Images can be powerful and persuasive. In the age of digital editing, anyone can snip away in their own home to create what could appear to be a credible film. Such is the case with House of Numbers.
The latest mischief focuses on four minutes of snips from an interview in House of Numbers with Nobel Prize winning discoverer of HIV, Dr. Luc Montagnier. AIDS Denialists around the world have rejoiced at those four minutes of footage. Aside from the Rethinking AIDS Society etc… the video of Dr. Montagnier has quickly taking on a life of its own with…
Libertarian bloggers…“Particularly problematical for the orthodoxy is the interview with Luc Montagnier, the French scientist who discovered HIV (if you accept that he discovered something).”
Comments on media threads…. “When Luc Montagnier states on released video on World AIDS Day, that vaccines and drugs are not necessary to get rid of HIV, this is earth-shattering news. The Rethinkers have been saying this for a very long time. How can the mainstream keep pushing their toxic drugs to society? The truth always prevails!”
AIDS Myth Exposed… “I think he double speaks ie leaves wriggle room because he knows the French will kill him (French Citizen- French law, french court) when the proverbial brown stuff goes flying vs this totally 'all in' buddy Gallo knows corporate and commercial interest will justify the means some how- jobs and billions in revenue will be his get out of jail free card.”
The problem is, unlike Kari Mullis also a Nobel Laureate, Dr. Montagnier is credible. Also unlike Mullis, Dr. Montagnier is not known to use LSD and as far I know he has never claimed to have been abducted by Alien Glowing Raccoons.
Remember, credibility counts and Dr. Montagnier is highly credible.
That is why if he came out in support of AIDS Denialist claims no one, including me, would take it lightly. If Dr. Montagnier raised doubts that HIV is a lethal sexually transmitted virus I would be the first to publically apologize for dismissing Peter Duesberg as a flake. If Dr. Montagnier stated that people in Africa who are dying of AIDS were afflicted by stress and not HIV infection, I would call for an immediate return of all copies of Denying AIDS and burn them in a public ceremony on the University of California Berkeley campus. I would also donate all of the Royalties from Denying AIDS to Henry Bauer’s expeditions in search of Nessies.
Now just hold on. It isn’t about to happen.
Here is what Dr. Montagnier says, taken from the transcript from House of Numbers where he is interviewed by Brent Leung, the guy who made the film:
Leung: You talked about oxidative stress earlier. Is treating oxidative stress one of the best ways to deal with the African AIDS epidemic?
Montagnier: I think this is one way to approach, to decrease the rate of transmission, because I believe HIV we can be exposed to HIV many times without bring chronically infected, our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system; and this is the problem also of the African people. Their nutrition is not very equilibrated, they are in oxidative stress, even if they are not infected with HIV; so their immune system doesn't work well already. So it's prone, it can, you know, allow HIV to get in and persist. So there are many ways which are not the vaccine, the magic name, the vaccine, many ways to decrease the transmission just by simple measures of nutrition, giving antioxidants -- proper antioxidants -- hygiene measures, fighting the other infections. So they are not spectacular, but they could, you know, decrease very well the epidemic, to the level they are in occidental countries, western countries.
Leung: So if you have a good immune system, then your body can naturally get rid of HIV?
Leung: Oh, interesting. Do you think we should have more of a push for antioxidants, and things of that nature, in Africa than antiretrovirals (AIDS drugs)?
Montagnier: We should push for more, you know, a combination of measures; antioxidants, nutrition advice, nutritions, fighting other infections -- malaria, tuberculosis, parasitosis, worms -- education of course, genital hygiene for women and men also, very simple measures which [are] not very expensive, but which could do a lot. And this is my, actually my worry about the many spectacular action for the global funds to buy drugs and so on, and Bill Gates and so on, for the vaccine. But you know those kind of measures are not very well funded, they're not funded at all, or they are, you know, it really depends on the local government to take choice of this, but local governments they take advice of the scientific advisors from the intelligent institutions, and they don't get this kind of advice very often.
Leung: Well there's no money in nutrition, right? There's no profit.
Montagnier: There's no profit, yes. Water is important. Water is key.
Leung: Now one thing you said, you were talking about the fact that if you have a built immune system, it is possible to get rid of HIV naturally. If you take a poor African who's been infected and you build up their immune system, is it possible for them to also naturally get rid of it?
Montagnier: [Nodding yes] I would think so.
Leung: That's an important point.
Montagnier: It's important knowledge which is completely neglected. People always think of drugs and vaccine. So this is a message which may be different from what you heard before, no?
Leung: The closing?
Montagnier: No, no, yes, my message, it's different from what you heard from (Anthony) Fauci or...
Leung: Yes, it's a little different.
Montagnier: Little different.
The points excerpted in Leung’s interview are used by AIDS Denialists to suggest that Dr. Montagnier is in line with Peter Duesberg and other AIDS Deniers.
But is he?
“Our data, which I presented in September 1983 at a meeting on HTLV in Cold Spring Harbor,were met with scepticism, and only in the Spring of 1984 did the description of a quasi identical virus under the name of HTLV III by the group of R. C. Gallo convince the scientific community that this new retrolentivirus was the cause of AIDS. The group of Jay Levy in San Francisco also isolated the same kind of virus, followed by many other laboratories.
However, a few opponents led by P. Duesberg argued, and are still arguing, that there is no real demonstration that the virus does exist and is the cause of AIDS according to Koch_s postulates.
In fact, the proviral DNA of the virus, renamed HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) by an international nomenclature committee, was cloned and sequenced,[9–11] showing the classical gene structure of animal retroviruses which Dr. Duesberg himself helped to uncover earlier. But in addition, new genes (tat, nef), important in the regulation of the expression of the viral genetic information, were recognized from the DNA sequencing, making the viral genome probably the most complex known in the retrovirus family. HIV and its primate cousins are therefore well characterized entities only composed of DNA sequences, none existing in the human genome.
A posteriori, two facts should have provided to the few remaining sceptics final conviction that HIV is the culprit in AIDS:
1) Transmission of AIDS by blood transfusion has practically disappeared in countries where the detection of HIV antibodies in blood donors has been implemented.
2) The inhibition of virus multiplication by a combination of specific inhibitors of the viral enzymes (reverse transcriptase, protease) has greatly improved the clinical conditions of the patients. Mutations in the genome of HIV-inducing resistance to these inhibitors has led to relapses and aggravation of the patients_ condition. In 1986, thanks to a collaboration with Portuguese colleagues, we isolated a second virus (which I named HIV2) from West African patients hospitalized in a Lisbon hospital. They all had the signs of AIDS but had no
antibodies against our first virus. In fact, they had only antibodies to the most variable protein of HIV, the surface glycoprotein. The patients had lost antibodies against the well-conserved internal proteins of HIV2 which show common epitopes with their counterparts of HIV1, unlike the glycoprotein .
The isolation of HIV1 and HIV2 viruses from AIDS patients in Africa made us realize that we were dealing with a large epidemic of heterosexually transmitted viruses.
Evidence that HIV was not transmitted by casual contacts came from our study in a French boarding school, where HIV infected haemophilic children were in close contact, day and night, with HIV negative nonhaemophilic children: none of the latter were found to be HIV positive.
The isolation of the virus causing AIDS allowed to implement rational prevention measures and also to start a search for efficient viral inhibitors. The first candidate, azidothymidine (AZT), was an efficient inhibitor of HIV reverse transcriptase in in vitro experiments (Mitsuya and Broder). However, its use in AIDS patients was soon recognized as disappointing. In fact, the treatment readily induced mutants of the virus resistant to AZT and did not extend the life span of the patients. The main obstacle of treatment with a single or two inhibitors was the capacity of the virus to mutate, which also impedes the design of an efficient vaccine and also explains the complexity of the pathophysiology of AIDS.” (page 5822)
To the sane and rational thinking person, there can be no question that Dr. Montagnier does not deny that HIV causes AIDS. He does not dispute the pathology that HIV causes the immune system. He does not question HIV testing or the effectiveness of combination antiretroviral medications. Amazingly, in his Nobel lecture Dr. Montagnier directly dismisses Duesberg and AIDS Denialism.
There is also no basis to believe that Dr. Montagnier agrees with Duesberg that there is no genetic link to ANY cancer and that ALL cancers are caused by toxins, or with Mullis that aliens abduct scientists, or Bauer that Loch Ness Monsters exist, or Rasnick that the CIA is working with Big Pharama to sell AZT, or Matthias Rath that Bill Gates is monitoring our conversations, or Andrew Maniotis that AIDS is caused by Syphilis, or the Perth Group that excessive exposure semen causes AIDS, or Celia Farber with whatever the hell it is that she is saying.