Needles and Nitrites

TRKeske trkeske at
Fri Jun 5 22:41:01 EST 1998


What gives, here?  John Liesch says that poppers were originally
made from amyl nitrate, and Mike Silverman says that amyl
nitrate is "extremely poisonous".  Gee whiz, Mr. Science.

At least, this is an example of a question that has a definite 
answer, and all we have to do is dig hard enough for it.
I'll let you guys take care of this one.

I'm not sure if John is on the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" side of
the debate, or the "Maybe We Have to Worry about Genocide"
side.  When he says that amyl nitrite/nitrate is not a likely
causative agent of KS, that to me that is the scary thought.
The statistical correlation is strong, a fact acknowledged by
Gallo, by Congress, by a CDC Director.  As I said, this is the
scenario that makes me worry about contamination.

As I worry about contaminated poppers to kill gays, I also worry
about contaminated drugs, to kill drug users.  We tend to hold it
as an unquestioned assumption that drug users are "bad" people
who naturally "deserve" what they get, for being irresponsible with
their health.  We ask so few questions, that few would wonder or
question if there were murder, right under our noses.

It is worthwhile to question the "dirty needle" theory that we all
have accepted as virtual fact.   I try to think how one might try
to test whether drug users are unreasonably over-represented
among AIDS victims.

I've long been bothered by the fact that health-care needle-stick
accidents are claimed to be so low risk, yet "dirty needles" for
drug users are so extremely effective at causing infection.

I tried to find some information on infectivity rates.   I found that
the probability of contracting AIDS through needlestick accidents
was very low- about .05 percent [1].  In contrast, the basic risk
of contracting AIDS through vaginal intercourse is as much as
10 times higher: .1 to .5 percent [2].

If the probability of infecting someone PER INCIDENT doubles, 
it doesn't mean that the growth curve of infections merely doubles.
The effect is even greater, because it grows as a  power of 3
instead of a power of 2.

This is a maybe a controversial point, but I question whether the
infectivity rate for drug users should be much higher than for
health care needlesticks, per incident.

Drug users may inject far more often, but if the infectivity
rate PER INCIDENT is lower than that of heterosexual
intercourse, then you would expect to see far more heterosexuals
with AIDS than drug users with AIDS.  In fact, it is just the
opposite: the number of drug users with AIDS is nearly triple [3].

I asked a microbiologist about this.  He claimed that the dangers
for an incident of drug injection were about "1000 times" greater
than that for a needlestick accident.

Although this person had insisted that I be precise and quote my
sources, he himself quoted no source for this.  I suspect that it
was just a haphazard guess.   If the risk were really
"1000 times greater", the proportion of drug users with AIDS
should be even far more dramatically skewed.

The microbiologist said that the key difference was that injecting
directly into a vein is a far more efficient course of entry, than
merely into muscle tissue.

Superficially, this might seem to make sense.  However, it seems
to me that for a virus like this, mere entry into the bloodstream,
at all, should be quite sufficient.  There is no blood, in muscle
tissue or anywhere else in the body, that merely sits in place.
It has to cycle back through the whole circulatory
system, back to the heart.  I'm sure that a percentage of blood
cells may just get stuck somewhere and die, but I would think
that for the most part, they keep circulating, in time, through
the whole body.

It is a recurring theme that infectivity of HIV is related to
the dose level and concentration of the virus.  Supposedly,
this is why AIDS doesn't spread by deep kissing, even though
the virus is present in saliva, in low amounts.

I doubt that even drug users are injecting themselves with
needles that are dripping with visible blood.  Even the
most hopelessly addicted souls can at least wipe a needle
off on their sleeve.  A mouthful of saliva, that's safe, yet
the invisible, miniscule amount of blood on a wiped-off
needle- that manages to infect our society's undesirables,
like crazy?

Even if wiping off wasn't enough, a little bleach would
be quite effective.  If "needle exchange" is 
politically incorrect for conservatives, why not
a bit of education about bleach, or free bleach packets?

Anyone motivated enough to exchange their needles
certainly ought to be motivated enough to pick up
a bottle of bleach.

I'm surprised that we would even need such a program.
Anyone who can afford drugs can afford a simple 
bottle of bleach, that would probably last them for

Perhaps we are blind sheep accomplices to genocide,
because we buy so easily into stereotypes: drugs users
must all be too dirty, too stupid, too self-destructive
to save their own lives in the simplest and easiest of ways-
just like gay people and other undesirables.

Maybe they are not.  Perhaps the answer to why so many
drug users are getting sick is tied to the question of why
the CIA would let crack be peddled in black neighborhoods.

Profiting from genocide- getting rid of drug users, of
blacks, making money for the Contras in the process.
Perhaps the money goes into Swiss banks.

Perhaps former First Lady Nancy Reagan was giving
us a hint of the answer, when she said that anyone
who used drugs was "an accomplice to murder"

Or perhaps LA police chief Daryl Gates was telling us
something more when he advised a Senate Judiciary
committee that drug users should be "taken out and shot."

Why shoot them?  It would cause such a nasty stink 
with the liberals.  There is a better way.

Good morning, people- are you ever going to wake up?

Tom Keske
Boston, Mass


      abstract11577.html  (Occupational Health and Safety)

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