Big Pharma Attacks Electron Microscopy

May 29, 2013

29 May – As the Nushawn Williams trial approaches, the makers of HIV testing technologies are concerned that electron microscopy (EM) will further showcase the unreliability of HIV tests.

In this recent AP report (jpeg), two doctors from the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) issued scientifically false claims about EM:

Dr. Joseph McGowan, medical director of the Center for Aids Research and Treatment at North Shore University Hospital, told The Associated Press that the accepted protocol for HIV testing involves screening the blood for antibodies and then confirming the results with a second test. An electron microscope would be unreliable, particularly for someone infected a long time, because the number of cells harboring virus genes would be diluted over time and difficult to detect, said McGowan, the New York and New Jersey chairman of the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

“Electron microscopy is not typically a means for confirming or ruling out HIV infection,” said Dr. Joseph Cervia, who is also a certified HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine and a clinical professor at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.

As OMSJ described in 2012, the AAHIVM is funded primarily by HIV test and drug manufacturers.  At the time of our report, AAHIVM’s Board Chair was Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $2.9 million grant winner Donna Sweet MD, who was also the former Board Chair of the American College of Physicians (ACP), which is also affiliated with – and funded by – the pharmaceutical industry.

The AAHIVM is just one of many pharmaceutical fronts that use “patient care” and fear as pretexts to push deadly drugs and unnecessary treatment.  Since 2009, the drug industry has paid $10 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs that kill or injure 2-4 million Americans, ANNUALLY – paying $2 billion in kickbacks and bribes to clinicians who use unreliable tests to justify the unnecessary prescription of dangerous drugs to their trusting patients.

A careful look at AAHIVM’s psychologically-manipulative script illustrates how HIV clinicians can instill fear in their patients without actually telling them that they’re infected with HIV.  As a technicality, HIV clinicians are carefully instructed not to tell patients that they are infected with HIV but say, instead, “Your HIV test result is positive.”

Note that none of the HIV-related diagnostic tests or devices currently listed on the FDA’s Website claim to confirm the actual presence of HIV in any sample with any degree of stated accuracy.

The AAHIVM script continues on page 5:

  • “You may need to take time to adjust to this. Many people say that it gets easier once you get over the initial shock.  With proper medical and social support, people with HIV can expect to lead very productive lives.”

Nothing in this language suggests that HIV tests do not detect HIV.  Note too that the clinician carefully hedges the obvious question and never actually declares to the patient that he or she is infected with HIV.  This is a conclusion that AAHIVM clinicians want patients to jump to – not something that their clinicians can competently report.

  • “Now that you have HIV it’s important that you receive regular medical follow-up, even if you are feeling healthy.”

Note that the clinician still does not say, “Based upon my careful diagnosis and the following clinical symptoms, etc., it is my opinion that you are infected with HIV.”  As the test labels claim, the asymptomatic patient’s alleged infection is only presumed.   If the asymptomatic patient feels healthy, he’s told that he must return for regular follow-ups – further disrupting his or her life and providing more time for the clinician to groom the healthy patient into believing he or she will soon get sick.)

  • Who can be supportive of you in dealing with this?”

This advice encourages the target to spread the misinformation to those closest to him, making him vulnerable to rejection and isolation from those closest to him.

  • “What questions do you have about HIV infection?”

This opens the door for more pharmaceutical propaganda and marketing information that promotes the impression that a competent test and diagnosis was conducted.

  • “Knowing that you have HIV, what are your concerns about giving HIV to someone else?”
  • “Who do you believe may need to know about your result? Are there particular partners you are worried about?”

These questions allow clinicians to collect data on the target’s associates and romantic relationships so that health departments can cold-call the target’s relationships to instill more fear and further isolate the target under the pretext of “public safety.”

  • “What happens when you and your partner fight?”

This allows clinicians and health department officials to identify wedges that can be used to divide the target from relationships, or coerce partners into getting tested unnecessarily.

  • “What will you do after you leave here?”
  • “Who will you talk with about this news?”
  • “How interested would you be in getting a referral for services to help you live with HIV?”

These questions are designed to establish whether the clinician’s efforts to psychologically isolate and the patient were successful.

It is one thing for pharmaceutical spokesmen like McGowan and Cervia to spread propaganda in the media, but as the depositions of Joan Duwve MD MPH, Sky Blue MD, Joseph Marzouk MD and Lesha Wilson MD illustrate, quite another when forced to tell the truth under oath.

More about this case is posted here.  More about the unreliability of HIV tests is posted here.