HIV test designer Dr Rodney Richards and cell biologist Dr Andrew Maniotis are two of Dr Jonas Moses guests in this special report on public health policy. Debating also is guest Audrey Serrano who recently won $2.5m for incorrect diagnosis as HIV+, and for the pain and distress she suffered as a result for taking unnecessary and debilitating AIDS drugs and having her daughter taken away, from which she is still recovering.
Rodney Richards and Andrew Maniotis reveal a few of the substantial - and shocking - fundamental flaws in testing for HIV and other diseases and their ramifications for both individuals and publich health policy.
It should be bourne in mind that Dr Jonas Moses was trying to keep the discussion at a general level around the issues facing what are classified as infectious diseases by medical authorities, using HIV and some other diseases as examples. Audrey Serrano was (understandably, given her ordeal over a false HIV+ diagnosis finally recognised by legal authorities) very focussed on her perception of the situation regarding HIV diagnoses and AIDS.
I think it's fair to say that despite the contact with Dr Andrew Maniotis and Dr Jonas Moses and Dr Maniotis's contribution to her legal victory against her doctor, Audrey's grasp of the fundamental issues regarding the validity of HIV/AIDS science has not really diverged far from the orthodox position. Apart from her testimony of her actual experience, her main contributions to the debate are that confirmation diagnostic testing should be done, and that her doctor was treating prescribing AIDS treatment inappropriately because of her high CD4 count, against CDC recommendations.
These points are effectively endorsing the orthodox position that 'confirmatory' western blot testing is valid and that AIDS medication is valid and appropriate at certain CD4 count levels, and ignoring the enormous evidence against the fundamentals behind these notions. However, although she doesn't explicity make the point herself, it does illustrate that when doctors have a patient with a hint of a disease they feel excited / intense about, they tend to plough headlong into taking over-dramatic and potentially dangerous action without pausing for reflection.
Two points that also did not come out particularly clearly in this programme: The over-zealous and nazi-like actions of social workers in removing children from their families whenever someone has been diagnosed HIV+, a common occurrence it seems. And also that Audrey's myriad and debilitating, and enduring, symptoms, even years after she stopped taking any AIDS medication, have essentially all been admitted to be caused by the AIDS drugs she was prescribed to combat an infection she did not have.
It's funny because in someone else these would be attributed to HIV, or called 'Advanced HIV disease', a phrase Mark Weinberg seems to like. We now have a legal ruling that indicates in at least one case HIV had nothing to do with those symptoms, and therefore that highlights the possibility that the drugs could be at the very least a major contributor to similar symptoms in other people who have also been diagnosed as being HIV+.
It's also fair to say that, because of it's general but sweeping nature, several points were made that revealed serious flaws in established scientific paradimgs on their own, sometimes in almost throwaway lines, but there was insufficient time to delve into their major ramifications during this particular show. However, anyone with a sharp mind to pick them out will understand why this show has already generated some intense opposition with attempts to get it suppressed, so watch these videos while you still can.
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