Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

Seeking Stories of AIDS Denialism

Have you or someone you know been harmed by AIDS Denialism? If you, or someone you care about, have been advised to stop taking HIV meds, ignore HIV test results, purchase a 'natural' cure etc., please email me.

All information will be kept confidential.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How AIDS Denialism Can Kill You Part II: Accountability and Liability for Spreading Medical Disinformation

"with Nessies and psychic phenomena and UFOs and the like, there are many evident gaps in empirical knowledge, so there exists the possibility (somewhere in the “unknown unknown” *) that future observations could provide satisfactory understanding of the empirical data. As concerns extrasensory perception, there’s even a plausible analogy in the phenomenon of quantum entanglement at the sub-microscopic level. With HIV/AIDS, there’s no such hope, because data in hand have already disproved decisively the notion that HIV causes AIDS" Dr. Henry Bauer

AIDS Deniers tell you not to bother getting tested for HIV and if you have tested positive to avoid taking HIV treatments. Christine Maggiore, Brian Carter, Michael Geiger and others share their life experiences hoping to persuade you to join their fragile bubble. These private citizens are free to say what they want regardless of whether it places you in the same peril that they have chosen for themselves.

But the accountability is different for professional denialists. AIDS Denialists who can call themselves ‘Doctor’ can be easily mistaken for medical doctors. Dr. Peter Duesberg, for example, does not have a medical degree, has never conducted research with humans and has never seen a single patient. When Dr. Duesberg says that HIV is harmless people are apt to listen with deadly consequence.

Dr. Henry Bauer is a ‘Science’ Professor at Virginal Tech University who claims that HIV does not cause AIDS. Dr. Bauer bases his false and irresponsible conclusion on his misguided use of epidemiology, ignorance of basic epidemiological concepts, and insatiable need for attention in the hope of making up for a life of obscurity. Dr. Bauer is now stooping to offer faulty medical advice, such as this posted at his blog,

UPDATE: Men living with HIV/AIDS in South Florida are dying less thanks to anti-HIV medications. AIDS denialism is the toxic poison.

Official: Antiretrovirals maybe not the best treatment

“Updated HIV guidelines emphasise primary care need of patients”

“While improvements in antiretroviral therapy have improved the prognosis for many HIV patients, data from recent studies suggest those living with HIV are at higher risk for developing common health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer”

— but those are not “common” for adults in prime middle age, which is the age at which HAART-treated individuals are dying from heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and certain cancers [“AIDS” deaths: owing to antiretroviral drugs or to lack of antiretroviral treatment?, 2 October 2008; NIH Treatment Guidelines, 3 November 2008].
“Baseline urinalysis and calculated creatinine clearance should be considered, especially in black patients, because of an increased risk of HIV-associated nephropathy”

— “HIV-associated nephropathy” is actually iatrogenic, drug-induced nephropathy occurring in “HIV-positive” people who are on HAART; which is admitted, but only indirectly:
“Urinalysis and calculated creatinine clearance should also be performed prior to initiating treatment with drugs such as tenofovir or indinavir, which have the potential for nephrotoxicity”

— “potential” for nephrotoxicity sounds much less alarming than a straightforward description as nephrotoxic.
“Emphasis should be placed on the importance of adherence to care rather than focusing solely on adherence to medications”

— because HAART itself can cause a variety of ailments.

Dr. Bauer misuses the point

Henry Bauer is wrong when he says that HIV treatments cause heart problems, kidney disease, and cancer. What doctors say is that people with existing heart and kidney disease need special monitoring when they start HIV treatments. Certain medications in various doses may carry added risks for these patients, requiring adjustments. Henry Bauer ignores the context and cherry picks sentences to misconstrue their meaning when he concludes that “because HAART itself can cause a variety of ailments.”

HIV treatments do not cause kidney disease. HIV-associated nephropathy results from direct HIV inflammation of kidney cells. Other kidney conditions that affect people with HIV/AIDS include IgA nephropathy which occurs when antibodies are trapped in the areas of the kidney where filtering occurs. Kidney functioning can also be affected by T-cell abnormalities and abnormal blood proteins associated with HIV infection.

People with HIV-associated nephropathy rapidly progress to end-stage kidney disease when their HIV infection is left untreated. People with kidney disease who are on HIV treatments and stop taking their HIV treatments, as Dr. Bauer suggests, will likely experience permanent kidney failure within months. Dr. Bauer’s incompetent interpretation of HIV treatment guidelines ignores the fact that HIV-associated nephropathy has nothing to do with HIV treatment toxicity, and HIV treatments have been a major factor in reducing incidence of HIV-associated nephropathy.

Are people with HIV infection at increased risk for cancer?
Our immune system protects us from tumor growth and HIV disables the immune system. People on HIV treatments are living longer with suppressed immune systems, allowing more time to develop cancer. There are also HIV co-occurring conditions that cause cancer, such as hepatitis B and C viruses that cause liver cancer and humanpapilloma virus (HPV) that can cause anal, penile, and cervical cancers.
Is there a link between HIV treatments and cancer?

Responsibility, accountability, and liability

There is no question that Dr. Bauer should be held accountable for what he is saying. Following Dr. Bauer’s bad advice can hasten HIV disease and cause death.

Who else is accountable?

Is Dr. Bauer’s family responsible? If Grandpa is fondling kids in the neighborhood, family members would be responsible for stopping him. If the Old Guy is telling people with HIV infection to stop taking their life saving medications, should his family stop him?
Are colleagues who just ignore the nutty professor down the hall accountable? I recently spoke with one of Dr. Bauer’s colleagues and he had no clue what Henry was up to. Now that he is aware of Henry’s antics, should his colleague be held responsible for taking action? Professional ethics of intervening with an impaired colleague seem relevant here.

Are Dr. Bauer’s Department Head and Dean accountable? Department Heads and Deans should be aware of what their faculty members are doing. And what about Virginia Tech University? Is Henry Bauer using State resources to maintain his Internet presence and spread misinformation about AIDS?
Aside from his own Geriatric Care, Henry Bauer has no medical experience. He is a Pseudoscientist’s Pseudoscientist who should be stripped of his Internet privileges at his University as well as the Roanoke Senior Center.

Dr. Bauer has convinced himself that he is correct about HIV not causing AIDS. He is now treading in waters even more dangerous than Loch Ness by offering medical advice. Henry Bauer offering medical advice through the misinterpretation of treatment guidelines is akin to my telling you the best spots to find Nessies in the Loch. I think it best for Henry to stick with what he knows best, Nessies, Aura’s, and Aliens, and leave HIV treatments to the experts.

Note: The ideas for the How AIDS Denialism Can Kill You posts came from a reader of this blog who also follows discussions on AIDS Denialism blogs. I appreciate the suggestions.


  1. 1 When has an antibody ever needed medical intervention? Never

    2 What disease has a latent period of 2 to 3 years? There ain't one. Never mind 2 to 3 years and then 5 and then 10 and then 30 and then back to 10.

    3 What disease attacks mainly men, gay or otherwise? There ain't one

    4 What disease, or type of disease attacks gay men and iv users in the west and everyone across the board in sub saharan africa? There ain't one. There might be two different diseases.

    5 Out of the thousands of retroviruses that have been documented, what one has ever done any harm to man or animal? There ain't one.

    6 Where is the scientific proof that hiv causes aids? There ain't none.

    7 What previous disease has been responsible for 29 different disease (29 at the last count!) .There ain't one.

    8 How many health or lab workers have caught fully blown aids from a contaminated needle? There ain't any.

    9 Alright then, what is the scientific proof that hiv causes aids. There isn't any.

    What is guaranteed to cause anyone to die with the exact same identical symptoms of fully blown aids? The treatment, AZT kills T cells, red blood cells and B cells at a DNA level. But don't worry, because now they only put a tiny bit in. And the patients are living longer!

  2. Buskerbob
    Thanks for summarizing the AIDS Denialist Top 10 List. This blog is about AIDS Denialism so we don't debate denialists here. Anyone who wants to find the correct answers backed by nearly 30 years of research conducted by thousands of scientists across the globe can easily find it at and If you are not the trusting sort and want to read original research yourself, go to

    If you are interested in playing AIDS Denialist Bingo, buskerbob has given you an excellent start! Go to

    Thanks again buskerbob for posting your insightful comment.

  3. 1 When has an antibody ever needed medical intervention? Never
    Incorrect. People positive for antibodies against HepB, HepC, Syphilis, Malaria, herpes simplex 1, 2 and more are still incapable of clearing the infection and need medical intervention,

    2 What disease has a latent period of 2 to 3 years? There ain't one. Never mind 2 to 3 years and then 5 and then 10 and then 30 and then back to 10.

    Syphilis (10-20 years), and Measels-induced SSPE (7 years) are examples of this.

    3 What disease attacks mainly men, gay or otherwise? There ain't one

    Incorrect again, any disease passed sexually within sexual networks will tend to stay in said networks. This is common sense.>

    4 What disease, or type of disease attacks gay men and iv users in the west and everyone across the board in sub saharan africa? There ain't one. There might be two different diseases.

    This is a lengthier explanation for another post (if you stock around after seeing how wrong you are at everything else).

    5 Out of the thousands of retroviruses that have been documented, what one has ever done any harm to man or animal? There ain't one.

    Incorrect yet again. HTLV causes cancer in human, SIV causes a simian version of AIDS in non-adapted species, FIV does the same in cats. Rous Sarcoma virus causes deadly cancers in chickens, Murine Leukemia Virus does the same in mice.

    6 Where is the scientific proof that hiv causes aids? There ain't none.

    There is plenty if you are capable of understanding it (although judging by your previous 5 out of 5 errors you aren't.

    7 What previous disease has been responsible for 29 different disease (29 at the last count!) .There ain't one.

    AIDS isn't a disease, it is a syndrome. A disease (HIV infection) that destroys the immune system will leave one vulnerable to infections they would not normally be susceptible to. Hence the “29 different diseases”.

    8 How many health or lab workers have caught fully blown aids from a contaminated needle? There ain't any.

    Most are quite careful when working with HIV needles but there are reported cases of this happening. They did develop AIDS and die. Wrong yet again.

    9 Alright then, what is the scientific proof that hiv causes aids. There isn't any.

    See #6

    What is guaranteed ...

    You've been wrong about every point so far (and this one, too). Try reading real science and not just denialist BS.

  4. 1. You're right. Those big buildings called "hospitals" are actually cardboard cutouts.

    2. True, Shingles from VZV, ESLD from chronic hep B and hep C, cervical and other cancers from HPV all occur within weeks of the initial infection, and no one ever gets HSV attack more than a month or two after first contracting the virus. As for tertiary syphilis, well that comes on just as the chancre is healing.

    3. Absolutely. Syphilis in the US and both syphilis and gonorrhea in Australia and Europe are completely fictional diseases invented to oppress gay people with the nocebo curse, and have never been proven.

    4. Likewise hepatitis B.

    5. Spot on. There is no such thing as FIV and FeLV in cats, CAEV in goats, EIA in horses, or Visna virus in sheep. They are all just symptoms of stress and voodoo curses suffered by pussy cats, goats, neddies and baa baas.

    6.UR so rite!!!1! Medical journals and those big heavy books of lies called virology and immunology textbooks is a Fraud! Reel science is comes from random websites on teh internets!

    7. Exactly. Because the one specific immune deficiency disease those so-called scientists call AIDS is actually... err... 29 completely different immune deficiency diseases.

    8. Correct again! The 54 documented cases to a few years ago were all lying. This is despite the fact that health and lab workers are constantly trying to infuse HIV infected blood into themselves. It's the first thing they do all day before their morning coffee in those make believe "hospitals". They do that because they are bored, because nobody ever actually needs medical intervention. See point [1]

    9. This is so correct it's worth repeating!!

    10. Right again. Because all the trials of AZT versus placebo all the AZT folks died while the placebo people went on to live forever. And all those "untreated" people in the observational studies in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe who died a median of 8-11 years after seroconverting for HIV were actually sneakily taking AZT without telling anyone, even before it first came on to the market.

    Henry Bauer and the other AIDS dissidents have taught you well. I'm impressed! Congratulations!

  5. Querido Seth,
    Unfortunately, it is very very difficult to get a University to withdraw the title of Professor Emeritus. Bauer is retired. He is no longer an employee of Virginia Tech. He doesn't get a salary beyond the pension to which he is legally entitled. The Professor Emeritus status is an honorary title given on the basis of his past service to the university. Once given, it can't be rescinded.

    People who think that the Journal of Scientific Exploration is a scientific publication, and that 'Dr.' indicates that one is licensed to practice medicine, also have no idea that 'emeritus' means that one is retired and has no backing of a legitimate research institution.

    Fulano de Tal

  6. Buskerbob sounds like he may be related to Cleetus, from The Simpsons. NAW, Cleetus would never write anything that stupid.
    However, Buskerbob is most certainly in~bred!
    Hey Buskerbob, tell your mom/wife I said "HI"!
    P.S. A serious side note: To anyone who thinks any part of buskerbob's comment even "sounds OK" should open the Tylenol bottle, tip into mouth, and swallow.

  7. It is always possible to determine if somebody has learnt virology and immunology from a) Denilaist websites and b) a university education.

    In buskerbob's case the answer is definitely a.

    The exact same phenomenon can be seen with evolution denial. You can always tell who has picked up a set of talking points, factoids and misinterpretations from evolution denialist websites and who has actually studied the science.

  8. If my partner stops taking his meds after becoming convinced that Dr. Bauer is right, can his family sue Dr. Bauer?

  9. Bauer just posted this piece of creative writing

    Circumcision pseudo-science

    There is quite a good reason, actually, why all 3 studies should have delivered the same apparent effect of circumcision, but it has nothing to do with “HIV” or sexual transmission: Surgery is well known to suppress immune function. Now the standard test for “HIV” is actually a test for antibodies, and the evidence is ample that “HIV” tests are highly non-specific, reacting “positive” when large numbers of a variety of antibodies are present. Since post-operative antibody production is lower as a consequence of surgery, post-operative apparent “HIV” incidence will be lower.

    These clinical trials have demonstrated only that surgery cuts by about half (50-60%) the production of non-specific antibodies.

    At least the title of his post accurately describes the contents.

  10. Now that is classic!

    As if circumcision were abdominal/thoracic surgery! Like snipping off the foreskin suppresses the immune system for two years of follow-up!

    Bauer is leaving off the part about Africans having more antibodies because they come from the disease ridden jungles. Why not just say that suppressing those wild antibodies makes those Africans less likely to react to an antibody test?

    Bauer denies that he is racist. Maybe he isn’t. But everything he says about AIDS is grounded in racist ideas. Why else dedicate an entire chapter of his book to say he is not a racist?

    I think Henry is scared of increasing circumcision because he fears decapitation. Rightly so.

  11. That's the wonderful thing about Professor Bauer's theories on surgery and the immune system, based on his extensive reading of the International Journal of Stuff That Is Well Known. Of course surgery suppresses the production of "non specific" antibodies for years afterward so antibodies that would have been otherwise detected no longer can be. If Henry says it is Well Known, then that's good enough for me.

    Just as Well Known is the fact the stress of surgery also induces the production of these "non specific" antibodies. Henry gives the example of the four solid organ recipients from a single donor who became HIV positive after the surgery, the only cases out 400,000 transplants in the US since 1986 where this has happened.

    [see "HIV, Organ Transplants and Surgery" on Henry's HIV Septic website]

    Obviously it was just a non-specific reaction to the stress of surgery. The fact that the donor was subsequently found to have been in the early stages of HIV infection that had been missed by the pre-transplant antibody screening is just the mumbo-jumbo emanating from a crumbling paradigm.

    The marvelous thing about Henry's brilliant insights is they can be used to explain any phenomena at all, no matter how contradictory. What a genius!

  12. Ah the "*Blank* is well known to do *blank* reference citation. Classic!

  13. Seth, indeed, before Bauer's recent discovery, immunosuppression following major abdominal surgery was thought to last about a week. And no one would have believed that post-circumcision immunosuppression could result in the disappearance of a whole set of antibodies, or that someone with that degree of immunosuppression for two years could remain healthy. Another remarkable feature of this new "Bauer effect" of circumcision, as proven by the recent African circumcision trials, is that its immunosuppressive effect gets stronger over time.

    Now, thanks to Bauer, we know that a certain number of people who are HIV-negative and perfectly healthy are actually suffering from a chronic circumcision-associated immune suppression as severe as that found in end-stage AIDS patients.

    I know a journal that will be very interested in this!

    Fulano de Tal

  14. Snout
    I think you have gone a bit too far saying that Henry’s brilliant insights can be used to explain any phenomena at all. Are you suggesting that circumcised Nessies are less likely to test HIV+ despite the presence of magical non-specific antibodies that are well known to circulate in the depths of Loch?

    Pardon me for being such a septic.

    The thing about Bauer that continues to amaze me is that anyone takes him serious. But the AIDS Deniers sure do. David Crowe and Becky Culshaw definitely do. It appears that Duesberg and Rasnick take him serious enough to put their names next to his.

    When you are an AIDS Denialist there are no standards. It does not get much lower than that.

  15. Fulano said:

    "I know a journal that will be very interested in this!"

    Yes, but perhaps he should wait until the editors have completed their investigation into how the last lot of bullshit he and his mates submitted got accepted for publication.

  16. Bauer's pseudoscience like any good crackpot idea explains everything and nothing at the same time.

    The long list of supposed causes of AIDS that the Denialists spout at different times collectively include every living human on the planet. Can you find a single person that has never taken antibiotics, never drunk alchol, never been exposed to sunlight or other "oxidising agents" like semen?

    Perhaps the one lesson that we can learn is that if you are going to have an organ transplant it is best to get circumcised at the same time. That way the level of "non-specific" antibodies should remain constant.

  17. Seth, you write:
    "The thing about Bauer that continues to amaze me is that anyone takes him serious."
    I love how we orthodox who understand at least a tiny portion of science, are constantly reminded of our child like wonder time and again by the crazy shit of the denialists. Every time the denialists come up with some crazy "fact" (like Seth's recent post about AME and Cryptosporidium...remember the poster who suggested collodial silver?) OR Clark Baker's discovery that HIV Meds are addictive.
    They constanly slap us with crazy~woo and instead of becoming jaded, we get to re~experience that "amazement" factor that every new site and sound gave us as children. For that, at least, we should thank them!
    I know it keeps me laughing and smiling for a short time (before the sheer disguist of it slams me in the face!)

  18. I see Bob hasn't seen fit to post again. I guess he is trying to get Bauer to refute our refuting...

  19. why do you guys always invoke Christine Maggiore's name? Dude, your side has MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people dead of the meds. You won't admit the meds killed them, but regarless, you certainly can't claim the meds helped them, either. Give me Christine's 20 years of symptom free, cost free, over a med takers 20 years of toxicities and money out of pocket. Its not even a debate.

  20. More exaggerated denialism from TONY! Maggiore went from 16 to 20 years with a couple of key strokes!
    Also, I love that Tony claims that "MILLIONS AND MILLIONS are dead from ARV's" and yet he does not list one link to prove his point. Here's a clue Tony. Maybe we "won't admit the meds killed 'em" because the science does not back up your claim.
    I say it again and again. You denialists love to grab onto a supposed "success" story of someone living beyond the norm with HIV and you can not stop harping on it as if that should be everyone's story. Well, Tony, I am on meds for 15 years and do not have one single horror story about side effects. I have never experienced anything more than nauseau and malaise for a week. No humps, bumps or fat deposit where I don't want it nor fat missing where I need it. Of the many people I know with HIV, my story (and theirs) is the norm and Maggiore was a lucky fluke. Although I doubt her son and husband feel so lucky now. But you go on and praise the few years she had and go on denying the ones she is missing out on! You do that, Tony, and you are just as (ir)responsible as she!

  21. Sorry for the late post thought I had been censored.
    1. Are you telling me you treat the syphillis antibody and not the syphillis?
    2. Google "syphilis incubation period"
    3. Any disease passed sexually must surely infect women and men equally
    4. You are right it is hard to explain
    5. You've got me there. No doubt you can point me to some scientific proof.
    6.If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document.
    7.You are right aids isn't a disease. And, prior to hiv, there never has been a pathogen/virus etc responsible for 29 diseases
    8. So name one. Shouldn't be so difficult after 25 yrs.
    9. Are you trying to tell me AZT isn't one of, if not, the most toxic drug ever prescribed...
    post note...How to tell a denialist. It's easy; instead of debating like: I disagree with you because...They use sarcasm and call you inbred and incidentally I don't know who cleetus is as I don't watch tv

  22. I am not an expert, just an ordinary woman with HIV but
    3. Any disease passed sexually must surely infect women and men equally
    And yes it HIV does now- infect at least as many women as well as men

    There are at least as many women with HIV in the world now than men and from what I have read and sadly we are physically more predisposed to acquire it sexually - and also for social reasons.

    Women now account for nearly half of all HIV cases worldwide, with even higher rates among young African women -- and those numbers are bound to only grow higher unless we all work harder to empower women throughout the world.

    'After more than 25 years and 25 million deaths, the world has yet to realize that HIV isn't just a man's problem'

    'Biology, it seems, does affect destiny: When having unprotected heterosexual sex, women are as much as eight times more likely to become infected with HIV as men. However, this risk is exacerbated by societal issues:'

    I am a woman - I have HIV - - I take issue with you suggesting that women are not as much at risk form HIV than men as this suggests that somehow a sexually transmitted virus cares what gender it infects.
    Of course it does not. And women are biologically more vulnerable and socially

  23. And why does everyone, well denialists, dissenters whatever name? refer to AZT when it was an early monotherapy used when there was absolutely nothing else for people that were dying of HIV /AIDs and this was their only hope

    AZT was from what I have read , I agree, far more toxic than what people with HIV are prescribed now but has not been used for many years I thought?

    So why is it always mentioned? It is not what people with HIV are prescribed now and while some of the ATT meds used now may have been based on AZT or related to it none are actually AZT, so surely mentioning AZT in this context in the year 2010 to me seems eronious.

    All medicine used in the fight against all illnesses and viruses have to start somewhere and early drugs to fight anythign often have proved in the long term to be more toxic than those that come after them, so to refer back to something that is no longer used seem to me totally irrelevant