Gas-To-Power – An Opportunity that Africa Can’t Toss Away after COP26 (By NJ Ayuk) — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

By NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber After three days in Glasgow for COP26, you can’t help but ask yourself where do we go from here as an African energy sector. I maintain my disappointment with the global elites for failing to invite the oil and gas industry. Oh well, they invited me. With dire […]

Gas-To-Power – An Opportunity that Africa Can’t Toss Away after COP26 (By NJ Ayuk) — Database of Press Releases related to Africa – APO-Source

Source: African Energy Chamber | 5 hours ago

Gas-To-Power – An Opportunity that Africa Can’t Toss Away after COP26 (By NJ Ayuk)

Gas-to-power initiatives — the development and expansion of gas-powered electricity plants — are not new to Africa, but they are building momentum

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 4, 2021/APO Group/ — 

By NJ Ayuk, Chairman, African Energy Chamber

After three days in Glasgow for COP26, you can’t help but ask yourself where do we go from here as an African energy sector. I maintain my disappointment with the global elites for failing to invite the oil and gas industry. Oh well, they invited me.

With dire warnings about the impending dangers of climate change clouding the headlines on a daily basis, energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables is a hot topic. Talk of banning fossil fuels altogether floats among the more liberal circles in the United States and Europe as companies scramble to crank out acres of solar cells and plant forests of windmills. In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) proposed banning any new investment in fossil fuels after 2021, and we’re already seeing significant divestment in oil and gas projects around the globe. I responded to their publicity stunt and I still stand by my response (https://bit.ly/3bIjd4s).[i]

 As I said at that time “we live in reality. And today, in real-world Africa, this goal is not feasible. Nor is it advisable”

The threat of climate change is real, and the goal of lessening it is noble, but what is often forgotten in these discussions are the repercussions of a rapid shift from fossil fuels, particularly in developing nations like those in Africa. Countries that have enjoyed over a century of energy development and near-universal electrification did so first by exploiting their own natural resources to the fullest extent possible — a right not everyone has been able to exercise equally. While the developed world can afford to take risks and think about sloughing off old industries, large parts of Africa are still struggling to provide their people with reliable electricity. As a result, industrialization and economic stability have remained out of reach for large swaths of the continent. Education, already a challenge in impoverished communities, is even harder. So is the provision of health care.

These are some of the reasons the African Energy Chamber has become an outspoken advocate for continued natural gas production: Gas-to-power initiatives — the development and expansion of gas-powered electricity plants — are not new to Africa, but they are building momentum. They are a practical way to address energy poverty and they make sense for Africa. This is not the time to pressure African countries to abandon them.  

Living in the Dark

It is not an exaggeration to say energy poverty is one of our continent’s most pressing problems: Only 56% of Africa’s population has access to electricity today, and in many places that power is still inadequate and unreliable at best. We address this topic in our recently released report, The State of African Energy 2022.

“Comprehensive energy access across the continent remains a central target, with some 600 million people without access to electricity today,” says the report. “Moreover, households themselves, facing low and inadequate supply of electricity, often rely on highly polluting traditional energy sources such as hard biomass, which constitutes 45% of total primary energy demand in Africa.”

As Africa’s population grows rapidly, the continent cannot sustain the mass burning of its plant life in hearth fires indefinitely, nor can the rest of the world afford to let it. Replicating the bad old days of black coal smoke pouring from tall towers isn’t an option either. Africa needs modern power sources to compete on the world stage and to do its part to fight global climate change. On the surface, renewables sound like the ideal solution — sunshine and wind are certainly plentiful, after all. It would be wonderful to kip a century and turn all of Africa into Black Panther’s Wakanda with the newest green technologies–but this isn’t a movie, and real life is never that simple.

Comprehensive energy access across the continent remains a central target, with some 600 million people without access to electricity today

The Downside of Wind and Solar

Many existing power grids in Africa remain underdeveloped, such that an intermittent supply of energy can threaten the stability of an entire grid. Such is the case in Kenya, which is widely considered to be at the forefront of Africa’s energy transition, building momentum in the renewable sector with the 310 MW Lake Turkana wind farm and 50 MW Garissa solar PV station. Some 15% of Kenya’s installed capacity comes from solar and wind, but as our 2022 Outlook reports, they have experienced severe voltage instability. Better system management, upgraded infrastructure, and long-term power storage technology are needed to solve these problems, but implementing these things on a nationwide or continent-wide scale won’t happen overnight.

Another problem plaguing renewables development is near-complete reliance on overseas manufacturing and expertise. The majority of solar cells and windmills are made in China, like so much else, with most of the rest made in Europe and the USA. Those same countries also provide the primary supply of knowledge, training, and technology for installing, maintaining, and repairing renewable facilities. Economically, this means fewer home-grown jobs for Africans in this sector until such capacity can be developed. It also ensures security of supply in case war or politics cripples the ability to import key materials and workers.

Energy demand across Africa is expected to triple within the next 20 years–faster than anywhere else in the world — as a result of population growth, rising incomes, and rapid urbanization. To meet such rapidly accelerating demand, Africa needs the ability to make use of its existing natural resources and human capital, and to employ tried-and-true solutions that will reliably keep the lights on when the wind won’t blow and the sun won’t shine. Mitigating climate change must remain part of the equation, but the perfect cannot be allowed to be the enemy of the good when so many people are still starting from zero.

Why Gas-to-Power Makes Sense in Africa

When it comes to reliability, fossil fuels remain the standard by which all other energy sources are judged, and natural gas is the cleanest among them by far. All of sub-Saharan Africa could triple its electricity use overnight using only natural gas and still account for only a 1% increase in global emissions, so low is its starting point.

Gas power also pairs better with wind and solar than other clean power sources. Unlike coal, hydro, nuclear, or geothermal generators, gas turbines can power up and down quickly, making them ideal as backup for wind and solar when the weather isn’t cooperating and increasing the reliability of the power supply. Gas turbines require less up-front capital investment than most other generating equipment, and they have the advantage of being modular as well for quicker deployment. Until wind and solar become more reliable, gas has the potential to keep coal out of the fuel supply and displace older, dirtier equipment running on diesel or fuel oil, while ensuring that a growing society’s basic needs are met.

Africa already is seeing the benefits of its growing liquified natural gas (LNG) sector. As the 2022 Outlook reports, LNG-to-power has the potential to help build a resilient, low-emission power infrastructure across the continent.

The report cites promising developments in Ghana:

Ghana is set to commission the first sub-Saharan Africa’s LNG-to-power project at Tema LNG Terminal. A floating regasification unit arrived from China in January 2021 and it will be able to deliver 1.7 million tons of natural gas per year for power generation. Ghana’s electricity consumption remains lower than the average over the sub-Saharan region and far below that of developed countries. Bridge Power project in Tema will have the capacity to produce 400MW of electricity from liquefied natural gas. This is equivalent to the power consumption of 1.6 million average Ghanaian homes.

And this is only one example: From new gas-to-power projects in Tanzania to the construction of gas pipelines in Nigeria, African countries are poised to produce, transport, and harness natural gas to boost their power capacities.

And why shouldn’t they? A total of 25 countries on the continent have proven natural gas reserves, 11 of which are currently generating power from their own domestic production in sub-Saharan Africa. Oil and gas are the largest sources of income for many of these countries and have been for decades, giving Africa a substantial well of experience and expertise among its own population to build on. Ceasing oil and gas development in these markets would be devastating both economically and politically, potentially even leading to government collapse and drastically increased poverty. Allowing Africans to build on what they already have increases social stability and the capacity to further develop technological capability.

Ultimately, Africans deserve the same level of energy access and security that the rest of the world takes for granted. The number of people left behind is simply too large to allow foreign agendas to take viable options off the table. If Africans are to do their part in solving the world’s biggest problems such as climate change, they have to be enabled to control their own destinies and participate on their own terms. Gas-to-power is a means to that end, and a brighter future for Africa could mean a brighter future for us all.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

  1.  

Gas-To-Power – An Opportunity that Africa Can’t Toss Away after COP26 (By NJ Ayuk)

https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/gastopower–an-opportunity-that-africa-cant-toss-away-after-cop26-by-nj-ayuk?lang=en


[i]  (https://bit.ly/3bIjd4s). 

By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org)

On May 18, 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” which outlines plans for the global energy sector to reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Achieving net zero emissions means the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere would equal the amount being removed. Achieving this balance, the IEA maintains, would require more than aggressive carbon-capture measures: It would call for a swift and immediate shift from petroleum energy sources to energy provided through naturally replenished sources like wind, water, and solar power.

From an environmental standpoint, this is a great concept.

But we live in reality. And today, in real-world Africa, this goal is not feasible. Nor is it advisable. While I agree with their data on many topics, the IEA’s conclusion is flat-out wrong on this issue. Africa needs oil and gas.

Unreasonable Objectives

Some of the critical steps in IEA’s roadmap include:

  • No new investment in new fossil fuel supply (including oil and gas) after 2021
  • No new sales of fossil fuel boilers after 2025
  • No new internal combustion engine (ICE) car sales after 2035 globally
  • 60% of car sales are electric by 2030, and 50% of heavy truck sales are electric from 2035

These steps assume a lot about the state of the world — assumptions that are faulty, especially for Africa. For one, it will require universal energy access by 2030, meaning that everyone has access to electricity and clean cooking. And with approximately 592 million Africans currently without this access, we’re going to be hard-pressed to flip that switch in less than 10 years.

The IEA’s roadmap to net zero also relies on unprecedented investments in renewables — a substantial boost in clean energy investments from the $1 trillion made over the last five years all the way up to $5 trillion annually by 2030 — and cooperation from policymakers who are unified in their efforts. In this idyllic partnership, our Western counterparts talk a good game. But the fact is, to date, these same Western countries have invested little to no funding into Africa’s renewables space. To our dismay even the International Oil Companies that have tried to accept the IEA’s publicity stunt have little or no renewable projects in Africa.

“For many developing countries, the pathway to net zero without international assistance is not clear,” OPEC wrote in response to IEA’s roadmap release, issuing a “critical assessment” on the very same day. “Technical and financial support is needed to ensure deployment of key technologies and infrastructure. Without greater international co‐operation, global CO2 emissions will not fall to net zero by 2050.”

As I have stated in the past, demonizing energy companies is not a constructive way forward, and ignoring the role that carbon-based fuels have played in driving human progress distorts the public debate. We cannot expect African nations, which together emitted seven times less CO2 than China last year and four times less than the US, according to the Global Carbon Atlas, to undermine their best opportunities for economic development by simply aligning with the Western view of how to tackle carbon emissions.

Creating New Problems

China, meanwhile, appears willing to continue investing in fossil fuel projects in Africa. This means that to keep their nations energized, African governments will have little choice but to partner with China — whose performance is notoriously poor when it comes to environmental protection, despite having signed the Paris climate accord. In this scenario, China will become the most influential entity in the African oil and gas industry. And giving China (or any foreign entity) such a monopoly is a dangerous play.

For the IEA plan to work, no new oil and natural gas fields would be developed. The potential energy security risk here is twofold: Concentrated production means that demand will exceed the supply of traditional fuels, while new energy security issues emerge related to the new technologies such as cybersecurity and a dwindling supply of rare earth and critical minerals. And energy insecurity brings economic insecurity and geopolitical instability.

At the same time, a ban on fossil fuel production would bring about the collapse of many carbon-dependent governments. The oil industry is the primary source of income for many African nations. Without the continuation of petroleum production — or time and opportunities to cultivate new revenue sources — their economies will suffer — along with their citizens.

Interestingly, the very announcement of this roadmap features an admission by IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol that net zero will unhinge socioeconomic structures.

“This gap between rhetoric and action needs to close if we are to have a fighting chance of reaching net zero by 2050 and limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C. Doing so requires nothing short of a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies,” Birol wrote.

And many of the world’s economies cannot bear this.

Excellent Points from Australia

Energy officials from Australia, for example — incidentally, one of the IEA member countries —  had plenty to say in response.

“There are many, ways to get to net zero, and the IEA just looked at one narrow formula,” said Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief Andrew McConville. “The IEA report doesn’t take into account future negative emission technologies and offsets from outside the energy sector — two things that are likely to happen and will allow vital and necessary future development of oil and gas fields.”

In urging policymakers to maintain a degree of skepticism about the wisdom of the IEA roadmap, McConville isn’t alone.

“We are bringing emissions down,” stated Angus Taylor, Australia’s Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, “but we’re going to do it in a way that ensures we’ve got that affordable power that Australians need.”

Rather than being dictated to by entities abroad, Taylor argued that Australia must proceed at a pace that makes sense locally. And part of these local considerations includes ensuring that people have energy and jobs. The IEA’s call to cease investment in fossil fuels will impede both of these metrics.

“Global gas demand is forecast to grow by 1.5% on average per year out to 2025, providing incentive to ensure our large gas fields … are developed as soon as possible,” said Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources. “Large upcoming offshore developments … will create thousands of new high-wage jobs.”

Africa’s Realities

The same holds true for African countries.

While environmental causes are a major focus in the West, lawmakers in Africa’s developing countries are more concerned with living wages and supplying basic necessities to the continent’s growing population.

The IEA plan amounts to austerity measures that would see Africans leaving petroleum resources in the ground. It would essentially brand poor Africans criminals — or at the very least enemies of the environment — for using fossil fuels.

This is folly. Let’s keep in mind the critical role that natural gas is playing in the global transition to clean energy: It’s an affordable and reliable bridge to renewables. And natural gas is particularly important to Africa. As I’ve written in the past, the African Energy Chamber’s 2021 Africa Energy Outlook report projects that African gas production and consumption are going to rise in the 2020s. As a result, Africa’s natural gas sector will soon be responsible for large-scale job creation, increased opportunities for monetization and economic diversification, and critical gas-to-power initiatives that will bring more Africans reliable electricity. These significant benefits should not be dismissed in the name of achieving net zero emissions on deadline. To tell African countries with gas potential like Mozambique, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Libya, Algeria, South Africa, Angola and many others that they cant monetize their gas and rather wait for foreign aid and handouts from their western counterparts makes no sense.

What’s more, we can’t overlook the fact that renewable energy solutions are still young technologies —they are less reliable and more expensive per unit of power than tried-and-true petroleum products. Not only that, but achieving net zero by 2050 would require widespread adoption of technologies that are not even available yet.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand the importance of working toward renewables. I believe they are the future of the energy industry. But the global energy transition must be inclusive, equitable, and just. Unfortunately, the roadmap laid out by the IEA is none of these.

The IEA is a respected institution whose opinions help shape the rhetoric of the global energy market. So instead of mandating these strict guidelines from abroad, the IEA should try working with African countries to find solutions that we can actually abide. At the very least, I encourage the IEA to consider partnerships with African Private sector and financial institutions, whose collaboration with indigenous and international energy stakeholders provides invaluable insight from all sides across the energy industry. The IEA should use its voice to push for what I have always believe Africa needs the most at this time,  free markets, personal responsibility, less regulation, low taxes, limited government, individual liberties, and economic empowerment will boost African energy markets and economies.

Africa deserves the chance to capitalize on its own oil and gas to strengthen itself, rather than being bullied onto a path determined by Western institutions that don’t face the same obstacles. We must be able to improve our energy sector by exploring our continent’s full potential in a way that benefits our people.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.



Net Zero? Not For Africa. Not Yet. Africa Must Fight Energy Poverty with Oil and Gas Development (By NJ Ayuk)

Africanews provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes.

https://www.africanews.com/2021/05/25/net-zero-not-for-africa-not-yet-africa-must-fight-energy-poverty-with-oil-and-gas-development-by-nj-ayuk/

Musk Offers $6B If UN Shows How it Will Solve World Hunger — Newsmax – Newsfront

Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, says he will sell $6 billion worth of Tesla stock and donate the proceeds to the United Nations’ food agency if it could show how the money would solve world hunger.His statement came after U.N. World Food Programme Executive…

Musk Offers $6B If UN Shows How it Will Solve World Hunger — Newsmax – Newsfront

The Truth about AIDS in Africa

Are most cases of HIV/AIDS in Africa really misdiagnosed endemic diseases?

The Claims: HIV/AIDS from unsafe heterosexual contact is rampant in Africa. Many children are left as orphans because both parents have died from AIDS.

The Truth:  While HIV/AIDS is undoubtedly present in Africa and other destitute areas, there are problems with its reported transmission, diagnosis and treatment.  HIV infections in the developed world occurs almost exclusively among homosexual males and IV drug users who share needles with infected people, and heterosexual transmission is rare.  In Africa, half of those diagnosed with HIV and HIV/AIDS are heterosexual women, so there must be other mitigating circumstances.  It is possible that actual infections are acquired through non-sterile injections in contraceptive clinics.  This could help to explain why HIV in Africa is diagnosed equally among men and heterosexual women.  It is very likely that HIV and HIV/AIDS are over diagnosed in Africa and other poverty stricken areas of the world with or without actual HIV testing.  Many cases of AIDS in Africa may have little or no connection to the HIV virus or indiscriminate sexual practices.  Those that are malnourished or have chronic diseases such as TB or malaria naturally have compromised immune systems, i.e. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, from these conditions without carrying the actual Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Because of poor healthcare facilities and abilities, HIV/AIDS may be diagnosed based on symptoms without HIV testing in many rural and isolated areas.  In other areas, where actual testing for HIV antibodies is done, a high incidence of false positives is likely to occur.  This is due to the poor specificity of the test and reaction with antibodies from other diseases and conditions.  Most of those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, whether tested or untested for HIV, have been assumed to have full blown HIV/AIDS through disparate symptoms recognized by the UN WHO including fever, headache, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, chronic diarrhea or cough, all of which can be caused by many common parasites or infectious diseases as well as severe illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis (TB). UN WHO has named TB as a leading indicator of HIV/AIDS and lists TB as causing 2/3 of HIV/AIDS deaths. HIV/AIDS itself does not cause death; it opens the way for other diseases that kill people. Reporting TB deaths as HIV/AIDS deaths without confirmation of HIV bolsters the statistics, as does reporting orphans as AIDS orphans.  At this time it is impossible to know how prevalent over diagnosis is in Africa and other poor areas.

Over diagnosis of HIV and HIV/AIDS, when promoted by the international media, paints a picture of Africa that packs a triple whammy for AIDS advocates and international population control governmental and nongovernmental organizations. First, it excuses high death rates and failure to treat endemic diseases; secondly, it incentivizes HIV/AIDS research funding in developed countries by falsely declaring AIDS a heterosexual pandemic; thirdly it has the potential for vindicating population control programs in the minds of potential donors by creating a false picture of rampant immorality and promiscuity. As a bonus, it also encourages the use of condoms that furthers population control agendas.

HIV facts and questions:

HIV causes AIDS: Unlike those who deny that HIV causes AIDS or that it even exists, I do not deny that HIV causes AIDS or that HIV exists. I do question some of the current statistics, testing and treatment options.  Because it is politically incorrect to question the UN WHO recommended practices and conclusions, those who question the status quo will undoubtedly be accused of denialism by AIDS advocates in order to conflate, confuse, discredit and silence anyone daring to question the efficacy of the current testing and treatment methods, even when it might lead to better understanding and improved protocols.

Non-HIV AIDS:  TB, Malaria, dysentery and other serious chronic diseases cause a more common form of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, that has no connection to HIV/AIDS or sexually indiscriminate behavior.   It is well known that anyone who is chronically ill and/ or malnourished naturally has a compromised immune system.  Other opportunistic diseases are easily acquired by persons whose immune systems are compromised. By labeling these non-HIV AIDS cases as HIV/AIDS, it can be an excuse for not treating the underlying conditions.

Unfortunately, for USAID, UN WHO and activist NGOs or agencies that provide aid to poor countries, because their emphasis is on required or coerced population control and not on treating disease, many clinics do not have the basic medicines, equipment or facilities to treat endemic diseases, but have store rooms filled with birth control drugs, condoms and other birth control and abortion materials and equipment. This is a human tragedy and a crime against humanity that must be stopped. It is unconscionable that Western aid not be heavily weighted toward supplying medicines and equipment for prevention and treatment of endemic diseases.

Recommendation: In both HIV/AIDS and non-HIV AIDS, treatment should always begin with addressing the presenting diseases and malnutrition. Once the patient is stabilized then HIV/AIDS treatment can begin, but only after further confirmation of the original diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.  HIV/AIDS treatment drugs further compromise the immune system so that treatment of weakened, disease ravaged patients and those with non-HIV AIDS using these drugs may do more harm than good.

International aid organizations should be encouraged or required to reverse their decades old practice of oversupplying population control materials and under-supplying needed medicines, facilities, equipment and supplies to treat endemic diseases.

Demographic Shift: HIV/AIDS in developed countries is confined almost exclusively among homosexual men and IV drug users who share needles with HIV infected people. The expected pandemic in developed countries never materialized. According to official statistics, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 2/3 of the HIV incidence in the world, with Southern Africa, (South Africa and Botswana), accounting for most of that. 15 to 25% of the South African population has been diagnosed with HIV or HIV/AIDS. More than half of the HIV positive people in South Africa are heterosexual women. Heterosexual contact is blamed for causing the spread of HIV, but in other countries heterosexual transmission is very rare. Unless the HIV virus has mutated, this theory of frequent heterosexual transmission cannot be valid and other mitigating factors must be considered.

Shared needles as a possible source:  One theory is that the reuse of hypodermic needles for injected birth control drugs is responsible for the spread of HIV, and, if true, could account for the higher incidence in women in Africa and other poor countries where injected birth control is required or advocated.  Injectable birth control drugs such as Depo Provera that must be reinjected every 3 months are sometimes administered in a clinic, but more often the drug and the syringes are given to patients for administration at home.  Because viruses do not live very long on surfaces outside the body, HIV could not be transferred unless an HIV infected person has used the needle just prior to reuse by a second person for birth control. This could only happen in a clinic where multiple women are injected one after another without proper sterilization of needles.

How are these in-home administered reused needles causing HIV/AIDS without an immediate HIV contamination source in each case? It is more likely that in-home injections with improperly sterilized needles would transfer opportunistic bacterial infections such as staph and strep.  The whole idea of giving hypodermic syringes to uneducated people is ludicrous; it is the worst of the birth control methods, and the best way to spread more disease and misery.  Poor women with little or no concept of microbial infective agents are unlikely to discard or destroy needles even if the package instructions say to discard after use.

Recommendation:  If this form of birth control must be injected every 3 months, it should only be done by a professional in a clinic with properly sterilized or disposable needles.  If birth control is desired, a better alternative would be insertion of an IUD, Intrauterine Device, which does not require regular follow up treatments.

Could Depo-Provera make women more susceptible to HIV infection? According to this theory, the active ingredient in Depo-Provera, (Depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, aka DMPA), may chemically predispose at risk women to acquiring HIV through sexual contact with infected men, through thinning of vaginal epithelial cells and immunosuppression. Three recent meta-studies[1] show a statistically significant link between use of the drug and incidence of HIV in at risk women. The link to HIV transmission was not established statistically for use of either oral contraceptives or another injectable contraceptive drug, NET-EN, (norethisterone enanthate), in these studies.

Clinical Diagnosis without HIV testing: In rural poor areas of Africa HIV/AIDS may be diagnosed without HIV testing by the clinical indicators listed by WHO such as fever, headache, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, chronic diarrhea or cough. These symptoms may also be caused by endemic diseases such as TB, malaria and other insect borne diseases, dysentery and other water borne diseases, parasites and malnutrition. WHO considers TB to be a leading indicator of HIV/AIDS. Some people diagnosed without HIV testing may instead have non-HIV AIDS caused by these endemic diseases.

Diagnosis with HIV testing: Clinical HIV tests detect antibodies to the virus, not the virus itself. HIV tests have a high incidence of false positives, so that retesting and other confirmation are needed after a positive test result. False positives of HIV testing may be the result of non-HIV AIDS caused by other diseases and pregnancy because the HIV tests are non-specific and may detect antibodies to other diseases or conditions.

Causes of False Positives:  HIV testing is not specific to HIV and is prone to false positives. It tests for antibodies to HIV, not the virus itself, but can also detect other antibodies present in chronic diseases or those acquired over a lifetime.  There are over 65 documented causes of false positives including TB, malaria, leprosy, hepatitis, Q fever, influenza or colds, herpes simplex, leishmaniosis, and Epstein Barr virus.  Pregnancy or prior pregnancies are among factors that can cause false positives due to presence of HLA (human leukocyte antigen). Is it time to question whether HIV testing, without thorough validation, is valid in parts of Africa where the population is routinely exposed to numerous diseases that leave a heavy load of antibodies in their blood?

Validation needed for HIV positives:  False positives are common so that, according to manufacturers’ instructions, positive tests must be retested in duplicate and then by another method to verify results, e.g. ELISA twice then Western Blot.  ELISA, Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay, uses an antigen for the (in this case HIV) antibody bound to a solid surface and an enzyme that causes a color change when the target antibody attaches itself to the antigen.  Western Blot actually separates, by gel electrophoresis, each component in a mixture of antibodies bound to specific antigens. Medical testing protocols vary from country to country, so that the same test may be interpreted as positive or negative depending on the protocol. For example, UK does not use the Western Blot verification of duplicate ELISA tests, and different countries require from one to four Western Blot markers to verify and confirm a positive result.

South Africa uses duplicate ELISA only to verify positive HIV tests, resulting in 15-25% of the population testing positive, 60% of which are heterosexual women. South Africa also has a high rate of drug treatment for prevention of mother to child HIV transmission, which may mean that most HIV tests are conducted at gynecological clinics and obstetric hospitals on pregnant women. This is a problem since pregnancy is known to cause false positives. The incidence of HIV and AIDS in most of the other countries in Africa, and indeed the world, ranges from 0.1 to 5.0 percent of the population. South Africa’s 15 – 25% incidence needs a closer look. The fact that over half of these are heterosexual women is also problematic as described above.

Recommendation:  South Africans and Botswanans when first diagnosed with HIV or HIV/AIDS need to be retested using a more stringent verification protocol in the future. Unfortunately, the drugs used for treating HIV can cause false negatives, so retesting those already receiving therapy may be useless or at lease confusing.

Opportunistic Diseases: When people sicken and die with HIV/AIDS, it is not the HIV that kills them; it is other opportunistic infections that are able to invade and thrive because HIV has crippled the immune system. TB is the leading cause of death in Africa, with or without HIV/AIDS. A diagnosis of HIV/AIDS can be an excuse not to treat underlying endemic diseases.

Treatment Options:  HIV treatment drugs suppress the immune system further than the disease itself. Wouldn’t it make sense to treat the opportunistic diseases and malnutrition more aggressively first before suppressing the immune system further with AIDS treatment drugs?  In some areas of Africa, TB and HIV are treated simultaneously, which is a step in the right direction.

Orphans from AIDS? AIDS orphans are defined as anyone 15 years or younger who has lost, depending on the country, their mother, one parent or both parents to “AIDS related diseases.” South Africa includes people up to 18 years old.  WHO estimates that 70% of “AIDS orphans” have one living parent.  TB is the leading cause of death in Africa and the leading clinical indicator of the presence of AIDS.  Since many people in Africa live very short lives, with or without AIDS, how is this any different from the pattern of the past where lifespans are short and teenagers often are orphaned?


 

[1] References cited in Population Research Institute newsletter article: “While Admitting Risks, WHO Continues to Recommend Injectable Contraceptives for Women at High Risk of Contracting HIV” by Jonathan Abbamonte, April 20, 2017 as follows:

Brind J, Condly SJ, Mosher SW, Morse AR, Kimball J. Risk of HIV Infection in Depot-Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA) Users: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Issues Law Med 2015; 30(2): 129-39.

Morrison CS, Chen PL, Kwok C, Baeten JM, Brown J, Crook AM, et al. Hormonal contraception and the risk of HIV acquisition: an individual participant data meta-analysis. PLoS Med 2015; 12(1): e1001778.

Ralph LJ, McCoy SI, Shiu K, Padian N. Hormonal contraceptive use and women’s risk of HIV acquisition: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Lancet Infect Dis. 2015; 15(2): 181-9.

Hearts of Darkness: Richest Nations Push Unreliable Renewables to Keep Africans Forever Poor — STOP THESE THINGS

There’s something altogether cynical about well-healed nations forcing the impoverished to embrace expensive and unreliable wind and solar. It is, of course, all done in the name of ‘saving the planet’. [Note to Ed: Not to mention saving the manufacturers of industrial wind turbines and solar panels, who are struggling back home]. As any economist […]

via Hearts of Darkness: Richest Nations Push Unreliable Renewables to Keep Africans Forever Poor — STOP THESE THINGS

Viewpoint: French court ruling that already-approved mutagenized crops should be heavily restricted as GMOs reaffirms need to revamp Europe’s antiquated biotech regulations — Genetic Literacy Project

via Viewpoint: French court ruling that already-approved mutagenized crops should be heavily restricted as GMOs reaffirms need to revamp Europe’s antiquated biotech regulations — Genetic Literacy Project

Human Pollution: The Planet Is Doomed — Thongchai Thailand

PRINCIPLES AND PRECEPTS OF ECO FEAROLOGY PRINCIPLE #1: THE NATURAL AND THEREFORE THE DESIRABLE STATE OF THE PLANET IS ONE WITH NO HUMANS ON IT: A clean and pure pristine primeval planet earth existed for a billion years in natural perfection, wholeness, and wholesomeness – unpolluted, untainted, untarnished and uncorrupted in the perfection of the harmony […]

via Human Pollution: The Planet Is Doomed — Thongchai Thailand

Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-Colonialist — Saving Africa from Lies that Kill

African Development Bank caves to UN and Environmentalist Pressure and abandons electrification goals. See excerpts from this TownHall.com article below. Read the full article by clicking here. Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-colonialist Paul Driessen | Posted: Dec 28, 2019 12:01… Continue reading →

via Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-Colonialist — Saving Africa from Lies that Kill

Séralini pseudoscience syndicate: Lessons learned from decade-long assault on biotechnology orchestrated by French geneticist — Genetic Literacy Project

A MUST READ to sort fact from emotionally driven fiction.

via Séralini pseudoscience syndicate: Lessons learned from decade-long assault on biotechnology orchestrated by French geneticist — Genetic Literacy Project

Scientists react to republished Séralini GMO maize rat study — Genetic Literacy Project

The GLP posts a collection of the responses from scientists worldwide to the republication of a controversial animal study on GM corn and herbicide that had been retracted.

via Scientists react to republished Séralini GMO maize rat study — Genetic Literacy Project