data-crimes: ivermectin and sperm count edition

i've seen some data-crime scare stories, but this one may take the cake

the war against effective and safe drugs used to stop covid infection and mitigate severity continues:

now with more atavistic fear.

i’ve seen some bad studies and worse claims, but this one is just outlandish. it’s is barely even still propaganda. it’s flat out psyop. (story HERE, please don’t click unless you need to. feeding the beast ad revenue for pushing this manipulative twaddle just encourages more pseudoscientific histrionics. the referenced study is HERE and appears to be a 10 year old piece of unpublished flotsam that (before today) was essentially uncited.)

and that’s because it’s total garbage and the worst sort of slanted claims making.

the media claim is that ivermectin causes sterility. this is a scary and emasculating threat. it’s also totally unsupported by the data but, predictably, the media is having a circus style field day with it. but it’s pure bunk.

this is a twisting of misused data into a weaponized meme to prey upon limbic level fears. a “faux phallic frightener,” if you will, calculated to hit men where they wince.

firstly, this drug has been used in hundreds of millions of africans. if it were really having this effect, we’d know. a hundred million fellahs firing blanks is not a thing you miss.

hell, if this were really a form of pill based sterilization, the size of the vasectomy replacement market in the US would have generated clinical trials and massive drug sales. so, we’re deeply on the wrong side of the smell test here. and it gets MUCH worse.

this is from the article:

it’s also totally wrong. the very study they cite does NOT say this.

first off, they were not “sterilized.” they saw a drop in sperm count, generally a small one, and most remained within the WHO range for healthy normal of 40-300 million/ml.

of the 37 patients studied, many saw drops, but only one dropped out of this WHO range and he had a 48 to begin with. most are 100+. calling that “sterilized” seems pretty out of line. it’s also pretty reasonable to expect among very sick, weak people. but it gets much, much worse.

this study had no control group. it was patients who had had river blindness and were treated with ivermectin.

it does not take an RCT expert to see the possible confound here: what caused the sperm drop? was it the drug or was it the disease?

this study cannot tell us, but it’s enrollment criteria give us a VERY strong hint:

of the original group of 385 men with river blindness, 348 were disqualified because, wait for it, their sperm counts were so low or they were so weak.

that’s game over on this study.

river blindness is nasty, nasty stuff. it leaves you weak and badly depleted. and, so it would seem, a great many people who get it have low sperm count. so it looks to me like this non-controlled study likely just caught the tail end of this disease effect in those who got milder/earlier disease/ivermectin.

for all we know, ivermectin actually lessened the drop in sperm counts vs what they would have been as seen in the 90% of the initial patient population that was too low to enroll by preventing the progression of river blindness.

clearly, something was driving sperm counts way down in that population as a whole and as most did not get ivermectin, we know it was not the drug.

this study is a joke and the news stories trumpeting it are the basest of mendacious, agenda driven fear mongering.

anyone citing it is a credulous fool who probably did not read the actual study. even a layman would spot this issue in 10 seconds. it took me 2.

if this is what the opponents of ivermectin are being driven to to try to scare people out of using it, then this drugs is VERY safe indeed, because this set of claims are literal hot garbage.

this is outright disgusting. it’s false science being misrepresented to generate a false news meme that’s supposed to make men cover their family jewels and wince.

whether it’s calculates psyop or just the output of the hallucinatory horror story generator that is social media could be debated.

but the fact that it’s rank lies cannot.

this is categorially false.

period.