In many ways, AIDS is the disease of the modern world. Although cancer kills many more people than AIDS ever has, and Malaria is much more common than AIDS in Africa (irrespective of HIV status), AIDS has captured the popular imagination like no other disease. Partly because of the way it seemed to suddenly erupt onto the world, initially in predominantly gay populations in major urban areas in the United States and Europe – and now more so in Africa – it has provoked a massive world-wide campaign to address the disease, becoming the largest peace time operation in the world. In the West, after initial denial of the disease – partly as it was affecting gay people who at that time were not being socially accepted – the juggernaut of the pharmaceutical and medical industry as well as governments were activated, leading to the development of a huge AIDS industry to attempt to find a cure.
Given the complexity and unique expression of the disease, this challenge was not easy and soon the issues around the disease became highly politicized, with many questions about the disease’s origins, diagnosis, treatment and the social implications of being HIV positive. However, in the West, the disease never spread outside of vulnerable, immune-compromised groups – and the forecasted epidemic never happened on a wide scale. It remained somewhat contained to certain groups/communities and now in most developed countries, the incidences of AIDS have greatly declined. The broad social and political impact of the disease have been well documented in such books as And The Band Plays On, by Randy Shilts, who tells an amazing story of the disease’s development in the USA in the early 1980’s and also America in the Age of AIDS by Elinor Burkitt who explored the political and financial interests that developed around the AIDS industry in the United States. This is a central point in understanding the disease and the idea of an AIDS miasm.
The nature of the disease’s apparent sudden eruption in the gay population and then other immune-compromised groups stimulated much debate about the disease’s origins, both in the West and then in Africa. The conventional theory is that the disease originated in Africa, stemming from some people eating local bush (monkey) meat, becoming contaminated with a simian (SV) virus, which then transformed into a new virus that became what we know as HIV in its various strains. It spread from Cameroon and then The Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and from there made its way to other parts of Africa, especially around Lake Victoria in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. It apparently spread to the West through air personnel who having had sex with people in Africa then spread the disease into gay and also some heterosexual populations in the United States and Europe. Shilt’s book exhaustively traces this idea. However, alternative theories abound, including that polio vaccines used in the 1950’s and 1960’s were contaminated with simian viruses which then spread the disease. It has been admitted by the Centers for Disease Control that polio vaccines (in Africa and in the United States) were contaminated by simian viruses (SV40) until at least 1963 and likely to be much longer, which they attribute to higher incidences of cancer, but not necessarily AIDS. (1) However, a book called The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS by Edward Hooper explores the AIDS connection to polio vaccines, and which became a movie called The Origin of AIDS. Another theory is that in the gay population, experimental Hepatitis B vaccines were similarly contaminated which could have been a catalyst for the disease.
The main thing for homeopaths to consider in the miasmatic consideration of AIDS is that these possible causes could influence our ideas about the nature of the disease and how we understand the disease in relation to our understanding of miasmatic theory and acute and chronic disease.
The first homeopath to write about this was Harris Coulter in his book AIDS and Syphilis, The Hidden Link. This was based on his idea that the suppression of Syphilis led to AIDS, especially in the gay population, whose promiscuous activities led to a high incidence of Syphilis (and Gonorrhea and other STI’s) and their consequent suppression. AIDS therefore is merely suppressed syphilis seeking another expression. More recently Peter Fraser wrote the book The AIDS miasm, looking at AIDS as a separate miasm and also looked at the remedy the AIDS nosode as well as other remedies identified as part of the miasm.
Therefore, AIDS can be seen as a miasm in its own right, following on from the big five miasms of Psora, Sycosis, Syphilis, Tuberculosis and Cancer. (The extension of more miasms depends very much on individual homeopaths philosophical predilections toward miasmatic theory and practice, but here by looking at more possible miasms, we are mainly looking for patterns of symptoms, conditions and broad phenomena that can be connected to the actual disease AIDS). The overall qualities of the AIDS miasm can be said to be a breaking down of boundaries, which have been seen on a broader social level with the advent of the digital age and the influence of the internet, breaking through all previous communication barriers; also on a political level with the influence of global capital, challenging the relevance of national boundaries and a realization of the interconnectedness of all business and capital. On a physical level, we see with the disease AIDS, a breaking down of the body, a retroviral interloper infecting T cells in the body, destroying them and allowing a variety of infectious diseases to take hold of the body. We see the possibility that AIDS could have developed from monkey viruses (SIV as opposed to HIV) or from other animals, another form of breaking down of boundaries.
In the public consciousness, there is no doubt that AIDS has become the most dominant disease in modern consciousness, along with cancer, even though malaria kills many more people than AIDS. In the West, in spite of the terrible impact AIDS has had on various communities, it has never spread widely into mainstream society, different to what seems to being been seen in Africa. But even here, questions can be asked about the nature of the spread of AIDS in Africa and it is interesting to look at the wider impact this disease has had on the zeitgeist of modern medical, social and cultural thought.
Let us explore the condition known as HIV/AIDS from the perspective of other miasms and then go more into the possible unique characteristics of an AIDS miasm.
Syphilis and AIDS
The connection to the Syphilitic miasm is one of the most obvious, with a history of syphilis seen in some cases and from a homeopathic view, its suppression, along with other STI’s leading to the suppression of the syphilitic impulse, only to come out in a more virulent form. There is no doubt that a history of STI’s was a precursor for many who got AIDS, whether in the West and also in Africa but more so in the West, and the nature of the destructiveness of the disease shows clear syphilitic qualities. Also, similar to syphilis, after an initial intense and violent expression, (over a twenty – twenty five year period), the disease seems to be declining. New infections in the West are not that common and for most relatively healthy people, AIDS is not much of a risk. A healthy immune system is enough to protect against the disease, even if one does become infected. It has never been shown that merely being positive will lead to active AIDS, a common myth promulgated in the medical community. In Africa today, we also see a dropping off of AIDS cases. Some statistics show that AIDS cases peaked around 200-2001 in most Sub Saharan countries, except parts of Southern Africa. One can study these statistics at www.avert.org.
The same thing happened with syphilis in the 16th century. After about 50 years, it developed into more of a chronic condition and did not kill people in the manner that it did in the first years of infection where it swept through Europe, with people dying in the street and being herded into camps and often killed. This is no different to when colonizers took European bugs to the new world and millions died of diseases such as smallpox and measles, which had become less life threatening in the West due to recurrent exposure. As has been seen in many infectious diseases, including polio and smallpox, their incidences were declining before vaccination became widespread.
However, although both diseases are communicated through sex, there are significant differences in the symptom pictures presented, and Syphilis is a spirochete bacteria whereas HIV is a retrovirus, also known a human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) and which is not a virus at all but genetic material that is often released in response to certain infections. Also HIV is not that easy to catch, contrary to some of the myths surrounding it. There are many ‘discordant’ couples, one being positive, the other negative and it has been shown that some people who are frequently exposed do not get the disease. (2) It seems to require other factors, which conventional science can’t identify all the time, but which in homeopathy, with our theory of susceptibility we can make some conclusions. But what is commonly recognized is that HIV/AIDS predominantly affects people with existing immune-deficiency issues, whether in the West or Africa. STI’s, including Syphilis are one of the common factors, but only one of many and in fact Tuberculosis is much more commonly seen connected to HIV/AIDS, both in the West and Africa.
Tuberculosis and AIDS
The tubercular miasm figures very strongly in a miasmatic evaluation of AIDS. In the gay population in Europe and United States, the social situation and behavior amongst the gay community in the 1960s and 1970’s was being freed from the inhibition and denial of one’s sexuality, its liberation leading to extraordinary sexual behavior amongst other things for some people, and including a social and political identity within mainstream society. That feeling of liberation and expression is found strongly in the tubercular miasm, more so than in the syphilitic miasm. The sexual promiscuity seen was not a primarily destructive act, but more of a freedom to do what they want and in so doing challenging the conventional societal mores that imposed restrictions on sexual behavior. Even though the dynamics within the gay community led to a greater separation of male and female energy – male homosexuals mainly being together and females the same, which no doubt impacted on the “male” sexual extremes, the behavior itself was more tubercular in nature than syphilitic. However, the fact that many gay people who got AIDS did have a long history of STD’s, including Syphilis confirms the syphilitic imprint as well.
Tuberculosis has also been described by some homeopaths as being a combination of the psoric and syphilitic miasm (termed pseudo-psora), especially if one uses the three major miasms as a background to understand all further miasms, instead of seeing the Tubercular, Cancer and AIDS miasms as separate in their own right. Conventional miasmatic theory has been based on the idea that it all began with psora, without which one cannot have Sycosis and Syphilis, which then leads to T.B. and Cancer etc. Therefore all further miasms, apart from the main three are combinations of the main three. Many homeopaths don’t particularly adhere to this theory, which is one reason miasmatic theory is somewhat contentious in homeopathy. The loose and hugely broad definition of psora has led to all sorts of conclusions about what it means and to assume that all the other diseases kind of stack up one another after that is debatable.
Another aspect of the influence of the tubercular miasm is that one of the strongest conditions of AIDS is pneumocystitis carinii pneumonia (PCP), a fungal infection which invades the lungs and also spreads throughout the body, looking like TB. Other key symptoms of AIDS has been a serious loss of weight, chronic night sweats and lymphatic swelling, all characteristic of T.B.
Some Haitians in New York who got AIDS in the 1980’s were also afflicted with T.B. In Africa, the connection between T.B. and AIDS is very strong. It can even be questioned whether the HIV retrovirus leads to more T.B. or T.B. leads to the activation of the retrovirus in the system. Conventional theory accepts the former proposal, leading to a large increase in statistical AIDS cases, but questions remain as to the true “cause”.
In Africa, although there were some initial cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (one of the first striking conditions of AIDS in the West but before a fairly benign form of cancer found in Africa) and pneumocystis, one of the most common and visible conditions initially seen has been ‘slim’, a wasting away of the body, with an inability to eat hardly anything, along with viral diseases such as shingles and lymphatic swelling. However, this has now significantly diminished in the last number of years. However, one of the strongest connections has apparently been the increase in serious malaria and especially tuberculosis, which is being attributed to AIDS. In a homeopathic project in Swaziland (The Swaziland Homeopathy Project), T.B. and its complications is now one of the most common conditions associated with AIDS. Slim is not seen much now and neither is malaria. Shingles is very common, as are chronic fungal infections, which are also a side-effect of T.B. treatment, which begs the question whether many active T.B. sufferers on medication and who then test positive for HIV simply have T.B., based on the fact that HIV tests cannot be HIV specific and therefore will test positive when people already have T.B. This is discussed below when looking at the larger questions and controversies around AIDS diagnosis.
There is a growing problem with Multiple Drug Resistant T.B. and many don’t survive the drug regime. In another project in Tanzania, 30-40% have T.B. with another 30-40% with various forms of pneumonia, lymph involvement in 40-50% of cases and shingles in about 30% of cases. Kaposi’s sarcoma is not seen very much. Fungal infections are about 30% of cases. Over 80% of cases seen are on ARV’s with neuropathy side effects seen in a majority of cases, again making one consider again if much of what is seen is simply T.B., and the effects of T.B and ARV medications. (3) Therefore, the connection between Tuberculosis and AIDS is particularly strong.
The significance of Kaposi’s sarcoma in the West, seen much more than in Africa has been attributed by some AIDS writers to be due to the abuse of certain social drugs, especially poppers (amyl nitrate), which are commonly taken among some in the gay community.
The Miasm of Confusion and Controversy
In studying the broader miasmatic themes of any disease, it is useful to look at the larger social impact of a disease, the environment in which the disease occurs and its impact on wider society. As already mentioned AIDS seemed to suddenly erupt onto the world, leading to much confusion about what was happening – a new, mysterious but deadly epidemic that threatened to spread across the globe. But then, after 20 years or so in the West, cases began to diminish and although drug therapy improved, the disease didn’t spread as originally thought. Also it hasn’t behaved like any other disease before, the actual virus remaining highly elusive and science finding it hard to isolate it or to make a vaccine. Also AIDS is not a disease but a syndrome, a collection of up to 29 different conditions, which also exist without being HIV positive. With a variety of conditions being attributed to the disease and not one clearly defined condition that could specifically be linked to the contagious factor, as in most diseases, it has led to further controversy over what we are looking at.
This has led some scientists to question whether HIV really exists and if it does, whether it is more of a co-factor than a primary cause of many of the conditions attributed to it. The fact remains that AIDS hasn’t behaved like a normal epidemic infectious disease and seems mainly to affect those already immune-compromised e.g., gays with a history of social drug use and also many incidences of STI’s and extensive anti-biotic use, hemophiliacs, serious drug users and people with a susceptibility to T.B., like the Haitian community in New York. In Africa, it has affected people more broadly, but again, not in ways consistently seen in epidemics. Some countries in West Africa, like Nigeria and Ghana have fairly low incidences while Kenya, Uganda and Malawi have much higher incidences. Some feel this is attributed to different HIV strains but it may also be that the health infrastructures are more developed in East Africa, leading to more testing and treatment. The normal factors that have been identified as major factors in the spread of the disease, e.g., multiple sexual partners, polygamy, ‘hot spots’ where sexual workers and trucking stops are found, a history of STI’s, malnutrition etc are equally apparent in West Africa as in East or Southern Africa, making one question their significance.
Also, and this would tie in to the more esoteric theories around AIDS, West African countries have generally retained more of their traditional cultural beliefs – or are more at ease in expressing them – than in East Africa that has more widely denied this tradition, often under the influence of Christian and Islamic religions. Maybe the denial of their traditional cultural myths and rituals has made them further susceptible to the imposition of the ‘Electronic age’ and the cultural miasms of Western society. This is further explored when looking at the possible unique features of the AIDS miasm.
Another key part of the controversy, especially in Africa, is whether there are as many AIDS cases as being stated. There is evidence that the HIV tests used in Africa are not specific to HIV and that many immune-compromised people test positive anyway. This has been verified scientifically with those who have had leprosy and it is thought that a wide range of existing conditions, including merely being pregnant, can lead to false positive tests.(4) If that is the case, then millions of people are being falsely tested and suffer the profound stigma often attached to the disease. In Africa, this alone can be a death sentence as a HIV positive person would be a threat to the community, leading to social isolation and stigmatization. Also the power of the word is strong in Africa and being told by an ‘expert’ that you have a life threatening disease can become just that – just from believing it.
The stigma of AIDS has been addressed by the AIDS movement and aggressive education in this way has made positive inroads in many communities and countries and yet remains a challenge. It is here that AIDS looks similar to other infectious epidemics of the past, including Syphilis and Leprosy when a positive diagnosis or when symptoms of a disease would lead to social isolation or worse.
Just recently in the news, in April 2014, a BBC report in Uganda showed that many people who are HIV positive are buying HIV negative test reports so that they can get work and not be so socially shunned. Companies require people to have a HIV test and so HIV positive people are being discriminated, in spite of years of education and millions of dollars of educational investment. Uganda has also been held up to be one of the success stories in Africa. The tragedy of this is clear. If the tests aren’t accurate, people are being profoundly stigmatized as a result of false tests. Also, as has been known for years, a HIV positive test in and of itself does not mean a person will get sick. A healthy immune system is enough to deal with this, making the whole policy of widespread HIV testing throughout Africa even more questionable.
As the epidemic in Africa has evolved and affected different groups of people, the symptoms have somewhat changed. Slim is now much less seen, ARV’s are much more widely available, changing the face of the disease and Kaposi’s sarcoma is not seen very much. However, as mentioned, T.B. and other chronic chest conditions are now the most commonly seen condition attributed to AIDS in many parts of Africa. Malaria is still seen very frequently, some of which may be attributable to HIV infection and other general immune problems. Malnutrition is a major issue and and chronic diarrhea is commonly seen in HIV patients, along with shingles and chronic lymph swellings. But again, the question is whether HIV is the primary cause of many of these conditions or whether it simply happens to be around and that people test positive anyway due to tests which are not accurate.
The tests used in Africa are two band rapid tests, a quick and cheap way to test for HIV. However, as noted, tests of this sort and even more comprehensive ELISA and Western Blot tests only test for antibody response. They do not test for the virus and are not specific for HIV. The implications for those who test positive is extremely serious, especially in Africa where exposure to many other infectious and immune-suppressive illnesses e.g., malaria, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Dysentery, Leprosy, even simply being pregnant etc may be lead to a positive diagnosis, with consequent stigma and likely ARV/Septrin treatment, whether it is needed or not. If this is true, then all statistics quoted of HIV/AIDS in Africa may be wrong. When certain rapid tests were used in the United States, they were removed because of the amount of false positive results. (5)
Although it is theorized that AIDS originated in Africa and spread to the West, what we see now is the importation of the AIDS industry into Africa, with billions of dollars invested into its treatment and education. This industry has become such a force in the whole “Aid” movement that more money is spent on AIDS now than on all other diseases put together. So, there is a lot at stake and many thousands, if not millions of people’s livelihoods are dependent on this. In this climate therefore, it makes it hard to challenge the accepted statistics given about the incidence of AIDS in Africa. Maybe it is not what we are told and inadvertently the AIDS industry is becoming another quasi-colonial endeavor onto the African continent whose governments have acquiesced as the amounts of money and political pressures are simply too great. The US President’s PEPFAR President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) fund, which channels funds to organizations such as UNAIDS, Global AIDS Fund, USAID, UNDP, WHO, CDC etc, pledged over $46 billion dollars over five years from 2008. (6)
One other area of controversy is mother to child contamination, which has led to a policy of giving all HIV positive mothers ARV’s to prevent mother to child transmission. HIV positive and HIV negative children born or HIV positive mothers are also given ARV’s. According to research quoted in Christine Maggiore’s book, What If Everything You Knew About AIDS Is Wrong, “at least 75% of babies born to HIV positive mothers will test HIV negative without medical intervention. Over 90% of children of mothers who receive regular prenatal care and are properly nourished will test negative. Also it is known that children take up to 18 months to develop their own immune response and discard antibobodies passed onto them from their mothers and that HIV testing before 18 months does not yield conclusive results. (7). And yet now, in Malawi, the WHO has instigated a “voluntary” program to give ALL HIV positive pregnant women ARV medications for LIFE, even if they are healthy and have no clinical symptoms at all. This is admittedly an experiment and yet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary that questions routine use of ARV’s for HIV pregnant women, the medical strategy of giving ARV’s is becoming even more forceful.
All of these questions and issues surround AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. If many of the things stated above are true, it means that the miasm of AIDS in Africa is much more than simply the virus and the disease. It is also to do with the imposition of a cultural projection and social/political force that in many ways mimics the worst of colonial oppression, in which Africans are being exploited once more and where the fears of Western culture are being imposed onto the African continent, this time in the name of addressing the so-called scourge of AIDS, instead of the ‘noble’ colonial ideology of ‘Commerce, Christianity and Civilization’. Therefore, in looking at the miasm of AIDS we see a forceful imposition of one cultural perspective onto another, backed by medical/political forces that represent one particular view of the syndrome of AIDS in Africa. This can fit into the broader idea of an AIDS miasm as described below, a breaking down of boundaries as an aspect of the Electronic Age.
An AIDS Miasm
The idea of an AIDS miasm, like any form of classification is to see certain patterns, symptoms and general phenomena that can link the disease to its etiology and broader impact on the culture, as well as its ability to reflect an epigenetic impact on people and between generations. In this broader idea of miasmatic thinking, a miasm is as much a metaphor of the prevailing culture as simply a disease. This concept was explored by Peter Fraser in his book The AIDS Miasm, which sees AIDS as a reflection of the modern electronic age and following on from the three major miasms. He classifies the Tubercular and Cancer miasms slightly differently than the three major miasms, stating that they are a reaction to the big three miasms. As mentioned earlier, the characteristics of the AIDS miasm are seen as a breaking down of all boundaries, where there is no longer the concept of limitation and separation as before. Fraser states that because of the nature of African culture, it created a unique susceptibility to the disease, in other words, a cultural susceptibility, which offers new ideas on the idea of the transmission of the disease. To quote Fraser:
“The particular effect of man’s extension by Electronics, which Marshall McLuhan called the extension of the nervous system of man, is to bring about an almost complete destruction of the concept of distance in both space and time…Boundaries disappear, they are of absolutely no consequence to electronic communication or to airplanes.” To summarize this point, the Electronic Age allows a new “global consciousness” to appear which transforms everything we do: politics, economics, war, environmentalism and communication on all levels. In other words a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of all things and actions becomes clear. This is strongly apparent in the field of ecology and the environment.
…where the shock of AIDS in Africa has been that much more devastating than in the west. A continent that has remained basically tribal and feudal, deliberately kept so by colonial and transnational interests is going to be that much more susceptible to the influence of the Electronic Age. Fraser states that AIDS in Africa is killing the same proportion of the population that smallpox killed in the Americas. He feels similar risks affect other countries such as India and in South-east Asia and even Russia that have remained more feudal than industrial. (Actually this hasn’t transpired for a number of reasons, including the unique dynamics of African life, the prevalence of malaria and TB and other factors, including the greater resistance of Indians, Russians and Asians to Western influence – Ed).
Therefore, the unique susceptibility of Africa is due to the imposition of the dynamics of the electronic age onto a culture like Africa which is identified with tribal and feudal dynamics, leading to a more violent and acute expression of the disease. The acuteness of the way the disease has spread is similar to that of other acute epidemics of the past throughout the world, including smallpox, T.B. the plague etc. In this way it can be seen as an acute expression of the psoric miasm but now put into the context of the electronic age.
Fraser makes a case that Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and some forms of Alzheimer’s belong to the AIDS miasm. He states that the neurological pathologies of AIDS, CJD and other opportunistic infections associated with AIDS, such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegaly virus and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy lead to damage to the central nervous system or peripheral nerves. There is also a type of AIDS dementia, which the author states could be a direct result of the retro rvirus.
In discussing the AIDS nosode as a remedy, Fraser mentions the overriding pattern in the nosode and in the AIDS miasm is the dissolution of boundaries and the stresses that are caused by that dissolution. This analysis fits the previous discussion of the possible cause and spread of AIDS through vaccine production and other medical and military research. The age of communication has reached its ultimate stage when the whole world can be connected with contaminated blood used in vaccines that originate from a different species. In this scenario there is a complete breakdown of the natural human and species barriers that have protected us for millions of years. It is an unknown phenomenon, one that has yet to play its way out in the human story. It doesn’t promise to get any better soon, with the relentless pursuit of yet more vaccines for every conceivable condition, including that of AIDS.
He summarizes the main themes of the AIDS miasm as follows:
“The primary effect of the dissolution of boundaries is that CONNECTION can be made without obstruction or interference. However, connection becomes DISCONNECTION and isolation. This leads to INDIFFERENCE, which then leads to DISPERSION, INSTABILITY, a tendency to EXTREMES and CONFUSION. There is a tendency towards passivity and FEMININIZATION, which is seen in society and in symptoms. There is increasing VULNERABILITY, a sensitivity to INFECTION and a LACK OF CONFIDENCE, and issues around BOUNDARIES and the PORTALS that penetrate them”.
The author then lists a series of words that fit each of these themes. For example in CONFUSION, he lists confusion of the senses, of identity, a vanishing of thoughts, forgetfulness, transgenic confusion, confusion about time, position and words.
The term passivity is interesting, especially as it pertains to Africa. It has often been seen that when Africans are sick, they become very passive and accepting, simply lying down and not resisting their illness. They don’t fight back. David Livingstone and other colonial and religious missionaries in Africa often noticed this, but paradoxically along with a great resistance and perseverance. They can endure many things that others can’t, which is why Africans were used as slaves for so long. But once they become ill, they can give up. They feel they have no power to control events. This obviously ties into a fatalistic philosophy dominant still on the continent. Most people don’t know what their relatives die from. Death is often just around the corner, and simply can’t be avoided or controlled. One simply waits ones turn, without being able to do anything. There are forces outside of human control and far more powerful than any human ability to control, that one simply has to accept. There are dark forces that can be manipulated to cause harm to others and it is hard to resist. In other words, we are not in control, there is nothing to be done. This belief system creates a cultural susceptibility and perhaps which influences the way AIDS has manifested in Africa. The condition of SLIM is perhaps the most graphic example of this, where people simply give up eating. They lose all hope and desire to live. It is the ultimate in fatalism but also, practically speaking, when many people’s diet is dependent on cassava, it becomes unpalatable when other digestive problems occur due to AIDS and there is simply nothing else to eat. People slowly starve to death. It seems the effect of remedies in these cases is to restore hope and the will to live.
The theory of a Radiation Miasm
Jeremy and Camilla Sherr have been focusing on treating AIDS in Tanzania and they have approached the condition from a genus epidemicus approach using classical homeopathic methodology. They have explored AIDS as well from a miasmatic perspective, seeking to understand the key remedies that are working clinically and putting this into a miasmatic perspective. They feel that AIDS in Africa is a combination of the psoric and radiation miasm. This does not fit into conventional miasmatic theory but is partly based on the fact that they have used the remedy California muriaticum and nitricum in some AIDS cases, both belonging to the Lanthanides series of remedies.
The psoric aspect is fairly easy to see, as the basic issues facing many people here are very basic – getting enough food to eat and simply surviving. When the disease is seen, often people simply give up and don’t fight, a passive reaction to the disease. The radiation aspect is harder to see but Sherr has given the remedy Californian muriaticum in a number of AIDS cases now. He has seen it work well particularly when ARV’s are no longer working. He associated a similar destructive pattern with AIDS to the effects of radiation and identified issues similar to characteristics theorized to be of the radiation miasm and lanthanides remedies. AIDS is the disease of modern age, and since 1945 and the first atomic bombs the whole world has moved into the influence of radioactive forces and the plutonic elements of the underworld (unconscious forces, unraveling the past, all the suppressed elements being revealed, like an X ray). Sherr states:
I have often related the radioactive remedies to cases of serious pathology, diseases of the late 20th and 21st century. Radiology has been used by conventional medicine for the treatment of cancer. Since the discoveries of Uranium in 1898 and the use of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, humanity has moved from the 6th syphilitic period into the 7th radioactive period, reflected in warfare, science, culture, media, the internet and disease. I discussed this subject in my article “50 years to Hiroshima” (Links, Autumn 1995, J. Sherr) The loss of identity results in the loss of immunity, who am I and who is the other. The radioactive period relates to the scattering and mixing of world populations and the breakdown of the individual and global immune system. In particular African history has many analogies with the radioactive remedies through its association with roots, genetics, ancestry and the uprooting of lives by slavery, colonization and plundering of natural resources. In recent times
Africa has been used as a dumping ground for Western radioactive waste (Beheton,2000)
(Quoted from article in Homeopathic LINKS, Winter 2012)
The cases showed some very good effect in classic cases of AIDS where the ARV’s were not working, the CD4 levels were declining and where in fact it seems some of the major symptoms were due to the side effects of ARV’s. It may therefore be seen that the radioactive remedies like California muriaticum and nitricum as well as other Lanthanides are mainly suitable for the side-effects of the ARV’s, as opposed to the primary effect of viral compromise. That would also fit into the radioactive identity as the ARV’s are a product of the era in which we live. It has also been seen that, especially in the early years of the disease, when toxic doses of ARV’s were given, especially AZT, it actually gave people AIDS. The drug simply further suppressed the immune system, often killing people before the disease did. The drugs are a product of the West and reflect the ideas and impulses of that culture – including building atom bombs and using radiation in medicine. AZT was initially a drug produced to treat cancer, but was shelved due to its toxicity. Even clinical trials had to be stopped due to liver toxicity, so its widespread and continued use – albeit in more moderate doses, further fits the destructive qualities seen in the radioactive miasm.
It is interesting to look at some of the ideas postulated to be of the radioactive miasm – destructiveness beyond syphilis, a profound loss of identity, issues of genetics, ancestry and the deep past, including the power of magic. All these are characteristics of African culture, according to Sherr, especially around AIDS at this time. Perhaps it fits into a cultural susceptibility of Africa combined with the theory that AIDS originated from the contamination of humans with a simian virus (SV40), possibly through polio and/or smallpox vaccines, as opposed to the conventional theory of Africans eating contaminated bush meat. The possible man-made nature of such a disease adds a possible tragic factor to the already existing trauma of the disease throughout the world, not totally different to the trauma of man releasing the power of nuclear forces and plutonic influences onto the world. Some people have even theorized that HIV came out of the biological warfare labs in the United States!
Other remedies that Sherr has used to treat AIDS are Causticum, Zincum, China, Germanium, Magnesium salts, Olive, Natrum muriaticum, Sulphur, Psorinum, which he sees as mainly psoric influence; Ozone and Kali carbonicum in psora/tubercular; Adamas, Baccilinum, Tuberculinum and Salmon in more Tubercular cases; AIDS nosode, Cryptococcus and California muriaticum and nitricum in the Radioactive miasm and Mercury, Flouric acid, Plumbum and Arsenicum album in the syphilitic miasm.
However, it has to be said that identifying the “radiation miasm” as a key aspect of AIDS in Africa is still somewhat speculative. As mentioned, if significant it is likely to be due to the effect of ARV therapy and how so many AIDS cases seen today are a mixture of symptoms of AIDS and the ARV’s being taken. Also, five of the remedies mentioned by Sherr – Olive, Adamas, Germanium, Salmon and Californicum muriaticum were proven by him and his wife, making one question whether other homeopaths would recognize their significance as a genus epidemicus remedy for AIDS and given the broad syndrome nature of AIDS diagnoses, it is likely other homeopaths would come up with other remedies.
Jan Scholten has also done some research into the homeopathic treatment of HIV/AIDS by doing clinical research into a remedy called Iquilae, which is a combination remedy of various lanthanides remedies – Thulium is likely one of them but his website doesn’t specify the exact ingredients, making it harder to validate. (www.aidsremedyfund.org). In the research, statistically verified improvement was found on all levels, including CD4 levels, mental and physical well being, including evaluation using the Karnofsky’s score. So far, the results have looked promising. Some of the subjects were on ARV’s, some not and most had quite low CD4 levels. The remedy was given once a day for 5 days only. Subjects were followed up at 1, 4 and some at 7 months. Around 250 people were given the drug. Results are summarized as follows:
- More than 95% of the patients had a positive response to the remedy.
- There was a strong improvement in their health status.
Opportunistic infections healed without further intervention.
- 65% of the patients were requiring assistance (Karnofsky score < = 60) and changed their status to being able to perform their normal duties again.(Karnofsky >=80)
- The CD4 cell values of the tested group showed significant increases.
- Those patients who did not get ART and had CD4 cell counts below 200 could postpone ART due to significantly increased cell values.
- Side effects from regular ART were reduced.
Although these preliminary results seem positive, they again have to be seen in the context of all the variable factors mentioned above, including false-positive diagnoses, the syndrome nature of AIDS diagnosis, the theory of HIV as a co-factor and also the unreliability of CD4 measurements as a distinct indication of HIV infection. It has been noted by researchers that CD4 counts, like the HIV test itself is not specific to HIV. One research in Malawi showed that many Malawians who were HIV negative also showed low CD4 counts, to the level at which if positive and asymptomatic, they would still be put on ARV’s. (8)
All these factors make the challenges of doing scientifically verifiable research more challenging. If we can’t be sure that many who say they are positive are actually that, and if the complex of symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, then what are we exactly researching? Also, given the intense political influences around the whole AIDS industry, what can homeopaths hope to achieve in doing research? Time will tell, but as seen with the AIDS miasm, confusion and dissolution seem to be common patterns.
Peter Chappell and Harry van der Zee, using PC resonances for AIDS and other diseases, have speculated that the lesson of AIDS is to see that sex without love has consequences, and that particularly in Africa, the crisis of AIDS is forcing a re-evaluation of the traditional relationship between a man and woman, where the woman (wife) has no choice in matters of when to have sex and in general holds little power in the relationship. Now the woman needs to take more power and have a voice in these matters. (In spite of the fact that many women do have some financial autonomy and are more independent than in other cultures, they none the less still lack many freedoms, even though they often take the most responsibility in a family situation to feed children, work the land and keep everything together). In the West, particularly in the gay community, where sexual expression was taken to extreme lengths, maybe the lesson of AIDS is to force a change in such behavior. If one seeks to understand the deeper meaning of any disease, or to put another way, the purpose of a disease, then making such conclusions can make a lot of sense. For other people, it may seem too abstract and interpretative, even too ‘spiritual’.
When Peter Chappell first explored the use of homeopathy for AIDS in Africa, he realized that the differences in many cases were slight and that individualizing remedies for each person was too laborious and perhaps not the most productive method. He speculated that if one could find a genus epidemicus remedy for most cases, this would be more practical and reflective of the collective susceptibility within Africa. But he said he couldn’t see one or even a few remedies, which led him to experiment by “asking” a “divine/non-human” intelligence to make a “resonance” similar to that of the collective state of AIDS in Africa. This became the basis of the PC resonances, and since then, many others have been created to address conditions such as malaria, T.B., diabetes, hypertension and more. The idea is that they are working on a homeopathic basis on a genus epidemicus model and yet are not actual homeopathic remedies, at least from a traditional perspective.
The idea of collective susceptibility is discussed by Harry van der Zee and Peter Chappell in their book Homeopathy for Diseases and also in Peter Fraser’s book. In African culture, the idea of individual ego identity and separation have not taken hold in the same way as in the West. Not being under the cultural influence of Western thought, the Enlightenment and individualism in all its forms, their spiritual identity is woven into the fabric of family, tribe and village. Therefore their susceptibility to AIDS is also different. This could be one reason we see very different images of AIDS in Africa than we see in the West. The cultural susceptibility is different. This led Peter and Harry van de Zee to use PC1 (Africa) for all cases of AIDS, there being one for males and another for females. In the last 10 years, they have been using PC1 for AIDS and a variety of other PC’s for other conditions. A different PC1 for AIDS is used in the West to reflect the different nature of the disease there.
Many homeopaths may be uncomfortable with the “nature” of PC remedies, finding them too esoteric and not homeopathy at all, in spite of Peter and Harry’s experience as homeopaths and the described method of resonance being based on a homeopathic affinity. However, ten years of committed work seems to show that they can work well, for a variety of conditions. Like anything, they don’t work all the time but the evidence is positive. However, it is understandable if some homeopaths don’t want to go there, and like other homeopathic methods to treat AIDS it may be hard to validate the method beyond anecdotal evidence and certainly would stretch the credulity of conventional science on hearing the esoteric method of “manufacture” of the PC resonances.
However, both Jeremy and Camilla Sherr and Jan Scholten have adopted a more genus epidemicus style of addressing AIDS, the former from a classical methodology of finding a number of single remedies and with the latter, the use of a combination lanthanide remedy, as described above. The use of lanthanides, as mentioned may be indicated more the side effects of ARV’s than on primary AIDS and similar to the PC remedies, establishing categorical proof of action may be very hard, especially as it is not clear how many people they are treating really have AIDS and how many are suffering a variety of different conditions, including TB and side effects of TB and AIDS medications.
The Rising of the Psoric miasm and its malarial brother
It is commonly described in homeopathic literature that the main themes of psora are a perennial struggle; a struggle to be and to do; a struggle to survive, to have enough, to keep warm; a struggle to know who one is and where one is going in life. The remedy psorinum – the nosode representing the miasm, similar to other nosodes – shows some of the clearest symptoms of the miasm with the fear of poverty and of isolation, the feeling of being neglected, of being cold and all alone, with not enough to eat, of always being hungry and struggling with the existential anxiety of being. There is never enough and an itch that can’t be satiated.
In studying the ongoing experience of many millions of Africans, daily subsistence life is a struggle. Food is not plentiful, life is very insecure and there is ongoing anxiety of having enough to eat and being able to survive. Life is a struggle, a classic psoric experience. This expresses itself as a constant fear of not having enough, even if there is enough, and even wealthy people can feel the need to hold on to everything they have and to acquire as much as they can as you never know what can happen. Today you eat, tomorrow you don’t. Even most forms of corruption are described in terms of eating. “It is their turn to eat” being a common turn throughout Africa for corrupt practices. This historical and daily experience is the reality for millions of Africans, with between 25% not getting enough to eat on a regular basis and maybe another 25% suffering some forms of nutritional deficiency. Therefore the concept of LACK is central here. Out of this terrain, many diseases arise, including malaria, T.B. and AIDS. Most Africans though are remarkably resolute and optimistic in their response to the travails and struggles of life. They may be fatalistic and passive once they really get sick but before that they remain cheerful and show a lot of heart in dealing with situations that most Westerners would find hard to bear. This therefore shows the tubercular influence, the ability to remain positive in spite of circumstances. However, woven around this is the sense that nothing is easy. There are always obstacles, things will fall part, as the title of Chinua Achebe’s famous book states. For anyone who has worked or spent time in Africa, things do fall apart. Getting stuff done is not easy. The lack of social cohesion and basic chaotic nature of how things function lead to the malarial miasm, a sense of struggle against adversity, an initial effort and inspiration becoming thwarted, leading to exhaustion and hopelessness. This characterizes the remedy China and also the profound impact that malaria has had on the collective consciousness on much of Sub Saharan Africa. Homeopathically, this all make sense; the impact of malaria affects on all levels; physical, mental and spiritual. The African continent is continually struggling to free itself of ongoing economic and political chaos and until now being left behind in economic development by most other countries. Most Sub Saharan African countries come near the bottom of most indicators of economic and social development. Psora and malaria are the miasmatic reflections of this experience.
The focus on food and the desire to have a full belly is strong in Africa. Many people eat only twice a day and often it is the same food. The main staples in Africa today are maize and cassava. Millet is eaten in some countries and rice also is commonly found. One of the indigenous crops is sorghum but that is not eaten much now, cassava having taken over as a major staple.
Cassava is an interesting food. It is well suited to subsistence life. It grows easily, even in drought and in bad soil. It requires no fertilizer and can be replanted year after year. It gives excellent carbohydrate energy and is very efficient crop to grow, given limited resources and land. However, it offers virtually no protein at all. What it does offer is balanced in amino acids but you can barely survive on it. To be healthy, alternative forms of protein have to be found. But it fills you up like nothing else. It satiates hunger, even the idea of hunger. It seems to tap into the miasmatic memory of hunger. Many Africans love it and eating large amounts is central to their lives. Without it, they don’t feel full. I have seen people eat volumes of rice but still say they don’t feel satisfied until they have had their cassava; but it is hard to digest and is an acquired taste. In fact, it tastes of nothing in particular, its effect more in the solid, satisfying full feeling one has on eating it. The proportion of cassava (carbohydrate) to protein (fish, meat, beans) is much greater than the portions we eat in the West. This suits a subsistence lifestyle where digging daily for survival is the main occupation and physical labor a daily chore. Millions of subsistence farmer in Africa simply live off what they grow and supplement this with small amounts of animal product and vegetables, if they can afford it. But for many people, life is lived on the margins of hunger. There is never enough it seems (although in reality, even in famine times, food is often around. It just doesn’t get to those who need it. There is nearly always food). There is often tension around food and where it will come from. If you organize an event, or meeting, the first question often is, what are we eating?
I arranged a proving of cassava in Malawi in April 2012 with students and others working in the homeopathy clinic we were helping in. I entitled the proving “Enough to Survive, not to thrive.” The following symptoms were seen:
Great hunger, with weakness. Increased salivation, with sour, bitter taste. Much spitting. Sores inside and outside the mouth. Nausea and vomiting, churning in stomach, thirst, hunger, feeling about to vomit with increased saliva. Diarrhea.
Pain in the feet, extending up and down, burning in the feet, staggering, not being in control, heavy of legs, sensation of paralysis. Weakness felt in feet extending up the leg.
Dreams of danger, knives, threats, death, killing, fighting, fear, worry.
Weakness, aching of body.
The symptoms of the proving seems to fit the psoric miasm – the feeling of lack, of hunger, of constant effort merely to survive. The great hunger felt may also reveal its need in the opposite, of no hunger at all and especially the inability to eat cassava.
Its affinity for the whole gastro intestinal tract and also the nervous system may make it applicable in cases of AIDS, especially when cassava can no longer be eaten and/or when sores are found in the mouth, along with weakness of the whole system. (It is often seen in cases of SLIM that people can no longer eat their staple food, which is often cassava. It is no longer digestible but there is no other option for most people).
It is interesting to note the relationship between one of the main crops used in Africa (originally imported from South America, along with maize and sweet potatoes) and the predominant miasm and experience of many millions of people.
AIDS in Africa is often connected to the experience of hunger. Although AIDS has affected wealthier, middle class Africans, for the most part, those more affected will be suffering from a lack of nutritional balance and a dependence on a few staple foods and as mentioned, most people living in Africa will be in the same ‘morphogenetic’ field.
The psoric miasm is therefore the most dominant miasm in many AIDS cases. However, as described above, tuberculosis is one of the most common conditions now attributed to HIV/AIDS, and the tubercular miasm is seen as a common influence in much of Africa. The consequence of colonialism and the breaking down of tribal, village life, with the rapid explosion of urban centers has profoundly changed African society. Rapid urbanization has occurred more quickly in many African countries than anywhere else on the planet. More recently, the availability of cell phones and consequent ability to communicate all over the country, if not the world has also thrust a traditional cultures into the 21st century. This shift fits into the tubercular miasm as people now see the chance to escape, to find a new life, and yet still often remain stuck in their situation, due to financial and practical challenges. In the West, we often simply saw another aspect of the tubercular miasm express itself, especially in the gay community, but also mixed with the result of suppressed sycotic and syphilitic influences.
So we see the intrinsic psoric state being challenged by the tubercular impulse and when that fails, to fall back into psoric apathy and passivity and the malarial frustration and exhaustion, or it can become more violent and destructive, as seen in the syphilitic miasm. This latter impulse is seen more in societies in which the fabric of social cohesion becomes totally lost e.g. parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The proposed radiation miasm, (or at least the rationalization for the lanthanide remedies) can be seen as a result of the use of ARV’s and their side effects. These drugs, beginning with AZT ( a failed and toxic cancer drug) and then to protease inhibitors and now the new breed of anti-retrovirals, all belong to the consciousness of “modern science” and the political forces that have supported this industry and now imposed on to Africa. It would also include the possibility of AIDS being a man-made disease, plutonic forces “accidentally” released onto the world, like nuclear weapons and power, where radiation leaks into the world.
AIDS is one of most challenging and complex syndromes experienced by humans. The ongoing controversy that still surrounds it and the political consequences of the AIDS industry (9) makes it hard to see the miasmatic view of the disease from a homeopathic point of view. But by looking at the combined influence of existing miasms and also by studying the unique characteristics of AIDS cases and the broader social, cultural and political influences, one can ideally piece together themes that make sense.
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- Marco Ruggerio, an Italian biologist and AIDS specialist stated that:
In our paper (Italian Journal of Anatomy and Histology, vol. 114, 97-108, 2009) we report that occupational exposure to HIV is uncommon, and the overall risk of seroconversion after contact with HIV positive blood is extremely low (seroconversion rate, 0–0.42%). It is calculated that, on average 99.7% of health care workers, who are exposed to HIV, will not be infected (Ippolito et al., 1993; Marcus, 1988). In general, most health care professionals found to be HIV-positive have a history of behavioural (male homosexual contact or intravenous drug use) or transfusion exposure (Chamberland et al., 1995). – Marco Ruggiero
- HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) remains a substantial challenge to international public health, accounting for an estimated 1.1 million new TB cases and 0.35 million deaths worldwide in 2010. A staggering 82% of these cases and71% of deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa. This burden of disease represents a particular challenge to antiretroviral treatment (ART) programmes in the region as it is concentrated in patients accessing these services [2,3]. Approximately 5–40% of patients enrolling in ART services have a current TB diagnosis at the time of starting ART [2–8]. In addition, there is a high incidence of disease during the initial months of ART, much of which represents prevalent disease present at baseline that was not detected during screening. Long term rates are lowered substantially during ART, but nevertheless remain several fold higher than rates in HIV-uninfected people living in the same communities.
World Health Organisation Global tuberculosis control 2011. Geneva: World Health Organisation. WHO/HTM/TB/2011.16.
According to the Karonga Prevention Study (in process of changing its name to the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit), a large research program in Northern Malawi that focuses on the link between tuberculosis and AIDS (sponsored by the Wellcome Trust), up to 60% of T.B. cases are HIV positive.
- This issue was explored in the movie House of Numbers, which explored the validity of AIDS tests and the statistics of numbers of AIDS cases in Africa and other countries.
In the book What If Everything You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong, by Christine Maggiore, p.11, she lists about 50 factors that have been scientifically shown to cause positive results on HIV antibody tests, including acute viral infections, flu vaccinations, flu, Hepatitis, Hepatitis B vaccine, Herpes simplex, Leprosy, Tetanus vaccine, Tuberculosis etc. Her source was taken from Continuum magazine (an AIDS activist journal, no longer in publication but available online) Vol 4:3 p5 with all sources of each condition referenced to scientific publications.
Testing, Testing… Do HIV Antibody Tests Prove HIV infection.
Valendar Turner MD, Department of Emergency Medicine,Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia. First published in Continuum Magazine Vol 3, No 5. Revised in July 2001.
Molecular Miscarriage: Is the HIV Theory a Tragic Mistake. Neville Hodgkinson. Mothering magazine, Sept/Oct 2001
A Study from Zaire, in which 67% of leprosy patients and 23% of their contacts tested HIV positive, found that only two of the patients and none of their contacts could be confirmed as positive using more detailed and expensive procedures. Even the two cases were questionable.
- A number of rapid tests were taken off the market in New York in 2008 because of a high number of false positives, according to U.S News on June 23, 2008.
“Now that an estimated 1 in 4 Americans with HIV is infected without knowing it, tests that provide rapid results have been welcomed with open arms. But imagine if you were told you’re HIV positive and later learn that you actually don’t have the virus. In New York City, some people have had that experience: One rapid test that examines oral fluid samples—the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test—has produced a higher than expected number of false positives, leading the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to suspend use of the test in its STD clinics; the OraQuick finger prick test is still in use.
“Jennifer Ruth, a spokesperson at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the agency is investigating clusters of false positives associated with the oral test in other jurisdictions as well. The uptick in false positives was the subject of the CDC’s June 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (OraSure Technologies, the maker of the oral test, says that while New York City data showed higher than expected rates of false positives, the nationwide data the company has gathered are reassuring.) The CDC has not yet determined the cause of the increase in false positive results but is planning a study in areas that perform large numbers of HIV tests and have experienced an increase in false positive results.”
- “(PEPFAR) is America’s commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Through shared responsibility and smart investments, PEPFAR is saving lives, building more secure families and helping to stabilize fragile nations. With the generous support of the American people, the U.S. Government has committed approximately $46 billion to bilateral HIV/AIDS programs, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and bilateral TB programs through fiscal year (FY) 2010.”
- What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong. Christine Maggiore. Published by The American Foundation for AIDS Alternatives, Studio City, CA 91604. P. 24. (Quoted research: New England Journal of Medicine November 3 1994 331:18 p 1176-1177: Semba R. et al 1993 Increased Mortality Associated with Vitamin A Deficiency during HIV-1 Infection Arch Intern Med 153:2149-2154: WHO/UNAIDS 1998 HIV and Infant Feeding, A Guide for Health Care Managers and Supervisors FRH/Nut 98,22: HealthNews Mothering magazine Summer 1997 p40; Dew J October 9 1999 New born HIV Tests Criticized New Haven Register
- Normal Range of CD4 Cell Counts and Temporal Changes in Two HIV Negative Malawian Populations
A.C. Crampin*, F.D. Mwaungulu, L.R. Ambrose, H. Longwe and N. French
The Open AIDS Journal, 2011, 5, 74-79
The range of CD4 counts in HIV negative adults in Malawi is lower than that on which standard reference ranges are based and CD4 count is not constant in this group, with dips to levels below that which constitutes eligibility for ART in HIV positive adults.
- Government-by-exception: Enrolment and experimentality in mass HIV treatment programmes in Africa
Author: Nguyen, V K.
Publication info: Social Theory & Health, suppl. Special Issue: HIV/AIDS 7. 3 (Aug 2009): 196-217.
Abstract: This paper explores the implications of mass HIV treatment programmes in Africa, particularly when non-governmental organizations, American universities or European hospitals, directly govern the lives of populations (such as those living with HIV) and in fact have power of life or death over them. It explores a novel form of legitimate, therapeutic domination that results from framing the epidemic as a humanitarian emergency. That lives be saved requires enrolment: that a standardized population be called into being so that it may then be targeted, relying on the deployment of biological and political technologies for constituting populations and transforming bodies and subjectivities. These transformations that seek to direct consciousness and change bodily practice are governmentalities exceptionally directed at the biological existence of those living with or potentially at risk for HIV. And, in an inversion of the classical model whereby evidence of efficacy permits intervention, in this case intervention drives the need for self-validating evidence (that is, the intervention was effective). The conjugation of these standardized humanitarian problems and populations with the production of post-facto, self-validating knowledge (most often described as ‘lessons learned’ or ‘best practices’) is an ‘experimentality’ that leverages the deployment of these interventions across the globe.