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.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If it looks like a Nut and smells like a Nut, it's probably a Nut

Why do so many Tea Party people sound like AIDS Denialists? I previously posted on libertarian/Tea Party US Senator Rand Paul's membership in The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, an ultraconservative group that endorses pseudoscience and AIDS denialism. In addition, Celia Farber,  a vocal AIDS Denier, is aligned with the Tea Party movement. Several AIDS Deniers have posted their nutty views on the libertarian Lew Rockwell website. So it should not be surprising that leaders in the Tea Party can look a lot like AIDS Denialists. 

Case in point: The Huffington Post has collected "The craziest things Michele Bachmann has ever said".  Congresswoman (and potential Presidential Candiate) Bachmann has weighed in on intelligent design, germ conspiracies, vaccine hazards, and homophobic paranoia. It is just a matter of time before she claims that HIV does not cause AIDS. Here are some favorite Bachmann quotes from the Huffington Post article. If you have a couple minutes, visit the article and watch some of her videos. 

"And what a bizarre time we're in, when a judge will say to little children that you can't say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it."

"There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."

"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."

"[Gay marriage] is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that."

"Normalization [of gayness] through desensitization. Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders is take a picture of 'The Lion King' for instance, and a teacher might say, 'Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?' The message is: 'I'm better at what I do, because I'm gay.'"

"But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."


  1. When Kathy Griffin went to DC last year she made headlines for saying to Michelle Bachman:

    "Were you born a bigot or do you just legislate that way?"

    Pricelessly accurate.

  2. Amazing Seth, you're actually a fascist Jew!

  3. I just realized Woodrow Wilson was also a democrat, and the Spanish Flu happened during his term. Maybe Bachmann is on to something.

  4. But wait! There was also a pandemic in '58. Obviously, there is only one explanation. Eisenhower was a Democrat!

  5. Ronald Reagan was a Republican and he gave us AIDS. Got a response for that notElon?

  6. Reagan did not "give us AIDS" he just fucking ignored it!

  7. If it looks like a Nut and smells like a Nut,then it's probably Krazy Kalichman.

    The latest news from our virus hunters..
    'After 30 years, war on AIDS at 'moment of truth'
    When are they going to admit that they have been,from the beginning and still are, chasing a ghost?

  8. They were all pretty hilarious, but I especially liked this one:

    "But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."

    I'm Australian and I know that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed almost 100 years after the constitution. Isn't this something that a member of congress should know about their home country?

  9. Hey you f#@king SPANKER! what's happening in the land of Grant Writing classes, truly is that all you're good for at UConn?

    A full professor of Grant Writing PhD.GW...On ya!

  10. You raise a good point about Reagan, but we can just make Carter president for an extra few months. After all, Bachmann did it for Ford in the other direction.

    Besides, it is likely that AIDS was around already, and Reagan was just the first president with the foresight to notice.

  11. Reagan..first president with the foresight?
    You must mean the first with Alzheimer's.
    Regan gave us lots of things, including homelessness and untreated people with mental illness.
    What if Reagan would have attended to AIDS right off the bat? Would we have a different HIV epidemic?
    If inaction contributes to AIDS...

    it is fair to blame Reagan for at least some of AIDS among Gay men.

    And when it comes to HIV transmitted during injection drug use... Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II can all share in the blame.

  12. In all seriousness, you'd have to take even a Tea Party member over a Reagan or Bush. As an outsider, it's truly amazing that you regularly elect lunatics to the highest office, AND then give them the nuclear codes to play with. You'd have taken Arnold for president if he was eligible. He'll be baaaack!

  13. "And when it comes to HIV transmitted during injection drug use... Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II can all share in the blame."

    Not many people realise how much of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in western countries has been fueled by injecting drug use, particularly in parts of the US, in southern Europe, and more recently in the former USSR and eastern Europe. People also forget that IDUs have sex and have babies like anyone else.

    Countries that clued into this relatively early and introduced widespread clean needle distribution and upscaled treatment and education programs around safer using are now reaping the rewards in terms of lower HIV prevalence across the population - including and perhaps especially among non-IDU heterosexuals.

    They shouldn't get too complacent, though. HIV can spread suddenly, unexpectedly, and with startling rapidity in vulnerable populations - witness the experience of some IDU groups in parts of Estonia who went from near zero prevalence to up to 70% or more within a couple of short years around 2000.

  14. Oh dear Snout, such poppycock and piffle, Estonia's incidence shot up because of the introduction of testing my dear chap, rapid dodgy testing at that.

    As for IDU's please explain how with needle exchange programs the incidence of HIV went down but Hepatitis C shot up? Why do Lesbians have a higher incidence of Hepatitis C than Gay men who get more HIV.

    And why does HIV have a preference for heroin users but Hepatitis C prefers cocaine abusers? Such discriminating virus' Ah that's right, 8.5 thousand cunning intelligent base pairs.

    Go back to your day job giving lectures to young graduate nurses who actually swallow this crap.

  15. Snout. This is why I get irritated and come off as an insulting and intolerant jerk. Because I have to deal with ignorant people who continue to think they understand AIDS . They think they know so much, but do not even have the basics of epi and infectious diseases. The do not grasp simple concepts, like sexual networks, transmission dynamics, and base rate prevalence. Concepts that any first year MPH student should know. Concepts that answer all of the the above questions.

    Why can't these people just accept what they do not know?

    Because that would mean 'trusting an expert'.

    God knows you cannot trust experts!

    Ignorance + paranoia... a bad combination.

  16. Well, Seth, to me you come across as excessively tolerant and polite to dickheads like Henry above, but perhaps you have to in your position.

    Personally, I think I'm reasonably tolerant of honest ignorance. What I can't stand the deliberate lies the denialists make up to try to cover up their ignorance.

    "...such poppycock and piffle, Estonia's incidence shot up (in 2000) because of the introduction of testing..."

    Fail, Henry.

    HIV-infection in Estonia (1993)

    Predominance of a rare type of HIV-1 in Estonia (2005)

  17. Henry...Bauer?
    Most laughable.
    My favorite AIDS Denialist.
    Best was when an undergad student corrected him on basic concepts.

    "Junior computer science major Jonathan Burke, one of the most vocal members of the audience, quickly raised the point that comparing a virus (HIV) to a bacteria like gonorrhea is a fundamentally bad analysis.
    'His telling weakness was that he had no proper comparison,' Burke said. 'He was comparing apples and gerbils.'
    Later, Bauer partially conceded Burke's point."

    So embarrassing.
    The case against Tenure.
    What a sad sorry old man.

  18. Well, I can't be certain the person posting as "Nemesis" is that specific Henry, but if he's not then he's channelling exactly the same bilge that originated from Bauer's addled brain. So I think it's reasonable to address it as "Henry"

    Like Tolstoy's unhappy families, each crazy denialist is crazy in his own distinct way.

  19. Gee that's some debunking reply Snout, NOT. Back to insults when no answer available. So predictable of the orthodox goons.

  20. *yawn*

    Clark, I answered Henry above (see April 6, 2011 7:44 PM). Do you have reading comprehension difficulties?

    So you tell me, was HIV testing first introduced in Estonia in 2000 as Henry claims, or was he flat-out lying? (Hint: 1.2 million tests by 1993 in a country with a population of 1.3 million means they didn't wait until 2000 to start HIV screening.)

    If you denialist trolls tell lies, I will point them out and then insult you. You deserve it. If you don't like it then bugger off.

  21. Snout's Nemesis,

    Do you have references to back any of that up? I'm curious since most of us here prefer to get primary sources for information to make sure it is accurate.


  22. Snout, you are pulling your statistics straight from AVERT not a scientific publication. You may call that a primary source much as you do AIDSTRTUH as well, but it is NOT.

    Your classic quoting of horrendous figures is exactly what AIDS groupies like you do to scare the rest of us. When one looks behind the figures though it's easy to see what shams they are and what small numbers are involved. That's why you quote percentages and not actual numbers. They're doing in eastern europe exactly what they did in Africa, trouble is they got caught out there and had to reduce their numbers by 20% overnight.

    AS for the lesbian Hep C info try the ACT Hepatitis C Resource Centre in Woden, they actually give lectures about that unexplained peculiarity. They've also now gone to the extreme of giving out clean injecting equipment not just needles as no one can explain the explosion in numbers since clean needles were introduced. It's now claimed you can get hep c from a dirty tourniquet used by IDU's. Such a virulence should have seen some sort of explosion elsewhere wouldn't you think???

    And back to the HIV party tricks, Bauer didn't claim no testing in Estonia prior to 2000 I checked you liar, that was the introduction of rapid testing in the parks and streets. And as a matter of fact from Estonia itself the testing result ***(ESTIMATED)*** all come from the usual suspects, IDU's MSM's, Prisoners (in jail for IDU's, clown) and of course the old tried and true pregnant woman trick just to add a bit of credibility to the heterosexual claim.

    Search out your own references, non of mine came from a "denialist" site, it's all mainstream stuff. And when you quote a study be sure and publish the sponsors and conflicts of interest.

    One more thing. Seth, you remind me of one of those fat talking dolls with a string on it's front, when you pull it, it shouts "Denialist, Denialist, Denialist".

    Adios Cabron

  23. Why do you post this crap? These people are obviously mentally ill. Who would deny that HIV causes AIDS? No one is that stupid.
    Stupid people do not challenge authority. No, these people are antisocial paranoids. They have mental illnesses that keep them from gaining insight. Why give them the attention? Cut them off.
    Informing people about AIDS is great, but giving these sick people a platform is a waste of time.

  24. Snout, you are pulling your statistics straight from AVERT not a scientific publication. You may call that a primary source much as you do AIDSTRTUH as well, but it is NOT.

    Anyone can click on the two links I provided on April 6, 2011 7:44 PM and see that they are primary research published through the National Library of Medicine, not from AVERT. The other reference was a 2008 report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

    Why must you lie so obviously, Henry?

  25. Gavin
    I see your point. Speaking as Clinical Psychologist, AIDS Denialists are mentally ill. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association is considering Malignant Denial as a new diagnosis. You are also correct about the propagators of denialism. Sociopathy and paranoia, for sure. Narcissism also plays a huge role (Duesberg). As I describe in my book, Denying AIDS, they are really the garden variety of psychopathology. Everything from paranoid personality disorder (Rasnick) to senile dementia (Bauer).

    In many ways they are a waste of time. But still, I think there is a need to call them out on the Internet, so welcome to my Blog!

  26. "Stupid people do not challenge authority"

    Which authority is that Gavin? is it like government authority as in say Mubarak or Hussein or Gadafi? or just the particular authority you want to believe in?

    Every ruling elite makes the grandiose statement that they are right...well until proved wrong of course.

  27. James
    What I meant was.. denialists are not stupid. They are not about challenging authority on rational grounds. They see authority, all authority, as their enemy. They are insane.

    Intelligent people know to question authority. They know when and how much to trust. You should read Kalichman's book. Very insightful.

  28. "They see authority, all authority, as their enemy. They are insane."

    That appears to be a rather overly broad statement. I find it hard to trust your sincerity Gavin.

  29. Hey I though Malignant Denial was a term originally coined in alcohol abuse psychology, how have you taken it as your own in your book and this blog about AIDS?

  30. Samantha
    Thanks for commenting.
    Malignant Denial does not specifically refer to AIDS Denialism. It is condition the American Psychiatric Association is considering for when a person has a medically confirmed diagnosis and maintains a sense of denial that compromises their health and treatment. People who buy into Peter Duesberg and the AIDS Denialists -- people like Christine Maggiore, Emery Taylor, Kari Stokely etc....they fit the diagnosis.
    That is pretty clear in Denying AIDS.

  31. "People who buy into Peter Duesberg and the AIDS Denialists -- people like Christine Maggiore, Emery Taylor, Kari Stokely etc....they fit the diagnosis.
    That is pretty clear in Denying AIDS."

    Only an absolute fool would diagnose people he has never met with (in a public forum, no less). This is further proof that psychology is a pseudo-science. Your self-proclaimed expert status at diagnosing "denialists" (an imaginary condition) makes you the perfect candidate for own medicine. Swallow it.

  32. Yep, never met a denialist..

    Peter Duesberg
    David Rasnick
    Robert Leppo
    David Steele

    Ever talk with..
    Christine Maggiore
    Members of HEAL groups
    Tony Lance
    Kim Bannon's family

    Not to mention the close friendship between Joe Newton, Crowe and Bauer...

    Ahh..such fond memories.

    I should make reading Denying AIDS a prerequisite for commenting on my Blog.

  33. Yeah, Seth, you must be "an absolute fool" for stating that Maggiore, Taylor, Stokely "fit the diagnosis." That's not exactly the same thing as actually diagnosing them, but hey, Anonymous and the other denialists love to overlook the truth and make up their own definitions.

    Also, it's funny how Anonymous ignores the fact that you have a PhD in the subject as well as years of research experience and years of experience teaching at a very well respected institute of higher learning in this very subject. Yep, all that certainly equals your expertise being "self-proclaimed".

    If anonymous were not a denier of all things true, he would see this all makes you an actual expert whether you proclaim it or not!

  34. C'mon Seth... You have every right to have a political agenda (and even write about it on a blog that is primarily about HIV dissidence), but it serves no purpose in making a correlation about those 2 issues that have nothing to do with one another. Its clear you are attempting to gain an audience by appealing to emotion, and thus it discredits your opinion.

    It would be like me saying that HIV doesn't cause AIDS because Seth Kalichman believes it does and also believes in a JFK assasination conspiracy.

    I'd recommend to keep your blog postings on differenent topics, wholly separate.

  35. I disagree, Tony - I think it's perfectly valid to try to place a tendency to HIV/AIDS denialism (and other oddities) within the political beliefs spectrum.

    Although I'm not so sure the left-right (liberal versus conservative) axis is necessarily all that relevant. More predictive is the association with a particularly extreme form of libertarianism which has its devotees on both ends of the left-right spectrum.

    The AAPS, for example is ultra-conservative, but also ultra-libertarian, and is opposed to just about any kind of government intervention in healthcare, including regulation of the medical profession. For groups like this (and other libertarians including those on the left), the bogeyman is government in general. They are especially wary of anything to do with public health, and issues like vaccination and control of infectious diseases - including HIV/AIDS - draw particular suspicion.

  36. Ah censorship once again, just goes to prove your hollow standpoint on this whole issue.

    Tony has it right.

  37. Hey Coralie,
    How about giving at least one specific example of "censorship"?

    Can you do that, or was that just a "hollow" statement to obfuscate the isssue and insinuate negative conotations about Seth's character?

  38. If it looks like a Nut and smells like a Nut,then it's probably Krazy Kalichman. The latest news from our virus hunters.. 'After 30 years, war on AIDS at 'moment of truth' When are they going to admit that they have been,from the beginning and still are, chasing a ghost?

  39. Counting the REAL GhostsApril 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Chasing "A" ghost singular? Or many ghosts, plural, like Maggiore, EJ, Emory, Pasquereli, etc...and maybe soon, Stokely?

  40. I don't know what the anonymous troll is trying to get at, but this is the article entitled "After 30 years, war on AIDS at 'moment of truth". It's an account of Ban Ki Moon's comments on a UN report on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the first report on cases of unexplained pneumonia in gay men, on June 5 1981, and it concerns the failure of the world community to invest sufficient resources in prevention and treatment. The virus hunters, of course, found the virus in 1984. Not a ghost, a retrovirus.