HIV infections, repeated
or massive transfusions with whole blood or clotting factor preparations
can erode health. The new CDC figures show that an additional 2.5% of all
identified U.S. AIDS cases continue to fall within this group.
The remaining 8.5% are officially assumed to be drug-free heterosexuals.
But are they? As already demonstrated, many of these patients actually
are gay men or drug injectors who declined to admit their status to health
professionals reporting to the CDC.
In addition, some unknown fraction consists of heterosexuals who consume
non-injected street drugs (sniffing fumes, snorting powder, popping pills).
Although several studies have demonstrated a nearly universal practice
among "gay" AIDS patients of consuming non-injected street drugs, nobody
has thought to scrutinize this activity among "heterosexual" patients.
The CDC, of course, only tracks street drugs if they are injected.
There is evidence, though, to suggest that this small group of AIDS
patients labeled as "heterosexual" differs in obvious ways from the vast
majority of Americans who fund the AIDS budget.
In the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health (86:5,
p642), CDC physician Scott Holmberg noted a "strong association between
heterosexual HIV infection, 'crack' cocaine smoking, and syphilis in diverse
northeastern urban cities" and described "a consistent profile of the highly
at-risk person from AIDS surveillance data and from specific studies...of
a generally young, minority, indigent woman who uses crack cocaine; has
multiple sex partners; trades sex for crack, other drugs, or money; and
has positive serologic tests for genital ulcerative disease such as syphilis
and herpes simplex type 2."
Last year New York Times correspondent Gina Kolata published
a February 28 article ("New Picture of Who Will Get AIDS Is Dominated by
Addicts") inspired by advanced notice of Holmberg's then-unpublished paper.
Holmberg, an epidemiologist, was quoted as saying, "Maybe as much as half
of the new infections among heterosexuals are occurring in relation to
"And although new infections are spreading fastest among women who acquire
the infection through heterosexual intercourse," Kolata wrote, "as many
as half of these women are crack addicts." Kolata went on to report that
a National Research Council committee had concluded AIDS was "settling
into spatially and socially isolated groups and possibly becoming endemic
These isolated groups are defined by profound and obvious health-destroying
factors that separate them from the vast majority of gay and straight Americans
who have no risk of developing AIDS, even if they never wear condoms.
According to the new CDC report, over half of the "heterosexual" AIDS
patients (four-and-a-half of the eight-and-a-half percentage points that
fall into this category) acknowledge that they have knowingly had sex with
a drug injector (4%) or a gay man (0.5%).(2) Can it be that they developed
their AIDS not because they picked up their partners' HIV, but rather because
they picked up their partners' drug habit (albeit non-injected)?
Or, could it be that they picked up a harmless HIV infection, then developed
AIDS symptoms only after submitting to aggressive prophylactic treatment
with a variety of toxic "anti-AIDS" drugs? After all, one-third (13)
to one-half (14)of all HIV-positive AIDS patients in the U.S. and
Britain develop their symptoms only after taking AZT.
Whether you subscribe to the HIV theory of AIDS or to the alternative
view outlined here, the data are clear: for heterosexuals who do not consume
street drugs, do not knowingly have sex with drug injectors or gay men,
or who have not been injected with blood products, there is virtually no
chance of either contracting HIV or of developing AIDS. This observation
undermines the contagious (HIV) view of AIDS, and supports a non-contagious
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National HIV Serosurveillance
Summary Results Through 1993, Update for Volume 3.
(2) CDC, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, Year-end editions through December
1993 (5:4), 1994 (6:2), and 1995 (7:2); 1(800)342-2437 to order.
(3) Brody, Archives of Sexual Behavior 24:4, 1995.
(4) Detroit Free Press, June 9, p5J.
(5) Nature 371, 1 Sep 94, p2.
(6) Discover, May 1996, p82.
(7) Sports Illustrated, June 17, 1996, p84.
(8) National Center for Health Statistics: Death, call (301) 436-8500.
(9) Root-Bernstein, Rethinking AIDS.
(10) Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus, 1996.
(11) Thomas, American Journal of Epidemiology 137:2, Jan. 15, 1993,
(12) Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Res-Immunol. 143, 1992, p145.
(13) Ascher, Science, Feb. 24, 1995, p.1080.
(14) Poznansky, British Medical Journal 311, July 15, 1995, p.156.