Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

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.


Henry Bauer, Peter Breggin , Harvey Bialy, Giordano Bruno, Erwin Chargaff, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Crick, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw, Freeman Dyson, Peter Duesberg, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, John Fewster, Galileo Galilei, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Edward Jenner, Benjamin Jesty, Michio Kaku, Adrian Kent, Ernst Krebs, Thomas Kuhn, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, Eric Penrose, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick, Sherwood Rowland, Carl Sagan, Otto Rossler, Fred Singer, Thomas Szasz, Alfred Wegener, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson.

Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

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

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Belief)

Expanded GUIDE TO SITE PURPOSE AND LAYOUT is in the lower blue section at the bottom of every home page.

The Black Death of the 21St Century – a CFR Report

The multi-prize winning Laurie Garrett’s extensive report on HIV and National Security: Where Are The Links? for the Council of Foreign Relations makes a pair with her article in the independent society’s journal, Foreign Affairs, of July/August (Vol. 84 Number 4), The Lessons of HIV/AIDS.

Both are either magisterial or drivel depending on where where you stand on the basic scientific assumptions of HIV/AIDS, especially whether

a) HIV is the implacable destroyer of human immune systems OR a harmless specimen of the 98,000 retroviruses that inhabit the human body (yours and mine) without causing any discernible effect on health whatsoever (ignoring for the moment Robert Gallo’s HTLV-1, which he once claimed to us causes leukemia in “1 in 100 people who carry it in fifty years”, but which most of the Japanese living in a certain region carry without evidencing any higher rate of leukemia than anybody else), and

b) whether HIV is extremely infectious and dangerously liable to transfer in a single bout of sex with a prostitute and then be passed on as quickly to a wife OR is vanishingly non-infectious and virtually impossible to transfer through heterosexual copulation, which is what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us.


Special service announcement:

Cutting to the chase: Is AIDS infectious via male-female sex? Mainstream science answers: No.

Contrary to the key assumption of the Council report, and the prevailing understanding (almost) everywhere else, scientists have long found that that HIV is utterly uninfectious in heterosexual sex in Africa or anywhere else.

This is not just according to the unwavering critic and AIDS reviewer Peter Duesberg and his many scientifically informed supporters, who have in fact repeatedly referenced this literature since the beginning of the supposed epi/pandemic. This is according to the mainstream scientific literature in the main AIDS journals, which repeatedly finds evidence that an epidemic of infectious AIDS among heterosexuals is scientifically impossible.

The mounting pile (twenty or more thus far) mainstream peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the central journals of AIDS for many years on this point have long and repeatedly established that to transfer HIV, insofar as that is what is meant and indicated by HIV test results, takes “discordant” couples (one positive, one negative) on average 1000 sex bouts between man and woman. This rate would make an epidemic, let alone a global pandemic, impossible. None of these studies have so far been challenged.

In the next post following we will fully reference these peer reviewed papers, which entirely vitiate the main premise, the central pillar of the mainstream global AIDS narrative, that global AIDS is transmitted through heterosexual sex. They include two studies published within the last few months and, as we say, none have been disputed in the literature.

In other words, the established scientific fact undisputed by the mainstream establishment scientists in AIDS is that AIDS is not heterosexually infectious to any significant or meaningful extent. Thus any report, story or theoretical fantasy of global pandemic constructed on the premise is, according to the mainstream’s own scientific studies, utterly impossible.

Or as Monty Python might say, the idea is a non starter, moribund at the starting gate, dead as any doornail, completely hundred per cent null and void, inconceivable, non existent and impossible. In fact, if it was a parrot, it would be an ex-parrot before it was an egg.

Mr. Praline: ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

(For those who wish to read this divinely classic sketch again to refresh their spirits before plunging back into the gory glories of global-pandemic-non think, here is the script:)


Dead Parrot Sketch

The cast:


John Cleese


Michael Palin

The sketch:

A customer enters a pet shop.

Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The owner does not respond.)

Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean “miss”?

Mr. Praline: I’m sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

Owner: We’re closin’ for lunch.

Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue…What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?

Mr. Praline: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

Owner: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.

Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

Mr. Praline: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.

Owner: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!

Mr. Praline: All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) ‘Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I’ve got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you


(owner hits the cage)

Owner: There, he moved!

Mr. Praline: No, he didn’t, that was you hitting the cage!

Owner: I never!!

Mr. Praline: Yes, you did!

Owner: I never, never did anything…

Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) ‘ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!

(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

Mr. Praline: Now that’s what I call a dead parrot.

Owner: No, no…..No, ‘e’s stunned!

Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?

Owner: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin’ up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

Mr. Praline: Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not ‘alf an hour

ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

Owner: Well, he’s…he’s, ah…probably pining for the fjords.

Mr. Praline: PININ’ for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got ‘im home?

Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin’ on it’s back! Remarkable bird, id’nit, squire? Lovely plumage!

Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the

first place was that it had been NAILED there.


Owner: Well, o’course it was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent ’em apart with its beak, and

VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

Mr. Praline: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this bird wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!

Owner: No no! ‘E’s pining!

Mr. Praline: ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e

rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the

bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!


Owner: Well, I’d better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh,

we’re right out of parrots.

Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.

Owner: I got a slug.


Mr. Praline: Pray, does it talk?

Owner: Nnnnot really.


Owner: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)

Mr. Praline: Well.


Owner: (quietly) D’you…. d’you want to come back to my place?

Mr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.

Apparently, however, the army of UN and other researchers and reporters who helped Laurie Garrett prepare the Council report do not read the scientific literature in AIDS any more often that she does. Because the entire report hinges on this premise.

End of special service anouncement.


c) Antiretrovirals keep the effects of HIV at bay and allow HIV-positive people to live normal lives OR antiretrovirals promise only brief improvement (by killing everything in sight including infections before eventually getting around to killing you) before leading to liver and kidney damage and death.

Needless to say, the first, mainstream media assumptions are the ones on which Ms Garrett premises her global analysis of AIDS as a threat to the peace of the planet.

It is worth mentioning that this world-leading future disease detector had already publicly outlined her basic view of AIDS in the world to the National Association of Science Writers in a Washington briefing at the CFR on February 15. Her comment was in response to a question about whether she thought that the New York City Health Department’s announcement of the arrival of a new and seemingly unstoppable variant of HIV was alarmist and premature. Her reply reveals that to Laurie Garrett, AIDS is an “absolutely out of control global pandemic” with “millions and millions dead” already, and that while antiretrovirals are the answer, distributing them widely in Africa may breed resistant strains of HIV.

“I can’t, you know, look at babies, whose parents will die before they’re five years old but who might be alive to see them graduate from high school if they had antiretrovirals,”

Here is the segment referred to, carried on the Council site at Laurie Garrett, Michelle T. McMurry, and Charles D. Ferguson, 2005 National Association of Science Writers Briefing, Global Health Science and National Security Challenges in the Second Bush Administration:


QUESTIONER: Thanks. Joe Neel from NPR [National Public Radio]. I want to-Laurie, I want to go back to the New York City case for just a minute and ask-just sort of gauge, get your reading on this situation. Do you think that the Health Department jumped the gun in making this announcement? That’s my first question. And the second question is whether or not you think it’s a serious threat. How do you think it will play out in developing countries where treatment is just getting started?

GARRETT: I have an op-ed in tomorrow’s L.A. Times [laughter] on exactly that. So hit the www.lat.com.

(The text of that op-ed, The Case of the Mutant AIDS Virus, by Laurie Garrett, Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2005, is as follows. A warning that HIV is going to mutate drug-resistant strains, it demonstrates the author’s feeling that the global AIDS threat can never be overemphasized. For example:

Such (cautious and skeptical) reactions are hogwash. Denial and silence are the true dangers.

In 1981, all too many doctors and scientists ignored a Los Angeles report of six cases of strange pneumonia in gay California men. “What’s the big deal with six sick homosexuals?” many said to me then. That was the birth of AIDS, which has now killed more than 25 million people and currently infects 40 million to 50 million.

Like a nervous guard dog straining at the leash as it barks furiously at a dimly perceived stranger at the gate, Laurie here envisions the AIDS pandemic 25% larger than she now does in her CFR report (approximately 40 million afflicted, 20 million killed))


The Case of the Mutant AIDS Virus

By Laurie Garrett

Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2005

On Friday, New York City health officials issued this chilling announcement: A man is infected with a form of the AIDS virus that is not only resistant to three of the four classes of anti-HIV drugs, it is apparently so virulent that it causes full-blown AIDS in a matter of weeks rather than the usual decade or more. It will be super-difficult to treat, and it may be a super-fast killer.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden first heard of the case on Jan. 22. Tests showed that the man had been infected for only a short time.

Frieden prudently had samples of the mysterious virus assessed by two independent labs. Both labs confirmed that it is resistant to all three of the classes of pill-form HIV drugs and that it attacks its victims with what are called CX4 cellular receptors, which are typically found only in those infected with HIV for a long time and in advanced stages of AIDS.

There is more bad news. The man is the victim of another U.S. epidemic – methamphetamine use. While high and uninhibited, he had sex with more than 100 men over the last two years, often without using a condom. And he recalls little about those encounters – certainly not the partners’ names and addresses. There is little hope of tracing the virus, of studying the strain’s transmission, of warning the victim’s partners or stopping them from having more unprotected sex.

Frieden’s warning on Friday was exactly right: “This is a wake-up call.” AIDS isn’t tamed, and it certainly isn’t defeated.

Still, it didn’t take long for the naysayers to appear. Dr. Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of HIV, called the announcement “irresponsible and outrageous.” Other HIV scientists insisted that Frieden was wrong to issue an alert because highly mutated viruses are wimpy bugs – they must surrender their powers of transmission to become drug- resistant. Still others insisted that it was biologically impossible for CX4 viruses to spread widely: Unless the city could prove the new HIV strain had been transmitted, the alarm was inappropriate.

Such reactions are hogwash. Denial and silence are the true dangers.

In 1981, all too many doctors and scientists ignored a Los Angeles report of six cases of strange pneumonia in gay California men. “What’s the big deal with six sick homosexuals?” many said to me then. That was the birth of AIDS, which has now killed more than 25 million people and currently infects 40 million to 50 million.

All new epidemics, or novel trends in familiar microbes, start small. And the New York City case fits into a larger pattern. An ever-increasing number of people in the wealthy nations have been getting infected with drug-resistant strains of HIV since treatment drugs were introduced in 1996.

By 2002, scientists at UC San Diego reported that more than 22% of new infections in gay Americans involved forms of HIV that could resist one class of the drugs, and about 10.2% could resist two classes. Those figures have been climbing steadily.

Obviously, lots of men who know that they are HIV-positive are taking the medicines, having sex without condoms with men who aren’t infected and giving them their mutant viruses. Most of those resistant viruses can still be treated – because treatment requires a combination of drugs and the ones that are still effective can be mixed to work. In contrast, with three of four classes of drugs out of the picture in the New York case, there is no good treatment option available.

It’s possible, as some of the naysayers assert, that the mutant virus will prove to be only weakly transmissible from person to person. And perhaps the extremely rapid disease progression seen in this one patient is not because of the virus itself but because of the particular individual’s unusually susceptible immune system.

But we don’t know any of that for sure. In the meantime, did the New York City Department of Health, acting in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, do the right thing by alerting the world to this case? You bet it did.

Drug companies need that wake-up call. They should be working more quickly to create new and different HIV drugs.

Advocates of widespread distribution of the drugs that do exist – and I count myself among them – need the wake-up call as well. However desperate the need, the more people in countries worldwide who get access to HIV drugs, the more mutant viruses will be produced. Without effective, funded safe-sex education programs, widespread distribution of drugs could make the epidemic worse.

And those who use methamphetamines and prowl for sex certainly need the wake-up call. Denying the risk of AIDS won’t make the virus disappear.

We can’t keep pretending that resistant forms of HIV will always be clinically weak, or that widespread use of HIV drugs will not promote evolution of new, much-harder-to-treat forms of HIV. We can’t tell our public health officials that we would simply rather not know the bad news about AIDS.

QUESTIONER: Maybe you can describe it? [Laughter]

GARRETT: I think the city did the right thing, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, all disease trends start small. You know, if we had discounted, as most did, a report of six gay men with pneumonia from a Los Angeles physician in 1981, you know, we were caught by surprise, and here we are with millions and millions of dead from HIV and, you know, an absolutely out-of-control global pandemic. We know that this virus is highly labile, that it’s constantly mutating, constantly changing. It is folly in the extreme, given the history of antibiotics and the history of other antivirals, to not assume that widespread use of drugs would fail to create selection pressure on, you know, a whole host of viral species.

Now, the counterargument all along, as we have seen this mounting toll in the United States of primary infection being due to drug-resistant viruses, now well over 22 percent of new infections in the United States due to drug-resistant HIVs, the counterargument all along has been, “Well, you know, drug-resistant viruses are wimpy viruses and once they’re in the host in the absence of the pressure from the presence of drug will revert to [inaudible] type and be a more-a tougher virus, but not a resistant virus.” Conversely, it’s often argued, or similarly argued, that viruses give up so much to be highly drug resistant that they’re not going to be highly transmissible; that they’ll lose that capacity.

We saw [Institute of Human Virology and Division of Basic Science Director] Bob Gallo step forward and decry the city of New York and call the commissioner, Tom Frieden, irresponsible and outrageous for holding this press conference. And I think they’re wrong. Look, look at the facts of the case. It’s true that we don’t know yet if this is a highly virulent virus. Although this fellow appears to have gone from infection to full-blown AIDS in an incredibly short time, perhaps as little as 10 months, which, you know, eclipses anything we’ve previously seen, we don’t know if it’s because of host factors. There may be something in him that makes him especially vulnerable, all right, we can’t rule that out. But we also can’t rule out at this time that the virus is indeed a more virulent, more pathogenic virus. We don’t know that.

So a prior questioner said why not err on the side of the assumption of risk? If this had been an individual who had a relatively finite sex life, knew who his partners were, then the prudent approach would have been to not issue a statement and to immediately conduct aggressive contact tracing, find all those sex partners, sequence their viruses, check their clinical status, and see what kind of a situation you’re up against. But that was not the case. This is a fellow who says he’s had almost 200 sex partners in two years, under the influence of methamphetamines, and doesn’t know who any of them are. So what options did the city have? You can’t contact trace, you know, an invisible list of 200 people. I think they did the right thing.

Now, some of the media coverage has not been right. And if you really look at the press statement put out by the city, they never said this is a super bug, they never said this is a super strain, they said the facts of the case. But a lot of the media and the headlines just leapt all the way to: “There is now a new HIV in the world that is a super killer.” We don’t know that yet. But we do-I think it is prudent to be cautious right now, to have a heightened state of alert. And frankly, probably long overdue for certain individuals in the gay community to remember that we have a terminal disease that is contagious out there, and safe sex is the right sex.

QUESTIONER: To follow up is the effect on treatment in Africa.

GARRETT: Right. Well, you know, we have very good reason, and we always have had good reason, to be worried about how we’re going to disburse antiretrovirals in poor countries without promoting resistant strains. The counterargument for a long time has been-I had one scientist put it to me this way: “Why doesn’t Africa have as much a right to have resistant virus as America does?” You know, the counterargument is access counterweighs the concerns about resistance.

And I, frankly, have tended to fall in that camp myself. I can’t, you know, look at babies, whose parents will die before they’re five years old but who might be alive to see them graduate from high school if they had antiretrovirals, and not think we have to get in there and aggressively treat. But throwing the drugs out helter-skelter without any kind of infrastructure to appropriately distribute, follow the patients, and do the right thing, is irresponsible anywhere in the world. We wouldn’t want a clinic in Washington, DC, where people could just walk up and anonymously get antiretrovirals. Why would we want that in the poor world? Is it because they’re poor that they deserve no better?

As a matter of fact, she also vouchsafed a view of how science reporting might be improved from its traditional form, which she described as

you found some cool article, some study that looked great, and you made a bunch of calls and you wrote a story, and that was science reporting.

This is how she used to operate when she started out in science writing, she vouchsafed, and evidently it is how she thought that her audience were practicing the art today. We know of no reason to contradict her.

And what did the author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health suggest as a step forward? Naturally, that science writers should likewise broaden their scope to a global perspective.

This world is globalizing and it’s time for science writing to do the same thing.

Fair enough, perhaps. if the harried, hardworking hacks are allowed the time to do so by their galley-slave-driving, whip cracking editors, but hardly the top priority reform we would put on the agenda. How about this novel concept: science reporters who actually paused for two seconds to evaluate the statements and claims asserted by the generals of any scientific field that they use for sources in their “bunch of calls”?

At the moment the science reporting practiced by every mainstream science reporter we know reminds us rather of a definition of a university lecture we once heard:

Lecture n.: A method of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the student without passing through the heads of either

Is too much to ask, in this era of science meets politics from the Bush administration on down, that science writers stop acting like a bunch of cheeping sparrow fledglings with wide open mouths ready to accept whatever scientists and their pr staff are willing to drop into them?

Apparently it is. At least, Ms Garrett appears to have used exactly that approach in preparing her definitive study for the CFR, which contains not a peep of challenge to her elevated official sources.

What Laurie told the science writers:


And I think, you know, if there’s any take-home message from tonight I’d like to leave with all of you, and I hope you’ll share with, you know, your friends this week at the NASW meeting, it is that when I started out as a science reporter, most science reporters thought the job boiled down to you got advance copies of all the journals and you were specialized in physics or you were specialized in chemistry or medicine, and those were the journals you really jumped on, and ±you found some cool article, some study that looked great, and you made a bunch of calls and you wrote a story, and that was science reporting. And that’s how we all started out.

The world has changed. That is not adequate anymore. If we continue to think, as science writers, that science is an American enterprise and that calls made in American area codes satisfy your needs as a journalist, and that the global ramifications of research, whether it be in America or it be in Britain or wherever it may be, are not part of your story, you don’t have time to think about that, then you’re missing the story entirely. And that will be only more the case as we go forward.

This world is globalizing and it’s time for science writing to do the same thing. And if nothing else happens as a result of this evening’s dinner and our discussion, it is that the Council is saying to you: “The door is open at this end for you to understand and appreciate and get comment on the foreign policy ramifications.” So now the ball is back in your court.

Moving on to the Garrett-CFR-Global Security-View of HIV-propelled AIDS: Here are some key points and quotes from her report of 68 pages.

But first let’s note that according to the 146 footnotes, which cover three pages of tiny typeface possibly designed to give the right scholarly impression, it is based almost exclusively on the non-scientific literatue, with even a single instance of a scientific paper hard to find apart from two or three references to talks at AIDS Conferences, and couple of journal papers whose titles suggest they are of the more imaginative kind, such as the ones arguing that all HIV must originate from Central Africa.

The sources Laurie relies on for her summary of this global topic are her own book, The Coming Plague, and reporting, one or two other trade books, a slew of other newspaper reporters from the likes of the New York Times, the Zimbabwe Daily News, Guardian, the Nation, Reuters, the Boston Globe, AP, the Economist, the Pioneer and the New Delhi Force in India, the Sunday Independent in South Africa, the Washington Post, Radio Free Europe, the Moscow News, and so on; high level public speech from Colin Powell, Al Gore, Bush at his press conferences and Kofi Annan; reports from the UN, Defense Department, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, USAID, the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Council, Pretoria Institute for Security Studies, and the World Bank; political journals such as the Journal of Culture and African Women’s Studies, and a few conference papers.

Here is the full footnote list if you wish to see for yourself:



1 Markus Haacker, ed., The Macroeconomics of HIV/AIDS (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2004).

2 L. Altman, “Gains Made to Contain AIDS, but Global Spread Goes On, UN says,” New York Times, June 3, 2005, p. A10;

“Progress made in the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS,” Report of the Secretary-General, UN

General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, Agenda item 43, Doc. A/59/765, June 2, 2005.

3 S. Swindle, “Botswana Faces Extinction Because of AIDS,” Reuters, July 8, 2000.

4 Strobe Talbott, “Why Washington wants SADC to act,” The Daily News (Zimbabwe), June 6, 2000, p. 10.

5 Kofi Annan, “A More Secure World: Who Needs to Do What?” Lecture, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, December

16, 2004; Kofi Annan, “Courage to Fulfill our Responsibilities,” The Economist, December 4, 2004, p. 23; Note by the Secretary-

General, UN General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, Agenda item 55, Doc. A/59/565.

6 Richard N. Haass, The Opportunity: America’s Moment to Alter History’s Course (New York: Public Affairs, 2005), p. 25.

7 Colin Powell, Speech to the Global Business Coalition on AIDS 2003 Awards for Business Excellence, June 12, 2003, see


8 “Vice President Gore’s Remarks on AIDS to UN Security Council,” Remarks at the United Nations, New York, NY, January 10,

2000, see http://www.aegis.com/news/usis/2000/US000102.html.

9 Marcella David, “Rubber Helmets: The Certain Pitfalls of Marshaling Security Council Resources to Combat AIDS in Africa,”

Human Rights Quarterly, 23 (2001), pp. 560–82; UN Security Council Resolution 1308, July 17, 2000.

10 J. Ban, “Health as a Global Security Challenge,” Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Summer/Fall 2003,

pp. 19–28; Robert L. Ostergard, “Personalist regimes and the insecurity dilemma: Prioritizing AIDS as a national security threat in

Uganda,” in Amy Patterson, ed., The African State and the AIDS Crisis (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004).

11 Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, Periodic Activity Report (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, May

21, 2004); D.J. Ortiz et al., “Who is protecting our militaries? A systematic literature review of military HIV/AIDS prevention pro-

grams worldwide,” Presentation at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004.

12 “Vietnam, U.S. Militaries Meet on HIV/AIDS,” Associated Press, April 15, 2004.

13 John Donnelly, “U.S. assists African armies in AIDS battle,” The Boston Globe, May 25, 2004.

14 For forecasts see: Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future with Nongovernment Experts (Washington, DC: National

Intelligence Council, 2000); Mapping the Global Future, Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project, Government

Printing Office, GPO Stock 041-015-0024-6, Washington, DC, 2004.

15 R.S. Gottfried, The Black Death: Natural and Human Disaster in the Medieval Europe (New York: Free Press, 1983).

16 D. Herlihy, The Black Death and the Transformation of the West (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997).

17 S. Cohen, “Introduction,” in D. Herlihy, The Black Death and the Transformation of the West; Ibid; P. Ziegler, The Black Death (New

York: Harper and Row, 1969), pp. 221–22; B.A. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (New York: Knopf,

1978); G. Boccaccio, The Decameron, trans. Mark Mysa and Peter Bondanella (New York: Norton and Company, 1983); G. Villani,

Selections from the first nine books of the Croniche Fiorentine of Giovanni Villani (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co., 1987);

B.F. Harvey, Before the Black Death: Studies in the ‘Crisis’ of the Early Fourteenth Century, B.M.S. Campbell, ed. (Manchester:

University of Manchester Press, 1991), pp. 1–24.

18 Herlihy, Black Death.

19 A. Whiteside and C. Sunter, AIDS: The Challenge for South Africa (Cape Town: Human and Rousseau Tafelberg, 2000).

20 “Threats Without Enemies: the security aspects of HIV/AIDS,” Pugwash Meeting No. 297, compiled by Gwyn Prins, Limpopo,

South Africa, June 25–28, 2004.

21 George W. Bush, White House News Conference, July 3, 2003.

22 Steven L. B. Jensen, “Fatal Years: How HIV/AIDS is Impacting National and International Security–A Desk Review of the

Literature and Analytical Approaches” (Geneva: UNAIDS Security and Humanitarian Response Unit, March–April 2004).

23 Martin Schönteich, “The Impact of Communicable Disease on Violent Conflict and International Security,” Presentation at the

Demographic Association of Southern Africa Annual Workshop and Conference, University of the Western Cape, September 24–27,

2002; P. Fourie and M. Schönteich, “Africa’s new security threat: HIV/AIDS and human security in Southern Africa,” African

Security Review, 10.4, 2001, pp. 35–36; Robyn Pharaoh and Martin Schönteich, “AIDS, Security, and Governance in Southern

Africa: Exploring the impact,” Occasional Paper No. 65 (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, January 2003).

24 Global Trends 2015.

25 Curt Anderson, “CIA Director says AIDS Threatens Stability, Economic Health Worldwide,” Associated Press, February 11, 2003.

26 “The Kerry-Edwards Plan to Respond to the AIDS Crisis: Will Invest in Combating the AIDS Epidemic in the United States and

Around the World,” Doctors and Nurses for John Kerry, June 20, 2005, see http://www.rchusid.addr.com/aids.htm.

27 Mapping the Global Future.

28 Ban, “Health as a Global Security Challenge”; Mark Schneider and Michael Moodie, “The Destabilizing Impacts of HIV/AIDS First

Wave Hits Eastern and Southern Africa; Second Wave Threatens India, China, Russia, Ethiopia, Nigeria,” CSIS HIV/AIDS Task

Force, May 2002, p. 6; Global Trends 2010 (Washington, DC: National Intelligence Council, November 1997).

29 Robert Shell and Patricia Smonds Qaga, “Trojan horses: HIV/AIDS and military bases in Southern Africa,” Demographic

Association of Southern Africa, Annual Workshop and Conference, September 24–27, 2002.

30 International Crisis Group, HIV/AIDS as a Security Issue in Africa: Lessons from Uganda, ICG Issues Report No. 3, Kampala/

Brussels, April 16, 2004; Confronting AIDS: Public Priorities in a Global Epidemic (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1999), p. 161.

31 Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HIV/AIDS, Security and Democracy (The Hague: Clingendael Institue, May 4, 2005).

32 “Russia: Number of HIV Carriers Among Potential Draftees Grows 25 Times,” Interfax-AVN, November 27, 2003; J. Bransten,

“Russia: Government Shows Signs of Acknowledging Country’s AIDS Epidemic,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 31,

2005; “Russia: AIDS a National Security Threat,” Associated Press, March 30, 2005; V.M. Volzhanin, “Trends Followed in HIV

Occurrence Among RF Military Personnel,” Moscow Voyenno-Meditsinskiy Zhunali, January 31, 2004, pp. 57–62.

33 “Russian Military Said to Reject 30 Percent of Conscripts Due to Poor Health,” ITAR-TASS (English), February 11, 2005.

34 Murray Feshbach, “HIV/AIDS in the Russian Military–Update,” Prepared for UNAIDS Meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, February

22–23, 2005; Murray Feshbach, “Tracking and Analysis of HIV/AIDS & TB in Russia and the Impact on Social Transition”

(Washington, DC: U.S. Agency for International Development, January 2005).

35 “Russia: AIDS a National Security Threat,” Associated Press, March 30, 2005; Bransten, “Russia: Government Shows Signs of

Acknowledging Country’s AIDS Epidemic,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 31, 2005; Feshbach, “HIV/AIDS in the

Russian Military—Update”; Peter Finn, “HIV/AIDS in Russia May Be Triple Official Rate, Report Warns,” The Washington Post,

January 12, 2005; “Russia: AIDS,” Associated Press, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 22–23, 2005.

36 Feshbach, “HIV/AIDS in the Russian Military–Update”; Murray Feshbach and Christina Galvin, “HIV/AIDS in Russia and

Ukraine–An Analysis of Statistics: Tracking and Analysis of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in Russia and Ukraine and the Impact on

Social Transition” (Washington, DC: U.S. Agency for International Development, 2004).

37 Murray Feshbach, “HIV/AIDS and the Military: Russian Worries–Real or Not But Worries,” Center for Strategic and International

Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002; Vadim Ampelonskiy, “Russian Army Hemorrhaging Junior Officers,”

Moscow Moskovskiy Komsomolets, December 16, 2004.

38 Mechai Viravaidya, Presentation at Uniformed Leadership Forum Session, July 12, 2004, XV International AIDS Conference,

Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004.

39 Sonny Inbaraj, “Health-Thailand: Military Combats AIDS its Own Way,” Inter Press Service, July 12, 2004.

40 International Crisis Group, HIV/AIDS; “Paper says over 800,000 Ugandans infected with HIV,” The New Vision (Kampala), May 3,


41 “HIV/AIDS in Army,” The Chronicle (Malawi), March 31, 2003.

42 “Army Details Receive Arvs,” The Herald (Zimbabwe), August 11, 2004; Godfrey Marawanyika, “Military hit by HIV scourge,” The

Independent (Zimbabwe), June 11, 2004; Martin Revayi Rupiya, “HIV-AIDS and the security sector in Zimbabwe: strategies for

prevention, care treatment, and sensitizing society of the pandemic,” New York, UNDP Project; “Zimbabwe: Alarm Over HIV

Prevalence in Armed Forces,” UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, June 24, 2004.

43 “AIDS Kills 150 Mozambican Policemen,” Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, September 11, 2002.

44 Lyndy Heinecken, “Strategic implications of HIV/AIDS in South Africa,” Conflict, Security, and Development, 2001, pp. 109–15.

45 “Soldiers Fear Virus More Than Bullets,” Business Day (South Africa), May 8, 2000.

46 Heinecken, “Strategic implications.”

47 Elliott Sylvester, “A Fifth of South Africa’s Military Infected with HIV; Minister Says He’s Not Alarmed,” Associated Press, July 10,

2004; Jani Meyer, “SANDF Unveils Shock AIDS Data,” Sunday Independent (South Africa), August 1, 2004.

48 “No AIDS crisis in SANDF, says Lekota,” Mercury (South Africa), August 3, 2004.

49 Jeremy Michaels, “What future awaits HIV-positive soldiers?,” The Star (South Africa), August 18, 2004; Meyer, “SANDF Unveils

shock AIDS data”; Pugwash, “Threats without enemies.”

50 Rory Carroll, “Armed Forces hit by HIV,” The Guardian (United Kingdom), June 23, 2004.

51 Martin Schönteich, “A Bleak Outlook: HIV/AIDS and the South African Police Service,” South Africa Crime Quarterly, September


52 Pharaoh and Schönteich, “AIDS, Security, and Governance in Southern Africa.”

53 Yigeremu Abede, Ab Schaap, Girmatchew Mamo, et al., “HIV prevalence in 72,000 Urban and Rural Male Army Recruits,

Ethiopia,” AIDS, 17, 2003, pp. 1835–40.

54 Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center, Impact of HIV/AIDS on Military Forces: sub-Saharan Africa, DI-1817-2-00 (unclassi-

fied sections) (Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence Agency, 2000).

55 D. Thompson and B. Gill, “HIV/AIDS as a security threat: Implications for China,” Presented at XV International AIDS

Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004; Renmin Junyi, “Impact of AIDS on the Military,” People’s Military Surgeon

(China), February 28, 1997, pp. 64–65.

56 Dipankar Chakraorty, “India: Author Seeks ‘Immediate’ Action to Check HIV Infection Among Armed Forces,” New Delhi Force,

December 1, 2004; V.R. Raghavan, “Indefinitely in force: The army is still in Manipur owing to a failure of governance,” The

Telegraph, August 25, 2004.

57 Ulf Kristoffersson, personal communication, May 11, 2005.

58 “AIDS said killing two Papua New Guinea soldiers per month,” BBC Monitoring Service, July 12, 2004; John Martinkus, “Military

in Firing Line,” New Zealand Herald, March 3, 2003; Karen Fredericks, “Papua New Guinea: Police brutalise, charge AIDS work-

ers,” Green Left (Australia), March 22, 2004.

59 “Botswana: Anti-AIDS Drugs for Armed Forces,” UN Integrated Regional Information Network, March 10, 2005.

60 D.E. Singer et al., “HIV-1 Incidence and Prevalence Among U.S. Army Personnel (Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard),

1986–2003,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 11–16, 2004; W. B. Sateren et al., “HIV-1

Incidence Among United States Army Personnel, 1985–1999: Demographic and Occupational Risk Factors,” Presented at 2001

National HIV Prevention Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, August 12–15, 2001; W. B. Sateren, “HIV-1 Prevalence in Civilian

Applicants for U.S. Military Service 1985 to 2000: Demographic and Geographic Correlates of Infection,” Presented at XV

International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 11–16, 2004; W.B. Sateren, “Mortality Experience of HIV-Infected and

Uninfected Civilian Applicants for United States Military Service, 1985–2001,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference,

Bangkok, Thailand, July 11–16, 2004.

61 I.L. Pires et al., “Disease Progression in Prevalence of Drug Resistance Mutations, in Drug-Naïve Subjects Infected With Different

HIV-1 Subtypes in the Army Health Service in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok,

Thailand, July 11–16, 2004; W.B. Sateren et al., “Mortality and Survival from HIV-1 Infection Among HIV-Positive and Matched

HIV-Negative Active Duty US Army Personnel, 1985–2001,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand,

July 11–16, 2004.

62 M. Gordon et al., “Surveillance of Antiretroviral Drug Resistance in a Single HIV Clinic in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa,” Presented

at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 11–16, 2004.

63 International Crisis Group, HIV/AIDS; Rodger Yeager, “HIV/AIDS: Implications for Development and Security in Sub-Saharan

Africa,” Civil-Military Alliance to Combat HIV and AIDS, 2003; The Military Balance 2002–2003, International Institute for

Strategic Studies (London: Oxford Press, 2003), p. 333, pp. 335–36.

64 Jim Fisher-Thompson, “AIDS Among African Militaries Concerns Former Top U.S. Commander,” All Africa Global Media, March

4, 2004, see http://www.allafrica.com; “Ruling on HIV could affect regional armies,” Business Day (South Africa), May 11, 2000.

65 I.C. Wamundu, “Challenges and benefits of providing VCT to military populations,” Presented at XV International AIDS

Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004.

66 Brighton Phiri, “Muliokela lectures Sierra Leone bound soldiers on HIV/AIDS,” The Post (Zambia), January 22, 2003.

67 Roxannea Bazergan and Philippab Easterbrook, “HIV and UN peacekeeping operations,” AIDS, 17.2, 2003, pp. 278–79.

68 Stefan Lovgran, “African Army Hastening HIV/AIDS Spread,” Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, 2001, see


69 E.J. Essien et al., “HIV transmission risk behaviors in the Nigerian Army,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference,

Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004; “Fighting Aids Scourge in the Military,” This Day (Nigeria), January 8, 2003.

70 Cahal Milmo, “U.N. Peacekeepers Sexually Abusing Girls In D.R.C. Camp,” London Independent, May 25, 2004.

71 Michael Fleshman, “AIDS Prevention in the Ranks,” Africa Recovery, June 2001, pp. 16–18; “Minister bemoans high AIDS rate in

military,” Nigeria AIDS Bulletin, June 18, 2000, see http://www.nigeria.aids.org.

72 Catherine A. Hankins et al., “Transmission and prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in war settings: Implications

for current and future armed conflicts,” AIDS, 16, 2002, pp. 2245–52.

73 E.G. Bing et al., “Behavioral and HIV serologic surveillance among Angolan military,” Presented at XV International AIDS

Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004; E. Bing, “Prevention and Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings.”

74 “AIDS in war and peace: The Deadly Dividend,” The Economist, September 18, 2004, p. 54.

75 HIV Women’s Treatment Access Report Card, July 2004, “Rape, Sexual Violence, and HIV in Conflict and Post-Conflict Zones,”

see http://www.we-actx.org; Mamadou Amat, “AIDS used as a weapon in African conflicts,” Panapress (Senegal), December 2,

2002; P. Salignon et al., “Health and war in Congo-Brazzaville,” The Lancet, 356, 2000, p. 1762; Peter Owyor, “Uganda: Army

Officer Arrested over HIV Infections,” Inter Press Service, February 9, 2000; R.L. Ostergard, “HIV/AIDS, the Military and the

Future of Africa’s Security,” Presented at International Studies Association Convention Montreal, Canada, March 17–20, 2004.

76 L. Munyakazi, “Prevention and Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings,” Presentation to UCLA conference “Integrating HIV

Prevention and Care in Africa: Existing Challenges and Innovative Solutions,” April 15, 2005.

77 Clair Mulanga et al., “Political and socioeconomic instability: How does it affect HIV? A Case Study in the Democratic Republic of

the Congo,” AIDS, 18, 2004, pp. 832–34.

78 Fleshman, “AIDS Prevention”; Lovgren, “African Army”; Peter Salama, Bruce Laurence, and Monica L. Nolan, “Health and human

rights in contemporary humanitarian crises: Is Kosovo more important than Sierra Leone?,” British Medical Journal, 319, 1999, pp.

1569–71; “The problems of reintegrating child soldiers,” UN Integrated Regional Information Network, April 12, 2005.

79 Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux,


80 Karen Chang, in “Prevention and Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings,” Presentation to UCLA conference “Integrating

HIV/Prevention and Care in Africa: existing challenges and innovative solutions,” April 15, 2005.

81 P.N. Khera, “AID(S)ing terror,” The Pioneer (India), April 11, 2004.

82 Ellis Shuman, “Terrorists planned to explode bomb tainted with HIV-infected blood,” Israel Insider, April 13, 2004.

83 C.S. Smith, “Libya Ties Reprieve for Nurses to Payment for AIDS Victims,” New York Times, December 7, 2004, p. A5; C.S. Smith,

“Libyans in HIV Case say They’re Forgotten Victims,” New York Times, December 19, 2004, p. A24; C.S. Smith, “US Criticizes

Bulgarian Nurses’ Conviction,” The Lancet, vol. 363, no. 9421, 2004; K. Morris, “Torture Continues for Death—Sentence Medics

in Libya,” The Lancet, vol. 4, no. 6, 2004; “Libya Delays Ruling on Bulgarian Nurses Appeal,” Bulgarian Network News, March 31,

2005; “Libya to Boycott Trade, Investment with Bulgaria over Dispute Involving Nurses Who Allegedly Infected Children with

HIV,” Bulgarian Network News, Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, April 14, 2005; W.C. Mann, “E.U. Officials Call for Release of

Bulgarian Nurses Sentenced to Death in Libyan HIV Infection Case,” Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, March 10, 2005; W.C.

Mann, “United States Promises to Work to Get Libya to Free Bulgarian Nurses in AIDS Trial,” Associated Press, March 25, 2005; K.

Morris, “Torture Continues for Death—Sentence Medics in Libya,” The Lancet, vol. 4, no. 6, 2004.

84 Bette Korber et al., “Evolutionary and immunological implications of contemporary HIV-1 variation,” British Medical Bulletin, 58,

2001, pp. 19–42; Mark N. Lurie et al., “Who infects whom? HIV-1 concordance and discordance among migrant and non-migrant

couples in South Africa,” AIDS, 17, 2003, pp. 2245–52; Martin Peeters, “Recombinant HIV Sequences: Their Role in the Global

Epidemic,” Laboratoire Retrovirus, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, Montpellier, France, December 2000, p. I-48.

85 Rongge Yang et al., “Ongoing generation of multiple forms of HIV-1 intersubtype recombinants in the Yunnan Province of China,”

AIDS, 16, 2002, pp. 1401–07; Yutaka Takebe et al., “High prevalence of diverse forms of HIV-1 intersubtype recombinants in

Central Myanmar: Geographical hot spot of extensive recombination,” AIDS, 17, 2003, pp. 2077–87.

86 Francine M. McCutchan et al., “HIV-1 and Drug Trafficking: Viral Strains Illuminate Networks and Provide focus for

Interventions,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Satellite Sessions in Association with the XIV International AIDS Conference,

Barcelona, Spain, 2002.

87 D. Wolfe, “Thanks to the Drug War, A Global AIDS Epidemic is Exploding Among Injection Drug Users,” The Nation, April 16,

2004; Dario Agnote, “ADB says sex industry continues to thrive in Myanmar,” Kyodo News (Japan), November 12, 2004; Francine

E. McCutchan et al., “HIV-1 and Drug Trafficking: viral strains illuminate networks and provide focus for interventions,” NIDA

Satellite Sessions in Association with the XIV International AIDS Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 2002.

88 C. Beyrer et al., “Overland heroin trafficking routes and HIV spread in South and Southeast Asia,” AIDS, 14, 2000, pp. 1–9.

89 “HIV/AIDS: A Major International Security Issue,” Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting, Melbourne, Australia, October 9–10, 2001.

90 Jean Carr et al., “Diverse BF recombinations have spread widely since the introduction of HIV-1 into South America,” AIDS, 15,

2001, pp. 41–47.

91 D. Huang et al., “Further sequence characterization of BCF-Dioum and BCF-Kita, two NED subtype panel strains originating from

the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 11–16, 2004; John

Mokili and Bette Korber, “The Spread of HIV in Africa,” Los Alamos National Laboratory (personal communication), 2005; Laurie

Garrett, “Allies of AIDS: Among warring factions in Congo, disease is mutating,” Newsday, July 9, 2000; Nicole Vidal et al.,

“Unprecedented Degree of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Group M Genetic Diversity in the Democratic

Republic of Congo Suggests that the HIV-1 Pandemic originated in Central Africa,” Journal of Virology, 74, 2000, pp. 10498–507.

92 Christopher Bodeen, “AP Interview: Chinese AIDS Activist, Once Labeled Subversive, Rises to Prominence,” Associated Press, March

31, 2004; Elizabeth Rosenthal, “China now Facing an AIDS Epidemic, A Top Aide Admits,” New York Times, August 24, 2001;

Jonathan Watts, “Hidden from the World, a Village Dies of AIDS while China Refuses to Face a Growing Crisis,” The Guardian,

October 25, 2003.

93 Human Development Report 2004: Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World (New York: United Nations Development Programme,


94 Moyiga Nduru, “Southern Africa: HIV/AIDS May be Undermining Democracy,” Inter Press News Service, November 26, 2004;

Pharaoh and Shönteich, “AIDS Security.”

95 Alan Whiteside, “How Will HIV/AIDS Transform African Governance?” EU Presidency Seminar on Africa, Dublin, April 22–23,

2005; R. Manning, “HIV/AIDS, Economics, and Governance in South Africa: Key Issues in Understanding Response–A Literature

Review,” USAID, July 2002.

96 Powell, Speech to the Global Business Coalition on AIDS.

97 Pam Groenewald et al., Nadine Nannan, David Bourne, Ria Laubscher, and Debbie Bradshaw, “Identifying deaths from AIDS in

South Africa,” AIDS, 19, 2005, pp. 193–201; “AIDS Blamed as South Africa’s Death Rate Soars,” Reuters, February 18, 2005.

98 Griffith M. Feeney, “The impact of HIV/AIDS on adult mortality in Zimbabwe,” Population and Development Review, 27.4, 2001,

p. 771.

99 I.M. Timaeus, “Impact of the HIV epidemic on mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from national surveys and censuses,”

AIDS, 12, 1998, suppl. 1, pp. 515–17; Carol Levine and Geoff Foster, “The White Oak Report: Building International Support for

Children Affected by AIDS,” executive summary (New York: The Orphan Project, 2000).

100 UNDP Statistical Fact Sheet, HIV/AIDS, July 2002, see http://www.undp.org/hiv/publications/index.htm.

101 Ibid.

102 Maria Klimova, “People. Life with AIDS,” The Moscow News, No. 8, 2005.

103 C.G. Mesquida and N.I. Wiener, “Male age composition and severity in conflicts,” Politics and Life Sciences, 18.2, 1999, p. 187.

104 R.P. Cincotta, R. Engelman, and D. Anastasion, The Security Demographic: Population and Civil Conflict After the Cold War

(Washington, DC: Population Action International, 2003); R.P. Cincotta and R. Engelman, “Conflict Thrives Where Young Men are

Many,” International Herald Tribune, March 2, 2004.

105 Cincotta, Security Demographic.

106 Margaret McCallin, “The Prevention of Under-Age Military Recruitment: A Review of Local and Community-Based Concerns and

Initiatives” (London: International Save the Children Alliance, 2002).

107 Anthony Stahelski, “Terrorists are Made, Not Born,” Journal of Homeland Security, March 2004, see http://www.homelandsecuri-

ty.org/journal/Articles/stahelski.html. See also: R. Loeber and M. Stouthamer-Loeber, “Family Factors as Correlates and Predictors

of Juvenile Conduct Problems and Delinquency,” in M. Tonry and N. Morris, eds., Crime and Justice (Chicago: University of

Chicago Press, Chicago, 1986), pp. 29–149; J. Bowlby, Forty-four Juvenile Thieves: Their Characters and Home Life (London:

Bailliere, Tindall and Cox, 1947); S.M.D. Gabel, “Behavioral Problems in Sons of Incarcerated or Otherwise Absent Fathers: The

Issue of Separation,” Family Process, 31, 1992, p. 303; Childhood Under Threat, State of the World’s Children 2005 (New York:

UNICEF, 2005), pp. 39–45.

108 Rachel Bray, “Predicting the Social Consequences of Orphanhood in South Africa,” Center for Social Science Research Working

Paper No. 29, published by the Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town, 2003; S. Hunter and J. Williamson,

Children on the Brink (Washington, DC: USAID, 2000); “Coping with the Impact of AIDS,” in Mead Over and Martha Ainsworth;

Confronting AIDS; Geoff Foster et al., “Factors Leading to the Establishment of Child-headed Households: The Case of

Zimbabwe,” Health Transition Review, Supplement 2, 7, 1997, pp. 155–68; R.S. Drew, C. Makufa, and G. Foster, “Strategies for

Providing Care and Support to Children Orphaned by AIDS,” AIDS Care, Supplement 1, 10, 1998, pp. S9–S15; “No Excuses:

Facing up to Sub-Saharan Africa’s AIDS Orphans Crisis,” Christian Aid, May 2001, see http://www.christian-

aid.org.uk/indepth/0105aids/aidsorph.htm; Philip H. Cook, Sandra Ali, and Alistair Munthali, “Starting From Strengths:

Community Care For Orphaned Children in Malawi,” Final Report Submitted to the International Development Research Centre,

Centre for Social Research, 1998, see http://web.uvic.ca/icrd/pub_resources.html; Joanne Csete and Michael Bochenek, “In The

Shadow Of Death: HIV/AIDS and Children’s Rights in Kenya,” 13.4A, 2001, see http://hrw.org/reports/2001/kenya/.

109 G. Foster et al., “Orphan prevalence and extended family care in a peri-urban community in Zimbabwe,” AIDS Care, 7, 1995, pp.


110 Kalanidhi Subbarao and Diane Coury, Reaching Out to Africa’s Orphans: A Framework for Public Action (Washington, DC: World

Bank, 2004).

111 S. LaFraniere. “AIDS, Pregnancy, and Poverty Trap Ever More African Girls,” New York Times, June 3, 2005, p. A1; Facing the

future together: Report of the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Women, Girls, and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (New York: United

Nations, 2004).

112 LaFraniere, “AIDS, Pregnancy.”

113 S. Leclerc-Madlala, “Crime in an epidemic: The case of rape and AIDS,” Acta Criminologica, 9.2, 1996, p. 35.

114 Caroline Hooper-Box, “Three million AIDS orphans within 10 years,” Sunday Independent (South Africa), October 6, 2001; Tamar

Renaud, “HIV/AIDS and children affected by armed conflict,” draft, UNICEF, April 2001; International Save the Children

Alliance, “HIV and Conflict: A Double Emergency” (London: Save the Children United Kingdom, 2002); E. Guest, Children of

Africa: Africa’s Orphan Crisis (KawZulu-Natal: University of Natal Press, 2003), p. 161; “Forty million orphans: How AIDS will

disrupt African society,” The Economist, November 28, 2002.

115 “Africa: New thinking needed to counter AIDS in rural communities,” UN Integrated Regional Information Network, April 15,


116 Peter Piot, “AIDS’ ripple effects in developing nations,” Chicago Tribune, December 1, 2002.

117 “Southern Africa food security brief,” Famine Early Warning Systems Network, Chemonics International, Pretoria, August 15, 2004.

118 AF-AIDS, “Swaziland–Impact of HIV/AIDS on Agriculture and the Private Sector,” Global Development Network, December 18,

2002; Alex deWaal, “‘New Variant’ Famine: How AIDS has changed the hunger equation,” All Africa Global Media, November 20,

2002, see http://www.allafrica.com; Carolyn Baylies, “The Impact of AIDS on Rural Households in Africa: A shock like any

other?,” Development and Change, 33, 2002, pp. 611–32; Gabriel Rugalema, “Coping or Struggling? A Journey into the Impact of

HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa,” Review of African Political Economy, 86, 2000, pp. 537–45; Hall Montecute, “Our People are

Forced to Eat Root and Leaves,” Reuters Alert Network, November 20, 2002.

119 Confronting AIDS, pp. 222–25.

120 M.P. Mangwana, Key Note Address (untitled), at the official launch of the Zimbabwe Human Development Report 2003 on HIV

and AIDS, Harare, May 6, 2004.

121 “Agricultural Response to AIDS Crisis Urgently Needed,” Press Release (Geneva: UNAIDS, June 30, 2003); “Addressing the

Impact of HIV/AIDS on Ministries of Agriculture: Focus on Eastern and Southern Africa” (Rome: Food and Agriculture

Organization/UNAIDS, 2002).

122 See also: Pia Malaney, “The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Education Sector in Southern Africa,” Consulting Assistance on Economic

Reform II, Discussion Paper no. 81, August 2000.

123 “HIV/AIDS and work: global estimates, impact and response” (Geneva: International Labor Organization, 2004).

124 Moses Sserwango, “Bundibugyo in AIDS scare,” The New Vision (Uganda), May 19, 2000, p. 7; “AIDS and Malaria Cost Uganda a

Billion Dollars, says President,” Associated Press, November 18, 2002; Clive Bell, Shantayana Devarajan, and Hans Gersbach, “The

Long-run Economic Costs of AIDS: Theory and Application to South Africa” (Washington, DC: World Bank, June 2003), pp. 8–9;

A. Price-Smith, “Downward Spiral: HIV/AIDS, State Capacity, and Political Conflict in Zimbabwe,” United States Institue of

Peace, Peaceworks No. 53, UNAIDS, July 2004.

125 Alex deWaal, “How will HIV-AIDS transform African governance?,” African Affairs, 102.406, 2003, pp. 1–23; Bell, Devarajan, and

Gersbach, “The Long-run Economic Costs of AIDS”; Price-Smith, “Downward Spiral”; Haacker, The Macroeconomics of HIV/AIDS.

126 AIDS in Africa: Three Scenarios to 2025 (Geneva: UNAIDS Programme, 2005); International Crisis Group, “HIV/AIDS as a

Security Issue in Africa: Lessons from Uganda,” ICG Issues Report No. 3, April 16, 2004, p. 7; Kathleen Beegle, “Labor Effects of

Adult Mortality in Tanzanian Households,” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3062, May 2003.

127 René Bonnel, “HIV/AIDS: Does it increase or decrease growth in Africa?” (Washington, DC: ACTAfrica and the World Bank,

November 2000).

128 DeWaal, “How will HIV/AIDS transform African governance?”; Mark Schneider and Michael Moodie, “The Destabilizing Impacts

of HIV/AIDS” (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies HIV/AIDS Task Force, May 2002); Drew

Thompson, “Pre-empting an HIV/AIDS disaster in China,” Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, 2003, pp.

29–44; Francis Onwudo and Chioma Nnadozie, “AIDS: Industries Lament Loss of Skilled Manpower,” This Day (Nigeria),

December 7, 2004.

129 Peter Piot, “Why AIDS is exceptional,” speech, London School of Economics, London, February 8, 2005; Confronting AIDS; Alan

Whiteside, “Health, Economic Growth, and Competitiveness in Africa,” Paper presented at the Africa Economic Summit, Maputo,

Mozambique, 2004.

130 P. VonWielligh, Presentation to AIDS in Africa symposium, UCLA, April 15, 2005; O. King Akerele, cited by L. Bollinger and J.

Stover, eds., The Economic Impact of AIDS in South Africa (Washington, DC: Futures Group International, September 1999).

131 “South Africa: economic overview,” South Africa alive with possibility: The Official Gateway, September 10, 2004, see


132 Global Trends 2015.

133 “The Truth About Oil and the Looming World Energy Crisis: Equatorial Guinea,” MBendi, Information for Africa, see

http://www.mbendi.co.za/indy/oilg/af/eg/p0005.htm; Global Trends 2015.

134 Thomas Frank and Laurie Garrett, “Embassy Bombings: Heroes Amid Chaos: Rescue Workers and Hospitals Overwhelmed,”

Newsday, August 8, 1998, p. A7.

135 “AIDS and South African Business,” The Economist, October 5, 2002.

136 E. Schmitt, “Africans Join Iraqi Insurgency, U.S. Counters with Military Training in Their Lands,” New York Times, June 10, 2005,

p. A11.

137 Francis T. Miko, “Removing Terrorist Sanctuaries: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and U.S. Policy,” Congressional

Research Service Report for Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, August 10, 2004), p. 12; Todd Pitman,

“U.S. General Says al-Qaeda Eyeing Africa,” Associated Press/CBS News, March 5, 2004, see http://www.cbsnews.com/sto-

ries/2004/03/05/terror/main604297.shtml; Charles Goredema, “Money laundering in Southern Africa: Incidence, magnitude,

and prospects for its control” (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, October 2004); R.H. Shultz, D. Farah, I.V. Lochard, “Armed

Groups: A Tier-One Security Priority,” Occasional Paper 57 (Colorado: U.S. Air Force Institute for National Security Studies, U.S.

Air Force Academy, September 2004).

138 Trevor Neilson, “AIDS, Economics, and Terrorism in Africa,” Discussion Paper (New York: Global Business Coalition on

HIV/AIDS, January 2005).

139 Kofi Annan, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats,

Challenges, and Change (New York: United Nations, December 2, 2004), see http://www.un.org/secureworld/.

140 “AIDS/HIV work” (Geneva: International Labor Organization, 2004); “The state of the world population 2004” (New York:

United Nations Population Fund, 2004), p. 84; M. O’Grady, “The impoverishing pandemic: The impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in

Southern Africa on development,” in Mark Heywood, ed., From Disaster to Development: HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa

Development Update, 5.3, pp. 17–43.

141 U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base, see http://www.census.gov/cgi.bin.ipc/aggen.

142 Brent Scowcroft, “A More Secure World: Who Needs to Do What,” Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC,

December 16, 2004; A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility.

143 A.M.K. Mohd Khalib, “HIV/AIDS prevention in Southeast Asia against the backdrop of the ‘War on Terror,’” Presented at XV

International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004; H. Worth, “AIDS and imperialism: HIV in a globalized

world,” Presented at XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, July 16–21, 2004.

144 R.L. Tobias, “Making Progress on AIDS in Africa,” Remarks at a Foreign Press Center Briefing, Washington, DC, May 7, 2004;

“President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief: Aid to Orphans and Vulnerable Children,” Fact Sheet, Office of the U.S. Global

AIDS Coordinator, May 24, 2005.

145 “Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Selection of Antiretroviral Medications Provided under U.S. Emergency Plan Is Limited,” Report to

Congressional Requesters, Government Accountability Office, January 2005. Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, “The

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-Compassionate Action Provides Hope Through Treatment Success,” Fact Sheet,

January 26, 2005.

146 “The Global Fund Voluntary Replenishment 2005: A Technical Note on Contribution Scenarios,” The Global Fund to Fight AIDS,

Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, see http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/about/replenishment/. 65

As this list indicates the resulting report is simply a synthesis of all the other scientifically uninformed high level official chatter, waffle and claptrap of the bigwigs and politicos of the international government and NGO circuit, drawn up by their advisers, speechwriters and think tanks, who mostly draw from each other and the media, just as Garrett does. The process is long standing. We recall seeing it in action at the Eonomist Intelligence Unit which used to prepare high priced quarterly surveys of the business and political prospects of countries round the world with a simple modus operandi: a pile of recent news clips was dumped on the writer’s desk for him or her to synthesise into expert sounding prognostication.

Laurie’s upfront acknowledgements sketch the structure perfectly. The CFR is an independent organization but its report was prepared exclusively through cosy relationships with fellow establishment sources without any reference whatsoever to scientific critics, who actually include some academics and Nobel prize winners of equal prominence in the establishment of science. In fact, the UN agency UNAIDS which prepares the global AIDS statistics Laurie uses for the report is among the providers of AIDS numbers (WHO is the other) most severely criticized by skeptical AIDS reviewers:



The process of researching and producing HIV and National Security: Where Are the Links? spanned eighteen months, engaged a large list of participants and contributors, and involved field research in several countries.

From the outset in March 2004, the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations worked closely with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), cosponsoring three critical meetings of experts that contributed to this report. Meeting participants and representatives of UNAIDS offered valuable insights, but were not responsible for the ultimate report. Funding for these gatherings was

generously provided by UNAIDS and an unrestricted grant from Merck Co., Inc.

In particular, we wish to acknowledge Peter Piot, UNAIDS executive director, and Ulf Kristoffersson, director of the UNAIDS Office on AIDS, Security and Humanitarian Response, and his team. A number of UNAIDS

employees based all over the world provided data contained in this report, for which we are grateful. We would also like to thank Jeffrey Sturchio, vice president for external affairs, Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Merck.

The final preparation of the report involved work and critical input from a host of individuals, both inside the Council on Foreign Relations and from a range of outside institutions and organizations. We are deeply grateful for their diligence and insights. Special thanks to Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations; James Lindsay, director of studies; Scott A. Rosenstein, research associate for global health; Smita

Aiyar, research associate; Katherine Schlosser, intern; Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; and Trevor Neilson, executive director, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.

Laurie Garrett

Senior Fellow for Global Health

In AIDS all of this inbred, collegial narrating, as the report shows by collating it, results in an ever expanding fantasy structure which, if it ever had any grounding in peer reviewed science, has slipped its moorings long ago and for years has been shared and spread from one publication and podium to the next in a sort of intellectual merry-go-round of misinformation, gathering force and speed until anyone riding it who tries to get to the brake is flung off.

Here is the page announcing the report, which is unfortunately not displayed on the CFR’s web pages but is offered in pdf for download. HIV and National Security: Where Are the Links? by Laurie Garrett. Senior Fellow for Global Health.

HIV and National Security: Where Are the Links?

Laurie Garrett

Senior Fellow for Global Health

Council on Foreign Relations, July 18, 2005

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is affecting the security of states throughout the world, weakening economies, government structures, military and police forces, and social structures. This is the principal conclusion of the Council Report, HIV and National Security: Where Are the Links?

Authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council, the report finds that states with high rates of HIV infection in their productive labor forces and uniformed services have managed to remain intact, from the village level on up, through a plethora of coping mechanisms. But many of these nations are “coping” with HIV while also experiencing massive poverty, tuberculosis, drug-resistant malaria, regional conflicts and a host of other serious challenges. HIV is exacerbating each of these problems, and they, in turn, are straining mechanisms designed to cope with AIDS to the point of failure.

These effects are being felt long before the great wave of AIDS illnesses and deaths have occurred in most of these countries, and are predicted to worsen deeply over the coming ten years. “The pandemic now directly afflicts approximately 40 million people, has orphaned more than 12 million children, and killed more than 20 million people.”

In fact, the report is more lurid than this rather bland teaser suggests.

Some of its overwrought phrases indicate the mild state of hysterics induced in its professionally gullible author at the prospect of the monster global boil AIDS will become if not lanced:

… The pandemic now directly affects approximately 40 million people, has orphaned more than 12 million childen, and killed more than 20 million people.

(Things appear to be improving in these respects at least, since in her February estimate in the Los Angeles Times mentioned above our assiduous Cassandra reckoned 40-50 million “afflicted” with 25 million killed so far.)

… the horrible impact AIDS is taking (sic)… the devastation of families,. clans, civil society, societal organizations, business structures, armed forces, and political leadership…

… Botswana now faces obliteration due to AIDS… “We are now threatened with extinction. People are dying in chillingly high numbers…” (President Festus Mogae)

… …only two parallels in recorded history: the 1918 flu pandemic and the Black Death in the fourteenth Century… HIV has already surpassed the numbers of people sickened by the plague and when the currently HIV-infected cohort of 40 million have sucumbed to the disease, AIDS will rank as the worst plague of all human history

(Well, perhaps. Or perhaps not. The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic killed 50 million. With 25 million supposedly dead of AIDS in the world so far (no sign of this in the South African morbidity statistics, though, as Rian Molan discovered) this would make a total of 65 million, it is true. But it would be over a period of 40 years, if the latent period of HIV is reckoned at ten years, so in a world population of six billion plus at the moment, perhaps 8 billion then, this would be a matter of little more than a million and a half annually on average, which would be a drop in the bucket compared with the total deaths annually of say 100 million total, about one per cent of all deaths. The 50 million that are estimated to have died in 1918 must have been approaching 100 times as lethal in annual terms.)

(Like the Black Death HIV/AIDS is) reshaping the demographic distribution of societys, (causing) massive orphaning… labor shortages…strong challenges to military forces, an abiding shift in spiritual and religious values, fundamental economic transformations, and changes in the concepts of civil society and the role of the state.

The armed forces worldwide, both military and police, are generally challenged by HIV to at least an equal extent as the threat to general societies in which they reside… HIV may already be weakening troop strength in some countries, depleting police and armed forces, and challenging the ability of key militaries to recruit healthy personnel.

… the predicted tens of millions of children who will be orphaned by HIV/AIDS

… some AIDS plagued countries haave seen their life expectancies plummet into the high twenties. This is the widest life expectancy gap in human history, and it will only grow larger as the tens of millions of people now infected progress to full blown AIDS, and death.

… It is not inconceivable that AIDS ravaged societies might spawn movements of strong anti-Western discontent, possibly leading to acts of violence.

… Nations in the grip of the pandemic may need to make dangerous choices regarding prioritization of acess to the drugs, and risk alienating populations not granted access to the vital drugs. Misuse of the drugs may promote emergence of resistant strains….

… Secretary-General Kofi Annan asserted that the pace of the AIDS epidemic was “accelerating.. on every continent,” despite expenditures of about $6 billion annually on … the disease. In 2004, Annan said, 4.9 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 3.1 million people died of AIDS.

… key regions of the world that are hard-hit by HIV/AIDS are threatened with the complete reversal of the Bretton Woods–inspired achievements.

.. HIV/AIDS pandemic is the most complex disease phenomenon humanity has ever faced.

And so on and on and on, with hardly three sentences of skepticism or caution, and almost all of it based on second hand, non-scientific information. Unscientific information, in fact. Virtually none of this stands up when its scientific premises are examined.

There are many such premises, but really the only one that matters is the idea that AIDS is infectious through heterosexual sex. This is the huge main pillar of the established vision of global AIDS that Garrett synthesises and summaries in her report. It is the sine qua non of the “pandemic”, without which its apocalyptic reinterpretation of familiar diseases would have to be abandoned completely. If AIDS is not infectious, almost every single story line in the narrative would have to be abandoned.

And how many stories there are! The ability of politicians and researchers to come up with imaginative alarms is almost endless. The Garrett report is chock full of them. For instance, the army of an African state which may be 40 % HIV positive (Swaziland), the police in a South African province, who are presumed 40% to be positive (KawZulu Natal), the UN peacekeepers from Morocco and Uruguay who bought sex from thirteen year old Congolese girls for cash and food, rape during the Rwanda genocide has left 80% of the women HIV positive, US medical personnel terrified of transfusing the virus into embassy staff after the Kenya and Tanzania bombings, and so on.

The most extreme distortion of normal vision has occurred in Libya, where five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor have been sentenced to death for deliberately infecting 426 children, and have now been imprisoned for six years, with Moammar Quaddafi insisting they were put up to it by the CIA and Israeli intelligence, and threatening a trade embargo against Bulgaria unless it pays $2.7 billion, the sum Libya paid the victims of the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie. Meanwhile Bulgaria has suggested that Libya failed to screen its blood transfusions and used unsterilized needles, and a group of anonymous Libyan physicians has posted on the Web what they say is evidence that the Libyan government is responsible.

All this shows how accusation can be used as a weapon, says Laurie, of terror or diplomacy, “even without evidence”.

The extraordinary stigma attached to HIV, a sexually transmitted virus, guarantees it will continue to carry special weight in battles of word, minds and political power.

That is certainly true, as long as people believe that heterosexual AIDS is caused by “a sexually transmitted virus”. But as we will now show in the next post, the scientific literature is unanimous that it isn’t heterosexually transmitted.

One Response to “The Black Death of the 21St Century – a CFR Report”

  1. Robert Houston Says:

    All well and good, but what’s the basis for the reference in the 3rd paragraph to “the 98,000 retroviruses that inhabit the human body”? Perhaps what’s meant are subconstituents, such as the number of nucleotides in the genetic sequences for viruses. According to the retrovirologist Peter Duesberg in Inventing the AIDS Virus (p. 527), “there are between 100 and 150 chronically latent retroviruses in the human germ line.”

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