Category Archives: Pregnancy

Still on Trial

April 2005. NY Press

Last July, New York Press published “Orphans on Trial,” the story of the HIV-positive children of Incarnation Children’s Center (a Washington Heights Catholic orphanage overseen by Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center). The piece detailed how these children are being used in National Institutes for Health- and pharmaceutical-industry-sponsored clinical trials. Continue reading Still on Trial

The Good Man at the NIH

GNN, January 2006

Mr. Fishbein Goes to Washington

Dr. Jonathan Fishbein’s fight for medical ethics in AIDS medicine

Editor’s note: In December 2005, GNN’s Liam Scheff spoke with NIH whistleblower Dr. Jonathan Fishbein. In an exclusive interview, Fishbein discusses the controversial African AIDS drug trials he exposed, his firing and reinstatement and how medical ethics and the public trust are violated when profit and politics rule the day. – A.L.
Continue reading The Good Man at the NIH

The NIH Scandal and the Future of AIDS Research

GNN June 2005

A federal investigation calls drug trials on orphans unethical. Now what?

ICC) has found that the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital acted unethically.

The Associated Press reported Thursday June 16th: “The government has concluded at least some AIDS drug experiments involving foster children violated federal rules designed to ensure vulnerable youths were protected from the risks of medical research.” Continue reading The NIH Scandal and the Future of AIDS Research

HIGH FREQUENCY OF FALSE POSITIVE RESULTS IN HIV SCREENING IN BLOOD BANKS

RTB: What is an “hiv test”? A test that is only considered accurate for persons for whom they’re considered to be accurate…That is, they are a test for no one particular thing – but they are subjected to a social bias.

“[B]efore we screen low-risk groups for antibody to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we should consider what the results would mean. Serologic tests for HIV antibodies appear to be characterized by extra-ordinarily high false – positive results in a low risk screening setting of voluntary blood donation.

“Furthermore, any increase in false positive rate could turn a screening program into a social catastrophe. A false positive result may label an infant, born to HIV positive mother, as HIV positive where as the same infant may actually be HIV negative.2
The false positive result regarding HIV in a neonate can lead to very serious problems.”

“If we want to test each other, we should make a deliberate choice of the threshold probability of infection above which we will screen. We should make explicit the trade-offs implicit in any testing program. How many engagements should end to prevent one infection? How many jobs should be lost? How many insurance policies should be cancelled or denied? How many fetuses should be aborted and how many couples should remain childless to avert the birth of one child with AIDS?” Continue reading HIGH FREQUENCY OF FALSE POSITIVE RESULTS IN HIV SCREENING IN BLOOD BANKS

False Positive HIV Tests in Pregnant Women

Tests that test for pregnancy…also used to test for a “specific” virus?

From the review:

“A strongly reactive ELISA result is more likely to indicate that the person is infected (true-positive result) than a weakly reactive result.16-17

  • There are many ‘levels’ of reaction, but no standard as to what constitutes a true versus a false positive.

The ELISA screening test is inexpensive and is designed with a low threshold so that few infected individuals will be missed. However, like other screening tests, it will also capture some uninfected individuals.

False Positives Among Hispanic Women

HIV Testing – Find this 2004 Journal of Perinatology review of testing in pregnant women. The warning goes out: “Do not test pregnant Hispanic women – they will test positive, though we don’t want them to be. (They’re not in our ‘risk group’).”

The problem – the tests give no standard result, with no standardized meaning – the ‘meaning’ of the test is governed by the group being tested. The same test results are considered to be 82.6% accurate for Black women, but 9.8% accurate or “predictive” for Hispanic women.

The tests are not testing for a particular particle, only a “predictive value” – clearly the researchers believe that Pregnant Hispanic women who test “Hiv positive” are not actually “Hiv positive.”

Continue reading False Positives Among Hispanic Women

HIV Foster Babies, Children Used to test safety of Experimental Drugs – NY Post

HIV Foster Babies, Children Used to test safety of Experimental Drugs – NY Post

Sun, 29 Feb 2004

As a society, we need to be concerned that too many within the medical research community seem to have abandoned the foremost principle of medical ethics: First, do no harm.

The latest evidence of medical research gone awry was uncovered by The New York Post (below). It involves foster care children diagnosed with HIV. “The most vulnerable, disadvantaged children are being exploited by powerful entities and used as guinea pigs as if they were not human beings.”
Continue reading HIV Foster Babies, Children Used to test safety of Experimental Drugs – NY Post

Aids Tots Used as Guinea Pigs

SHOCKING EXPERIMENTS

AIDS TOTS USED AS ‘GUINEA PIGS’
By Douglas Montero

NY Post

“I took the girls out of hell—and the city stole them back”
February 28, 2004

Jacqueline Hoerger will never forget the raid of her Nyack home by foster-care social workers who snatched the two HIV-positive sisters she was trying to adopt.

Her crime: She was accused of neglect by the girls’ doctor of because she refused to give them a potentially dangerous cocktail of high-powered AIDS medications that she felt made them sicker.
Continue reading Aids Tots Used as Guinea Pigs

Nevirapine – FDA Summary of Drug alerts -1999

BOXED WARNING:

“SEVERE AND LIFE-THREATENING SKIN REACTIONS (STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME, TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS), INCLUDING FATAL CASES, HAVE OCCURRED IN PATIENTS TREATED WITH VIRAMUNE” Deleted –
Replaced with the following text –

“SEVERE, LIFE-THREATENING SKIN REACTIONS, INCLUDING FATAL CASES, HAVE OCCURRED IN PATIENTS TREATED WITH VIRAMUNE. THESE HAVE INCLUDED CASES OF STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME, TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS, AND HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS CHARACTERIZED BY RASH, CONSTITUTIONAL FINDINGS, AND ORGAN DYSFUNCTION. PATIENTS DEVELOPING SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS OF SEVERE SKIN REACTIONS OR HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS MUST DISCONTINUE VIRAMUNE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. (see WARNINGS)”

Continue reading Nevirapine – FDA Summary of Drug alerts -1999

Gastric Tube for AIDS Drug Adherence in Children

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The study states that Aids doctors want to be able to (and so do) put a tube surgically through the stomachs of children who don’t like to, want to, or can’t swallow their very “unpalatable” FDA Black-Box labeled “Aids Drugs.”

The study notes that drug adherence improves after taking choice out of the equation.

They note that there are only minor complications, such as intravenous antibiotics required to treat infection, and “local site tenderness.”

The study considered children “non-adherent” if they had had “2 visits” to the hospital, “where nonadherence was documented” over the course of one year.

That’s when they became “eligible” for the non-elective surgery.

One “older child” had to quit gymnastics. Children (or their hospital records) were reviewed for one year, and not more.

Children at the Incarnation Children’s Center who had the tubes inserted in their bellies, I was told, over and over and over again, by staff, mothers and teenagers from the place, always deteriorated and did worse than children without the tubes.

Fig. 1. GT button on a child’s abdomen.

Continue reading Gastric Tube for AIDS Drug Adherence in Children

Nevirapine and the Risk of Stevens Johnsons Syndrome

Nevirapine and the risk of Stevens±Johns [attached]

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– Nevirapine Toxicity. Yes, that’s the result of an Aids drug. Yes, we give it to human beings.

The characteristics of the 15 patients exposed to nevirapine are presented in Table 1. They were four women and 11 men aged 21±59 years (median, 35 years), 10 were from France, three were from Germany, one was from the Netherlands and one was from Italy. The most recent counts of CD4 cells ranged from 4 to 1033 3 106/l (median, 234 3 106/l).

All patients had mucous membrane erosions. The detachment of epidermis involved 4±55% of the body surface area (median, 25%). One patient died from SJS/TEN overlap. Continue reading Nevirapine and the Risk of Stevens Johnsons Syndrome

Interview with a Pediatric Aids doctor – the ICC Investigation

In May 2003, I began my investigation of the Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC), an orphanage in New York City’s Washington Heights that was being used by government (N.I.H.) and pharmaceutical companies as a test center for the standard AIDS drugs – AZT and its analogs, Nevirapine, and the various protease inhibitors. ICC received funding from both government and corporate sponsors to enroll its wards, primarily abandoned children of drug (crack cocaine and heroin) abusers, in NIH clinical trials(1).

Continue reading Interview with a Pediatric Aids doctor – the ICC Investigation