HOUSE OF COMMONS
Third Report from the
SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH AIDS
Minutes of Evidence (8 April-13 may 1987) and Memoranda
Ordered by The House of Commons to be printed 13 May 1987
60. Memorandum by Dr. John Seale, Royal Society of Medicine
No politician can make rational decisions to deal with Aids without a clear understanding of the nature and severity of the epidemic, the means of transmission of the virus, and the prospects for a cure or preventive vaccine. The key scientific facts underlying the epidemic are quite simple though Aids is perceived to be unusually complex and full of scientific uncertainties. These perceptions have been produced by a few scientists and others who have recklessly minimised the seriousness of the epidemic and have fostered confusion and dangerous misconceptions.
The most important and urgent task for politicians, both in Government and Parliament, is to force scientists to speak clearly, precisely and honestly about the Aids epidemic. Half-truths, wishful thinking, flawed scientific hypotheses and deceptions have been perpetrated by scientists and allowed to flourish as conventional wisdom aided and abetted by editors of scientific and medical journals. The deceptions must be exposed with maximum publicity.
The public must be fully informed of the true nature of the threat from the virus which faces us all. Once this is done the mass of the population will accept measures essential to halt the spread of the virus, even though they will inevitably require severe curtailment of the liberty and civil rights of everybody, just as happens in war-time. The longer the truth is obscured from the public, and the greater the multitude of innocent people who die most horribly as a result, the more ferocious will be the explosion of hatred and revenge against those guilty of perpetrating the deceptions.
The virus has the properties of a skilled, devious, hidden and implacable invader with the capacity and willingness to kill every man, woman and child in our country. It may now be spreading amongst us precisely because it has this capacity. It is unwise to assume that such a force can be vanquished without taking actions which the people of Britain accepted as entirely appropriate to fight two world wars; particularly as dissemination of the virus is being actively encouraged by some who wish to destroy our society.
A. THE NATURE OF THE DISEASE
1. Aids is a contagious, infectious, communicable disease caused by a lentivirus (slow virus), a member of the family of retroviruses.
2. No lentivirus has been known to affect humans before the advent of Aids.
3. Aids is a typical slow virus disease with a prolonged, silent incubation period of great variability, but usually lasting several years, followed by slowly progressive disease always ending in death.
4. An epidemic of a new slow virus disease spreading unchecked is the ultimate virological nightmare, yet in none of the major scientific or medical journals has this been spelled out clearly and the implications discussed.
5. Death is caused by the Aids virus infecting, and slowly destroying, cells in the brain, lungs, intestine, and the immune system.
B. MORTALITY FOLLOWING INFECTION
1. Within five years of infection with the virus, 25 per cent of people have developed full-blown Aids and all of them die. This is the official conclusion of the US Public Health Service recently endorsed by leading scientists from the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.
2. The ultimate mortality within twenty years of infection is unknown as the virus has been spreading for only ten years. The optimistic view held by a decreaseing number of virologists is that only 50 per cent of those infected will die. Many virologists now accept the pessimistic view, that all people infected with the virus will eventually be killed by it.
3. All virologists are agreed that once infected with the Aids virus, people are potentially infectious to others for life.
C. FALURE OF ANTIBODIES OR VACCINES TO PROTECT
1. In all people with anitbodies to the Aids virus, some virus persists in brain and other cells from which it cannot be removed. In contrast to most virus infections, antibodies to a lentivirus do not provide protective immunity; they fail to neutralise or eliminate it. Although many people infected with the Aids virus look and feel well for several years, destruction of cells of the brain and immune system is progressing slowly
2. The outlook for a successful vaccine is bleak. None is available for the lentivirus diseases of animals. Search for a vaccine against infectious anaemia of horses for eighty years, and against maedi-visna in sheep for forty years, has proved futile. Indeed, when antibodies to a lentivirus are produced artificially by vaccination, the vaccinated animals die after subsequent infection more rapidly that those which are not. In spite of many successful vaccines, it should be realised that for the majority of viral and bacterial diseases vaccines do not work.
D. BLEEK OUTLOOK FOR A CURE
1. No simple, effective, curative drug, like penicillin, will be available for Aids in the forseeable future because once a person is infected, the viral genetic code is pernamently inserted into the human genetic code of cells in the brain and other tissues. Any drug which blocks replication of the virus, thereby halting the progress of the disease, will have to be taken continuously for life. All drugs used so far are highly toxic and expensive. If a cheap, apparently effective, drug becomes available it will take several decades to be certain that it is both effective and safe. Nevertheless, many companies will announce "promising" new drugs and "breakthroughs" in the treatment of Aids for simple commerercial motives.
2. The handling of the recent AZT clinical trials by the US Government was particularly important. The US Public Health Service insisted the trials cease long before any long-term benefit of the drug had been shown, and before the manufacturing company suggested it, thereby misleading the public into believing a "cure" for Aids was already in the pipeline. Such disinformation weakens the political will to implement the tough control measures required to halt the spread of the virus.
E. TRANSMISSION OF AIDS - SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
1. Scientists and doctors have repeatedly stated as fact that the Aids virus is fundamentally transmitted during sexual intercourse but is, unfortunately, sometimes transmitted in blood. This is highly misleading, though published laboratory and epidemiological evidence, and editorials in scientific and medical journals, have been heavily slanted to support this "fact".
2. In reality Aids is characteristically a blood transmitted infection, which is only transmitted with difficulty during sexual intercourse compared with the genuine sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis. All the experimental and epidemiological evidence is consistent with this view.
3. Obviously Aids is transmissible during sexual intercourse, but so is influenza, glandular fever and scabies. Sexual intercourse is only one of many ways by which the virus can be transmitted, and is by no means the most efficient.
4. The illusion that Aids is essentially a sexually transmitted disease arose from the first observations that Aids appeared to affect only sodomites with numerous partners. However sodomy is not sexual intercourse in the biological sense of the words. As we are dealing with a very important biological event, the transmission of a lethal parasite from one human host to another, it is essential that scientists use words describing the transmission with the utmost precision.
5. In biological terms sexual intercourse means the union between male and female which may result in reproduction of the species. In mammals this invariably requires contact between male and female genitalia. Consequently sexual intercourse between two men in the biological sense is impossible.
6. Scientist who state, or imply, sodomy is sexual intercourse without some qualification are being imprecise and misleading, whether intentionally or not.
7. Homosexual men engaged in homosexual activities frequently insert their fingers, fist, penis or tongue into the lower intestinal tract of their partners. These manoeuvres transmit any virus which persists in the blood for months or years with devastating efficiency, even though no virus is present in either semen or saliva. This has been shown very clearly with hepatatis B virus which, in prosperous communities, infects the majority of homosexual men within three years of becoming sexually active; whereas hepatitis B infection remains rare amongst heterosexual men and women, even though they frequently change partners.
F. DISINFORMATION FROM SCIENTISTS
1. The Aids virus persists in an infectious state (ie as cell-free virions) in blood and semen at levels up to 25,000 virions per millilitre, according to the only published paper giving this critically important information. Cell-free virions were detected easily in saliva over two years ago, but quantitative studies have still not been published.
2. No infectious virion has been detected in semen according to the only two detailed published studies on the subject, which between them included a grand total of merely three men examined. In 10 per cent of 50 infected men, according to another report sent to me personally but which gave few details, cell-associated virus has been detected in a few white blood cells in semen, but never in spermatazoa.
3. Virions have been detected in the vaginal secretions in only trivial quantities - about one per millitre - indicating that their infectivity is minimal.
4. The scale of the deceptions and misinformation perpetrated by virologists, clinicians and editors of scientific and medical journals about the infectivity of genital secretions, compared with that of blood, serum and saliva, has been astonishing. In the presence of a new, lethal virus spreading amongst people, for which no vaccine or cure is in sight, every sane person would assume that scientists have been working flat out to verify precisely how it is transmitted.
5. On the contrary, having assumed for a variety of motives that Aids is a sexually transmitted disease, like syphilis or gonorrhoea, a negligible research effort has gone into the critical matter of transmission. A few preliminary papers were published and their findings have been repeatedly quoted as showing the opposite to what they actually showed. When this was pointed out in letters to the editors of major medical and scientific journals, publication has been refused. No attempt has been made to check, double-check, and recheck the findings in other laboratories, and in other countries, or to rectify published errors.
6. As far as it goes, the tiny research effort into infectivity of bodily fluids indicates that saliva is more infectious than genital secretions, but that blood and serum is vastly more infectious than either. Consequently the idea that condoms can have any significant effect on the spread of Aids in a nation is utterly preposterous.
7. Governments all over the world are spending millions of pounds advising their citizens to prevent Aids by using condoms on the basis of manifestly fraudulent misrepresentation of scientific evidence presented by scientists themselves.
8. The Aids virus is unusually stable outside the human body. It retains almost all its infectivity after seven days in water at room temperature and some after being kept dry for a week. A virus with this degree of stability, which persists in the blood and is shed in saliva, cannot possibly fail to be transmitted in many ways apart from sexual intercourse.
G. VARIABLE EFFICIENCY IN MEANS OF TRANSMISSION
1. A virus which persists in moderate quantities in the blood for years and is shed in small quantities in saliva will be transmitted with greater ease by some means than by others.
2. Injection of the virus through the skin in hypodermic needles is the most certain method of transmission. This happens when blood- contaminated hypodermics are re-used without sterilisation, as is common amongst drug addicts in the West and in health care facilities in less prosperous countries. It also occurs when virus-contaminated blood tranfusions and clotting factor are administered.
3. Male homosexual contact of the finger, penis or tongue with the rectal wall of another man transmits the virus very easily. 70 per cent of the male homosexual population of San Franciso were infected within six years of the arrival of the virus in the city, and nearly 30 per cent of London homosexuals are already infected. The percentages are rising remorselessly in large cities throughout the western world, unaffected by the highly acclaimed "safe sex" propaganda.
4. Well over 50 per cent of new-born babies of infected mothers are infected
5. Moderately efficient means of transmission include mouth-to-mouth and genital contact before and during normal sexual intercourse, oral salivary contact between small children, needle-stick injuries to nursing staff, and chance contact of sores or abrasions with blood, serum, saliva or sputum.
6. Inefficient means of transmission include social kissing, inhalation or respiratory aerosols caused by coughing or sneezing, and blood-sucking insects.
7. Transmission by inhalation is only inefficient because of the relatively small number of virions shed in saliva and bronchial secretions. However if an Aids virion is inhaled into the lung it is engulfed by an amoeba-like macrophage on the lining of the alveoli (air sacs). It has been shown repeatedly in the laboratory that the Aids virus readily infects macrophages, and the virus replicates within them, thereby enabling infection of people to be iniated by this route.
8. Understandably, and wisely, the DHSS has officially advised all British dental surgeons always to wear masks to avoid Aids virus infection when using high speed drill. These drills make aerosols of saliva similar to those produced by sneezing.
9. Chronic lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis is a well recognised variety of pneumonia caused directly by infection of the lungs with the Aids virus. It is similar to the pneumonia of maedi-visna in sheep and is particularly common in children with Aids. When associated with pulmonary tuberculosis, a very common complication of Aids, it is inevitable that coughing will produce some aerosols containing tubercle bacilli and the Aids virus. After the fluid in the aerosols evaporates the minute dry flakes containing tubercle bacilli and Aids virus float in the air indefinitely and both remain infectious for days.
10. The normal route of transmission of the maedi-visna lentivirus between adult sheep is by respiratory aerosols when they are crowded closely together in Winter shelters. Maedi-visna is not a sexually transmitted disease of sheep.
11. The efficiency of the transmission of the Aids virus by biting insects will depend upon the quantity of virions in the blood of the bitten person, the anatomical structure of the biting parts of the insects, their feeding habits and other factors.
12. Infectious anaemia of horses, a lentivirus disease, is characteristically transmitted by large biting insects, particularly stable flies and horse flies. It is not a sexually transmitted disease of horses.
13. The Aids virus has been shown to remain infectious in the stomach of bed bugs for at least two hours. It has been shown that it can infect the cells of insects, including mosquitoes and cockroaches, both in laboratory cell culture and in intact insects. Replication of the virus in insect cells has not yet been demonstrated.
H. SATURATION OF THE BRITISH POPULATION WITH THE VIRUS
1. There is a key to estimating how long it will take for the people of Britain to be saturated with the Aids virus, if its spread is allowed to continue unchecked as at present. This is the application of probability theory to the known facts about the virus, its pathogenesis, the frequency of "contact", and the efficiency with which different "contacts" transmit the virus.
2. The basic facts are that the entire population is susceptible to infection, and once people are infected they remain potentially infectious to others for life.
3. As the number of people infected rises the probability of transmission during any particular "contact" between individuals also rises.
4. Initially the virus was introduced into Britain from the United States by homosexual men who soon infected others by having frequent, efficient, "contacts" -sodomy with strangers. As the number of infected homosexuals rises the probability of infection being transmitted during one "contact" rises at first exponentially, but then at a slower doubling rate as saturation with the virus of the homosexual population is approached.
5. Once some intravenous drug addicts were infected, a further, frequent, efficient "contact", self-injection with shared needles, rapidly spread the virus amongst addicts.
6. As numbers of infected homosexuals and addicts increased, efficient "contacts" rarely performed - such as receiving a blood transfusion, or clotting factor, or having a baby - infected more and more people.
7. Once a critical mass of infected people has been created by highly efficient "contacts", then "contacts" which are only moderately efficient but occur very frequently - such as normal sexual intercourse or small children playing together - will spread the virus in ever widening circles throughout the population.
8. Finally, highly inefficient "contacts" which occur very frequently indeed, such as coughing and sneezing in public, and being bitten by insects, will infect many people as millions of infected persons interact with the non-infected, and saturation of the entgire British population becomes unstoppable.
I. GROUPS MISINFORMING THE PUBLIC AND THEIR MOTIVES
a. Homosexual men
1. Homosexual men have been the most determined and effective in distorting the truth about Aids.
2. They have been so effective because there is a scattering of homosexuals amongst all the key professional groups involved - scientists, doctors, medical editors, journalists, lawyers, politicians and priests.
3. The initial impact of Aids on homosexuals in the West inevitably resulted in an unusually high proportion of them becoming involved with the disease since it first surfaced. Many of the men who are particularly knowledgeable about and dedicated to, Aids research, treatment, legislation, publication and education are homosexuals.
4. Most in the professions are only identifiable as homosexuals to other men with similar tastes - few have "come out" and even the wives of those who are married are usually unaware of their habits. Hence they automatically form a type of secret society without even trying, with wide ramifications across professional, institutional and national boundaries.
5. Homosexual men have been vectors of the virus throughout the western world and if it had not been for their activities very few poeple in prosperous countries would now be infected. Their oft-repeated statement that they are the major victims of the virus is true, but it is also true that they have spread the virus to each other by their practices and then onward to the rest of the population.
6. Many do not wish to face reality because of guilt, most do not wish to change their ways, and a few seeing death and destruction facing themselves and their friends are dedicated to destroying the rest of society with them.
7. All wish to deny the reality that restricting the freedom of homosexuals to infect each other and other people, is essential if our society is not to be destroyed by the virus.
1. Every biological scientist who has dispassionately studied the virus and the epidemic knows that the origins of the virus could lie in the developments of modern biology, just as the origins of the nuclear bomb was modern physics.
2. Most biological scientists have not yet come to terms with the terrible truth and have devoloped various neurotic reactions to cope with it.
3. Many have developed a selective denial of reality and genuinely cannot see what is happening. Most who see it keep quiet, but increasing numbers are talking privately though they still lack the moral courage to speak out in public. They still hope it is a nightmare which will vanish with tomorrow's dawn.
4. Some who know perfectly well what has happened are deliberately fudging scientific data to keep the heat off them and fellow members of their molecular biological "club".
c. Editors of Scientific and Medical Journals.
1. Medical and scientific editors have misled their professional colleagues about the nature and severity of the Aids epidemic for five years. By selective acceptance or rejection of original papers and letters, and by selection authors to write "safe" editorials and review articles, they have perpetuated dangerous misconceptions.
2. As the harsh reality of what is happening becomes ever more obvious editors have developed a range of neurotic reactions similar to those of the scientists.
1. Most doctors are incapable of conceiving the scale of the problems as only three hundred people have died from Aids in Britain in the last five years, but 40,000 die each year of cancer of the lung. How can Aids be so important?
2. An epidemic slow virus disease is new to medical science and its significance largely incomprehensible to doctors because it is outside both their practical experience and theoretical training.
3. Epidemics were supposed to have been abolished, along with the old fever hospitals and TB sanatoria twenty-five years ago. It is difficult to change cherished beliefs. It is assumed that scientists will soon have a vaccine and the Aids epidemic will disappear like a bad flu epidemic.
4. Doctors who have treated many patients with Aids are profoundly shocked at their own, and modern medicine's inability to restore the health of so many young patients. Although death be delayed, remissions are temporary. Deterioration is so protracted, often lasting years, that many Aids patients kill themselves as a means of escape.
5. Many young doctors working only with Aids patients soon become depressed themselves. The term "Aids burn-out" is now widely used in America - it has similarities with war-time battle exhaustion.
6. Many senior doctors in charge of numerous Aids patients develop profoundly neurotic attitudes which enable them to cope with their job by selective denial of reality. In support of their patients for whom they can do so little medically, they fiercely defend their rights of confidentiality, and freedom of association, totally ignoring public health responsibilities to ensure that others are now infected. They are regularly consulted by Government and the Media and other doctors on how to control the epidemic.
1. In the face of a lethal disease, journalists and media editors have been frightened to contradict the conventional wisdom being put across by the scientists. There has been no serious attemp at investigative journalism into the wealth of scientific scandals surrounding Aids.
2. They have often given way to the tremendous pressure put upon them by scientists and homosexuals to understate the seriousness of the epidemic and, in the last two years, have capitulated to demands that Aids is portrayed as an "ordinary" veneral disease.
3. Understandably, as in a war that is going badly, all news of break throughs with cures and vaccines are given lavish cover. These lull politicians and public intal fatal inaction.
1. Leading politicians from all parties in all nations have, till very recently, hardly mentioned Aids in public. Accepting the earlier views of scientists that it was just a homosexual disease, and the revised view that it is only a veneral disease, they know that taking Aids seriously would have gained them few votes.
2. No prominent politician has thought there was reason to doubt the much publicised opinions of scientists and public health doctors concerning the facts about Aids.
J. VARIETIES OF MISINFORMATION
1. People with Aids are categorised as belonging to a small number of "risk groups" giving the false impression that the vast majority of people cannot get Aids.
2. Aids is portrayed as only a behavioural disease caused by sexual and narcotic misdemeanors. This implies that if anybody gets Aids it is their own fault.
3. Emphasis on transmission of the virus during sexual intercourse, and education as a solution to the epidemic, implies that the disease will disappear with modified behaviour. This misses the point that as the epidemic explodes infection by chance, non-sexual, contact becomes ever more common.
4. By equating sodomy with sexual intercourse the impression is given that homosexuals have just been unlucky to get infected before heterosexuals. In reality homosexual activity has spread the virus through the population at a vastly greater speed that normal sexual intercourse could achieve.
5. The value of blood tests for diagnosis of Aids virus infection is repeatedly denigrated by those who do not want them introduced compulsorily. In fact the blood test is an unusually reliable diagnostic tool.
6. The suffering of those with Aids is highlighted while ignoring the suffering of those who will get Aids in the future if appropriate steps are not taken to stop its spread.
7. The rights of those infected with the virus are stressed, while the rights of the uninfected to be protected from infection with a lethal virus are ignored and glossed over. Protection of the life of its citizens is one of the major obligations of the State.
8. Misinformation is perpetuated by homosexuals actively obstructing the publication, in the scientific or general press, of facts and conclusions which they want suppressed.
K. METHODS OF CONTROL
1. The most urgent step to be taken is to break the pervasive grip by homosexuals on the information and disinformation which has emanated for so long from the journals of science and medicine, and from much of the media. Once this has been done other scientists, doctors and politicians can stress accurately the reality of the situation.
2. Once the truth is known and publicised the steps required to halt the epidemic become more obvious and less controversial.
3. Speed is of the essence because every day that is lost will increase the human misery which, in any event, will be vast.
4. We are facing a national catastrophe equal to any in the history of the nation. The life of every citizen is at stake. Death from Aids is a protracted horror unequalled by other diseases.
5. The only way to halt the spread of the virus is to indentify all those who are infected by compulsory testing. Government must then take whatever steps are required to ensure that those infected do not pass the virus on to anyone else.
6. The longer this action is delayed the greater will be the task when it is finally undertaken, and the greater the danger that the spread of the virus will then be unstoppable.
7. The actions required by Government are comparable to those taken in waging a war of survival.
8. The war against Aids is a war of survival. If we lose Britain and all her people will perish.
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