of HIV: We Have Been Misled
By Serge Lang
Volume 72, Nos. 2 & 3, pp. 9-19
Note p. 9
Introduction pp. 9-10
Circular official definition pp
Misleading and nonsensical CDC figures pp. 11-12
Correlation? p. 12
Paradoxes and no control groups pp.
§5. Contradictory models: Ho and Shaw; Pakker
et al, Gorochov et al,... pp. 13-16
Defective journalism pp.
and safety of prescription drugs. The Emerson
case in Maine pp.
Withholding information. Articles outside the mainstream press pp.
Page numbers refer to corresponding pages in the Yale Scientific,Spring
1999 Volume 72, Nos. 2 & 3
years ago we published two articles by Serge Lang criticizing the
state of AIDS research; the present article updates that critique
to cover the events of the past few years.
that AIDS is a serious societal problem that deserves thorough scientific
investigation. Professor Lang’s article is not about AIDS pathology,
rather he identifies misinformation and misrepresentation in the
public and scientific debate over HIV and AIDS. For this reason,
we are publishing the Case of HIV: We Have Been Misled."
If any progress
is to be made in this debate, we must initiate a dialogue concentrating
on specific facts, allowing all views and relevant information to
be aired. It is in this spirit that we invite our readers to respond
to the points and questions raised by Prof. Lang.]
I am usually
a mathematician, but for many years, I have been interested in the
area where the academic and scientific worlds meet the world of
journalism and politics. I have thus documented extensively certain
defective practices over 20 years. I published some of my documentation
in my book Challenges (Springer Verlag, 1998).
One thing leading
to another, over the last six years I have made up a file on an
extraordinary situation concerning the virus called HIV. I have
drawers full of documents. The Yale Scientific published
two articles by me on HIV, in Fall 1994 and Winter 1995. The first
article was entitled "HIV and AIDS: Have We Been Misled?"
Both articles are reproduced updated in Challenges. The present
article is therefore a follow up. To summarize:
that HIV is a harmless virus is compatible with all the evidence
I have studied.1
scientific articles on HIV, which I and others have followed up,
are subject to severe criticisms, and exhibit serious defects which
articles admit explicitly that scientists do not know how "HIV
causes AIDS". Although they try to fit data to this axiom,
the data don’t fit.
-There is currently
ongoing a phenomenon of collective misinformation, promoted by official
medical and scientific organizations such as the National Institutes
of Health in the United States, of which the Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) is a part most directly concerned with HIV and AIDS.
Both the general press (e.g. the New York Times) and the
scientific journals such as Nature and Science, propagate
misinformation uncritically, and suppress information which goes
against the orthodox position that "HIV is the virus that causes
about the orthodox view have not been properly answered, or even
remain unanswered. When persons point to contradictions in publications
coming from the orthodoxy, these persons get evasive answers or
they do not get answers at all. I am one of those persons, and I
have written a number of letters, for instance to the CDC Director,
documenting contradictions in CDC publications.
a dissenting voice arises Just a few years ago on 4 April 1994,
The Scientist published an article by Robert Root-Bernstein,
associate professor of physiology at Michigan State University,
and former MacArthur Fellow. The article started on p. 1, and it
was long, headlined by: "Agenda For U.S. AIDS Research Is Due
For A Complete Overhaul." He lists systematically a number
of "false assumptions", and his dissent from the orthodoxy
had displayed statements such as:
not yet asked all the right questions. ..We must consider how many
of our notions about AIDS are biased by our preconceptions and are
not trustworthy... Diversity of opinion has never hurt science;
dogmatism often has. The [AIDS) task force can foster one or the
other -- but not both."
The Drug Hypothesis. The
first idea that came to the mind of medical researchers around 1980,
when there occurred an increase of certain diseases in certain well-defined
risk groups in the western world, is that this increase was due
to drugs, of various kinds depending on the risk group. Be it noted
here that different risk groups come down with different diseases,
and are exposed to different drugs. Various drugs can be involved,
ranging from sex-enhancing recreational drugs to HIV-inhibiting
drugs such as AZT. The time period and the cumulative effect may
also be factors involved in the causation. The situation may be
similar to prolonged use or abuse of alcohol causing cirrhosis of
the liver, or smoking causing lung cancer. This drug hypothesis
was taken up again principally by Professor Peter Duesberg at the
University of California at Berkeley.
Footnotes for page 9
evidence comes from some of the most notorious and influential articles
published in Nature and Nature Medicine, such as those by Ho et
al., Wei et al. ("Ho and Shaw"), Ascher et al., Darby
et al.. cf. Challenges. These articles were originally given
considerable publicity by the scientific media and mainstream newspapers,
so their importance was determined by the establishment itself.
The importance is not only scientific, but medical, cf. for instance
the comments by Arthur Gottlieb, both at the end of this introduction
and later concerning the Ho/Shaw articles. After Richard Horton,
editor of The Lancet, published an 8,500-9,000 word article
in New York Review of Books (23 May 1996) purporting to present
evidence for the orthodox view, I wrote a nearly as long critical
"Review of a Review", which was rejected for publication.
I asked Horton to print it in The Lancet. When he refused,
I pointed to his scientific responsibility at least to answer my
point by point analysis. He never did. For all this, cf. Challenges.
Further evidence comes from some publications of the Centers for
Disease Control. Critical analyses have also met with evasive, defective
answers. See below. The present article provides examples of the
evidence, some of which developed after the publication of Challenges.
in a certain subculture of male homosexuals, the use of "poppers"
(whose technical name is amyl nitrite) to reinforce sexual pleasure
has been suggested as the cause of the increase of AIDS defining
diseases such as Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) in this population. A study
published in Nature (1993) claimed to show that drugs were
not the cause. But after a reanalysis by Duesberg et al of the original
data used for this study, it turned out that 100% of the people
declared sick with AIDS by the authors of the study had taken drugs
systematically, and especially "poppers" (nitrite inhalants).
(Complete references are given in Challenges, pp. 642-643.)
In England, poppers were declared illegal in 1996, precisely because
of their link (correlation) with Kaposi’s sarcoma.
On 23 and 24
May 1994, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse sponsored a
meeting on the toxic effects of nitrite inhalants. The meeting was
not covered by the press, scientific or otherwise. Harry Haverkos,
acting director for clinical research at that Institute, was chairman
of the meeting. Because of his views about AIDS, he is a lone figure
in US health agencies. He emphasized the role of poppers in gay
AIDS and according to an article in the journal Biotechnology
(12 August 1994), he "reported an essentially exclusive
correlation between nitrite use and gay KS. The hypothesis of Harold
Jaffe (Acting Director of the AIDS Division of the CDC) that ‘an
unknown infectious agent’ is the cause of KS could not be reconciled
with Haverkos’ evidence that there was not a single confirmed case
of KS from blood transfusions, which often contain infectious agents."
have proposed some experiments to test whether or not HIV is pathogenic,
and also to test the counter hypothesis that drugs, in different
forms and different circumstances, are the cause of different diseases
defining AIDS according to the CDC. Duesberg is prominent among
those who have proposed such experiments, but he cannot get the
necessary funding from government agencies or universities in the
United States to carry out these experiments. The experiments are
partly epidemiological, and partly laboratory experiments on animals.
The funding situation is so bad that his lab at Berkeley is now
threatened with being closed down within a few months because he
cannot get funding. For more details, see a paid advertisement by
"Cal Friends of Duesberg" in the California Monthly
(UC Alumni Magazine), February 1999. Although the editor was
ready to publish an even longer article, he was overruled by higher
powers who killed the article in galley proof stage.
Be it noted
that Duesberg has also done cancer research which goes against the
current orthodoxy. He cannot get funding either for this research
in the United States. As a result, he has been spending more time
in Germany, where he can get university funding and where he writes
joint papers with German scientists.
basic problem is to communicate a large amount of information to
readers who cannot find this information in the standard media,
including the scientific magazines and the mainstream press. I have
written a detailed account of the situation in one 114 page chapter
of Challenges. During this past year, even more evidence
against the orthodox view has come to my attention. Although the
present article has to recall briefly some items from my previous
articles and from that chapter, I emphasize here material which
developed too late for inclusion in Challenges, especially
in sections §5, §6 and §7 dealing with publications in Nature
Medicine, the Scientific American, and a so-called AIDS
case in Maine. Hence the HIV chapter in Challenges and the
present article are not substitutes for each other but complement
am a mathematician, I do not need to know biology to evaluate critically
certain practices, which can be criticized simply from the point
of view of ordinary scientific and rhetorical standards. Arthur
Gottlieb, M.D., Chairman of the Microbiology/Immunology department
at Tulane University, gave to the publishers a statement, reprinted
at the end of my chapter, stating in part:
chapter, Prof. Serge Lang has well documented the basis of this
controversy [whether HIV is the cause of AIDS] and has provided
a sobering picture for the reader of the polity of thinking that
has characterized this field. For example, legitimate questions
about the effects of HIV and the role of cofactors in the pathogenesis
of the immune dysfunction that is the hallmark of AIDS remain unanswered
by those who are the proponents of conventional thinking in this
field. Models of how HIV and cells of the immune system replicate,
which have not yet sustained the rigor of thorough scientific discussion
and critique at both the biological and mathematical level, are
accepted as if they were laws of nature. Major journals and scientific
meetings have often failed to provide a forum for legitimate criticism
of these models, and other issues pertaining to HIV. Lang points
out that this is an abuse of the process by which science seeks
to achieve a complete understanding of a problem...
As well, Lang
asks to what extent are readers of scientific journals correctly
informed of various points of view and do editors assert unreasonable
control over the terms of disclosure in their journals? These are
clearly important and disturbing questions. A review of the scenarios
which Lang has painted should give the thoughtful reader pause as
well as some insight into how doctrinaire thinking can develop and
I shall list
a few of the problems which confront the HIV pathogenesis hypothesis.
one must realize that the official definition of AIDS in the United
States is not scientifically neutral. It is circular. Since 1992,
for instance, the CDC has an official list of 29 diseases. Among
these, about 60% have to do with immuno deficiency but 40% do not
(for instance diseases of cancer type, such as cervical cancer and
Kaposi’s sarcoma). A low T-cell count is mentioned explicitly as
only one of the 29 diseases. A person is then defined to have AIDS
for surveillance reporting purposes if and only if this person has
at least one of these diseases, and simultaneously tests HIV positive.2
With this definition, the correlation between HIV and AIDS is 100%
because the definition assumes the correlation.
Footnotes for page 10
2 Morb. Mort. Weekly Rep.
41 No. RR17 (1 December 1992), see pp. 1,2,4.
Thus when two
people have the same symptoms of sickness, if one is HIV positive
the sickness is called AIDS, and if the other is not, then the sickness
is given its ordinary name. In this way, the definition obstructs
dealing with the question whether the virus HIV is a cause of any
disease. Some medical practitioners or scientists follow the CDC
definition and some do not. Usually articles on HIV and AIDS do
not specify which definition is used. Under such circumstances,
statistics purportedly showing that HIV is the cause of certain
diseases are worthless, and misleading.
Misleading and nonsensical CDC figures.
December 1996 Surveillance Report provides a typical example of
(a) A Number
of Objections. I wrote to CDC Director David Satcher, listing
concretely several of my objections. For example, right on the front
page, there is a table headed:
living with AIDS, by quarter, January 1988 through June 1996, adjusted
for reporting delays, United States
The graph shows
an increase between 1988 and 1996 from about 35,000 to about 220,000.
There is a boxed statement, just below the graph:
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a specific group of diseases
or conditions which are indicative of severe immunosuppression
related to infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
What does "related"
mean? Testing HIV positive on some test or other? Caused by HIV?
With the use of the word "related", we see fudging about
the role of HIV, as well as another manifestation of the long standing
circularity of CDC definitions.
above definition, that the diseases or conditions defining AIDS
"are indicative of severe immunosuppression", is inconsistent
with the December 1992 definition by the CDC, which defined AIDS
to be any one of 29 diseases if and only if the person is also HIV
positive. Indeed, one of the defining diseases is a low T-cell count,
but about 40% of the 29 diseases defining AIDS in the 1992-1993
CDC list do not involve immunosuppression. For instance, Kaposi’s
sarcoma and cervical cancer are not "indicative of severe immunosuppression",
but according to the December 1992 definition, they are among the
AIDS defining diseases in the presence of HIV
including cases when there is no immunosuppression. So the definition
on the front page of the December 1996 Surveillance Report is still
a new definition, further contributing to the chaotic mess coming
out of the CDC.
of the title "living with AIDS" also contributes to the
confusion. Does it mean being sick with certain clinical symptoms,
or does it mean only being HIV positive? Is there an unstated assumption
that such positivity necessarily leads to clinical symptoms of some
kind and even death, or what? Is there a justification for such
The CDC December
1996 Surveillance Report gives a cumulative figure of "581,429
persons with AIDS reported to CDC" (p. 5, first
paragraph). Table 11 p. 17 purportedly reports "AIDS cases...diagnosed
through December 1996, United States". It arrives at such a
figure by "cumulative totals", so depending on three different
definitions over 15 years, and depending on the use of "statistical
methods" (p. 5, column 1, line -2), but without specifying
what these methods were. Thus the figures are manipulated in some
undetermined way. So the figure of 581,429 is nonsense, down to
the last unit digit.
There are other
fundamental problems with this figure. Table 11 purports to give
a total number of "AIDS cases" per year 1993 through 1996,
broken down into "definition categories". Under the category
"Severe HIV-related immunosuppression", we find the cumulative
total figure 151,131, which is about one-fourth of the 581,429 figure.
On page 36 the CDC explains that the category refers to people who
have no symptoms of sickness except a low-T-cell count per se,
which is called "AIDS" if and only if it is accompanied
by HIV test positivity. The people involved are otherwise healthy.
further from Table 11's breakdown that the cumulative numbers given
on the front page graph of the CDC Report are very misleading. Indeed,
Table 11 shows that if one follows only the 1987 definition, then
the number of new "AIDS" cases goes down each year
1993 to 1996 from 28,265 to 8,227. By making up "cumulative"
figures as on the front page graph, showing a purported increase
from about 35,000 to 220,000, the CDC misrepresents the fact that
their own figures using the 1987 definition show a large decline
in annual numbers of AIDS cases. The apparent large increase is
due to the 1992 change in the definition of "AIDS", which
among other things includes HIV positive people who have no symptoms
of disease except a low T-cell count. Such people are called "asymptomatic".
When someone tests HIV positive, this person may not exhibit any
symptoms of sickness, but that person’s T-cell count may be measured,
and found low, thus giving rise to a diagnosis of "AIDS".
For example, Table 11 claims a total of 36,693 new cases of "AIDS"
in 1996, while of these, 22,856 (about 2/3rd) belong to the category
of those who show no sign of sickness except low T-cell count and
who are HIV positive.
It should be
a matter of common sense, let alone scientific standards, to compare
T-cell counts in HIV positive and HIV negative people, in other
words, to have control groups or what some scientists call "normative
data". The CDC does not provide figures on control groups,
any more than some influential purportedly scientific papers, see
below. Among the "false assumptions" listed in Root-Bernstein’s
article, we find one relevant to HIV and immune suppression:
thought we knew that HIV always precedes immune suppression in people
who develop AIDS. But many studies show that lymphocyte counts are
as low in some HIV-negative gay men, intravenous drug users, and
hemophiliacs as they are in non-symptomatic HIV-positive people
- and sometimes lower."
The first sentence
quoted above shows that Root-Bernstein uses the words "develop
AIDS" in a sense different from that of the CDC, but left unspecified.
The CDC Surveillance Report also introduces the terminology "HIV
disease" as in the sentence (p. 5, column 2, line -4):
1996, over 216,000 persons were living with AIDS...
cumulative number of persons living with AIDS underrepresents the
number of living persons who have been diagnosed with HIV disease
because most HIV-infected persons have not yet progressed to AIDS
and many persons infected with HIV have not been tested."
There is no
explanation of what "HIV disease" means, especially in
relation to the 1992 CDC definition. The expression "HIV disease"
contains several unstated assumptions, and if these are clarified,
the expression may then be incompatible with the official 1992 CDC
definition, or the above-mentioned boxed statement. The expression
contributes to the general confusion. It also has the insidious
effect of inducing people to accept unquestioningly the unstated
axiom "HIV causes AIDS", whatever this means. (See the
UCB news release mentioned below in §5.)
reply from the CDC. I received a reply, not from David Satcher
but from John W. Ward M.D., Chief of the Surveillance Branch of
the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Dr. Ward did not address a
single one of the specific criticisms of the Surveillance Report
which I had made, nor did he resolve any of the specific problems
and incompatibilities which I pointed out. He wrote me only about
the boxed statement:
statement is not, nor was it meant to be construed as, the CDC definition
of AIDS. It also is not meant to be a proxy or substitute for the
CDC definition of AIDS. Please understand that the "boxed"
statement is meant to be a brief comment to serve as a general guide
for those readers of the Surveillance Report who are neither prepared
nor find it necessary to read the technical notes that accompany
the report or follow the technical problems that arise in the models
used to derive the reports estimates."
I then pointed
to an official "FACT SHEET", issued by the NIH National
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases(http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm).
This so-called "Fact Sheet" contains a paragraph headed
"Definition of AIDS", essentially reproducing the
boxed statement, as follows:
CDC currently defines AIDS in an adult or adolescent age 13 years
or older as the presence of one of 25 conditions indicative of severe
immunosuppression associated with HIV infection, such as Pneumocystis
carinii pneumonia (PCP), or HIV infection in an individual
with a CD4+
T cell count less than 200/cells per cubic millimeter (mm3)
So I wrote
back to Satcher: "Here is a contradiction. Its not just
my interpretation of the boxed statement. It is the official view
of NIH-NIAID. Thus the NIAID "Fact Sheet" does not contain
facts. It contains propaganda. It continues to provide evidence
that you guys at NIH, CDC, NIAID cant tell the difference
between a fact and a hole in the ground." I did not get a further
reply from CDC officials.
in the orthodoxy claim that there is a "correlation" between
the AIDS-defining diseases and the presence of antibodies to HIV,
or possibly HIV itself. Even if one admits that such a correlation
exists in some specific studies, independently of the above circular
definition, a question arises: is HIV a cause or a coincidence?
For example, it is generally admitted that smoking in fairly large
doses over a fairly long period of time causes lung cancer. This
is plausible. One of the main reasons (if not the only reason) for
this hypothesis is a correlation between those who smoke a lot and
those who develop cancer. But essentially the same correlation exists
between lung cancer and yellow fingers. However, yellow fingers
do not cause lung cancer. Thus it is essential to answer the question:
is HIV a yellow finger?
noted in the introduction, some studies show an even higher correlation
of AIDS defining diseases and drug use, for instance Kaposis
sarcoma and nitrite inhalants (poppers). Cf. Challenges.
and no control groups
aside from a claimed correlation between HIV and AIDS (whichever
way AIDS is defined) in certain studies, there is no verification
that HIV is pathogenic. Some purportedly scientific papers do assert
that "HIV causes AIDS", but no justification is given
for this assertion.
the hypothesis that HIV is pathogenic leads to what even some people
representing the orthodoxy call "paradoxes", that is incompatibility
with experimental evidence.
articles about HIV and AIDS are written under the automatic assumption
that HIV is the cause of certain diseases by killing CD4 T-cells.
This hypothesis has been criticized by some medical scientists,
even by some of those who uphold the orthodoxys axiom that
"HIV causes AIDS".
scientific papers about HIV infection actually do not compare the
rate of T4 cells generated in the HIV positive patients with HIV
negative controls any more than does the CDC. Among the most famous
of such papers are those by David Ho and George Shaw, published
in Nature (12 January 1995).3
The Australian mathematician-statistician Mark Craddock commented
as follows on the Ho and Shaw papers in his critical article "HIV:
Science by press conference" from the Kluwer collection:4
group compared the rate of T4 cells generated in the HIV positive
patients with HIV negative controls! Both groups assert that in
HIV infected individuals, up to 5% of the circulating T4 cells are
replaced every 2 days. This information is hardly new. Peter Duesberg
says something similar in a paper in the proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences from 1989. Except he states that 5% of the bodies
T cells will be replaced every 2 days, in healthy people."
Footnotes for page 12
et al., Viral dynamics in human imrnunodeflciency virus type
Nature Vol. 373 (1995) pp. 117.122
Ho et al., Rapid turnover of plasma virions and CD4 lymphocytes
in HIV-1 infection,
Nature Vol. 373 (1995) pp. 123-126
AIDS: virus or drug induced?, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, 1996. pp. 127-130
The lack of control groups is one of the problems with the medical
scientific literature, which does not provide appropriate comparisons
between different groups (some sick, some not sick, some HIV positive,
some HIV negative) to test the claimed correlation between HIV and
A letter to the editors. Among others who have objected
to the lack of control groups are Bukrinsky, Manogue and Cerami
(Picower Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset NY), the authors
of a letter to Nature (18 May 1995, p. 195), concerning the
Ho and Shaw papers. They stated: "A definitive answer awaits accurate
estimates of the turnover and half-life of both proliferating and
peripheral CD4+ T cells in healthy individuals, normative data for
which the immunological community strangely lacks a robust appraisal."
Ho and Shaw answered the Bukrinsky et al comment quoted above
as follows (p. 198): "...we do not understand their logic of comparing
our calculated CD4 lymphocyte turnover rates with previous estimates
for normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells..." But the logic
seems clear to me. I wrote directly to Bukrinsky that in plain English,
the fact that turnover of T-cells is the same in Ho & Shaw’s CD
lymphocytes as in previous estimates for peripheral blood as in
mononuclear cells, constitutes clear evidence that HIV is neither
the cause of T-cell destruction, nor of harm to the immune system.
The lack of control groups and the lack of "robust appraisal" has
caused a systematic bias for the interpretation of the data in favor
of HIV pathogenesis. Thus I don’t find the lack of control groups
"strange"; I find it highly objectionable. It provides direct evidence
for not trusting results which claim to analyze HIV pathogenesis.
I asked Bukrinsky to straighten me out if I was mistaken. I did
not get a reply from him.
§5. Contradictory models: Ho and Shaw;Pakker et al, Gorochov
et al, Roederer; Hellerstein et al.
Ho and Shaw (among other authors) engage in the practice of
throwing math and statistics at people, pretending to give a mathematical
model for HIV infection and its purported effects, namely the destruction
of CD4 T-cells. There is developing a substantial history of criticisms
of these papers. We have already mentioned some criticisms in the
preceding section, concerning control groups. We now list other
criticisms which have developed over the last five years.
1994. Root-Bernstein. A year before the Ho and Shaw article
in Nature, one of the "false assumptions" listed by Root-
Bernstein concerned the killing of T-cells by HIV, and was challenged
...An example of something we thought we knew, but did not, is that
the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the direct cause of T-cell
killing in AIDS. Even such formerly stalwart proponents of this
notion as Anthony Faucy and Robert Gallo now admit that this is
not the case. Virtually all HIV research is now focused on finding
indirect mechanisms by which HIV may cause immune suppression.”
1995. Letters to the editor in Nature. Already on 18 May
1995, Nature published six pages of letters to the editor.
Many of these letters represented various forms of criticisms of
the Ho and Shaw articles, such as the one by Bukrinsky mentioned
above. As another example, the medical scientists Ascher et al
had a letter (p. 196), stating that "those who would see AIDS as
a more-or-less conventional viral infection have consistently refused
to recognize the paradoxes that are clearly evident in the experimental
data. The problem continues." They mention a specific "paradox",
that "there are more bodies than bullets [HIV]".
1996. Mark Craddock in his Kluwer collection article wrote:
"The logic [of Ho and Shaw] here is remarkable. It is claimed that
HIV sends the immune system into overdrive as measured by a supposedly
accelerated production of T4 cells...But where are the healthy controls?
How can this production of T cells be ascribed to HIV if there is
no comparison made with healthy people? And even if there were a
comparison, how can the production be unambiguously attributed to
the ‘battle’ with HIV? The patients in both study groups were being
treated with new drugs such as Nevarapine (we are naturally told
nothing of possible toxic side effects of these drugs) whose effects
are largely unknown. So how can these results be extrapolated to
HIV positive people who are not taking these drugs? It must surely
be admitted that the system they are trying to study, namely the
interaction of HIV with T4 cells, might behave substantially differently
in people who are not being pumped full of new drugs, in addition
to ‘antiretrovirals’ like Zidovudine [AZT]? Yet HIV ‘science’ has
declined so far that these elementary questions are addressed neither
by the research groups themselves, nor the referees at Nature
whose job it is to critique the papers before publication."
1997. Arthur Gottlieb wrote to me on 16 May 1997: "I might
say that I have been skeptical of the validity of the Ho/Shaw model
for several reasons, but principally because it is based on observations
in subjects who were therapeutically perturbed by use of a protease
inhibitor...I think there is more than a matter of scientific debate
here...The Ho/Shaw model is now a widely accepted paradigm for HIV
pathogenesis. Moreover, it is being used as a basis for therapeutic
guidelines in respect of HIV ("treat early and hard"). That, I think
is of concern, if indeed there are serious questions about the validity
of the model. It would be good to have your views on this."
My view is that the model is not rooted in experimental evidence,
it is incompatible with experimental evidence in certain respects,
and it does not take into account the possibly toxic effects of
drugs in general and prescription drugs in particular. Cf. the previous
1998. Pakker et al., Gorochov et al., Mario Roederer.
In any case more fundamental criticisms have arisen, some even coming
from members of the orthodoxy. In February 1998, Nature Medicine
published two technical articles and one commentary by Mario Roederer,
a professor at the Stanford Medical School, who wrote (p. l45):5
"In this issue of Nature Medicine, reports by Pakker et
at and Gorochov
et al provide the final nails in the coffin for models of T
cell dynamics in which a major reason for changes in T cell numbers
is the death of HIV-infected cells."
Footnotes for page 13
Roederer. Getting to the HAART of T cell dynamics. Nature Medicine
Vol.4 No.2 (1998) pp. 145-146
Pakker et al. Biphasic kinetics of peripheral blood T cells
after triple combination therapy in HIV-1 infection: A composite
of redistribution and proliferation,
Nature Medicine Vol. 4 (1998)
Gorochov et al., Perturbation of CD4 and CD8 T cell repertoires
during progression to AIDS and regulation of the CD4 repertoire
during anti-viral therapy.
Nature Medicine Vol. 4 (1998)
On the other
hand, Roederer (like other critics of the Ho et al article)
accepted uncritically the axiom that HIV destroys the immune system,
but he provided no justification for this axiom. At the same time
he recognized that he and other medical scientists do not know how
HIV destroys the immune system, when he concluded:
the facts (1) that HIV uses CD4 as its primary receptor, and (2)
that CD4+ T cell numbers decline during AIDS, are only an unfortunate
coincidence that have led us astray from understanding the immunopathogenesis
of this disease. HIV leads to the progressive destruction of all
T cell subsets, irrespective of CD4 expression. Ultimately, AIDS
is a disease of perturbed homeostasis. Only when we understand how
the body regulates T cell numbers will we be able to find the mechanism(s)
by which HIV destroys the immune system."
assertion "HIV leads to the progressive destruction of all
T cell subsets" was and remains unsupported. What does "lead"
mean, and what is the evidence for the assertion if "leads"
means "causes in some fashion"? No evidence is given in
the Roederer article.
Hellerstein et al. Bay Area medical centers findings inconsistent
with the Ho and Shaw articles. A year later, Nature Medicine
(January 1999) published further criticisms of the David Ho
article, partly reinforcing Roederer’s "nail in the coffin",
and partly going in other directions.6
These criticisms came from researchers Hellerstein et al
at San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF and UC Berkeley.
Accelerated production or destruction of CD4+ T cells? The
Ho and Shaw articles in Nature had claimed an original increase
of T-cell production following HIV infection, in conjunction with
high replication of the HIVvirus. The Ho et al article concluded:
"Taken together, our findings strongly support the view that
AIDS is primarily a consequence of continuous, high-level replication
of HIV-l, leading to virus- and immune-mediated killing of CD4 lymphocytes."
On the other hand, Hellerstein et al write in opposition
to these claims:
87. "The CD4 lymphopenia of HIV-infection was associated
with reduced survival (shorter half-life) of CD4+ T cells in the
circulation combined with an inability to increase production of
CD4 cells in compensation. Although we cannot identify the reason
for the failure to increase CD4+ T-cell production...our results
are inconsistent with a highly accelerated destruction of circulating
CD4+ T cells that overcomes a higher than normal total production
course, it becomes important to determine the reasons for the discrepancy
between the Ho-Shaw articles and the Hellerstein article. Do they
have to do with differences in the people in their samples? With
samples which are not statistically significant? With different
techniques? With unrecognized artifacts? Ad lib.
any case, like Roederer, the authors of the new study in Nature
Medicine accept HIV pathogenesis as an unquestioned axiom. They
interpret the data in this context. But the data do not provide
evidence for the axiom. The findings do NOT show that a shorter
half-life and inability to increase production of CD4+ cells is
due to HIV (according to Hellerstein et al).
causality? HAART? Clinical measurements were done on a rather
small sample of 21 people, classified into three groups: nine "healthy"
HIV negative subjects (six men and three women) who were not taking
any medications; seven HIV positive subjects (six men and one woman)
with a low CD4 level; and five HIV positive men who had received
HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) for 12 weeks.
in the group were called "patients" in a UC press release
and subsequent newspaper article (see below). Which ones of the
latter two categories were actually patients in the ordinary sense
of the word (sick in bed, in bad shape)? How was the sample of non-"healthy"
(sick?) subjects (patients?) selected? Was it according to the circular
CDC definition, so they are all automatically HIV positive, thereby
biasing the statistics? How do the researchers know that HIV and
not some other agent such as poppers caused "reduced survival
(a shorter half-life)" of CD4+ T-cells? Was a low T-cell count
the only sign of non-healthiness (sickness?) or were there other
signs? In which sample category ("patients")? How many
of the "healthy" resp. non-healthy or sick-in-bed people
in the sample had taken poppers (resp. other drugs) and in what
quantity over what period of time? Was there even a single "patient"
(sick-in-bed, other?) who was not exposed to poppers (resp. some
other drug)? None of these questions are addressed. The apparently
gratuitous assumption that HIV is the cause (and only cause) of
non-healthiness (sickness?) in the people forming the sample biases
the data and prejudices the way conclusions are formulated.
have been applied before to a 1993 study based on a sample from
the San Francisco Men’s Health Club. My first Yale Scientific
article (Fall 1994) dealt with this matter. Cf. my book Challenges,
the chapter on HIV and AIDS, pp. 642-648. There I give complete
references to the original study in Nature, and to the criticisms
by Ellison, Downey and Duesberg, first published in Genetica
(1995) and reproduced in the Kluwer collection. They found that
100% of the sick men in the sample had used nitrites, while 83%
were HIV positive.
"uninfected control group" of Hellerstein et al was
a group of people called "healthy". To answer the question
whether it is HIV or other factors such as poppers (nitrite inhalants)
or other drugs which cause certain diseases in certain risk groups,
an "uninfected control group" of healthy people is much
less relevant than a control group consisting of HIV-negative people
who are sick with the same symptoms as HIV-positive people called
"AIDS patients" (see below). Actually, one has to take
into account all possible combinations of HIV positive, HIV negative,
poppers taking, poppers non-taking (as well as other drugs).
Footnotes for page 14
Hellerstein et al., Directly measured kinetics
of circulating T lymphocytes in normal and HIV-1-infected humans,
Nature Medicine Vol. 5 No. 1(1999) pp. 83-89
One also has
to take into account the role of prescription drugs. Are HIV negative
but sick people with the same symptoms also treated with AZT and
protease inhibitors? What is the effect on T-cells of AZT, or protease
inhibitors, or whatever purportedly anti-HIV prescription was administered
to the AIDS patients?
of anti-retroviral drugs. The data given in the Hellerstein et al
article show that T-cell turnover increases in the group exposed
to anti-retroviral drugs. Hellerstein et al’s data concern
in part the effect of HAART. At least three assertions in the Hellerstein
et al paper not only go against previous interpretations
of data as in the Ho and Shaw articles, but support the hypothesis
that HAART is toxic and harms the immune system:
"The total (CD4+ and CD8+) T cell production rate was significantly
higher in the subjects of HAART... than in the untreated HIV- 1
seropositive group...or in the HIV-l seronegative group...The main
kinetic difference in the HAART group was therefore higher production
rates of circulating T-cells and shorter (not longer) half-lives..."
"This analysis confirms that the rate of removal of CD4+ T
cells is indeed elevated and the half-life is indeed shortened in
the HAART group..."
"The results are not consistent with other possibilities, including
prolonged survival of circulating T cells due to cessation of HIV-mediated
killing (because the half-life of circulating T cells was shorter,
not longer, in the HAART Group);..."
Thus the data
point in the same direction as the Drug-AIDS hypothesis, and are
compatible with this hypothesis and with the hypothesis that HIV
itself is not a cause of diseases and does not affect T-cell longevity,
namely "reduced survival (half life)". Figures in support
of the results are shown in a table p. 86. However, overall this
table is subject to many questions as to the meaning of terms used
and possible statistical and scientific bias. For instance, the
data concern the three groups: ‘Normal controls", "HIV+(viremic)",
and "HAART (12 weeks)". The "normal controls"
are "healthy". The "viremic" is supposed to
refer to "viral load", but no HIV virus is ever directly
measured in patients. What is measured is something which is then
interpreted as a virus which engages somehow in a deadly battle
with the immune system. In any case, the use made of the HIV+(viremic)
group in the table as far as one can tell is based on the same circularity
as the CDC definition of AIDS, with its assumption of HIV pathogenesis
and causality, which prevents an unbiased evaluation whether it
is HIV or another factor (e.g. drugs) which cause sickness.
Then one faces
contradictory interpretations, such as those of Ho and the Bay Area
researchers, but the debate does not extend to questioning HIV pathogenesis.
letter to the editors.
Rasnick, President of The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of
HIV/AIDS, submitted for publication a 400-words letter to the editors
of Nature Medicine in January 1999. Based on the authors’
analysis (see especially p. 85 cited above), he wrote: "In
other words, HAART is accomplishing what HIV is supposed to be doing,
i.e. shortening the survival time of T cells...HAART...may represent
yet another toxic consequence of combination therapy. If this explanation
is correct, it should be easily tested in HIV negative volunteers
letter was acknowledged, but rejected for publication.
by press conference.
findings of Hellerstein et al were brought to broader public attention
in a press release on 4 January 1999, followed by an article in
the San Francisco Chronicle. I quote from them to document
further the way people at large are conditioned to think about HIV
and AIDS. We start with the press release.
of California at Berkeley
clinical findings by California AIDS team: HIV
does more than kill off T-cells
Kaarlela, UC San Francisco
A team of California AIDS researchers has found the first direct
clinical evidence that HIV does more than kill off T cells in the
body’s immune system. The skillful virus also prevents the production
of new healthy versions of these vital cells...
are significant in understanding the puzzle of T-cell turnover in
the HIV population, an area that has remained controversial among
leading AIDS researchers who have proposed different theories to
explain why T-cell counts decrease during the course of HIV disease.
mechanism that HIV uses to derail the different parts of this process
have been unclear, but the end result is a collapse of the immune
system that makes the body vulnerable to the opportunistic infections
that cause full-blown AIDS.
It had been
previously thought by many investigators that HIV decreased the
T-cell count by causing the destruction of these cells. The new
studies indicate that a more important contribution to disease may
be the ability to stop T-cell production...
included both men and women, and all were patients in the General
Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical
HIV-positive patients, CD4 and CD8 cells were being destroyed at
a more rapid pace than in HIV negative subjects and the body did
not compensate by increasing the rate of production above the normal
rate. Accordingly the T-cell count decreased.
patients whose virus was suppressed by potent therapy and whose
T-cell counts increased, the rate of new cell production increased
dramatically. The rise in new cell production was responsible for
the increase in T-cell count...
with facts will appreciate the above tendentious account, starting
with the expressions "does more than kill off T-cells"
and "skillful virus".
especially that the press release made no mention of the possible
toxic effect of HAART and misrepresented measured signs in the HAART
group, namely decrease of the half life of T-cells and increase
of their turnover rate.
of Hellerstein et al countering those of David Ho (among others)
were then reported in the San Francisco Chronicle
about 1,500 words starting on the front page.
New Theory On How HIV Attacks Cells
contradict widely held view
By Carl T. Hall,
CHRONICLE SCIENCE WRITER
new technique for tracking the life and death of immune cells,
Bay Area AIDS researchers have found that HIV causes the deadly
disease primarily by blocking the production and shortening the
survival time of infection-fighting T cells.
counter to the widely held view among AIDS scientists that HIV
strikes mainly by killing T cells, the body’s front-line defenders,
as fast as the immune system can produce them...The controversial
new findings include the first direct measurements showing how
the human immune system becomes locked in a lethal battle with
the AIDS virus. The results challenge a core tenet in the scientific
dogma of AIDS, a view that has dominated the field ever since
a landmark 1995
study co-authored by famed New York AIDS expert David Ho...
authors of the Nature Medicine
article] spent more than a year studying immune systems in healthy
people and in 21 AIDS patients being treated at San Francisco
General Hospital. This produced what the authors described as
the first direct clinical measurements of immune system activity
both in AIDS patients and an uninfected control group.
no T-cell speed-up- and-collapse pattern in the infected people.
What researchers found instead was that, along with reduced cell
longevity, the virus caused slower cell production
the opposite of what had been assumed to occur during this critical
stage of the disease.
expression “slower cell production” is not accurate. Hellerstein
write of “reduced survival (shorter half- life)” and “inability
to increase production of CD4+ cells in compensation”.
The findings do not show “how the human immune system becomes locked
lethal battle with the AIDS virus” nor do they show that the virus
caused “slower cell production”.
There were not “21 AIDS patients”. In the group of 21 people studied
et al, 9
were characterized as “healthy”, so at most 12 could be regarded
as “patients” in the ordinary sense of the word.
does not use the terms “AIDS” or “AIDS patients”. The
of HIV-positive or negative people, so the journalist goes beyond
them in communicating interpretations to the public at large. He is
to some extent following the UC press release, which does refer to
like the UC press release, does not report any of the data showing
that HAART may be toxic.
Like Roederer, Hellerstein et al, and the UC press release,
the journalist of the
accepts unquestioningly the axiom of HIV pathogenesis.
direct criticisms coming from the Roederer and Hellerstein et
al articles and the publicity given to
the latter by the San Francisco Chronicle
show that it is
now sociologically acceptable in some important establishment
quarters to dump
on David Ho et al's January 1995 Nature article. To question the
hypothesis is another matter, which still
entails social scientific and financial
ostracism when coming from someone inside
the biomedical establishment.
don’t know of any wide repercussion of the January 1999
Hellerstein article in the mainstream press other than in the
For example, as of the end of January 1999, the
to my knowledge did not report the conclusions of those researchers
in the Bay area. Thus newspapers at large skew the information
which they communicate to their readers, including the information
that different researchers come to different conclusions. Just
on this basis, one is entitled to be skeptical about the basic
undocumented assumption that HIV is pathogenic.Science
January 1999, p. 305) did
report the different conclusions, but the article is also subject
to most of the other criticisms I have leveled above against the
press release and the SF Chronicle.
Magazines in between the ordinary, mainstream press and the
have gone along with the orthodoxy, for instance
which over the last few years has published two long reports on
HIV and AIDS. The second in July 1998 was 27 pages long. It is
contradicted by the articles which I have cited above, among other
items which to list in full would take a book. For instance, the
starts p. 81: "Ten
years ago...scientists knew that the disease [AIDS)...was caused
by HIV.” The Roederer conclusion contradicts this assertion, since
Roederer recognizes that we don’t know “the mechanism(s) by which
HIV destroys the immune system”, and contributes to the public
correction of false notions about the effect of HIV on T-cells
(cf. his “nail in the coffin”). Later
Report p. 85 we find: “At
the start of an infection, hefty viral replication and the killing
of CD4 T cells are made manifest both by high levels of HIV in
the blood and by a dramatic drop in CD4 T cell concentrations
from the normal level of at least 800 cells per cubic millimeter
of blood.” This is contradicted by Root-Bernstein’s evaluation
of “false assumptions” (see §2), by Roederer’s conclusions (“nail
in the coffin”) based on Pakker-Gorochov, and by the subsequent
Hellerstein et al
January 1999 reported in the
addition we can also quote further from the 1994 article by Root-Bernstein
also thought we knew that HIV alone is sufficient to cause AIDS.
But such researchers as Luc Montagnier, Shyh-Ching Lo, Joseph
Sonnabend, and many others
now believe that cofactors are necessary and, therefore, that
HIV by itself cannot cause AIDS.”
Thus if one
follows up the scientific and semi-scientific literature, one
systematically encounters contradictions.
Be it said
in passing that I also have a problem with Root-Bernstein’s use
of the expression “now believe". What is the significance of such
an expression? I am not concerned with “beliefs” but with evidence.
I would prefer a clear sentence concerning the evaluation of evidence
by him and the others he mentions, even though there is an implication
that what he and the others believe would not go against empirical
Throwing in “cofactors” is another way to blur distinctions
between an assumption, a fact, a hypothesis, a belief, and empirical
evidence about which factors cause or do not cause AIDS defining
The Rasnick letter to the editors.
David Rasnick submitted for publication a letter to the editors
He listed some of the false statements in the
Scientific American report, and
pointed to contradictions with the Pakker-Gorochov-Roederer
publication in Nature Medicine.
He asked for evidence to support some
Rasnick also commented on the contribution to the report by
John Mellors, who had written that viral-load measures
have therefore replaced assessment of clinical outcome in therapeutic
trials... Thus according to Mellors, medical prescriptions
are made on the assumption that whatever sickness exists or
may develop is due to a virus. In this way, not only is the
definition of AIDS circular, but medical decisions having life
and death consequences are based on this circularity. As Rasnick
wrote in his letter to the editors: If Mellors is correct,
then whether patients live longer or do better when taking experimental
drugs compared to drug- free controls is no longer the basis
for determining the efficacy and safety of drugs. This is a
A translation into french of the Scientific
American report was published in
September 1998 by Pour la Science,
thus spreading the propaganda over the
ocean. At the same time, Pour la
Science refused publication of some
critical comments which I had communicated to them concerning
that report. In particular, they took no account of Rasnick’s
letter to the editors.
Rasnick’s letter was neither acknowledged nor published by
Scientific American, whose November
1998 issue contained only two printed letters to the editor concerning
the July report on HIV/AIDS.
These letters were preceded by an editorial commentary at the
top of the page:
“Readers appreciated the July special report, ‘Defeating AIDS:
What Will it Take?’ Dave Toms wrote via e-mail, ‘Thanks so much
for the excellent articles on what’s happening with HIV’ ...And
John Casten sent e-mail about taking a copy on a trip to Kathmandu:
‘I gave it to a friend who works for Family Health International
in the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program. He was thrilled
to read all the articles with the latest information and passed
it around the office.”
Thus the commentary cited two self-serving favorable reactions
from readers in addition to those two whose letters were printed.
No mention was made of any letters which criticized the report,
let alone mention of the Rasnick letter. The last sentence of
the editorial commentary is dishonest by omission when it states:
“Some readers did have questions, however, about the possibility
of developing a vaccine and feasible prevention methods (below).”
Not only did some readers have questions about developing a vaccine,
but some readers had questions and documentation about the factual
(in)accuracy of statements in the Scientific
American report, as well as critical
comments about using viral load instead of clinical symptoms to
evaluate the effectiveness of drugs. Thus
Scientific American continues its
tendentiously selective journalism, by not informing its readers
- published information raising questions about
the orthodox view, as in the Pakker-Gorochov articles analyzed
by Roederer in Nature Medicine
- specific criticisms raised
in certain letters to the editor, such as the Rasnick letter.
and safety of prescription drugs. The
Emerson case in
Medical prescription drugs
may also be the cause of diseases attributed to HIV. As already
mentioned, the higher T-cell turnover in patients subjected to
HAART (see §5(c))
points in the same direction as the drug hypothesis. If a person
tests HIV positive, some doctors prescribe AZT, which is a DNA
chain terminator. There is some evidence that AZT may then cause
that person to become sick and possibly die.
For example, recently in the State of Maine in the USA, a woman
Valerie Emerson with four children was HIV positive, as well
as her 3 year old daughter and 4 year old son. The other two
children did not test positive. The two who were positive were
declared to have AIDS and were prescribed AZT. The little girl
died, suffering terribly. Her death was attributed to
AIDS by the newspapers. The son Nikolas
had some health problems since birth (swollen lymph glands,
physical development problems). However, some doctors said he
had AIDS, and he was given AZT. He then became seriously ill.
The mother discontinued the AZT treatment, and the son became
well. The pre-AZT problems themselves disappeared. However,
officials of the State of Maine then started legal action against
the mother to take the child away from her. In September 1998,
a judge ruled against the officials. The boy is now running
around like any healthy four year old. As the mother wrote to
Rasnick: “I was so scared my son’s life was going to be sacrificed
for research.” (Her full letter and details of the case are
reproduced in Reappraising AIDS,
October 1998, p.
5.) The judge wrote in his ruling:
“She feels that she has willingly and in good faith surrendered
up the life of one child to the best treatment medicine has
to offer and does not want to do the same with the next... She
has placed her faith in this medical approach in the past and
has lost a child. She has discontinued her own treatment with
no apparent present ill-effects. She has observed an outward
improvement in her sick son’s condition with a discontinuance
of drug therapy. The State of Maine is now in no position to
tell her in the face of her unique experience that she is wrong
in her current judgment to wait for better and more reliable
treatment methods... the current body of information available
to any mother in her situation is limited or conflicting. The
court agrees with Nikolas’s treating family physician that his
mother’s decision, while not necessarily the one many parents
may make in the same circumstances, does not constitute serious
The judge’s ruling gave rise to an Associated Press item, and
to subsequent news articles. The New York
Times reported the case on 20 September
1998 somewhat tendentiously. As a result, David Rasnick wrote
a letter to the editors, stating:
wish to correct a few misleading statements..the author made Nikolas
suffering from 10 weeks of AZT poisoning appear benign: ...in
that time be became fussy, whimpered in his sleep and suffered
from continuous stomach aches. The author failed to mention
that during the 10 weeks Nikolas was on AZT he experienced night
terrors from which he woke screaming...
...his knees grew to twice their normal size when be was on AZT,
he even required a blood transfusion because the AZT was destroying
his bone marrow. Most importantly within a couple of days (not
two months) after [his mother] Valerie stopped giving
Nikolas the AZT, his health immediately improved...
softened my testimony: Two scientists, testifying on behalf
of Miss Emerson at the day long trial, said that the recommended
treatment of a combination of medications administered as a drug
cocktail could cause more harm than good. What I really
said was much stronger: those drugs would kill Nikolas. I also
testified that if Nikolas does not take those anti-HIV drugs he
has the same likelihood as any other 4 year-old of reaching a
ripe old age.
letter was not published.
Withholding information. Articles outside the mainstream press.
mainstream mass media withhold data and information which may
lead people to question the orthodoxy about the pathogenesis of
and to wonder about the effects of prescription drugs such as
AZT. They do not report the uncertainties contained in articles
such as the Pakker-Gorochov-Roederer articles (with exceptions
such as the article by the
above on Hellerstein
They do not report, let alone answer, articles published by some
medical scientists outside the regular medical or scientific journals,
such as those published by a bunch of German and Swiss medical
scientists in the dissenting magazine
(from 1996 to 1998, cf. the bibliography). The authors include
Alfred Hässig, Professor Emeritus at the
University of Bern and former Director of the Swiss Red Cross
Transfusion Service and former President of the Board of Trustees
of the International Society of Blood transfusion; and Heinrich
Kremer, M.D., former medical director of the Specialist Clinic
for Juvenile and Young Adult Drug Offenders for five German counties,
including Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. With colleagues, Hässig
formed the Study Group for Nutrition and Immunity in Bern, Switzerland.
This Study Group has occasionally given support to
The article in
is headlined by the statement:
continuous failure in the prevention and treatment of AIDS is
rooted in the misinterpretation of an inflammatory autoimmune
process as a lethal, viral venereal disease.
Most of the
article is written in fairly technical language. It is five magazine
pages long, plus one page of technical biomedical references.
The authors question the HIV/AIDS orthodoxy in many respects.
Here is a sample of some least technical sentences:
patients quite often demonstrate a weakening of their skeletal
muscles. Up to 1990 this was considered a H1-virus-caused impairment
of muscles. In 1990 Dalakas et al demonstrated that this
kind of muscle disease is due to an administration of AZT, weakening
the mitochondria within muscle cells. With the excessive release
of free radicals the mitochondria are affected in their function
of forming ATP as key substance in metabolic energy.56
the latest international congress of leading HIV scientists
the long-term criticism of the HIV/AIDS theory has been confirmed:
despite intense and precise investigations there was no proof
of pathophysiological mechanism explaining the different reaction
of CD4- and CD8- lymphocytes to the postulated retrovirus HIV.48
It was literally stated: The riddle of CD4 cell loss remains
sentence of the article repeats the conclusion of the headline:
Obviously AIDS is not a viral venereal disease, but an inflammatory
I am disturbed
to see articles by personalities with strong medical credentials
such as Kremer and Hässig in Continuum
rather than in the mainstream magazines such as
or the mainstream newspapers such as the
New York Times.
The July 1998
HIV/AIDS Report is contradicted not only by the Pakker-Gorochov-Roederer
articles, but also by the above mentioned Continuum article
and its footnoted documentation. If
and the New York Times opened their pages to informed people
with a substantial technical background, and to an open, documented
discussion instead of being conduits for a powerful orthodoxy,
there would be no need for a publication such as
Continuum. Scientific American
New York Times
would be upholding classical standards of scientific discourse
instead of acting like the purveyors of a religious dogma, with
their ex-cathedra unsubstantiated assertions.
As it is,
to get complementary or unskewed information about the HIV/AIDS
situation, one has to go to other publications, such
and sporadic publications, for instance those containing articles
by Celia Farber who used to publish in SPIN, and has
recently published in
magazine (September-October 1998, cf.
p. 4). Peggy O’Mara, editor of Mothering,
preceded the Celia Farber articles with a strong and long editorial
statement about journalistic responsibilities (2 pages), stating
“As a magazine
that advocates for families, we feel a special responsibility
to inform parents about new information as soon as we verify
it. While customs and fashions change, we as parents are the
only ones who will live with our decisions. And our healthcare
decisions can have long-ranging effects...
public debate is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Facilitating
this debate is the responsibility of a free press...As parents
we can’t afford to be satisfied with easy answers or assumed
facts. We have
to verify our facts. The lives of our family members may depend
It is in
the context of this responsibility -
full awareness of my enormous privilege as a journalist
we present in this issue a controversial look at HIV, AIDS,
new drugs and new procedures often save lives, the only protection
we have as consumers from those that do not is informed consent...
requirements for informed consent
as follows: 1.) The practitioner must disclose all information,
including risks and benefits, that a reasonable person would
need to know in order to make a decision. 2.) The one consenting
must be competent and must understand the information provided.
3.) The consent must be given voluntarily and without coercion.
Typically, some practitioners will doubt the capacity of their
patients to make rational, informed decisions. However, this
claim is not supported by evidence...
treatment of HIV-positive mothers violates all known standards
of informed consent as set down by US jurisprudence, the American
College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and the International
Childbirth Education Association. Because pregnancy is one
of 64 conditions that can cause a woman to falsely
test positive for HIV, many pregnant women with no risk factors
or symptoms will be subjected to the standard treatment for
HIV, treatment that can put their lives and the lives of their
babies at risk.
hysteria over HIV and AIDS violates the sacredness of the pregnant
woman and the newborn and overrides standards of informed consent
that are decades old, as well as almost 85
years of legally guaranteed autonomy and self-determination.
It is with deep concern that we present a minority look at the
impossible choices facing HIV-positive pregnant women.
Celia Farber articles themselves discuss the problems which
arise from the enforcement of the orthodoxy and the impossible
choices, especially preventing breast feeding from mothers
testing HIV positive and forcing mothers to give AZT
to an HIV-positive child under the threat that the child will
be taken away if the mother does not do so.
Celia Farber challenges the position of Dr. Ellen Cooper,
principal researcher of Women and Infants
Study (an ongoing
federal research program), that HIV
that the risks of AZT are minimal.
articles contain a one-page statement headed Does HIV
Cause AIDS?, and starting: The notion that the
may not be the real cause of
AIDS leaves some people dumbfounded, and others furious.
he has been harshly derided and
denounced for his views
his once-generous funding has been cut off
Duesberg is far from alone in his views...At present the debate
is at a standstill. The HIV hypothesis reigns, and most AIDS
scientists are obliged to view Duesberg and the other HIV
dissenters as deluded. But as more people live with an HIV-positive
status without getting sick, many observers inside the medical
community and without are beginning to think maybe Duesberg
isn't the one who is deluded after all. That
is now publishing such dissenting information about HIV represents
a great journalistic advance in making questions about HIV
available to the public.
magazines such as Scientific American
and newspapers such as the
do not publish a minority look (well-documented)
at impossible choices
and at aspects of HIV
which go against
the orthodoxy, they are obstructing the possibility for
the public to make informed decisions.
not publishing information going counter to the orthodoxy,
the mainstream media may be causing a great deal of harm,
medical or psychological, in many ways. They also lose their
credibility because one
has to look elsewhere for information countering the HIV
Dangerous? Sometimes when I have given
a talk on HIV, questioning the orthodoxy, members of the
bio-medical establishment have not come to my talk and have
refused to answer scientific questions, giving to colleagues
the reason that what I do is dangerous.7
But I regard as dangerous to censor or suppress information,
and to allow a situation to develop when people appear unable
to distinguish between
facts and an orthodox view. The orthodox
is accepted uncritically by people at large as
a result of mass
conditioning by the medias uncritical acceptance of
the scientific orthodoxy, and
the refusal to publish information which goes counter to
the orthodoxy. It may also
be dangerous not to tell people that poppers may be dangerous
to their health.
Of course, there are still many items that I
have not discussed:
risk groups (e.g. haemophiliacs, intravenous drug users),
what is called AIDS in other parts of the world (e.g. Africa),
more cases of contradictions in
official statistics from various sources (especially the
CDC and the World Health Organization) over two decades,
etc. Some of these items are discussed in
However, the items I have included in the present
readers an idea of the numerous objections which have been
made against the hypothesis
of HIV pathogenesis
and the axiom that HIV causes AIDS. Interested
also consult the forthcoming survey of the
drug-AIDS hypothesis by
on an ongoing basis.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF DISSENT PUBLICATIONS ON
RASNICK. The AIDS dilemma: drug diseases blamed on a passenger
virus, to appear
Duesbergs web site: www.duesberg.com
MD, H. KREMER MD, S.
LANKA PhD, W-X LIANG MD, K.
STAMPFLI MD, 15 Years of
1998 pp. 33-37 [The footnoted references 11-14
above article are
published by these authors in
Zschr Ganzheits Med
KREMER, S. LANKA & A. HÄSSIG,
AIDS: Death by Prescription,
Continuum, 172 Foundling Court, Brunswick Center, London
WC1N 1QE England
Reappraising AIDS, publication of The Group for
the Scientific Reappraisal
of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis,
7514 Girard Ave. #1-331, La Jolla Calif
In his New York Review
editor Richard Horton raised the
same point, that Duesbergs
take him into dangerous territory? Sec footnote
End of Article