Denialism Article Creates Controversy for Italian Medical Journal
February 10, 2012
A member of the Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology editorial board recently stepped down in protest of a paper that was published in the journal's December 2011 issue. The paper claims that there is no link between HIV and AIDS, and was published with only two peer reviews, one from the journal's own editor-in-chief.
According to Nature magazine, Klaudia Brix, a cell biologist at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, left "because she felt that it was important for a journal to function within its scientific 'scope.'"
The piece, written under the direction of longtime AIDS denialist Peter Duesberg, questioned the validity of deaths in South Africa due to AIDS and whether AIDS medications actually improved the health of people living with HIV.
Nature reported that six of the paper's nine authors are on the board of the denialist group Rethinking AIDS.
The paper is a reworked version of one published in the journal Medical Hypotheses in 2009, which at that time did not use peer review. Following a storm of protest, publisher Elsevier sent the paper to five external reviewers, and it was unanimously rejected. Elsevier permanently withdrew the paper on grounds of quality and concern for public health.
Brix is not the only board member to have issues with the paper. Hanne Mikkelsen, associate professor of molecular medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, says she is also considering stepping down.
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.
Copyright © 2012 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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