Anti-vaccine notions and the people who follow them are dangerous in more ways than one

I came across this the other day:

“Are vaccines causing more disease than they are curing?”

The answer, simply, is a resounding, astounding, non-confounding and unrelenting “NO!” Never mind that vaccines don’t “cure” diseases. They prevent them. Some vaccines are given after exposure to a pathogen, but they are not given to cure. They are given to give the immune system a head start in building a response to the pathogen. But, as always, facts and reality and stuff like that don’t get in the way of a juicy article that goes from being anti-vaccine to diving head-first into being an all-out AIDS denialism diatribe.

The author of the “article” is a former dermatologist who, according to his Wikipedia entry:

“[He] has written conspiracy theory articles on the origin of HIV, suggesting it may have been a released biological warfare virus and/or deliberately put into a hepatitis B vaccine used in a trial targeted at American homosexuals. His books are self-published by Aries Rising, an imprint Cantwell established in 1984 to disseminate his ideas. He has also been published in New Dawnn Magazine, an Australian magazine dedicated to “presenting news and information ignored or deliberately suppressed by the mainstream media”, OrganicaParanoiaSteamshovel Press, and the New African.”

So it was no surprise to read in his “article” the following things:

“With vaccine experiments frequently performed in Africa and now on black Americans, no wonder one out of every four African-Americans believes AIDS was developed as a genocide program by the US government to exterminate the black population.”

He’s just teasing here. He’s telling you that, if 25% of people believe something, it must be worth investigating. How many people believe in Santa Claus? Then we must investigate and find the old, White fat man!

He doesn’t go deep into the rabbit hole until further down the “article”:

“Could virus-contaminated vaccines lie at the root of AIDS? A few researchers, including myself, believe HIV was “introduced” into gays during the experimental hepatitis B vaccine trials when thousands of homosexuals were injected in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, during the years 1978-1981.

The AIDS epidemic first erupted in gays living in those cities in 1981. In 1980, one year before, already 20% of the gays inoculated in Manhattan with the experimental vaccine were already HIV-positive. This was several years before definite AIDS cases were diagnosed in Africa. In the early 1970s the hepatitis B vaccine was developed in chimpanzees, now wildly accepted as the animal from which HIV supposedly evolved.

Hepatitis B vaccine was developed to protect people from the sexual spread of the hepatitis B virus. Now the government recommends that all newborn babies be given the vaccine [this is also the case in Australia]. Such recommendations do not make sense to many parents. And people are still fearful of the hepatitis B vaccine because of its original connection to gay men and AIDS. The original experimental vaccine was made from the pooled blood serum of hepatitis-infected homosexuals and, as mentioned, serum-based vaccines cannot be sterilised.

Another theory of AIDS is that HIV originated from polio vaccines contaminated with chimp and monkey viruses, and administered to Africans in the late 1950s. In The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS, published in 1999, Edward Hooper details how polio vaccine was made using monkey (and possibly chimp) kidneys and how the ancestor virus of HIV could have jumped species (via the vaccine) to produce the outbreak of AIDS in Africa. Hooper’s well-researched book greatly expands the polio vaccine theory of AIDS first reported by Tom Curtis in Rolling Stone magazine in 1992, and The River is a must-read for anyone interested in the possible man-made origin of AIDS.

Other researchers think it more likely that the various WHO-sponsored vaccine programs (particularly the smallpox program) in Africa in the 1970s are responsible for unleashing AIDS in Africa in the 1980s. Hooper, who has worked as a United Nations official, has discounted the research pointing to AIDS as a man-made disease, as proposed by Dr. Leonard Horowitz in Emerging Viruses, and in my two books AIDS & The Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic and Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot.

Horowitz and I both suspect contaminated smallpox vaccines as the source of HIV in Africa. Certainly the smallpox (vaccinia-cowpox) virus is an excellent virus to use for the genetic engineering of new, multipurpose vaccines. By splicing into the DNA genes of the vaccinia virus, scientists can add on parts of disease-producing viruses like influenza, hepatitis, and other viruses. The safety of this technique has not been fully evaluated, prompting one vaccine maker at a Vaccinia Virus Workshop in 1984 to ask if this could lead to another form of AIDS.”

There’s a lot of stupid to digest there, so I’ll give you a minute to go back up and re-read anything that is not clear to you.

For being an AIDS denialist, the author sure doesn’t have his facts straight about AIDS. AIDS is the acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. As a syndrome, AIDS is not one disease but a collection of diseases. This collection of disease comes about as the immune system is deteriorated/destroyed by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). When I tell you that HIV has been studied “intimately,” I mean that it has been prodded and poked to no end. We now know how it infects people, how it invades immune cells and destroys them when it replicates. We know its genetic code. Heck, if it were a girl, I’d know just the right gift to give it to make it fall in love with me.

But not the author. He seems to believe that HIV was injected in hepatitis B vaccine and that the incubation time was skipped altogether. In his conspiracy-happy little mind, they gave the shots and, bam!, we had the AIDS epidemic that endures today. But he doesn’t stop there. He then blames the polio and smallpox vaccines for the AIDS epidemic. I’m surprised he didn’t blame the Reagan Administration’s CIA programs, a must for any AIDS denialist.

However, let me tell you something. These ideas are dangerous. Like any red-blooded American, I want ideas to flow freely and widely. But we reasonable-minded people need to stand against these ideas and counter them fiercely. Imagine you’re an expectant mother and you’re thinking of deciding whether or not to vaccinate your child against hepatitis B. What if you read this person’s “article”? Would you vaccinate? I wouldn’t if I didn’t know any better. I’d be afraid my kid would get HIV/AIDS!

But what if you’re a person in Africa, in a village where life expectancy is in the 30’s because of HIV/AIDS? What if healthcare workers come around to give the polio vaccine? How would you welcome them? In many places, and not just in Africa, vaccine workers are not welcomed anymore, and many are being killed. They are being killed because of conspiracy theories like these, where vaccines are blamed for all the ills of the people. Further, would you wear a condom or otherwise practice safe sex if you were convinced HIV/AIDS was in vaccines and not in your unvaccinated sex partner?

Seriously, people, this is a big deal. These ideas that blame vaccines for anything and everything are incredibly dangerous. Though the author has every right to express his ideas, his “theories,” he has no right to be protected from us refuting them and countering them as fiercely as we can… Especially when a self-described “researcher” and “author” is now promoting them so widely on his Facebook wall as part of his personal campaign against vaccines.

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2 thoughts on “Anti-vaccine notions and the people who follow them are dangerous in more ways than one

  1. Wait a minute! What’s this about this “we must investigate and find the old, White fat man!”?
    Santa thought he was done with that after he arranged the downfall of Joe McCarthy and the eventual dissolution of the HUAC.
    Don’t mess with the Santa! 😉

    Seriously though, he links so many different virii, it’s hard to tell what his real theory is beyond the spinning propeller on his hat.
    To be honest, to judge by the rambling nature of his “dissertation”, complete with tangental sources of one virus, I suspect schizophrenia.
    For, his mythical source for HIV was monkeys, chips and cows.
    Which is interesting, as there aren’t that many virii that can jump across species like that and none of those resemble HIV, nor does vaccinia.
    He’s even wrong on safety evaluation on the vaccinia based vaccine. Pity, for the truth would’ve given him at least one accurate point.
    By today’s candle, our entire smallpox vaccine stock would be considered unsafe for the public, due to some rather nasty ill effects in a small subset of the population. The only reason that the risk and morbidity and mortality was accepted was due to the much, much higher death rate from smallpox and the benefit for all of its eradication. It is called a risk/benefit analysis, which was spot on from my seat and I still have my scar from my smallpox vaccination.
    Which makes me wonder about his medical credentials, for any physician would’ve learned in medical school about vaccinia, progressive vaccinia, eczema vaccinatum and postvaccinal encephalitis.

  2. “Well known researcher and author”, eh? I’m *underwhelmed* with his qualifications to conduct research (Bachelors degree-psychology, Masters degree-education), and his one case study. His “vaccine-injured” daughter was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at age 3, which he attributes to hepatitis B vaccine given in infancy.

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