THE FAUCI FILES, 3( 29): HIV Drug Cocktail Hoax, Part II, The Scheme Team

W. Fred Shaw fredshaw at primenet.com
Tue Feb 29 01:55:22 EST 2000


THE FAUCI FILES, 3( 29): HIV Drug Cocktail Hoax, Part II, The Scheme
Team

February 29, 2000

In dealing with the AIDS Activists of the mid-to-late 1980's,
NIH/NIAID Director-Dictator Dr. Toni Fauci learned the magic
of assimilating them by "accommodating" their wants and needs. 
The problem these activists didn't realize they had was their 
undoing: they wanted something from the establishment. When 
the establishment "Jesus" (Fauci) answered their prayers, 
they quickly became part of the problem. They not only 
sold out, but they sold out for cheap.

Before long, the sincere and capable activists were all dead.
They weren't very careful for what they wished for (AZT). The
original "AIDS Activist" game died out, and over time was
replaced by the abomination that now calls itself "Treatment 
Activism", not just for HIV, but for other diseases as well. 
This, of course, has everything to do with the corporate
sponsors of these pro-establishment neo-activists (not much
different than the right-wing organizations that falsely
label themselves as "environmental groups", when in fact they
are pro-industry groups bent on de-regulating environmental
controls for the sake of profit). 

In fact, the vast majority of HIV "Treatment Activists" are NOT 
HIV-infected. As such, they have no stake in the outcome they 
demand for those who they now call their "constituents". 
What's worse, these "Treatment Activists" have become manipulative
and deceptive, often making outrageously false medical claims
for drug treatment outcomes on the basis of phony anecdotal
rise-and-walk stories about non-existent patients. Their treatment 
claims are NEVER based on the published peer-reviewed science. The
reason is obvious: the science not only doesn't prove their
case, but instead proves that the "treatments" they were hired
to protect are not merely ineffective, but are deadly.

In the last issue of THE FAUCI FILES, 3(28), the article of Celia
Farber in the March 2000 edition of Gear Magazine was presented.
Ms. Farber, of course, quoted actual scientists and brilliantly
took her readership by the hand to illustrate the falsehoods
behind the present-day HIV cocktail drugs. Below is the response
by two of the Treatment Activists collaborating with Team Fauci.

As you can see for yourself, these "Treatment Activists" aren't
interested in the science for one excellent reason: they have
none. So what do they do with they are paid to smokescreen the
message? They attack the messenger, in this case, Celia Farber.

Naturally, these Treatment Activists publish their "editorial" comments
NOT in Gear Magazine where the Farber article appeared, but instead
in the San Francisco local gay paper known as the "Bay Area Reporter"
(BAR). Here's their "reason":

  "(Gear is) a glossy NC-17 magazine for the post-feminist 
   straight guy (think fraternity house bathroom material)"

Sadly, the BAR receives substantial advertising income
for promoting the treatments that these Treatment Activists
are struggling to defend. So why are these purported "gay
activists" so scared about what shows up in "straight
guy ... fraternity house bathroom material"? The answer 
will be made clear in the next edition of THE FAUCI
FILES 3(30).

What is so reprehensible about this form of corporate behavior 
is that this is little more than false advertising: misinformation 
that typically gets passed off to the targeted consumer as 
"information" upon which they are deliberately misled into 
making treatment decisions that will boost the short-term
profits of the corporations, but will destroy the health of
the targeted consumer who is being presented with these fraudulent
"choices" as if they were life-saving, yet are not.

Here is the classic smear of the pro-pharmaceutical
industry Treatment Activist:

  "Beneath cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from some 
   eminent HIV/AIDS researchers, lies a dark, sinister agenda."

  "Farber seduces the unsuspecting neophyte with a few provocative 
   remarks suggesting HAART is one big, fat, greed-driven lie ... "

  "... Farber, formerly Spin magazine's HIV dissident 
   mouthpiece for the flat-earth society of Duesberg disciples. 
   And spin she does"

  "Farber is closely allied with a group of AIDS-naysayers, ACT 
   UP/San Francisco that run a "medical marijuana dispensary" and 
   actively try to convince people to go off drugs. They litter 
   and spray paint the city with slogans claiming, "AIDS is over," 
   "HIV is a lie," and "Oppose AIDS funding." They recently 
   disrupted a Congressional hearing, proclaiming AIDS funding a 
   fraud and a scam, and have gotten cozy with the Christian right 
   and the Family Research Council. "

[The above paragraph contains many outrageously false and
libelous statements. In fact, it is the Treatment Activists who
are in bed with the Christian right, and its affiliation with
the Family Research Council]

Here's the false, unsubstantiated claim of the corporate informercial:

   "HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) is not the Holy 
    Grail. But, there's no denying that its virologic and 
    immunologic benefits have been nothing short of miraculous for 
    many." 

   "Coping with severe side effects can be manageable at best, or 
    reason for treatment cessation at worst. Whether the damage is 
    irreversible is not yet known."

   "A handful of case reports confirming heart attacks among people 
    receiving HAART cannot be compared to the devastation of the 
    1980s and early 1990s"

[Fact: The huge number of deaths from cocktail drug-caused heart 
 disease is far beyond alarming -- it has surpassed the threshold 
 for the FDA to pull these drugs from the market, but the political 
 climate will not permit this, given that these are the ONLY drugs
 paid for by the taxpayers (at GREAT expense), and provided for 
 free by the industry-controlled U.S. Congress]

   "...the death rate has fallen precipitously with their widespread 
    use"

[Fact: The falling death rate had nothing at all to do with these    
 drugs -- it had everything to do with the reduction in the rate of 
 infection of a decade earlier and an early die-off among those using 
 AZT and the cocktail predecessor drugs.]

   "... Let us not forget the macabre horror of witnessing the wasted, 
    KS-riddled shells of almost an entire generation slowly going blind 
    or mad, struck down in their prime."

[Fact: Kaposi's sarcoma rates have dropped because the initial burst
 was the direct result of the "seeding" of the outbreak of HIV in the
 U.S. through the Hepatitis-B vaccine that was not only contaminated
 with HIV, but was also contaminated with KS virus (KSV). It is as
 ludicrous as it is laughable that these corporate stooges are 
 insinuating that the drop in the KS rate has been the result of 
 the products they are promoting.]

The ultimate irrelevancy of the Treatment Activists:

   "In light of what is now known about side effects and lacking proof 
    of the utility of early therapy, the need for improved treatment 
    strategies and novel drugs is evident."

[ Fact: The Treatment Activists always justify their product    
  promotionals on the single basis of there are no "better"
  treatments, when in fact, NO treatment IS better treatment
  for asymptomatics, regardless of T-cell count or viral load. ]

   "Let us not forget the daily death toll in the obituaries or the 
    weekly memorial services of years past."

[Fact: In the past year, the BAR's obituaries have exceeded those
 of "years past". On some occasions, the death count reported
 was higher in number -- even before one adjusts for the declining
 rate of infection over the years. Most notable is the fact that
 "AIDS" is rarely the cause of death, which is usually reported
 as "sudden" and related to cocktail drug-caused heart attacks].


Finally, fulfilling their PAID role as "Treatment Activists", here the 
authors hold themselves out to the targeted consumer as their
"constituents" (Horn and Miss Grinberg have yet to establish they are 
even HIV-infected, much less using these drugs themselves):

   "Whether the damage is irreversible is not yet known. Farber and 
    Regush contend the drugs are poisoning us to death..." (Horn and
    Miss Grinberg have yet to establish they are even HIV-infected, 
    much less using these drugs themselves)


Crooked Murdering Bastards!

W. Fred Shaw
Editor, THE FAUCI FILES

---

HAART sick hoax
by Tim Horn and Linda Grinberg, ACT UP/Golden Gate Writers Pool

 Under the flimsy guise of serious medical reportage, a recent 
article boldly proclaimed, "In 1996 a scientist claimed he'd 
found a way to defeat AIDS. In the wave of euphoria that 
followed, a batch of new drugs flooded the market. Four years 
later, those drugs are wreaking unimaginable horror on the 
patients who dared to hope. What went wrong?" 

So begins Celia Farber's yarn of half-truths in the March 2000 
issue of Gear, a glossy NC-17 magazine for the post-feminist 
straight guy (think fraternity house bathroom material). 
Beneath cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from some eminent 
HIV/AIDS researchers, lies a dark, sinister agenda. Farber 
seduces the unsuspecting neophyte with a few provocative 
remarks suggesting HAART is one big, fat, greed-driven lie that 
has needlessly left people living with this phantom virus 
crippled, mangled, deformed, and headed straight to the morgue. 

"In reality, three years into the protease inhibitor craze, 
most people on cocktail therapy can barely function," 
fabricates Farber, formerly Spin magazine's HIV dissident 
mouthpiece for the flat-earth society of Duesberg disciples. 
And spin she does. 

Farber's fiction was recently regurgitated in the form of a 
commentary posted to the ABCNews.com Web site by Nicholas 
Regush, an ABC producer who is peddling a new book. "Now 
science must confront this ongoing travesty," Regush rants, "a 
guinea-pig experiment not unlike those medical forays conducted 
by the Nazis." Let's back up a bit, shall we? 

Numerous people living with HIV have been harmed by the drugs 
they take. In this sense, HIV – and the treatments used to 
control it – is no different than any other life-threatening 
disease known to man. Drugs can be toxic. But until proven 
otherwise, the tradeoff remains the lesser of two evils – for 
AIDS has claimed the lives of over 16 million people, leaving 
an estimated 33.6 million ravaged in its wake. 

HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) is not the Holy 
Grail. But, there's no denying that its virologic and 
immunologic benefits have been nothing short of miraculous for 
many. And then there are the side effects. Both short- and 
long-term toxicities abound. For those starting therapy, often 
there is diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Over the longer term, 
peripheral neuropathy frequently develops, as do liver and 
kidney toxicities and a long list of potential metabolic 
abnormalities. 

Coping with severe side effects can be manageable at best, or 
reason for treatment cessation at worst. Whether the damage is 
irreversible is not yet known. Farber and Regush contend the 
drugs are poisoning us to death, repudiating the fact that the 
death rate has fallen precipitously with their widespread use. 
No one can deny the fact that those near death are now alive to 
complain – loudly. As Jeff Getty of ACT UP/Golden Gate bluntly 
states, "I'd rather be alive with a paunch than dead and 
rotting in my grave." 

We cannot overlook the ghastly side effects some people face. 
Patients and volunteers in clinical trials willingly offered up 
the last remnants of their precious health and lives – the 
ultimate sacrifice – in pursuit of a therapy to save themselves 
and others. Activists valiantly fought for early access to 
these drugs. The commitment of these brave souls has prolonged 
the lives of many and continues to bear fruit, albeit sometimes 
bitter. 
 
Keeping the context 
Missives from the misguided duo aside, accounts from within our 
ranks further muddy the waters. Reports of the incidence of 
lipodystrophy, a syndrome of metabolic complications believed 
to be a consequence – either directly or indirectly – of HAART 
are multiplying. Estimates range from 2 percent to over 80 
percent of the HIV-infected population. But, as Martin Delaney 
of Project Inform points out, higher prevalence rates can be 
misleading. "A careful look at cohort data shows that 
lipodystrophy is being defined using any one of innumerable 
physical manifestations or lab test irregularities," he 
explains. "In some studies anyone with elevated cholesterol or 
middle-age paunch is included in the tally. Studies using more 
demanding criteria show vastly lower rates." 

A handful of case reports confirming heart attacks among people 
receiving HAART cannot be compared to the devastation of the 
1980s and early 1990s as we faced the loss of our loved ones to 
untreatable AIDS-related infections and our own mortality. 

Learning lessons 
An overzealous, insatiable press fed our hunger and desperation 
at the 1996 International AIDS conference in Vancouver, 
anointing Dr. David Ho our savior and Time's Man of the Year. 
His eradication theory, taken as gospel, was faithfully 
preached with missionary fervor. Hopes were dashed with the 
discovery of hidden, impenetrable sanctuaries of virus, virus 
capable of persisting for 60-plus years.

Denouncing Ho a heretic, the media is ever intent on destroying 
the icon it created. Bashing HAART has become chic. In reality, 
the only debate going on about HAART is not whether to use it 
but when.  The United States Public Health Service and 
International AIDS Society-USA continue to advocate the "hit 
early" and "hit hard" approach. Yet the tide is turning. Dr. 
Keith Henry, medical director of the HIV clinic at Regions 
Hospital in Minnesota, argues in the most recent issue of 
Annals of Internal Medicine that, with the twilight of the 
eradication hypothesis, the utility of early therapy is 
becoming increasingly suspect. Henry and others claim that it's 
not too late to remand this important question to the realm of 
clinical research. In light of what is now known about side 
effects and lacking proof of the utility of early therapy, the 
need for improved treatment strategies and novel drugs is 
evident. 

Farber and Regush shy away from the real debate and instead 
fabricate an Armageddon. By maligning HAART, they mask the true 
agenda they are promulgating – that HIV is benign, not the 
cause of AIDS, and a pharmaceutical scam. To build a case, the 
drugs must be portrayed as the deadly enemy. Their continued 
benefit undermines their mission and there would be no story. 

Farber is closely allied with a group of AIDS-naysayers, ACT 
UP/San Francisco that run a "medical marijuana dispensary" and 
actively try to convince people to go off drugs. They litter 
and spray paint the city with slogans claiming, "AIDS is over," 
"HIV is a lie," and "Oppose AIDS funding." They recently 
disrupted a Congressional hearing, proclaiming AIDS funding a 
fraud and a scam, and have gotten cozy with the Christian right 
and the Family Research Council. 

Farber asserts, "Protease inhibitors were approved on small, 
short trials, in which results were virtually engineered." 
Failing to mention longer-term, larger studies conducted around 
the world that affirmed the profound value of the new 
therapies, Farber concludes, "The rush to get the new AIDS 
drugs on the market caused a near-total disintegration of the 
FDA drug approval process." Tell that to those whose lives were 
spared. 

Yes, fat redistribution is horrific and these miraculous drugs 
may leave us wanting. But, let us neither deny our history, nor 
forget our past.

Let us not forget the daily death toll in the obituaries or the 
weekly memorial services of years past. Let us not forget the 
macabre horror of witnessing the wasted, KS-riddled shells of 
almost an entire generation slowly going blind or mad, struck 
down in their prime. Let us not forget their names or their 
faces. Let us not forget the grim reality that AIDS is more 
lethal than any drug and that death is never pretty. 

====






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