the AIDS Virus, Peter H. Duesberg
1996, 720 pages, ISBN 0-89526-470-6.
Review- Boston Herald
Everybody knows AIDS is caused by HIV. That's what science has
been telling us for a dozen years.
So why does Peter Duesberg, a pioneering researcher on retroviruses
at the University of California at Berkeley, disagree so strongly?
In a controversial new book, "Inventing the AIDS Virus,"
(Regnery; $ 29.95), Duesberg accuses the government of leading medical
science down the wrong path when it comes to AIDS.
He says medicine's failure to make progress against the disease
proves it. HIV, he says, has nothing to do with AIDS.
"Tragic deaths, time and money wasted, hysterical public debate
over a harmless virus - these have been the fruits borne of a scientific
establishment grown too large for genuine science," he writes.
The establishment says Duesberg doesn't know what he is talking
about, but several hundred scientists, including a handful of Nobel
laureates, aren't so sure. They back Duesberg and want the HIV-AIDS
Whether Duesberg's premise is right or wrong, the book is a fascinating
look at the politics that appear to have tainted the world of scientific
While he concedes HIV can be passed during sex, intravenous drug
use, transfusions and from mother to baby, Duesberg contends it
is a harmless virus.
Rather, he says, the illnesses said to be the result of HIV's weakening
the immune system - Kaposi's sarcoma and more than 25 others - are
caused not by HIV, but, in nearly all cases, by rampant drug use.
Duesberg says that includes both recreational and prescription
drugs, including AZT, given to those with HIV or AIDS.
While many of Duesberg's ideas may seem unbelievable, the 722-page
book is complete with 200 pages of appendices and footnotes that
make them at least worthy of attention.
Kary Mullis, who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his
invention of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology, thinks
In the book's forward, Mullis writes: "We have not been able
to discover any good reasons why most people on earth believe that
AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV. There is simply no scientific
That lack of evidence is Duesberg's main problem with the HIV-AIDS
theory. While there are more than 100,000 scientific papers about
AIDS, none proves the connection.
Government scientists, who announced in 1984 that HIV causes AIDS,
say there is a strong correlation, in that nearly all who have come
down with AIDS-defining illnesses also test positive for antibodies
to HIV. To officially be diagnosed with AIDS, one must be HIV-positive
and have one of the 30 illnesses.
But Duesberg notes there have been more than 4,600 documented cases
of patients with such illnesses, but no HIV.
He says the growth of AIDS parallels the drug epidemic and that
94 percent of AIDS cases remain within the original risk groups
- gay men, injecting drug users and hemophiliacs.
He notes that each of these groups suffers its own unique AIDS
diseases and says no germ could differentiate among its victims
in this way.
Of the 94 percent, about one-third are heroin addicts; about two-thirds
are male homosexuals, nearly all of whom had abused recreational
drugs or went on AZT when they learned they were HIV-positive, he
Duesberg says all of these drugs, including AZT, can damage the
immune system, allowing the development of the opportunistic infections
that define AIDS.
For example, tennis star Arthur Ashe, who contracted HIV from a
transfusion, and Kimberly Bergalis, who may have gotten it from
her dentist, were both AZT victims, Duesberg charges.
Reviewed by Michael Lasalandra
Source: The Boston Herald 18 March 1996