Scroll down to comment on this story.
by James Wortman
A college professor takes on AIDS naysayers in his latest book.
Despite overwhelming scientific findings, some people remain convinced that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and that antiretrovirals are toxic poisons. Led by vocal skeptics such as former South African President Thabo Mbeki and the late Christine Maggiore, AIDS denialism continues to flourish, especially with the help of the Internet.
To counter this strengthening movement, Seth Kalichman, PhD, a social psychology professor at the University of Connecticut, wrote Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy ($25, Copernicus Books), which examines AIDS denialism’s origin, agendas and potentially damaging influence on HIV prevention and treatment.
Kalichman believes that the scientific community’s decision to stay quiet over the years has only fueled the denialists’ power. “[For too long] scientists have believed that if you ignore the denialists, they will go away,” he told POZ. “The HIV community really has a role in combating this misinformation.”
All royalties will help the Family Treatment Fund provide AIDS meds for people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Search: AIDS denialism, University of Connecticut, Seth Kalichman,
Scroll down to comment on this story.
comments 16 - 30 (of 40 total)
Atomic, Austin, TX, 2009-06-14 11:47:21
Some of us are somewhere in between the Denialists and the Cool Aids drinkers. The meds ARE toxic and in the beginning large doses of AZT would make people sicker. I believe AIDS is caused by more than HIV alone, i.e. Hepatitis, Syphilis, Alcoholism, Hard Drug Use, Poor Immune Systems, Unhealthy Eating and No Exercise. Meds are the answer if you're not willing or unable to change these things and follow a Holistic approach. I have been doing fine off meds for 2yrs with regular tests.
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-12 21:51:25
Seeing as you didn’t seem to even know the purpose of Montagier’s original paper I would suggest you put down the denialist BS and read actual scientific articles. Papadopulos is a member of the Perth group who was deemed incompetent to serve as an expert witness in court precisely because she has no experience with HIV at all, ever. She is yet another denialist unqualified to give any sort of opinion so I wouldn’t take anything she says seriously. Take a virology class. It will help.
Dragon Warrior, , 2009-06-12 11:27:46
Poodle, the other factors Montagnier relied on were not specific for HIV, either. Papadopulos-Eleopulos wrote, "I presented evidence that the observed phenomena (particles, reverse transcriptase, antibody/antigen reactions) which were said to prove the existence of HIV were not specific to a specific retrovirus nor even to retroviruses in general. Unlike Gallo, Montagnier when interviewed by Djamel Tahi, eventually reluctantly admitted that these phenomena were not retrovirus specific."
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-10 01:52:04
Proud, I'm glad to hear your health improved. I wish you a long, healthy life.
Gregory, science is determined by evidence, not by courts. However, court cases related to this have taken place and denialists such as the Perth Group were ruled to be be unqualified to give expert opinion on HIV or AIDS precisely because no denialist has any experience with it. Who to believe? The inexperienced with no clue or those who have spent decades doing hands on work? Oh right, giant conspiracy. My bad.
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-10 01:38:30
Montagnier’s determination that this was a new virus was not based on RT activity alone but rather in combination with other factors. The controls he ran were sufficient to prove his case as this paper was intended only to show the existence of a new, unknown virus, not to show that it caused AIDS. Again, experiments such as this one are not done blind. To suggest they *must be performed blind* suggests a severe lack of experience and understanding of research on your part.
Dragon Warrior, , 2009-06-09 11:56:31
Montagnier based virus detection on RT activity, which is not specific to HIV or retroviruses. His first experiment should have included a culture which tested cells obtained from patients with clinical and biochemical abnormalities similar to BRU but not at risk of AIDS. In the second experiment a control should have consisted of cells from similar sick individuals co-cultured with healthy blood donor cells. To avoid bias, both experiments (test and control) must be performed blindly.
Proud_Survivor, , 2009-06-09 00:25:16
I don't even bother to argue with denialists. Four years ago I was in the hospital near death. I started anti-retrovirals, as my t-cells went up and my viral load went down, my health greatly improved. Science and medicine saved my life. Also check the list of HIV denialists who've since died from AIDS complications..its a long one.
gregory, , 2009-06-08 22:36:04
the only reason this is being debated online is because the courts refuse to allow the evidence to be presented there - maybe it has something to do with the united states having never decriminalized homosexuality thereby denying those individuals human rights and preventing them from presenting the evidence in a court of law. the politicians usually get away with more than most realize on this planet, at least they have in america.
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-06 22:09:29
Thanks Go_Poodle! I have found debating is really a waste of time. Denialists (of any flavour) do not truly want to learn the truth but rather delude themselves into thinking that they are right. If they wanted truth they would take a few virology classes at a local college. An important question is this, which is more likely 1. That thousands of scientists around the world, many of whom never met, are part of a global conspiracy or 2. that a handful of cranks, most uneducated in bio, are wrong?
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-06 01:10:52
Reproducible = the same genes are there and in the same order. Montagnier’s controls cells were cultured identically to the experimental cells. Refer to the last paragraph on page 1 of his paper. They did not produce the virus. As for being blind, I assume you are joking. Bench experiments like this are not done blind. The full HIV genome can be found in infected T-cells. It is called a provirus. These can be cloned and are infectious. Google it. Not sure what you are asking about primers.
Go_Poodle!, Fort Lauderdale, 2009-06-05 16:17:14
Poodle, thank you for taking the time to debate with people like this. It truly takes the patience of Job to deal with people who refuse to look at the information in front of them. As a Biology grad I totally concur with the information you have presented. These people truly cherry pick from old information to deny HIV's existence virulence and have no interest in the Scientific Method. If, for no other reason people, how do you explain the DRAMATIC death rate drop once HAART became available?
Dragon Warrior, , 2009-06-05 11:48:00
Please provide a reference proving the primers originated from HIV particles. Reproducible sequences, how? How is it possible for differences of up to 40% in the "HIV" sequences to represent the genome of one and the same object? The "control" cultures were not similarly stimulated as test cultures & the experiment not blind. If "HIV" is now a Lentivirus then what Montagnier and Gallo discovered could not have been HIV. No one has proved the existence of the full "HIV" genome in fresh t-cells.
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-06-02 11:36:10
PCR does not require a pure preparation. An *artifact* would not have reproducible sequence and organization. Montagnier’s original paper *did* have control cells and they *did not* produce the virus. Nope. Not an artifact. Since retroviruses are related, HIV appeared to be a C-type by *initial* morphology but with further investigation was found to be closer to lentiviruses. Genetic sequencing confirmed this and sequencing is more accurate than simple morphology. Having all the facts helps.
Dragon Warrior, , 2009-06-02 02:21:19
EM photos show the presumed HIV genome originated from impure preparations. Comparing one genome to another doesn't prove existence because possibility of artifact due to no controls. Skeptics claim full genome never found in people. Scientists described HIV as a type a, c onco, d, & then claimed a Lentivirus. Why? Cell death is a possible artifact because of no blind controls. Propagation thru transfection? Your link is not a study demonstrating purification/isolation of an undiscovered virus.
Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-29 22:32:08
comments 16 - 30 (of 40 total)
I hope this won't get moderated out for the link but to those interested, HIV isolation protocols are available online. A simple Google for "HIV Iolation Protocol" gives quite a few results including
Yep. HIV has been isolated and still is routinely for research.