The Environment and AIDS; Book Review

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By: Christine Murphy

The Environment and AIDS; Book review by Christine Murphy

Umweltschaden AIDS? (The Environment and AIDS, Dr. med. Ruth Jensen, Zytglogge, Bern, Switzerland 1995). With excerpts from the German text.

At a 1988 AIDS conference in Washington, DC, the acclaimed researcher Dr. Peter Duesberg shocked his colleagues by claiming the HIV virus, and sexual contact between HIV positive and HIV negative persons, to be harmless. For two years this emi­nent researcher (member of the National Academy of Science, discoverer of the retrovirus including HIV, and California Scientist of the Year for 1971) had in­sisted that HIV could not be the cause of AIDS. He called AIDS not a new illness but a syndrome of well-known older ill­nesses, all of which show a diminution of T-cells.

He did not believe that one relatively harmless virus could be the cause of all of these, particularly since AIDS had dif­ferent symptoms in different parts of the world and at different times.

Also, AIDS was know to occur in antibody positive patients. There must be co-factors. To the conference he said, "Have we forgotten what the "A" in AIDS stands for? It does not mean in­fectious, it means acquired," and "More and more focus is on the virus. Is this negligence or ignorance?" Although a few colleagues came to his support, say­ing that scientists have never been able to infect a test animal with laboratory HIV, and that only one out of 500 sexual contacts results in infection, most vehe­mently opposed Duesberg.

A German scientist and physician, Dr. Ruth Jensen, decided to follow up Dr. Duesberg's claim, and wrote the German book Umweltschaden AIDS, reprinted in 1995. I follow some of her observations here without taking sides in the issue.

Many factors known to cause injury to, and destruction of, the immune sys­tem have vastly increased since 1951.

The most common are listed below.

1. Sulpha drugs and penicillin, once hailed as wonder medicines, were found to lower white cell counts and cause widespread destruction of intestinal flora and fauna. Yet they were routinely used to suppress eliminative illnesses (coughs, colds, diarrhea); the body's best means of getting rid of toxins. As early as 1954 an increase of staphylococcus aureus vi­rus was observed in such cases. Suppos­edly cured people would develop aller­gies and other long-term ailments follow­ing their use.. Later cortisone became the universal miracle remedy, until its side effects, kidney damage and water retention, caused doubts. Subsequently it was often concealed in a variety of brand names - AZT, ddI.

2. To prevent rejection, organ trans­plant recipients were given large quanti­ties of immune suppressants, and numer­ous cases of AIDS followed such opera­tions. Blood transfusions, an assault on the already depressed system of an ill or injured patient sometimes resulted in AIDS.

3. Suppression of illnesses through immunization. The immune system, with­out the means of strengthening its resis­tance by overcoming the actual illness, sometimes was injured by the shot, with many documented side effects. The term iatrogenic illness was coined—illness caused by therapeutic intervention; of­ten harder to cure than the primary ill­ness.

4. Freely accessible pain killers; warnings on the package inserts ignored by grateful users. Doctors came to be­lieve that there are no remedies without side effects.

5. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides causing toxic air and water did to nature what the 'wonder drugs' did to people—destroying flora and fauna and entering into the food chain; directly affecting human health. Farmers, found to have a 20% higher cancer rate than others, weakened their beef and fowl with hor­mones and histamines, and then pepped them up with anabolic drugs to give them the strength for their walk to the slaugh­terhouse.

6. Trees began suffocating because of the increase of poison on the ground and in the air, increased sulfur, nitrogen trace elements taken in were exhaled into our air again, or stored in leaves and fruits for our consumption.

7. Radiation is the most widespread pollutant and still growing. Early on leading scientists could no longer sup­port radiation technology after becom­ing aware of its results. But that did not prevent its proliferation. A blood count study was made in relation to radioac­tive readings in Germany and conclusive evidence was found that fallout lowers blood count, and also equals a rise in certain illnesses (carcinoma, TB in youth).

Dr. Jensen herself verified a corre­lation between radioactive fallout and a rise in pathogenic bacteria in the colon. The effects of radioactive fallout became so clear that a test ban treaty was con­vened in 1963. France and China chose to ignore this. Following France's atomic tests in the Sahara with fallout in Ger­many, physicians there noted a marked increase in infectious illness without, however, a corresponding rise in white blood cells. The same happened after the March 1978 reactor meltdown at Harris­burg, where medical complaints included loss of energy, drive and will force espe­cially in the young. On April 10th 1986 there was a nuclear "accident" in Nevada. It was one of the worst in a long series starting in 1951, where tests on plants and animals were performed in a kind of "open air lab." Following the 1986 event patients came to doctors complaining of loss of initiative, an 'electrical' feeling in their limbs, feelings of swollen lips, thirst, metallic taste in the mouth, vomit­ing, especially among those who had been outdoors that day. Lake Tahoe re­ceived fallout, and the Lake Tahoe ill­ness, another form of immune illness, is well recorded.

One hundred years ago Louis Pas­teur said to his students, "Don't think you can eliminate illnesses by simply sup­pressing or killing off bacteria. It can hap­pen that you will have to deal with much worse bacteria than the original ones! For God's sake, leave off such experi­ments. Don't forget, bacteria are indica­tors of disease and we have to turn our research to why they have such a devas­tating effect on some individuals." Fifty years after this warning the first "won­der drugs" were developed to kill off those smallest entities living in recipro­cal relationship with us ... the bacteria. Again fifty years later, Jensen states, we are confronted by an illness that suppos­edly originates with a deadly virus. In the wake of AIDS medical students must learn anew that bacteria are indicators and not causes.

If they don't it is because Darwin's voice is overpowering with his claim of `the battle for existence, survival of the fittest, the battle of one life organism over another.'

The real question is not how to sup­press the germ, thereby suppressing the immune response, but rather how to pre­vent a weakening and injury to the im­mune system. Today, although people live longer, but they are in a condition that previously marked convalescence from an illness.

One hundred years ago Louis Pasteur said to his students: "Don't think you can eliminate ill­nesses by simply sup­pressing or killing off bacteria... "

Many ways can lead to AIDS and to the complex of symptoms that once were relatively easy to treat. The common ba­sis is a weakened immune system through any or all of the above causes, which is then further aggravated.

The first AIDS victims, as we know, were homosexuals, but not those in stable relationships, rather those who, because of their lifestyle, depleted their biologi­cal forces. Often they had been treated for venereal disease with antibiotics and chemotherapy. The highest incidence was in places like Chicago, San Francisco or New York, cities with high levels of radioactivity, particularly Strontium 90. Jensen notes that many AIDS patients were conceived, or were babies, during the last of the nuclear tests, as were AIDS patients in Central Africa, the Caribbean and the Amazon. The AIDS incubation time is 18-19 years, and that is just when the first cluster of cases appeared, in the early 80's. In drug users stress (having to procure their drugs), depression and grief caused further damage to an im­mune system often weakened by an unrhythmical lifestyle, poor nutrition and poor hygiene. In most cases a predispos­ing acquired weakness can be ascer­tained, added to which a last triggering factor causes onset.


Some ways to strengthen the immune system

Rhythm in life

Biodynamic or organic foods Reduction of stress

Avoidance of chemical drugs where possible.

Use of homeopathic or anthroposophical remedies when necessary.

Allowing the immune system do its job.

Taking great care to keep small children in a healthy warm surrounding.

Walking in really fresh air.

Giving and receiving trust and love

Celebrating festivals

Feelings of courage

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