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“You Are Going To Die.” – An Alternative Look At HIV/ AIDS

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When AIDS first took the world by storm in the early 80’s, these words were the inevitable accompaniment to a diagnosis of the disease.  The poor individual on the receiving end of such a diagnosis would, of course, feel like their whole world was crashing in around them. Then they would ask the fateful question, “How long do I have?”

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Answers to this could range vaguely from weeks, to months, to years – they really didn’t know exactly when, just that it would be “soon,” and that without proper medication it would surely happen even sooner.

People were dropping like flies just a few short decades ago, and millions of people globally have died from HIV/AIDS, but fast forward to today and a different picture emerges -one where people with HIV have the opportunity to live a fairly normal lifespan. An obvious question to ask is, why? What has changed? Is it ‘amazing new medical advancements’ or something a bit more sinister?

Positive Hell

A new documentary by Joan Shenton and Andy Reiss has just been released (trailer found at the end of this post) called “Positive Hell” It features the story of 5 Spanish adults, all diagnosed with HIV 25-30 years ago.

Despite all being given a death sentence by their doctors at time of their diagnosis and told to take the usual prescribed drugs, all five decided not to take the HIV medications. Some refused outright, while others stopped once they realized the drugs were making them feel worse. Apart from one of these five, who was an intravenous drug user and died last year due to non-HIV related illness, all are alive and very well today.

Two are married and have children who are all HIV negative, already prompting the question, “Isn’t HIV highly transmittable?” Both the partners are also HIV negative, despite having unprotected sex many times over the years. One of the film’s subjects, Dr. Manuel Garrido, is a practicing physician.

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How Is This Possible?

Their story begs the question, how can people who were previously told they were going to die and who “must take the medication” in order to survive still be alive and well today, almost three decades later, without taking any HIV drugs?  Are they just “lucky,” or is there a simple reason why they haven’t succumbed to the disease? Haven’t we all been told that those who test positive for HIV are surely to die?

pills1

Impressive Advances In HIV Drugs Or Are They Now Simply Just Less Toxic?

Many attribute the development of newer drugs to the increased life expectancy of those diagnosed with this disease. These drugs are thought to do a much more effective job at targeting the actual virus – and allowing people to live longer – but when you dig a little deeper it seems that the original AZT drugs were proven to be incredibly toxic, causing people to die far sooner.

You might also be shocked to know that AZT was previously rejected by the FDA as a chemotherapy drug almost ten years before HIV was discovered due to its high toxicity.

One scientist, who is praised for his cancer and retrovirus research (he isolated the first cancer gene) Dr. Peter Duesberg, is Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at Berkeley University, has looked into these drugs extensively and said that the medication actually brings on AIDS. He had this to say about AZT:

 “The most toxic drug that has ever been licensed for long term consumption in the free world… AZT is a prescription drug and according to the manufacturer itself it causes symptoms that are indistinguishable from AIDS. So I would say it is not arrogant for me to say that AZT is AIDS by prescription.”

azt

On the label of AZT these words are found:

“TOXIC. Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed. Target organ(s): Blood bone marrow. If you feel unwell, seek medical advice (show the label where possible). Wear suitable protective clothing.”

AZT was classed as a ”black box” drug with skull and bones on the label; this is an indication that the drug is indeed a deadly poison. The bottle above contained only 100 mg tablets, but people with HIV were prescribed typically between 500 to 1500 mg a day!

What Did The Original AZT Studies Show?

In relation to AZT causing much more harm than good, was Dr Duesberg correct?

Celia Farber

Celia Farber

Celia Farber was one of the first brave journalists to really investigate the safety and effectiveness of AZT drugs (made by Burroghs Wellcome at the time, now known as GSK) which were being given to millions of HIV positive people. The FDA passed this drug back in 1987,  but one of the first studies -involving 1749 “healthy” but still HIV positive people, known as the ”Concorde Study,” and carried out in England, France, and Ireland -showed some very concerning results:

  • The study found that AZT was too toxic for most people to tolerate, had no lasting effect on HIV blood levels, and left the patients with fewer CD4 cells than they had started with.
  • The team concluded that AZT – a highly toxic and carcinogenic drug – neither prolongs life nor staves off symptoms of AIDS in people who are HIV-antibody positive but still healthy.

Celia spoke to some of the doctors involved in this study about the pressure being put on them to make the study look less concerning than it really was.

I had heard that the Concorde team had been under tremendous pressure from AZT’s manufacturer Burroughs Wellcome, to soften its results. After one of the sessions in which the results were discussed, I walked up to Dr. Ian Weller, a chief investigator of Concorde, and congratulated him. I asked whether there had indeed been pressure from Wellcome. He nodded. A woman standing next to him, also on the Concorde team, nodded emphatically and finally burst out: “Yes, there has been pressure, and it has been placed at the very highest level’.’ Doesn’t that, I asked, frustrate and infuriate you? She nodded, furiously, and said, “The most frustrating thing is that I can’t tell you about it.” Much of that raw Concorde data, particularly on toxicity, remains to be revealed.

Isn’t it alarming to know that right from the very early days this drug was causing so many problems, yet was allowed to be given to people in massive doses for such a long time? And that it was also being given to infants and children?

AZT is still given in conjunction with other medications to HIV/AIDS patients, but the adult dose is now around 300 mg twice a day.

Are these four adults still alive today just because they haven’t taken the recommended drugs?

Never Ending Stigma & Dogma

Imagine for a minute what it’s like to be told “You are going to die,” without any inclination of when that might happen. Imagine how your family would feel, not knowing if this year was going to be your last. Imagine the constant stress, or trying to go to sleep at night, having this death sentence constantly weighing down on your mind.

Try to think about how angry you would feel remembering the constant fear engendered by those words, only to still be alive almost 30 years later. Was it necessary to be told so conclusively that you are going to die?

If you happen to be HIV positive, this diagnosis follows you wherever you go. It’s like a life-time “guilty” sentence. And if you choose not to take the recommended HIV drugs, you might have a very hard time receiving any medical treatment at all. It seems not many doctors today are willing to see HIV positive patients without them following protocol, which means taking the anti-retroviral drugs.

The 5 people in this film are certainly not the only ones refusing to take these medications; there are now thousands of HIV-positive people all over the world who have rejected taking this treatment and say they feel much better.

Positive Hell is only a short 30 minute documentary and is really a collection of testimonials, but their powerful stories certainly leave you with plenty of questions.

Is the HIV/Aids industry just another example (like the Cancer Industry) of us doing more harm than good by using toxic drugs?

Check out the film’s website here

Joan Shenton and Andy Reiss, have also produced the film Positively False – Birth of A Heresy and Joan is an author of the book Positively False – Exposing the Myths Around HIV and Aids which has just been released in its 16th edition which includes new updates.

For a further look into this very controversial subject you might like to take a look here and here.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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