Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Media and officials silent as Harpers excites blog soap boxers

Lions rumble, lambs huddle, donkeys bray and bees sting

The signal lack of comment by the established media in the week that has passed since Harpers published its HIV?AIDS critique is interesting.

The silence suggests a certain difficulty caused by this surprise attack on a target which almost everyone comfortable had assumed was morally, politically, scientifically and medically beyond criticism, endorsed by all authorities in the entire world, the one politically correct cause we had imagined we could support without thought, the scientific and medical campaign against HIV?AIDS.

Politically and personally, it must be a great shock to the system and to all those who swim with the mainstream that the reputable and worldly Harpers saw sufficient merit in Farber’s questioning HIV?AIDS medicine and HIV?AIDS science to edit and publish it.

Encountering such a polished piece, tightly written and fact checked, seasoned and sophisticated in its very phrasing, the level of cognitive dissonance must be very high, and the temptation to dismiss it, regardless of its qualities, very large.

It is an indication of this paralyzing dissonance, presumably, that the responsible media seem to be taking their time to assess the situation, while the less restrained Web carries one lionhearted supportive blogger (Alexander at DailyKos, see Harper’s article explodes dogma that HIV causes AIDS [w/epilogue]) and a notice at POZ magazine inviting comment labeled Farber feedback.

Two things about AIDS had always puzzled me. One was that such a completely new kind of disease—one that infects and destroys the very system whose function it is to fight off infections, the immune system—would appear virtually simultaneously with the discovery of the kind of infectious agent that transmits AIDS. The other was that despite claims that AIDS is the latest epidemic, the incidence of AIDS remains essentially restricted in the US and Europe to the groups in which it was originally discovered: gay men and intravenous drug users.

An article in the March Harper’s finally clears up these puzzles. It turns out that when there is big money involved, science in America functions not so differently from our politics. There is scientific controversy about whether HIV actually causes AIDS, but the media has kept this from us. And according to the dissenting view, the standard therapy for HIV infection kills people who might be perfectly healthy, and the vast body of AIDS research and medicine has been one huge waste of resources.

These Web pages have as a result been resounding with a sort of cacophony since – the timid baaing of the lambs huddling closer together, mixed with the braying of the on-line donkeys with their ringing endorsements of the status quo.

Harpers is also experiencing a blizzard of mail dictated by the left-brain interpreter of the writers, we understand. That is to say, the part of the brain responsible for preserving existing understanding against conficting data.

The guard dogs are quiet

Meanwhile, the officials at NIAIDS, guard dogs of the HIV?AIDS paradigm, are quiet. Publicly accused of carrying out shoddy trials and clearing new drugs for funding without reliable justification, on the basis of science to which very serious and prolonged objections have gone scientifically unanswered, they have offered no public response beyond the comments in the HPTN meeting we reported in the last post.

We imagine this will continue at least until the major media comment. Presumably the officials will follow the same tactics that have proved so successful in the past, starting with the Cancer Research paper in 1987. That is to say, they will keep quiet but work behind the scenes to disparage the piece, as DAIDS Director Ed Tramont did to us at the HPTN party last week, by fastening on the section voicing the concerns and experience of Peter Duesberg. As soon as he read the name Duesberg, the head of DAIDS told us cheerfully, he knew he didn’t have to worry.

This certainly appears to be true on the blog level, where the HIV?AIDS crowd are clearly programmed to charge whenever they see the Duesberg name, though they may be personally be completely unfamiliar with the man and his work, as indicated by the frequency with which they mispell his name as “Duisberg” (at Anna’s Journal – Betrayed) or “Duesenberg” (at Harper’s article explodes dogma that HIV causes AIDS [w/epilogue])

Their prejudice reflects the success of the cult politics and smear-Duesberg campaign that has successfully generated a public defense of the HIV?AIDS paradigm for the last two decades, and it may well continue to work. But it probably won’t, since Duesberg now more than ever widely recognized as an outstanding scientist, and the Harpers article is quite an effective indictment on a broader front than simply misguided theory.

For these reasons it seems unlikely that the name of Duesberg will successfully taint the Harpers article among the goats of HIV?AIDS, as opposed to the sheep – that is, the slightly less pliant and more informed editors and reporters of the major media, who we nonetheless categorize as goats because they normally swallow anything handed to them by the powers-that-be in HIV?AIDS science.

Nor evidently will the ploy succeed among the more thoughtful and respectable bloggers such as Alexander at Daily Kos, although it is serving as such already among the sheep and bees of the HIV?AIDS crusade, judging from their baaing and buzzing in the Comments to the post.

Burning the messenger at the stake

Through some invisible influence, the footsoldiers of HIV?AIDS who rush to deplore Harpers for examining the field always seem to feel fully informed regardless of their unfamiliarity with the opposing view in HIV?AIDS and its history, except as a heresy they and their friends have been horrified by in the past when anyone has been rash enough to mention it.

Surely this is the feeling of superior knowledge that overcomes people when they trust their leaders, an emotion which has been the key to success for mass movements of all kinds throughout history.

So without even reading her article they are now zealous to burn Celia Farber and anybody supporting her at the stake in defense of their established religion and to preserve the HIV?AIDS bible from desecration at the hands of the dangerous infidels, who they fear may interfere with the administering of the favored medications in HIV?AIDS which they insist, though the literature does not yet confirm, prolong life.

Reading over these confidently vehement, occasionally vicious, shoot-from-the-hip responses, from people who sometimes seem like the suicide bombers of a medical Holy War, in whom the level of scientific information seems to correlate inversely with the level of hostility, making one doubt if any of them have actually read the Harpers article itself with any attention, one feels sorry for Celia Farber, with her belief that the truth is worth seeking and uncovering for the public benefit.

According to her own account she has stuck to that belief through all the barbs, cuts, slings and arrows of insults, scorn, vituperation and worse she has had to suffer in her unusual line of work, investigative reporting in medical science, which few undertake these days, especially in HIV?AIDS.

This is extraordinary, considering that according to the most intensely refereed review literature, Duesberg’s reviews, the paradigm was established without justification and has since been maintained as sacrosanct solely by the political protection of the generals, and the faith and emotion of the ground troops, ie the health workers, activist supporters (typically funded by the drug companies, according to Harpers) and scientific and official leaders, rather than the science in the literature.

Since Harpers with Celia is merely calling for free speech and renewed outside examination of a field in which so much has apparently gone wrong, it is discouraging to see the naivete of the average blog reader leads them to support the suspects in resisting these demands, which are in line with the basic principle of good science, free examination by all.

Perhaps they should be reminded that after twenty years there is still no scientific proof or even direct evidence of mechanism that has been published in the refereed literature, and no shred of indisputable evidence for HIV as cause reported, despite the fierce conviction of many involved.

Eye witness accounts of how well patients fare with the newer drugs are about the only reason left to think that HIV?AIDS is anything other than a matter of false interpretation, of looking at everything through HIV=AIDS spectacles. This rather unscientific reporting is contradicted by the literature which states that the drugs are not life saving. All of which may only prove that faith is a far stronger support than science for a widespread belief, even in medicine.

The phenomenon of faith defending science is shown by the degree to which a theory becomes more and more ornate, and this is what has happened in HIV?AIDS. All kinds of as yet unproved claims have been advanced to account for the way in which HIV?AIDS data contradicts basic science and even common sense.

The literature of HIV?AIDS claims continually shows this classic Ptolemaic character. Year by year it rationalises, with ever more complex suppositions, and shifting ground, evidence which doesn’t fit the theory. What is always ruled out is the simpler solution – that the paradigm is wrong and the causes of the many different ailments of AIDS are precisely what would be suggested by standard medicine.

If this forbidden line of retreat was adopted then all the inconsistencies, paradoxes, offenses to science and common sense would melt away like the snow of fantasy in the sun of reason, reason which for some reason has the same offensive emotional baggage for the ordinary believer as it does in contradicting religion. (One suspects that the motivations of the leaders in HIV?AIDS is resisting debate are a little more self-interested).

All this reminds many observers of the period in which early astronomy was defended against Copernicus and clung to the earth-centered solar system of the ancient Egyptian Ptolemy through ever more complex calculations of orbit and intersection.

Like confessing a murder

Countering such religious belief at the blog level is not for the thin skinned. Darwin himself notoriously wrote that revealing his theory of evolution would be like “confessing a murder.” Indeed, he had no stomach for it, and waited twelve years to announce evolution, and only did it then because he was pushed into it by fear of losing credit for it.

We are happy that at least one blogger welcomed the Harpers piece with a thoughtful and responsible piece, giving it the kind of salute it deserves. Alexander at Daily Kos: Harper’s article explodes dogma that HIV causes AIDS

However, the inevitable hostile contradictions then descended on the poster like a swarm of killer bees.

Apparently even though he was familiar with the debate before this week, the writer was taken aback the level of outrage provoked by reasoned skepticism in this area, where as noted in our previous post, the sanctions and the blandishments brought to bear on those who view the Emperor as naked are more or less the equal of a cult, such as Scientology.

Alexander of Daily Kos should have known that there is hardly any view which is more unpopular and suspect with the crowd that the view that HIV is not the answer to what causes AIDS.

We are happy to draw attention to this classic blog post which exhibits the kind of independent thinking, and overall perspective, which is an example to the braying, baaing and buzzing menagerie which it mostly excited:

Daily Kos: Harper’s article explodes dogma that HIV causes AIDS [w/epilogue] by Alexander Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:29:46 PM PDT:

–CONTENT GOES HERE (static)–

Daily Kos

Harper’s article explodes dogma that HIV causes AIDS [w/epilogue]

by Alexander

Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:29:46 PM PDT

Two things about AIDS had always puzzled me. One was that such a completely new kind of disease—one that infects and destroys the very system whose function it is to fight off infections, the immune system—would appear virtually simultaneously with the discovery of the kind of infectious agent that transmits AIDS. The other was that despite claims that AIDS is the latest epidemic, the incidence of AIDS remains essentially restricted in the US and Europe to the groups in which it was originally discovered: gay men and intravenous drug users.

An article in the March Harper’s finally clears up these puzzles. It turns out that when there is big money involved, science in America functions not so differently from our politics. There is scientific controversy about whether HIV actually causes AIDS, but the media has kept this from us. And according to the dissenting view, the standard therapy for HIV infection kills people who might be perfectly healthy, and the vast body of AIDS research and medicine has been one huge waste of resources.

* Alexander’s diary :: ::

*

The only place that most people have heard about the dissenting view is probably where I did: in reporting on South African President’s Mbeki’s reluctance to provide anti-HIV drugs to his people, on the grounds that it is drugs that cause AIDS. The media presented this view as a crackpot theory, and I believed them. Well, it turns out that this is the view of Peter Duesberg, a leading virologist and cancer specialist. And this theory clears up my two puzzles, and many other puzzles which the conventional HIV=AIDS view has been unable to clear up to this day.

The article is “Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science”, by Celia Farber. It’s a compelling read, and demolishes the AIDS establishment, the Center for Disease Control and all, as another American racket, akin to the war on drugs or the war on terror. She starts off with the story of how a young black woman who gets a false positive from an HIV test (no one tried to do the test over) gets coaxed into a clinical trial for a new AIDS drug, to die from liver damage from the drug not too long after. (Since being positive for HIV is taken to be a death sentence, the usual concerns about drug toxicity are waved away by researchers and pharmaceutical companies.) The middle part of the article discusses a clinical trial of a new drug in Africa didn’t meet minimal scientific standards, and how this was covered up by the CDC, with the usual efforts made to get one administrator who would not play along fired. The last part discusses Duesberg’s theory, along with how the academic establishment has cut off all funding to him and rejected articles by him in refereed journals, once he published his critique of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis. If you’re interested in the article, it is summarized here. I won’t say any more about it, and will instead try to get across the main thrust of Duesberg’s ideas.

I don’t know how many people here remember how AIDS first made its appearance. Doctors in San Francisco and elsewhere noticed that gay men started coming down with a rare form of cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma, in unusually high numbers. At the same time, it was found that the incidence of several diseases among IV drug users was on the increase. Initially, it was thought that that the incidence of these diseases was attributable to lifestyle. Many men use amyl nitrate upon their sexual encounters, which means they can use it thousands of times over the course of a few years. Amyl nitrate is a carcinogen. Similarly, sustained use of drugs like heroin or cocaine leads to malnutrition, which weakens the immune system. Thus, the increase in the incidence of these various diseases could be explained by a rise in drug abuse.

Although what one had was a rise in the incidence of several very different diseases, for whatever reason, the CDC decided to group them all together under the umbrella of “acquired immune deficiency”, and announced the appearance of a new disease, AIDS. Several years earlier, retroviruses had been discovered. (Most viruses carry their genetic material in the form of DNA, which they inject into cells to take over the cells’ molecular machinery. Retroviruses carry their genetic material in RNA, which is then reverse-transcribed into cells’ own DNA.) Researchers in this field had been hoping to find retroviruses that produce cancer, but were not having much luck. When AIDS came on the scene, they started investigating whether they could find a retrovirus present in AIDS patients. In that they were successful; some of you might remember the nasty battle over scientific priority between Robert Gallo and a French scientist over the discovery of HIV. That AIDS is an infectious disease, and that HIV is the infectious agent, was announced by Joseph Gallo at a CDC news conference. In a matter of days, this was taken as an established truth by researchers in the field, and as a result of that, by the media.

Now, the first funny thing here is that this scientific “breakthrough” was announced at a press conference at a government agency. Usually, scientific discoveries are disseminated in scientific articles, which are vetted for valid reasoning and research technique by referees; in the case of a sufficiently important claimed discovery, people try to replicate the results, find supporting evidence, and so on. If some people find the claims of the article questionable, they will do their own experiments and research, and publish their contradictory results. Only after this period of debate is over will the new alleged knowledge be accepted as probably true and valid by scientists. This usual scientific process was not followed in the case of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis. In the US and Europe, as far as one can discern from published data, there appear to be virtually no cases of AIDS in which the patient took no drugs. But no study has ever been done to establish this conclusively one way or the other. If there is a history of drug use uniformly present in AIDS cases, then drug use would be an alternative explanation for AIDS. This is especially the case since after twenty years, no one has been able to explain how HIV destroys the immune system.

I am not an expert in molecular biology or virology, but I have published in philosophy of science. And the HIV=AIDS hypothesis has the tell-tale signs of bad science, such as paradoxes. For example, as Duesberg points out, it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself. And in any case, we know that infected T-cells do not die, since (immortal) lines of infected T-cells are used to produce HIV particles which are used to produce antibodies for HIV tests.

That brings me to another peculiarity of the HIV=AIDS dogma. What an HIV test tests for is antibodies. People who test positive for HIV can have no detectable HIV particles in them, only antibodies for HIV. (Or, more precisely, there may be HIV particles, but in such minute quantities that new laboratory techniques needed to be developed to detect them.) Now, antibodies for an infectious agent are what are left over when the organism has successfully put down the infection. Thus, Duesberg argues that HIV is what is called a “passenger” virus; it infects the body, but does no significant harm to it, and the body fights off the infection. (When I first read about HIV and AIDS, I remember how the story was that there is an “initial” period of infection of a few weeks, during which there will usually be a “low-grade fever”. Then the infection goes into some kind of slow-acting mode (as opposed to disappearing), gradually wearing away at the immune system for an average period of ten years, until the (highly disperate) symptoms of AIDS appear. The mechanism by which the immune system is weakened over this period has still not been explained.)

If Duesberg is right, what the AIDS establishment has led to is an immense tragedy, and thousands of unnecessary deaths. The standard regimen today for someone who has tested HIV-positive—even if he or she is exhibiting no symptoms—is to be put on a “coctail” of anti-retroviral drugs. These drugs are highly toxic. AZT for example was originally tried as an agent for chemotherapy; chemotherapy works by killing cancer cells more quickly than it kills normal cells. Thus, according to Duesberg, giving anti-retroviral drugs to people who test positive for HIV is like putting people without cancer on chemo.

One final part of the puzzle: according to Duesberg, the cause of AIDS in Africa is different from that in the US and Europe. Whereas in the latter it is produced by drug abuse and the administration of anti-retroviral drugs, in the former it is the result of poverty and consequent malnutrition. All diseases that are classified as AIDS were present in Africa before AIDS was discovered; incidents of these diseases are now simply relabled as AIDS.

This is an important issue in itself, but I thought it would be of special interest to dKos readers, since it is one further example of how something that is such a large part of our lives may quite possibly turn out to be just another lie. I highly recommend Duesberg’s papers, available on his Web site.

EPILOGUE

I got a big surprise from the volume and ferocity of comments and raitings that my diary generated. All I did is provide a paraphrase, from my own point of view, of an article that appeared in a leading left-wing magazine, one that has both published an article arguing that the 2004 election was stolen, and—in the same issue as the piece on AIDS—an extended editorial laying down reasons why Bush must be impeached. In response, I have been branded a murderer and—even worse—been subjected to an orgy of troll ratings. These troll raitings have caused at least five of my replies to other people’s posts to go down the memory hole, so that people without trusted users’ status cannot read them. (I cannot read them myself, since the troll raitings caused me to use my own trusted user status.) Thus we saw at dKos the troll-rating system used as a means of censorship, in the same way that the peer-review process has been used against Duesberg. (Even my one “retraction”—in which I defer to a poster’s comment that asymptomatic HIV-positive people are not today uniformly placed on an anti-retroviral regimen—was deleted by means of troll raitings, in an effort I suppose to make me seem obsessively dogmatic.)

It was an interesting experience. I’m glad I had it, since it’s given me a good lesson about the psychology of a lot of posters at dKos, something about which I have otherwise been unaware, since I have not followed many flame wars.

Perhaps the best way to characterize the general response to my diary is to quote from an interview of Celia Farber, the author of the Harper’s piece, in response to a question about how she was treated as a result of her reporting:

I was attacked, of course. My motives were impugned, my character, morality. People have tried to have me fired. I’ve been sabotaged. All kinds of bizarre things. I have been guilt-tripped since day one: “You’re homophobic!” “Spreading dangerous theories!” “Scaring people away from AZT!” “Murderer!” But in that atmosphere, I did learn a lot about my favorite subject: mass hysteria.

Poll

What do you think causes AIDS?

HIV

Drug abuse, antiretroviral drugs, and malnutrition due to poverty

We don’t know yet: studies testing the two theories are required, which Duesberg has called for but the medical establishment has refrained from undertaking.

Votes: 201

Results

::

Other Polls

Tags: HIV, AIDS, AIDS dissenters, pharmaceutical industry (all tags)

Display:

Permalink | 197 comments

omg (3.75 / 12)

respectfully, this is inappropriate here, in my opinion. you’re not really qualified as an expert, and this whole line of thought, which i reject comppletely, by the way, could be interpreted as giving medical advice.

i think you should delete this and publish it somewhere with more give-and-take and a more informed audience.

btw, this is a very, very old story. i’m frankly bummed it is in harper’s- it debases their impeachment story by association.

by Mme Lafarge on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:39:53 PM PDT

Reminds me of the New Yorker Cartoon…. (4.00 / 19)

Is there a Dr in the house?

No, but I have an MS in English literature.

I do have a Ph. D. degree in genetics and have worked in virology. I have followed HIV for over 20 years.

This whole mythos is about 15+ years old. It has been thoroughly discredited.

THERE IS NOT A CONSPIRACY. This is bunk.

All the philosophy in the world can’t counter these cold facts.

There is a similar virus in moneys and apes called SIV- Simian Immune Deficiency Virus- from which this virus probably mutated. Koch’s Principals hold for the infections. HIV drugs work. They were invented using the biology of the virus. They are saving lives all around the world. If you don’t want to believe in these drugs. don’t take them. But please, do use a condom.

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

by murrayewv on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:56:39 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

It is the most insidious crackpottery (4.00 / 6)

I agree, and a theory which also been promulgated by the Foo Fighters.

Highly qualified they were, I’m sure.

I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words…

by Swampfoot on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:05:55 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I’m a statistician (4.00 / 6)

who has participated indirectly in AIDS/HIV research.

This is simply idiocy. He is actually asking for experiments testing the routes of infection – wow!

Perhaps he will volunteer to be the first to be infected with the blood of a person who has HIV/AIDS, and then we will see if he is correct.

by coredem on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:08:37 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Actually, (none / 0)

he has offered to inject himself with HIV in exchange for a million dollars.

One for the Thumb | Bob Casey for Pennsylvania

by Desroko on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:13:04 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

You’d think… (none / 0)

…if he was so confident it was harmless he’d do it for free, just to make his case.

As it is, what kind of a sicko would pay a million bucks to see a guy inject himself with HIV?

by elakazal on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:04:27 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

He refused (none / 0)

I can’t track down a reference for the million dollars request, but he pretty Duesberg pretty clearly actually refused to inject himself back in 1996:

An ad hominem attack. Horton’s reply of 8 August 1996 introduced a major new issue, namely an ad hominem attack on Duesberg. Horton endorsed a suggestion of self-experimentation, made by Barry Bloom, whom Horton characterized as “a respected investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in New York.” Thus Horton appealed to an authority figure. Horton wrote:

Here is a startling challenge. Duesberg accuses me of using “the argument of fear.” If there is nothing to fear from HIV, he can easily prove it. If Duesberg seriously believes that HIV is harmless, let him inject himself with a suspension of the virus.

Horton’s logic is deficient on several counts. First, self-experimentation by Duesberg would not “prove” (let alone “easily prove”) anything about a virus which is supposed to take ten years to achieve pathogenic effects.

If Duesberg actually believed his own nonsense about HIV, he would have injected himself back in 1996, and we’d be at the point where we could expect results from the experiment.

by silence on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 10:18:08 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Koch’s Principles (4.00 / 2)

Koch was a german and a bitter rival of louis pasteur in the years before the war. He established the idea of pathogens and generally, bacteriology.

He characterized Anthrax, TB and made himself a national hero in japan by explaining asiatic Cholera.

The principle basically is: If you take some fluids or whatever from a sick critter and inject them into a healthy one, and the healthy one gets sick, then hey, it’s a pathogen, and not swamp gas or fluoridation or juju or CIA mind control waves or whatever.

I think you’re making a weird semantic mistake: AIDS, as containing the words “Immune Deficiency Syndrome”- just the IDS part could sure be caused by drug use and starvation- but not the “Aquired” part.

BTW, viruses tend to evolve away from higher kill rates: that’s why ebola outbreaks burn out so fast- they kill too quickly.

Capitalism and Nationalism are not your friends. God? Maybe.

by Ihowl on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:22:43 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

asdf (4.00 / 12)

For example, as Duesberg points out, it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself.

You mean, like how every other virus destroys the cells it infects?

That brings me to another peculiarity of the HIV=AIDS dogma. What an HIV test tests for is antibodies. People who test possitive for HIV can have no detectable HIV particles in them, only antibodies for HIV. Now, antibodies for an infectious agent are what are left over when the organism has successfully put down the infection.

Antibodies exist whether an infectious agent has been taken care of or not. If you are currently sick, you still have antibodies. Just because antibodies exist doesn’t mean the infection is over.

Also, HIV/AIDS is a virus, thus incredibly hard to detect on its own. They search for antibodies because they’re easier to find and, theoretically, you shouldn’t have antibodies for HIV/AIDS if you aren’t infected.

By the way, from what I understand (and i’m hardly an expert) HIV/AIDS itself really has no symptoms. Killing off t-cells does no inherent damage to you. How people die is that they get an infection, and there is an insufficient number of t-cells left to fight it. People rarely actually die of the AIDS virus itself. They usually die from complications.

One final part of the puzzle: according to Duesberg, the cause of AIDS in Africa is different from that in the US and Europe. Whereas in the latter it is produced by drug abuse, in the former it is the result of poverty and consequent malnutrition.

AIDS is caused by exchanging bodily fluids which contain the virus. This can include unprotected sex (probably the case in Africa and in gay populations) or an infected person’s blood coming in contact with a non-infected person’s blood (as is the case with drug users). “Poverty” isn’t a cause of AIDS. It may create situations which make transmitting aids more likely, but it isn’t the “cause” of it.

My Website

by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:41:47 PM PDT

Im not sure i understand… (none / 0)

…are you saying that AIDs is produced by poverty and drug abuse? The question is then, why would gay men in San Francisco get the disease?

And my second question is why has this not been picked up? Drug companies want to sell more drugs?

I don’t know much about biology, so your explanation seems just as beleivable as any other.

-4.75, -5.18

by HC Penniwicket on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:42:04 PM PDT

i thought it was pretty obvious (none / 0)

that they didn’t undrestand even the basic workings of viruses, much less HIV/AIDS

My Website

by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:46:42 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

This is total crap, there is no controversy (4.00 / 7)

unless you’re a partisan of “Intelligent Design” or “No Global Warming” pseudoscience.

What’s next, the Earth is flat? Are you going to revive the geocentric view of the Universe?

Delete this diary, it is worse than worthless, it’s reckless and offensive.

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:43:10 PM PDT

Duesberg’s been pushing this stuff for years now.. (4.00 / 7)

…and yet the best he can offer is some anecdotal evidence and some pretty pathetic correlational analyses based on weak assumptions. Frankly I can’t believe any journal would touch some of the crap he’s managed to get published.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’ve got a theory that is such a departure from the accepted theory, you damn well better back it up with some experimental data, not cherry-picked case studies.

by elakazal on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:57:32 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Extraordinary claims demand (none / 1)

extraordianary evidence.

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:01:49 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Now I haven’t read the article… (none / 1)

… but I wouldn’t actually be opposed to reading about the phenomenon of contrarians (9/11 was a covert government action, HIV and AIDS aren’t related, bacon is not awesome), just to get a feel for what a crazy person thinks like. But if the article gives these folks a lick of credibility, they should be ashamed.

You can never ask too many questions.

Funniest thread this month. (oops)

by socratic on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:51:49 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I think you meant to say (none / 0)

Bacon was not Shakespeare.

Intelligent Designer Laments Lapse in Intelligence

by mrblifil on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:37:33 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Nononononononononono! (none / 0)

Shh! Or, as Limbaugh would say “Shutupshutupshutup!”

This diary is a cunning test.

How many people will support this specious idea? This gives us a close approximation of what percentage are Bush’s true rock-bottom; the folks who’ll approve him despite no reason to, at all.

“I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor.” King George III

by ogre on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:29:30 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Old, tired, news, and misplaced here (4.00 / 6)

Seriously, this is old tired stuff. Completely debunked through years of excellent science. I am also surprised to see this in Harpers in 2006.

by vlwc2005 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:43:32 PM PDT

Old controversy (none / 1)

Yeah, our congressman, winger Gutnecht, MN-01, was saying the same thing a number of years back and was taken to task for it.

by kkjohnson on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:47:48 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

The simplest rebuttal (4.00 / 15)

Health workers get AIDS by being stuck with HIV infected syringes.

Sometimes, they dodge the bullet if they take antiretrovirals soon enough.

Other than Hep C, HIV is one of the biggest daily concerns that physicians in a hospital try to avoid by BEING CAREFUL with needles.

We’re not dupes, and some of us even know people whose lives have been ruined by HIV infection on the job.

The alternatives out there, which fail to back themselves with empirical evidence, are wishful thinking.

by Ptolemy on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:45:20 PM PDT

More bullshit as I read further on… (4.00 / 9)

“Since being positive for HIV is taken to be a death sentence, the usual concerns about drug toxicity are waved away by researchers and pharmaceutical companies.”

This is utter crap, I personally know of dozens of drugs that are effective against HIV in a test tube but haven’t made it further because they are too toxic in humans, and tens of thousands more are out there.

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:46:48 PM PDT

Read the Harper’s article (1.00 / 9)

As I noted in the diary, a pregnant woman with a false-positive HIV test was killed by an anti-HIV clinical trial. So it does happen.

Why are you so defensive?

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:11:24 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Heaven knows… (none / 0)

And of course, a “journalist” attempting to push a certain idea would NEVER lie/shade the truth/swallow a pack of lies just because it helps the story line!

Sheesh.

by GeneJockey on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:32:29 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

That has NOTHING (none / 0)

to do with the link between HIV and AIDS.

Time for a logic class.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:11:55 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Old and tired theory (4.00 / 5)

There was a time when Duesberg’s theories were credible, but that time is long past.

Promoting this misinformation can be dangerous, since some patients may decide to forego taking medications that are truly effective against an otherwise fatal disease.

by Flinch on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:46:58 PM PDT

exploding the dogma? (none / 0)

don’t put your dogma in the microwave. Also, don’t believe that AIDS isn’t caused by HIV.

An election does not make a democracy.

by seesdifferent on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:50:03 PM PDT

Awesome! (4.00 / 5)

So this means that as long as I remain middle class and don’t abuse drugs, I can have as much unprotected sex as I want! Thanks Alexander!

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

by Jay Elias on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:51:19 PM PDT

don’t use poppers (none / 0)

and don’t be gay or a poor african.

Gore2008 , My PoliticalTheaterBlog

by TeresaInPa on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:02:43 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Do they still make poppers? (none / 0)

I thought we were well past the days of amyl nitrate myself.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

by Jay Elias on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:06:26 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Can’t speak from personal experience (none / 0)

Though I have seen ads for stuff that purports to be just as good as the old amyl nitrite. Dunno if anybody is still actually using them–certainly nobody I’ve ever had sex with did.

Michael

Musing’s musings

by musing85 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:17:52 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I have no idea (none / 0)

I think one of my friends might have tried them around 1980. I had no idea until this diary that anyone STILL thought they had anything to do with AIDS.

Jeez, talk about a freaking flashback.

Gore2008 , My PoliticalTheaterBlog

by TeresaInPa on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:07:26 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Don’t thank me (1.00 / 5)

To quote from another piece:

Actuary Robert W. Maver has examined the latest CDC data base and finds that the number of teen-age (13-19) cases of AIDS not involving homosexual or I.V. drug behavior is only 5. Five kids in the entire United States. The comparable number for 20- to 24-year-olds is 55. These minuscule numbers could be even smaller because teen-agers (and young adults) have been known to lie about their behavior. Even so, the chance of ending up as an AIDS case if you avoid homosexual and drug behavior is less than the chance of being struck by lightning. Nonetheless, on the basis of these vanishingly small numbers, school children throughout the United States are subjected to safe-sex education. (Dissenting on AIDS)

The credentials given of the authors:

Mullis of San Diego is the 1993 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction technique which is often used to search for fragments of HIV sequences. Johnson is the Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Thomas, a molecular biologist, is the president of the Helicon Foundation in San Diego and secretary of The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 10:16:52 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

The article you link to is from 1994 (none / 0)

That’s the best you can do?

Oh, yeah, that’s likely the best you CAN do!

…but not your own facts.

by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:12:36 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Can you do better? (1.00 / 5)

Not a single poster on this thread has been able to link to any hard empirical data refuting Duesberg’s position, as opposed to vague, third-hand types of assertions.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:31:19 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Which has NOTHING to do with MY point (none / 0)

And YOUR assertion that no one has debunked YOUR points by saying that they did not link to hard, emprirical data is ludicrous.

Of course they did not link to empirical data. That’s NOT the kind of thing a discussion like THIS calls for.

However, YOU set up the strawman argument that SINCE no one HAS, it means something.

And NOT only do you set up a strawman argument, you ALSO failed address the point I raised at ALL. Not one mention of it.

I was not the one that authored this diary; you did. As such, it is NOT my job to provide you with information. YOU are the one that posted a link to an article from 1994. That’s a ludicrous, 12 year old article to try to use as a source of information on this disease.

If the discussion was about how many bones are in a human body, then an article from 1994 might be totally acceptable. But speaking about a disease that was not hardly known 20 years ago, and a disease about which SO MUCH more IS known since 1994, and then trying to use an article from 1994 as a resource is worse than idiotic – it’s also disingenuous. If you WERE trying to make a reasonable point, you would know better than to use an article that old, but you cannot find ANYTHING that is current that supports your position. It’s like anti-evolutionists attacking evolution because some of Darwin’s ideas don’t hold water. Disingenuous. And exactly what one would expect from you, considering your other contributions on this diary.

Aren’t you embarrassed enough yet? Why would you continue to make such a fool of yourself in public like this?

…but not your own facts.

by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:48:05 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

When Harper’s (4.00 / 11)

becomes a peer-reviewed scientific journal, then (and only then) might its opinion on matters scientific be worth reading. Until then, I’ll stick to the science, thanks.

Michael

Musing’s musings

by musing85 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:51:27 PM PDT

Anyone else seen the Harper’s article? (4.00 / 3)

(It’s not yet on line).

If the thrust of the article truly says HIV does not cause AIDS, something at Harper’s has broken down.

Alexander, could you please let us know who the author is, and maybe transcribe a paragraph or two which backs up your contention?

by Mogolori on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:01:57 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

That’s just such utter nonsense (4.00 / 12)

it is hardly worth responding to.

First of all, the claim that AIDS patients have no HIV, and only antibodies is demostrably false. Indeed, there is such a thing as “viral load,” i.e., number of HIV viruses in a ml of blood. It can be and is measured.

Second, the notion that because HIV virus needs T-cells to replicate means that it wouldn’t destroy them is just utter nonsense. Most if not all viruses replicate by entering a cell, getting their genetic material transcribed, assembling themselves inside the cell, and then literally bursting that cell to get out and repeat the process again and again. HIV is no different.

Third, the claim that AIDS has continued to remain in homosexual and IV-drug abusers population to the exclusion of others is false. The fastest growing group of HIV infected people are heterosexual women. They develop full blown AIDS with the same frequency and predictability as gay men. That is to say, if they get a cocktail they are much more likely to lead a semi-normal life.

Demanding publication of Duesberg’s articles is like demanding publication of creationist theories of earth flattism in scientific journals. They are nonsense.

by Drgrishka1 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:52:08 PM PDT

Couldn’t have said it better (none / 0)

myself.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:03:58 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

The bullshit just keeps coming… (4.00 / 6)

“In the US and Europe, as far as one can discern from published data, there appear to be virtually no cases of AIDS in which the patient took no drugs.”

You start off talking about South Africa, why not admit that the vast mahjority of people in Africa who have and eventually die of AIDS have never, ever seen a Western drug?

Full disclosure: I’ve spent over 6 months throughout Africa taking care of AIDS patients.

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:52:27 PM PDT

So I guess those babies (none / 0)

who’ve died of AIDS must have started shooting up as soon as they came out of the womb, huh?

Nah nah nah nah, Nah nah nah nah, Hey Heeeeey, Dubai!

by jazzmaniac on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:37:48 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

HIV/AIDS (none / 0)

What is next: an article describing how the government created HIV to kill blacks and gay men?

by friendscallmelenny on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:54:29 PM PDT

Or it is from polio vaccine? (none / 0)

That is a popular myth too.

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

by murrayewv on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:59:02 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

No… (none / 0)

…that’s autism. Keep your nuts in the right bags.

Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.

(The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

by sagesource on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:38:45 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Actually there is another (none / 0)

example of words having drastic consequences in Africa.

Polio was ALMOST eradicated completely. Then a cleric in central Africa started spresding the rumour that vaccinations caused disease and people stopped getting them

Voila….polio is back (or am I thinking of smallpox??)

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:27:48 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Polio (none / 0)

Smallpox, thank God, they’d gotten rid of by the late 1970s.

Michael

Musing’s musings

by musing85 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:35:11 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Amen. (none / 0)

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 02:59:00 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

You can pretty much count on it. (none / 0)

Just to throw one more log on the fire, if poverty is the cause of Aids in Africa, to the extent that that statement has meaning, why was there no Aids for the many previous years of poverty? The question will be a waste of time to the true believer of course.

Save the Endangered Species Act: Stop S 2110

by melvin on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:02:16 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Obvious (none / 1)

Large stocks of HIV viruses were snuck into the WTC on 9/10 and ate their way through the steel. The victims of the building collapse actually died from mixing bodily fluids.

Signed,

David Ray Griffin

Intelligent Designer Laments Lapse in Intelligence

by mrblifil on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:30:42 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I didn’t even read this… (none / 1)

…and flipped right to the bottom here, skipping the comments. But I bet this is that Dunesberg (sp?) guy at Berkeley (?). He’s been on this kick for years. I think once he said he’d like inject the HIV virus for a million dollars or something to prove it didn’t cause AIDS. He’s basically an outcast.

This isn’t to say he’s insane or should be ignored. Once in a great while the ‘crazy guy’ is right! But what he says should be taken with a grain of salt until he can convince most experts.

by chemsmith on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:00:37 PM PDT

oh yeah (none / 0)

Doucheberg. I knew I was close. :-)

by chemsmith on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:11:02 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Duesberg at Berkeley (none / 0)

probably hangs out with the “Bell Curve” guy. I can see them at the Faculty Club, drinking martinis and patting themselves on the backs for managing to still have jobs.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:15:40 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

HIV AIDS link (none / 0)

This all could be settled if someone could link us to a study in a reputable journal that shows a definite and causal link between HIV and AIDS.

pro-life + no legislation = pro-choice

by kennyc on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:02:39 PM PDT

Infants born to (none / 0)

mothers with HIV have HIV and commonly die of AIDS-related diseases.

The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

by RedDan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:16:45 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Harper’s eh? (none / 0)

Prove it. They are still promoting the February Impeachment issue.

-6.00/-7.18 The Partie Lion

by TarheelDem on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:03:03 PM PDT

I take exception with (4.00 / 6)

so many statements you have made. However this one is just plain wrong!

The standard regimen today for someone who has tested HIV-positive–even if he or she is exhibiting no symptoms–is to be put on a “coctail” of anti-retroviral drugs.

This is NOT true. I work as a Coordinator at an HIV/AIDS community organization and this is not how new positive persons are treated. As a matter of fact, meds are usually not started right away. I have people who have been positive for many years and do not take meds until their Viral Load rises dramatically or their CD4’s drop drastically. And the antibodies test is the preliminary test, followed by a VL/genotyping. I find this information misleading and unfortunate

aka aurora borealis. The belief we do not have choices is a fantasy, an unfortunate indulgence in abdication.- John Ralston Saul

by jazzizbest on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:05:01 PM PDT

I’m a case in point (4.00 / 4)

I tested HIV+ in 1985, almost 21 years ago, and not only have I never taken any meds, I’ve never had a doctor recommend that I do either. That’s because my CD4s have never gotten low enough — or my viral load high enough — to warrant taking them.

Now I know that I’m one of those rare people who are considered “long-term slow progressors,” but I think my medical record proves that very few people, if any, are “forced” onto meds if they don’t need them.

by matt n nyc on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:40:16 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

exactly! (none / 0)

if CD4’s are high enough and VL low there is no need to even start meds…I have many people I work with who are in that position. The area immunology specialist is against starting meds until absolutely needed….and I am happy to hear you are doing so well..

aka aurora borealis. The belief we do not have choices is a fantasy, an unfortunate indulgence in abdication.- John Ralston Saul

by jazzizbest on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:48:54 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Have you volunteered (none / 1)

to have your immune system analyzed so that researchers can figure out why you, in particular, are a slow progressor?

Sounds like you got some good genes, my friend.

More power to you, and maybe you could be a key link in understanding the disease, the immune system, and how to combat the damned virus!

The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

by RedDan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:18:46 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0)

there goes Harper’s credibility to push for impeachment…I find it hard to believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, since as far as I know, the actual viral levels can be measured and viral level improvement corresponds to improved symptoms, etc…Harper’s editorial board has noone to blame but themselves for not reviewing this with other scientists.

by grrr on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:05:42 PM PDT

Harper’s lost its credibility… (1.00 / 4)

when it published an article saying the 2004 election was stolen. Or so most of the posters on this thread would think, I suspect.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 10:09:37 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Old, AND False News…. (4.00 / 9)

HIV viral load is measurable in most infected people, and correlates directly with likelihood of developing AIDS.

Antiretroviral drugs cause a measurable drop in viral load, followed by a rise in CD4+ count, and reduction in AIDS symptoms.

The development of resistance to antiretroviral drugs in a patient leads to increasing viral load, decreasing CD4+ count, and worsening f AIDS symptoms.

Changing to a new antiretroviral cocktail leads to decreasing viral load, followed by a rise in CD4+ count, and reduction in AIDS symptoms.

Resistance to antiretroviral drugs is linked to specific mutations in the HIV genome.

Go here:

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/…

and read. Every one of the arguments you list is rebutted.

Peter Duesberg may have had a point 20 years ago that the pathogenesis of HIV was incompletely understood, but to cling to HIV dissent at this point is just foolishness.

by GeneJockey on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:06:57 PM PDT

I gotta say.. (4.00 / 3)

….being a chemist, and being sensitive to how much Americans demonize the pharmaceutical industry** I’m happy that this isn’t simply siezed upon by everyone as being true – another plot by America’s pharmaceutical industry. :-)

**and sadly liberals are far more guilty of this than are Republicans…one of the few areas I tend to differ with liberals: pharmaceutical companies aren’t evil, even if they can sometimes be corruptable as can be any business or person.

by chemsmith on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:08:27 PM PDT

Spoke too soon. (none / 0)

About seven minutes too soon, as a matter of fact.

One for the Thumb | Bob Casey for Pennsylvania

by Desroko on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:31:37 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

yup….. n/t (none / 0)

by chemsmith on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:35:56 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Thanks. (4.00 / 2)

I was dismayed to see this article, but heartened to read the responses. I’m a doctor and know that there is no scientific controversy about whether HIV causes AIDS, any more than there’s a scientific controversy about evolution.

Thanks to everyone for not falling for pseudoscientific myth!

by Rezkalla on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:11:55 PM PDT

What a crock of shit. (4.00 / 2)

I’m telling you, we can’t catch a friggin’ break. I can hear it now: The magazine that is calling for the impeachment of the President is the same magazine that claims HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

Perfect. Fucking perfect.

Democracy is wasted on Americans.

by lightiris on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:14:02 PM PDT

It’s gotta be deliberate (none / 0)

it’s almost enough to make me put on the tinfoil.

I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words…

by Swampfoot on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:18:29 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Well… (none / 0)

… it was about time to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Seriously, I’m all for questioning the establishment (though this article is utter rubbish), but you don’t win at chess by throwing eggs on the board.

You can never ask too many questions.

Funniest thread this month. (oops)

by socratic on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:46:27 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I am trying really hard not to be angry (4.00 / 8)

I have about 10 friends who died of AIDS. Most of them never used drugs particularly NOT heroin cocain or Amyl nitrate. All of them were gay men and all of them had unprotected sex at some time before they were diagnosed with HIV. All of them had HIV. The ones who took the most modern series of drugs lived the longest. Those who got HIV in the early days, before the drugs we now have, died sooner.

They had unprotected sex with people with HIV, they got HIV and eventually they died of one oportunistic desease or another.

Gore2008 , My PoliticalTheaterBlog

by TeresaInPa on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:15:37 PM PDT

Revives in me the anger at the Reagan (4.00 / 5)

administration that couldn’t bring itself to say the word while my friends died.

Save the Endangered Species Act: Stop S 2110

by melvin on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:22:46 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

You too Melvin? (4.00 / 4)

I am so sorry. I don’t cry easily about things I read online. I am a pretty tough broad, but this reminds me of the early day…. “you got aids because you took drugs and lived a disapated lifestyle”. That is just so unfair and disrespectful to those who have died.

Gore2008 , My PoliticalTheaterBlog

by TeresaInPa on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:28:53 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

That’s why I didn’t say much to this diary. (4.00 / 3)

I wouldn’t know how to stop. Glad to see some professionals step up to the plate.

Save the Endangered Species Act: Stop S 2110

by melvin on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:50:06 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Fuck trying not to be angry. (4.00 / 2)

I find a good scream really helps when I encounter tired old crap like this diary.

silence = death

by wvillmike on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:37:49 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Pure bunkum (4.00 / 7)

Virtually all the “facts” in your story are absolute rubbish. HIV/AIDS infection has followed different patterns in different countries depending on a number of factors, the main one being government response in providing information and prophylaxis.

Quite frankly the assertion that infection has spread in Africa “because of poverty” is offensively racist. The typical cycle has been that the infection established itself in a highly mobile population because of the use of heterosexual prostitutes. Many Africans have to leave their family for comparatively well paid work as contract labourers (the South African mining industry being the prime example) or for long periods driving trucks. These men used prostitutes while away from home and brought back the infection. While you can argue that this initial spread was indeed caused by poverty, there is no evidence that the infection is anything other than a bodiliy fluid spread disease. This is clearly demonstrable by the known deaths among the wealthy back elite – including the families of Mugabe.

Mbeki’s ignorance and moralising denial gave credence to the “not HIV” mantra but has been roundly condemned by the AIDS activists in his country. His inaction led to perhaps one of the most tragic misconceptions not being wiped out. Babies and young children continue to be raped and infected because of a myth that sex with a young virgin will provide a cure.

Yes, there is some evidence that HIV/AIDS existed before it was “discovered” in thje USA. Among the earliest evidence are tissue samples from a sailor who died in the UK in I believe the 1950s.

Most of all, your assertion that HIV infection is a ” death sentence” is again offensive and factually wrong today.

by londonbear on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:17:10 PM PDT

farber, duesburg, etc. (none / 0)

Basically are not credible these days. Farber gets 12,400 google hits mostly on the same topic. See also her wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/…

by clyde on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:18:56 PM PDT

In other news, (none / 0)

Michael Crichton says global warning is a scientific myth.

He wrote Jurassic Park, folks. He’s gotta be right.

One for the Thumb | Bob Casey for Pennsylvania

by Desroko on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:22:37 PM PDT

MC is a total chode (none / 0)

I knew that from the minute I read the Andromeda Strain in 7th grade.

You can’t get away with the crunch, ‘cuz the crunch always gives you away

by dnamj on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:25:59 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I kinda liked that book. (none / 0)

He’s been going downhill since The Lost World, but he’s written some damned good books. The problem with those books are that they’re fiction dressed up as science. He used to be able to tell the difference.

One for the Thumb | Bob Casey for Pennsylvania

by Desroko on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:28:54 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

please take this down (4.00 / 3)

This is discredited bullshit. And by the way, perpetuating bullshit like this is bullshit in and of itself. To the author: you need to pull your head out of your ass and read a little science before posting something like this.

You can’t get away with the crunch, ‘cuz the crunch always gives you away

by dnamj on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:25:31 PM PDT

Well good thing… (none / 1)

that George Bush is doing the bare minimum to fight AIDs anyway, eh? He’s not wasting too much money on this insidious plot is he??

Man, I gotta say this is a pretty stupid diary. I’m surprised they don’t say that flouridating water causes AIDs.

Big Time Patriot

by Big Time Patriot on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:27:54 PM PDT

I just replied to a friend (4.00 / 4)

about a different article about the same subject, this one published on LewRockwell.com. Here’s what I wrote:

I remember hearing about this guy in this seminar course I took in college. He’s very often cited by HIV conspiracy people because of his unorthodox views. He questions the theory of AIDS being caused by HIV, which is not really defensible. PhD’s aren’t really trustworthy when it comes to issues of clinical medicine. Think about how easy it is to fool doctors- tonsillectomies and bloodletting and all the other truisms that were later abandoned. Now imagine that innate misleadability without the grounding of a medical education or actual clinical experience and it makes this guy’s theory a bit easier to understand.

HIV spread in a classic infectious disease pattern- along the truck routes of Africa where drivers would stop for a quickie with prostitutes. A singe person (a flight attendant who was so promiscuous as to defy belief) was identified as the source of much of the spread in North America.

I’ll tell you what I’ve seen of AIDS. The clinical picture, the CD4 count, and the detectable amount of HIV vary very closely. Sure, you could claim that the HIV gets higher or lower as a consequence of the strength of the immune system, which is determined by other factors, but when you treat people with the appropriate drugs (that were designed to affect the reproduction of the HIV virus), they get better. Clinically better, more CD4 cells, and fewer detectable viruses.

Experiments done on sooty mangabey monkeys showed that inoculating them with HIV would give them AIDS. A more direct proof is not even possible.

Here are my problems with the article-

“With regard to sexual transmission, only 1 in 1,000 unprotected sexual contacts transmit HIV. One in 275 U.S. citizens has antibodies to this virus. Therefore, an uninfected person would need to have 275,000 random unprotected sexual contacts in order to acquire sexually transmitted HIV.”

1. no citations. This cannot be considered fact.

2. even if these numbers are true, nobody has “random sexual contacts”- people cluster based on their race/social status/sexual orientation/drug use habits and lower this theoretical probability drastically.

“Prostitutes do not get AIDS, unless they are drug addicts; and wives of HIV-positive hemophiliacs do not contract AIDS from their husbands.”

Again, no citations. He’s suggesting that only people who engage in receptive anal sex and intravenous drug abuse get HIV. This is flat out ridiculous, I’ve met plenty of people who were infected in other ways, including by their spouses. Clinical experience counts for something.

“T cells infected with HIV placed in a test tube (in vitro) grow and thrive”

I don’t give a shit what happens inside that test tube. Those T cells could grow horns and battle for tube supremacy for all I care. When a test tube is an adequate substitute for human biology, please let the NIH know, because all clinical trials would become unnecessary and we could save enormous amounts of time and expense.

“They hypothesize that AIDS is caused by three things, singly or in combination: 1) long-term, heavy-duty recreational drug use – cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, and nitrite inhalants; 2) antiretroviral drugs doctors prescribe to people who are HIV positive – DNA chain terminators, like AZT, and protease inhibitors; and 3) malnutrition and bad water, which is the cause of “AIDS” in Africa.”

This is one of the more offensive things in the article. AIDS preceded its own treatment. AZT wasn’t used for a goddamn thing until about 7 years after AIDS came on the scene. And people treated with these drugs do much better, as I mentioned earlier. I did my internship at NYU Downtown Hospital, and they had 2 medical teams, red and blue. The main distinction was that HIV patients go to the Red team. We’d get like one or 2 HIV patients a month, invariably hospitalized because they got sick after not taking their meds. Why did they structure the entire medical service around 1 or 2 patients? They didn’t, it was structured that way in the mid 80’s, when the hospital was stuffed to the brim with HIV patients. They just never changed the structure. Where did all those patients go? There’s still a ton of HIV out there. They just don’t get as sick anymore, because all the new drugs came on the scene.

To blame malnutrition and bad water on the epidemic in Africa is nauseating. Africa’s population growth is slowing and may go into reverse in the next few years. What has changed in Africa? Why would its population increase for millennia in the face of rare food, rampant diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis, and bad water, then suddenly reverse in the early 21st century?

“HIV-positive people treated with antiretroviral drugs have a four to five times higher annual mortality rate compared to HIV-positive people who refuse treatment with these drugs – 6.6-8.7 percent vs. 1.4 percent.”

No citation. Utter nonsense. Every person I’ve ever seen die of an AIDS related complication was not taking their meds.

“Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize in 1993 for inventing the polymerase chain reaction, now used to measure HIV “viral load,” states in his book Dancing Naked in the Mind Field (1998), “Years from now, people will find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those who excommunicated Galileo.”

Kary Mullis is a very intelligent man, but saturated with mind-altering substances. He conceived of PCR while on an acid trip, and freely admits that. I take everything he says with a grain of salt. Anyway, the fact that Mullis doesn’t have HIV after all that drug use weakens Duesberg’s own hypothesis.

“Once the HIV-AIDS hypothesis is acknowledged to be false, a domino effect will impact other branches of science that government now controls. Academic leaders in the inner circle of the medical-industrial-government complex will be called to account. Industry will likely face lawsuits. And government agencies, particularly the NIH, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) will have a lot to answer for. Duesberg’s work will do to biology and science in this century what Copernicus did to astronomy and science five centuries ago.”

This is some pretty wishful thinking right here. It’s naïve bordering on fanatical. To think that one silly theory about the cause of a disease that most Americans have completely forgotten about will overturn the structure of medical research is just loony. Anyway, the government’s research is pretty clean, it’s the industry research that is twisted and altered. They don’t even try to hide it, they just try to confuse people.

The guy who wrote this article is unhinged. Yes, the NIH and the medical community were unduly harsh, but this isn’t evidence of wrongdoing. Their treatment of Duesberg did more harm than good- it gave conspiracy theorists something to use as evidence and gave Duesberg an outsider’s credibility. The fact that his cancer ideas have been investigated simply underscore that medical science is willing to accept different ideas and doesn’t really care where they come from, as long as they have some grounding in reality.

Thanks for the article, it’s an interesting subject. Society’s reaction to plagues is always just as intriguing as the biology of it. Bird flu’s next.

Democrats are here to remind us that life is unfair. Republicans are here to make sure it is.

by spitonmars on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:31:05 PM PDT

Please delete this diary. (4.00 / 7)

It’s a bunch of retreaded crapola and let me tell you from very fucked-up personal experience: anti-retroviral drugs work, and they work very well. This diary and National Enquirer level story could persuade someone who has potentially been exposed (as was my situation), to refrain from seeking prophylaxis treatment–which saved my life as I know it.

It might also persuade someone who has been infected to refrain from seeking treatment and thereby not only have more potential to spread the virus to others, but also face a terrible, terrible death as so many of my friends did before these drugs were available.

Please delete this diary.

If you want to educate yourself about HIV and the many available treatments, try the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center: http://www.adarc.org/…

silence = death

by wvillmike on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:31:55 PM PDT

Very disappointed in Harpers (none / 0)

I swear I first read about this crap at least 10 years ago. Why are they putting this out now.

by Mia Dolan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:42:52 PM PDT

classy mcclassclass (none / 0)

I like how Alexander posts this nonsense, and doesn’t stick around for anyone’s responses.

And, yes, the sky is blue, the world is round, HIV causes AIDS.

by DarienComp on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:45:58 PM PDT

No, he did (none / 0)

Took him a while, but he did finally post a comment. Which should be appropriately rated.

Michael

Musing’s musings

by musing85 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:00:37 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Notice he only makes snarky ‘rebuttals’ (none / 0)

atfer the diary is about to scroll off into oblivion.

I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words…

by Swampfoot on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:42:39 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Peter Duesberg (4.00 / 3)

Duesberg stopped reading the scientific literature around 1985. I am amazed that every couple of years this comes up…and I wonder who is responsible for letting it resurface? The concept of “lifestyle” leading to AIDS is ridiculous. Koch’s postulates are indeed fulfilled with HIV/AIDS. Maybe this makes people feel better thinking that lifestyle and not some unseen, non-living particle can cause such havoc to a population. I think the idea of “lifestyle” also feeds into the biases of many people concerning homosexual men.

I have been fortunate enough in my short career as a virologist to interact with some of the best retrovirologists in the world. One of them, Joe Sodroski, who is quite soft spoken and extremely calm, once told me about standing toe-to-toe with Duesberg at an early retrovirus meeting yelling and screaming at each other.

The National Academy of Sciences actually changed their paper submission process for their flagship journal, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences because of Duesberg. As a member, he could basically submit whatever he wanted with little peer review, but that has now changed.

On a side note, Duesberg is also a very controversial figure in the cancer biology field these days. He was actually one of the first people to describe “oncogenes”: genes that can lead to increased growth of cells and ultimately to cancer. Oncogenes were initially described in viral systems. Duesberg now says that oncogenes do not exist, and that large-scale chromosomal abnormalities (aneuploidy) proceed mutations in oncogenes, not the other way around (sort of a chicken-or-the-egg argument).

Jesus H Christ: The H is for haploid.

by Mote Dai on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:55:46 PM PDT

The Harper’s article mentions Duesberg’s… (1.00 / 4)

critique of the oncogene theory, but I haven’t looked at that.

I don’t see what your problem with Duesberg is. An orthodoxy exists, in which any alternative theory for the etiology of AIDS is rejected as out of bounds (in the same way that discussion of whether the 2004 election was stolen or Bush should be impeached is not permitted in the corporate media). Duesberg is one of the few people who has gotten published (despite the NAS’s efforts) critiquing the accepted theory. Science always need to have the orthodoxy criticized, to keep it on its toes.

And no, this is not like creationists challenging evolution, as someone in this thread has suggested. It is more like the steady state theory challenging the big bang theory. Although the steady state theory was ultimately rejected, challenges that it raised prompted defenders of the big bang theory to amass theoretical and empirical evidence that further confirmed that theory.

As opposed to responding to the substantive points raised by their critics as cosmologists did to advocates of the steady state theory however, adherents of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis choose to respond by cutting off funds to their critics, and barring them from journals, as you note.

This utterly thuggish, non-scientific behavior on the part of HIV=AIDS partisans is the main thing that makes me suspicious of this particular orthodoxy. Scientists do not solve their problems by figuring out ways to keep their oponents from getting published.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:26:38 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

You’re right, we don’t (none / 0)

If Duesberg isn’t getting published or grants funded, then it’s because his science is crap.

Scientists do not solve their problems by figuring out ways to keep their oponents from getting published.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:19:23 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

But this diary gave all of you the chance (none / 0)

to refute and produce your own evidence.

Which is cool, because I’m totally ignorant and might in some other forum let this thought lay dormant in my brain waiting for the opportunity to make me a fool.

You gotta love this forum … tin-hattery is disposed of with facts in seconds.

I really believe much of this type of horse-hockery is just baiting to see how many will bite.

So, I for one am glad the stupid hypothesis was presented … and refuted.

American Engineer :== loser!

by jnmorgan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:05:30 PM PDT

Can you read the reply I posted earlier? (none / 0)

I can’t. It has been censored with troll raitings.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:58:17 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

There’s a difference (4.00 / 2)

between accepting Duesberg’s theories on what DOES cause AIDS, and not accepting the current theory that it’s HIV. As long as the virus itself is not detectable–only by the presence of antibodies–there is a leap of faith being made that something else is not at play. Is it not possible that HIV is a trigger that acts in harmony with a genetic defect or other precipitating factor? In which case HIV wouldn’t be the cause of AIDS; unknown condition X would be–triggered by HIV. It’s a point echoed by the disease itself; as someone said you don’t actually die of AIDS; you die of opportunistic infection. It’s what confused doctors in the very beginning–how are these people getting the sarcoma or pneumocystis?

What is manifested is not necessarily the cause. And while I certainly won’t stick up for Duseberg’s answers, I’m not at all ready to dismiss his questions.

by torridjoe on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:20:31 PM PDT

HIV is detectable (none / 1)

That’s just not how they test for it, because that test is too expensive. The HIV antibody test, however, is a good substitute: if you have antibodies, you have been exposed to HIV; if you don’t have antibodies – well, you may or may not have been. Once you test positive for the antibodies, doctors will run other tests to determine how much virus is in the bloodstream.

“…with liberty and justice for al[most everybody].”

by PeteyP on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:56:05 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

this is how they test for TB (none / 0)

Anyone ever had the little bubble test?

It confirms ONLY that you have been exposed to TB at some point in your life.

It does NOT tell them that you have TB – it ONLY tells them that they should do some further research to see if you have an active case of TB.

…but not your own facts.

by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:04:24 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

better blog for posting this crap (4.00 / 2)

try here:

http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/

lets keep the crazy crap all in one spot where we can go for a few laughs.

by HiD on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:32:34 PM PDT

Last time I checked, (4.00 / 3)

AIDS in the US and Europe is not even close to being restricted to gay men and IV drug users.

What a great message to send, which is to stigmatize a certain amount of the population.

by JamesB3 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:38:52 PM PDT

Very true… (none / 0)

CDC estimates that less than half the newly acquired infections these days are from homosexual activity.

by GeneJockey on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:42:06 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

How many are from IV drug use? (1.00 / 4)

Link?

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:08:03 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Less than 1/4 (none / 0)

About 9 thousand out of 42,000.

Heterosexual contact is running second to homosexual contact.

http://www.cdc.gov/…

by GeneJockey on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:25:20 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Eggplant Parmesan! (4.00 / 2)

1 large or three small eggplants

3-4 eggs (as needed), beaten

2-2 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs (as needed)

2 cans (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

mushrooms to taste, if desired

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsps dried basil

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp white pepper

Dash of olive oil

6 oz. sliced mozzarella

6 oz. sliced or grated parmesan

Peel and slice eggplant into 1/2- to 1/4-inch thick slices (about 12 slices). Salt slices, let stand in bowl at room temperature for 30 min.

In another bowl, mix tomatoes, sauce, mushrooms if desired, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, white pepper and olive oil.

Pat slices dry with paper towels. Dip slices into eggs, then crumbs. Arrange on cookie sheet and broil 4 inches from flame for 7-10 min. Arrange half of eggplant in the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Cover with half of sauce mixture, then half of cheese. Repeat another layer. Cover, bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Serve with spaghetti, if desired.

Alex

Choose Our President 2008

by ourprez08 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 10:06:03 PM PDT

You have no case. (4.00 / 4)

By your own admission, you are not an expert in molecular biology or virology. But here is your case, totally debunked:

People with AIDS have only one common denominator: The HIV virus.

Before HIV infection became widespread in the human population, AIDS-like syndromes occurred extremely rarely, and almost exclusively in individuals with known causes of immune suppression, such as chemotherapy and underlying cancers of certain types. A marked increase in unusual infections and cancers characteristic of severe immune suppression was first recognized in the early 1980s in homosexual men who had been otherwise healthy and had no recognized cause for immune suppression. An infectious cause of AIDS was suggested by geographic clustering of cases, links among cases by sexual contact, mother-to-infant transmission, and transmission by blood transfusion. Isolation of the HIV from patients with AIDS strongly suggested that this virus was the cause of AIDS. Since the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS have been repeatedly linked in time, place and population group; the appearance of HIV in the blood supply has preceded or coincided with the occurrence of AIDS cases in every country and region where AIDS has been noted. Individuals of all ages from many risk groups – including men who have sex with men, infants born to HIV-infected mothers, heterosexual women and men, hemophiliacs, recipients of blood and blood products, healthcare workers and others occupationally exposed to HIV-tainted blood, and male and female injection drug users – have all developed AIDS with only one common denominator: infection with HIV.

Koch’s Postulates:

Among many criteria used over the years to prove the link between putative pathogenic (disease-causing) agents and disease, perhaps the most-cited are Koch’s postulates, developed in the late 19th century. Koch’s postulates have been variously interpreted by many scientists, and modifications have been suggested to accommodate new technologies, particularly with regard to viruses (Harden. Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli [II] 1992;14:249; O’Brien, Goedert. Curr Opin Immunol 1996;8:613). However, the basic tenets remain the same, and for more than a century Koch’s postulates, as listed below, have served as the litmus test for determining the cause of any epidemic disease:

1. Epidemiological association: the suspected cause must be strongly associated with the disease.

2. Isolation: the suspected pathogen can be isolated – and propagated – outside the host.

3. Transmission pathogenesis: transfer of the suspected pathogen to an uninfected host, man or animal, produces the disease in that host.

With regard to postulate #1, numerous studies from around the world show that virtually all AIDS patients are HIV-seropositive; that is they carry antibodies that indicate HIV infection. With regard to postulate #2, modern culture techniques have allowed the isolation of HIV in virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all HIV-seropositive individuals with both early- and late-stage disease. In addition, the polymerase chain (PCR) and other sophisticated molecular techniques have enabled researchers to document the presence of HIV genes in virtually all patients with AIDS, as well as in individuals in earlier stages of HIV disease.

Postulate #3 has been fulfilled in tragic incidents involving three laboratory workers with no other risk factors who have developed AIDS or severe immunosuppression after accidental exposure to concentrated, cloned HIV in the laboratory. In all three cases, HIV was isolated from the infected individual, sequenced and shown to be the infecting strain of virus. In another tragic incident, transmission of HIV from a Florida dentist to six patients has been documented by genetic analyses of virus isolated from both the dentist and the patients. The dentist and three of the patients developed AIDS and died, and at least one of the other patients has developed AIDS. Five of the patients had no HIV risk factors other than multiple visits to the dentist for invasive procedures (O’Brien, Goedert. Curr Opin Immunol 1996;8:613; O’Brien, 1997; Ciesielski et al. Ann Intern Med 1994;121:886).

So, all of this stuff that Duisberg spouts is nonsense because it does not answer the central premise of the arguments.

You do not understand the first thing about science. Science is based on observation, not philosophy. Yet you are making your case based on philosophy, rather than observation. That is the sort of belief system that led to the Dark Ages — people believed in philosophy and appeals to authority rather than evidence based on observation.

Furthermore, in science, you must present a falsifiable hypothesis that people can prove wrong through experiments. Neither you or Duisberg have been able to do so.

Iraq War news and comment.

by Eternal Hope on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:21:04 AM PDT

Thanks Eternal Hope… (4.00 / 4)

Lemme guess… Alexander will still maintain that there were no substantive rebuttals of his original post. Would he know a scientific argument if he saw one, or how to weigh evidence?

Alexander, your post would have been ignored if people weren’t concerned that you were doing harm with it, by rehashing old arguments that some people used to make their own treatment decisions before these ideas were disproven years ago.

by vlwc2005 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 05:40:39 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

You’re right on your first point (2.00 / 2)

This isn’t about treatment decisions. This was supposed to be an examination of a scientific debate. Bringing treatment decisions into the picture makes things personal and emotional, something which does not create a good environment for considering scientific problems.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:11:23 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Harper’s (none / 0)

is not a good environment for considering scientific topics.

sorry.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 10:13:08 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

You’re completely wrong about the philosphy (none / 0)

Science is based not only on observation, but also on reasoning. A classical example of this is Newton’s theory of gravitation. Even after Newton showed that it made all kinds of astoundingly precise predictions, it was treated with resistance, because it involved something that was ruled impossible by the metaphysics of the day: action at a distance. It was only after the requirement that all forces involve interactions of physically contiguous particles was dropped that Newton’s theory was accepted by the scientists of that time.

And this change in the concept of a force was not based on observation, but on philosophical argument.

My main point is that proponents of HIV = AIDS have not been able to produce an explanation of how the latency phase of HIV infection is able to destroy the immune system, i.e. say what the mechanism of this process is. You don’t have to be a philosopher to raise this objection. Working scientists all the time ask about what the mechanism is, as opposed to just worrying about getting the right predictions. You are arguing from an understanding of science—logical positivism—that was rejected in the 1970s.

As for your quotes of the official US government position on AIDS, arguing that HIV = AIDS satisfies Koch’s postulates: I believe I responded to that last night. I can only conclude that the reason I can’t see my response is that I was troll-rated, and this diary has made me lose my trusted user status. Science in America.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:09:18 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Not just reasoning. (none / 0)

Other scientists did their own experiments and concluded that Newton’s theory of gravity was totally sound.

But you use a non sequitur when you say that because scientists do not know how the process works that HIV does not cause AIDS. Just because science does not have a complete understanding of the process does not mean that science has not proven the existance of the AIDS virus. In fact, studies show that the only common denominator for AIDS is the HIV virus, as I pointed out above.

But HIV meets all of the conditions of Koch’s postulates, and just about every scientist has accepted that — not just US government scientists. I fail to see how it doesn’t.

Iraq War news and comment.

by Eternal Hope on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:31:12 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Alexander, (4.00 / 4)

There were plenty of citations to either original research or reviews of other research articles in the link I gave you. Do your own homework. 😉

The simple fact is that the debate is over.

If you have, as you say, done any studying of the philosophy of science, you know that the basis of science is the Scientific method.

You formulate an hypothesis. That hypothesis makes certain predictions. If those predictions turn out tot be true, your hypothesis is most likely true.

The “HIV causes AIDS” Hypothesis, formulated in 1984, makes certain predictions, like that viral load will be predictive of disease, and that inhibiting viral replication will lessen disease.

Those predictions turned out to be true.

The “HIV does not cause AIDS” hypothesis also makes certain predictions, like AIDS will be restricted to its original risk groups, and that antiretroviral therapy will have no effect on the disease.

Those predictions turn out to be false.

You can believe or not as you wish, but when you choose not to, you leave the realm of science and enter the realm of faith. And of all the things to abandon reason for, this might be the stupidest.

by GeneJockey on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:31:18 AM PDT

What you call the “scientific method”… (none / 0)

is the view of logical positivism. Logical positivism was debunked in the period from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Perhaps the name T. S. Kuhn, and the phrase “scientific revolutions”, mean something to you?

Kuhn’s view is that the process of paradigm change in science—and clearly the proposition that HIV produces AIDS is a paradigm, since it guides and determines all AIDS research—is irrational. The alternative to this view requires supposing that there are other rational criteria for deciding between rival theories besides direct empirical evidence. (One of the reasons logical positivism was rejected is that it was shown that empirical criteria alone can rarely provide sufficient evidence for rejecting one theory in favor of another, if the two theories are sufficiently different, as is clearly the case in the HIV = AIDS debate.) One such criterion is whether a theory can offer explanations for the phenomena it posits. My main criticism of the HIV = AIDS hypothesis is that holders of that view cannot explain how the HIV virus destroys the immune system during the latency period.

Because the conventional view in AIDS research has this gaping hole, the scientific method requires that the conventional view must continue to be subjected to criticism.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:03:42 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

this is an ignorant pile of crap (none / 0)

The scientific method is not the same as logical positivism, Kuhn is not the last word in philosophy of science, the proposition that HIV produces AIDS is not a paradigm, and logical positivism was rejected because it was self-contradictory. That HIV produces AIDS is no more a “paradigm” than the fact that H. Pylori causes ulcers is a “paradigm”. And Karl Popper, who gave us the notion of falsification that is central to the modern scientific method, was a harsh critic of logical positivism.

As for your “main criticism”, it is argumentum ad ignorantiam that has no place in science, much like Michael Behe’s claims that evolutionary biologists can’t explain how the flagellum and blood clotting systems evolved. There are always unanswered questions, but that does not undo answered questions and established findings — to treat them as if they did is a logical fallacy.

by jqb on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:24:10 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

I had many, many friends die of AIDS (4.00 / 5)

in the 1980s and early 1990s. I have cleaned their toilets. I have fed them. I have washed their bodies. I have visited them in the hospital. I have held their hands as they gasped for breath. I have seen beautiful bodies become wreckage. I have stood by their beds as they gasped their last breaths and died.

Since the advent of these “killer” medications, I have not gone through experience. Not once.

I find your diary profoundly offensive, and I have earned the right to say so.

Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

by DCDemocrat on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:04:31 AM PDT

You don’t need to earn the right to express… (2.00 / 2)

your feelings. I always thought you were born with it.

I’m very sorry that you had to go through the experience of seeing your friends die.

But part of the reason I wrote the diary is that the article I wrote about showed that HIV-negative people have been killed by clinical trials to find the newer, better HIV med. I think the deaths of those people means something, too.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:44:03 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Of course, the preventable death of (none / 1)

anyone means something, but the reasoning in your diary is chock-o-block full of illogical conclusions. People were certainly dying from AIDS well before a single medication had been invited to fight HIV. The very fact that many people with HIV who take medications don’t progress to AIDS-related conditions while people who fail to take those drugs largely develop diseases is itself evidence for something.

Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

by DCDemocrat on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:52:10 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

He is arguing his point respectfully. (3.00 / 3)

All the troll ratings seem like ratings abuse due to disagreement to me.

It seems like the arguments should win the point, and that they should not be hidden.

Rick

-7.75 -6.05

Fox News – We Distort, You Deride

by rick on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:53:49 AM PDT

I disagree (4.00 / 2)

This diary is, if not already over the line clearly established by Markos about conspiracy theory crap clogging up the site, perilously close to it. Nor would I call the repeated posting of strawmen and other unsubstantiated claims on a par with the original diary “argument” in any applicable sense. I stand by my troll ratings.

Michael

Musing’s musings

by musing85 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:53:16 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Yep. (none / 1)

Sometimes words have consequences. This is one of them.

He deserves every zero, and more.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:16:15 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Also: (4.00 / 2)

Eichmann was polite and respectful as well. Himmer was a great humanitarian who loved animals. Politeness and respectability have nothing to do with whether or not a doctrine is destructive.

Iraq War news and comment.

by Eternal Hope on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:37:09 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Slam ! (none / 0)

and

Dunk.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 03:00:03 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Ratings ABUSE (4.00 / 2)

I did NOT give ANY of his remarks troll ratings UNTIL he had clearly shown no regard for other posters. Not UNTIL he had distorted what other posters had ACTUALLY done, made strawman arguments, dissed other posters for no good reason, and finally claimed that no one had provided him relevant evidence when I KNOW FOR A FACT that I had done so hours earlier.

It fits the definition well.

Then YOU go and downrate GREAT posts – not only do you artificially uprate HIS posts, but for NO good reason you downrate other posts.

And when I looked at YOUR history, you uprated other troll posts in the last couple of days – raheil soleil and daXX, to name two of them.

It is NOT your job to counter the opinions of others. If you HAVE disparate opinions, feel free to express them, but this bullshit behavior you have shown here, downrating valid criticisms and over-crediting troll posts simply to even things out is ratings abuse. It should stop, and I did report it to the site.

I have not seen a SINGLE troll rating that was due to disagreement on this thread. Except from YOU, that is. The posters that troll rated Alexander’s posts did NOT do so because of their disagreement, and there is NO evidence that it’s the case that they did.

…but not your own facts.

by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:13:39 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

I rated one post a 2 in this thread, (none / 1)

Yours, becuase the subject was a personal insult:

Dunce.

I don’t have time to explain all the 2s I give out.

Sorry your feelings were hurt.

I see a lot of troll rating honestly made comments with a sort of mob mentality.

Part of the trusted user job is UPRATING unfairly downrated posts, I have been told in other threads….

I also have read that you are supposed to rate the POST, not the user.

People deserve a chance to change their ways, if if a post is not offensive, it should not be troll rated because the user has been troll rated in the past.

Good Night,

Rick

-7.75 -6.05

Fox News – We Distort, You Deride

by rick on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09:14:54 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Not just disagreement. (4.00 / 3)

You’re falling into the trap — you’re giving his views a false equivalence that they do not deserve to have. These theories that he is spouting have been debunked years ago, as I have posted elsewhere on this site. He does not give any testable hypothesis that we can disprove, and he does not even, by his own admission, know anything about virology. Yet he claims to pontificate that we should throw out everything we know about AIDS.

Let me ask you this — if a White Supremacist were to post here (assuming he was civil and used psuedo-scientific language), would you be the knight in shining armor, running to his rescue, and crying ratings abuse?

People are dying because of this man’s views. Just look at South Africa where 1/4 of the people there are infected with AIDS because their leader holds the same view this poster does — that HIV does not cause AIDS.

We are supposed to be the party which promotes and celebrates human life. Therefore, views that promote the destruction of human life — like this poster’s views — are not worthy of our consideration and should be troll-rated.

Iraq War news and comment.

by Eternal Hope on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:34:15 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

It is a common trap (4.00 / 2)

It is a common device used by Creationists as well. After the REAL debate is over, they continue to keep coming back with points that may appear valid to the layman. They attempt to place their nonsense on equal footing – “Intelligent Design” being the most recent attempt.

It follows the same basic pattern. Present a bunch of arguments that make sense to the ignorant, and then demand YET ANOTHER debate on settled matters.

by GeneJockey on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:53:14 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Duesberg is complicit in the deaths (4.00 / 2)

of many many South Africans because oof his irresponsible and unsubstantiated claims. Even Mbeki admits AIDS is caused by HIV now. But he is responsible for delaying a response.

As a result South Africa has one of the highest HIV-AIDS rates in the world.

So, your opinions kill, Alexander. They deserve to be zeroed.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:18:22 AM PDT

You are the flip-side of a pro-lifer (2.00 / 4)

“Pro-lifers” say that abortions are murder. You’re saying that opinions kill. The fanaticism is the same.

Or would you like to be compared to Lenin? The ends justifies the means. Give zero ratings—thus denying the right to free speech, which I thought Americans believed in—to save lives. But how can you know what saves lives, if you suppress debate about how to save them???

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:42:24 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Your righteous indignation (none / 0)

is truely misplaced.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 09:56:25 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

Strongly disagree with you (none / 0)

Whatever the merits or lack thereof in this discussion about AIDS treatments/causes, I think your “opinion” that Alexanders “opinions” deserve to be “zeroed” are way outta line. His reasoning is thoughtfully and cogently presented, whatever the merits.

Zeroes are for troll rating. There is nothing here that I can see that warrants a troll designation for Alexander’s contribution here at dKos. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

by sockpuppet on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 02:29:02 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Disagree all you want. (none / 0)

this is a troll diary.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:40:38 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

In your opinion only (none / 0)

And you know what they say about opinions and how everybody has one?

I have no opinion on the contents of this diary either way. I am not a scientist nor a doctor, so I’m not in any position to evaluate the validity of the claims or discussion pursued herein.

BUT…I do know a thoughtfully presented opinion when I see one, and last I checked, such input is welcome at dKos, as long as it is civil and with intent to contribute, not merely to disrupt and inflame. This diary and all the opinions you troll-rated definitely fit the criteria of valid contributions here that I described above.

Get over it. Opinions don’t kill people. Repression of opinions kills people.

by sockpuppet on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:47:16 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Yep….and my opinion counts (none / 0)

just like your’s does.

I AM a scientist, I know people who have died of AIDS, I have been to S. Africa and studied the history of this controversy somewhat. I have seen fresh graves of Aids victims, and visited an orphanage for kids with AIDS in Cape Town. S. African President Mbeki used the opinions of Duesberg to avoid dealing with AIDS and you bet it killed people. If people revert to risky behavior because they listen to people like Alexander here, you bet it kills people.

Your thinking is naiive.

Pro-life=Anti-sex

by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 05:25:53 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

Then argue (none / 0)

exactly this with as much vehemence as you’ve got evidence/direct experience ammo to argue with. Such debate is much needed, as others have pointed out since…

I still disagree with the troll rating.

And yes, I’ve long been following the controversy of Mbeki and the “AIDS is not a real disease” meme. I didn’t see that argued here, not in those terms.

But then, I wasn’t following the discussion that closely for details, coming in on this so late. I was mostly monitoring the posts for tone and intent, which as far as I can tell, seems passionate and genuinely interested on all sides. No trolling here.

And bravo to you for your work in Africa on the AIDS crisis there.

by sockpuppet on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 05:41:06 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

yes, i also believe the earth is flat (none / 1)

evolution is bunk

the sun revolves around the earth

harry potter was not fiction

the Loch Ness monster is real

and i just bought some land in the lush tropical forests of Arizona (hey, the seller showed me photos!)

The “evidence” (and i use that word extremely lightly in this case) you show here is about as good as that which proves the above things.

Daddy, Papa & Me

by wclathe on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:41:02 AM PDT

Refutation (none / 1)

The following link will take you to a myriad resources, scientific papers and refutations of AIDS/HIV ‘dissenters’ that you’ll ever need:

http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/…

spend a few days reading them, then stop spreading some very dangerous falsehoods.

Daddy, Papa & Me

by wclathe on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:53:07 AM PDT

It has nothing to do with mass hysteria. (none / 0)

What it has to do with you and Ms. Farber spreading the worst sort of ignorant crackpotism, the sort that really does kill people. Notably, your Epilogue does not address or acknowledge any of the factual rebuttals of the numerous false claims in your diary.

it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself

How did you ever pass any philosophy course, let alone a philosophy of science course, if you think that is a “paradox”? Gee, it makes no sense that diseases kill people, when the disease organisms need people to reproduce? Are you really unaware that all viruses destroy the cells that they infect? Did you have to think long and hard to come up with the notion that this is a “paradox”? Or did you start with a hostility to science, perhaps picked from the sort of ideologues who infest philosophy departments these days, and “fix the facts” around it?

There is scientific controversy about whether HIV actually causes AIDS

I suppose you think there’s a scientific controversy about whether evolution can explain biodiversity and the complexity of life, too.

by jqb on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 05:47:43 AM PDT

I shouldn’t have said ‘all’ (none / 0)

A little googling produces mention of non-lytic viral exocytosis. Of course, google is of no interest to someone who writes about philosophy of science but is uninterested in actual science, as opposed to crackpot conspiracy theories in popular magazines.

by jqb on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 06:00:20 AM PDT

[ Parent ]

This argument is Duesenberg’s (none / 0)

Duesenberg is a virologist. I took the risk of supposing that a virologist wouldn’t make a whopper of a mistake about viruses.

In any case, David Ho published a paper in Nature in 1995 (19 January) which, in John Maddox’s words, produced “the new view of HIV”. According to this view, HIV does not kill CD4+ cells. Instead, the immune system itself kills off CD4+ cells, by reacting “hyperactively to HIV infection”. This article was extremely influential, producing the new regimen of attacking HIV with a cocktail of protease inhibitors to “eradicate” HIV from the body. (In case you don’t read Nature, Ho was on the cover of Time for his discovery.)

Thus, whether HIV kills T-cells is up in the air, even among mainstream AIDS researchers.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 12:05:39 PM PDT

[ Parent ]

© Kos Media, LLC

POZ: Farber Feedback

Farber Feedback

What are your thoughts about Celia Farber’s story in the March issue of Harper’s magazine? Email them to us at news@poz.com.

Here’s a little of the feedback so far:

> a letter to the editors of Harper’s from the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC)

Despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary, the notion that HIV does not cause AIDS continues to find a wide audience—thanks, in part, to the writing of Celia Farber—with potential negative impact on HIV-infected individuals and on public health efforts to control the epidemic. For years, Ms. Farber has been spinning yarn of half-truths, bent on proving that antiretroviral therapy is a big, fat, greed-driven lie that has needlessly left people living with this phantom disease victimized and brutalized. What she consistently fails to report are the reams of data indicating that such treatment has not only had a profound effect on the length and quality of HIV-positive people’s lives, but has also greatly reduced mother-to-child transmission rates throughout the world.

We do not overlook the side effects some people face. Those in clinical trials willingly offered up the last remnants of their precious health and lives—the ultimate sacrifice—in pursuit of therapies to save themselves and others. The commitment of these brave study volunteers, including those participating in the HIVNET 012 trial, has prolonged the lives of many and continues to bear fruit, albeit sometimes bitter.

The end result of Ms. Farber’s agenda couldn’t be clearer. People may be dissuaded from being tested for HIV, or they may discount the threat of HIV and continue to engage in risky sexual behavior and needle sharing. If public health messages on HIV prevention are diluted by the misconception that HIV is not responsible for AIDS, otherwise preventable cases of HIV infection and AIDS may occur, adding to the global tragedy of the epidemic.

Decades of research concludes that AIDS is characterized by the progressive loss of the CD4+ cells—a subset of disease-fighting white blood cells—leading to severe immunosuppression and opportunistic complications that rarely occur in persons with intact immune function. Although the precise mechanisms leading to the destruction of the immune system have not been fully delineated, abundant epidemiologic, virologic, and immunologic data support the conclusion that infection with HIV is the underlying cause of AIDS.

HIV and AIDS have been repeatedly linked in time, place and population group; the appearance of HIV in the blood supply has preceded or coincided with the occurrence of AIDS cases in every country and region where AIDS has been noted. Individuals as different as gay/bisexual men, elderly transfusion recipients, married women, injection drug-users, and infants have all developed AIDS with only one common denominator: infection with HIV. Laboratory workers accidentally exposed to highly concentrated HIV and health care workers exposed to HIV-infected blood have developed immunosuppression and AIDS with no other risk factor for immune dysfunction (which, evidently, permitted the conclusion that HIV was the cause of AIDS in accordance with Koch’s postulates). Researchers also have demonstrated a correlation between the amount of HIV in the body and progression of the aberrant immunologic processes seen in people with AIDS.

ATAC is a national coalition of AIDS activists, many living with HIV/AIDS, working together to end the AIDS epidemic by advancing research on HIV/AIDS.

> a blog in support:

http://groups.msn.com/AIDSMythExposed/healthissues

> a word from Howard Grossman, executive director of the American Academy of HIV Medicine:

* WARNING: The March issue of Harper’s Magazine Contains A Troubling Article *

Once again, Celia Farber, one of the chief mouthpieces of the HIV Denialist cabal, rehashes old information about HIVNET 012 and the NIH flap over Jonathan Fishbein. In her typical hyperbolic, inflammatory prose she demonizes doctors, researchers, the FDA, the NIH and everyone else as a way of reiterating the tired HIV Denialist creed. In a self-referential circle, whose experts include everyone from Peter Duesberg to the AP’s John Solomon, all the usual claims are made about HIV medications causing mayhem and death, while everyone except her heroes is a pawn of big pharma.

No need to read this example of yellow journalism at its worst, of which Harper’s should be ashamed, but we thought you should have a heads-up that it’s on the stands and guaranteed to scare patients who have not seen it before.

> a letter to Harper’s from Gregg Gonsalves:

Dear Editors-

I have been a long-time Harper’s Magazine reader. I am sorry that the March 2006 issue is the very last that I will read.

With Celia Farber’s article “Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science,” your magazine has managed to destroy its 156 year-old reputation in 15 pages.

Farber is a well-known AIDS denialist and publishing her work is akin to giving the folks at the Discovery Institute a place to expound upon the “science” of intelligent design, Charles Davenport a venue to educate us about the racial inferiority of the Negro or Lyndon LaRouche a platform to warn us about aliens, bio-duplication, and nudity.

If Harpers was some fringe publication or supermarket tabloid then we could all laugh at Farber’s weird conspiracy theories and pseudo-science. The sad thing is that unlike the hoaxes perpetuated on the New Republic by Stephen Glass several years ago, Ms. Farber’s reputation as a crank is widespread. Thus, it seems that your editors, after careful research and despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decided that Ms. Farber was a serious journalist with a real story to be told.

If you choose to report falsehoods as truths when it comes to HIV/AIDS, how can I trust the veracity of the rest of what appears in your pages?

Yours truly,

Gregg Gonsalves

[Email to a friend]

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