MYTH #4

THERE IS NO DANGER OF CASUAL TRANSMISSION OF THE AIDS VIRUS.

The public has been repeatedly reassured that there is absolutely no danger of casual spread of HIV/AIDS. Yet, as of June 1994, the CDC had over 23,000 cases of AIDS where they were uncertain as to exactly how HIV disease had been spread. About 15,000 of these cases were still being investigated, while 8,229 cases had no identifiable risk factors. The CDC points out that 4,100 of the 8,229 cases with no identifiable risk factors had died before investigation was completed, which might have revealed an obvious cause for their infections. Another 3,388 had come from countries where heterosexual AIDS is common, so those cases had not been worked up epidemiologically; for this reason the CDC was not really sure of their exact mode of transmission. Finally, the CDC reluctantly had to admit that there were 741 people infected with HIV disease who had been completely worked up, and no identifiable cause could be found for their HIV infection. Furthermore, the CDC reported 77 children under 13 years of age "whose risk is not identified." (33)

In addition, the CDC's current policy of putting all HIV- infected people into "risk groups" to explain their source of infection is both unreliable and unscientific. In certain instances, to explain the origin of a child's HIV disease, the CDC places a child's mother into a risk group because she might have slept with an IV drug user or a bisexual man. Despite the fact that the child's mother is HIV negative (and obviously not the source of her child's infection), once the mother has been placed into a "risk group", the epidemiologist can use that classification to explain the child's source of infection. This is not only unscientific, it is frankly dishonest. (34)

Recently, increasing numbers of casually transmitted cases of HIV disease have been reported in the literature. Eight documented cases of household transmission of HIV disease were reported by the CDC in 1994, including a 70-year-old mother who cared for her AIDS-infected son, and a 5-year-old boy infected by his HIV-infected parents several years after his birth. (35)

At the IX International AIDS Conference in Berlin, June 6-10, 1993, an epidemiologic study of an iatrogenically (caused by treatment by a health care worker) produced epidemic in southern Russia was presented. Two hundred and sixty children had been infected with HIV disease as a direct result of faulty medical procedures carried out on pediatric wards at a number of different Russian hospitals. Careful tracking of the victims, and their families, revealed that 21 of the mothers of these children had become secondarily infected. No study had yet determined exactly how the disease was spread from the infected children to their previously uninfected mothers. The best explanation is that the mothers unknowingly came into contact with blood or body secretions from their infected children. Certainly, we have seen similar cases reported in the United States. (36) (37)

An 11-month-old boy developed a mysterious case of AIDS in 1994. According to the New York Times, the infant "was most likely infected with HIV in a New York City hospital when he was less than two weeks old, New York City and federal health officials reported." (38)

Fortunately, horizontal spread of HIV disease in the United States appears to be relatively rare at the present time. Large numbers of uninfected family members have lived in homes with infected parents or children, and in the majority of instances there has been no horizontal transmission of disease. On the other hand, the cases of verified casual transmission of HIV disease, and the significant number of adults and children with unexplained HIV disease (noted above) demonstrates conclusively that casual transmission of HIV disease does occur, although admittedly only rarely. The tragedy is that once again the public is not being told the truth. The media, public health authorities, the CDC, and AIDS activists continue to insist that there is no such thing as casual transmission of HIV disease, despite the abundance of scientific evidence to the contrary.

The information herein presented should not be misconstrued as justifying quarantine, or excluding those who are HIV infected from most forms of work. Before an HIV-infected person is allowed to work, however, the following parameters should be met:

(1) The HIV-infected person's immune system should be largely intact with a CD4 count over 200.
(2) HIV-infected patients must not be carrying other diseases that could be spread to the public.
(3) The infected individual must act responsibly.
(4) Those who may come into contact with blood or body secretions must be informed of their danger, and be prepared to protect themselves.

Fortunately, HIV disease is difficult to contract without exposure to blood or body secretions; however, there is no justification for current CDC policies which allow HIV-infected, pre-school children to attend nursery schools where there may be biting, salivating, urinating, defecating, and contact with all sorts of body secretions. In my opinion, younger children should not be allowed to attend nursery schools unless all children are tested for HIV disease, and the supervisors know who is infected so that they can protect themselves and the other children. Furthermore, current CDC policies which allow older HIV-infected children attending school to engage in contact sports with the possibility of bleeding and contamination of their fellow players, is unconscionable. There are presently 77 HIV-infected children who have been identified by the CDC in America where the CDC has found no identifiable cause for their infections; some of these children may well have contracted their disease in nursery schools or in regular schools. Until there is routine HIV testing in schools, and teachers know which children are infected (so that special precautions can be taken), no child attending public school is completely safe. What about HIV-infected children with nose bleeds, cuts, or abrasions? Don't uninfected teachers and students have the right to protection? Certainly uninfected teachers and students should have the same civil rights as those who are infected.

MYTH #5

YOU CAN'T GET AIDS FROM A KISS

Children in schools across America are repeatedly told that, "You can't get AIDS from a kiss." The scientific basis for this myth is based primarily upon six medical studies published in the mid-1980s where infected parents lived in family settings with their spouses and children. From time to time the infected parent would kiss their child on the cheek or the forehead; none of the children became HIV infected. Based upon these 6 studies, sex educators routinely tell school children today that, "You can't get AIDS from a kiss." Kissing someone on the cheek or forehead, however, is entirely different from open-mouth kissing with the exchange of fresh saliva. Open-mouth (deep) kissing involves the exchange of a potentially lethal body fluid (i.e. saliva or saliva containing blood cells). Students are often told that there are enzymes and mucin in saliva that have been found to kill the HIV virus. Sex educators, however, fail to tell students that many of the so-called "scientific studies" published in the literature have been specifically designed to demonstrate that the HIV virus is inactivated by saliva. These studies involve either prolonged incubation of the HIV virus in saliva at elevated temperatures, or waiting for many hours between the collection of infected saliva specimens and their placement into culture medium. In both instances, much of the viral infectivity of saliva is inactivated by the enzymes and mucin contained within saliva. These experiments, however, are totally irrelevant when one is trying to determine the potential for spread of HIV disease via the exchange of fresh, blood-tinged saliva during deep and passionate kissing. (39)

Students are often told that they can drink two quarts of cell-free saliva from a person infected with HIV disease without danger of infection. My response to that claim is two-fold. (1) Where in the world would anyone get two quarts of cell-free saliva from an HIV-infected person? All saliva within the mouth contains cells! (2) Simply show me the scientific studies where anyone has ever drunk two quarts of cell-free saliva from someone who was HIV infected. Where are the scientific studies? Of course, there are none. This myth only tends to verify the words of the philosopher, William James, who said, "There is nothing so absurd but if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it."

There is little question that deep and passionate kissing has the potential to spread HIV disease. Where is the proof?

1. Infectious virus is present in saliva. (40)

2. Canadian researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal reported on the profuse discharge of HIV-infected lymphocytes from the gingiva (gums-ed) into the saliva of patients with immunosuppression (AIDS). They stated, "After blood, saliva was the second body fluid from which HIV virus was isolated. The origin of salivary HIV is infected lymphocytes from the gingiva. These cells emigrate into the saliva at a rate of 10/8th power per minute. This emigration may increase 10-fold in oral diseases which are frequent in an immunocompromised host. Recent immunocytochemical studies show a higher incidence of HIV in salivary lymphocytes than in peripheral blood lymphocytes of dental patients with AIDS ..... The use of saliva for the detection of HIV infection offers the following advantage(s)...High concentration of the virus allows easy detection of the infection."

3. Researchers from the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Montreal found that, "The incidence of HIV in salivary lymphocytes was significantly higher than in peripheral blood lymphocytes...salivary HIV is infective as demonstrated in vitro." (emphasis added-ed) (42)

4. A report in The Lancet told of the infection of an older brother who was bitten by his younger, HIV-infected brother. Since the older boy had no other risk factors, his HIV disease resulted either from the bite or from casual (horizontal) transmission within the household. (43)

5. Two homosexuals, who had consistently tested HIV negative, and participated only in insertive oral sex, became HIV infected. This suggested that they were infected by contact of HIV-infected saliva with their skin or urethral mucus membranes. (44)

6. Examination of saliva specimens after prolonged episodes of deep and passionate kissing revealed that 91% of salivary specimens contained hemoglobin. Blood is consistently associated with the presence of lymphocytes, and infected lymphocytes carry the infectious HIV virus. The authors of this study concluded: "In our opinion, the results of this study indicate that passionate kissing cannot be considered protective sex for the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus infection." (45)

7. The transmission of HIV disease from a prostitute to an elderly man via oral sex was reported by Dr. Spitzer of the Lahey Clinic in 1989. (46)

8. West Palm Beach authorities reported that a 90-year-old man had tested HIV positive after being bitten to the bone by an HIV-infected woman who had attacked him during a robbery attempt. According to the Washington Post news story, "The man may be the first person ever to have contracted HIV through a bite." (47)

9. Whenever you go to a dental office you will note that the dentist and his (or her) assistants routinely wear masks, gloves, face shields, and sometimes surgical gowns. This is part of a program called Universal Precautions and has been mandated in dental offices by OSHA, the Federally-funded Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The reason for these precautions is that OSHA has determined that the saliva of HIV-infected patients is potentially infectious, and all dental personnel must be protected from both HIV infection and Hepatitis B. Are we to believe that saliva is only infectious in dental offices, but is not infectious once outside dental offices? The myth that you can't get HIV disease from a kiss is without scientific basis.

10. Probably one of the most persuasive reasons for believing that HIV disease may be transmitted by deep and passionate kissing is the video interview recorded between Dr. John Ankerberg, television host of the John Ankerberg Show, and Dr. William Roper, Director of the CDC in 1992. When Dr. Roper was asked whether or not deep and passionate kissing could spread HIV disease, he responded: "If the question is, what does the CDC institutionally believe...when we say "you won't get AIDS from a kiss" we are referring to closed-mouth or 'social' kissing...there is a theoretical risk of HIV transmission through sexual, open-mouth or French kissing because of the potential for the exchange of blood...although there is some virus in the saliva, it is not at high concentration...I agree that open-mouth kissing is a hazard and may lead to the transmission of the virus...if you want to know what the Public Health Service's advice is on French kissing, open-mouth kissing, deep kissing, we say it's a risk for transmission of the HIV virus, and recommend against it."

Despite the position taken by the Centers for Disease Control, sex educators and AIDS activists all across America continue to insist that, "You can't get AIDS from a kiss." Why doesn't someone do a controlled study to be absolutely sure that deep, passionate kissing between an HIV-infected partner and someone who is noninfected, is safe? Because of the overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the potential for infectiousness of fresh, blood-tinged saliva. It would be immoral to carry out such a study. Thus, in our nation where neither chemicals nor medicines can be used if there is even one chance in a billion that they might be carcinogenic or harmful, adolescents continue to be assured that, "You can't get AIDS from a kiss", despite the absence of any valid scientific studies to verify that position. Why? Because AIDS activists fear that if the American public were ever to realize that their children might contract AIDS from saliva, there would be a public outcry demanding the use of standard and effective public health techniques to attempt to control this horrible plague.

In all probability, salivary spread of HIV disease is not a major means of HIV transmission. But with a disease that is known to be 95-100% fatal, our children and adolescents deserve to be told the truth. Furthermore, deep kissing, with the exchange of saliva, can spread Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (D,E, and F),Barr-Epstein virus, Cytomegalic virus, Herpes, Herpes VI,and a host of other viral and infectious diseases that can plague and disable our youth for life. It is time to tell our children the truth about the very real dangers they face when engaging in deep, open- mouth, French kissing in the 1990s. (48)


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