Talk on risk- AIDS hypothesis
By John Lauritsen
AIDS Symposium, Buenos Aires, 8 April 1995
For a decade
and a half we have been subjected to AIDS propaganda. We have been
indoctrinated into ever-changing and ever-more-elaborate AIDS mythologies.
Over 100,000 papers have been written on "AIDS." The jargon,
the technobabble must run to hundreds of words by now. It all seems
hopelessly complicated -far beyond the comprehension of a mere layman,
And yet, at
bottom, "AIDS" is really rather simple. My goal in this
talk is to cut through the trappings and mystifications of "AIDS,"
to lay bare and articulate its fundamental assumptions and contradictions.
I want to bring us back to the Reality Principle: to see things
as they really are.
My entire message
can be expressed in three brief points:
1. There is
no such thing as "AIDS."
2. HIV is not
3. People with
"AIDS" diagnoses became sick in the ways that they did
because of health risks in their lives - especially drugs.
is no such thing as "AIDS."
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or "AIDS" is not a
coherent, single disease entity. It has neither symptoms nor diagnostic
criteria of its own. Other diseases, such as mumps, measles, polio,
chicken pox, rabies, gonorrhea, malaria, salmonella, the common
cold, or bubonic plague, can readily be described and diagnosed.
Not "AIDS," which is defined entirely in terms of other,
old diseases, in conjunction with dubious test results and even
more dubious assumptions. Although people are undeniably sick, "AIDS"
itself does not really exist; it is a phoney construct.
The AIDS surveillance
definition of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has changed
several times, and it contains its own contradiction. Nevertheless,
the core definition of "AIDS" can be expressed by the
following formula (for which I am indebted to Peter Duesberg):
+ HIV = AIDS
with HIV, an "AIDS-indicator disease" becomes "AIDS."
In the absence of HIV, the "AIDS-indicator disease" is
called by its old name.
- HIV = INDICATOR DISEASE
Let's try a
couple of examples:
TB + HIV =
TB - HIV =
HIV = AIDS
HIV = CRAZY
At last count
there are 29 "AIDS-indicator diseases," not one of which
is new. All of them have causes other than HIV.
infections, multiple or recurrent (applies only to children)
of bronchi, trachea, or lungs
of esophagus (either a "definitive diagnosis" or a "presumptive
disseminated or extrapulmonary
disease other than retinitis
retinitis (either a "definitive diagnosis" or a "presumptive
9. HIV encephalopathy
simplex, with esophagitis, pneumonia, or chronic mucocutaneous ulcers
disseminated or extrapulmonary
sarcoma (either a "definitive diagnosis" or a "presumptive
interstitial pneumonia and/or pulmonary lymphoid hyperplasia (either
a "definitive diagnosis" or a "presumptive diagnosis")
Burkitt's (or equivalent term)
immunoblastic (or equivalent term)
primary in brain
avium or M. kansasii, disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a "definitive
diagnosis" or a "presumptive diagnosis")
19. M. tuberculosis,
disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a "definitive diagnosis"
or a "presumptive diagnosis")
diseases, other disseminated or extrapulmonary (either a "definitive
diagnosis" or a "presumptive diagnosis")
carinii pneumonia (either a "definitive diagnosis" or
a "presumptive diagnosis")
of brain (either a "definitive diagnosis" or a "presumptive
25. HIV wasting
On 8 December
1992 a letter was mailed by the CDC to State Health Officers, informing
them: "On January 1, 1993, an expanded surveillance definition
for AIDS will be effective." The following AIDS-indicator conditions
were added to the list:
26. A CD4+
T-lymphocyte count <200 cells/microliter (or a CD4+ percent <14)
pneumonia (within a 12-month period)
diseases are extremely heterogeneous.
Many of the
diseases are caused by funguses, for example, candidiasis, coccidioidomycosis,
cryptto-coccosis, histoplasmosis, and pneumocystis carinii. Others
are caused by bacteria, like salmonella. Others, by mycobacteria,
like tuberculosis. Still others, by viruses, like cytomegalovirus
or herpes. And still others, like the various cancers and neoplasms,
including lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma, have no established etiology.
And still others, like dementia or wasting, are poorly defined and
can have many different causes.
of the AIDS-defining formula are absurd.
disease part is absurd because the diseases have nothing in common.
Although the central idea of "AIDS" is immune deficiency,
some of the AIDS-indicator diseases-like the cancers, wasting, and
dementia-have nothing whatever to do with immune deficiency.
The HIV part
of the formula is also absurd, because it is almost always based
on invalidated and unreliable antibody tests; because it is sometimes
based on "presumptive" diagnoses (in other words, on guesses);
and above all, because HIV is not pathogenic.
Since the very
definition of "AIDS" is absurd, it necessarily follows:
"There is no such thing as 'AIDS.'"
2. HIV is
Peter Duesberg has argued that it is not in the nature of retroviruses
to cause serious illness, and HIV is a completely typical retrovirus.
lack of biochemical activity is a salient reason for rejecting the
HIV-AIDS hypothesis. There are different ways of evaluating the
activity of a microbe, just as there are different ways of evaluating
the activity of a human being (such things as motion, heartbeat,
breathing, body temperature, etc.). Right now I'm giving a talk.
If I were running the 100 meter race, I would be much more active;
if I were asleep, I would be much less active; and so on. HIV is
consistently inactive, even in patients who are dying from so-called
"AIDS." It therefore cannot cause disease, any more than
a human being could rob a bank at the same time he was lying in
with "AIDS" diagnoses became sick in the ways that they
did because of health risks in their lives-especially drugs.
The basic idea
here is that different "risk groups" and different individuals
are getting sick in different ways and for different reasons. We
need to find out what factors have affected their health in ways
that caused them to develop one or more of the 29 old illnesses
that qualify for a diagnosis of "AIDS."
to any specific risk group, the question is not, "Why have
these people developed AIDS?", but rather, "Why are these
the risk groups one at a time:
Intravenous Drug Users Getting Sick?*
drug users (IVDUs) are the second largest risk group for "AIDS"
in the U.S., and their illnesses are the easiest to explain. They
have acquired AIDS-illnesses as a toxicological consequence of the
heroin, cocaine, and other drugs that they have put into their bodies.
According to the prevailing AIDS paradigm, they got sick because
they shared needles, thereby acquiring HIV infection, which caused
their illnesses. There are three problems with this hypothesis:
1) No study has ever been done to determine if all, or even most,
IVDUs with "AIDS" diagnoses ever did share needles (most
IVDUs, in fact, do not share needles), 2) the hypothesis ignores
the harmful consequences of putting chemicals into the body, and
3) HIV is not pathogenic.
profile of an IVDU with "AIDS" is emaciation (wasting)
and one or more lung diseases. And yet, for a hundred years, the
classic profile of a chronic heroin user has been emaciation and
lung disease. Heroin is bad for the health and bad for the immune
system; on top of that, it suppresses the respiratory system. The
consequences are tuberculosis or one or another form of pneumonia:
emaciation and lung disease.
More than a
decade before the first cases of "AIDS" were reported,
the distinguished British epidemiologist, Gordon Stewart, was studying
drug addicts in the United States. His team made the following observations:
They were often
extremely emaciated, suffering from wasting diseases, various weird
blood-borne infections with skin bacteria, Candida and Cryptococci,
which would not ordinarily be regarded as pathogenic in their own
right....We didn't find Kaposi's sarcoma and we didn't find Pneumocystis
(carinii pneumonia) but, then, we weren't looking for it. [Quoted
by Jad Adams in AIDS: The HIV Myth, New York, 1989.]
In his paper,
"AIDS Acquired by Drug Consumption and Other Noncontagious
Risk Factors," Peter Duesberg cites many medical references
that indicate: psychoactive drugs leads to immune suppression and
clinical abnormalities similar to AIDS."
So then, IVDUs
are getting sick in 1995 in the same ways and for the same reasons
they were getting sick 86 years ago. The only difference is that
now their illnesses are called "AIDS."
Gay Men Getting Sick?*
men" (homosexual men) comprise 63% of "AIDS" cases,
as a whole they are not at risk for developing "AIDS."
All across America are tens of millions of males who have had sex
with each other, and who remain healthy. It is only a very small,
particular subset of gay men who are getting sick, and they are
getting sick for reasons that are all too obvious once the right
questions are asked.
into greater detail, let me simply list the major health risks impinging
on those gay men who are getting sick:
drugs" (drugs used for intoxication, rather than for medical
diseases + antibiotics
- AZT and other
On the surface
it would seem that these particular health risks do not affect only
gay men. However, a closer examination shows that within each of
these risk categories there are elements peculiar to a subset of
gay men, in terms of both intensity and specificity.
profile fits most gay men who developed "AIDS": In the
decade preceding their diagnosis they contracted venereal diseases
(VD) many times, treated with ever stronger doses of antibiotics;
they took antibiotics prophylactically, to avoid getting VD again.
They drank too much; they used "recreational" drugs; they
smoked heavily. They experienced terror, owing to a war waged against
gay men by the Moral Majority (an American coalition of fundamentalist
Christians); they experienced loneliness, alienation, and depression;
they experienced shame and self-hatred, which, in a vicious circle,
they acted out in ways that degraded themselves-and, as the epidemic
developed, they experienced grief: they were in perpetual mourning,
their hearts broken by the loss of their closest friends.
I have devoted
thirteen pages of my book, The AIDS War, to describing the health
risks in the lives of those particular gay men who became sick with
AIDS-illnesses. Some of the drugs they used-like the nitrite inhalants
(or "poppers") - were hardly used at all by anyone who
was not a gay man. Certain "designer drugs" that were
popular in the gay disco scene were virtually unknown outside the
It would appear
that this subset of gay men became sick primarily because of drugs,
both medical and "recreational." At any rate, there were
abundant health risks in their lives, and it would have been surprising
if any of them had remained healthy.
We must also
take note of "Iatrogenic AIDS", which is "AIDS"
caused by medical practice. This mainly consists of treatment with
AZT or other nucleoside analogues. Most of the victims are gay men,
given these drugs on the basis of an HIV-antibody-positive diagnosis.
I'll discuss this later.
Transfusion Cases, Other Risk Groups:*
time, I'll not go into the other risk groups: the hemophiliacs,
the transfusion cases, and the others. I'll just say that all of
these groups combined account for less than 10% of the total U.S.
AIDS cases, and that there are good reasons to explain why these
people became sick with one or more of the AIDS-indicator diseases.
When it comes
to treatment, the prevailing AIDS-paradigm, including the HIV-AIDS
hypothesis, has led nowhere. The mood among AIDS researchers is
one of pessimism, gloom, and confusion.
we who advocate the Risk-AIDS hypothesis have a very optimistic
outlook. We believe that there is no reason why individuals who
are HIV-antibody-positive should not remain perfectly healthy, provided
they take care of themselves. And we believe that most people with
"AIDS" diagnoses ought to be able to recover fully, if
they take the right steps.
The one thing
people with "AIDS" diagnoses must not do, if they want
to get better, is to take toxic drugs that they don't need. At the
top of the list is AZT, about which I have written a great deal
since 1987. AZT is the greatest iatrogenic disaster in medical history:
behind AZT therapy is wrong:
- HIV is not
the cause of "AIDS." Even when HIV can be detected, it
is not replicating.
- AZT's toxicities
are severe: AZT is the most toxic drug ever prescribed for long-term
use. AZT causes severe anemia, head-aches, nausea, muscular pain,
and cachexia. It damages the nerves and every organ in the body.
It is a known carcinogen.
- AZT was approved
by the FDA on the basis of fraudulent research: I have examined
hundreds of pages of documents that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) was forced to release under the Freedom of Infor-mation Act.
It is clear from these documents that the Phase II AZT trials were
fraudulent: that all kinds of cheating took place, and that the
investigators deliberately used data which they knew were false.
(The Phase II AZT trials, conducted in 1986, formed the basis of
AZT's approval in the U.S. and 31 other countries.)
There is no
scientifically credible evidence AZT has benefits of any kind: The
studies that have been used to claim benefits for AZT were all paid
for and controlled by Well-come, the manufacturer of AZT. They are
there-fore unworthy of credence, in light of the fraud that was
committed in the Phase II AZT trials.
has claimed that AZT is now the single greatest cause of "AIDS,"
and I agree. Since AZT can cause several of the AIDS-indicator diseases,
and since patients given AZT are already HIV-positive, it's clear
that AZT can cause "AIDS," according to the formula: AIDS
- Indicator Disease + HIV = AIDS.
with "AIDS" should do is identify the health risks that
made them sick in the first place, and then eliminate those health
risks from their lives. It's as simple as that. In most cases these
health risks are toxins: medical as well as "recreational"
drugs. But psychological factors, infectious diseases (and the concomitant
treatments with antibiotics), and genetic factors undoubtedly also
play a role in causing particular AIDS-indicator illnesses.
In simple outline
form, a program of recovery may look something like this:
- Take charge
of your own recovery.
- Break away
from the AIDS death messages.
- Adopt a holistic
concept of health: mens sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a
and eliminate all health risks.
both mind and body:
- no "recreational"
- no cigarettes.
- no toxic
medical drugs (like AZT).
- Observe good
- Avoid sugar.
- Reduce stress.
- Get enough
- Have faith
that good health will return.
If this looks
like a program for healthy living, that's what it is.
usually multifactorial in origin, and good health is always multifactorial.
Good health doesn't depend on any one panacea, but on a number of
elements: freedom from toxins; nutritious food (in moderation);
vigorous, balanced exercise; pure water; pure air; freedom from
hostile stress, including noise; satisfying friendships; satisfying
sex; satisfying work; an intellectual life; and enough sleep and
FROM DRUG ABUSE
In most cases
recovery from "AIDS" will involve recovery from substance
abuse, so I want to say a few words about this. Despite a lot of
misinformation, the following points are solidly established:
1. The substance
abuse itself is the primary problem; it is not merely a symptom
of another, underlying problem (psychological, sociological, or
2. The substance
abuser must want to stop.
3. Total abstinence
from drugs and alcohol is necessary. This means that every day,
for the rest of his life, the substance abuser will stay away from
the first drink and the first drug.
professional treatment may sometimes be useful, or even necessary,
nothing has ever been so successful as the self-help programs of
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), in which
recovering alcoholics or drug addicts "share experience, strength
and hope with each other," in order to stay "clean and
dry." AA and NA are entirely self-supporting, depending upon
small, voluntary contributions from their members. If a recovering
alcoholic or drug addict has no money, then he pays nothing. And,
I might add, not a cent of our tax money is spent on either AA or
CRITICISM OF ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
of the orthodox AIDS model are grateful for the support we have
received from people in alternative health care. However, the time
has come for us to offer constructive criticism of some alternative
health approaches to "AIDS," just as we have already made
strong criticisms of orthodox medical approaches.
My main criticism
is that many alternative health practitioners fail to deal with
the real reasons people with "AIDS" became sick. Some
of them have only a single commodity to promote; others have a whole
line of goods-either way, they perceive recovery from "AIDS"
in terms of what they have to offer. Acupuncturists want to treat
"AIDS" with acupuncture; hypnotherapists, with hypnotism;
aromatherapists with therapeutic aromas; homeopaths, with homeopathic
remedies; Chinese herbalists, with Chinese herbs; food supplement
advocates, with food supplements; diet zealots, with weird and unappealing
diets; distributors of electromagnetic gadgets, with electro-magnetic
radiation; and so on.
Some of these
treatments represent outright charlatanism.
Most of them
are, at best, inappropriate. To give just one example: A man was
in the terminal stage of alcoholism. He had come close to death
more than once. In desperation he consulted a homeopath, whose treatment
consisted of nothing but a homeopathic remedy. The man continued
to drink, and nearly died a couple of months later. Fortunately,
his friends got him to a detoxification center, where he was introduced
to Alcoholics Anonymous. He is now sober and much better, no thanks
health practitioners simply accept the premises of the official
AIDS paradigm. They claim that their remedies or "protocols"
are active against viruses, or cause t-cells to go up, or cause
patients to go from HIV-antibody-positive to HIV-antibody-negative
status. Since our task as AIDS-critics is to deconstruct and demolish
the prevailing AIDS-paradigm, we cannot look kindly upon attempts
to reinforce that paradigm from the alternative health camp.
Our most severe
criticism should go to those alternative health practitioners who
accept and even promote therapy with AZT and the other nucleoside
analogues. There are three alternative health books on AIDS, which
advocate AZT therapy along with the usual vitamin pills. One of
the authors idiotically advocates taking warm baths to offset the
toxicities of AZT; he was too stupid and too cowardly to warn against
taking AZT in the first place. We should condemn these quacks in
the strongest possible terms.
They are traitors
to the ideal of holistic health.
The AIDS organizations,
including such pseudo-radical groups as Act Up, are always demanding
a "cure" for AIDS. By "cure" they mean a new,
high-tech drug that will attack HIV. This is all wrong.
living with an HIV or an "AIDS" diagnosis need, is not
a new drug, but a counselor with a clear mind and a warm heart.
They need someone who will treat them as a whole person, not as
a patient labeled with particular diagnoses. They need a friend,
who will help them put their lives in order, and who will guide
them back to the path of good health.
I hope that
when the "AIDS epidemic" is behind us, and the lessons
have been drawn, it will be seen as a vindication of the holistic
view of health. *
all, do no harm."
attributed to Hippocrates.
Peter H. Duesberg.
"AIDS Acquired by Drug Consumption and Other Noncontagious
Risk Factors." Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Vol. 55, #3 (1992).
et al. "Is a Western Blot Proof of HIV Infection?" Bio/Technology,
Chapter XIX: "The Risk-AIDS Hypothesis." The AIDS War.,
Asklepios, New York 1993.