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AIDS Activist adds another voice to the SHAC Campaign

Peter Tatchell is a leading gay and human rights campaigner (in England). Peter Tatchell says that animal experiments have undermined HIV research and hindered new treatments. Here is an article he wrote for SHAC:

The development of life-saving protease inhibitor treatments for HIV was delayed for four years by the pharmaceutical company Merck, after the first trials of protease drugs killed laboratory dogs and rats. During those four years, tens of thousands of people with AIDS died, perhaps needlessly. Many might have benefited from the new drugs, including my dear friend, the filmmaker Derek Jarman. He and many others could now be alive if Merck had not submitted its protease research programme to the "Russian roulette" of animal testing. [ Read More [ SHACamerica | PDX IMC stories about SHAC (Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty) ]
Merck made the false, unscientific assumption that animal experiments provide an accurate model of how anti-HIV drugs interact with humans. The result? Research on a promising protease inhibitor was halted by Merck in 1989 and clinical trials of a new protease drug (crixivan) did not start until 1993. This disastrous setback in protease research is one of the greatest scandals of the AIDS epidemic, possibly contributing to the premature deaths of up to 50,000 people worldwide. The way animal research stalled the availability of protease inhibitor treatments was exposed several years ago in Washington Post magazine, and has since been conceded - in part - by the Vice-President of Merck, Bennett M.Shapiro. He acknowledges that trials of a promising protease drug were halted in 1989, after it was tested on lab rats and dogs and they all died. Merck assumed this treatment would have the same deadly effect on humans. It is, however, questionable whether the abandoned protease inhibitor would have caused similar damaging consequences to people. This is because there are huge physiological differences between humans and animals. Research findings in other species cannot, therefore, be generalized to people. Indeed, protease drugs - which may be lethal to dogs and rats - have nevertheless dramatically saved the lives of those with HIV. Merck admits that animal studies were not used in the primary research that led to the invention of protease inhibitors as a treatment for HIV. An animal-free breakthrough, the inhibitor drugs were designed on computers and safety-tested using human cell cultures and biochemical assays. It was only when Merck decided to further test the new drugs on laboratory animals that they ran into trouble, with the dogs and rats dying of liver failure. Protease inhibitors do not, of course, have these same fatal consequences for people. On the contrary, they are lifesavers. This demonstrates the scientific flaws of animal-based medical research. Animal tests can produce inaccurate data that is totally inapplicable too humans. The results are often tragic: as evidenced by all the people with HIV who died during the lost four years. 1989 to 1993. Further info on Peter Tatchell's campaigns: www.petertatchell.net 50 Deadly Consequences of Lab Animal Experiments

homepage: homepage: http://www.shacamerica.net

Not life savers 04.Aug.2004 11:45

Pro-SHAC, anti protease inhibitors.

Many people feel that protease inhibitors are more dangerous than taking no medication at all. I support SHAC and also agree that no animals should be killed in fraudulent testing that acts as more of an insurance policy for these companies than an efficacy test. However, I would also like to see people explore the questions of AIDS in more depth than this article has.

Benjamin Persky, a SHAC supporter who spent two years in jail for his role in the campaign, is an AIDS dissident who feels that the constantly changing symptoms of AIDS are actually due to the constantly changing side effects of drugs prescribed to AIDS patients. Andrea Lindsay, a SHAC spokesperson, has worked as a caretaker for dying friends diagnosed with AIDS, and is very strongly against the use of protease inhibitors. Many others within the SHAC movement are members of the gay community and also hold a very different opinion to the one stated in this article. Anyhow, I just wanted to point out the diversity of thought within the SHAC campaign on this subject and encourage people to look into HIV/ AIDS treatment issues for themselves.

The Trouble With Faith-Basd Interpretation 05.Aug.2004 00:00

Already Published

>>> Many people feel that protease inhibitors are more dangerous than taking no medication at all.

Perhaps they stop relying on their feelings - and do some research.

AP, you are a literal thinker, clearly. 05.Aug.2004 01:10

the trouble with literal thinking, endorsed by big pharma

"Feel" is a figure of speech here. I know that you discount any and all AIDS research that isn't mainstream (I have seen your numerous bitter fights with others on this very board about it), but there's more than emotion behind the opposing view.

At least... 05.Aug.2004 07:02


Just wanna add that I too question the whole HIV=AIDS theory, thanks mainly from HEAL ( http://www.healtoronto.com/). The reason I posted Peter's piece is that he challenges the lesbian/gay community's silence around animal experimentation/exploitation for AIDS research. Also, he doesn't flip flop around the issue of vivisection etc...and though I know there are a large amount of queers invovled with SHAC and the broader animal lib. movement, it isn't often highlighted...besides ACT-SF and a few individuals, I can't recall many people who speak publicly and challenge their own community (if they identity with them). This article was lifted from the latest SHAC newsletter from England and I'm sure they gave it a considerable amount of thought before including it in their newsletter...

 link to www.petertatchell.net
"Animal-based HIV research is not only ethically indefensible, it is also bad science. There is an overwhelming practical case against vivisection: the results of animal experiments cannot be generalised to human beings because we have a vastly different physiology from other animal species."

 link to www.petertatchell.net
"How would we feel if one of these technologically superior civilisations colonised Earth and decided to imprison us in tiny cages and exploit us for food, sport, entertainment and medical research? Yet that is exactly what we do to other animal species; causing them great pain, suffering and death."

 link to www.petertatchell.net
"It sickens me to see chimpanzees and other animals being abused in the name of scientific research to combat AIDS. Equally sickening is the silence and indifference of gay and AIDS organisations towards this medical barbarism.
AIDS is a terrible illness. We all want to see a cure and vaccine for HIV as soon as possible. But does the end justify the means? Can it be right to remedy the suffering of people with AIDS through the deliberate infliction of suffering on other sentient species?"

ooppss... 05.Aug.2004 07:04


ALSO: forgot to include this link...

50 Deadly Consequences of Lab Animal Experiments:  http://www.curedisease.com/Harms.html

thanks for spreading the word and 05.Aug.2004 10:41

another person who is appalled by animal research

providing links, q.

People VS. Puppies 05.Aug.2004 13:15

Already Published (AP)

>>> "Feel" is a figure of speech here.

It's a rather poor figure of speech, and one that warrants criticism in light of the consequences.

>>> I know that you discount any and all AIDS research that isn't mainstream (I have seen your numerous bitter fights with others on this very board about it), but there's more than emotion behind the opposing view.

Wrong - I devalue ad vercundiam opinion masquerading as scientific research ("Duesberg said").

I also devalue repeated assertions that defy contemporary evidence.

eg: "HIV hasn't been isolated"!

Oh really? - then how do we explain the wealth of electron micrograph images of the virus, detailed protein-maps of the virus coat, DNA sequences coding for mapped proteins, and a variety of drugs sculpted to interfere with mapped viral proteins?

easy - we change the subject, or reiterate a previously debunked assertion.

Given the potentially devastating consequences of ignorance--regardless of how blissful that may be--I don't intend to attenuate my belligerence on this issue.

As for the non-human animals - they come after human ones - in my book.

oh, not getting into a debate with someone 05.Aug.2004 18:24

AP sucks

as small minded as you, AP. Anyone interested can search the archives for your writing and abuse. It doesn't matter if "nonhuman animals come after humans"--it still doesn't give us the ethical right to torture them for junk science. And it's scientifically worthless too. Not one chimp has come down with AIDS, and they've been trying it for decades. All wasted resources.

Hey, I think anyone and everyone I know is more important and worthwhile than you are, but I'm not about to throw you in a cage and torture you. In fact I think you're the dregs of life, but I'm not into taking beings against their will and hurting them. You are. You suck.

believe it or not... 05.Aug.2004 21:28


...but it isn't necessarily people vs. animals. Doesn't have to be, at least.

As what has been said before, animal testing is just a big waste of money, a slush fund for corrupt scientists. Not only does it yield inaccurate results, it's unthinkably cruel to the animals involved. Like the article said, the medicine could've been on the market years earlier, had it not gone through the unnecessary testing on animals.

ALSO: I don't mean to get off topic, but must EVERYTHING, no matter how inoccuous, turn into a "HIV is a lie! No, you're a liar!" argument?

Wen Puppies Open Hospitals to Fix Damaged Humans... 06.Aug.2004 00:25

Animus Publications (suddenly happy!)

>>> "--it still doesn't give us the ethical right to torture them for junk science

You say "junk science", but fail to support the assertion.

* There is no such thing as an "ethical right".
* Rights are fought for and legislated in writing by humans.
* "Ethics" is the science of morality (the analysis of transactional equity).

thought y'all might like this:
Narration: Get ready for an incredible demonstration. At this New York University Sanjiv Talwar and his colleagues are setting up a maze around their office.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar (Robo rat scientist): When the rat reaches that he makes a right turn...

Lab Assistant: I made you happy - I put some books there.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar: Yeah but it's probably too steep for the rat.

Narration: That's right, a rat will navigate this maze, which it's never seen before. Although no ordinary rat. One - he'll have a camera stuck to his head.

Lab Assistant: Smile for the camera.

Narration: And two, the rats at this lab have had electrodes surgically inserted into their brains. These guys are REWAL LIFE CYBORGS... part machine, part living creature. A pack of electronics is attached to the brain electrodes, so with a radio remote control the researchers can interact with the rat's brain.

Lab Assistant: And he's ready - look at him he says let's go.

Narration: The rat's looking eager, but Sanjiv has a few last minute nerves.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar: I don't think he's done this difficult course and that might be...
We'll give it a shot.

Narration: The rat has some help though getting round the maze. The scientists drive him with this computer which is connected to the wireless remote control in the rat's brain.

Narration: Remarkably, the rat's got round the first part of the course with relative ease. Then he comes to a jump that's dangerously high.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar: He's not our most agile rat.

Narration: The researchers are driving the rat by sending electrical stimulations to the wires in its brain.

Graham Phillips: So you're directing all of that.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar: He's sending three signals: GO LEFT, GO RIGHT, GO STRAIGHT.

Narration: For instance, the rat's signal to turn right is when it feels a touch on its right-hand whiskers. But nothing actually touches the whiskers, the scientists stimulate the whisker part of the brain directly... a method pioneered by the head of their lab, John Chapin.

Professor John Chapin: When we stimulated in the part of the brain for the right hand whiskers the animal feels like he's been touched on the right side of his face. It's all done with small electrical stimulations in the brain, but he feels like he's been touched.

Narration: But this stimulation doesn't force the rat to turn right, rather it knows a reward will follow if it does.

Dr Sanjiv Talwar: And a rat learns that every time I feel this strange touch and if I turn right I get a sudden burst of happiness.


carnivore > carnival 06.Aug.2004 00:30

Animus Publications

>>> Not one chimp has come down with AIDS, and they've been trying it for decades [!!!]

That's correct!

But many chimps have been intentionally infected with SIV - the SIMIAN Immune-Defficiency Virus - a very close relative of HIV!! - possibly where HIV came from!!

Oh - and thank for the ad hominem abuse!! "AP sucks!'

I blow, too.

from the Guardian 06.Aug.2004 12:50

news hound

'More than 10,000 people a year may die from the side-effects of medicines prescribed by their doctors and most of those deaths are unnecessary, says a new study.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal today, finds that one in 16 of all admissions to hospital is caused by the side-effects of a drug. The cost to the NHS of the mostly avoidable treatment of these patients is estimated at 466m a year.
The researchers investigated the reasons why 18,820 patients were admitted to two hospitals in Merseyside during a six-month period.
They found that 1,225 were suffering from an adverse drug reaction (ADR). Most patients recovered, but 28 died. The authors, Munir Pirmohamed, professor of clinical pharmacology at Liverpool University, and colleagues, say that their figures suggest
that drug side-effects caused the deaths of about 5,700 patients.
They say that at any one time "the equivalent of up to seven 800-bed hospitals may be occupied by patients admitted with ADRs ... Measures are urgently needed to reduce the burden on the NHS".
Drug side-effects 'kill thousands' 6.49AM, Fri Jul 2 2004 ITV NEWS
More than 10,000 patients could be dying each year because of bad side-effects from medication.
A report in the British Medical Journal said adverse reactions to drugs, including aspirin and anti-depressants, accounted for one in 16 hospital admissions.
Researchers estimated that these admissions cost the NHS 466 million a year.
They called for urgent measures to reduce the burden on the NHS and improve prescribing practices.
The researchers, from the University of Liverpool, studied 18,820 patients, aged over 16, who were admitted to two NHS hospitals in Merseyside during a six-month period in 2001-02.
The patients were assessed to find out whether their admission to hospital was due to a reaction to their drugs.
The team found that 1,225 admissions were related to adverse drugs reactions, with an average stay of eight days.
Most of the patients recovered, but 28 died because of the reaction - most from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by aspirin or aspirin reacting with another drug.
Aspirin, which is often prescribed to patients to avoid heart disease, was most commonly implicated - accounting for 18% of the admissions.
Other drugs which caused a bad reaction included the anti-clotting drug warfarin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics, used to treat fluid retention, given to people with kidney and heart disorders and used to treat high blood pressure.
But the researchers estimated that 72 per cent of the ADRs were "definitely" or "possibly" avoidable with better prescribing patterns.
The team, led by Professor Munir Pirmohamed, said it was possible that at any one time up to seven 800-bed hospitals may be occupied by patients admitted because of reactions to their drugs.
They also estimated that ADRs causing hospital admission were responsible for the deaths of 5,700 patients a year in England.
Taking into account incidents occurring while patients were in hospital and admissions together, the figure could be greater than 10,000 a year.
The researchers said that, given their findings, prescribers should determine the need for a patient to use a particular drug and use it at the lowest dose necessary.
"Simple measures such as regular review of prescriptions, the use of computerised prescribing and the involvement of pharmacists in assessing prescribing behaviour may all reduce the burden caused by ADRs," they said.
"In this respect it is important to highlight that interactions (between different drugs) accounted for one in six ADRs in this study," they said.

Sculpted Molecules 06.Aug.2004 14:12

Animus Publications

>>> 'More than 10,000 people a year may die from the side-effects of medicines prescribed by their doctors and most of those deaths are unnecessary, says a new study.

Wouldn't surprise me at all.

But it has nothing to do with the legitimacy or ethics of non-human animal research for HIV - which I think was the topic.

queer 06.Aug.2004 15:19


I'd like to clarify that there are two topics (with various subtopics) being discussed here:

1. Whether there is a correlation between HIV and AIDS
2. Whether animal research is beneficial to humans.

You CAN, as I do, agree (and find ample data to support your agreement) with the former and disagree with the latter.

Personally I do care about the animals but I know most humans must be convinced it actually hurts humans before they stop supporting vivisection.

well, there you go then 06.Aug.2004 18:14


<blockquote>"As for the non-human animals - they come after human ones - in my book."</blockquote>
So, you are a human supremicist as well as a spreader of mainstream disinformation regarding HIV and AIDS? Wow! With ethics like yours, I wonder why you even come to this site! In "my book", based on your callous statement regarding non-humans, you should just do the rest of us a favor and die, but I doubt that'll happen, so I'll just respectfully suggest that you go fuck yourself hard and fast until sated, and then maybe all the energy you spend doing that will leave you too exhausted to come troll PIMC.

Lol--my thoughts exactly, Clam. 06.Aug.2004 23:32


Why are people loud and proud about being speciesists? Some day it will look as ugly to humanity as racism and sexism and the other thoughtless and cruel prejudices. We are in the dark ages for animals, and people like AP are being pulled kicking and screaming into a more compassionate future.

superior cognitive capabilities 07.Aug.2004 03:04


quote - clamydia:
So, you are a human supremicist as well as a spreader of mainstream disinformation regarding HIV and AIDS?

So - do you assign equal value to non-human animals, and if so, exactly where do you draw the line?

Are there any hospitals built and run by non-human animals that are dedicated to the repair and medical teatment of other species - including non-human animals?

Do any non-human animals fight for and enact legislation regarding the rights of humans?

Why do humans have canine teeth?

Why do some simians eat meat and kill each other?

Why do wolves hunt?

What is the origin of the human carnival?

Is it not correct that the R.S.P.C.A was originally formed to prevent unnecessary cruelty to FARM ANIMALS - not puppies and kittens?

Should the internal self-monitoring algorithms of my computer be categorized as "sentience"?

\Did you like the happy cyborg rats? Were they living in "the Dark Ages" for animals?

Can you quote and reference(url) any information posted by me that you can DEMONSTRATE is DIS-information on HIV-AIDS, clamydia?

and finally - quote - clamydia:
I'll just respectfully suggest that you go fuck yourself hard and fast until sated

Name That Fallacy

Hey AP, 07.Aug.2004 07:15


are there any hospitals built and run by children or retarded people? Do any babies and people with downs syndrome fight for legislation? Does that mean we get to lock them in labs and torture them because they don't? Since when is ability and intelligence the measure for the right to be free from abuse?

Humans do not have canine teeth which are capable of ripping through a raw cow's hide, like a dog does. Regardless, wolves hunt because they have no other option. We do. We can also own slaves, but the more evolved of us choose not to.

What difference does it make why the RSPCA was originally formed?

If you really can't tell the difference between a living, breathing animal and your computer... well, I think that everyone living in reality reading this realizes that you live completely in your head, separated from honest human emotion and sentiment. Does a computer show any sign of pain or suffering when you kick it? Does a dog? Does a baby?

transactional equity 07.Aug.2004 09:02

Animus Publications

I will happily respond to all of your questions when I have evidence-based, hyperlinked answers to all of mine that were addressed to "clamydia".


It is scary to be confronted with your 07.Aug.2004 10:01

how do you know I'm not clamydia?

blind prejudices, isn't it, AP?

a flock of abusive parrot 08.Aug.2004 10:40


When I said I will happily respond to all of your questions [posted as "..."] when I have evidence-based, hyperlinked answers to all of mine that were addressed to "clamydia", there was no request included as to who those answers should come from, "clamydia".

Would you like to try again?

I'll just respectfully suggest that you go fuck yourself hard and fast until sated
- "clamydia"

Well 21.Sep.2004 14:10


I will happilly provide you with evidence based, hyperlinked answers once you have filled out the required forms 1148a through 1179a in triplicate and submitted them by mail to the Ministry of Logical Arguments.

By the way, you are a prick.