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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

David Crowe's Incisive Interview with David Crowe on Global Warming

I was recently asked whether AIDS Denialists are involved in other denialisms, such as Holocaust denial, the anti-vaccine movement, 9/11 Truth Seeking, etc. 

The answer is, of course, yes. Gary Null is an AIDS Denier and Cancer Denialist. Liam Scheff and Tom Bethell are AIDS Denialists and creationists. There is overlap between AIDS Deniers and the anti-vaccine crowd. Henry Bauer is an AIDS Denier and a well known Anti-Reality Activist. 

I suppose I should not have been surprised when I saw that David Crowe, President of the Rethinking AIDS Society, is also a Global Warming Denialist. David Crowe is well known for his AIDS and cancer denialism. But Global Warming too? 

I suppose when it comes to the wacky world of AIDS Denialism, nothing should surprise us. 

My Position on Global Warming and Climate Change

by David Crowe
March 19, 2010

If I can be classified it would be as a left-leaning environmentalist, with a history of environmental concerns dating back to my pre-teen years in the 1960s. I was one of the founders of the Alberta Greens political party in 1990 based on support for a federal Green candidate in 1988, and was the party's president until 2004 and then CFO until a right-wing takeover in late 2008.
I have organized my position on global warming/climate change as a self-interview because my concerns have arisen as I have been asked more questions about this and some of my green friends exhibit shock at my position.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Book by Nathan Geffen

Quackery taken to task
by Lesley Odendal

Nathan Geffen’s book Debunking Delusions reminds us what can go wrong when AIDS denialists are given the time of day. The book also documents clearly how we can fight denialism in a manner that saves lives and respects science. What is clear given the resurgence of AIDS denialist propaganda is that now is not the time to sit back.

As Geffen argues in his book, underlying the Treatment Action Campaign’s success in fighting denialism and quackery was the almost unsung treatment education programme. Knowledge truly is power in this case.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deconstructing David Crowe

Next to Henry Bauer, David Crowe is my favorite AIDS Denialist.

It was, after all, David Crowe who took me under his wing to give me a bird's eye view of AIDS denialism. Crowe and Henry Bauer taught me that AIDS Deniers are sincere when they say that HIV does not cause AIDS. In fact , they don't just say it -  they live it! Crowe and Bauer really believe that HIV is harmless and that HIV tests are invalid.  It is their reality.  Using my nickname, Joe Newton (for obvious reasons), the psychopathology that runs through Denialism was vividly displayed by my AIDS Denialist mentors. AIDS Denialism is no joke...still it is easy to mistake David Crowe the AIDS Denialist for David Crowe the comedian. 

I recently saw David Crowe's (the AIDS Denialist) latest essay. Trying to keep the legacy of former South African Denialist President Thabo Mbeki in our hearts and minds, David Crowe rants that AIDS In Africa is caused by poverty, HIV tests are invalid, the numbers are cooked, blah ......  

I have not read Crowe's essay myself. I tried. I cannot. I am finding it increasingly difficult to read the same old crap spewed by AIDS Denialists, over and over and over again.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stunning Admission by the NIH: Advances in HIV Treatment have saved countless lives

At a meeting with the (Washington Post) editorial board yesterday, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, dropped this stunning piece of data on the AIDS epidemic in the United States. In the 1980s, he said, a 21-year-old diagnosed with HIV could expect to live just one year. Today, a 21-year-old who becomes HIV-positive has a life expectancy of 70.
"Pretty remarkable," Dr. Collins said, after noting the impact of anti-retroviral treatments that lower the level of HIV in the blood and boost immune systems. For those whose lives have been saved, it's a miracle.
You can hear more about what he said on AIDS and other topics here: 

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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.

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Duped by Denialists: Final Verdict on Editor of Medical Hypotheses Part III

Times Higher Education
10 March 2010

Ultimatum spells end for Medical Hypotheses in its current form. Zoë Corbyn reports
The editor of the journal Medical Hypotheses has been given until 15 March either to implement changes to adopt a traditional peer-review system, or to resign.
He has also been told that even if he stays with the journal, his contract will not be renewed at the end of the year.
As Times Higher Education reported in January, publisher Elsevier is attempting to rein in its unorthodox journal, which publishes papers on the basis of how interesting or radical they are rather than using peer review, after it published a paper last July that denied the link between HIV and Aids.
The article prompted an outcry from Aids researchers, leading Elsevier to propose changes to both introduce peer review and exclude papers on certain controversial topics.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Duped by Denialists: Final Verdict on Editor of Medical Hypotheses Part II

Elsevier to Editor: Change Controversial Journal or Resign


 on March 8, 2010 7:37 PM 
The editor of the journal Medical Hypotheses—an oddity in the world of scientific publishing because it does not practice peer review—is about to lose his job over the publication last summer of a paper that says HIV does not cause AIDS. Publishing powerhouse Elsevier today told editor Bruce Charlton that it won't renew his contract, which expires at the end of 2010, and it asked that Charlton resign immediately or implement a series of changes in his editorial policy, including putting a system of peer review in place. Charlton, who teaches evolutionary psychology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, says he will do neither, and some on the editorial advisory board say they may resign in protest if he is fired.

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Duped by Denialists: Final Verdict on Editor of Medical Hypotheses

Journal Editor Faces Axe
by Jef  Akst
The Scientist
March 8 2010
Elsevier has asked the editor-in-chief of its only non-peer-reviewed journal, Medical Hypotheses, to either resign immediately or implement a series of changes, including a traditional peer-review system.

The journal's editor-in-chief Bruce Charlton told The Scientist that such changes are "vehemently opposed" by the editorial advisory board, as well as at least 150 scientists who have published in the journal. Elsevier has given him until next Monday (March 15) to respond, and he said he is still contemplating his decision.

In addition to instituting a peer-review system, an external advisory board assembled by Elsevier also recommends that articles on controversial subjects, such as any that support racism, not be considered for publication.
Elsevier has also given Charlton notice that his contract will be "terminated" at the end of this year, Charlton said. "My understanding is that Elsevier will indeed appoint a new editor and make the changes while keeping the same title," he explained, a move that he considers "dishonest" and "unethical."

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Next for Ahmadinejad: HIV Does Not Cause AIDS

Iranian president: 

9/11 was 'big lie'

March 7, 2010

Two days before his official trip to Afghanistan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a "big lie" intended to pave the way for the invasion of a war-torn nation, according to Iranian state media.

Ahmadinejad, known for his harsh rhetoric toward the West and Israel, said the attack on U.S. soil was a "scenario and a sophisticated intelligence measure," Iran's state-run Press TV reported Saturday.
The assault was a "big lie intended to serve as a pretext for fighting terrorism and setting the grounds for sending troops to Afghanistan," Press TV reported Ahmadinejad as saying.

It's not the first time Ahmadinejad has denied a historical tragedy. In the past, he has denied the existence of the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of some 6 million Jews during World War II, and suggested Israel should be "wiped off the map."

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

One Nation Under God with Liberty and Stupidity for All

Despite what AIDS Denialists may say, AIDS Denialism has political ties. The reality is that Peter Duesberg attracts  champions of free speech and anti-censorship. That is because the folklore of Peter Duesberg centers on his being censored by science and defunded by the federal government, neither of which is true. Still, he has successfully cultivated the sympathies of the anti-government crowd. 

Those of us who follow AIDS Denialism are well aware of the connection between AIDS deniers and Libertarianism.  Former college math teacher Rebecca Culshaw came to us through the Lew Rockwell anti-government, anti-war, pro-capitalism website. Libertarian comedian Bill Maher (and by the way, I am a fan) came out in support of the late AIDS denier Christine Maggiore. Other AIDS Deniers like conservative columnist Tom Bethel and venture capitalist Robert Leppo also fall into the Libertarian camp. Of course there are the Clean Hands whistle blowing American Physicians and Surgeons people who publish AIDS deniers in their sham journal. Then you have David Rasnick who fears the NIH, CIA, FBI, DHS, IRS etc. to the point where he lives in exile in the Bahamas. There are several other examples from less known (and less significant) AIDS denier bloggers.

So it did not surprise me to see AIDS Denialists crawl out of the woodwork on former Libertarian Presidential Candidate and US Congressman Ron Paul’s website. It is an amusing read, with connections between Chinese viruses, Peter Duesberg, and natural cures.

Submitted by runforron on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 18:24

A new infectious disease is spreading in large areas of Mainland China. Symptoms are similar to AIDS but it spreads faster between family members, even via bodily fluids like saliva.

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