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, November 3, 2009

How to spot an AIDS denialist

Rogues, pseudoscientists, snake oil peddlers – Seth Kalichman reveals the sinister tactics used by those who deny the link between HIV and AIDS in a new article in The New Humanist magazine.

Imagine that you or someone you love just received an HIV positive test result. The news is devastating. After a short time you begin to face the diagnosis. You turn to the Internet for answers. Searching the words “AIDS diagnosis” brings up thousands of websites. A whirlwind of information spins your mind.

One credible-looking website,, reads: “There is no cure for AIDS. There are drugs that can slow down the HIV virus and slow down the damage to your immune system. There is no way to ‘clear’ HIV from the body. Other drugs can prevent or treat opportunistic infections (OIs). In most cases, these drugs work very well. The newer, stronger ARVs have also helped reduce the rates of most OIs. A few OIs, however, are still very difficult to treat.”

With a click of the mouse, an equally credible-looking site,, asks: “Did you know … Many experts contend that AIDS is not a fatal, incurable condition caused by HIV? That most of the AIDS information we receive is based on unsubstantiated assumptions, unfounded estimates and improbable predictions? That the symptoms associated with AIDS are treatable using non-toxic, immune-enhancing therapies that have restored the health of people diagnosed with AIDS and that have enabled those truly at risk to remain well?”

Which do you trust? Which do you believe? Which would you want to believe? Would you choose to believe there may be hope offered by medical treatments or would you prefer to believe that HIV is harmless? This simple example illustrates the lure of AIDS denialism.

Read the whole story at The
New Humanist.


  1. I'm glad to hear about the coverage these issues get. I wish there were wider coverage so more people could hear the facts and realise what a problem this denialism is.
    I don't comment often but I always read the posts on this blog. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks Annie!
    Knowing there are readers like you helps keep me motivated to update and post. Thanks for being an AIDS Realist!!!

  3. I had a great time at the Rethinking Conference last night in Oakland. Sorry, you didn't show up, Professor Kalichman.

    It was really nice to meet in person 10 - 15 HIV "positive" folks who had long since abandonned the toxic drug regimen and were looking and feeling great.

    The KeyNote speaker, Professor Michael Tracey, was outstanding:

    I presume he has tenure so any emails and letters trying to get him fired will be futile. He really grasped the mass hysteria fueling the AIDS farce and all the financial interests (gov't research dollars, pharmaceutical profits) that continue to prop up this rotting corpse of a paradigm.

    Great time was had by all. Y'all should chill about viruses -- cancer, heart attack, stroke are the primary killers in the USA. Most sane people understand this, but not the microbe hunters.

  4. Bill,
    I think we are all glad you had a great time. If you are interested I think there may be a flat earth conference soon that you may want to attend, too. You can skip directly from there to the Moon Landing Hoaxers get together and tea time with the 9/11 Truthers afterward. Or, and this may be a silly suggestion, maybe you can spend that time taking a biology class or two. You know, it sometimes helps to actually understand the subject being discussed before you take up a position on it. Like I said, though, it is just a silly suggestion.

  5. Sorry I couldn't find you yet at the conference, Seth. We must meet up later and compare notes. (I'm the one with the fluffy tail, but don't tell anyone).

    What I'm really looking forward to is Marco Ruggiero's presentation, which I'm sure will be very thought provoking. His lecture slides are here:

    (It's a 5 megabyte pdf)

    I'm especially hoping that the AIDS Rethinker movement will take up his challenge to take seriously the "AIDS as a biological weapon created by the American government" theory. I reckon the Rethinker movement has been far too closed minded on this issue for far too long now, and I would like to see this properly debated and a resolution reached.

    Oh well, back to pressing the flesh. Heaps of... err... very interesting people here.

  6. Joe Newton's BrotherNovember 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Hi ya'll
    Bill is correct!
    The Waterfront Hotel is the place for Denial! Let's just hope nobody shouts 'Fire'.. everyone will just stand here.

    Seth was right, the hotel is a dump. Must be a Leppo Investment would take a financial genius like Bob to own this place.

    Actually, it has been a blast here. The real buzz is Giraldo's new book. What a great launch for him! Too bad Bauer's book is old hat. Henry does not seem to realize that though. Henry just keeps rambling on about the fall of the AIDS Empire to come. Sad to see.

    The Tracey talk was quite inspiring to the AIDS Denialists, even seasoned journalists like Crowe were getting into it!

    Well gotta run, it will be sad when it is all over today!

  7. I understand that one of Seth's "favorite people"(choke),Gary Null will be filming the entire event for posterity(or at least to sell as a "documentary" on his website).Maybe you guys might show up as "enraptured spectators" (either that or clasping your heads in your hands).Denice Walter

  8. Thank you for this great blog, Seth Kalichman.I am more like Annie who had the first comment at this article,i dont normaly write and comment much on blogs,but i would like to tell you that i read it often and that its helpfull for me,even though im not HIV+ my self.

    I got a friend that is HIV+ and she is at doubt if she should start medication now after 18 years as infected without using medicine earlier.Her CD4 has fallen under 200 now and she is getting more symptoms of her illness.I am afraid that she is reading denilist propaganda on the net and this site gives me lots of good arguments to try to make her trust and believe in school-medics/her doctor instead of a bunch of vitamin-selling wannabe-doctors.

    Thanks again and sorry for my english,its not my native language.

  9. Thank you Norvegicus for your kind words.

    I am glad you find my blog interesting.

    Your friend should see his/her doctor, and hopefully it is someone with experience treating HIV/AIDS. AIDS denialists will say that the number of CD4 cells does not matter. All that matters is to reduce stress and forget about the HIV diagnosis. That is, of course, why they are AIDS Denialists.

    With CD4 cells below 200, most doctors today will certainly consider antiretroviral therapy. Viral load is also important, but it is most likely quite high in an untreated person in later stages of infection. I know lots of people who held off on treatment until their CD4 cells were that low and then started therapy. It was a good choice for them.

    But you know, antiretroviral therapy is just like any other kind of medicine - It is not for everyone. My hope is that your friend will get high quality information, ignore the junk, talk with a doctor experienced in treating HIV/AIDS, and make an informed, rather than misinformed, decision. The links down to the right under 'Learn more about AIDS' are websites that I find credible and useful for quality information.

    Thanks again for reading my posts and comments here. It is nice to hear from you and other readers, so thank you again.

  10. With CD4 cells below 200, most doctors today will certainly consider antiretroviral therapy.

    What if your CD3 cells fall below, say, 400?

    What if your CD19 cells fall below, say, 800?

    What if your CD86 cells fall below, say, 300?

    Say, is there a reason, y'all are focused on CD4 cells, when are there 350 "Clusters of Differentiation"

    Hey, Norvegicus, instead of focusing on lab results, how are your friend's CLINICAL SYMPTOMS doing?

  11. Norvegicus, forgive me for posting Bill’s comment. As you know, this blog is about exposing AIDS Denialism. Nobody does it better than the AIDS Deniers themselves.

    AIDS Denialists are easy to spot (the subject of this post) because they are so predictable.

    As I said, the AIDS Denialists will say that CD4 cell counts do not matter. And Bill has come through for us. Bill refuses to accept that HIV selectively destroys CD4 bearing cells. For some reason this is impossible for him to face. AIDS Denialists will say that if your friend is not feeling well, or is coming down with serious illnesses the cause is the stress of their diagnosis. And the denial just goes on and on from there.

    I almost did not post Bill’s comment out of respect for you Norveicus. Bill will not stop so it is best that we not respond. I will probably not post any more of his direct comments to you, unless you want to engage him. But please proceed with caution. You will be entering a very dark place that seems to have no boundaries.

  12. It is also easy to spot AIDS denialists because the crazies are eating each other alive.

    For instance, a Love letter from Sadun Kal to David Crowe for at AIDS Myth Exposed...

    Dear David,

    I was planning to write you an email urging you not to pretend that nothing significant has
    happened between RA and the Perth Group lately.

    I was going to ask you to acknowledge
    that there has been some relatively negative developments. But I wasn’t sure how to put it
    into words in the most effective way possible, so I ended up being unable to do it at the
    right time.

    Nevertheless I felt the need to write something now (even if it won't be as effective as
    desired), because I’ve been informed that you seem to be doing what I feared you would do,
    and very concretely so. I don’t know what exactly has happened yesterday and how you’re
    planning to act during the weekend. What I learned is that you refused the Perth Group’s
    request to read the following statement during your opening address at the RA Conference:
    "Because of irreconcilable scientific and ethical differences we wish to formally disassociate ourselves from the Rethinking AIDS Group. Signed: The Perth Group".

    I found your refusal very disappointing. I read your excuse too but frankly it’s just ridiculous.

    You claim that “there has been no attempt to reconcile”. Since you seem to be in a sad
    denial of the differences maybe you unknowingly overlooked the attempts to reconcile on
    PG’s part too. But if you can’t even share a short statement, if you can’t even acknowledge
    that there IS a problem, I guess it must be true that “there has been no attempt to
    reconcile” on RA’s part, which is probably the whole problem.

    After all that intense talk the least you could do was to acknowledge that the PG is not
    happy with the current state of RA. You might disagree with their criticism and their view on
    what happened, but it’s seriously deceptive to pretend that there is nothing going on. How
    can I then take you seriously when you try to blame the deficiencies of the US media for not
    being aware enough of the PG’s existence? You’re disrespecting and actively oppressing
    them when you are not being open and honest about what happens "behind the scenes".
    They matter and you know it very well. Their feelings toward RA matter, their view on RA
    matters. You rely on their work when it comes to assembling documents like “The AIDS
    Trap” yet you can’t even be bothered to communicate their pain with the public even when
    they make a clear and simple request.
    Can’t you see that this is important for them?

    Aren’t you aware that such lack of self honesty
    from someone in your position is going to make things worse? You have to face the
    problem before you can begin to solve it. Or did you completely stop caring about what the
    PG thinks and feels?

    We should probably talk. But at the moment I will only urge you to make sure that the
    attendants at the conference –including you- know that PG really exists and that they
    actually matter significantly for the “AIDS debate”. Please just emphasize this in a way that will be clearly understood by everyone if you value PG's work and respect them at all.
    Also, you can mock their pain if you wish or show complete indifference toward their
    complaints but please do realize, and help others realize, that not all is well. Pretending
    otherwise is only an invitation for more trouble. The problems won't go away. I suspect
    you’re not aware of the consequences of your actions on the big scale. Please think
    carefully about how to proceed. You have a lot of responsibility; not just for the RA, but
    pretty much everyone and everything affected by the HIV/AIDS mess.



  13. Well, Seth, most medicine focuses on --CLINICAL SYMPTOMS, not bogus interpretations of suspect tests of poorly understood cell counts.

  14. Bill, you truly are delusional. Where in the world did you get the idea that any orhtodox would even attempt to get Michael Tracey fired? You're idea is 180 degrees the wrong way.
    A)The denialists have made TWO ATTEMPTS to get ME fired and I am a nobody!
    B) The denialists also attempted to get Seth fired with the Joe Newton B.S. after his very successful book came out.
    C) The denialists attempted to get Kevin Kuritzky kicked out of school.
    D) The denialists attempted to get Murtagh fired.
    Come on Bill, you f'ing hypocrite!
    Aslo Bill, you really proved your lack of science knowledge by trying to equate all Clusters of Differentiation to CD4's. I am surprised you even knew what "CD" meant! However, asking why science does focus on CD4's instead of "all the others" is really, really, really stupid and is further proof why anyone who is HIV+ and is looking at the differences b/w the orthodox and Denialists, should completely abandon you Denialist idiots since everytime you guys open your mouths, complete lunacy comes out!

  15. I know Bill, I am sure your doctor treats your symptoms and ignores the underlying cause. An AIDS Denier would not have it any other way.

    So next time you have a sharp pain in your stomach and spit up blood, drink some Goat's milk and don't treat the ulcer.

    So predictable.

    JTD, there is lots of folklore about efforts to get AIDS Denialists in academic positions fired.

    And some of it is reality.

    I know that people have been concerned about Professor Deniers influencing students. Personally, that has not been a big issue for me. What does concern me is the fake credibility that people like Duesberg and Bauer get by being able to say they are Professors at Universities. I am looking into post tenure review as a way to deal with this. It seems reasonable that an institution would review tenured faculty every 5 years to assure they are not doing harm to the public. When nutty Professors go off the deep end the university has a responsibility to protect the public as well as their own good name. Duesberg and Bauer should be working out of their garages.

    And then there is Becky Culshaw. It is AIDS Denier folklore that she was fired because of a letter writing campaign. But that is not what her husband told me. It is also not what she told Henry Bauer.

    But the reality is that her publication record was so poor no university in the country would tenure her. She had like 2 or 3 legit published papers and they were from her graduate school days. Some will claim she was punished for her 'dissident views'. But that is bull turds. It would not be what she wrote but rather what she failed to write. For Assistant Profs like Culshaw it is basically bye-bye.

  16. Seth,
    I've always thought that an outstanding analogy for AIDS when it comes to denialists would be something like African Sleeping Sickness. Swollen lymph nodes? Take some anti-inflamatories! Tired? Take caffeine! No need to worry about the parasite actually causing the problems, simply focus on the symptoms one at a time. Just as with HIV, however, simply focusing on the symptoms and ignoring the underlying cause is pure silliness. It is too bad so many of the HIV+ denialists don't realize this until it is way too late.

  17. Ahh, the same familiar losers have arisen from the swamp.

    The underlying "cause" --ahh, you must mean the dreaded human retrovirus mysteriously located in Gallo's lab, but not found in actual patients?

    Since when did the presence of non-specific antibodies equate with actual infectivity of the virus?

    Hey DeShong -- why not ask your physician to culture the virus, instead of relying on surrogate markers.

    Back to the Rethinking Conference -- what a wonderful place to meet with real, live actual human beings who have been wrongly stigmatized and have taken charge of their own health. It was quite inspiring.

  18. Poodle Stomper...
    I think this whole treat the symptoms thing is key to understanding the psychopathology of AIDS Denialism. It should have been a chapter in Denying AIDS.

  19. I presume that these people also ignore high blood pressure. It mostly causes no symptoms.

    Simply treat heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure et when they happen. Don't worry about meaningless surrogate markers like high blood pressure.

  20. Any word on Noreen Martin?

  21. No word from Noreen.
    My sources tell me she was not at the RA Conference in Oakland...But that has not been confirmed. I am waiting for more info from Joe's Brother.

  22. Bill, thanks for proving again that you do not know jack from jill!
    You completely ignored my Clusters of Differentiation comments. Why? Because you did not realize that your analogy was stupid.
    Then you mention HIV Culture. Er, uh, that's been done and re~done! Why don't you try and culture one of your brain cells? Oh, probabbly because it is your last one!
    Bill, you really should change interests. This one is way over your head! Well, on second thought, you do make me laugh. Nah, just keep commenting. I could use the laughs.

  23. I keep getting this when I go to RA Conference website to find out what happened at the Conference:

    RA2009 Conference Updates
    This page will be updated as the conference proceeds...

    Do they not know what "proceeds" means?
    No updates. No pics. No nothin'!
    Maybe they are embarrassed by the "attendance".

  24. "The underlying "cause" --ahh, you must mean the dreaded human retrovirus mysteriously located in Gallo's lab, but not found in actual patients?"

    Dang Billy, you got us! No one ever cultured HIV from patients. No methods are known for culturing it, for example from their semen. Nope, patients' semen has never been used to culture the virus nor their PBMC or plasma and definitely not from the brain tissue. It has also never been cloned directly from plasma viral RNA nor directly from uncultured brain tissue (see "Molecular characterization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 cloned directly from uncultured human brain tissue: identification of replication-competent and -defective viral genomes" by Li Y et al.). Please note the sarcasm. I wouldn't want you to be confused and think you are actually correct.


  25. There are a couple of videos on youtube. Michael Tracey says he's smart enough to know that the AIDS deniers have already won the debate, and that what they need now is just a good PR strategy, like a big trial. Not the DeSilva trial, obviously. Or the Parenzee trial. Or a state-sponsored panel investigation with all the trimmings. But a big trial.

    Has anyone ever looked at the experiments proposed by the AIDS denialists during the Mbeki panel? They ought to be extracted and posted prominently somewhere, they're such a shameful embarrassment. Duesberg's one proposes a natural history study (of which many have already been done, all showing that HIV positive people lose CD4 T cells, develop opportunistic infections and die in the absence of treatment, while HIV negative people don't) but instead of collecting data, Duesberg proposes that people be called on the phone every two months and asked how they're doing. I think he must have asked a ten year old to write it for him.

    "9.5 Proposal 4: Do most people with HIV infection show signs of AIDS within five (5) to ten (10) years?

    Proposer: Prof Peter Duesberg

    One Thousand and Five Hundred (1500) healthy HIV-positive and 1500 matched healthy HIV-negative men from the South African army and/or mining industry, or some other governmental institution would be required for this study. This experiment will exclude people who suffer poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation. Since the time of infection of these men is not known, and since they are currently healthy, their times to AIDS would be randomly distributed from a maximum of 5-10 years to a minimum of one day to AIDS. On average they are half way into their HIV to AIDS latent period of 5-10 years, or 750-1500 days (1/2 of 5-10 years) from getting AIDS. Therefore in the HIV positive group there should be 1 or 2 AIDS cases per day, and in the negative group there should be no AIDS cases. We would know much of the answer in a few months and certainly within a year if we had 1500 men in each group. It would take longer if the groups are smaller. The cost would be one conventional HIV test per person, and perhaps a second one if a AIDS disease co occur and a phone call per person or to their supervisor every 2 months to find out how they are."

    The Perth Group do really well too, I particularly like their very specific recommendation to "Spin the centrifuge tube for many hours at very high speed" in order to isolate HIV to their satisfaction.

  26. Wow, here's a great article in New York Magazine:
    "Another Kind of AIDS Crisis"

    "A striking number of HIV patients are living longer but getting older faster—showing early signs of dementia and bone weakness usually seen in the elderly"

    The pictures are quite astounding. Looks like long-term "treatment" is having some serious effects. Time to pay the piper, no?

    Here's the idiots from TAC:

    “It’s spooky,” says Mark Harrington, who heads Treatment Action Group, a New York–based HIV think tank. “It seems like the virus keeps finding new tricks to throw at us, and we’re just all left behind going, What’s going on?”

    What's going on, Moron, is that the drugs are slowly killing and disfiguring you. That's why an honest reassessment is warranted.

  27. "the drugs are slowly killing and disfiguring you."

    Very slowly, seems like. He apparently started treatment over 13 years ago, and he started due to clinical symptoms, not just counts.

    ACT UP Oral History Project
    Interviewer: Sarah Schulman
    Date of Interview: March 8, 2003

    "SS: This is something I’ve asked every person we’ve interviewed who has AIDS. Would you mind telling us what meds you’re taking now, just for the record?

    MH: Well, I started taking antiretrovirals in August of 1996, because my T-cells had gone down to 150, and I had a viral load of 200,000 and I developed thrush, weight loss, and some skin rashes, and I wasn’t feeling good and wasn’t looking so good, either. So, I started on a protease inhibitor, plus two AZT-like drugs. So, I’ve always been on a protease inhibitor and two AZT-like drugs, but it switched – the actual ones, due to side effects. And right now, I’m on a protease inhibitor that’s called Virasept or, the generic name is Nelfinavir – twice a day. And, I’m on Combivir, which is ironic – which is a combination of AZT and 3TC taken twice a day. And my T-cells are about 900 and my viral load fluctuates between 1,000 and 10,000."

  28. My, Billy! You sure do change the subject rather quickly, don't you? You also seem just as adept at cherry picking as always. While no one has said that the medication to treat HIV is without side effects you sure seem to be deliberately ignoring the other parts of the article. How about the very first part:

    When David Simpson was working at Mount Sinai Medical Center as a young neurologist in 1984, the neuro-AIDS program occupied a dark warren of tiny rooms in the complex’s basement. It was a place overwhelmed by plague, a final stop on a doomed journey. “People came in with seizures or paralyzed on half their body. People came in in comas. Men were screaming—I have videotapes of this,” says Simpson, the program’s director. “Bedbound, incontinent, couldn’t sleep. They could be dead in a number of days.”

    Those are memories of a distant past. When the drugs arrived in 1996, they ended this kind of pitiless death and put many AIDS wards out of business. The famous St. Vincent’s seventh-floor ward now houses offices for the orthopedic department. The sixth floor at New York Downtown, the eleventh floor at Beth Israel, the seventeenth floor at New York-Cornell, whole wings at Lenox Hill, Bellevue, and Harlem hospitals—those dire corridors where, in a little over ten years, more than 60,000 New Yorkers drew their last painful breaths—have been cleared out and repurposed.

    You see, scientists don't claim the medications have zero side effects. For some people they do and for others they don't. Many that experience side effects still agree that it is the lesser of two evils compared to how it was before the medications.
    In the end I have little doubt that newer and better drugs will be produced. With any luck an effective vaccine will be developed sooner rather than later. The thing is that it will be science that accomplishes this, not flat out denial, pseudoscience, and ranting by people like you who clearly do not understand the first thing about biology. It won't be people who blindly spout the nonsense of idiots like the Perth group and their BS criteria that abolish from existance (by their standards of isolation) not just HIV but all the following (in no particular order)

    All herpes viruses
    the rabies virus
    West Nile virus
    dengue virus
    Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus
    Yellow Fever Virus
    the Rubella virus
    the influenza viruses (yep the flu isn't real)
    The Ebola and Marburg viruses (isn't that a relief!?)
    HepC (get Pamela Anderson on the phone, stat!)
    and so many more (seriously I could exceed the post length limit with the number of viruses that wouldn't exist but for now I have stuck to a select few)!

    So really (and I've said this before) get off of your computer, sign up for a biology class, and learn something. None of the above can fulfill the BS isolation criteria that Perthies have latched on to. Do you really think this is realistic? Please...learn something...anything!

    In the mean time consider this: if doctors and some huge wide-ranging conspiracy is behind all of this, why would they release drugs so effective that most AIDS wards had to shut down? Or hell, why would the wards have shut down if the drugs were the problem in the first place. Just use a little logic there, Billy.

  29. The article was interesting as was the little video they have. Cancer, organ failure, dementia, premature aging, heart attacks, strokes. Its amazing to me that virtually nothing has been done in the last 13 years to make these medications safer and less toxic to human beings. If it keeps your HIV in check, great, wonderful. But you also need to have a quality of life. It shouldnt be about just remaining alive. I look at these people in the video and its horrendous what they are going through with these meds. Shame on the pharmaceutical companies for not doing more to deal with these issues. We are not killing people anymore with high dose AZT, yet we are stretching out peoples lives with debilitating side effects. One final note, it says that people with HIV on the meds will live on average twenty years less than non HIV people. Whats that all about? I thought the meds were suppossed to now provide a normal lifespan. There are so many conflicting messages about these meds, does anyone know how to tell the truth anymore?

  30. Anonymous
    Thanks for commenting.
    You make good points. Here is what I personally think.

    Do pharmaceutical companies ever put profits before people? You bet.

    Have we known them to lie and hide data regarding their products? Without a doubt.

    Overall, do medicines save lives? Well of course.

    When it comes to HIV meds, the major problem is the speed of development. What we hear today will be out dated in a matter of months. Treatment guidelines are updated in terms of months not years. The long term side effects of many drug regimens are just now being studied. Why? Well protease inhibitors, for example, were first available about 13 years ago. So how can we even know the 15 year effects yet?

    My understanding, and I have been in this for a sometime now, has never been that people with HIV on treatment were ever said to have an unchanged life expectancy. That would mean a cure or complete control. Neither has been achieved, yet. I am personally optimistic that the day is coming...getting closer all the time. But not yet. Most people I know do not suffer serious side effects from HIV meds. But some do. We certainly still need more options and better control of toxicities when they do occur.
    Anyway, those are my 2-cents in response to your thought provoking comment.

  31. Hi Seth,
    Anonymous here again. Hopefully, I will get a screen name up and running soon, as I do enjoy your blog. Let me be clear, I do think HIV meds are a godsent for many people. There is not a question in my mind that they save people in peril. However, I do think the issues in the NY Magazine article are not being taken seriously enough. This goes beyond "side effects". In my mind side effects are things like nausea, diarhea and vomiting. Almost every drug on the market for almost every condition has side effects. But Dementia? Cancer? Organ failure. These are serious life threatening issues. I personally think its outrageous and that people are not outraged enough about it. In a sense, some people, and I emphasize some people are trading one life threatening ailment (HIV) for another. Does anybody understand how ridiculous that is? More needs to be done to make meds that safe, effective and where these events are very very rare. Keep up the good work, I enjoy the blog.

  32. Understood. We are talking long term adverse outcomes that are not nearly as rare as they need to be. Things are better and we have a long way to go.
    So, understood and agreed!
    A refreshing discussion for my blog!!
    Thanks again!

  33. Do pharmaceutical companies ever put profits before people? You bet.


    Have we known them to lie and hide data regarding their products? Without a doubt.


    Overall, do medicines save lives? Well of

    Not really. See Lazarou, JAMA 1998.

    We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.

    106,000 deaths/year in USA caused by prescription drugs. This is way more death than AIDS or the stupid swine flu. Only heart attack, cancer and stroke surpass it.

    Have a nice day!

  34. I was concerned that I was reading the wrong blog. Comments by Anonymous and answers from Seth were sounding sane. Thanks Bill for bringing us back to crazyland.

  35. It's worth pointing out that HIV Denial still exists primarily because the side effects of the drugs are immediate while the consequences of denial can take years to eventuate.

  36. Anonymous, could I address a couple of your points.

    Firstly as the NY article makes clear, many of the longer term adverse events (such as dementia) in people with HIV/AIDS are not due to the drugs, but the disease process itself, and are only manifesting now in large numbers because the treatments have allowed people to live long enough to develop them. Other events are more clearly drug-related (such as osteoporosis) and the risks of these need obviously to be factored into the risk/benefit equation when considering treatments. In other cases the causation is complex, and multiple factors come into play - for example most HIV related liver disease deaths occur in people with chronic hepatitis B or C coinfection. Could the drugs be sometimes playing a role in this? Yes, possibly, but the evidence is that overall people with earlier and more effective treatment to control HIV are less likely to get end stage liver disease from their chronic viral hepatitis.

    It is not as simple as attributing AIDS to HIV and all non-AIDS-defining disease to the treatment.

    My second point is that most experienced AIDS physicians and researchers are acutely aware of the downsides and limitations of current treatments, and the need to constantly look for new solutions. There's been an enormous amount of research even over the past 13 years and substantial improvements, even if there is still a long way to go. At the same time I get concerned about the mindset among some in the community that seems to suggest we've got the problem of HIV/AIDS sorted - a lot of the early panic and hysteria has given way to complacency. HAART has been great for some people, problematic but generally beneficial for others, and horrible for some. I think that tends to get glossed over in the general relief and euphoria that greeted its introduction in the mid 90s - finally we were getting somewhere. I also suspect the influence of direct-to-public pharmaceutical advertising in the US in creating a simplistic and unrealistic picture of what is a
    complex situation - you get the impression that all it takes is one pill a day and you immediately turn into a musclebound extreme sports nut.

    I think the NY article is well written and deals with these complexities in sane and balanced way. Like I say, it's not news for the HIV community or for the scientists and physicians who deal with it on a daily basis. But it's important that it gets wider recognition.

    And as usual, you'll see HIV/AIDS denialists misrepresenting a careful, sensitive and nuanced story for their own rhetorical purposes. They have little if anything to contribute to the important real issues at hand in 2009, because they are still endlessly refighting the battles they lost 20 or 25 years ago.

  37. I hope some people check out my blog, dissidents4dumbees to see how Clark Baker has plagarized part of this NY Magazine article and overlooks the meaning of the article in order to twist it for his denialist agenda.

    I happened to hear an interview with David France on National Public Radio in which he stated he wrote the article in hopes that people would regain the fervor of ACTUP days and demand that new, less toxic drugs be manufactured. France's article made it incredibly clear, (as Poodle points out) that the HIV Meds have definitely increased not only life span, but also quality of life.

    I am living proof that is the case.


  38. It is also worth pointing out that if a pharmaceutical company developed ARVs with significantly less side effects they would be in a position to make millions. Everybody would buy these rather than those made by the competition.

    The idea that pharmaceutical companies are not interested in this is similar to the conspiracy theories about pharmaceutical companies hiding the cure/s for cancer.

  39. You guys must have nerves of steel to continuously correct the same AIDS Denialist flawed thinking over and over again. Hats off to you Chris, Snout, Poodlestomper and JTD. We will probably never pull the likes of Bill out of denial. He is as hopeless as Maggiore and Strokely. But I can tell you that people Goodle search for AIDS info and end up at this blog. Your exposure of the AIDS Denier trash certainly has fallen on eyes that have not yet been deceived by the frauds and psychopaths of Perth and RA. Thanks for coming here and helping.

  40. So has anyone heard from Noreen? She hasn't been around for a few weeks now.

  41. Nothing. She was not at the RA Conference. That is all I know.

  42. Poodle,
    If you google her name her blog comes up. There may be a way to contact her. Not sure.

  43. Only idiots are aids disidents, we can prove this on

  44. Aids disidents are idots, proof on!