Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

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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.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

AIDS Denialist Crank Convention: Gearing Up for Oakland

"They are all prostitutes, most of them, my collogues, to some degree, including myself. You have to be prostitutes to get money for your research. You are trained a little bit to be a prostitute. But some go all the way." Peter Duesberg

I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty excited about the Rethinking AIDS conference. What a great opportunity to meet all of the AIDS Denialists and learn about their latest delusions! I am familiar with the venue – same place Peter Duesberg held his Aneuploidy Conference. Truth is the Aneuploidy meeting attempted to present some science. There were some real scientists there, albeit not very comfortably. The Rethinking AIDS Conference promises to be even better. Just look at what the AIDS Deniers are saying…

Who Should Attend? — Anyone who has questions about the connection between HIV and AIDS should attend. If you are already convinced that the HIV=AIDS dogma is broken come and expand your understanding. If you aren't sure about it come and perhaps you will be by the end of the conference. If you are convinced that HIV is the cause of AIDS and want to understand why some people disagree, you are still welcome to come, listen, and participate in discussions.

Why Should you Come? — To learn about the history of the AIDS dogma, scientific flaws in the dogma, treatment of immune deficiency, legal issues and the human impact on HIV-positives.

What Can You Expect — You will see from the program that there will be many talks, with opportunities to ask questions and have group and individual discussions. Social events will allow networking with other people concerned about the science of HIV, the social and legal consequences of an HIV diagnosis and the censorship of science and the media.

PLUS…there will be a special showing of House of Numbers. Now wont that be special?
UPDATE: See Rethinking AIDS Program Below!
Mimicking scientific conferences is not unique to AIDS Denialism. In fact, conferences are an important part of creating a façade of legitimacy for pseudoscience. David Gorski has a great post at Science-Based Medicine on crank conferences. Here is an excerpt.
Crank “scientific” conferences: A parody of science-based medicine that can deceive even reputable scientists and institutions

If there’s one thing that purveyors of pseudoscientific medical modalities crave, probably above all else, it’s legitimacy. They want to be taken seriously as Real Scientists. Of course, my usual reaction to this desire is to point out that anyone can be take seriously as a real scientist if he is able to do science and that science actually shows that there is something to his claims. In other words, do his hypotheses make testable predictions, and does testing these predictions fail to falsify his hypotheses? That’s what it takes, but advocates of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM, or, as I like to refer to it: “integrating” quackery with scientific medicine) want their woo to be considered science without actually doing the hard work of science.

There are several strategies that pseudoscientists use to give their beliefs the appearance of science, a patina of “science-y” camouflage, if you will. One, of course, is the cooptation and corruption of the language of science, which has been a frequent topic on this blog, particularly in posts written by Drs. Atwood and Sampson. Another is to produce journals that appear to be science, but are anything but. I’ve discussed one example, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons and Medical Acupuncture, but others include Homeopathy, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and Medical Hypotheses, which recently was forced to retract a horrible paper by arch-HIV/AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg. What’s worse is that some of these journals are even published by what are considered major publishers, such as Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and Elsevier.

There is, however, a third strategy. How do scientists communicate their findings to other scientists, as well as meeting and mingling with other scientists? Why, they hold scientific meetings, of course! These meetings can be small or even as large as the American Association for Cancer Research meeting, which is attended by around 15,000 cancer researchers each year. So, too, do cranks hold meetings. These meetings often have all the trappings of scientific meetings, with plenary sessions, smaller parallel sessions, poster sesssions, and an exhibition hall, complete with exhibits by sponsoring companies. Sometimes these meetings can even appear so much like the real thing that they take in legitimate researchers and legitimate universities. Here, I present two examples of such conferences. [to read the rest of Gorski’s post visit Science-Based Medicine]

Watch the Rethinking AIDS 2009 conference video.



3:00 Check-in6:00 Welcome and introduction of Keynote Speaker (
David Crowe) 6:15

Keynote Lecture (
Michael Tracey)


Morning Session

8:00 Opening remarks (
David Crowe)
8:10 History of the AIDS controversy spanning three decades (
John Lauritsen)
8:50 HIV-AIDS hypothesis out of touch with South African AIDS—a new perspective (
Peter Duesberg)
9:30 Questioning the Existence of HIV (
Etienne De Harven)

10:10 Coffee Break
10:30 The Deception and Dishonesty of African AIDS Statistics (
Charlie Geshekter)
11:10 Aids in Africa—a call for sense not hysteria (
Christian Fiala)
11:50 The role of the inner pharmacy in the prevention and treatment of AIDS (
Roberto Giraldo)

12:30 Lunch

Afternoon Session

2:00 HIV drugs causing AIDS (
Dave Rasnick)
2:40 The treatment dilemma of HIV-positive patients as a result of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: The illusion of antiviral treatment (
Claus Koehnlein)
3:20 HIV/AIDS blunder is far from unique in the annals of science and medicine (
Henry Bauer)
4:00 Coffee Break
4:30 Screening of
House of Numbers

Morning Session
8:00 The Criminalization of Illness (
Chris Black)

8:30 Rethinking Legal Aspects of AIDS in Colombia (Universidad Libre Pereira Colombia Law Group)
9:00 Censorship in the AIDS debate—the success of stifling, muzzling and a strategy of silence (Joan Shenton)
9:30 Coffee Break
9:45 Religion, Politics, and AIDS in Italy: curious paradoxes from the Ministry of Health (
Marco Ruggiero)
10:15 The Italian epidemiology supports the chemical AIDS theory (
Daniele Mandrioli)
10:45 How I fell victim to the AIDS machine (
Karri Stokely)
11:00 AIDS, Big Deal, Next!: A journey to hell and back with AIDS (
Noreen Martin)

11:15 Challenges faced by gays who question HIV/AIDS with implications for dissidents (Tony Lance)
11:30 Panel discussion
12:00 Close


  1. Real science symposiums are held in Ivy League Schools, like, oh, say, Harvard University! Whereas Pseudo~Science, Lying, Hypocritical Crank Conferences are held in the basement of condemned hotels in Oakland, CA.
    Need we say more?

  2. Have you seen the budget listed under the "Programs & Help" section of the Rethinking AIDS Guidestar entry? The 2007 990 also includes their bylaws, which make for interesting reading.

    Rethinking AIDS Conference

    Category:Medical Research
    Population Served:AdultsOther Minorities
    Program Description:

    A conference to bring together medical, scientific, legal and social science experts with HIV-positive people and activists to discuss the latest evidence questioning the HIV=AIDS dogma.

    Program Long-Term Success:

    The aim will be to have a Rethinking AIDS conference every year until after the HIV=AIDS dogma has been demolished and the need for analysis and reflection has been reduced.

    Program Short-Term Success:

    Successful completion of our first conference in November 2009.

    Program Success Monitored by:

    Feedback from attendees and users of the conference website, as well as discussions by the board.

    Program Success Examples:

    This will be determined after the conference is held in November 2009

  3. Those denialists are always misleading people, even when promoting their conference! I checked out the site which is emblazoned with a lovely image of the Golden Gate Bridge.But the conference is in *Oakland* which is the *other way*! It is not in Marin or SF.It is in Oakland,close to the *other* bridge, the grey, long one.(BTW, Seth, great work you're doing).Denice Walter

  4. Yeah, it will be a great conference, saving all those people from AZT, Big Pharma scams, bogus anti-body tests, and imaginary retroviruses.

  5. This is just sad. To be fair, I don't think anyone's making much money off this, but it is a fool-rich environment.

    There are a couple of HIV+ speakers whose main shticks are variants of "I stopped taking my HAART and I feel swell."

    With the advent of protease inhibitors, some have forgotten what it was like--mostly young, healthy people who usually got a few comfortable, asymptomatic years before their bodies imploded.

    What worries me is the possibility that they are going to get sick, change their minds, go back on drugs, get better, drop the drugs, get sick, go back on drugs, get better, etc. HIV mutates like crazy, and it's easy to imagine these poor idiots turning themselves into reservoirs for some drug-resistant strain. That's all we need.

  6. The aim will be to have a Rethinking AIDS conference every year until after the HIV=AIDS dogma has been demolished and the need for analysis and reflection has been reduced.

    Isn't denialism great. You get to decide the outcome of a series of conferences before they take place. What's the point in spending a million dollars on conferences if they have already made up their minds?

    Why don't they spend a million dollars on --- actual research?

    Why is Duesberg whining about lack of money to do research on HIV?

  7. if someone is shelling out more than $50k for this, then it is a tax fraud, like funneling money from one pocket to another and calling it a fake educational investment. Not that Libertarian AIDS Denialists who live in the Islands hate to pay taxes.

    I find it hard to believe that this thing could come even close to 7 figures to pull off.

    Believe me, the cost is not for the venue. It is true that you cannot see the Golden Gate from Oakland. It is also true that the Waterfront Hotel is dive. Duesberg’s financial bakers must own the place, that could be the other pocket. Its not like Oakland does not have a nicer hotel, a Holiday Inn Express perhaps.

    When I went to the Aneuploidy Conference I stayed elsewhere. That was a good move. Still, the only place I could find to eat was a pizza joint in Berkeley. There is also a good coffee shop in Berkeley near campus. I have fond memories of finishing a complete draft of Denying AIDS at Berkeley Espresso, just a short walk from Peter’s lab.

    This November, I will probably stay in San Francisco and commute.

  8. Hi Seth,

    I'd like to invite you to share my hotel room and rental car so you can save expenses. I'll even spring for meals.

    Perhaps you could give me a psyche evaluation so I can get beyond my denialism.

    Can't wait to meet up!

    Love and kisses,


  9. Yeah, it will be a great conference, saving all those people from AZT, Big Pharma scams, bogus anti-body tests, and imaginary retroviruses.

    Yeah! Darn those imaginary yet surprisingly reproducible genomes that continue to this day to be isolated, sequenced and compared from around the world! Darn those eerily reproducible sequences! Darn those "bogus" ELISAs and their false positives! Even though as early as the 80s studies showed a false positive rate of around 1 out of 135,187 *Cough NEJM Volume 319:961-964 October 13, 1988 Number 15 Cough* (why don't denialists quote these articles, they are from the 80's after all!).

  10. Pooh said: "Darn those imaginary yet surprisingly reproducible genomes that continue to this day to be isolated, sequenced and compared from around the world!"

    I agree with you pooh! But it is a shame how those sequences, that you wisely point out show up everywhere including in those who could not possibly even have been exposed to any retrovirus, how they continually show up in people who strangely never get low t cell counts, high viral loads, or aids defining diseases! An example of this is the presumed infected 250,000 US citizens who have never been tested and so obviously don't even know they have a "killer retrovirus", and who very very very seldom present with any health problems at all!

    I mean, heck, these people should be dropping over left and right if hiv were the cause. Don'tcha think, Pooh? But alas, they seldom come up with any aids defining illness or disease. Such a shame, cause if they did, then I might consider that you boneheads could be even remotely be correct.

    Strange too, Pooh, how your beloved sequences show up in the most stressed individuals. So very strange that those who sicken all have mutual co-factors found in lack of nutrition, chronic high stress, drug toxicities, oxidation, high cortisone and adrenalin levels, etc.

    Has it never occurred to you, Pooh, that Montagnier is correct in that it is not HIV that will kill you but the co-factors?

    Well, of course that could not be, cause we know the Seth Kalichman fan club is smarter than Montagnier himself, and the many many others who have repeatedly demonstrated this such as those damn denialists.

    Please do respond, Pooh, with another of your infamous evasions, and another of your infamous "lalalalalalalalaaaaa- I can't hear youuuuu".

    Please do respond with such vital wisdom, Pooh! It always brings a smile to my face. Pleeeeaaaassse Do Respond as you always do!

  11. "Please do respond, Pooh, with another of your infamous evasions, and another of your infamous "lalalalalalalalaaaaa- I can't hear youuuuu".

    Oh mikey, I'd almost feel insulted if it weren't coming from you. please do cite when I've evaded your questions. You still have a few papers you've misquoted, been corrected on, and then quit the thread. It seems a bit hypocritical to say I evade questions when you do such things.

    So as for your post lets address some of it shall we:

    " is a shame how those sequences, that you wisely point out show up everywhere including in those who could not possibly even have been exposed to any retrovirus"

    And who are these people? Reference please?

    "how they continually show up in people who strangely never get low t cell counts, high viral loads, or aids defining diseases!"

    How is this strange? Almost any disease has individuals capable of resisting it. Are you unaware of this? Contrary to denialist beliefs scientists don't claim that "HIV=AIDS=Death sooner or later" in all individuals. So please do tell why it would be strange.

    "An example of this is the presumed infected 250,000 US citizens who have never been tested and so obviously don't even know they have a "killer retrovirus", and who very very very seldom present with any health problems at all!"

    Is this an estimate somewhere in mainstream science? If it is wouldn't it make sense (to those with logic) that those who do not yet know their diagnosis are those who are not yet symptomatic? Doesn't it make sense that those who begin to get sick would go to the doctor, get tested and therefor not fall into that category?

  12. Mikey (part Deux),
    "Strange too, Pooh, how your beloved sequences show up in the most stressed individuals. So very strange that those who sicken all have mutual co-factors found in lack of nutrition, chronic high stress, drug toxicities, oxidation, high cortisone and adrenalin levels, etc."

    Please cite your source (a credible one) for this. Do you have the medical records necessary to make this claim? Do you realize that drugs have long ago been refuted as the cause of CD4 cell decline?

    "Has it never occurred to you, Pooh, that Montagnier is correct in that it is not HIV that will kill you but the co-factors?"

    Are you sure Montagnier said this or is this the spin your denialist "sources" give it? Montagnier's latest book related to AIDS makes it quite clear that he holds HIV as the culprit. Allow my to quote him (I posted this previously on Aetiology)

    From page 24 of Montagnier's latest book:

    Les lymphocytes T4 sont un peu les chefs d'orchestre du système immunitaire qu'ils stimulant et conduisent par l'intermédiaire des cytokines. Ce sont eux qui donnent la mesure aux cellules T8, cytotoxiques. Mais c'est aussi en fonction de leur présence et de leur vitalité que se feront de bonnes presentations d'antigènes, que se fabriqueront les anticorps. Ce sont eux que le Sida, justement, détruit. Malin, le VIH* frappe précisément à la tête de l'orchestre, en utilisant des protéines spécifiques paralysant et provoquant indirectement la mort des T4. C'est ainsi qu'il enraye les mécanismes de l'immunité dont l'efficacité repose sur une coordination parfaite de ses éléments constituants.

    T4 lymphocytes act somewhat like the conductor of our immune system "orchestra" through the use of chemokine intermediaries. They are the ones giving orders to cytotoxic T8 lymphocytes. However, they are also needed for efficient antigenic presentation, which results in the formation of antibodies. These are precisely the cells that HIV destroys. HIV strikes precisely at the head of the orchestra using specific proteins to stop T4 cells and also to kill them indirectly. This is how they lock up the immune system's mechanisms, whose perfect coordination is necessary for efficient function.

    So while oxidants, for example, in our bodies may in fact cause further damage to our immune cells and while reduction in oxidative stress is probably not a bad thing, Dr. Montagnier clearly places the blame for the breakdown in immunity on HIV.

    "Well, of course that could not be, cause we know the Seth Kalichman fan club is smarter than Montagnier himself, and the many many others who have repeatedly demonstrated this such as those damn denialists."

    Or perhaps we simply read the sources instead of just denialst spins on it.

  13. I like the suggestion from one of the posters at AIDS Myth Exposed - that HIV positive people should get into the Rethinking AIDS conference for free.

    Of course, you would have to provide proof.

    This wouldn't be a problem if Roberto Giraldo was the door bitch - according to him, "everyone tests positive". Could be tricky getting past the Perthians without paying, though. You'd probably end up wasting the whole weekend arguing with them and getting nowhere.

    Of course, Duesberg would think it's a scam: why should you get out of paying just because you have a harmless passenger virus?

  14. Mikey, you've been away so long. I was honestly thinking you had died. Although, I know you keep your stress to such a minimum that you will live forever. Since stress is the only thing in the world that causes disease and sickness!
    If you remember from the post on the Harvard Symposium, the denialists were complaining that there was only a short Q&A (and they failed to mention the panel discussion.) But if you notice, RA Con. has no Q&A at all.
    Lastly, I was going to attend, but no Baker Speech? No Toddles!

  15. Michael, you must have forgotten that stupid comments on my blog do not go unanswered.

    You must be gearing up for Oakland. Are you trying out new material? Those are some of the dumbest denialisms I have seen…

    “those sequences… show up everywhere including in those who could not possibly even have been exposed to any retrovirus”

    HIV genetic sequences show up in people who could have never been exposed to HIV? Care to offer an example? Any case citations? Anything?

    HIV genetic material “continually show up in people who strangely never get low t cell counts, high viral loads, or aids defining diseases”

    What? Never? How do you know this?

    “presumed infected 250,000 US citizens who have never been tested and so obviously don't even know they have a "killer retrovirus", and who very very very seldom present with any health problems at all!”

    A majority of people who test HIV+ do so only when they have gotten sick. They present with a suspicious condition and are then tested. Late testing is a huge problem that we are trying to solve.

    “they seldom come up with any aids defining illness or disease.”

    So let get this right. People are HIV infected, untested, and are completely healthy? So how the f#@k do you know they are HIV infected?

    HIV genetic “sequences show up in the most stressed individuals.”

    Now that is Henry Bauer logic… all people who test HIV+ are stressed so therefore all stressed people have HIV genetic material.

    Those who are “stricken all have mutual co-factors found in lack of nutrition, chronic high stress, drug toxicities, oxidation, high cortisone and adrenalin levels, etc.”
    Right, and they all breath air and drink water.

    “Montagnier is correct in that it is not HIV that will kill you but the co-factors?”

    No one says co-factors are not important in HIV disease, Michael. It is only you denialists that say HIV does cause AIDS.

    Sounds like you will have many new dumb things to contribute to the Rethinking AIDS Conference. Great news because we are tired of hearing the same old dumb crap over and over. Keep working on it.

  16. Todd
    I also noticed how incredibly unbalanced the Rethinking AIDS program is. I was surprised that Brent Leung did not arrange for a panel discussion with Brian Carter, Nancy Padian, Liam Shiff, and Anthony Fauci.

    Hell, they know I am coming and I was not invited to speak.

    The AIDS Denialists obviously do not want a fair and open discussion on HIV. Oh well, I will just have to sit back and take pictures.

  17. OH, I missed the Karri Stokely (and Noreen Martin) speeches! I would love to hear that and ask Stokely if her "withdrawl" symptoms are gone yet.
    I could bring a cadre of HIV+ guys who, like me, have been on meds for umpteen (that's a statistical term, look it up) years, and look "normal", healthy and never had a major side effect to report. Do you think they would let us speak?

  18. Props and Kudos to Noreen Martin, the other HIV+ speaker who does not take ARV's. Why kudos and props? Because she is completely honest with her health and her expectations. She even goes so far as to post her labs and is honest about her viral load and t~cells.
    Noreen gladly shares her drop in t~cells from 240 in March 06 to 86 in Feb 07.
    That is what I wish and hope for everyone who is poz but does not want the meds. Just follow your labs and be aware that when the t~cells do get very low, then perhaps consider taking ARV's. Especially, if like Noreen, you admit and realize the meds do increase t~cells and decrease the virus in the body. I am all for marching to the beat of one's own drummer, but I really love her honesty. (Unlike the other speaker, as I have pointed out time and again)
    P.S. I did notice on her MCV (Mean Cell Volume) increased with the ARV's such that she would have RBC Macrocytosis of 2+. That alone does not point to any disease state, but since MCV is like a fingerprint of the blood and hardly fluctuates, I was intrigued by this. Any thoughts?
    Also she is on naltrexone which I had not heard of. It is for alcohol and opoid dependence but also used for help with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's and fibromyalgia, but mostly for pain management. Any thoughts on the use as an AIDS med?

  19. Mikey,
    "Montagnier is correct in that it is not HIV that will kill you but the co-factors"

    In response specifically to this claim, could you to cite your source for where he said this? I await your source since I know you wouldn't evade questions and say "lalalalalalalalaaaaa- I can't hear youuuuu"...right?

  20. Why does Geiger do this?
    He shows up, says all kinds of crazy crap... claiming HIV genetic sequences are caused by stress... saying people who have HIV and never get tested never get sick... He challenges the likes of Poodlestomper to refute what he says only to disappear. If that is not the saddest sorry denialism I do not know what is.

  21. What gets me is that he accuses other people of evading questions and saying "lalalalalalalalaaaaa- I can't hear youuuuu". Hypocrisy is so sad.

  22. It's called "trolling", Seth.

    Michael's currently over at AIDS Myth Exposed trying to convince the punters there who are getting recurrent pneumonia, systemic candidiasis, crytosporidiosis and other AIDS illnesses that they are only getting sick because they want to.

    The deeper unlying personal reasons for Michael's behavior are that he's a complete psycho.

  23. Did someone say Psycho?

    "I would like to point out, that there are times when individuals actually have their own inner motivations to become ill or simply want to be sick, and to point out that there are often rewards to them for such, even though most of us would consider such rewards to merely be crumbs off the table of what life ultimately has to offer."
    Michael Geiger,

  24. "Also she is on naltrexone which I had not heard of. It is for alcohol and opoid dependence but also used for help with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's and fibromyalgia, but mostly for pain management. Any thoughts on the use as an AIDS med?"

    Low dose naltrexone has been used for years as an alternative treatment for HIV disease as well as other serious ailments. Believe it or not many people have had great success with it. Noreen quit her ARVs years ago and despite low numbers, still enjoys excellent health. Maybe its the Naltrexone? I do believe HIV is one of many factors contributing to AIDS, no question, much like Montagnier. If someone makes a personal decision to use alternative meds (refusing ARVs) to treat their HIV disease and has great success with it, why should they be persecuted for that? Just dont understand that way of thinking. People have the right to make their own decisions and not be scolded like children. There seems to be an awful lot of that here.

  25. My favorite Geiger quote is:
    "...that you may be dealing with someone who wants to be sick or dead."
    Wants to be dead? OK, Dr. Geiger, thanks for that!
    That reminds me of the lyrics to some crazy rap song: "Ya' gonna get shot, stabbed, killed or hurt." UHM, I bet they all hurt!
    Jesus, Geiger is the absolute most egomaniacal denialist ever. Surpassing Baker and even Doucheberg!
    Then CDM proves that the only thought he/she is capable of is whatever conspiracy theory is popular at the moment, as revealed in this ridiculous quote:
    "But Darwin is not reputed as valid these days,..."
    Well, maybe tomorrow Darwin will be valid again. You gotta remember, those celebrities like Madonna, Aniston and Darwin go thru cycles.

  26. Oh dear lord Mikey quotes Carolin Myss/Miss. This chick is nothing more than an emotional predator preying on the vulnerable with what amounts to nothing more than dressed up psychic healing BS. I guess it says a lot (lots and lots and lots and lots) that Mikey would toss aside evidence-based science and simply accept the word of someone like her. Then again, It doesn't come as s surprise. After all she does have a B.S. in...wait for it...journalism! Oh she has a Masters in theology, too which of course makes her more than qualified to comment on things of a medical nature.

    So we have Whereistheproof on JT's blog quoting a proponent of what is essentially spontaneous generation and Mikey here quoting what is essentially a psychic healer. Yep, great group of minds over there at AME. I truly wonder if anyone will call Mikey on his source or if all (like G Man) will simply swallow the BS whole.

  27. Oh yeah, and all you people with AIDS? You are all getting OIs because you want them. Yep. If I go to Africa or any AIDS clinic I will expect to see nothing more than a bunch of people stoked to be sick. This is the Gospel according to Mikey!

  28. Anonymous
    Thanks for commenting.
    Now this is very important.
    No one here has said that people should choose one path of treatment over another. When it comes to testing for HIV, I have always said testing is an individual decision and that there are many people who may choose not to get tested. People have the right not to get tested, but no one has the right to say that a valid screening test is invalid.
    I have also repeatedly said that antiretrovirals are not for everyone. Choosing alternative therapies over antiretrovirals is just that, a personal choice that should be respected. But no one has the right to say that effective medical treatments are toxic poisons.
    The problem with Ms. Martin and the other AIDS Denialists is that they are propagating myths and misinformation to persuade others to make the choices they have made for themselves. They do this because they believe they have ‘THE’ answer. They have to believe this to protect themselves from the reality of their diagnosis. They feel safest when others are on their ship of denial. It is not their choice that is the problem, but rather their preying on vulnerable others.
    There seems to be a lot of confusion about what AIDS denial is and what it is not. My book Denying AIDS has recently been beaten up a bit because someone thought I was against dissidence in science. That is incorrect. Dissidence is not the same as Denialism. Peter Duesberg, David Rasnick et al. are AIDS Deniers because they ignore science to promote their personal agenda.
    Lets not confuse what is going on here. Ms. Martin has the right to choose whatever course of treatment she wants. She does not have the right to drag others along with her through misinformation.

  29. I fully support Noreen Martin's right to make her own choices and I sincerely hope that she remains free from opportunistic infections. I have told her this in the past.

    However, I am also concerned that according to the proponents of low dose naltrexone treatment for HIV infection it is supposed to work by increasing CD4 counts . According to Noreen's accounts her CD4 count has fallen while taking LDN.

    I sincerely hope that if Noreen does come down with a serious opportunistic infection that she is capable of rethinking her approach and gets proper medical attention and does not die unnecessarily.

  30. Anonymous, I was not being patronizing to Noreen at all. I seriously appreciate her honesty and openness with her health. I was just intrigued by Naltrexone. I have done a little research and have yet to find any evidence of people with HIV having "geat sucess with it" as you point out. I would like to see those studies.
    The closest I have found so far is this study, in (sorry) Medical Hypothesis:
    concentrating on mice and intestinal nematodes. (As an interesting side note, I did find an ENTIRE blog dedicated just to this intestinal parasite of murine mice!...and yes, I am sure it's much more interesting than my own blog!)
    I also found a study that claims morphine accelerates progression to AIDS:
    Morphine is an opiate, and naltrexone is an opiod receptor antagonist, which, by extension, could help slow down the above process. So, it could be beneficial. But again, I have yet to see marked studies proving that "many AIDS patients have had great benefit."
    I would be interested in such studies. Thanks.

  31. Anonymous, I haven't seen anyone "persecuting" Noreen Martin. Like most other commenters I wish her well. She seems like a nice lady.

    However, Noreen has gone beyond making a private and personal choice to forgo antiretroviral treatment in favor of LDN, to publicly and actively promoting that choice to other people, despite the lack of any evidence of its efficacy (and testimonial does not constitute evidence - in fact it's one of the hallmarks of quackery).

    Although she has been careful not to provide direct medical advice to any given individual, her public statements including her forthcoming participation at RA09 amount to advocacy of a particular cause.

    Once you do that, it is unreasonable to expect your public statements to be insulated from criticism as if they were private personal opinions, particularly when they are dangerously misinformed, as so many of Noreen's are.

    Denialists love playing the slippage between the private and the public like this for two reasons:

    Firstly, if you couch your arguments in terms of a personal health narrative it's hard to be skeptical of that narrative without it appearing like a personal attack. This is particularly emotionally manipulative when you are talking about a potentially fatal condition, and is a great way of diverting attention away from the substance of the argument.

    Secondly, health narratives are under the control of the narrator - you can make them as selective (or honest) as you like, and no one can call you on it because the whole story is not in the public domain. Jeanne Bergmann fell into this trap when she declared Christine Maggiore to be faking her HIV diagnosis based on her extraordinary claim to have "tested negative" following the original confirmed diagnosis. Fact is, precisely what tests she was talking about and what the results were will probably never be publicly known.

  32. Bauer is still trying to resurrect the credibility of Ruggiero's Medical Hypotheses nonhypothesis.

    Public Health Service of Italy accepts work of Ruggiero et al.

    The Center for Study and Research on Drug Abuse and AIDS in Florence has for some reason listed Ruggiero's student's theses on their website. Bauer has screen shots to prove it- which seems to indicate that he knows that they won't last too long when the Public Health service gets around to reading the contents.

  33. Interesting responses to my post. I dont think its appropriate for someone to go out and publicly speak about how HIV does not cause AIDS, because I think it does, and has been proven over time to be the case. I have lots of friends who have died from AIDS or are managing it. However, I do think its appropriate for people to go out and talk about alternative treatments and lifestyle modifications that might be helpful. As for ARV's, of course they have benefits for some people. However, they are also absolutely intolerable for others despite the combination given. I know many people in this exact position and its not a good position to be in. The meds make them violently ill. The medical community freely admits that they have enormous toxicity for some individuals.
    Some of the AIDS deaths are not from opportunistic infections but from liver and heart problems caused by the drugs. I know I will take alot of heat for saying that, but its absolutely true. I remember reading an article a few years back discussing the AIDS deaths in the New York City area for that particular year. It stated that 1/3 of the deaths were caused by drug side effects. Thats staggering and a little scary. Why isnt more being done to make these drugs less toxic? It shouldnt be surprising to anyone, it is estimated that 100,000 people die each year in the United States from adverse reactions to various drugs for various conditions. This has been well documented.

  34. Anonymous
    Thanks for coming back.
    All I can say is that we seem to be on the same page. I agree with everything you said, although I am unsure about the rates of deaths from meds. I know lots of work has focused on dosing antiretrovirals for maximum benefit and lowest toxicity. Lots more work needs to be done. HIV treatment today is a different world than just 5 years ago, and a different universe from the early 1990s, but there are problems and they need to be solved.
    Again, thanks for coming back and commenting.

  35. Anonymous, it's great that you treat media claims with some skepticism.

    For example, there is only one, repeat one, country in the entire world with a first world standard of medical care available to all its citizens that permits direct-to-public advertising of prescription drugs.

    Every other country with first world standard medical care recognises that direct-to-public prescription drug advertising distorts medical care, and has made it illegal.

    That one first world country that permits direct to consumer prescription drug advertising is, as everyone knows...

    New Zealand.

    The New Zealand government can get away with this because they basically fund all drug purchases and negotiate directly with drug companies as a single buyer.

    (The US, by the way, does not come close to providing first world standard medical care to all its citizens. 40 million Americans do not have access to even the most basic care taken for granted in first world countries. If I were an American I would be outraged about this. I gather your new president is trying to fix the problem.)

  36. "They are all prostitutes, most of them, my collogues, to some degree, including myself. You have to be prostitutes to get money for your research. You are trained a little bit to be a prostitute. But some go all the way." Peter Duesberg

    Great quote Peter. I even hear that some scientists prostituted themselves by accepting grants from Big Tobacco.

    Hang on! Council for Tobacco Research Grants No. 3057 and No. 1547 were awarded to ....... Peter Duesberg!

  37. Chris you are truly amazing! My question is: when Pete wrote his papers funded by this grant (3057) was he already off the deep end in the Aneuploidy pool? When did he completely lose it?

  38. "They are all prostitutes, most of them"

    Not sure, but I think Seth Kalichman, who has made a bundle of his own hiv/aids psyche works was one of the guys that Duesberg was warning us about.

  39. But Willy, wouldn't Duesberg who made a bunch of grant money from Big Tobacco be even worse then? Why the double standard?

  40. Where can we get to read Duesberg's Big Tobacco studies?

  41. I am still amazed that people place stock in CD4's and for that matter, viral loads. Mine have bounced all over the charts. For almost a year, my viral load was over 3 million. Now, it is over 2 million and my CD4's are 61. What everyone fails to consider is "symptoms" that is what is important. I have done nothing to change either of these numbers.

    I have always stated that in some select cases, the HAART may be of use, like chemo to attack cancer. However, to poison the human body for the rest of one's life is ludicrous.

    If HAART was not so freely issued, then AIDS would go away. It is still here due to physicians, drug companies, AIDS organizations, and the NIH making money at the expense of those who are labeled HIV+.

    There is a better way. Take care of oneself and not be fooled by all of this. Since others are promoting their book, I will promote mine too:
    Perfect Immunity Against Disease. Take responsibility for your health and don't let others make that decision for you.

  42. Noreen,
    I'm curious; you had stated in your story that you had "four, known, old viruses going on in my body". Could you say which ones? I'm not sure if you had before (and I realize it may be personal so don't feel you have to).

  43. Poodle Stomper

    The ones that I remember are Epstein Barr, CMV, hepatitis, PML or encephalitis. If I had any of these and other problems that I was experiencing singularily, I would never have gotten to full-blown AIDS. With numerous health issues going on and all at the same time, my body could not handle the load.

  44. Noreen,
    Thanks. I am also curious if you would let me know which antivirals you were on. Were they for those specific viruses or were you referring to HAARTs? (Which Hep, by the way. Sorry for asking but there are so many nowadays)

  45. The only viral meds that I was on was the HAART. There was some confusion about the Hepatitis but later it was believed to be Hep C, which I contracted while working unprotected in the dental field and/or by having the old-fashioned gun type immunizations.

    I wasn't being treated for most of my issues at that time, this is why I continued to go downhill. Later, I took matters in my own hands and started taking vitamins, supplements, and herbal products.

  46. Noreen,
    Do you recall which specific HAARTs you were taking? Was it RT/intergrase/protease/entry-inhibitors? Incidentally, I owe you a "thanks" for mentioning PML. I had to look it up and had recently been trying to find an interesting virology-related topic to read up on. This should do just fine for a while as it seems to be an interesting topic.

  47. Initially, I was placed on Viread, Sustiva, and Lamivudine, plus the antibiotic Dapsone. Yes, PML is certainly an interesting disease. Although, you will many websites about it, but not much new info. Basically, with PML, one gets better or dies as there isn't any treatment for it. It affects those who are immune compromised such as AIDS patients and organ transplant persons. It severly affects one's memory.

  48. Poodle Stomper,
    You might want to research XMRV, which has been linked to prostrate cancer and chronic fatigue. What they have in common, I don't know.

  49. Noreen,
    XMRV is indeed an interesting virus. I've read about it before and am excited to see what develops in terms of data, although at this point I believe the chronic fatigue data still needs to be reproduced.

    I am curious as well how many people in AIDS denialist circles will likewise be against the use of antiretrovirals for XMRV if the causality with chronic fatigue or prostate cancer is proven, especially those that also support Duesberg's idea that retroviruses can't cause cancer.

  50. Good question. Chronic fatigue is a debilitating
    problem, which can certainly affect one's life, mainly due to its unpredictability. I must admit that while on the HAART, mine subsided. However, antiretrovirals, in their present state, is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, I have found that steroids work for me in this issue.

  51. I have never had to take HAARTs myself but I hear that some people do have problems taking them. Just like any other drugs, some people do experience side effects. It will be likewise interesting to see whether the ARVs used for HIV can affect XMRV. I'm curious if you have a proposed mechanism by which the HAARTs made you feel better (unless I am misreading your story in which case please correct me).

  52. Poodle, I have and do take HIV Meds and have never had a major side effect, as I have stated time and again. I have also told stories of the many friends and acquaintances I have that have never had a major side effect and still do not after 15+ years on meds. However, the dissidents seem to always ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of POZ people do tolerate the meds extremely well.
    I wish they would acknowledge the fact that people need to find the right combo for the individual and not just give up when they experience feeling poorly. But that would seem to suggest a weakness in their armour.
    As I have said time and again, the orthodox do not have a problem admitting the faults and problems with the meds and the research that does not adequately explain every aspect of this virus and subsequent disease. When weaknesses are admitted, their is an inherent respect for the truthfulness of the view which the dissidents have yet to acknowledge.

  53. I can only conclude that as sick as I was, just about anything would have helped. HAART is powerful and strong enough to kill microbes, just as chemo probably would have done the same thing.

    Those who wish to take the meds are in their rights. However, many of us have had problems with them. I do not take them because there isn't scientific proof that HIV causes AIDS. On the House of Numbers video, the french discoverer stated that HIV could be cleared from the body. I also find it interesting that the Lancet study found that those on the HAART do not live longer than those who do not take it. It's a matter of choice and many do not wish to take the HAART. In theory, having low CD4's and extremely high viral loads for almost 4 years, I should be very sick. The doctors offer no explanation for this.

  54. Noreen,
    I would be careful about how much credibility you put in the HON movie. Just as in movies for ID, or any other fringe belief, science should not be obtained from a movie (although I'm sure you know this) as context is usually not available. We actually discussed this same quote by Montgnier on another posting. Yes, certain individuals can clear the virus before it becomes chronic. Chris linked to a study from 1998 looking at prostitutes in Nairobi that seemed to be doing exactly that. This isn't anything new to mainstream AIDS researchers and if susceptible individuals' immune systems could be primed in a similar way, there is a chance that it could stop the infection from becoming chronic. However, there is no proof that anyone has cleared it out after it established reservoirs in the body (as it has clearly done in your case). This is because HIV, like some other viruses, establishes reservoirs in long lived host cells (herpes viruses do the same thing).

    As for your CD4s just because they are low doesn't mean that you will automatically get sick at that moment. Again, this is not unique to you and I'm surprised your doctors didn't explain this to you. On the flip-side it also doesn't mean that you will continue to stay outwardly healthy either.

    You seem like a nice enough person so I don't want to get into a huge debate with you on the evidence for HIV (although there is plenty) but I am curious as to which Lancet article you are referring. If you read about an article on denialist sites I hope you will read the article for yourself, too as people tend to misquote. If you ever find yourself reading such an article and have a question on the science jargon in it please do feel free to ask.

  55. After 22,000 patients and over ten years, Virological Response after starting HAART improved over calendar years but has not translated into a decrease in mortality. T-cell increase, viral load decreased, but patients did not live longer as a result of the drugs.

    "HIV Treatment Response and Prognosis in Europe and North America In the First Decade of HAART: A Collaborative Analysis."

    Grade four events are killing AIDS patients. Liver failure, kidney failure, and heart attacks are the culprits, which are not in the AIDS defining disease but are some of the side effects of HAART. I would certainly recommend that those who take the HAART, look into all of this.

  56. Noreen,
    Thanks. I've downloaded the full text and will read it over. Would I be correct in assuming you've read it yourself?

  57. Yes, this study can be found on PubMed and on denialist and traditional sites. No matter where one stands on the issue, 22,000 is a thorough study.

  58. Noreen,
    I agree, 22,000 people is a pretty good sized study. The question is whether the paper says what denialist sites claim it says. If you wish we can go through it together. To start, I wonder if you would answer two very important points regarding this paper for me. They are:

    1) What do you believe this paper's results mean.


    2) What two groups of people are being compared (is one group on HAARTs and the other not, are both on HAARTs, are neither on HAARTs, ect...)

  59. It's a quote-mine Noreen, here is an explanation of what the study actually shows:

  60. I can see what the conclusion of the study means. Where is the mortality for those on the drugs?

  61. Noreen.

    People who take HIV treatments die. Many people on treatments were not even tested before developing AIDS. I do not think the question is whether people die when taking treatments. The question is whether they lived longer and healthier lives as a result of treatment. That is what long term follow-ups from randomized trials has shown.

    Your point about the potential costs of long term HIV treatment are valid. The thing is people are living so much longer now because of treatment it is just becoming possible to see what the long term effects are, if any.

    I have never said that HIV treatments are for everyone. Your choice to not take medications and go natural remedies is a choice everyone should respect. My concern is when people get locked into a baseless idea and end up cutting off their choices. I feel the same way about people who do not have an open mind toward natural remedies.

    Just look at the Mission of the Rethinking AIDS Conference...

    "Rethinking AIDS 2009 will consist of talks that question the widely held dogma that HIV causes AIDS, including whether HIV exists, whether it is sexually transmitted, whether HIV tests are accurate and whether AIDS drugs are safe and effective. The social, psychologic and legal impacts of an HIV diagnosis will also be considered, as well as alternative health approaches for people whose health has been damaged by an HIV diagnosis, by the prescription of AIDS drugs or who have been diagnosed with an AIDS-defining illness."

    Pushing people away from meds is as damning as pushing people into them. But at least the later has science and medicine behind it.

    Noreen, I do not know if you know this but I recv'd my PhD from USC in Columbia. I will be there in the coming months if you would like to meet.

  62. Noreen,
    Well anonymous kinda ruined the point of asking you to look at the paper for yourself but here is the main point; the paper you cited is comparing two different groups of people who both started HAARTs but at different times. It is not a comparison of people on HAARTs vs people not taking meds. Do you see why taking this study and claiming that HAARTs does not decrease mortality? That was not what the paper concluded, although it is how it has been quote mined by denialist sites. Reread the paper. Do you see why the quote-mined conclusions are incorrect?

    A more thorough response was previously posted here. Notice that the authors of the paper you cited published follow ups in 2008. Please read it and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

  63. It looks like part of my sentence disappeared. Do you see why taking this study and claiming that HAARTs does not decrease mortality? should have said Do you see why taking this study and claiming that the use of HAARTs does not decrease mortality is incorrect?

  64. Why do you call this blog denying AIDS, when in fact we rethinkers are denying HIV not AIDS. For those of you who do believe in HIV causing AIDS, check out:http.// which baically states that AIDS is due to a contaminated Hep B shot. Anything is possible but the number of AIDS cases is still very low in the states and AIDS has not spread to the general population as predicated. Just one of many theories.

    Seth, I would be happy to meet with and pick your brain, depending upon my physical therapy and how it progresses.

  65. Noreen,
    Technically I believe that the site claims that the spread of HIV was due to a contaminated vaccine, not that the vaccine itself was the cause of AIDS (but rather the HIV in it). so even if it were a fact-based site it wouldn't be saying that HIV does not cause AIDS. In any case, I wouldn't put much credibility to it unless it had a really large amount of data to back it up (I have yet to see anything other than conspiracy theories from Horowitz). As for "AIDS has not spread to the general population" the fastest growing HIV group is now black women not homosexual men, drug users or hemophiliacs. I would say they are part of the general population and not part of the original risk groups, wouldn't you?

    But I digress. The above is not as important to me right now as how your re-reading of the paper you cited is going? Have you had a chance to look it over again? Do you see now why denialist sites that claim the study showed no benefits from HAARTs were incorrect? If not I'm sure Seth can explain it better in person if you guys have a chance to meet up.

  66. Poodle Stomper,
    I would bet that you are mixing apples and oranges in regards to AIDS numbers. You probably are right in the growing numbers of both sexes due to HIV. However, the true AIDS cases does not reflect this. They are seperate issues.

  67. Noreen,
    I tell you what, we can look into that together if you wish. First however, I would like to know how you are doing with the paper you cited. Have you had a chance to re-read it?

  68. Noreen Martin is no longer on the Rethinking AIDS conference program:

  69. I sure hope she is ok. Anyone know what the deal is?

  70. I hope you aren't going to try to sandbag anyone into having their photograph taken with you, as you did to Peter Duesberg at the Anueploidy Conference. The organizers of the conference are aware that you might attend, and are prepared to prevent you (or your supporters) from disrupting the conference. Take all the photographs you want to, but don't approach anyone under the pretense that you are an unbiased observer. You might find yourself getting "sandbagged."

  71. So I was doing some looking online and found that Noreen had cited this particular article before and was given the same answer as here as was given here. Specifically she was told:
    And good to see you reading the abstracts, although you appear to have missed a key point in this one. Note that the study you've cited deals with changes in treatment response and short-term prognosis for subjects grouped into seven cohorts by the time (1995-6 to 2002-3) of starting HAART.
    The study does not compare those on HAART with the untreated or otherwise-treated.

    This begs the question, why make the same claim/mistake again (albeit 3 years later)?