Does Mothering Endorse HIV/AIDS denialism - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 120 Old 06-18-2012, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was on the wikipedia page about Mothering Magazine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothering_(magazine), and was surprised to notice that it claims that Mothering Magazine 

 

 

Quote:

 

The link it gives as a reference for that statement is this: http://www.mothering.com/breastfeeding/hiv-and-breastfeeding-the-fear-the-misconceptions-the-facts

 

but this seems to be mostly about doubts over if HIV is transmitted through breastfeeding, and weighing the pros and cons of recommending third world HIV positive mothers not breastfeed.

 

 I was just wondering if there is an actual position of Mothering on this issue, and this seemed like the place to discuss it... 


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#2 of 120 Old 06-18-2012, 05:31 AM
 
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There was a thread on this a while ago (maybe last year) but I can't remember if anyone from Mothering responded with an official position. I think it arose from the Mothering magazine article about Christine Maggiore refusing to take antiretrovirals while pregnant with her daughter and then breast feeding her. They are both believed to have died of PCP although I'm not sure if it was confirmed in the case of the mother.

Sorry I can't link the thread, I can't remember what it was called and it's hard to search on my phone. Maybe someone else can remember what it was called.

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#3 of 120 Old 06-19-2012, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I think that's the article I linked. Would be interesting to read the thread.... 


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#4 of 120 Old 06-19-2012, 02:23 AM
 
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The article I was thinking of was "HIV + moms say no to AIDS drugs" or at least that's what the front cover said. I can't find the article itself online, only references to it on various blogs.

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#5 of 120 Old 06-19-2012, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There's an article on Science Based Medicine, which accuses Mothering of HIV/Aids denialism based on a front cover with Christine Maggiore (http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/christine-maggiore-and-eliza-jane-scovill-living-and-dying-with-hivaids-denialism/)

 

Warning - link might make you angry! 


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#6 of 120 Old 06-19-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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Yep, that's the blog I read.

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#7 of 120 Old 06-26-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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Mothering magazine published several articles in the late nineties and early 2000s about moms who tested positive to HIV and were asking questions about taking AIDS medications while pregnant and/or breastfeeding. These were moms with no symptoms of illness who questioned their HIV diagnosis  (pregnancy can "cause" a false positive HIV test). We were criticized by some for this coverage, but it was a lifeline for the moms. I saw it as no different than publishing articles about moms questioning any other standard medical practice.

 

Our Wikepedia entry was written by our critics and does not do justice to our history of award winning journalism. Our coverage of these HIV moms led to more research on exclusive breastfeeding and AIDS transmission and ultimately to a change in the feeding guidelines for HIV moms, who are now encouraged to breastfeed.

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#8 of 120 Old 06-26-2012, 05:26 PM
 
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Peggy, the AIDS denialist organization, Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives, which was founded by Christine Maggiore, still lists you as a member of their advisory board: http://www.aliveandwell.org/ (if you click on "about us" and scroll down, all board members are listed). Are you still a board member? What is your position on HIV/AIDS denialism? What is the position of Mothering.com?

 

eta: The articles that Peggy mentions appear to me to be promoting HIV/AIDS denialism in no uncertain terms:

 

Safe and Sound Underground: HIV-Positive Women Birthing Outside the System (with this cover photo):

mag.jpg

(that's Christine Maggiore, pregnant with Eliza Jane, who died at age 3 of AIDS-related pneumonia)

 

... and at least four other articles:

 

Molecular Miscarriage: Is the HIV Theory a Tragic Mistake?

 

AZT Roulette: The Impossible Choices Facing HIV-Positive Women

 

HIV and Breastfeeding: The Fear. The Misconceptions. The Facts.

 

AZT in Babies: Terrible Risk, Zero Benefit

 

Very interested in your current position, Peggy, and that of Mothering.

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#9 of 120 Old 06-26-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Not to mention that pregnancy does not cause a "false positive HIV test."  Pregnancy, and many other conditions, can cause a positive ELISA screen, which is why every positive ELISA screen undergoes a confirmatory Western Blot test.  I am interested, Peggy, in seeing any evidence you have that pregnancy causes either a positive Western Blot or a positive HIV viral load.

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#10 of 120 Old 06-26-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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#11 of 120 Old 06-26-2012, 10:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

 

Our Wikepedia entry was written by our critics and does not do justice to our history of award winning journalism. Our coverage of these HIV moms led to more research on exclusive breastfeeding and AIDS transmission and ultimately to a change in the feeding guidelines for HIV moms, who are now encouraged to breastfeed.

 

 

Who is encouraging HIV moms to breastfeed?  Where?

 

I mean, outside of third world countries where the risks of formula mixed with unlcean water or not being able to access/afford enough formula can outweigh the risks of HIV.  But you make it sound as if the recommendation was changed for HIV positive mothers in general, even in areas with safe water and where formula is readily available. 

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#12 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Not to mention that pregnancy does not cause a "false positive HIV test."  Pregnancy, and many other conditions, can cause a positive ELISA screen, which is why every positive ELISA screen undergoes a confirmatory Western Blot test.  I am interested, Peggy, in seeing any evidence you have that pregnancy causes either a positive Western Blot or a positive HIV viral load.

 

 

 

 

Factors known to cause false positive HIV antibody test results If you don't like the source, at least it is very well referenced, so that you can check out the research yourself.

 

 

 

Quote:
Some people may be eager to argue that if a factor is only known to cause false-positives on ELISA, this problem won't be carried over to the WB, so everything should be OK. But remember, a WB is positive by virtue of accumulating enough individual positive bands to add up to the total required by whatever criteria you use to interpret it (39) So the more exposures a person has had to foreign antigens, proteins and infectious agents, the more various antibodies he or she will have in their system, and the more likely it is that there will be several cross-reacting antibodies, enough to make the WB positive.

 

Here a a few risk factors from the list:

 

Vaccinations: flu, HepB, Tetanus

Recent viral infection or exposure to viral vaccines

Autoimmune diseases

Pregnancy in multiparous women 

 
The flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women. Multiparous women are are likely to have been exposed to viral vaccines if they have older children. Add to this the many other auto-immune diseases rampant today, and it is not inconceivable that a pregnant women will all those factors could have a false positive to both the ELISA and WB tests.

 


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#13 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 03:25 PM
 
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False positive HIV results over pregnancy is not something I have ever heard of and I'm sure it's something most people would have heard of.
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#14 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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The concerns listed in the article linked in Mirzam's post are mainly theoretical, stating that certain things could potentially happen, rather than that they have happened.  There is one reference (#47) given for actual cases of false-positive Western blot results.  That reference describes four specific cases where some, but not all, bands on a Western blot showed positive due to cross-reactivity.  In those cases, there was an atypical pattern of which bands reacted and which did not, compared with the typical true-positive pattern.  So that rare pattern should stand out to the person reading the results, and they should follow up in those cases with a PCR test, along with specific testing for known cross-reactive proteins.

 

These four cases were found among the millions of blood samples that are tested across the country from blood donations.  A false positive on a Western blot is worthy of description in a journal case study because such an event is vanishingly rare. Considering that such rare cases are also identifiable due to the atypical pattern of results, and that our current technology allows us to do follow-up testing that would protect anyone from unnecessary treatment even in these extremely rare cases, I'm not seeing any justification for encouraging a mother to refuse HIV screening, follow-up testing, or treatment when such treatment is indicated.  We are talking about potentially lethal consequences here.  This is in a whole different ballpark from stroller or sling, vegetarian or GFCF.  So I'm looking forward to seeing what Peggy has to say about this.

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#15 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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Have any of you tested positive to HIV? Do you know any mothers who have? 

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#16 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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It doesn't give a reference but avert.org lists the chance of a false positive with the Western Blot rest as 1:250,000. http://www.avert.org/hivtesting.htm

I, personally, consider that fairly reliable. The maternal death rate in my country is 21:250,000!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

Have any of you tested positive to HIV? Do you know any mothers who have? 

As a physician, I know many mothers, and others, who are HIV positive. Why do you ask?
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#18 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

Have any of you tested positive to HIV? Do you know any mothers who have? 

Yes. Why?
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#19 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

Have any of you tested positive to HIV? Do you know any mothers who have? 

As a physician, I know many mothers, and others, who are HIV positive. Why do you ask?

I am curious what your speciality is and what kind of populations you work with to have so many female HIV patients?


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#20 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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I am curious what your speciality is and what kind of populations you work with to have so many female HIV patients?

Internal medicine and NYC. Specifically, below 14th street. No shortage of HIV.
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#21 of 120 Old 06-27-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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In answer to your question, Peggy, yes.  I am an outreach worker for a harm reduction organisation whose clientele is entirely comprised of persons with HIV AIDS and/or Hep C.

 

Very curious why you ask. 

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#22 of 120 Old 06-28-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylee18 View Post

Peggy, the AIDS denialist organization, Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives, which was founded by Christine Maggiore, still lists you as a member of their advisory board: http://www.aliveandwell.org/ (if you click on "about us" and scroll down, all board members are listed). Are you still a board member? What is your position on HIV/AIDS denialism? What is the position of Mothering.com?

 

i, too, would like a straight up answer to these questions. 

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Me three! Tell us, please.
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Perhaps some sort of rhetorical question?   

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Have any of you tested positive to HIV? Do you know any mothers who have? 

Yes! I do as well.
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#27 of 120 Old 06-29-2012, 10:03 PM
 
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I haven't. Both my clients and I have been fortunately all negative until now. However it's certainly possible that I could have a + client in the future.

I'm also curious as to why you ask :-)

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#28 of 120 Old 07-02-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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#29 of 120 Old 07-02-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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For what it's worth....I live in Kenya and DH works for a maternal and infant health program in nairobi's slums. HIV moms are encouraged to breast feed unil 6 months, then wean quickly over the course of one week. This is the current WHO protocol but it changes periodically. They want moms to breast feed bc the babies need the immunities, and bc it's a virtual guarantee they'll become malnourished otherwise as poor moms can't afford formula and typically resort to cows milk, rice, water etc. The quick weaning is meant to protect babies from contracting HIV, unless they were exposed during birth, but is not a guarantee. Still, commonplace belief is that breatfeeding and taking the risk of hiv exposure is preferable to severe malnutrition. Which i find interesting....sort of a lose-lose, regardless. Im not trying to hijack this thread, I just thought some people would be interested by the developing world take on this.
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#30 of 120 Old 07-02-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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Yeah, it's based on studies that show mixed feeding is the most dangerous in terms of HIV transmission.  So they want the kids either only breastfeed or only on formula/other foods not both at once any more than can be helped. 

 

But that's in areas where the risk of not being able to access a steady supply of formula or the risk of formula mixed with dirty water outweighs the risk of HIV transmission.  In developed nations clean water and social problems to help supply formula to those who can't afford it on their own, the risk of HIV transmission greatly outweigh the benefits of breastfeeding, and the recommendation is absolutely to bottle feed.  This generally means formula, though donor milk is also an option to those fortunate enough to have access  to a safe supply of it.  

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