Everybody knows AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, right? Some people think not. Some even think HIV does not exist. But they’re all cranks. Aren’t they?
Peter Duesberg, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology in the University of California, Berkeley.
Unfortunately no. This is not an easy subject, so if you want to examine it in any detail, be prepared to spend a few hours watching these videos. There are books too, and there are medical journals, but probably none are as forthright and candid as you will find here, especially the latter.
December 1 was World AIDS Day; the sponsoring organisation’s UK website contains masses of information about AIDS and HIV, but how accurate is it? We begin with a blast from the past, a short public information film that is most definitely not AIDS denialist in spirit. If you live in the UK and are of a certain age, you may well have seen this or similar short commercials. Ditto wherever you live. This is what has been called the megaphone solution, attempting to inform the public with a mass advertising campaign.
We know now that the claims made by this video require some qualification. AIDS is not a virus, you probably knew that anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to use the term. More importantly, we are not all and indeed were never were all equally at risk or all at risk. AIDS is not something that spreads the same way as the black plague, with which it has been compared, and which decimated the population of Europe during the 14th Century.
There are though some people who go much further than claiming we are not all at risk. There are those who claim that HIV does not cause AIDS, that it is a harmless passenger virus. There are even those who claim that HIV does not exist at all. You can if you look around find people who hold all manner of outrageous and at times just plain idiotic beliefs. The name David Icke springs to mind. With regard to AIDS, there are all manner of conspiracy "theories" about how it was created by the American Government to wipe out blacks or some other target group, or perhaps people in general. This is the same American Government that like many others is currently assisting the Philippines relief effort. It is though one thing to perpetuate scandalous gossip about politicians and human beings in general, but it is quite another to argue with scientific research.
Those who do not endorse the accepted paradigm are alluded to as AIDS denialists and attempts are made to bracket them with Creationists and others who argue from theology or ideology rather than from evidence, logic and reason. At the heart of AIDS denialism is Peter Duesberg. The first thing to note about Duesberg is that he is not David Icke; his credentials are impressive. His hypothesis has now been discarded by the mainstream, and he has all but been frozen out by his peers. At the extreme he is derided as a crank or worse. The problem with many cranks is that they sound rational, while at times people who are both rational and correct sound like cranks, primarily because the reception they receive when trying to impart their ideas drives them nuts. Here is Jane Bürgermeister interviewing German biologist Christl Meyer - ignore the video’s facetious title. The latter certainly has an impressive CV, and Miss Bürgermeister sounds rational in the extreme, but if you check out some of her other offerings you will see she endorses some quite off the wall beliefs, to put it mildly.
Here is another individual who sounds very rational when he talks about giving the body the right vitamins and supplements, but when he turns to talking about dowsing...
Duesberg though cannot really be bracketed with the lunatic fringe, and has likewise managed to retain his composure in the face of stoic opposition or even ridicule.
Duesberg may face formidable opposition, but he is far from a lone knight tilting at windmills. Another big name who shares his views is 1993 Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis. Here he is explaining how and why he became a skeptic. He is followed in this video by biochemist Rodney Richards who echoes his sentiments.
Here is Kary Mullis again this time in a much longer video, Deconstructing The Myth Of AIDS. At around 49 minutes, he explains succinctly why he believes AIDS was promoted in the US as a threat to the general population. His words are not pleasant, but is he wrong? It is easy to dismiss much of the content of this video as “conspiracy theory” but there is clearly enormous vested interest in promoting the establishment line on AIDS. In the last two minutes of this video, one contributor makes a very salient point: AIDS is not a medical problem, it is a social problem.
Here is another long video that was uploaded in February of last year. At 21 minutes into it we are given 10 scientific reasons why HIV does not cause AIDS. At around 1 hour 38 minutes, an analogy is drawn with scurvy and other diseases that are caused by vitamin deficiency or even by medicines. Duesberg and other high powered scientists appear in this video.
Here is a very short video which includes a contribution from Peter Duesberg. There are many other videos of this nature, and if you want to explore this subject further, feel free to check out House Of Numbers. To cut to the chase though, if you feel ill and your doctor diagnoses you with influenza, you can be fairly certain that any other competent doctor anywhere in the world would say the same. That is not the case with AIDS nor with HIV because it has no universal definition. Is this science, or something else?
One person who put his money where his mouth was, was the late Dr Robert Willner. Here is a video of him speaking for an hour plus. Dr Willner made a name for himself by injecting himself a number of times with HIV-infected blood. He died in 1995 from a heart attack; there appears to be no evidence that the latter was in any way connected with the former.
There are many other videos on YouTube relating to so-called AIDS denialism, and not a few that counter the arguments of its proponents. Two of the most important issues that the denialists address are those of AZT and the strikingly different progression of AIDS in Africa. AZT was developed as an anti-cancer drug way back in the 1960s by Jerome Horwitz, who died last year. It was considered too dangerous to use and was not patented until 1986. AZT is highly toxic and inhibits the body’s synthesis of DNA. It is therefore not a drug to be prescribed lightly, but Duesberg and his fellow travellers believe it should not be prescribed at all, and indeed that it actually makes AIDS worse.
The other issue is that of Africa. Is AIDS as widespread on the Dark Continent as it is claimed, or are we witnessing something else? There are those denialists who argue that AIDS is very much a construct, and that it has been with us a long time before the 1980s.
In the United States in particular, AIDS is found almost exclusively in homosexuals and drug abusers. These are inherently unhealthy lifestyles; on the one hand, male homosexuality combined with both rampant promiscuity and the use of “poppers”, and on the other the injection of drugs that have been “cut” with all manner of unhealthy substances and then injected with dirty needles - why should anyone be surprised at the rise of AIDS?
Africa is entirely different, when people have poor diet, low vitamin intake, poor sanitation and so on, the body is attacked by all manner of diseases which can be diagnosed as AIDS. Western governments especially the US have spent countless billions of dollars developing, marketing and distributing drugs of dubious efficacy to combat a disease or a condition that is basically caused by lifestyle when what they should be doing, at least as far as Africa is concerned, is building infrastructure, developing public hygiene and ensuring that poor people don’t suffer from malnutrition. Instead, African governments are being bombarded with propaganda encouraging them to liberalise their laws with regard to perverted sex, potentially dangerous drugs are being dumped on the Continent - to the great profit of Big Pharma - and they are being encouraged to use condoms, which if anything contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted infections. If you don’t believe that last statement, answer this, would you drive less or more carefully than usual with a crate of eggs on the back seat of your car?
The final word belongs to a microbiologist, who wishes to remain anonymous. The following is quoted verbatim:
“I think the point of origin of HIV are interesting and not resolved. Whether there is a link with primates and SIV is possible.
In terms of the global spread, then widespread promiscuity and the scandal of infected blood transfusions and blood products played a part. Parts of the homosexual community in the U.S. played a major role in the spread and I don’t think this section of the population have fully acknowledged this. The blood issue is one which several governments, including the U.K., have not come clean on. Some evidence indicates that the government knew of HIV in the late-1970s but did not issues warnings until the mid-1980s and were slow to introduce appropriate testing. or to prevent ‘at risk’ groups, like practising homosexuals, from donating blood. There is still a lot to research and debate in relation to HIV.”
[The above review was published originally December 4, 2013; I did not include a photograph with the original. A few other points; two of the videos have been uploaded to this website and are linked herein. The link for the video of the Jane Bürgermeister interview appears to have been omitted in the original. Although linked here is the same interview, I believe the one I alluded to originally had a different title. I have also linked to IMDb pages rather than the actual YouTube uploads for two of the videos listed here. I should also point out that videos are sometimes deleted by or from YouTube for various reasons, so there is no cast iron guarantee that all the videos alluded to here will actually still be on the site when the reader finds this article.].
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