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Jock Doubleday Challenges the UK AIDS group AVERT

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Jock Doubleday
September 23, 2006

Hello AVERT,
I’m the director of a California nonprofit organization that deals with health issues. I almost choked on my nori when I saw the AIDS statistics you posted at
http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm
These numbers are not real. You can ask anyone at the World Health Organization, and they will tell you that the numbers are not real. They are computer-generated numbers, and the models change yearly (always creating smaller and smaller numbers to get closer to reality).
There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, an AIDS epidemic in Africa, or anywhere else for that matter.
If you want to know the first true thing you’ll ever know about AIDS, get Christine Maggiore’s book: “What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?” or check out her foundation’s web site at http://www.aliveandwell.org/
If you don’t want to know the first true thing you’ll ever know about AIDS, then delete this message, or just store it somewhere where you’ll never look at it again.
In health,

Jock Doubleday
Director
Natural Woman, Natural Man, Inc.

AVERT
September 25

Hi Jock,
Thanks for contacting us.
I have not read Christine Maggiore’s book. However I have read a fair amount of the material on her web site, as well as a great deal of other “dissident” articles by Duesberg, Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Farber, Hodgkinson and many others.
As an independent AIDS organisation founded in 1986, AVERT has taken a keen interest in the ongoing debate about what causes the condition. As well as investigating the consensus position, we have followed and carefully considered the arguments of the dissident minority who claim that HIV is harmless or even that it might not exist. This topic is vitally relevant to how our organisation works to prevent people developing AIDS and to help those who are suffering.
It is AVERT’s considered opinion that the evidence that HIV causes AIDS is abundant and conclusive. We also believe that the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa is real and is killing many thousands of people.
To learn more about why we hold these views, visit http://www.avert.org/evidence.htm and http://www.avert.org/safricastats.htm.
To read more about how HIV estimates are calculated, visit http://www.avert.org/statistics.htm and http://www.epidem.org/publications.htm.
Regards,
Rob Noble AVERT

Jock Doubleday
September 25

Hi Rob,
Thanks for your considered reply.
You mention “the AIDS epidemic” as if it had been proven to exist. As I mentioned in my contact letter (reproduced below), the numbers on your site “proving” that an AIDS epidemic exists have been generated from a computer model. Yet your site presents them as real.
http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm
This was my main point in my contact letter, yet you didn’t answer this point in your reply below.
Here’s my question: If these numbers are not real, why do you present them as real on your site? I think that’s a fair question to ask.
Here is a small sampling of the statements that your site makes that have not been verified by science of any kind:
”More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.”
”Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans.”
”In developing and transitional countries, 6.8 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 1.65 million are receiving the drugs.”
”The number of people living with HIV rose from around 8 million in 1990 to 38.6 million in 2005, and is still growing. Around 63% of people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa.”
”During 2005 around four million adults and children became infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS.”
These are just a few of the statements for which your site provides no science. It is not science to simply say, “WHO published these computer model-generated estimates.” But you don’t even say that. You say, “The latest statistics on the world epidemic of AIDS & HIV were published by UNAIDS/WHO in May 2006, and refer to the end of 2005.”
Let’s see, “The latest statistics on” . . . It’s very slippery wording, isn’t it? You see, the reader is allowed to believe that these numbers are true because they come from two respected world health agencies. But you know, and I know, and AIDS researchers all around the world know that these numbers are by no stretch of the imagination true.
And the “false numbers” problem is just the tip of the iceberg. I will get to the rest of the iceberg in a subsequent, longer, email, in which I show that the great majority of your organization’s claims at http://www.avert.org/evidence.htm are either misleading or false.
I very much want a response from your organization regarding the problem I outlined in my contact email. Here is the problem again, formulated as a question:
”If AIDS incidence numbers are not real, why do you present them as real on your site?”
I have cc’d Christine Maggiore on this email.
Sincerely,
Jock Doubleday

Christine Maggiore
September 26

Dear Mr Noble,
Jock Doubleday copied me on your email exchange regarding AIDS statistics and AIDS causation.
In your response to Mr Doubleday, you mention having examined the so-called dissident literature and that “it is AVERT’s considered opinion that the evidence that HIV causes AIDS is abundant and conclusive.”
Given your considerable knowledge of both sides of the issues, I would very much appreciate an opportunity to engage in a polite and professional discussion of these topics for an international broadcast, time and date to be arranged at your convenience.
The purpose of our conversation would be to answer questions and concerns about HIV and AIDS raised by myself and others using the evidence you’ve gathered in your many years of research.
Will you please let me know your availabilities?
With appreciation for your interest in this important subject,
Christine Maggiore

AVERT
September 26

Dear Jock and Christine,
The global HIV/AIDS statistics quoted by AVERT are estimates and are clearly labeled as such in our web pages. It is neither feasible nor necessary to test every single person on the planet to determine how many of them are HIV-positive. Instead, researchers test large, representative samples of people and extrapolate the results. Examples of raw survey data can be found in our South African statistics page (http://www.avert.org/safricastats.htm) and in UNAIDS/WHO Epidemiological Fact Sheets (http://www.who.int/GlobalAtlas/predefinedReports/EFS2004/index.asp). As you can see, the prevalence figures found in the surveys are similar to the estimates that are derived from them.
The estimation methods used by UNAIDS/WHO are clearly laid out at http://www.epidem.org/publications.htm and http://sti.bmjjournals.com/content/vol82/suppl_3/. You can even download the software from the UNAIDS web site if you wish.
There is nothing unusual or invalid about estimating disease prevalence and incidence from sample data Ų exactly the same thing is done with malaria, TB, diabetes and other common diseases. The UNAIDS/WHO figures are internationally respected as the most reliable and are regularly cited in leading peer-reviewed journals. They are „realš in the sense that they provide the most accurate available picture of the epidemic, based on sound epidemiology.
I have no wish to engage in any further public or private debate on this topic. The issue of AIDS causation has already been discussed at great length in the peer-reviewed literature and elsewhere. I believe that the articles on our web site and the references they cite provide ample evidence that HIV causes AIDS and that the epidemic in Africa is real and extensive.
Regards,
Rob Noble

Christine Maggiore
September 27

Dear Mr Nobel,
The estimates for AIDS you refer to are largely gathered through modeling results from sentinel testing, a practice that, in the opinion of many, produces highly questionable numbers.
In South Africa for example, the World Health Organization’s estimates of 5,600,000 cases of AIDS are based on results from only 15,000 tests conducted on pregnant women using a single HIV ELISA, a test noted by its manufacturer, Abbott Laboratory, to produce false positives due to pregnancy. Further, this alarming estimate contrasts sharply with the WHO’s cumulative total of actual AIDS cases counted in South Africa: 12,825 since 1981.
Many AIDS activists attribute the 5,000,000 plus disparity between estimates and actual cases to the stigmas associated with AIDS or to poor record keeping, but this argument does not explain South Africa’s low overall mortality. The Office of National Home Statistics reports that less than 1% of the population of South Africa dies annually from any cause including AIDS. Additionally, according to a January 1999 Health Systerms Trust Update, life expectancy in South Africa has increased by seven years during the period of time known as the AIDS epidemic.
A report last month in the UK Guardian noted that, contrary to the predictions of AIDS experts, population explosions in sub-Saharan Africa are exacerbating problems of poverty, septic living conditions and environmental degredation.
In 1993, AIDS experts claimed Botswana would be “the first nation in modern times to lietrally die out” from AIDS, yet a 2003 census reveals the country’s population grew at robust 2.7% annually during the 10 years following that dire prediction.
I think there is a lot we could talk about, and that there is a large audience interested in knowing how the evidence you have gathered can put our contrasting views into perspective.
If you are unwilling or unprepared to discuss these important issues, perhaps the director of AVERT or another representative of your organization would be able to engage in dialogue.
Looking forward to your reply,
Christine

AVERT
September 28

Christine,
I refer you to the report “Adult mortality (age 15-64) based on death notification data in South Africa: 1997-2004”, and to a recent news story at http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/FA96D301-87C5-43E5-BB63 -6F6921A12F7A.asp.
Neither I nor anyone else at AVERT intends to respond to any further correspondence from you.
Rob Noble

Christine Maggiore
September 29

Dear Mr Noble, I appreciate your reply, and understand that you do not wish to dialogue further, however, I would like to check out the report you mention on mortality in South Africa. Can you give me a reference to where this is published? Regarding the article from AIDSmap linked to in your email, this does not address the questions posed in my message about sentinel testing, or the information I offered on Botswana. In fact, it doesn’t clarify much of anything. While the article’s headline suggests the already low mortality in Botswana has fallen further due to free AIDS drugs, the article itself states that “these results are preliminary, and there is no way to show direct causality” between drug roll outs and lowered death rates. I wonder if you have any comment on one of today’s AIDSmap headlines: “Study challenges current thinking regarding viral load as a predictor of CD4 cell loss.” Given that viral load test kit literature states that it is “not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic to confirm HIV infection,” the fact that it is proving a poor predictor of health outcome is hardly suprising. Mr Noble, my concerns about testing practices and treatment roll outs in Africa are sincere. I had hoped you would explain how we can rely on single antibody tests given to a population with widespread exposure to TB, malaria, parasites and other conditions well documented to skew HIV results; how impoverished peoples will deal with side effects of anti-HIV drugs that require close monitoring for elevated liver enzymes and cholesterol levels that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and organ failure; and if there are rolls outs of free treatment for the loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, nauseau, kidney stones, pancreatitis, bone necrosis, facial wasting and other common side effects of anti-HIV drugs which are available to users in the western world. Finally, can you please explain why representatives of an AIDS organization would avoid dialogue on AIDS? I wonder in what other area of medicine or public health vital questions are casually dismissed rather than urgently answered. Thank you, Christine

Waiting…

No reply from Rob Noble or anyone else at AVERT

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