June #155 : (Un)deniable Evidence - by James Wortman

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June 2009

(Un)deniable Evidence

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,

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  comments 30 - 40 (of 40 total)     << < previous

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-29 22:32:08
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 www.miltenyibiotec.com/download/protocols_macsmolecular_en/516/SP_Iso_HIV1.pdf Yep. HIV has been isolated and still is routinely for research.

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-29 15:14:36
Thus, in order to claim that *there is no proof the HIV genome and clones originated from actual virus particles* one would have to explain away, with evidence of course, the not so mysterious similarities of HIV's genomic organization to that of other lentiviruses, why it attacks the same host cell types as some of the other lentiviruses, FIV and SIV for example, and why it is can be propagated and verified genetically in cell cultures for use as reagents...all without some giant conspiracy.

Dragon Warrior, , 2009-05-29 09:14:06
If there is no proof the HIV genome and clones originated from actual virus particles, then how do you know that the clones made in the lab accurately represent a virus that no one ever really found? How do you prove the HIV genome actually belongs to a bona fide virus without ever having the genuine article for comparison? How do you validate the HIV genome and clones without having the real thing?

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-28 08:44:55
There isn't enough space to post all the details here so I'll give the short form. Simple molecular bio. HIV and the human genome are fully sequenced. The first is not present in the second so it is not of human genomic origin. Taking a pure molecular clone of HIV DNA and inject it to cells results in production of infectious particles with the same RNA sequence. The genetic sequence of the HIV genome also corresponds to the amino acid sequence of the proteins in it. Basic logic.

Dragon Warrior, , 2009-05-27 18:00:36
Poodle, using PCR to make lots of the same gene is nice. But how does that prove the origin of those genes? Where is the proof the "clones" originated from HIV particles? How can you say you have a "clone" of something without having proof that the original exists? How can you make a copy without an original? "how do you know what virus the clone is derived from if you don't know beforehand what the viral genome is, that is, that the genome originated from the virus particles?" bmj hiv debate

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-26 11:21:14
Wrong. PCR does NOT require purified anything in order to generate molecular clones. When PCR is used to make copies of a single genes from a whole mess of genomic DNA, the gene itself does not need to be "purified" from the rest of the genomic DNA in order to be cloned. This is VERY basic molecular biology. Here is a list of some available purified HIV strains www.nibsc.ac.uk/spotlight/aidsreagent/CFAR Catalogue/Reagent Listings/Viruses.pdf

Dragon Warrior, , 2009-05-25 16:21:30
I think Poodle misunderstands some of those who question HIV. They say that before you clone a virus, you must purify it. They say no one proved they obtained the genetic information of “HIV” from concentrated and purified particles determined to be infectious retroviruses. "to claim proof for molecular cloning of HIV it is absolutely necessary to have proof that the molecule originated from an HIV particle [purification].”

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-23 13:52:35
An example of denialism pseudoscience is the above that HIV has "only been "sequenced" and "cloned" but never "purified". You can't get more purified than a single, pure genetic clone. We have those. They are available, purified and purchasable for research. Montagnier's statement most likely reflected his earliest paper, not our current status of research. This selective quoting is called cherry-picking. Holocaust deniers do it, too.

Poodle Stomper, , 2009-05-23 13:46:25
AIDS Denialists are called so because they follow the exact same MO as other forms of denialism such as holocaust denialism. yes they will cry and say it isn't fair that they are labeled as such but in the end the tactics are identical. Do a wikipedia search for AIDS denialism and Holocaust denialism and then do a quick comparison.

William, , 2009-05-21 19:19:44
What a trivial piece. There are numerous legitimate questions about the toxicity of the AIDS drugs (particularly AZT), as well as the reliability of antibody tests. Instead of calling people "Denialists," why not honestly report their objections and addres the merits?

onecleverkid, Los Angeles, 2009-05-21 02:50:08
The fact that you are giving any credence to the ramblings of Seth Kalichman only goes to prove that POZ's funding is entangled in pharmaceutical interests. Too bad you will never be able to say anything intellectual on the subject of whether a retrovirus (which has admittedly only been "sequenced" and "cloned" but never "purified" in the words of Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier) can cause an immune system to collapse. Some of us care to know the truth and would like an honest debate.

comments 30 - 40 (of 40 total)     << < previous

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