Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

New York Times Reviews AIDS Denialist Crockumentary 'House of Numbers'

AIDS Seen From a Different Angle
Published: September 4, 2009

Couched as a “personal journey” through the history of H.I.V. and AIDS, “House of Numbers” is actually a weaselly support pamphlet for AIDS denialists. Trafficking in irresponsible inferences and unsupported conclusions, the filmmaker Brent Leung offers himself as suave docent through a globe-trotting pseudo-investigation that should raise the hackles of anyone with even a glancing knowledge of the basic rules of reasoning.

Assembled from interview fragments with doctors, scientists, journalists and others, the film cobbles together an insinuating argument against the existence of H.I.V. as a virus and AIDS as the resulting disease. Among the many inflammatory claims is that diagnosis is a pharmaceutical-industry ruse to sell complex drug therapies (which the film then presents as the real cause of the syndrome we identify as AIDS). Evidence to support this and other highly dangerous contentions is found not in verifiable statistics (house of numbers, my foot) but in the impassioned anecdotes of individuals who have outlived the expectations of an H.I.V.-positive diagnosis.

Rife with fuzzy logic (most people with AIDS live in poverty, therefore poverty causes AIDS) and a relentless fudging of the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions, this willfully ignorant film portrays minor areas of scientific disagreement as “a research community in disarray” and diagnostic testing as a waste of time. A few months ago 18 angry doctors and scientists interviewed in the film issued a statement claiming that Mr. Leung “acted deceitfully and unethically” when recruiting them and that his film “perpetuates pseudoscience and myths.”

Mr. Leung said in a recent interview, “All we do is raise questions.” Perhaps his next film will question the existence of gravity.


  1. Brent Leung’s claims to be a wide eyed independent filmmaker “just asking questions” and trying to “educate” himself would be more credible if he disclosed the source of funding for his rather expensive looking film, something he is persistently evasive about even when asked directly. Perhaps if Leung is so keen on “unanswered questions” he could start with that one.

    It's customary for independent film makers to acknowledge their financiers and sponsors in the credits. In some cases this makes the credits even longer than the film. Why has Brent studiously avoided this?

    Of course, the film’s origins in the PR department of “Rethinking AIDS” were obvious, even before RA Public Relations Chairman Elizabeth Ely publicly referred to it as “our film”, and before photos were published with RA board member and uber-deniailist David Rasnick lurking on the set and apparently supervising proceedings.

    Similarly Leung is disingenuous to claim “Posing questions is very different than denying something.” The rhetorical strategy of the “eternal question” is a hoary old disinformation technique, first pioneered by the tobacco industry in the 60s and later the asbestos industry when the science became clear that their products were causing cancer. AIDS denialists are following the disinformation playbook to a T. Its purpose is to create confusion and the illusion of ongoing scientific controversy when there is none.

    Apparently it still fools some people, but thankfully not Jeanette Catsoulis.

  2. Finally a review from a reputable and known source. I am sure the denialists will crap all over this review while continuing to laud reviews by such sources as The Iowa Potato Times! Or The Cotton Patch Daily!

  3. Triumph of the Swill

  4. has a very interesting explanation for the review in the Times.

    The shame of the Times

    In this case, however, one imagines that the politics of the Times in this arena dictated that the editors unleash their pet movie pit bull for a guaranteed throat ripping lest the film gain any traction in New York.

    For God forbid that this documentary should be in contention for an Oscar, let alone win one, when it threatens to expose the foolishness of the Times coverage of HIV/AIDS and its supposed science since 1984.

    If House of Numbers and its message were to gain the audience and respect it deserves (see the LA Times in our previous post for an example of a rational reaction to the film) where would that leave the Times, now struggling financially while trying to leave behind the very serious embarrassments of fiction on the front page and other errors of the last few years?

    The irony is that the great newspaper is turning its reporters attention more and more to investigative exposes of waste and venality. Could it survive the revelation that for 25 years its science reporters and editors have been hoodwinked by Anthony Fauci, Bob Gallo, David Baltimore, Max Essex and John Moore into writing pr for the WorldCom of science?

    In other words, the NYT editors know that the science is wrong, but they can't let the truth get out, so they bring out their "attack dog" who only writes dismissive reviews. This is another classic of denialist reasoning.

    Fulano de Tal

  5. Also, the "Hounds of Numbers" have already beset upon the comment section. Stokely and her cousin Steve Nagel give their "anecdotal" evidence never realizing that the reviewer herself said the film relies on anecdotes to back up it's proclamations.
    Either they are both too stupid to know their stories are only anecdotes in relation to real research or they did not read the review!

  6. It is amazing how AIDS Deniers can bend and twist anything to fit in their little bubble. How does the psyche become that fragile? It is a mystery to me.

  7. Man! There sure are a lot of people in this little conspiracy of theirs!

  8. Man, that NY Times review was an amateur piece of crap. No wonder the Times is in such dire financial straights.

    The LA Times review was much more insightful and intellectually honest:

    "There's no denying, however, the value of exploring such game-changing topics as how HIV-infection numbers are cooked for monetary and political gain; how the effects of global poverty may have led to so many AIDS-related deaths; how such widely used AIDS drugs as AZT have, themselves, often proved fatal; and whether HIV really exists."

    House of Numbers is a very good movie. Even if you bozos disagree with it, you should be able to refute on the merits what David Baltimore, Robert Gallo,Donald Francis, John Moore, Robin Weiss, Jay Levy actually say on camera.

  9. Dear Seth,

    Do you have any criticisms on AIDS research?


  10. Sure...plenty of criticism based on science and research.....not on myths and denial... Write me an email and I will send reprints.

  11. I havent seen the film, but dont plan to anyway. One thing that irks me was the statement made by Montagnier:

    "We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. Our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system.”

    How could he make such an idiotic statement. If HIV attaches to and kills the very cells which are needed to help fight it in the first place, how could this statement have any validity. I have never heard of HIV being cleared by the immune system. I often think Montaignier's way of thinking is a little askew. Nobel prize or not.

  12. Anonymous,
    One problem is that we do not know what preceded and followed any of the snippets in House of Numbers. Context is everything and there is no context in Brent Leung’s hack job.
    Maybe Brent will post 5-min before and after cuts for controversial quote to give the context. Let’s see what Fauci said before and after he noted there are false HIV+ Elisa test results (something everyone knows anyway). What did Montagnier say before and after his snippet? Brent Leung can redeem himself and turn the AIDS world upside down by providing the 5 min before and after the snippets. Why not put that stuff in the Special Features.
    A second problem is that there is no love lost between Montagnier and Gallo. Might he have joined the Duesbergers in a round of Get-The-Gallo? You would think an unshared Nobel would be enough.

  13. Seth,
    I understand what your saying. Absolutely, context is critical. Fauci could have said something like the tests are accurate 99% of the time, before then saying there are in fact false positives. However, what annoys me most is how some of the most brilliant minds in HIV research could be so dumb as to be suckered and conned into this nonsensical piece of crap. I truly hope the Aids research community will be a little smarter and more vigilant next time around. As for Montaignier, he still maintains to this day that HIV alone can not cause AIDS. He continues to favor a co-factor model, something Gallo has never bought into. What is the concensus on HIV, does it cause Aids by itself or are ther cofactors, as Montangier asserts, involved? I dont think Ive ever seen a serious discussion of this.

  14. Actually, there have been serious studies of co-factors. Especially in the earlier days before 1996 when natural history cohorts were more viable.

    You should look up some of the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) findings.

    We know HIV causes AIDS. HIV infection degrades the immune system in specific ways that ultimately disable our natural protections against disease. That is established fact.

    And no one serious about AIDS says that there are not co-factors for the degradation of the immune system.

    Some potential co-factors, such as stress and depression, have not panned out. So Law and Order SVU did not kill Christine Maggiore.

    But several other co-factors are important. A number of viral infections (EBV, HSV, CMV) can complicate HIV infection including through viral activation.

    A new study shows that insufficient food and body mass loss predict mortality in people with HIV.

    No scientist I know disputes the importance of co-factors in HIV disease. And no one except AIDS Deniers says that co-factors cause the specific immune system dysfunction of AIDS without HIV infection.

    So Gallo is right, HIV causes AIDS.

    Montagnier is right, co-factors play a critical role in health outcomes from HIV.

    And Duesberg is wrong.

  15. So, if someone is HIV positive and doesnt have any co-factors, is AIDS an absolute certainty without ARVs? Im asking because I have two friends with HIV.

  16. Seth writes: "We know HIV causes AIDS."

    Who is "we", Kimo Sabe?

    We know no such thing.

    Most sane people know:

    1. AIDS is a "collection" of old, but serious diseases.

    2. The purported new mechanism, a human retrovirus that indirectly kills T-4 cells, is sketchy at best.

    3. The antibody test will react to a broad spectrum of diseases and/or natural conditions (like pregancy), and most likely demonstrates a condition known as "hypergammaglobulenemia"

    4. AZT is a toxic, all-purpose killer of cells.

    5. Gallo is a crook.

    That's what we know, Seth.

  17. Anonymous said:

    "what annoys me most is how some of the most brilliant minds in HIV research could be so dumb as to be suckered and conned into this nonsensical piece of crap. I truly hope the Aids research community will be a little smarter and more vigilant next time around."

    I'm with you there.

    Until very recently the scientific and medical communities' response to HIV/AIDS denialism has wavered between ignoring it - hoping it will just go away - and trying to engage it on a logical, scientific, evidence-based level on the assumption that by exposing HIV/AIDS denialism's obvious internal contradictions, its bizarre claims and complete lack of any basis in evidence or reality would automatically result in its demise.

    Both approaches are wrong.

    HIV/AIDS denialists will not "just go away", and are completely impervious to reason or evidence, as anyone who has tried to "debate" their scientific claims on the internet or elsewhere can attest. This is because no matter how much the denialists try to frame the dispute as a scientific one, it isn't.

    It's a political one.

    As "Rethinking AIDS" Board Member Henry Bauer himself makes absolutely transparent:

    "At any rate, AIDStruthers [ie virtually every scientist and physician in the world with any understanding of HIV/AIDS ] are not the audience to be courted. Their arguments must be countered with answers directed to the media and the general public in terms that are understandable by and clearly convincing for unengaged observers. That means the points cannot be too technical."

    Thanks for being so candid, Henry.

    In other words, denialists have given up any pretense that their claims might stand up to informed scientific scrutiny. They're taking the low road of propaganda and populist manipulation, and "their" film (which follows the disinformation techniques pioneered by Big Tobacco half a century ago) is a prime example of what Henry is talking about.

    Trying to spin their film as the "personal journey of an independent film maker just asking questions" is laughable.

    Do they seriously think we are that stupid?

  18. When you select David Crowe as your leader, stupidity is limitless.

  19. In 1990 in Nature, Robin Weiss (the British retrovirologist) conceded that Duesberg was correct in assessing that HIV failed Koch's Postulates:

    "Duesberg argues that HIV fails each of the 3 postulates -- first, that too few T Lymphocytes in the peripheral blood are infected to cause immune deficiency; second, that asymptomatic HIV carriers exist; and third, that HIV isolated in pure form has not been shown to induce AIDS in humans and animals. He is wrong on the first count, but correct on the other two..."

    Nature (345:659 (1990).

    Weiss then goes on to EXPLAIN, why Koch's Postulates should not be followed (to save, of course, the HIV paradigm.)

    6 years later, in 1996, O'Brien writes a paper, triumphantly declraring, HIV causes AIDS: Koch's Postulates Fulfilled (O'Brien, Current Opinion in Immunology 8:5 613 - 618 (1996).

    So, we have a classic example of scientific "heads I win, tails you lose". When it suits AIDS truthers, the postulates either don't apply or have been fulfilled.

    Situational science doesn't last long guys.

  20. Billy,
    There is a HUGE difference between knowing and believing. You believe that "AIDS is a "collection" of old, but serious diseases" because that is what you have read on denialist sites. Despite it being explained so many times to you, you continue to believe it because you can't seem to wrap your tiny little mind around science. This is what makes you a denialist and not a dissident. Dissidents would try to understand fact and adapt their view based on it. You can't even tell the difference between a syndrome and a disease!

  21. They're taking the low road of propaganda and populist manipulation, and "their" film (which follows the disinformation techniques pioneered by Big Tobacco half a century ago) is a prime example of what Henry is talking about.

    Question: Which scientist received money from Big Tobacco to fund his work on AIDS?

  22. 1. ...too few T Lymphocytes in the peripheral blood are infected to cause immune deficiency -- Yep he was wrong.

    2. ...that asymptomatic HIV carriers exist -- nothing new, science has known this for decades and even worked out some of the alleles in humans that contribute to this.

    3. ...HIV isolated in pure form has not been shown to induce AIDS in humans and animals. -- this is incorrect. It has been shown to work in some animal models and lab workers infected with lab stocks have developed AIDS and died.

    He is wrong on the first count -- agreed but correct on the other two --well he was correct on the first of those two but that fully supports HIV causing AIDS. The second of those two points is incorrect.

    Bill, please do some research on your own instead of relying on denialist BS sites. They simply make you look like an idiot when you quote them.

  23. Poodle Stomper,

    You may be the dumbest man on Planet Earth. Address the Weiss and O'Brien papers or STFU.

  24. Fulfilling Koch’s Postulates
    A century ago, German bacteriologist Robert Koch devised a test for proving that a disease is caused by a specific microbe. That test, known as “Koch’s postulates,” has become a standard in medicine. Peter Duesberg claims HIV fails it. But some researchers think recent evidence suggests the virus does pass this test.

    Koch maintained that for causation to be established, it must be possible to isolate the microbe from an organism that has come down with the disease. The microbe must then be given to a healthy host, where it causes the same disease; then the microbe must be isolated again. Until recently, many AIDS researchers agreed HIV had not satisfied Koch’s postulates, largely because there is no good animal model for AIDS. But those researchers did not agree that because HIV didn’t satisfy Koch’s postulates, it wasn’t the cause of AIDS. They pointed out that Koch’s postulates have not been satisfied in many other diseases where the cause has been well established by other means.

    But recently some leading AIDS researchers have stopped conceding that HIV doesn’t satisfy Koch’s postulates, as powerful new evidence emerged from tragic accidents: the infection of three laboratory workers with a pure, molecularly cloned strain of HIV. As reported at the 1993 international AIDS conference in Berlin by the National Cancer Institute’s William Blattner and his colleagues, one of the three lab workers developed Pneumocystis pneumonia, an AIDS defining disease, 68 months after showing evidence of infection. This lab worker had not received AZT (which Duesberg contends can cause AIDS), or any other anti- HIV drug, until 83 months after infection, when the patient had fewer than 50 CD4 cells, the key immune system cells destroyed by HIV. (A healthy person typically has a count of 600 to 1200 CD4s.) Blattner reported that a second lab worker, who also received no anti-viral drugs, had 250 to 400 CD4s at 83 months. The third lab worker had CD4 counts of 200 to 500 at 25 months and had been given anti-virals. “These people have no other risk factors” for AIDS, such as illicit drug injection or homosexual sex, Blattner says.

    Duesberg told Science that, in his view, the lab-worker data don’t prove that HIV satisfies Koch’s postulates. Two of the lab workers, he notes, did not have AIDS, but only a severe decline in CD4 counts. Duesberg did not directly address data on the one lab worker who has the AIDS-defining illness Pneumocystis pneumonia and therefore does have AIDS. Instead, Duesberg responded by asking why, if HIV causes AIDS, more HIV-positive people don’t develop this AIDS-defining pneumonia within 5 years. (The average time between HIV infection and an AIDS-defining illness is 10 years.) Rather than accept the labworker data as definitive, Duesberg said he would like to see an epidemiologic study to answer the question of whether HIV causes AIDS. The study he wants would compare two large groups of people matched for age, lifestyle, and “non–drug use” who differ only in HIV status. “If the HIV-positive group had significantly more AIDS-defining diseases than the negative group, HIV could be the cause,” Duesberg says. But, he says, “there is not even one study in the vast AIDS literature that shows that an HIV-positive group of 20- to 50-year-old people who do not use drugs and do not have congenital diseases, like hemophilia, have more AIDS diseases than an HIV-negative control group.” Others contend that this study isn’t necessary. “As far as I’m concerned, the laboratory workers prove causation,” says Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I don’t need any more than that.”
    –Jon Cohen. Science, vol 266, page 1647 1994

  25. Bill, Koch’s Postulates? Really?
    Asked and answered dozens of times.

    Further up the thread, Anonymous asked...

    “So, if someone is HIV positive and doesn’t have any co-factors, is AIDS an absolute certainty without ARVs? I’m asking because I have two friends with HIV.”

    There are no absolutes.
    The world of absolutes belongs to the AIDS Denialists. When scientists say there are false positive ELISA antibody tests, AIDS Deniers say that all HIV tests are invalid.
    When someone has side-effects to AZT, AIDS Deniers say all HIV medications are toxic poison.
    Peter Duesberg says ALL cancers are caused by external hazards, no genetic causes of cancer.

    Such rigid, extreme thinking is characteristic of thought disorders.

    For your HIV+ friends, I would say that HIV nearly always causes AIDS AND AIDS is not the death sentence. I know numerous people who have been living with HIV infection for 15 or 20 years. All of them have been diagnosed with AIDS. They are doing pretty well. It is not just succeess in antiretroviral medication, but also advances in preventing and treating opportunistic illnesses.

    Tell your freinds to see a real doctor and to stay away from voodoo practitioners. Also tell them that there is as much crap as there is good information on the Internet. If they go online, they need to know the difference.

  26. Billy,
    "You may be the dumbest man on Planet Earth."

    Oh I don't know, I can think of quite a few who have me beat but thank you for your nomination! It truly means a lot to me.

    "Address the Weiss and O'Brien papers or STFU."

    I'd love to. However, for me to spend my time explaining this to you I must know that you are capable of understanding it. So prove you can; explain what a syndrome is, why AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency SYNDROME) is defined as such and thus why denialists are incorrect in stating that it "isn't a new disease but rather a collection of old diseases". If you can make this very small progress in understanding then I would be happy to address the paper for you. Have at it! I look forward to discussing the paper with you.

  27. Bill

    Before you fail to comply with Poodle Stomper’s request to demonstrate your understanding the word ‘syndrome’, I would like to commend you on what I see as progress. AIDS Deniers are typically stuck in the 1980s. Some are even stuck in the 1880s, such as Duesberg and the Aneuploidy thing. But you Bill, are fixated on questions settled in the 1990s, and that is progress. Now if we can only get on the same planet with the rest of us.

  28. Seth is totally confused and deliberately mischaracterizes the arguments of his critics:

    "There are no absolutes."

    Right! It is not absolutely certain that AIDS is caused by a sole virus

    "The world of absolutes belongs to the AIDS Denialists."


    "When scientists say there are false positive ELISA antibody tests, AIDS Deniers say that all HIV tests are invalid."

    False. The antibody tests are positive for what? Antibodies. Any scientific data validating that detection of antibodies equates with presence of virus? Doubt it. Too much cross-reaction.

    "When someone has side-effects to AZT, AIDS Deniers say all HIV medications are toxic poison."

    False. All HIV medications carry "black box" warnings,and warn of risk of death. Go read one. These ain't cherry cough drops. Probably, the protease inhibitors are less toxic than AZT,though.

    "Peter Duesberg says ALL cancers are caused by external hazards, no genetic causes of cancer."

    False. Down's Syndrome is a form of genetic aneuploidy -- and also it is a form of cancer, but not in the traditional sense. It is not a pleasant disease and the life expectancy of those afflicted,from birth, is terribly short. About 15% of Down's Syndrome babies die before age 1.

    The cadre of losers who hang out in this blog (Seth, Snout, Chris Noble, DeShong,Poodle) is truly pathetic.

  29. Bill

    Whether you like it or not, I will continue to hang out on this blog.

    Bill, this is my blog!

    I have enjoyed posting your comments. High entertainment value. Plus, you bring out the best in Poodle Stomper.

    So now that you cannot answer the obvious, go back to AIDS Myth, Rethinking AIDS, Bauer's AIDS Septic and other mindless crap holes where we find AIDS Deniers.

    By the way, Down’s Syndrome is a cancer?
    I am surprised you did not say Down’s Syndrome = Aneupolidy = Syndrome = AIDS.

    Certainly fits your illogic.

    No go back to reading Henry Bauer’s blog. Great psychoapthology loves company.

  30. Seth,

    I know it's your blog, you fool. You are content being the Pied Piper of 4 anonymous, scientific dipshits. Feel free to continue a-bloggin'!

    As I said, Down's Syndrome isn't a "typical" cancer in the traditional sense, but it is a genetic disease, does involve the trisomy of Chromosome 21 (which counts as aneuploid), and carries a host of defects (heart problems, thyroid problems, muscle problems), not just an odd-shaped face. It has similar manifestations of cancer. Remember, cancer isn't 1 disease, but hundreds.

    Poodle Stomper,

    What a joke. You don't know squat about science. You're some 20-something punk, at best, a bean-counter. Go take a bottle of AZT. Please.

  31. Down's Syndrome has similar manifestations of cancer. Now that’s a Duesie!

    Why is this guy Bill so angry?

  32. Wow, another vote of confidence from Billy! Thanks Billy, I'd love to be 20 something again! Sorry, I'm much older although I appreciate the compliment. I'm also not a bean counter, nope. I'm a researcher in the field of genetics. Molecular genetics to be precise. I'd ask what you do that would qualify you to speak on such a complex topic as biology but I doubt I'd get a real answer.

    Incidentally, I'm surprised that you aren't using your denialist logic (sic) to dispute Down's Syndrome. Lets look at why.

    Like AIDS, Down's is a SYNDROME not a disease. Now sure, the orthodoxy will claim that trisomy 21 is the cause but Down's is really nothing more than 50+ pre-existing conditions all lumped under one name!

    I mean look at the supposed syptoms:
    1. short stature!? Midgets have short stature and they don't have trisomy 21! Fraud!

    2. Weak muscles. Hello! There are other causes for weakness. We don't need trisomy 21 to explain it!

    3. Cognitive disabilities!? Please! Why is it not all children with Down's have exactly the same symptoms!? I'll tell you why! Because Dr. Moore, Seth, Dr. Fauci, Snout, Chris and I are all part of a massive plot (along with the NYT) to push expensive medical interventions on these children! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...hahaha...heh heh..

    By the way, that was sarcasm. If you understood the significance of AIDS (like Down's) being a syndrome you know exactly why people in the scientific community don't take your BS seriously. I await your explanation on Syndromes vs. Diseases!


  33. Bill

    You are the AIDS Denier and you call me a fool?
    Did someone say projection?

    OK Bill, Show me one published study that proves trisomy 21 causes cognitive deficits.

    You say Down's Syndrome is a ‘genetic disease’. Really? Show me one scientific study that isolates the gene that causes Down's Syndrome.

    If Down’s both a Syndrome and a disease, it should be fun to hear you explain syndromes vs. diseases.

  34. Down's Syndrome is a form of genetic aneuploidy -- and also it is a form of cancer, but not in the traditional sense.


    Down's Syndrome actually protects against cancer.

    What a joke. You don't know squat about science.\

  35. "Why is this guy Bill so angry?"

    Legal career not going so well? Didn't get a thank you on the new Duesberg paper? Just guesses. Or maybe he knows how much House of Numbers cost to make.

  36. Well I think it should be obvious that Down's Syndrome is a fraud. Why, Bill, is it that ALL the supposed "symptoms" of this fraudulent disease can also occur in people im the absence of trisomy 21!? Doesn't that invalidate the whole Trisomy 21 = Down Syndrome hypothesis? Some "patients" don't even have a third chromosome 21 but rather just a chunk of it attached to another chromosome! INCONSISTENCIES! Well I think the truth is obvious!

    Please be on the lookout for my movie expose of this fraud: "Shanty of Digits". It won't be a denial film based on a lack of science, cherry picking, and quoting out of context mind you. All I will do there is ask questions on my personal journey to answer how this terrible medical blunder could have been allowed to occur.

  37. Any scientific data validating that detection of antibodies equates with presence of virus? Doubt it. Too much cross-reaction.

    Actually there are. Have you searched for these or just swallowed the denialist line that there aren't? I'd be happy to provide the references if you can answer that little question (oh and the syndrome vs disease explanation).

  38. Spend a couple years of your life reading and listening to this AIDS Denialism crap and you think you have heard the dumbest things ever uttered by humanity.

    The CIA created AIDS.

    Show me the one study….

    HIV tests from 10 years ago do not equal AIDS cases so HIV does not cause AIDS.

    HIV has never been isolated.

    Science by press conference…

    Population growth in Africa means AIDS is scam.

    Drug companies are poisoning gays and Blacks.

    No genetic cause of any cancer.

    Stress causes AIDS.

    Christine Maggiore died from watching Law and Order SVU.

    Loch Ness Monsters are more likely to exist than HIV.

    Cleaning the colon can cure AIDS.

    Bill, Congratulations! Placing Down’s Syndrome in the same context as cancer because they both involve chromosomal abnormalities sets a whole new standard. I only hope your fellow AIDS Deniers can live up to it!

  39. Come on, guys and gals, just because Bill rides the short bus, does not mean he has Down's Syndrome!

  40. Seth,
    What is this about the NY Premiere of "House of Numbnuts" (gettng back to the original post) was not well attended? And what is this about a Red Carpet? And Ely and Baker were there? Any pics of the formal moo~moo Baker wore?

  41. All true... Except no red carpet.. Would be too symbolic of AIDS.
    Will let you know if I see pics.

  42. I was thinking about buying into the discussion until I saw Bill's assertion that Down's syndrome is a type of cancer... not really much you can say to that.

    I wouldn't waste too much time with the common denialist argumentoid that "AIDS is a syndrome, not a disease". It's a false dichotomy, because they are not mutually exclusive categories.

    A syndrome in medicine is simply a group of phenomena such as symptoms and signs that tend to occur together, suggesting a common aetiology, and which alert the physician to look for other indicators characteristic of the syndrome.

    A disease is an abnormal physical state or process. Both terms, syndrome and disease, can be applied to AIDS, which is the name given to a particular disease of the immune system.

    Likewise when Bill says "AIDS is a collection of old, but serious diseases" he's making the elementary semantic error of confusing a signified with its signifiers. AIDS is a single disease of the immune system: the collection of AIDS defining or AIDS-indicating infections and tumors are signifiers of that immune system disease, not the immune system disease itself.

    The fact that under some (usually uncommon or obvious) circumstances diseases like PCP or KS or CMV retinitis can indicate immune system diseases other than AIDS is not a valid argument that AIDS doesn't exist as a distinct disease or clinical entity. Cough and breathlessness can signify pneumonia: the fact they can also signify heart failure doesn't mean that pneumonia doesn't exist.

  43. Regarding the Harvard Symposium on Denialism:
    They better watch out, the intellects at AME are planning a riot...well, an idiot riot.
    Wanna bet they're all talk and no action? Can you imagine the high caliber of people the Harvard Symposium will attract? And then imagine the toothless wonders of AME converging!
    OH, it would be heaven!

  44. Priceless. I love how one member says:

    "Man oh man, there's that word 'conspiracy' again, must have read it at least 3 times in that schedule. I guess if you can't get your science right and don't want any debate about it, all you have to do is label your opposition as 'conspiracy nuts'."

    which is followed 2 posts later by accusation of conspiracy to silence denialists by Truth84 who says (without providing proof of course):

    "I noticed right away how after a string of speakers (one-way communication) drawn out over hours, they finally have a Q&A session and a "discussion" at the very end. It was also noticable how the Q&A session and "discussion" time blocks were very short. These are not coincidences. They do this to stifle legitimate discussion and debate." (my emphasis)

    Yep. All those speakers and presentation and the only logical conclusion is not that there just may not be enough time for unlimited Q&A but rather that it is to oppress denialists. Oh yeah, no conspiracy theorists amongst the denialists.

  45. The problem, of course, is that your crooked buddy, Gallo, pimped out these bogus human retroviruses, failed to produce a vaccine (25 years and countin!) and then, Plan C, had Burroughs-Welcome pull toxic AZT of their shelf of non-used chemical compounds.

    Why can't you guys face facts?

  46. Oh, poor Ben!
    "Bogus human retrovirus..."?
    Yeah, that's why another retrovirus has been linked to prostate cancer.
    Prostate Cancer does not really exist. That lump in your pants just means you're happy to see me!

  47. Ben,
    Many diseases defy our ability to produce vaccines. Syphilis and malaria are just two. Are you claiming these are bogus, too? Wanna take a stab at how long its been since the discovery of syphilis? Its been a heck of a lot longer than 25 years and still no vaccine. Is it fraud or simply that some organisms are adapted to evade our immune systems? Which seems more likely?

  48. "Yeah, that's why another retrovirus has been linked to prostate cancer."

    "Prostate Cancer does not really exist. That lump in your pants just means you're happy to see me!"

    Hey Todd,

    Yes, prostate cancer exists, Dumb-ass -- but CAUSED by a retrovirus?!?! I think not.

    Have you heard of the phrase, "Going to the well, once too often?"

    Memo to Todd: Retroviruses aren't the cause of many (any?) diseases.

  49. And it only took them 25 years to figure out the obvious......

    Perceived stress is associated with CD4 cell decline in men and
    women living with HIV/AIDS


    Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, and University of Miami, USA

    AIDS Care, Februar y 2007; 19(2): 215 219

  50. I just noticed that you listed "Stress causes AIDS" as one of your list of: "the dumbest things ever uttered by humanity."

    So sorry about posting that dumb as mainstream orthodoxy study on stress that was recently done by your fellow psychologists, Seth. Perhaps you are going to have to label them too as dumb-ass denialists along with the rest of us dumb-ass denialists.

  51. Mickey
    Let me clarify something.

    If I have ever said that AIDS Deniers are dumb, I take that back. AIDS Deniers are not all dumb. Some are, but most are not.

    Duesberg, Mullis, Mbeki, Maggiore.. these people were/are not dumb.

    AIDS Denialism is a mental health problem. Likely a constellation of mental health problems involving narcissistic personality disorder for some, psychopathy for some, wishful maladjusted coping for others, and focused delusional disorder for still others.

    Very smart people can refute reality.

    Denialists can believe things that are obviously dumb to the rest of us. That does not make them dumb.

    Like Stress causing AIDS, for example. That is just a dumb-ass belief. Please provide the name of the researcher from the mainstream orthodoxy who did the work on stress that you are referring to. I know stress impacts the immune system, but lets not confuse feeling run down with AIDS.

    I should stop now, as I am about to call you dumb.

  52. Oh, Ben, plese do not toy with me.
    You say that prostate cancer is not caused by a retro~virus, or at least you don't THINK so! With a statement like that, I will not even ask for a link to your "proof" eventhough I generously gave you this:
    "a new study that will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. Researchers checked for the virus in more than 200 prostate cancer patients and found the virus in 27 percent of the men; those with the most aggressive tumors were most likely to have the virus."
    The NAS is probably not on your radar. But it carries more intellectual weight than you. And do not let the fact that out of 200+ patients with prostate cancer the virus was found in 27 percent give you pause. And not just any ol' 27%, but the 27% with the "most agressive tumors"!!
    Next, you say that retroviruses do not cause any disease. Seth, I know you may not call him stupid, dumb or idiot, but I shall!
    Try this on for size, Ben:
    Ever heard of T~Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma? OR
    Tropical spastic paraparesis. Which is an aggressive non-demyelinating spastic paraparesis
    It's a really shitty neurological degenerative disease. MOre info here:
    Here's more info on diseases caused by retroviruses, Ben:
    Retroviruses have been implicated as causative agents for a range of diseases including neoplasia, autoimmunity and immunosuppression.
    Yeah, Ben, even autoimmune disease. Do you know what that is? It is what you have just displayed where your foot just attacked your mouth!!
    Don't mess with a Queen as you never know what kind of a day she just had! Today is my birthday and it's been great, so just imagine the ass~whoopin' I would have given you on a bad day!!

  53. Mikey,
    I notice that you come here, misquote or misuse articles and then leave when proven wrong an awful lot. You do realize that you never addressed your many errors regarding the last paper you tried to cite, right?

  54. Ben said:

    "Retroviruses aren't the cause of many (any?) diseases."

    Gosh, Ben, not even any of these?

    Bovine immunodeficiency virus
    Equine infectious anemia virus
    Feline immunodeficiency virus
    Puma lentivirus
    Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus
    Visna/maedi virus
    Human immunodeficiency virus 1
    Human immunodeficiency virus 2
    Simian immunodeficiency virus
    Avian leukosis virus
    Rous sarcoma virus
    Avian carcinoma Mill Hill virus 2
    Avian myeloblastosis virus
    Avian myelocytomatosis virus 29
    Avian sarcoma virus CT10
    Fujinami sarcoma virus
    UR2 sarcoma virus
    Y73 sarcoma virus
    Mouse mammary tumor virus
    Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus
    Langur virus
    Mason-Pfizer monkey virus
    Squirrel monkey retrovirus
    Murine leukemia virus
    Feline leukemia virus
    Gibbon ape leukemia virus
    Guinea pig type-C oncovirus
    Porcine type-C oncovirus
    Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine sarcoma virus
    Gardner-Arnstein feline sarcoma virus
    Hardy-Zuckerman feline sarcoma virus
    Harvey murine sarcoma virus
    Kirsten murine sarcoma virus
    Moloney murine sarcoma virus
    Snyder-Theilen feline sarcoma virus
    Woolly monkey sarcoma virus
    Viper retrovirus
    Chick syncytial virus
    Reticuloendotheliosis virus
    Trager duck spleen necrosis virus
    Bovine leukemia virus
    Primate T-lymphotropic virus
    Walleye dermal sarcoma virus
    Walleye epidermal hyperplasia virus
    Simian foamy virus
    African green monkey simian foamy virus
    Macaque simian foamy virus
    Bovine foamy virus
    Equine foamy virus
    Feline foamy virus...??

    ...well, that's a relief.

  55. JTD

    Good stuff on Prostate Cancer.
    Very interesting.
    I heard there is evidence that dumb-ass stupidity may be caused by a retrovirus.

    Snout, I will get the name so you can add it to the list.

    Let's recap two of the absolute dumbest things I have ever heard, and both of them are right here on this thread…

    Stress causes AIDS and

    Down’s Syndrome is a cancer

    Just to keep me awake through Bill’s idiocy, I have been playing Snout’s Denialist Bingo on this thread…

    AIDS is a "collection" of old, but serious diseases.

    The purported new mechanism, a human retrovirus that indirectly kills T-4 cells, is sketchy at best.

    The antibody test will react to a broad spectrum of diseases

    AZT is a toxic, all-purpose killer of cells.

    Gallo is a crook


  56. Just noticed yesterday that one of the film's Executive Producers, Martin Penny, has been on the "rethinker" list since July 2007. These are the before and after links from the internet archive. Doesn't that remove even the pretense? Unless they're two different people with the same name.

    He's also listed as a sponsor of the ra2009 conference:

  57. Just seen another loony's blog review of this film:

    And worse, a respectable ("thinking") right-wing magazine is holding a 'debate' about the film claiming the AIDS epidemic will be over soon ...