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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Andrew Wakefield is Accountable for Vaccine-Autism Hysteria - Wake up call to AIDS Denialist quacks

UPDATE: Wakefield's quack paper is retracted by Lancet. Can he try to republish it in Medical Veritas?

MMR doctor 'failed to act in interests of children'
General Medical Council finds Andrew Wakefield, who linked MMR with autism, failed in duties as responsible consultant
Published in the Guardian Newspaper

Dr Andrew Wakefield,  at the centre of the MMR controversy, "failed in his duties as a responsible consultant" and showed a "callous disregard" for the suffering of children involved in his research, the General Medical Council (GMC) has ruled.
Wakefield also acted dishonestly and was misleading and irresponsible in the way he described research that was later published in the Lancet medical journal, the GMC said. He had gone against the interests of children in his care, and his conduct brought the medical profession "into disrepute" after he took blood samples from youngsters at his son's birthday party in return for payments of £5.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Still Crazy After All These Years: The Challenge of AIDS Denialism for Science

Still Crazy After All These Years: 
The Challenge of AIDS Denialism for Science
By Nicoli Nattrass
AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Published in AIDS and Behavior
In his new book, Denying AIDS, Seth Kalichman observes that people are surprised by the persistence of AIDS denialists:‘‘Are they still around?’’ he is often asked. And it is a good question. Given the large body of scientific and clinical evidence on HIV disease and treatment(expertly summarized by Chigwedere and Essex in this issue of AIDS and Behavior) it is indeed strange that Peter Duesberg and his followers still claim HIV is harmless and that antiretrovirals cause rather than treat AIDS. While such dissident views were intellectually respectable in the 1980s when HIV science was new, they make little sense today. Thus Joseph Sonnabend, a doctor who treated some of the earliest AIDS cases in New York and was well known for arguing that environmental factors may be more important than a virus in driving AIDS, was quick to change his mind once antiretroviral treatment was shown to act against HIV and transform the health of his patients. Peter Duesberg, by contrast, refused to accept the evidence, thereby earning the label ‘denialist’ rather than ‘dissident’.

Duesberg may be pathologically contrarian in this respect, but he has an enduring appeal. Kalichman argues that this is in large part because his claim that HIV is harmless reinforces the normal process of denial most people undergo when faced with traumatizing information—such as a positive HIV test result.

Read more!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Did Publishing AIDS Pseudoscience Kill the Journal Medical Hypthoses?

Publisher attempts to rein in radical medical journal

23 January 2010
Editor rejects proposal to have submissions peer reviewed. Zoë Corbyn reports
The publisher of Medical Hypotheses has proposed that the irreverent journal should be revamped as an orthodox peer-review publication.
In a letter to the editor, Elsevier proposes a “revised and more focused aim and scope” for the journal and a “peer-review process for all submitted articles”.
To achieve this, it suggests a “review of editorial board membership” and development of a “wide pool of reviewers”.
“We would plan a relaunch once these changes have been implemented,” Elsevier says in the letter seen by Times Higher Education.

Read more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Review of AIDS Denialist Crockumentary 'House of Numbers': Nails Em!

Review: 'House of 
Numbers' blurs facts on HIV

By Special to The Oregonian

January 21, 2010, 4:54PM

By personally interesting coincidence, the contrarian AIDS documentary "House of Numbers" opens just as a family friend is flying into Portland in advance of a benefit concert for her father, a local musician suffering from the disease. How fortuitous that I can report to her the film's controversial suggestion: Her dad's malady is not caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. In fact, HIV doesn't exist at all, but is used by researchers and drug companies who inflate infection statistics and terrify the public so government money will continue to flow.

For loved ones of the estimated 25 million who have died from AIDS, the claim might be considered a ludicrous, monstrous lie. But the director, producer, editor and narrator of "House of Numbers," Brent Leung, doesn't seem like a monster at all. He comes off as a pleasant young man conducting an open-minded inquiry into the research establishment's differing views about HIV, testing protocols and statistical science, a confusion that trickles down to the public. Of course, by the end of the film you'll likely be more confused about HIV/AIDS than ever, and that's just the way Leung wants it.

Read more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AIDS Denialism Under Fire From Researchers

The AIDS Beacon

Up-to-date news and information for AIDS patients and their families

By Nora Proops 

In the recent paper “AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice,” Professor Myron Essex and Dr. Pride Chigwedere of the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative provide scientific evidence to refute AIDS denialist beliefs. They show that AIDS denialist policies like withholding antiretroviral treatment to HIV-infected individuals in South Africa has resulted in thousands of deaths in that country.

Denialists do not believe that HIV causes AIDS, that the disease has caused widespread deaths, or that antiretroviral drugs are effective. AIDS denialists, whose adherents have been likened by critics to Holocaust deniers, belong to a movement that has been largely propagated through the Internet.

To make their case, the authors provide a history of how the cause of AIDS was investigated, irrefutable data demonstrating antiretroviral efficacy, and population statistics that are consistent with those from AIDS.

The authors discredit unscientific practices of AIDS denialists, including their use of anecdotal cases and death notification, which they characterize as crude and misrepresentative forms of presenting information.

Read more!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Anti-science can be a lethal game

Simon Jenkins may scoff about swine flu estimates, but HIV/Aids has taught us not to wait to see how deep a pile of bodies gets

It is disappointing to see Simon Jenkins continue his attacks on scientistsattempting to explain complex concepts of risk about a new strain of virus to an ignorant public whose main source of information is an often hysterical media. From his opening paragraph Jenkins presents a unique interpretation of the dangers of swine flu based on his understanding of comments from public scientists. He accuses Sir Liam Donaldson of bandying "about any figure that came into his head, settling on '65,000 could die'". This figure was in fact a worst case scenario, as the article linked to in Jenkins' piece clearly indicates.
Jenkins cites BSE/CJD as a previous example of scare story about science that came to nought, claiming that "it would 'lead to 136,000 deaths' – a spurious exactitude used to convey plausibility". Again the cited article makes clear that this is an estimated upper limit in a worst case scenario. One might also be curious about where Jenkins came across the phrase "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence," which he calls a classic Rumsfeld-ism. In fact it is a misquote from Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World, where it is used to illustrate the dangers of arguing from ignorance.
But this isn't about Jenkins' lack of scholarship, this is about a reflexive, unthinking attitude to science and risk assessment that can go drastically, horribly wrong. In the early 1990s, when Jenkins was editor of the Times, he supported the then Times science correspondent, Neville Hodgkinson, who advocated the arguments of Peter Duesberg, a now notorious individual, who doubted the links between HIV and Aids. At this point in time Duesberg's theories were already considered wrong by the scientific community, yet this did not stop the Times from lending its support.
In December 1993 Jenkins wrote an article in which he claimed that fears over Aids were simple scaremongering, predictions of fatalities were wrong, and drug company funding was distorting the public debate, thus, the link between HIV and Aids should be questioned. This position was untenable given the current state of the literature. Interestingly the arguments in that piece are almost identical to those Jenkins wields today against the dangers of swine flu.

Read more!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peter Duesberg and the AIDS Genocide in South Africa


Research now confirms that the AIDS denialist policies of former South African President Thabo Mbeki contributed to the senseless death of hundreds of thousands of people. It is also well known that Mbeki's AIDS denialist policies were underwritten by University of California biologist Peter Duesberg and his companion David Rasnick. As part of their ongoing propagation of AIDS denialism, Duesberg and Rasnick are trying to publish a paper that refutes the impact of Mbeki's refusal to expand HIV testing, prevention and treatment in South Africa. Their paper titled "HIV-AIDS Hypothesis Out of Touch with South African AIDS – A New perspective" was originally rejected from a legitimate scientific journal and then published in a non-peer reviewed outlet (Medical Hypotheses), only to be retracted. [see posts on August 8, September 9, and September 11].

Nevertheless, Duesberg's article lives on in cyberspace and Duesberg continues to seek its publication. It is important to show yet again that Peter Duesberg is wrong on HIV/AIDS. Below is an excerpt from a new article by Pride Chigwedere and Max Essex published in the journal AIDS and Behavior. 

DISCLOSURE ALERT: I am the Editor of AIDS and Behavior and this paper was peer-reviewed. The full article is available FREE  online

AIDS Denialism and Public Health Practice
By Pride Chigwedere and Max Essex
Published in AIDS and Behavior

We recently published a paper estimating the human cost of not using antiretroviral drugs in South Africa Questioning whether HIV causes AIDS and the safety of using antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), the South African government led by former president Thabo Mbeki withdrew government support from Gauteng clinics that had begun using zidovudine (ZDV or AZT) for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in 1999, restricted the use of nevirapine donated free of charge by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2000, obstructed the acquisition of grants for AIDS treatment from the Global Fund in 2002, and generally delayed implementing a national ARV treatment program until 2004.

Read more!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unclear outlook for radical journal as HIV/AIDS deniers evoke outrage

14 January 2010
It has published papers on everything from ejaculation as a treatment for nasal congestion to why modern scientists are so dull, but the future of Medical Hypotheses is hanging in the balance after a host of complaints from high-profile researchers.
The irreverent publication is the only Elsevier journal not to subject its submissions to peer review. Instead, its editor decides what to publish on the basis of how interesting or radical a paper is, and how well expressed the arguments are.
But its future is in doubt after editor-in-chief Bruce Charlton, professor of theoretical medicine at the University of Buckingham, published a paper from a well-known HIV/Aids denier.
The paper, "HIV-Aids hypothesis out of touch with South African Aids - A new perspective", was published online last July. It was written by Peter Duesberg, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues.

Read more!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beyond Kary Mullis: The Alien Conspiracy Theory of AIDS

Ok, so this one falls under the category 'Just when I thought I had seen all of the crazies in AIDS denialism.' There is a theory that AIDS is the result of an Alien plot against Earth.

Kary Mullis, the alien abducted Nobel Prize winning AIDS denier, has obviously never connected the celestrial dots. Now we have proof... Mullis' glowing raccoons crafted HIV to kill earthlings. Obviously the whole Drugs=AIDS myth is just a cover up.

Why are the AIDS Denialists keeping this a secret?

Why hasn't TruthBearer Celia Farber told us about this?

With his extraterrestrial contacts Henry Bauer surely has knowledge of the plot. Why is he silent?

Is Irving Newton former weatherman in Roswell, Joe's father?

Could it be that there is a larger scheme at work?

Is there an interplanetary conspiracy beyond any of our wildest imaginations? The sort of thing that is only revealed by excessive dopamine in the brain, and LSD of course. Read the terrifying story below or visit The AIDS-ET Connection Hypothesis.

The AIDS-ET Connection Hypothesis

The AIDS-ET Connection Hypothesis is a new, unifying scientific concept, which logically and simply explains and unifies the known facts relating to HIV/AIDS and Ufology (the study of Unidentified flying objects). Like any hypothesis, it is in the least well established stage of scientific knowledge, and provides a guideline for further study, investigation, and possible modification.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Power of Ideas by Ben Goldacre

The Power of Ideas
by Ben Goldacre published in Ariane Sherine's book There's Probably No God: The Atheist's Guide to Christmas, with all contributor proceeds donated to the Terrance Higgins Trust, UK's leading HIV and sexual health charity.

I don’t mean to fill your Christmas with AIDS and diarrhoea, but there is something awe-inspiring about the power of ideas alone to do great good, and great evil. Diarrhoea will be our happy ending. AIDS will not.

There are the cheap shots. Africa is filled with miracle-cure peddlers: the Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, claims he can personally cure HIV, AIDS and asthma using magic and charms. The South African government fell for a cure built around nothing more than industrial solvent.

It’s all too easy to feel smug, and to forget that we have our own cultural idiosyncrasies. There’s compelling evidence, after all, that needle-exchange programmes reduce the spread of HIV, but the strategy has been rejected, time and again, in favour of ‘Just say no.’

Read more!