Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

Seeking Stories of AIDS Denialism

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

All information will be kept confidential.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

David Rasnick: Recognized by the Scientific Community as a Certified Whack Job

State of denial
By Megan Scudellari
16, 248 (2010) 

Scientists regularly debate hypotheses and interpretations, sometimes feverishly. But in the public sphere, a different type of dissension is spreading through media outlets and online in an unprecedented way-one that challenges basic concepts held as undeniable truths by most researchers. 'Science denialism' is the rejection of the scientific consensus, often in favor of a radical and controversial point of view. Here, we list what we see as a few of today's most vocal denialists spreading ideas that counter the consensus in health fields.

-David Rasnick: A biochemist who studied protease inhibitors in the pharmaceutical industry, Rasnick is the former president of Rethinking AIDS, an activist group that calls for the reappraisal of the 'belief' that HIV causes AIDS. Rasnick was also a member of South African president Thabo Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel; as part of the panel, Rasnick argued that AIDS does not exist and suggested that HIV testing be outlawed and antiretroviral drugs no longer used in the country. Although not linking their findings to Rasnick, two studies have independently estimated that more than 330,000 lives were lost in South Africa between 2000 and 2005 because of the delayed use of antiretrovirals (J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 49, 410-415, 2008; Afr. Aff. 107, 157-176, 2008).

CORRECTION posted by Nature Medicine (this may be a first. Correcting something crazy with something just as crazy)

In ‘State of Denial’ (Nat. Med. 16, 248 (2010)), we originally stated that David Rasnick denied the existence of AIDS while serving on an advisory panel. Contrary to a report produced by the panel, Rasnick says he did not question the existence of AIDS. Rather, he says that AIDS is not contagious and is not caused by HIV. The text should have read “Rasnick was also a member of South African president Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS Advisory Panel; as part of the panel, Rasnick suggested that HIV testing be outlawed and antiretroviral drugs no longer used in the country.” The error was corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article on 17 March 2010.
-Mark and David Geier: This father-son duo, based in Washington, DC, was among the first to publish claims that the thimerosal preservative used in certain vaccines causes autism (J. Am. Physicians Surg. 8, 6-11, 2003). Mark Geier holds a doctorate in genetics; his son, David, has a bachelor's degree in biology. Together, they promote therapies for autism including chelation, the use of chemicals to remove heavy metals from the body, and Lupron, a drug used to treat prostrate cancer and chemically castrate sex offenders. Mark Geier has testified in support of the thimerosal-autism link as an expert witness at vaccine trials across the US; numerous rigorous studies, however, have dismissed this link.

-Sandy Szwarc: A food editor and writer, Szwarc has rejected the idea that individuals with obesity face a heightened risk of premature death. Szwarc, a registered nurse, calls government antiobesity efforts "a grossly exaggerated and fabricated scare campaign." On her blog "Junkfood Science," Szwarc presents the 'obesity paradox,' which refers to the alleged health benefits associated with obesity, such as reports that obese individuals may have higher survival rates of coronary artery disease than their normal-weight counterparts. Scientists reviewing this data, however, have suggested that this higher survival rate might be due to more aggressive treatment of people with obesity and other factors.

-Wolfgang Wodarg: Wodarg is a German physician and past head of health at the Council of Europe. Wodarg recently made headlines accusing flu drug and vaccine makers of influencing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare swine flu a pandemic. In a recent interview, Wodarg called the H1N1 outbreak "one of the greatest medical scandals of the century," and he has made a motion that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe begin an immediate investigation into the matter. The WHO has called allegations by people who say that it created a false pandemic as "scientifically wrong" and "irresponsible." The health agency stressed that "[t]he world is going through a real pandemic."

-Michael Fumento: Fumento is a journalist and author of several books, including The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. He writes regularly about the promise of adult stem cells and the danger of embryonic stem cells on his blog, "Advise and Dissent," and for such outlets as the New York Post and Forbes Online. Fumento claims embryonic stem cell research is both "a dead end," fueled by a greedy lobby, and dangerous, despite evidence from animal studies suggesting its promise. He uses a picture of a tumor with teeth and hair growing from it to illustrate his point.


  1. Hey Dr. Kalichman,

    I read your journal with great interest, and couldn't help but remember what one of my favorite anthropology professors said about the future of science really being in and among the behavioral rather than the so-called exact sciences, because behavior is so complex.

    I understand that you have been soliciting information for your journal regarding AIDS denialism and AIDS denialists.

    If you thought people like Duesberg, and Maniotis (me) were bad, and as Mark Wainberg and John Moore write blizzards of letters to our university presidents and the world to get us fired, and that we belong in jail for our denialism, how do you explain to your AIDSTrufer cult how you can allow the greatest AIDS denialist of them all, Luc Montagnier, to remain
    un-jailed, who, after receiving the Nobel for "HIV" with Barre-Sinoussi, and Zur Hausen in 2008, decided to change his mind regarding "HIV?"

    It is more of a realization or admission of guilt than a scientific or medical advance per ss. "HIV-discoverer" and Nobelist, Luc Montagnier (awarded the Nobel by Astra Zenica and "HIV-vaccine trial committee member Anderson," along with his co-worker Barre-Sinnousi, for their discovery of LAV ("HIV-Bru" reverse transcriptase), along with Harold Zur Hausen for his " discovery" of HPV (Human papilloma virius) has now dusted off a
    Century old discussion regarding the typical person's acquisition of "HIV."

    For instance, in this interview Dr. Montagnier recently gave in a new documentary called "House of Numbers," Dr. Montagnier claimed that

    Luc Montagnier:
    "I believe HIV, we can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. Our immune system will get rid of the virus in a few
    weeks, if you have a good immune system; and this is also the problem with 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 is prone, you know, allow HIV to get in and persist. So there are many ways, not the vaccine, many ways to
    decrease the transmission, just by simple measures of nutrition, giving anti-oxidants, proper anti-oxidants-hygiene measures, fighting the other infections."

    Sounds like AIDS denialism to me!!!!!!!!!

    This documented statement harkens back to the arguments of his country's microbiological forerunners, Louis Pasteur and Beuchamps regarding the supremacy of soil versus seed in disease acquisition.

    And because Montagnier is now claiming that "we can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected, because our immune system will get rid of the virus in a few weeks, if you have a good immune system,"

    and that we should give poor people clean food and water instead of toxic failed chemotherapy regimens, then clearly, Montagnier has sided with Beauchamp's argument in the context of "HIV" and AIDS.

    Therefore, he is the world's biggest AIDS denialist and he should be incarcerated along with Dr. Duesberg and myself!

    I just can't understand how you guys can continue to ignore a Nobelist, who is the top dog in the field.

    I suppose, however, incarceration, flogging, and deportation aren't far off for me, as Mr. Beck says in this news clip and on his T.V. show about me:

    Please send it far and wide, at least to Wainberg and TAC so that they can get some last, and I'd be more than happy to submit some articles to AIDS and Behavior that I have been saving up for a long time if you are interested. (I have attached a short sample for your consideration before Beck and Wainberg have me incarcerated...)


    And thanks...


    Andrew Maniotis, PhD.

  2. Hey Andy...
    Speaking of House of Numbers, how is Kim Bannon doing? Care to comment?

  3. Andy,
    "And because Montagnier is now claiming that "we can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected, because our immune system will get rid of the virus in a few weeks, if you have a good immune system"

    Dr. Montagnier is not the only one saying this, nor is it a new concept. It has long been known that not 100% of exposures to HIV results in infection. This also applies to most other viruses as well. One can be exposed many times without getting infected. This is nothing new. HepC infection results from only ~1/200 needle sticks and from sexual transmission at a rate of about 0.6% (according to the Mayo Clinic). Does this make HepC a fraud?

    Tell me, Andy, what percent of known viruses have a 100% transmission rate?

  4. It looks like Andy doesn't want to comment on Kim Bannon's health. I wonder why that would be. Wasn't Andy one of the people influential in getting her to stop taking ARVs? Surely she must be in fantastic health now and thanking Andy profusely, just like Lambros Papantoniou. Andy, perhaps you'd care to comment on her health? No? Too bad.

  5. Andrew Maniotis, you are being disingenous by re~stating the Montagnier bull~shit! Seth has already posted on this very site a statement by Montagnier which shows how you liars have taken his comments out of context. You should be ashamed, not just for perpetuating such a ridiculous lie, but also for your complicity in the health of Kim Bannon and others! You disgust me!

  6. Look at this line-up of grumpy old men:

  7. The youtube video of the "grumpy old men" really made me wonder: "How the hell could ANYONE trust those guys?" Talk about used car salesmen!

  8. JTD
    It reminds me of the Day Area in a State Psychiatric Hospital. I remember when the more functional schizophrenics would actually look pretty good until you listened to what they were saying.
    When you share in their delusion I am sure these grumpy old nut cases make sense. Otherwise, I am with you.