This Month in HIV: The Truth About HIV/AIDS Denialism
An Interview With Clinical Psychologist Seth Kalichman, Ph.D.
This podcast is a part of the series This Month in HIV. To subscribe to this series, click here.
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Let's go over terminology. As if HIV wasn't complicated enough, we have these people who we call denialists, but who call themselves dissidents. They also say that people who believe in HIV science are orthodox and they are not. Could you explain the terminology a little bit?
"What's particularly destructive in AIDS denialism is the bending and the distorting of medically established facts for self-indulging purposes. ... For example, to protect one's self from information about one's own diagnosis or prognosis that one just cannot accept."
It can be confusing. In science, there are mainstream scientists and mainstream theories, and there are often people who are dissidents. Dissidents actually often make major contributions. What a dissident does is breaks away from the mainstream thinking and proposes a different idea. Then the dissident does research or other people do research, and it either supports or refutes the dissident's perspective and science moves on.
For example, in 1987, Peter Duesberg, at the University of California, Berkeley -- a very well-known and, at the time, renowned biologist -- was a dissident scientist in AIDS. He proposed an alternative theory that AIDS is not caused by a virus. He said that HIV is a harmless passenger virus and that AIDS is actually caused by drug abuse, poverty and antiretrovirals themselves.15
In 1987, when we knew much less about AIDS, he was a dissident. And in the history of science, we would say there's nothing wrong with that. However, the facts did not bear out what he was saying. The research didn't support that alternative view. But some people -- including Peter Duesberg -- just hung onto those views and never moved on with the science. That's when someone turns from a dissident into a denialist.
What's particularly destructive in AIDS denialism is the bending and the distorting of medically established facts for self-indulging purposes. Denialism is always coming from a self-indulging place. For example, to protect one's self from information about one's own diagnosis or prognosis that one just cannot accept.
Another place is from people who don't have HIV, but are looking for attention or notoriety. We see that in academics and journalists, like Celia Farber, who have become involved in denialism. You don't ever hear denialists expressing great concern about AIDS or about people with HIV.
Right, so let's go back to Duesberg. He had a different theory about the cause of AIDS a long time ago. Since then, thousands of clinical trials have disproven him.16 It sounds completely ridiculous that, as a scientist, he would still believe the same thing he believed in '84 when so much has been discovered about HIV since then.
"I met Peter Duesberg and I don't have any question that he really believes that HIV is harmless and that AIDS is not caused by an infectious disease."
Yes. I met Peter Duesberg and I don't have any question that he really believes that HIV is harmless and that AIDS is not caused by an infectious disease. He looked me dead in the eye and -- it was completely spontaneous -- he said to me, "This is not an infectious disease. There's no vaccine after all these years. This is not infectious." That moment was so valuable to me because I walked away saying, he really believes this. It fits his whole worldview.
Peter Duesberg doesn't talk much about AIDS anymore and he doesn't write anything about AIDS. What he's actively involved in now is cancer. What he's saying about cancer is essentially the same thing.17,18 He doesn't believe that there's a genetic basis for any cancers, none. He believes that cancer doesn't run in families because of their genetics. It runs in families because of what they're exposed to. It's all about the environment. Chemicals, drugs, chemotherapy, these are the things that cause cancer for Peter Duesberg. It's exactly what he says about AIDS. In fact, AIDS is incidental for him. It's how he sees the world, and it's impenetrable by scientific fact. It's mind-boggling because he's a trained scientist.
This is particularly sad since lots of people without advanced degrees think that someone with an advanced degree is somehow smarter. Yet some of the most prominent people who support Duesberg are people with advanced degrees. They continue to support him. Duesberg continues to hold his position in Berkeley even though he's acting irresponsibly. Isn't this sort of behavior an argument against tenure -- where a professor, like Duesberg, has a job for life? They can keep their job, no matter what kind of nutty thing they say -- even when what they say has no scientific basis, even though clearly it's against established fact.
There have been people who have written about Peter Duesberg.19 They have referred to him as an extreme narcissist, just completely self-indulged. I think that there's some accuracy to that. There's no question that he enjoys attention.
I spent a couple of days at a conference that he held on cancer. I was able to watch him interact with people and he's a very intellectually alive human being, but it's all very self-directed. He questions what people are saying. He really challenges what people are thinking, but it's all directed back at himself with his ideas and what he has to say. You can have an entire room basically yell at him, "It isn't that way. Yes, there is a genetic basis for cervical cancer." And he basically brushes them off.
So it's all very self-indulging, which is narcissistic. But he's a complicated character because there's, I think, much more to it than that. I think he's an angry man. I think he's bitter. He really does feel that he's been done wrong. He is definitely a believer in conspiracies against him. He talks a lot about peer review being completely biased in science. That the research community is all corrupt because of money from the government and money from pharmaceutical companies, and that there's dishonesty in all of this. He believes he's a victim of all of this.
"Duesberg provided what Maggiore wanted. That's what a lot of people are getting from the denialists; they're hearing what everyone wants to hear. Don't you want to know that HIV is a myth? Don't you wish that it didn't cause this disease? Don't you wish that people didn't have to take antiretrovirals? Who wouldn't want that?"
How did Duesberg get so many followers in terms of journalists, such as Celia Farber and David Crowe? What is it that he's inspired in them? His books seem incomprehensible.
Again, I think there are multiple factors in play here. One thing about Duesberg is that he's a very engaging human being.
Another following comes from people that have known him and worked with him at the University of Berkeley. A lot of the AIDS denialists that are very active had gone through Berkeley. Another factor is his German heritage. There's a huge following for him among people from Germany and among German Americans. There seems to be this nationalistic pride because there is an enormous number of denialists that are German/German American. That seems to be the only explanation for that. Duesberg identifies himself as an American, but he spends every summer in Germany and he's got a lot of ties there.
Christine Maggiore, who recently died of AIDS, was probably the most vocal denialist/activist.20 Christine was hearing from Peter Duesberg what she wanted to hear -- that she tested HIV positive and it didn't mean anything; that her baby died, but couldn't have died of AIDS because AIDS isn't caused by HIV, and it's not a virus that she has; all that crazy, convoluted stuff that she was believing and saying protected her.
It's pretty easy to understand why people might want to believe Duesberg. It's really hard to accept that you have this virus. It's really hard to accept that you may have passed this virus onto your child. It's really hard to accept that your child has died.
Duesberg provided what Maggiore wanted. That's what a lot of people are getting from the denialists; they're hearing what everyone wants to hear. Don't you want to know that HIV is a myth? Don't you wish that it didn't cause this disease? Don't you wish that people didn't have to take antiretrovirals? Who wouldn't want that?
So you think Duesberg fulfills the psychological need that people have to deny a frightening reality?
I do. I say that because of my interactions with him. It's hard to believe, but I do believe it. I think that it's psychologically based. I think that he's entrenched in his beliefs to the point where they completely distort what he should be able to objectively see as reality.
We see it in the few times over the last few years that Duesberg has done presentations on AIDS -- I haven't been there, but he posts his slides and the presentations on the Internet for anyone to see. [Click here to view some samples.] It's very clear what he's doing. He's picking and choosing research findings to suit his needs, violating every principle of science in doing so to make his point. It's really all about making his point, though I believe that he believes he's doing the right thing.
Is he the intellectual leader of this movement?
Yes. It's fair to say that he's certainly the most credible scientist that has signed onto AIDS denialism. Most every other scientist that has signed on is easily rebuked as a quack, a fluke, fringe or a pseudoscientist. But he is difficult to do that with because of his early career accomplishments.
The other one that's difficult to do that with is Kary Mullis. Kary Mullis won the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test. He's easier to discredit though because he admits that while he was developing his PCR test, he was taking LSD, and he also swears that he was abducted by aliens.21 So when he says that HIV can't cause AIDS, it's more apparent that he's not very credible.
Peter Duesberg, on the other hand though, plays the victim. It's much more difficult to call him not credible. What has damaged his credibility are his views on AIDS. He's not taken seriously in his cancer work because he's an AIDS denialist.
Is there an element of being anti-gay in Duesberg's worldview?
It's more apparent in some denialists than in others. Duesberg has a history of saying homophobic things. He has a history of saying that not all gays get AIDS, that it's only those that are involved in drugs, those guys that are wearing -- and this is a quote -- "leather jackets." By the way, he wears a leather jacket in some pictures that I've seen of him. But he has a history of referring to gay men as homos. This is all in press interviews with him.
Others have been even more blatant. There's a professor [emeritus of] Virginia Tech University now who's getting a lot of attention. He wrote in a book of his, "I may be old fashioned, but it's pretty obvious to me that homosexuality is a disease."22 He has since apologized for that and says he's in recovery, essentially as a homophobe.
The homophobic connection to AIDS denialism is another one of those threads. It's not what it's all about, but racism and homophobia are threads that connect some denialists to AIDS denialism.
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Copyright © 2009 Body Health Resources Corporation. All rights reserved. Podcast disclaimer.
This article was provided by TheBody. It is a part of the publication This Month in HIV.
Comment by: Chad
Thu., Jan. 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm UTC
AIDS/HIV should not receive tax money to be cured. It's 100% preventable. All you have to do is not take drugs and be abstinent until marriage. Why should my tax dollars go to some libtard who can't keep his/her legs closed?
Comment by: Sick Tomystomach
Wed., Jan. 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm UTC
If HIV does not cause AIDS, I wonder if Duesberg and the rest of the denialists wouldn't mind being injected with it?
Comment by: Confounded Society
Wed., Dec. 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm UTC
Get to the point already. It sounded like an interesting article, but after reading the first page, I still have no clue who's denying that HIV exists or why. Started getting really preachy too. Not reading the rest.
Comment by: Drew
Mon., Dec. 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm UTC
I take offense to the term AIDS "Denialism". The term "Denialism" has always related to the horror of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.
By using the term "Denialism" Capitalists/Drug Companies/AIDS Corp are trying to discredit ALTERNATIVE VIEWS.
Comment by: Dave B.
Tue., Dec. 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm UTC
I am living with the illness and i find your attack on one man disturbing. Just put up the facts we are not stupid. Lets make an informed choice. We just want to be sure. Remember the Iraq war?
Comment by: marissa
Sun., Dec. 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm UTC
I think part of the reason ppl buy into denialism is that they don't want to admit they have a life altering disease. That happens with every illness. HIV, MS, cancer every disease. Denialism is dangerous
Comment by: M J Brady
Thu., Oct. 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm UTC
Brilliant!! The total lack of logic and paranoia that is rampant in conspiracy theory world views is laughable and would be comic if they didn't also cause so much damage. What scares me is how many so called "educated" people become proponents of these hidden "truths"and that if only the rest of the misled world would follow their version of reality. The Internet is a great democratizer and a good place to try and track down information, but it is such a double edged sword. Now, many feel they are the "experts" and that any academy or established authority figure is always suspect or corrupt!! Should we blame the 1960's for the prevalence of this conspiracy world view that is prevalent in so many areas today? The author also pointed out the impossibility of debating adherents of these beliefs. The 9/11 conspiracy theorist people, holocaust denial groups, Area 52 people, the Zionist conspiracy,no childhood immunization people, etc.--- it's scary how a technical computer literate world is filled with so many such groups. I guess it's comforting to cloak yourself in the mantle of a crusader for truth and assume the rebel (underdog) role. Facts and reality don't compute for a rebel without a clue or an ideologue. Perhaps it's the fact that being human we have such little control over future events that cause the proliferation of so many of these groups. Any other ideas on this? Keep up the good work and keep people informed. I really liked your example of whether some one actually has the credentials to to back up their claims, especially in a scientific debate, and how the denialists often cherry pick their data.
Comment by: Maxx
Thu., Nov. 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm UTC
Why should anyone care about the words of some behavioral researcher? The denialist movement was started by nobel prize virologists. How about we give them the spotlight for a change?
Comment by: Simon
Tue., Nov. 2, 2010 at 4:57 am UTC
Howard Temin, the father of modern retrovirology: “when an experiment is challenged no matter who it is challenged by, it’s your responsibility to check. That is an ironclad rule of science, that when you publish something you are responsible for it…even the most senior professor, if challenged by the lowliest technician or graduate student, is required to treat them seriously and consider their criticisms. It is one of the most fundamental aspects of science"
Comment by: Simon
Tue., Nov. 2, 2010 at 3:24 am UTC
I dont have a particularly strong view on this, but I can not understand how you can compare them to holocaust deniers. That is so wrong. From what I read they are not denying HIV, but want more research into things like co factors. Science has always had this banter and thats how it develops. It should be good for HIV research. From a general public point of view, unless you can answer their questions fully, then areas are not going to get researched. Aids is not fully understood, and a lot is just theory, so it is important to instead of disregard all view points, and compare them to the holocaust denialists, disprove the theories. That is what it is all about. You cant accuse and insult people and fellow scientists in a childish manner, and refuse to debate, or even acknowledge anyones view point unless it fits your own criteria on research. That is not how science works, and if we still worked like this then the majority of this planet would have no medicine and think the world was still flat.
Comment by: Snout
Tue., Oct. 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm UTC
"Notborn yesterday" poses the pseudo-question, " how about enlightening readers about the German court case in which it was found that HIV had not been isolated". This is a good example of the kind of complete nonsense that denialists repeatedly copy-paste over the net without bothering to check if it's actually true or not.
The case was the criminal trial of a follower of prominent AIDS denialist Stefan Lanka, who was convicted of making threats of physical violence against public health officials. The person was fined and sentenced to 8 months prison.
Part of the summary of the case included an overview of the defendant's delusions. Lanka and his followers have then gone on to try to to claim this was the judgment of the court.
Comment by: Fubara
(Port harcourt. Nigeria)
Tue., Dec. 29, 2009 at 11:05 am UTC
What i believe is that the disease is real and if not treated quickly, it might develop into AIDS. Just simply accept it if your are diagnosed positive or negative.
Comment by: Mark Goldberg
(New York, NY)
Wed., Dec. 23, 2009 at 7:01 am UTC
Science requires ALL points of view, perspective and analysis. Your article is chilling as it is determined to take a side in this highly political and socio-economic issue. Why do you demonized critical thinking? Can no one speak out against the status quo? I question anyone who wants to silence or marginalize historical events like Tuskegee. This was one study. One. Can you deny how many scientists were involved throughout the '30's, '40's, '50's, '60's and into the '70's before humanity finally surfaced? There is plenty of evidence today of the frailty of this humanity in the name of many things, the least common denominator being science.
Comment by: Notborn Yesterday
Wed., Nov. 11, 2009 at 3:09 am UTC
John, your comments are typical of the approach of adherents of mainstream philosophies and doctrines: malign, silence and persecute those who disagree, and who are often, decades later honoured for their brave stand that has finally been recognised as truth.
I've read the first couple pages in detail and scanned the rest. All I find is unsupported assertions, character assassination and psychobabble.
Nothing in the article appears to actually address and refute the SPECIFIC statements of so-called "denyers". Just for starters, how about enlightening readers about the German court case in which it was found that HIV had not been isolated, and otherwise healthy people who had been found "positive" through a flawed, non-specific test were put on a regime of a deadly drug which induced AIDS and killed them (Google "HIV_Never_Isolated.htm"). This one's all over the 'net, so if its a hoax why don't you say so (and prove it conclusively)?
I'm open to both sides of the debate, but this article only serves to strengthen my belief that the ruling opinion of the day has insufficient evidence to support it.
Open debate - and I mean properly open and uncensored - can only serve to arrive at the truth.
Comment by: steve
Fri., Sep. 18, 2009 at 2:06 am UTC
this page is just another a platform for promoting the AIDS propaganda that has so far washed the minds of millions of people into believing thre is a vicious virus on the rampage. Where are the scarily predicted deaths in the western world? Where are the HIV deaths in Africa? Just like the swine flu BS, the deaths that are reported always show the person was suffering from other conditions at point of death - TB, malaria, malnutrition etc., etc.. AIDS/HIV is a grotesque, money-spinning circus and anybody believing the establishment nonsense that 'millions are living on a knife-edge' should go get themselves educated and start by reading the credence book 'the truth about HIV'
Comment by: Amdani Juma
(African Institute AISD, Eastmidlands UK)
Sun., Aug. 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm UTC
What a fantastic piece of work. I too have met a lot of people who deny HIV in my everyday work in the communty and sadly these are my african brothers and sisters. I am sure your excellent work will bring more awareess to those and it seems to me that we are getting there and what needed at the moment is more debate in our community settings. HIV can progress to develop AIDS and it doesn't help to deny scientific facts. We have best treatments for HIV in the UK and doctors will only help people who turn up for test ing and accepting to face the reality of HIV/AIDS. Your work does start the debate and we must sustain it as much as we can. African HIV policy Network in the UK can also play a role in this debate.
Comment by: gloria
Fri., Aug. 7, 2009 at 9:35 am UTC
hmmmm HIV is real, and u can be heal again with God if you beleave it. In Jer 30 Vs 17 God promised us health again "He said i'll restore health back to you again" so you see if you beleav you will be well again
Comment by: kotilingaswar
Mon., Jul. 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm UTC
first of all thanks for scientists. please immediately discover the drug so many peoples are suffering from hiv-aids.
Comment by: David
Mon., Jul. 20, 2009 at 12:16 am UTC
Regarding Arthur Gittleman statement about prednisolone. This drug supresses/prevents cell mediated responses which is the very problem HIV causes in the body. To me, it seems counterintuitive that this drug would "slow the progression of HIV." Further, while it is obvious that drug manufacturers invest and also make huge amount of money by marketing so-called anti-HIV drugs, why would some scientists who are not biased or motivated by profit, unwilling to test this drug and demonstrate its' efficacy utilizing scientific method. Further, the author discusses IMMU-25, used in India which demonstrated "positive results." What were the so-called positive results CHIEVED IN THESE PATIENTS. I would certainly like to know the citation in a scientific journal which published this information.
Comment by: Cory
Sun., Jul. 5, 2009 at 4:30 am UTC
This article upsets me so much because I was infected by a guy who doesn't believe HIV exists and that HIV doesn't kill people but rather HIV medication. It's so hard to believe that there are people out there who believe this.
Comment by: Seth Kalichman
Fri., Jun. 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm UTC
I met Peter Duesberg and spent a couple days at a conference with him to research my book Denying AIDS. Duesberg is married. His wife, Siggi Duesberg is very close to him. I think they must have met in Germany in the early 1960s before coming here. I don't know that but I think so. I do not know if they have kids, but I think not. Duesberg is actually a very engaging man. He is personable and in some ways actually charming.
So in those ways, you are bit off mark. But you are right on spot otherwise. He is narcissistic and self-absorbed. He definitely makes the case against lifetime tenure without review. He has no place in higher education. He ignores the rules of science. He has no regard for the consequences of his actions. I felt he was sexually inappropriate in his comments to young women, although I am sure he thought he was being funny. Just as I am sure he thinks he is being funny when he refers to gay men as â€śhomos". I can say that those couple days at his conference were so valuable to me. I feel I got some insight into Peter Duesberg. I now hope to never see him again.
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: abdul
Fri., Oct. 7, 2011 at 2:53 am UTC
hey Seth, you psycho nut-job, why don't you tell everyone how you used some ridiculous fake name to gain entry into the inner sanctum of the AIDS deniers. LOL! Everyone knew who you were ya idiot, even if you used some fake name. There is an urban myth that many people go into psychology to figure out their own warped mind. Obviously, this is your case. Concentrate on your diet and exercise program and stop bothering people with your mental illness.
Comment by: john
Tue., Jun. 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm UTC
Duesberg is a moron and he should be fired from the university of california. If he had to work for a living (like the rest of us!) and risked being fired, he wouldn't be so self indulgent and continue to spout such nonsense. i would love to hear about his personal life. I imagine that Duesberg is a compete narcissist...no marriage, no relationship cause he's unable to relate, unable to really hear others or care about others. Just repeats odd bits from long ago. He's happy just to get attention even though it's because he's a complete disaster. Why doesn't someone try him for murder? he's truly responsible for so many deaths...sad pathetic man, with sad pathetic followers. This is an important interview. Only a psychologist can understand these people. There is something so wrong with people who deny what is obvious.
Comment by: Sergio
Tue., Jun. 16, 2009 at 8:08 am UTC
An answer to T. Rex:
I was diagnosed in 1991 and became a denialist until my life was almost taken by HIV in 2001. By that time, my CD4 count dropped to 44 and I got Pneumocistosis (a common AIDS-related disease). After 21 days in the hospital, I was discharged and immediately started HIV meds, gaining 40 pounds in two months... my CD4 load is now 660 and I am healthier than never. The toxicity of HIV pills is decreasing day by day...actually after 3 months taking them (back in 2001) I never experienced side efects. I have a three years old daughter and a fulfilling and great life. So, I just want to warn you: Beware to not recognize the HIV reality too late...After the grave there is no further step!!!
Comment by: mazy
(Trinidad & Tobago)
Mon., Jun. 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm UTC
Every time I hear or see someone die of this disease, I wonder about the denialists, how do they explain the suffering and destructive nature of this disease. Such intelligent people should do better things with their time and efforts! How do they explain the deaths of Christine Maggiore, her daughter and the mothers who died, and infected their babies in Africa? I came across a website (can't remember the name) on denialists, seems to me quite a lot of them died from the very disease they were denying.
Comment by: T.rex
Mon., Jun. 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm UTC
Plain and simple, i don't take the meds, and me and people like me are healthier than those who do.
One can look at a person on meds, and know that that person is sick. First of all, that person believes they are sick, so really, it can't be any other way. They are fulfilling their own prophecy. And in addition to that morbid belief, they are ingesting admittedly very toxic pills.
This whole article is misguided. It acts as if dissidents are trying to peddle some crazy idea for financial gain. Nothing can be further from the truth. All the dissidents i know are simply people who were deemed by doctors to be poz, and they don't accept this diagnosis. The movement is no longer Duesberg. The movement is by people who experience the truth, first hand. People like me have nothing to gain other than hoping others see the light. The dissident movement is about helping fellow man.
How presumptuous of Western Medicine to claim that there is absolutely no way to battle hiv, except for triple cocktails. There is no single method for anything in this world. If it works for you... good for you... But don't deny that dissident are doing something that works for them.
Comment by: nora
Mon., Jun. 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm UTC
Richard, at the beginning scientists are often mistaken...scientific discoveries are slow...they still don't fully understand HIV...but now they really do understand that HIV can take over someone's immune system and if you don't suppress the virus, the person will die of opportunistic infections. This has been shown millions of times...So Duesberg is a quack. He's not some hidden genius or anything. Just a really self-absorbed guy who is only employed at the university of california cause he has tenure. He's astonishingly narcissistic and irresponsible. He is no longer a "scientist" cause he dismisses the scientific process...and he makes up stuff. It's not based on data. There is no clinical data for any of his nonsense. He's a science fiction kind of guy now...The truth about HIV is empirical at this point. Go to an inner city emergency room and watch all the undiagnosed HIV positive people with opportunisitic infections. When they get antiretroviral treatment they get better. Empirical. Talk to people who get HIV medications from AIDSforaids.org -- they are getting a chance to live because of the medications. Stop talking and go look.
Comment by: Seth C. Kalichman
Sun., Jun. 14, 2009 at 4:04 am UTC
Thank you all for your interest.
Seekyah’s comment made me think to let you know that I am very interested in hearing the stories of people living with HIV who had been lured into believing Christine Maggiore, Peter Duesberg and other AIDS Denialists. If you or someone you know had been a ‘dissident’ and no longer is, please contact me. Thanks again!
Comment by: Richard
Sat., Jun. 13, 2009 at 7:38 am UTC
Doctors once thought scurvy, beri-beri, rickets etc were infectious diseases. Those who argued against this were considered quacks too.
Comment by: Seekyah
Fri., Jun. 12, 2009 at 1:34 am UTC
My husband was in denial. When I had ask him before we became involved he said he didn't have the virus. He use to shoot up and there were rumors. I remember clearly stating to him I really need to know because I want to live to raise my daughter. That was 1998 in 2007 I was diagnosed with AIDS. The only reason I got tested was because he became sick. I never drank, smoke or did drugs. I trusted him because I knew him since childhood. I pray every day for a cure.
Comment by: Eddy
Thu., Jun. 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm UTC
Thank you very much for this excellent long interview. May it stay on the internet as long as HIV exists and may it be very visible and much visited! I have encountered AIDS denialists on the internet myself and the ones I encountered were bright, articulate, and very aggressive. They told me, a person who is an educated postgraduate, that I am a fool. They made me FEEL like a fool. They succeeded in making me feel stupid and actually pausing to consider that maybe they were right. Well, being as educated as I am I immediately did a MASSIVE amount of research and discovered that the denialists are all as portrayed in the interview above: delusional. But what then absolutely outraged me was the realization that they are succeeding in making contact with vulnerable people, those HIV+ people who WILL be taken in by them and whose lives will therefore be placed in jeopardy. AIDS denialism kills. AIDS denialism should be made a criminal offence.
Comment by: Arthur Gittleman
(Bella Vista, AR)
Thu., Jun. 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm UTC
This psychologist does not seem very scientic. You may say he is using Voodoo. I have followed the denalists and do not think they are stupid. Why they are denalists I would not know from this psychologists information. Don't really care but I do find some of the information they quote helpful.
Latest has been on lymph node fibrosis. Interesting is that this can be caused by other virus besides HIV. It can caused CD4 cell depletion.
The comment on herbal remedes have never been proven to work against HIV. I assume the author means not approved by FDA. Since herbal remedes have been around 3 to 5 thousand years and the FDA around 100 years I would think alot of them are unproven. But what do we mean by unproven. Well in the case of HIV which uses HAART that means billion of dollars were not spent on herbal medicine in the area of HIV and not that it is not proven only that medicine is big business.
One could point to small trials given to Prednisolone 5mg that show to slow the progression of HIV. But there is no patent anylonger on this drug. So what the author means unauthorized by FDA and not unproven. There is also IMMU-25 created in India used at hospital for 18 months that showed positive results. Was created for poor people. As what most people in thw world use poor people medicine and not the medicine used in the United States that is rich people's medicine. Poor people medicine does not need to be approved by the FDA. As matter of fact only a small number of large megacorporations could possible use the FDA three phase method. So when people loosely say unproven they mean the process by which a few large corporations get there FDA approval, so most things are unproven.
Looking at the latest politics in health care we see that it will be very difficult to control costs since that are only a few drug manufacturers allowed to play in this game of competition. And these corporations limit the game that is being played. All they want is more profit.
Comment by: John Boucher
(West Hollywood, CA)
Thu., Jun. 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm UTC
I would like to thank The Body and Dr. Kalichman for this important podcast. My late Partner, Rex Poindexter, was a follower of Christine Maggiore's, he did change his mind at the end of his life but it was too late. I took an HIV+ Writing Workshop at The LA Gay & Lesbian Center, there I wrote an essay entitled "Speaking in Tongues" it was published by Washburn University and won the 2009 award for best Creative nonfiction. http://inscapewashburn.wordpress.com/latest/ It is gratifying but I wish Rex were still alive and I had written about his recovery instead of his death.
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