Rev. Wright and PEPFAR, AIDS Complicity

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments about the government lying about AIDS are not isolated to black America, not even isolated to America at all, but are shared globally. They are not confined to conspiracy theorists or wackos, as difficult as that may be for some people hearing the concept for the first time to understand. Rev. Wright has said,

The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.

The first African woman to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, shares these views,

In fact it (the HIV virus) is created by a scientist for biological warfare. Why has there been so much secrecy about AIDS? When you ask where did the virus come from, it raises a lot of flags. That makes me suspicious.

In 2005, a survey by the Rand Corporation found that half, that's right, one in every two black Americans think AIDS is man-made, more than half believe the government has a cure they are withholding from the poor, and a quarter believe it was created in a government laboratory. As Phil Wilson, founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute, said in the Washington Post when the study was released,

It's a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities. There's an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense.

Google "government created AIDS" and up pops many sites and theories that AIDS experts have had to work overtime to confront. The "AIDS denialists", people who believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, have been prolific in their attempts to offer different perspectives, some rooted in the beliefs that AIDS was deliberately spread, others believing it was simply an experiment gone awry. Still others believe the drugs (and profits drug companies are making from the disease) are more harmful than the disease itself.

For years, even South African President Thabo Mbeki ignored the devastation his country and continent experienced because he bought into the arguments of AIDS deniers.

When governments become complicit in public health pandemics, who can blame people for speculating?

Legitimate scientists and public health experts counter every argument at AIDS If you have doubts, please visit that site.

In American history, the haunting legacy of the government sponsored syphilis experiments on black men at Tuskeegee, the well documented facts of environmental racism that exposes black families to toxins at a higher rate than whites, and a history of disparities in the health care system for blacks all combine to make the 2005 survey results both shocking, and upon reflection, understandable.

These are the facts and the context from which Rev. Jeremiah Wright spoke, as shocking as those facts are to many Americans, as difficult as his anger is to hear.

What context was Rev. John Hagee speaking from when he called Catholicism a whore-religion? What context were Rev. Jerry Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson speaking when they claimed the September 11, attacks were God's damnation of America because of abortion and homosexuality? What context does the Rev. Fred Phelps speak from when he says AIDS is God's curse on America as he protests the funerals of American soldiers?

It seems that many people preach extremism that is hurtful and shocking to different segments of American society.

As we've been covering extensively, the Congress of the United States is about to reauthorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). But Congress and the White House are unwilling to do what public health experts around the world agree must be done to more aggressively attack HIV/AIDS.

So when it comes to the facts of AIDS, what's worse? Conspiracy theories that contribute to the belief that the government spread AIDS? Or a government that fails to act on the reality-based public health evidence it has, all of which concludes that we must do more, differently, to fight the spread of AIDS in Africa, especially for women and girls?

Congress and the White House could go a long way to silencing the conspiracy theorists by doing what is right on PEPFAR now. The disease is here and spreading at still alarming rates. Those are undeniable facts.

Regardless of its origins, AIDS must be confronted with reality, not politics or feel-good government pandering, throwing more tax dollars at less-than-optimal programs.

To have the facts to fight AIDS more aggressively and ignore them, as Congress and the White House are preparing to do, only adds fuel to the conspiracy fires.

The battle against AIDS is difficult enough as it is. The government must come down decisively on the side of science, public health, prevention, education and treatment based on real evidence, real science and real world experience. Ideology and conspiracy theories only contribute to the further spread of AIDS.

Related Posts:

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • marysia

    Scott, thank you, it is nice to hear a white (assuming that you are, of course–just concluding that from your photo, but one never knows) person not just dismiss the historically, deeply rooted paranoia that people of Africa descent (on the Mother Continent or in Diaspora) often experience.  While at the same time you are trying to get out the truth about HIV/AIDS, which in the US and worldwide globally affects people of color most of all. 

    The suspicion of genocide is something that has a reality basis on so many other issues, unfortunately. For example, gang violence in my own neighborhood is treated outside the community not as a serious publci health problem that requires a societywide commitment to uproot it; it is met with apathy, hostility ("those criminals are just asking for it"), and even perverse titillation.  

    No wonder there's a feeling in the community that this is willful indifference to the precious lives of African Americans, especially young Black men.  And not just indifference–*complicity.*  The drug trade fuels a lot of the violence, and many of the customers coming in at 3 am are whitefolks in big luxury vehicles. 

    The word "genocide" is not so far from the tips of people's tongues.

    Black Americans and Black Africans are still struggling profoundly with the psychological, spiritual, and societal repercussions of slavery and colonialism.  Even as white privilege, including the white stranglehold on global material wealth, remains deeply entrenched.

    To Rev. Wright's great credit, Trinity UCC was one of the first Black churches in Chicago to openly and compassionately address the needs of community members with HIV/AIDS. 

    And if I'm not mistaken, Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement have included HIV/AIDS prevention in their work on women's empowerment.

    The inaction of Thabo Mbeki, on the other hand, has resulted in who knows how many utterly preventable infections, illnesses, and deaths.

  • invalid-0

    Are you saying that there is a conspiracy against people of color? … Or are you saying that we should help prevent the causes of AIDS? If so, you may be interested in a report from Amnesty International regarding a cause of millions deaths from AIDS and other diseases. If rhetoric and political posturing are secondary to saving lives, you should address this cause. Otherwise you are complicit too.

  • invalid-0

    Added: March 20, 2008
    Already 72,000 people have watched this video

    Watch Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s 9-11 sermon in context

    Added: March 20, 2008
    Already 22,000 people have watched this video

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s God Damn America in context

  • marysia


    Yes, there are contexts to these things that so many white people are bristling at now….But the consciousness of white privilege throws blinders over those contexts, and obstinately refuses to take them off in too many cases.

    Doesn't mean Rev. Wright isn't wrong about some things.  But trying to understand how and where he arrived at those views is treating him as a human being, and one with a specific cultural history (like any of us).

  • invalid-0

    First of all, I have known from the beginning of the pandemic that AIDS is caused by a virus, by certain specific transmission routes. A virus that originated in nature, not from the "sin" of same-sex relationships, or from being targeted by the CIA cause you're Black, or anything ridiculous like that. Although some white people have never heard it before, that theory about the HIV virus being invented to purposefully kill Black people has been floating around for years.

    And I am not in denial about the pandemic. I wish I could do so much more, but I have over the years taken action on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment–starting back in the late 80s/early 90s when I taught a group of teens about HIV/AIDS and safer sex, and worked on an HIV/AIDS research project benefiting gay and bisexual men of all races.

    And most recently, I have been involved with Nonviolent Choice Directory,, which (among other things) publicizes resources and advocacy campaigns relating to global issues of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

    Do I believe there is a conspiracy against people of color? Not in the sense of some diabolical effort to kill people of color by inventing & deliberately spreading the virus.

    I do believe that white privilege is so institutionalized and engrained worldwide that the pandemic disproportionately affects people of color–it's not simply because people of color are present in so much larger numbers than whites.

    In South Africa, for example, the virus spread so rapidly because of the migrant labor system enforced under apartheid–and which wasn't supplanted by something better after the end of apartheid.

    Because the deep poverty remained for so many families, the only chance for survival was–and is– to send away their adult male members to the mines, the cities, etc. At the same time, apartheid and its legacy–including the Mbeki government's denialism– have meant that South African Blacks have been systematically denied in very large numbers access to basic health services necessary for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

    Here is the grain of truth in the conspiracy theory about HIV/AIDS: white privilege creates the conditions for it to disproportionately affect and kill people of color.

    White privilege then denies millions of said human beings the services necessary to prevent and ease utterly preventable sufferings and deaths.

    This can be seen, for example, in the fact that large multinational manufacturers of antirretrovirals have tended to care more about their intellectual property rights and their bottom lines than about the right of their fellow human beings to life and wellbeing.

    White privilege does not only manifest itself in individual , purposive deeds of cruelty, but more often and more broadly in systems that maintain power imbalances favoring whites.

    So…while the origin of the virus can be characterized as a natural disaster of sorts, the reality of the pandemic hitting people of color hardest is a humanmade disaster, and one which we are responsible to systematically undo. And that requires undoing the global structures of white privilege.

    White privilege is not dismissable as a "conspiracy theory." Although it can sound as absurd and paranoid as one to whites who have not yet faced it.

  • scott-swenson

    The Amnesty International report referenced above deals with dirty needles, or the reuse of needles. Most global efforts and public health strategists agree that to make progress curbing HIV/AIDS, we must address all vulnerable populations which includes IV drug users, sex workers, and men having sex with men. We also need to ensure that medical communities in rural parts of the world have the supplies of clean needles they need. All of these vulnerable populations get to the discussion of privilege, be it white, male, global north, or other, discussed in other comments. The very people (ideologically) preventing PEPFAR from addressing the most vulnerable populations are the same people who would not allow Ronald Reagan to speak about AIDS as his good friend Rock Hudson was dying of it. It is these same ideologues who thought it was God's curse on certain people who deserved it (just as they believe poverty is with their "boot strap" mentality), and who to this day only barely mask those same harsh judgments while touting all the good they are doing. It is this ideology that has ensured AIDS spread and it is this ideology that refuses to address what must be done. The saddest part is that certain AIDS groups, whose very mission addresses the poverty and lack of power people most vulnerable to getting HIV/AIDS deal with every day, have become complicit in the political calculations that will allow PEPFAR to be passed without so much as a debate on the issues that allow the disease to continue to spread, or the evidence that suggests what we must do differently. As I said in the piece, neither conspiracy theories or our fixation on them, nor ideology and our complicity with it, will address the reality of HIV/AIDS. No amount of money will paper over the failures Congress and the White House are agreeing to. No amount of money will excuse the reality that once again allows privilege to dictate and celebrate, while others face certain death.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Your point is well made that the history behind the Tuskegee clinical trials could have influenced Jeremiah Wright to believe the HIV-conspiracy theory as true. It is not only in history, however, but in the posture of our scientists today that his words may ring timely.

    For instance, look at Dr. James Watson, a renowned scientist noted for his Nobel Prize in discovering the DNA chemical structure. He went on a tour in the US speaking on the determination of intelligence through genetics. Unbelievably, he referred to specific races as having lower intelligence and advocated eugenics through genetic analysis of human DNA. His words and ideas reeked of racism and elitism, but colored with the sparkling lust and lure of scientific genetic advancements. When I saw Watson speak on these subjects in Connecticut in 2007, I was appalled and frightened not only at what Watson said, but by the reaction of the crowd. An estimated 500 people literally stood up and gave Watson a standing ovation. A few months later, I was relieved to hear of the public outcry from European community who had immediately cancelled Watson’s speaking tour upon hearing him. But it still disturbs me today at how the American people were fooled by Watson’s words, by his title, credentials and Nobel Prize.

    And if some blacks believe (rightly or wrongly) that HIV was used or created purposely to reduce the black population, they would be even more frightened to know what racially targeted genetic technologies can now be created in a test tube these days. The scientific community, biomedical community and the US government, however, have intentionally downplayed the dangers associated with genetic technologies. A smoke screen of secrecy surrounding any form of scientific accident or abuse is protected by the institution of a self-policing policy without any laws to protect the public. Consequently, there are no legal remedies toward any unintentional or intentional atrocities that may have or will occur. Biotech workers rights for safety and health are also surprisingly non-existent. In fact, the United States government (OSHA) has even declared that “trade secrets” supersedes a worker’s right to biological exposure records which are necessary to obtain appropriate healthcare. This unprincipled scientific movement is consistent with keeping up the façade that current genetic technologies are safe and can do no harm. It provides assurance that the American public’s sight is limited only to the lust and attraction of scientific advancements and not to the serious dangers that they pose.

    Our academic community, who has deeply embedded themselves in profit making industries all in the name of scientific advancement, has lost the equilibrium point with human rights, human dignity and public safety and no longer represent the public’s interest. Jeremiah Wright’s words may seem a bit controversial; but in fact, they are timely. The difference is, however, that today the inappropriate use of science affects us all, and not just the black population as seen in the shameful Tuskegee experiments.

  • marysia

    Yes, it is true that we can all be affected by abuses of science.  However, those abuses occur within a global society that is more likely to abuse some groups with more impunity than others.

    James Watson has been running around with his appalling prejudices for decades, and has gone appallingly unchallenged.  Starting with his discrediting and minimization of the painstaking, essential work that his colleague Rosalind Franklin, a Jewish woman, did on the structure of DNA.

    He has also endorsed the use of prenatal diagnosis, should a "gay gene" be discovered, to prevent LGBT people from coming into the world.  He hid for a long time from the public the fact that he and his wife have a sevrely disabled son, and he has had publicly said that had the diagnostic technology been available at the same time, he would have had the son aborted.  (No word on what his son or wife has to say on the matter.) 

    In 1973 he publicly advocated the killing of disabled newborns.  Not surprisingly, disabled people especially those of us with a disability rights movement sort of perspective are not too fond of what Watson stands for…

    The fact that a prominent white man can get away with things like this, while Rev. Wright is excoriated for saying what he has, just attests to the power structures I just mentioned….

  • invalid-0

    Mr. Swenson,

    It may be obvious to you and Marysia by virtue of certain undisclosed “transmission routes” that HIV is a virus. However, I don’t think that entitles you to peddle pure ignorance and prejudice.

    Firstly, you use the term “denialists” to refer to those who question the official theory(ies) of AIDS, with which you are obviously no more familiar than with the
    “denialists” themselves. “Denialist” was a term invented to smear critics of all stripes and associate them with holocaust deniers in the public mind. What is your justification for using this inflammatory term when you can’t even exlain their main positions?

    You write:

    “The “AIDS denialists”, people who believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, have been prolific in their attempts to offer different perspectives, some rooted in the beliefs that AIDS was deliberately spread, others believing it was simply an experiment gone awry. Still others believe the drugs (and profits drug companies are making from the disease) are more harmful than the disease itself.”

    Not a single word of this is correct apart from the first line. In fact, i looks like you can’t even tell the difference between HIV and AIDS. Pray tell, Mr. Expert on Reality and Facts, how can the “denialists” believe that HIV is harmless and at the same time that AIDS was deliberately spread? How exactly was AIDS deliberately spread if not by a virus? No wait, let me get you started on the right foot: define “AIDS”. Which criteria must be fulfilled to be diagnosed with AIDS?

    Marysia says higher prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa is due to poverty and the migrant labor system. What do you think, Mr. Expert on Real Science and Real Solutions? I see you think that it’s due to Black superstition and conspiracy theories.

    “It’s a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities. There’s an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense.”

    Ok, let’s exercise our brains a little on that one shall we? Blacks are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS because they believe they have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. But how did they come to believe that if not by being disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the first place – that is, before their superstitions and conspiracy theories could have influenced the
    disproportionate spread of HIV/AIDS. So which came first, Mr. AIDStruth, the hen or the egg?

    Your favorite theory focuses on Afro-Americans, Marysia’s theory on South Africans. Marysia’s theory was completely different from yours; should we discard his/her theory since yours explains the African “epidemic” quite nicely as well?

    Before you start demonstrating your excellent grasp of the topic let me present the conundrum for you:

    The cultural, geo-political, cultural etc. differences are ALL PRESENT IN THE US STATISTICS! No need to bring in South Africa. Within EVERY SINGLE DEMOGRAPHIC SUBSTRATUM of the US population, BLACKS CONSISTENTLY test HIV positive FIVE TIMES MORE OFTEN than WHITES on average.

    If you don’t get it, you’re welcome to educate yourself here Or post examples of some other infectious diseases that behave in the same way.

    PS If this is all over your head, just compare the sober scientific tone on the sceptical, not “denialist”, site I’ve linked with the political smear jobs you find under the AIDStruth news items.

  • scott-swenson

    Thank you for your sober and scientific rant. Being HIV positive myself, I have a firm and intimate grasp of the facts about HIV and AIDS, their causal relationship and their spread. My point in the sentence you have a nit with, was that those who deny HIV causes AIDS and those who believe it is purposefully spread are in close relationship, all contributing to the delay of dealing with a very real pandemic. Far more importantly, these doubters, if you deny the denial-ist phrase, impede progress of government action. As we are currently witnessing in the PEPFAR debate, when advocates side with ideologues, there are already enough impediments to doing what is right.

    To your point of racial disparity of the disease, you are right. It is true of almost every disease. The disproportionate impact of the disparities of our health care system and racism, women and girls, or based on economic means as opposed to human need, is well documented. But again, where are the profiles in courage standing up to change those realities by changing our policies instead of simply using those facts to perpetuate the very causes of the disparity in the first place?

    Lastly, why do I use the term “AIDS deniers?” Because I also once worked at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and understand the dangers of Holocaust deniers. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    I recognize that you’ve answered in a slightly more civil tone than I’ve used, however, that in no way changes the fact that you’re spewing the kind of prejudice and ignorance I normally only encounter on the right-wing hate blocks.

    1. I don’t know if it was meant as an argument from authority but being HIV-positive means you have a personal interest in the issue, not that you have a firm grasp of it.

    2. Those who question (not “deny”) that HIV causes AIDS stand in no relationship whatsoever to those who think it is spread intentionally or, even broader, “ideologues” of any stripe you don’t approve of. You have exchanged a falsehood for a smear: guilt by far-fetched association.

    What you are doing is censoring intellectual debate concerning HIV and AIDS by lumping scientific critique and religious fanatics together. Are you also of the opinion we cannot critique the rationale for Iraq War because it endangers our troops? Or that we cannot inquire into the legality of governmental surveillance because it plays into the hands of terrorists?

    3. Unfortunately you missed the point about racial disparity. The disparity has been consistent all through the HIV era for all demographics. This means that for Blacks and Whites in similar social and financial situations Blacks still test positive far more often than Whites. Native American Indians are even poorer than Blacks and they do not test positve at anywhere near the same rates as Blacks. In fact, they are much closer to Whites.

    If you would have taken the trouble to go through the critiques of “Doubters” such as Peter Duesberg, the “Perth Group” and many others, you would have discovered that
    inexplicable, unforeseeable and highly embarrasing blunders, such as this:

    or this:

    are neither inexplicable, nor unforeseen by those you please to call “denialists”.

    But I guess you’re so intimately familiar with the topic that these things and hundreds more examples I could come up with, like the initial high dose AZT fiasco (You do remember the “incubation period” for HIV used to be a LOT shorter back in the good old AZT-80s don’t you?), will only serve to convince you that anybody who doesn’t believe in chemo-therapy for pregnant mothers and their babies must be a nazi. How about chemo as a pre-sex prophylactic, does that strike you as Serious and Reponsible enough?

    Bonus question 1. Since you’re well into all aspects of these issues, perhaps you can tell us deniers what the gold standard for the EIA/ELISA and Western Blot HIV tests is – the tests I presume informed yourself that you are infected with an invincible, super-mutating, 100% lethal retrovirus, which somehow jumped the species barrier right into the American population at the exact time our biotech revolution developed the tools to discover such things indirectly?

    Bonus question 2: How does HIV manage to kill cells at a higher rate than they can be regenerated?

  • scott-swenson

    Sorry Brown, not interested in taking your tests, have spent more than enough time reading the HIV skeptics sites and watching their circular logic you tube videos. For me and many others it all boils down to this: The disease is real, we have seen too many die and prefer to spend our time working to prevent the spread of the disease than arguing with you. You can throw all the links and test questions you want up in your next rant, I’m going to continue trying to make sure we get the right prevention tools and education to the people who need them. If only all the energy spent trying to divert attention could instead be spent teaching people to practice safer sex, delay sexual debut, remain faithful to partners and getting services and education to populations that need them, we might make more progress.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    You have placed yourself in excellent company Mr. Brown.

    The Serious and Responsible AIDStruth website you link as the final authority on all matters HIV/AIDS remarkably assumes the exact same courageous stance as yourself: Slander individuals, misrepresent dissenting views, censor when possible. Here is part of their “Answering Denialists” manifesto:

    “We will not:

    Engage in any public or private debate with AIDS denialists or respond to requests from journalists who overtly support AIDS denialist causes.”

    But I shall spare you another rant, as you kindly call it, and bow out before the temptation to censor becomes too strong for you.

  • scott-swenson

    Brownie, my understanding of scientific theory (albeit a lay understanding) is that once the scientific community has reached certain conclusions they become accepted, until proven otherwise. What seems to be the case here is that the people on the outside of science with respect to HIV/AIDS just can’t accept the fact that they have been proven wrong, so they keep carping, thus distracting others from the real task at hand, preventing further spread of HIV. If you want to debate gravity or where exactly the four corners of the earth are, go right ahead. Just don’t confuse innocent people who need prevention and treatment in the meantime.

    Where do you stand on the theory that having sex with virgins will rid you of the AIDS virus? That was pretty widely believed in parts of Africa for years, perhaps even more than the theories you peddle. Should those beliefs also have equal weight?

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    and you’re Mr. Swenson.

    The confusion was not intended

  • scott-swenson

    not intended, but somehow fitting. Thanks for the dialog.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    First, I have given a different email address. This was because the old one for some reason wasn’t accepted nothing to do with conspiracies (-:

    Secondly, If you knew anything about the theories I
    “peddle”, or if you’re not just trying to smear, you would of course know that I (rather those scientists whose points I argue) do not consider it likely there is such a thing as an “AIDS” virus. I do not believe an HIV-postive test result can be reversed by having sex, although it could posibly be reversed by moving to another country. Likewise, the “AIDS” one has in the US if one tests HIV-positive and has a CD4 count below 200 could reliably be cured merely by crossing the border to Canada. Does that sound like mumbo jumbo to you? Well it does to me too. The mystical reason is that the criteria for an HIV positive test and the definition of “AIDS” are not standardized the world over.

    As far as Africa goes, I think it likely that what we call AIDS is largely a renaming of old diseases. The problem would disappear with better living standards, sanitation, clean water, proper nutrition, effective treatment of emdemic diseases such as TB and malaria and, especially in South Africa, reductions in pollution.

    I do not find the correlation between HIV and AIDS good enough to consider an HIV-positive test much more than a non-specific marker for some kind of challenge or accumulation of challenges and/or stressors to/of the immune system. The US statistics showing that Blacks are consistently much more likely to tests positive than Whites across all demographics and during the whole HIV era, gives plausibility to the view that because of genetic differences
    Blacks are more likely to test positive.

    Thus an HIV-positive test is certainly cause for concern, but not an indication that one is infected with an “AIDS virus” that can only be combatted with DNA chain terminators, protease inhibitors, integrase inhibitors etc. all highly poisonous. I believe that for some “AIDS” defining diseases,some of these drugs may have some benefit if used judiciously, but that it is madness to give them to clinically healthy people on background of an HIV-positive result, high “viral load” count, that does not count live virus, or low CD4 counts independent of clinical symptoms.

  • invalid-0

    Well said, Mr. Brown……Well said. The bumbling incompetent unproven and ever conflicting “science” of believing HIV is the cause of AIDS is now going into its 26th unfruitful year.

    For further information for those willing to educate themselves, the March 2006 Harpers Article: “AIDS: OUT OF CONTROL, AND THE CORRUPTION OF MEDICAL SCIENCE”, can be found online.

    But woe to those religious heretics who question the HIV equals AIDS dogma. For no human ego, and certainly no over paid scientist or doctor, wants to ever admit he or she had erroneous beliefs!

    In defence of Reverend Wright, even though I believe him to be quite mistaken about HIV, it is certainly understandable why he would believe HIV were “invented” to do away with unwanted groups of people. Throughout modern history, there have certainly been those in our government, as well as in positions of power throughout the world, who sought the possible means of doing away with unwanted groups, indigenous peoples, religious groups, as well as population control. Genocide and Eugenics are nothing new. There is great evidence of this throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, beginning with smallpox infected blankets being given to American Indians. Nazi Germany clearly showed us that our parents or grandparents lived in a world of such thinking. Genocides in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere still confront mankind today. Even in the latter years of the former apartheid government of South Africa, there were those considering a full extermination of the blacks, in order to hold onto control of the country and its wealth.

    In looking at such facts, it is certainly understandable how Mr. Wright might come to believe AIDS were “created” for just such a situation.

    However, Mr. Wright, as well as the rest of the HIV believers, including Mr. Swenson, Marysia, and all others who yet blindly follow the belief that HIV is the cause of AIDS, continue to ignore the realities of those who are suffering actual illness and disease, and the obvious effects on their immune systems of lives lived in an emotional state of helpless hopelessness, intensely high stress, drugs both licit and illicit, poverty, malnutrition, the strain of population explosions throughout the continent of Africa (whose population just so happens to have doubled over the last 25 years to now nearly one billion people), and the humiliations of still current racism and colonialism, as well as religiously based homophobism and the rejection and shaming of gays that still deeply and excrutiatingly affects some gays in the western world.

    These are the facts and realities that are and have been and continue to be at the very core of the illnesses suffered by those who are stricken with failed immune systems. No simple pill nor any vaccine will cure any of these maladies.

    Yet, the HIV believers, and their viagra inspired belief that a pill is the answer to all of the hard questions, or that a simple pill will cure all of the worlds ills, are the single greatest barricade to confronting the very factual and very real reasons why millions of people yet get deathly sick and fail to heal, and fail to thrive.

    Yet even this is very understandable, as there have been wonderful advances in science, technology, and medicine. And it is understandable that fears of plagues are still deeply entrenched in the minds of man. Much of today’s germaphobia of HIV, Sars, BirdFlu, etc, is just a modern extension of it.

    But what is difficult to understand, is how 99 percent of the humans in the world can be so deluded by fear inspired falsehoods, and so unwilling or unable to empathize with gays being dispossessed by religions, families, and societies, or how so many can be unwilling or unable to empathize with the dispossessed starving downtrodden, poverty stricken masses. Yet all the while, blame an imaginary virus as the cause of the problem, and believe that a pill is the solution.

    Question: How is it that so very many are yet so oblivious to the very simple realities of life on this planet, as well as some of the very simple solutions to much of these problems?

    Answer: Human fear, human programming, human egos, and human greed.

  • scott-swenson

    Dear Another Take On It …. I completely agree with you that poverty, malnutrition, colonialism parading now as global trade, racism and misogyny/machismo/patriarchy/homophobia all feed into the spread of disease. On those issues we agree. I'll even go so far as to say the pill(s) are NOT and should never be the entire focus of any policy to combat AIDS. Education, prevention, strengthening the role of women, fair trade, nutrition, clean water, sound economies and an end to bigotry will get us closer to the end of AIDS than any pill. But for people already infected, fighting for all those good causes you mention, if the treatment works, and gives them more life with which to fight for those causes, which many HIV+ people around the world do, then why stand in the way? Why not extend the life of positive people that they too might see the changes in the world we agree are needed? The science is clear, for people diagnosed with what science agrees is HIV, the meds extend life. Period. Are they toxic, do they have side effects, should they be given only with strict medical supervision — the answer to all these is definitively yes. If you believe in bettering the world as you suggest then surely you want to see people diagnosed with whatever you choose to believe HIV is live to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Are there some people who can live a long time without meds, yes again, with proper medical supervision. The pills are not the answer, they are a means to an end to strengthen people that might otherwise already be dead so we can together fight for a better life for the next generation. And since you offered more links, I'd like to repeat mine for readers seeking the currently accepted scientific understanding of facts related to HIV/AIDS, found at

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Mr. Swenson

    There should indeed be plenty of common ground for us to meet on. I would never advise anybody to stop taking medicine (s)he feels is helpful, and with which his/her doctor agrees. But do we not believe in informed consent? You say the science is clear, the HIV-drugs help those supposedly infected with HIV. How many MDs do you think are aware, never mind inform a clinically healthy patient with a positive HIV test and a high viral load/low CD4 count, of for example the peer-reviewed studies cited in this piece of dissident literature:

    “The short-lived “Lazarus effect.” AIDS drugs can be effective in the short term against some fungal, bacterial or parasitic infections, but down the road, they gradually destroy health and life. In the U.S., peer-reviewed studies now acknowledge that AIDS treatment drugs cause more illness and death among HIV positives than AIDS-defining diseases do. In a recent study published in the Journal of AIDS, “All four classes of antiretrovirals (ARVs) and all 19 FDA-approved ARVs have been directly or indirectly associated with life-threatening events and death.” A study published in 2002 showed that deaths attributable to ARVs “surpassed deaths due to advanced HIV.” Other studies have found that people on AIDS drugs are twice as likely to die from liver and kidney failure and heart attacks as from AIDS-defining diseases.

    The devastating effects of nevirapine. Nevirapine, commonly touted as a miracle drug for reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, causes liver failure and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rash that actually burns off layers of skin. The drug’s clinical studies in Uganda showed the opposite of reducing mother-to-child transmission and were so scandal ridden that nevirapine’s manufacturer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, withdrew its applications for nevirapine use by pregnant women in the U.S. and Canada. Because of this, nevirapine has never been approved for use among pregnant women in America, Canada, Europe or any First World nation. Several mothers died from nevirapine use in trials in the U.S. and Africa.

    Death by AZT. AZT, one of the main drugs promoted by the (RED) campaign, is one of the most toxic drugs ever approved for human use. It caused tens of thousands of premature deaths among the first generation of Western HIV positives who took it in the late 1980s. AZT is
    carcinogenic, mutagenic, brain damaging, and toxic to all cells in the human body, especially immune system cells. Researchers have found AZT to cause severe mitochondrial disorders, tumors, blood cancers, anemia, severe birth defects and other disorders.

    The tragedy of AZT for children. A Florida study found that rapid progression to AIDS-defining diseases was “three times more likely” in AZT-treated infants than in untreated ones. Many other studies have compounded this tragic finding. In 2000, British science writer Neville Hodgkinson wrote, “An Italian study examining 200 HIV-positive children found that, at three years old, children whose mothers took AZT in pregnancy were ‘significantly more likely’ to become seriously ill than babies of untreated mothers. They also had a higher death rate.”

    AZT’s admitted toxicity. The inventor of AZT, Professor Richard Beltz, has warned of AZT’s long-term toxicities. Referring to the media-besieged government of South Africa, he wrote to advocate (lawyer) and magistrate A. Brink:

    “I hope you succeed in convincing your government not to make AZT available.””

    Active links to some of the studies can be found at (second link submitted above at the end of the Comment by “Another take on it”) where I have quoted from. And there is much, much more on the various dissident sites, all quoting official sources and peer-reviewed studies. Why should this not be allowed to be taken into account in the doctor’s office – by the patient him/herself?

    In Africa the situation is trickier: a villager who is told by the White Authority from Abroad that she and her baby are going to die if they don’t stop breastfeeding and start nevirapine immediately is unable to assess the situation, so this is all politics. Your article is about PEPFAR. The strong men behind PEPFAR want more treatment (more pills) less of other stuff. This is where our common ground is shrinking:

    ““U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician and Richard Burr (R-NC) today introduced legislation that would ensure the highest priority for U.S. global HIV/AIDS funding would be saving lives by providing treatment to those infected and eliminating baby AIDS by preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child.”

    And in case you want to say this does not exclude the improvements in general health the dissidents are calling for, here’s the basic idea:

    “I am concerned that many health programs in Asia, Africa, and the western hemisphere will be forced to shut down or greatly reduce operations under the president’s request,” said Congresswoman Lowey.

    While it increases funds for HIV/AIDS, Lowey notes that the president’s request cuts $251 million from 2008 levels for health programs she and others say complement HIV/AIDS efforts.”

    Are dissidents really equal to holocaust deniers for agreeing with the Congresswoman? Here’s what Tshabalala Msimang, the much maligned South African Minister of Health
    has to say:

    “However, South Africa’s health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who addressed the meeting yesterday, urged the EU not to focus on a single disease.

    “We have many diseases in Africa that somehow never get mentioned because we have become so one-disease focused,” she said.”

    Is Msimang’s objection really that of a murderous woman in denial?

    For less technical discussions focusing on the politics of HIV/AIDS the interested reader can try:

  • invalid-0

    Scott, you said:

    “The science is clear, for people diagnosed with what science agrees is HIV, the meds extend life. Period.”

    This statement, quite clearly to me at least, is obviously coming from your being well “programmed” in your beliefs, Scott. Perhaps from having so often heard the drug industries slogan of “life saving drugs”. I’m afraid that this statement is only a scientific fact in your and many other peoples imaginations only.

    And here is the proof of my statement: There has been ABSOLUTELY NO placebo test of ABSOLUTELY ANY HIV DRUG, since 1987. Therefore it is absolutely NOT scientifically proven that any of the drugs have any effect at all other than the well proven toxic effects. It is nowhere in any scientific study shown that a mere sugar pill and appropriately treatment of the actual opportunistic infections would not do just as well or even better than any and all of the HAART drugs.

    To be absolutely honest, there is no evidence whatsoever that any of the hiv drugs are in any way, shape, or form, extending of life, and study after study clearly shows the opposite!

    Furthermore, studies have been highly corrupted by not showing who in the studies are drug addicts, not showing who were formerly dying of starvation, tb, malaria, etc, etc, etc, and also not showing WHAT ELSE they had been treated with to cure existing opportunistic infections. Therefore, every study to date has been highly corrupted, fast tracked through the FDA with most often absolutely no long term follow-up as is required by the fast track rules, as well as run and directed and paid for by the pharmacuetical company whose product was at stake.

    The ACTG studies are most often done and run by individuals who are also highly invested in the drug companies.

    About a year ago, I went to the local ACTG study center and asked 3 questions of the head nurse in charge of intake of “study volunteers”.

    1: Does the AVRC ACTG get paid by the pharmaceutical companies on a per patient/per drug/per study basis? (the reason I asked is because many “volunteers” are in more than one study and taking more than one drug)

    The answer was “YES”.

    2: What is the average pharma payment per patient/per study/per drug?

    The answer: “$3000 to 10,000 and UP”. (whatever in hell and up means!)

    3: Does the AVRC inform any of the study volunteers of the conflict of interest?

    Answer: “No they do not”.

    Scott, I’m glad you think the HIV/AIDS biz, is so pure of heart and so altruistic. A bit naive of you, don’t you think? What with the now more than 110 billions of dollars that have been unsceptically and unquestionably thrown at it for the last 25 years? What with 530 of the top directors and scientists at the NIH having been found 2 years ago of taking undisclosed cash and stock from big pharma? Including 2 million to the former director of all AIDS drug clinical trials?

    Just a bit naive of you and all the other wannabe do gooders, don’t you think?

  • invalid-0

    I agree with Mr. Brown and Mr. Swenson on the key issues of resolving the horrific consequences of abject poverty in Africa and anywhere else. I am a dissident, like Mr. Brown;
    I look at the officially publish literature on the hypothetical “HIV”/AIDS link and find it sorely wanting.
    Were it not for the politics and reputations as well as the cash flow, this disgusting medical miasma would have been junked years ago.

    I am however, heartened to see a new group of mainstream AIDS researchers finally recognized that we need to deal with the root causes of the “AIDS epidemic” (all reformulated old diseases). Researchers like Eileen Stillwagon among others are insisting that ARVs are
    worthless if we cannot ensure that all poor people
    have food, clean water, stable sociopolitical economies and reliable local networks to provide all three.

    The greatest demand of the majority of African HIV+ people
    isn’t drugs, its food. They need food, good nutritious food.
    Jeffrey Sachs visited many villages with people stated to be HIV+ and they always wanted food, not drugs, food!

    The insanity of current african HIV/AIDS preventive programs has condoms and ARVs passed out like party favours while blind to the starvation and deprivation around them.

    Tell me, how are these ARVs going to work with a malnourished, stressed population?

  • invalid-0

    Mr. Swenson, in one sentence above, you assure us of your firm knowledge on the subject at hand:

    “Being HIV positive myself, I have a firm and intimate grasp of the facts about HIV and AIDS, their causal relationship and their spread”.

    Then you later admit it is not so firm:

    “Brownie, my understanding of scientific theory (albeit a lay understanding)….”

    I do commend you for recognising, sir, that you do not know all there is to know on the subject, as one who thinks they already know all can learn nothing new.

    Fortunately, the interchange of information that has taken place here on your blog, have been copied and further immortalized at the following blog site where these issues are further analyzed:

    Perhaps you or your readers may also enjoy taking part in the discussions of the HIV/AIDS issues at that site as well.

  • invalid-0

    I agree with Y’ello. As a medical writer I wrote a lot about ARVs at the end of the 1990s when HAART drugs were proliferating. Study after study and all I could do was wonder – so their CD4 cell counts went up, and their “viral loads” dropped, but did they live any longer? Did they have a better quality of life? Despite the plethora of studies my question was never (and to this day still hasn’t been) answered.
    Current disability has allowed me free reign and plenty of time to peruse the literature. When I looked at the HIV-AIDS papers I was stupefied. The evidence that HIV caused AIDS was completely absent. I actually sat in front of my computer crying. At this point I did not know of the existence of the dissidents and egotistically thought I was the only person on the planet to have figured this out. I wasn’t ‘swayed’ by anybody’s argument – I have seen the evidence (or lack of) with my own eyes.
    If there is controversy (and there is plenty) I think any scientist refusing to even look at evidence refuting his/her pet HIV theory is committing intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind, because this dishonesty is causing unnecessary suffering and death. I did not enter the medical profession in order to harm people, and find the attitude of the “Establishment” inexplicable.
    Since qualifying 25 years ago I have seen many erroneous theories come and go, but this one has stuck like the proverbial brown stuff on the blanket because there is so much financial, emotional and political investment. It has become a black hole of truth, honesty and integrity.
    Mr Swenson you seem like an intelligent man. Please go and read the evidence for yourself – it might just save your life.

  • invalid-0

    “When I looked at the HIV-AIDS papers I was stupefied. The evidence that HIV caused AIDS was completely absent. I actually sat in front of my computer crying.”

    Pardon me for my unprofessional behavior, but if I was there in person, I would have reassured you with an embrace. You were never alone intellectually, though initially isolated from others who were questioning.

    We are _not_ crazy. We are _not_ wrong to question.
    We are _not_ wrong to weep either. May I weep with you?

  • scott-swenson

    Another take, Nice twisting of my words. By acknowledging my status I stated that my knowledge was "firm and intimate" not that of a scientist. Never in this dialog have I claimed to be a scientist. My knowledge is like that of millions of others who are HIV positive, based on extensive reading, including the information and sites of skeptics; evaluating alternative methods; paying attention to my own body and experience. All of the research I've done, again, like many people diagnosed, has been about understanding how to live with HIV. What I've learned is simple: I can't imagine having this disease without supports, including basic and essential nutrition, clean water, and the ability to make decisions for myself. I can't imagine not having the support of family, community, employment. I can't imagine not having a wide range of medical data and expertise from which to draw the best conclusions for me. In other words, I can't imagine what people in the developing world must deal with. But I've seen it, so I don't have to imagine. You can continue adding skeptics/denialist links here all you want. When your scientific research proves your points to the place it is accepted by the scientific community, we'll welcome them. Until then, I'm going to stick with my lay understanding of the earth being round, not based on any research I've done, but on accepted scientific fact and my own experience of the planet. People I know in the earliest tests for ARVs, prior to compassionate access, lived well during trials and died following them, when the test drugs were removed. Those tests were blinded and placebos were part of the trail, there was no assurance that the dying people volunteering were given actual medicines. To many people that seemed cruel, as cruel as taking the meds away after the trial. People I know avoided using medications for years in part because of claims and confusion of the denialist community, carefully monitoring their numbers taking care of themselves, and still wound up in the hospital. Those who survived went on meds and are now living healthy, strong lives managing the disease mindful of side effects of any meds, particularly any as strong as these. I'm sorry that I have not double blinded my experience with HIV to your satisfaction, or that my experience doesn't have the equivalent of a placebo for you, it being real. Your beef, to the extent you have one is not with me or the millions of people learning every day to live with this disease, and all you are doing here is proving the point of my original piece. The larger point I made, which you studiously avoid with your personal attacks and efforts to establish more links for your web site, is that your efforts are not preventing the spread of AIDS at all, are they? You bemoan efforts to get prevention methods and education to people, and wow people with your theories, but what good is any of it to a young woman in Africa who today will be exposed to what I call HIV, what you call XYZ, because she cannot negotiate a sexual relationship with her husband who has contracted the virus? What do all your papers and links and rants do for her? Will her opinion and experience be the subject of scorn for you as mine is? Do only you know the truth?


    For readers looking for more science and experience, in addition to AIDSTruth, see also

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • scott-swenson


    Thanks for sharing your experience. We all shed many tears for this experience. I’ve read many, many alternative theories and come to the conclusion I would rather spend the time and energy I have in this life working to prevent the spread of the disease, than arguing with elites. To Y’ello’s point, I do not think it is wrong to question, either. For years I avoided the meds, with a doctor’s supervision, only to knock on death’s door. The reason I use the terms “rant” above, is because the skeptical community seems bent on lording its theories over people’s experience. No one held a gun to my head and forced me to take meds. And yes, much more than meds are required to fight this disease, whatever you want to call it. I could read one million studies and not one of them will change the fact that today, because of the policies of the US Congress and White House, some people will not have the information or education to PREVENT themselves from being exposed. I would much rather put our collective energy into changing that fact and addressing poverty, malnutrition, clean water problems, than arguing with skeptics.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    “For years I avoided the meds, with a doctor’s supervision, only to knock on death’s door”.

    Scott, thanks for sharing, but you are only giving us only a very tiny anecdotal piece of the picture of what all was going on with you and your life at the time.

    And what do you mean you had “knocked on death’s door”? You did not tell us the actual illness/’es that you had contended with? And just how is it that you know that whatever actual illness you had dealt with is any kind of evidence that HIV was the cause? After all, just the stress alone of being told one is HIV positive is enough to make the strongest and healthiest of people sick. Google the words stress and thymus. Stress is well proven to cause the thymus gland, where one’s CD-4 T Cells are created by the way, to shut down. High stress can cause the thymus to shrink by 50% in 24 hours. Ongoing high levels of stress cause thymus malfunction to also be ongoing, and continuing in such a state can most definitely lead to the straw that finally breaks the camels back.

    Without more forthcoming info, we don’t know if you had some fungal infections perhaps from taking too many antibiotics, KS or PCP perhaps from poppers sniffing, or if you simply were stressing out over your diagnosis, and finally got run down and came down with pneumonia or other common illnesses, just the same as many hiv negative people do. Or if you had been abusing your body with poor eating habits or even illicit drugs prior to your illness.

    There can be many reasons that contribute to illness, regardless of HIV diagnosis status.

    You also did not tell us what all you did, or what other changes you made at the time of regaining health besides HIV drugs. Did you reach a point of acceptance over a lost love affair? Did you make peace with yourself or your maker? Did you stop using drugs or alcohol? Such factors are very important to healing and one should not overlook them and simply ascribe all healing to be drug induced when there are usually many more factors involved.

    You also did not tell us the extenuating circumstances that were underlying your life and emotional circumstances, that highly likely also led up to your actual illness, such as extremely high levels of inner emotional stress prior to your actually becoming ill, or perhaps prior medications or other drug use that may have contributed, or even the stress inducing and body weakening effects of your own prior mental expectations of eventually getting ill because you are programmed to believe that such would happen because you had earlier tested HIV poz. After all, you said you were seeing a doctor even before you got ill and before you took any meds. So, you were seeing him/her even when you were completely well. Most likely, you were also following CD counts and viral load numbers and further scaring yourself silly every time the numbers went up and down. Did you yourself, along with your doctor’s assistance, perhaps finally succeed in actually nearly scaring you to the point near death sickness?

    I would only hope you could be honest, not with me, Scott, but with yourself, in addressing these very important factors that you yourself have likely been in denial of and have continued to overlook while blaming all your illness on HIV, and while contending that your wellness was the result of taking the meds. Undoubtedly finally taking the meds also certainly reduced your stress level if you had earlier been stressed out over the fear of getting sick because you were not taking them, but a simple sugar pill may have done the same.

    You might or might not want to analyze this carefully, because it is highly likely that your own experiences are yet more evidence of the “power of your own mind”,as well as the “power of suggestion”, as well as the placebo effect of getting well after taking some med because you, convinced by your doctors, simply believed you would.

    I don’t know what the truth is Scott, but I am also sure that you, as well as JP Moore, who’s supposed AIDStruth site you love to promote, are not necessarily the holders of all higher truths either.

  • invalid-0

    Mr. Swenson,

    We seem to have returned to your initial mistake, confusing HIV and AIDS. Nobody denies the reality of what you call
    “AIDS”; nobody questions the very real diseases you and others may be struggling with. We question the causal relationship between HIV and AIDS.

    The African woman who cannot negotiate a sexual relationship
    with her husband has no way of knowing whether what knocks her down 10 years later is HIV or something else. Neither have you.

    I have spent the past 8 years among supposedly high-risk people (Thai prostitutes). I’ve known dozens of them for years and I am struggling to find even anecdotal cases of “AIDS”. Is your eyewitness account worth more than mine?

    I’ll tell you the difference between Africa and Thailand, my friend: the living standards are much better in Thailand, and so the prostitutes who work in the tourist areas don’t get “AIDS” unless they are heavily into drugs, which very few of them are.

    It is depressing to see that you think well-informed critics are “lording it” while you link to the “scientific proof” that HIV causes AIDS on and similar places. We’ll meet you on any level you desire. This website, the largest dissident forum in cyberspace, has hundreds of HIV+ people as members, many of them doubters and fence sitters, but overwhelmingly against the drugs:

    After 25 years, and with thousands upon thousands of doubters and dissenters from all corners of the planet and all walks of life, is it not conceivable that we may have a point, although we cannot claim to have all the answers?

  • invalid-0

    I absolutely agree with “Your Truth” above.

    Scott said: “People I know in the earliest tests for ARVs, prior to compassionate access, lived well during trials and died following them, when the test drugs were removed. Those tests were blinded and placebos were part of the trail, there was no assurance that the dying people volunteering were given actual medicines.”

    That is not at all true, Scott. Your saying such is evidence that you have unfortunately not actually read any of the post AZT drug studies. The only HIV drug that has used any placebos at all was the very short (4 month long) AZT trials. There is nowhere in any literature placebo trials of any other drugs. All tests after AZT were done by comparing one drug to another, such as AZT versus a protease inhibitors, or AZT versus AZT plut protease inhibitors.

    As such, it is no wonder, to me at least, that your AZT dosed friends had passed away prematurely. The average person taking high dosage AZT monotherapy between 1987 and 1995 lived an average of 8 months to 1-1/2 years after taking AZT.

    Furthermore, all HIV positives back then were told HIV was a death sentence with no cure. They were all living in a severe state of intensely high stress followed by apathetic hopelessness that highly influenced their immune systems in the most suppressive of ways.

    No wonder at all that the death rate had skyrocketed from 87 to 95, whereinafter patients were finally told they could live longer by taking the newer drugs. When patients were finally told they could live longer, they did. The power of suggestion was certainly at work here, as is plainly evident. When patients were told they would die, they did. When they were told they could live longer, they did.

  • invalid-0

    You bemoan efforts to get prevention methods and education to people, and wow people with your theories, but what good is any of it to a young woman in Africa who today will be exposed to what I call HIV, what you call XYZ, because she cannot negotiate a sexual relationship with her husband who has contracted the virus? What do all your papers and links and rants do for her? Will her opinion and experience be the subject of scorn for you as mine is? Do only you know the truth?

    This kind of story is based on a false assumption that HIV positivity is transmitted between heterosexuals, which Nancy Padian’s study showed very conclusively (it was a large study over six years of discordant couples of which almost fifty used no precautions whatsoever) was negligible if not nil.
    In other words, whether African women can rule their husbands on not is not a factor in whether they themselves test positive or not, because we can be certain in every case that it was not transmitted to her by her husband, whether he visited Nairobi prostitutes along his truck route or not.

    But almost everybody is told and believes that HIV is transmitted in heterosexual sex, as if the study was the fantasy. Of course, Nancy Padian is trying to backpeddle from her fatal conclusion on AidsTruth since it is the most impolitic of findings, but it stands nonetheless.

    Mr Swenson, you are an intelligent man caught in a scheme initiated by Robert Gallo with a claim in 1984 that elicited knowing guffaws from insiders who knew him and his science (afterwards shown publicly by a federal investigation to be as bad as everyone thought) and you have used your mind to rationalize it in your own case. That is why on we count it as a meme that once it infects the mind of its victims never allows itself to be uprooted.

    One of the problems is that the brighter the person the better he/she is at rationalizing what continually emerges in the literature as a paradoxical and inconsistent fiction.

    Your very intelligence is catching you here. All that we can do is urge you to read the other side and see how the inconsistencies vanish if the claim is denied and other causes of AIDS are accepted in their own right as sufficient and necessary.

    But it is painful for all of us to read material which we initially judge as worthless because it doesn’t fit the mental frame we are already using. So you probably will continue to take the easy route and dismiss the HIV critique and rejection as dealt with and rejected by good scientists and good science.

    In fact, the best science is the review and rejection of HIV in the literature which has not been properly answered and refuted. In fact, there has not been a since answer attempted in the same elite journals. All of the scientific answers damning the critique have been delivered in other journals and on non-peer reviewed Web pages at the NIH CDC etc.

    Evasion and censorship and condemnation ad hominem add up to an overwhelming political case against the paradigm proponents as scientifically too vulnerable to be able to answer the critics head on.

    Thus both science and politics argue that the critics are right, however unusual this may be in science. In fact it is not that unusual. Almost every Nobel winner I talk to has a horror story of his in the early days his progressive correction of the prevailing belief in his/her field was resisted mightily by those perched on the status quo.

    It is standard in the academy in any field, in fact. So we can only urge you to save yourself by opening your mind to the possibility that you will find the same truth as Cathvm above.

    You cannot judge by your experience in finding benefit in the drugs, for there are good reasons why they might have a temporary beneficial effect on those whose have immune systems weakened from whatever reason and are therefore infested with parasites which are cleansed by such poisons. In the end the stats show that all die, as you seem to be aware, and which is shown by the fact that half the first year AIDS deaths in the US currently are from drug symptoms (liver and kidney rot) which are not on the extensive list of AIDS symptoms at all.

    All of this would be clear to you if the Times and other science writers and their coverage had not been intimidated and twisted for years by Anthony Fauci and his pr brigade at NIAID who in writing explicitly threatened investigative journalists and editors with expulsion from the NIH loop by which they live if they mentioned Peter Duesberg, the chief critic, whose scientific status was higher than any of his opponents and still is to all who value science and truth.

  • scott-swenson

    I’m not assuming my truth is your truth, but I assuming that by putting more energy toward preventing the spread of disease we would all be better off — the only point I’ve consistently tried to make through many attempts at diversion and distraction in this dialog. I offer anecdotes and speak from personal experience because I want other HIV+ people to understand that their experience with their bodies is more valuable than all the conspiracy theories and deniers. My experience also counters many of the assumptions made about me in earlier comments, and demonstrates that many doctors are not pushing drugs, but learning how to manage a complicated disease and are open to alternative methods. While I’d love to publish my entire medical and personal history here online for you to pick over, perhaps you might trust me enough to understand my truth and what I say and not suggest that just because I don’t agree with you that I’m wrong, or worse, lying. That mentality, that everyone else in the world is wrong and only you can possibly be right, is classic of conspiracy theorists and deniers of every stripe.

    The stress of being told one is HIV+, a point you raised, is manageable with facts. Stress comes from people like you who are not working to save one life, or prevent the spread of any disease, but joining with the complicity of the GOP ideologues who believe abstinence-only is a solution, and the spineless Democrats who refuse to learn from public health experts on the ground in Africa working to improve all aspects of the fight against AIDS.

    I offer sites like AIDSTRUTH and others listed above, so that anyone who is HIV+ and reading this has benefit of not only your links, but those of accepted science as well. I trust that when people read the facts, they will make the best decisions for themselves. I did, and I’m alive today not because of anything you promote.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • scott-swenson

    You seem to be missing my point. I’ve read your studies, I’ve avoided medications, pursued alternatives and I’ve made my decision based on personal experience and reasoned study and judgment. No one has forced any belief upon me and neither will you. You continue to attempt to distract this debate from the main point in my original post, which proves my point, that in fact conspiracy theories and deniers are a distraction to the real work at hand — PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.

    I note in Brown’s comment above that “hundreds” of “dissenters” are on the site Brown refers to.

    Doesn’t it seem strange that with millions people dealing with HIV, most with easy access to your well linked sites of dissent, that only hundreds (he later says thousands, so I’ll even grant four digits) are active on that site. You see, what I’m saying is not that we’re not aware of your point of view — but that we are. We’ve evaluated it and we’ve made a different choice. Thank you for you offers of help, but with friends like you, who needs disease?

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • scott-swenson

    You might want to check your research again. Studies done by the US Navy of HIV+ people in the services during the earliest part of the pandemic (88-93) tested not AZT (why are people still arguing about AZT?) but a cocktail of drugs. The study included placebos for at least the initial stage. Compassionate access was not offered after participants left the study.

    As to the power of suggestion, I’d like to suggest that we respectfully agree to disagree. I’m going to work to prevent the spread of the disease while you continue to spread misinformation.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    We’re offering choice to others not as fortunate as yourself choice. Here’s a story Cathy has been trying to post:

    Mr. Swenson, I think we were all content to let the matter rest without embarrasing you any further, but your peculiar practice of inserting your answers after each post at a later date, accusing and distorting wildly, bends the rules of debate somewhat.

    A few points beginning from the bottom:

    1. what’s so difficult about my writing style? I said there are thousands of (active) sceptics worldwide and hundreds of HIV+ sceptics on alone (According to the numbers they give, there are 2500 members, but not all are HIV+)

    2. You say the real work at hand is preventing disease. Of course the real work at hand is preventing disease. Does proper nutrition, sanitation, higher living standards, reductions in environmental pollution not prevent disease? I feel it’s you who is straying from the topic by constantly airing your conspiracy theories about conspiracy theorists conspiring to stop the spread of toxic drugs worldwide.

    3. I appreciate that you feel more comfortable preaching, saving and damning in an anecdotal style, but the normal practice when one refers to a scientific study is to leave at least enough clues so that other debaters can look it up. If you want us to accept that the US Navy conducted placebo-controlled tests with drug-cocktails on recruits all the way back in 1988, could you at least reference the study?

    I’ll betcha ya can’t… unless you have a very liberal interpretation of “placebo-controlled”, such as, “The study included placebos for at least the initial stage”. Can you define “initial stage”, Mr. Swenson?

    Mr. Swenson, if the studies concluded in 1993, just around the time when the cocktails became publicly available, why on earth was “compassionate access not offered after participants left the study”? How could people not have access to something that was becoming publicly available, and what point is that supposed to prove?

  • scott-swenson

    Brown, I’m not embarrassed in the slightest, not even sure why you would think so. I’m not debating you as a scientist, I’m not pretending to be something I’m not. I’m a person with HIV who has read your sites, believes like most people that I’ll stick with proven data as opposed to anonymous rhetoric and accusations, and continue to encourage people to trust their own experience with their bodies, their health care professionals, and their own research. Ultimately it is up to each individual to make their own choices and there will always be snake oil salesman parading as something they are not. What I “preach” here is for people to stay focused on the task at hand, preventing the further spread of a disease and not getting lost in the distractions that you and others make in the form of misinformation and personal attacks. My apologies that the timing and style of my posts are not more to your liking. It seems no one can get anything right but you. I will gladly make this my last reply to each of you.

    The study I referred to will just be more anecdotal information from your perspective, because I was not involved in it as a researcher, but as the supportive friend of two people in the Navy directly involved with it and receiving medications from it. I sat with them as they debated whether or not to go into the study since there was no assurance they would get the drugs. I was with them when at the conclusion of the five year study, with the drugs not yet on the market, they were told they would not continue receiving the medication as the trial completed its data and moved into the next phase. I was with one of them, when he died two years later, after each of us had attended the funeral of the other; both began steady declines at the conclusion of the trial. Again Brown, I’m sorry that I’m not able to engage you on the very high brow discussion you’d like to have about what to call a disease that continues to kill millions, or who is responsible, or which scientific researchers we should applaud and which we should decry. Mine is personal experience, with many friends and my own health. The science is not what I am arguing, there are many far more qualified than me to do that and they have bested the likes of you at every turn. The case I make is about how people will try to distract us from the far more important prevention work at hand, playing into the fear-mongering of the GOP ideologues and preventing Democrats in Congress from doing what is right by learning from the first five years of PEPFAR. Which, in terms of debating points, you and your colleagues have yet to address in all this back and forth, so bent on distracting the discussion to things only you and a few others wish to continue debating while millions more are trying to live. Since you suggested it, I’ll agree, I too am content to leave this conversation where it is.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    For the benefit of my private studies I would be grateful if you could post a reference to that drug trial.

  • invalid-0

    First off, thanks Scott for sharing your experience, that is what matters most. Thanks also for engaging these comments with a genuinely good spirit. You are right that all they are is a distraction. Back to the point of your original article, the link below is to and contains links to Nick Kristoff’s NY Times piece on the subject and two other archived pieces that discuss the misinformation that those of us working to prevent further spread of the disease are up against. Keep up the good fight!