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Two things about AIDS had always puzzled me. One was that such a completely new kind of disease—one that infects and destroys the very system whose function it is to fight off infections, the immune system—would appear virtually simultaneously with the discovery of the kind of infectious agent that transmits AIDS. The other was that despite claims that AIDS is the latest epidemic, the incidence of AIDS remains essentially restricted in the US and Europe to the groups in which it was originally discovered: gay men and intravenous drug users.

An article in the March Harper's finally clears up these puzzles. It turns out that when there is big money involved, science in America functions not so differently from our politics. There is scientific controversy about whether HIV actually causes AIDS, but the media has kept this from us. And according to the dissenting view, the standard therapy for HIV infection kills people who might be perfectly healthy, and the vast body of AIDS research and medicine has been one huge waste of resources.

The only place that most people have heard about the dissenting view is probably where I did: in reporting on South African President's Mbeki's reluctance to provide anti-HIV drugs to his people, on the grounds that it is drugs that cause AIDS. The media presented this view as a crackpot theory, and I believed them. Well, it turns out that this is the view of Peter Duesberg, a leading virologist and cancer specialist. And this theory clears up my two puzzles, and many other puzzles which the conventional HIV=AIDS view has been unable to clear up to this day.

The article is "Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science", by Celia Farber. It's a compelling read, and demolishes the AIDS establishment, the Center for Disease Control and all, as another American racket, akin to the war on drugs or the war on terror. She starts off with the story of how a young black woman who gets a false positive from an HIV test (no one tried to do the test over) gets coaxed into a clinical trial for a new AIDS drug, to die from liver damage from the drug not too long after. (Since being positive for HIV is taken to be a death sentence, the usual concerns about drug toxicity are waved away by researchers and pharmaceutical companies.) The middle part of the article discusses a clinical trial of a new drug in Africa didn't meet minimal scientific standards, and how this was covered up by the CDC, with the usual efforts made to get one administrator who would not play along fired. The last part discusses Duesberg's theory, along with how the academic establishment has cut off all funding to him and rejected articles by him in refereed journals, once he published his critique of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis. If you're interested in the article, it is summarized here. I won't say any more about it, and will instead try to get across the main thrust of Duesberg's ideas.

I don't know how many people here remember how AIDS first made its appearance. Doctors in San Francisco and elsewhere noticed that gay men started coming down with a rare form of cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, in unusually high numbers. At the same time, it was found that the incidence of several diseases among IV drug users was on the increase. Initially, it was thought that that the incidence of these diseases was attributable to lifestyle. Many men use amyl nitrate upon their sexual encounters, which means they can use it thousands of times over the course of a few years. Amyl nitrate is a carcinogen. Similarly, sustained use of drugs like heroin or cocaine leads to malnutrition, which weakens the immune system. Thus, the increase in the incidence of these various diseases could be explained by a rise in drug abuse.

Although what one had was a rise in the incidence of several very different diseases, for whatever reason, the CDC decided to group them all together under the umbrella of "acquired immune deficiency", and announced the appearance of a new disease, AIDS. Several years earlier, retroviruses had been discovered. (Most viruses carry their genetic material in the form of DNA, which they inject into cells to take over the cells' molecular machinery. Retroviruses carry their genetic material in RNA, which is then reverse-transcribed into cells' own DNA.) Researchers in this field had been hoping to find retroviruses that produce cancer, but were not having much luck. When AIDS came on the scene, they started investigating whether they could find a retrovirus present in AIDS patients. In that they were successful; some of you might remember the nasty battle over scientific priority between Robert Gallo and a French scientist over the discovery of HIV. That AIDS is an infectious disease, and that HIV is the infectious agent, was announced by Joseph Gallo at a CDC news conference. In a matter of days, this was taken as an established truth by researchers in the field, and as a result of that, by the media.

Now, the first funny thing here is that this scientific "breakthrough" was announced at a press conference at a government agency. Usually, scientific discoveries are disseminated in scientific articles, which are vetted for valid reasoning and research technique by referees; in the case of a sufficiently important claimed discovery, people try to replicate the results, find supporting evidence, and so on. If some people find the claims of the article questionable, they will do their own experiments and research, and publish their contradictory results. Only after this period of debate is over will the new alleged knowledge be accepted as probably true and valid by scientists. This usual scientific process was not followed in the case of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis. In the US and Europe, as far as one can discern from published data, there appear to be virtually no cases of AIDS in which the patient took no drugs. But no study has ever been done to establish this conclusively one way or the other. If there is a history of drug use uniformly present in AIDS cases, then drug use would be an alternative explanation for AIDS. This is especially the case since after twenty years, no one has been able to explain how HIV destroys the immune system.

I am not an expert in molecular biology or virology, but I have published in philosophy of science. And the HIV=AIDS hypothesis has the tell-tale signs of bad science, such as paradoxes. For example, as Duesberg points out, it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself. And in any case, we know that infected T-cells do not die, since (immortal) lines of infected T-cells are used to produce HIV particles which are used to produce antibodies for HIV tests.

That brings me to another peculiarity of the HIV=AIDS dogma. What an HIV test tests for is antibodies. People who test positive for HIV can have no detectable HIV particles in them, only antibodies for HIV. (Or, more precisely, there may be HIV particles, but in such minute quantities that new laboratory techniques needed to be developed to detect them.) Now, antibodies for an infectious agent are what are left over when the organism has successfully put down the infection. Thus, Duesberg argues that HIV is what is called a "passenger" virus; it infects the body, but does no significant harm to it, and the body fights off the infection. (When I first read about HIV and AIDS, I remember how the story was that there is an "initial" period of infection of a few weeks, during which there will usually be a "low-grade fever".  Then the infection goes into some kind of slow-acting mode (as opposed to disappearing), gradually wearing away at the immune system for an average period of ten years, until the (highly disperate) symptoms of AIDS appear. The mechanism by which the immune system is weakened over this period has still not been explained.)

If Duesberg is right, what the AIDS establishment has led to is an immense tragedy, and thousands of unnecessary deaths. The standard regimen today for someone who has tested HIV-positive—even if he or she is exhibiting no symptoms—is to be put on a "coctail" of anti-retroviral drugs. These drugs are highly toxic. AZT for example was originally tried as an agent for chemotherapy; chemotherapy works by killing cancer cells more quickly than it kills normal cells. Thus, according to Duesberg, giving anti-retroviral drugs to people who test positive for HIV is like putting people without cancer on chemo.

One final part of the puzzle: according to Duesberg, the cause of AIDS in Africa is different from that in the US and Europe. Whereas in the latter it is produced by drug abuse and the administration of anti-retroviral drugs, in the former it is the result of poverty and consequent malnutrition. All diseases that are classified as AIDS were present in Africa before AIDS was discovered; incidents of these diseases are now simply relabled as AIDS.

This is an important issue in itself, but I thought it would be of special interest to dKos readers, since it is one further example of how something that is such a large part of our lives may quite possibly turn out to be just another lie. I highly recommend Duesberg's papers, available on his Web site.

EPILOGUE

I got a big surprise from the volume and ferocity of comments and raitings that my diary generated. All I did is provide a paraphrase, from my own point of view, of an article that appeared in a leading left-wing magazine, one that has both published an article arguing that the 2004 election was stolen, and—in the same issue as the piece on AIDS—an extended editorial laying down reasons why Bush must be impeached. In response, I have been branded a murderer and—even worse—been subjected to an orgy of troll ratings. These troll raitings have caused at least five of my replies to other people's posts to go down the memory hole, so that people without trusted users' status cannot read them. (I cannot read them myself, since the troll raitings caused me to use my own trusted user status.) Thus we saw at dKos the troll-rating system used as a means of censorship, in the same way that the peer-review process has been used against Duesberg. (Even my one "retraction"—in which I defer to a poster's comment that asymptomatic HIV-positive people are not today uniformly placed on an anti-retroviral regimen—was deleted by means of troll raitings, in an effort I suppose to make me seem obsessively dogmatic.)

It was an interesting experience. I'm glad I had it, since it's given me a good lesson about the psychology of a lot of posters at dKos, something about which I have otherwise been unaware, since I have not followed many flame wars.

Perhaps the best way to characterize the general response to my diary is to quote from an interview of Celia Farber, the author of the Harper's piece, in response to a question about how she was treated as a result of her reporting:

I was attacked, of course. My motives were impugned, my character, morality. People have tried to have me fired. I've been sabotaged. All kinds of bizarre things. I have been guilt-tripped since day one: "You're homophobic!" "Spreading dangerous theories!" "Scaring people away from AZT!" "Murderer!" But in that atmosphere, I did learn a lot about my favorite subject: mass hysteria.

CORRECTION

Frustration at the troll-rating that was done here caused me to post another diary, proposing that the troll-rating system be changed. In that diary, I got several posts from a biologist not working in the AIDS field saying that the grounds for the HIV=AIDS hypothesis are very solid. It sounds like he (or she) knows what he is talking about, so I have accepted his claim.

I now believe that I went overboard with my title that the Harper's article "explodes" HIV=AIDS. It appears that there is a lot of solid science behind this hypothesis. Thus, at our current state of knowledge, it is likely that HIV does produce AIDS, and that Duesberg is wrong.

That is not to say however that HIV=AIDS is an established fact, so that other explanations of AIDS should not be explored. Also, it is not at all to say that Harper's did not perform a very important service by publishing this article, and Celia Farber by researching and writing it and her many other articles on HIV/AIDS. Even if much or most of the science that gets done by the mainstream AIDS "community" turns out to be valid, there is so much money and particular agendas involved that this community can sure use some hard journalistic oversight.

Originally posted to Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:29 PM PST.

Poll

What do you think causes AIDS?

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18%67 votes
25%90 votes

| 360 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  omg (3.75)
    respectfully, this is inappropriate here, in my opinion. you're not really qualified as an expert, and this whole line of thought, which i reject comppletely, by the way, could be interpreted as giving medical advice.

    i think you should delete this and publish it somewhere with more give-and-take and a more informed audience.

    btw, this is a very, very old story. i'm frankly bummed it is in harper's- it debases their impeachment story by association.

    •  Reminds me of the New Yorker Cartoon.... (4.00)
      Is there a Dr in the house?

      No, but I have an MS in English literature.

      I do have a Ph. D. degree in genetics and have worked in virology.  I have followed HIV for over 20 years.

      This whole mythos is about 15+ years old.  It has been thoroughly discredited.

      THERE IS NOT A CONSPIRACY.  This is bunk.  

      All the philosophy in the world can't counter these cold facts.

      There is a similar virus in moneys and apes called SIV- Simian Immune Deficiency Virus- from which this virus probably mutated.  Koch's Principals hold for the infections.   HIV drugs work.  They were invented using the biology of the virus.  They are saving lives all around the world.   If you don't want to believe in these drugs. don't take them.  But please, do use a condom.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:56:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is the most insidious crackpottery (4.00)
        I agree, and a theory which also been promulgated by the Foo Fighters.

        Highly qualified they were, I'm sure.

        I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

        by Swampfoot on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:05:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a statistician (4.00)
        who has participated indirectly in AIDS/HIV research.

        This is simply idiocy.  He is actually asking for experiments testing the routes of infection - wow!

        Perhaps he will volunteer to be the first to be infected with the blood of a person who has HIV/AIDS, and then we will see if he is correct.

        •  Actually, (none)
          he has offered to inject himself with HIV in exchange for a million dollars.
          •  You'd think... (none)
            ...if he was so confident it was harmless he'd do it for free, just to make his case.

            As it is, what kind of a sicko would pay a million bucks to see a guy inject himself with HIV?

            •  He refused (none)
              I can't track down a reference for the million dollars request, but he pretty Duesberg pretty clearly actually refused to inject himself back in 1996:

              An ad hominem attack. Horton's reply of 8 August 1996 introduced a major new issue, namely an ad hominem attack on Duesberg. Horton endorsed a suggestion of self-experimentation, made by Barry Bloom, whom Horton characterized as "a respected investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in New York." Thus Horton appealed to an authority figure. Horton wrote:
              Here is a startling challenge. Duesberg accuses me of using "the argument of fear." If there is nothing to fear from HIV, he can easily prove it. If Duesberg seriously believes that HIV is harmless, let him inject himself with a suspension of the virus.
              Horton's logic is deficient on several counts. First, self-experimentation by Duesberg would not "prove" (let alone "easily prove") anything about a virus which is supposed to take ten years to achieve pathogenic effects.
              If Duesberg actually believed his own nonsense about HIV, he would have injected himself back in 1996, and we'd be at the point where we could expect results from the experiment.
      •  Koch's Principles (4.00)
        Koch was a german and a bitter rival of louis pasteur in the years before the war. He established the idea of pathogens and generally, bacteriology.
        He characterized Anthrax, TB and made himself a national hero in japan by explaining asiatic Cholera.

        The principle basically is: If you take some fluids or whatever from a sick critter and inject them into a healthy one, and the healthy one gets sick, then hey, it's a pathogen, and not swamp gas or fluoridation or juju or CIA mind control waves or whatever.

        I think you're making a weird semantic mistake: AIDS, as containing the words "Immune Deficiency Syndrome"- just the IDS part could sure be caused by drug use and starvation- but not the "Aquired" part.

        BTW, viruses tend to evolve away from higher kill rates: that's why ebola outbreaks burn out so fast- they kill too quickly.

        Capitalism and Nationalism are not your friends. God? Maybe.

        by Ihowl on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:22:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (4.00)
    For example, as Duesberg points out, it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself.

    You mean, like how every other virus destroys the cells it infects?

    That brings me to another peculiarity of the HIV=AIDS dogma. What an HIV test tests for is antibodies. People who test possitive for HIV can have no detectable HIV particles in them, only antibodies for HIV. Now, antibodies for an infectious agent are what are left over when the organism has successfully put down the infection.

    Antibodies exist whether an infectious agent has been taken care of or not.  If you are currently sick, you still have antibodies.  Just because antibodies exist doesn't mean the infection is over.

    Also, HIV/AIDS is a virus, thus incredibly hard to detect on its own. They search for antibodies because they're easier to find and, theoretically, you shouldn't have antibodies for HIV/AIDS if you aren't infected.

    By the way, from what I understand (and i'm hardly an expert) HIV/AIDS itself really has no symptoms.  Killing off t-cells does no inherent damage to you.  How people die is that they get an infection, and there is an insufficient number of t-cells left to fight it.  People rarely actually die of the AIDS virus itself. They usually die from complications.

    One final part of the puzzle: according to Duesberg, the cause of AIDS in Africa is different from that in the US and Europe. Whereas in the latter it is produced by drug abuse, in the former it is the result of poverty and consequent malnutrition.

    AIDS is caused by exchanging bodily fluids which contain the virus.  This can include unprotected sex (probably the case in Africa and in gay populations) or an infected person's blood coming in contact with a non-infected person's blood (as is the case with drug users).  "Poverty" isn't a cause of AIDS.  It may create situations which make transmitting aids more likely, but it isn't the "cause" of it.

  •  Im not sure i understand... (none)
    ...are you saying that AIDs is produced by poverty and drug abuse?  The question is then, why would gay men in San Francisco get the disease?

    And my second question is why has this not been picked up?  Drug companies want to sell more drugs?

    I don't know much about biology, so your explanation seems just as beleivable as any other.

  •  This is total crap, there is no controversy (4.00)
    unless you're a partisan of "Intelligent Design" or "No Global Warming" pseudoscience.

    What's next, the Earth is flat?  Are you going to revive the geocentric view of the Universe?

    Delete this diary, it is worse than worthless, it's reckless and offensive.

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:43:10 PM PST

    •  Duesberg's been pushing this stuff for years now.. (4.00)
      ...and yet the best he can offer is some anecdotal evidence and some pretty pathetic correlational analyses based on weak assumptions. Frankly I can't believe any journal would touch some of the crap he's managed to get published.

      As far as I'm concerned, if you've got a theory that is such a departure from the accepted theory, you damn well better back it up with some experimental data, not cherry-picked case studies.

    •  Nononononononononono! (none)
      Shh!  Or, as Limbaugh would say "Shutupshutupshutup!"

      This diary is a cunning test.

      How many people will support this specious idea?  This gives us a close approximation of what percentage are Bush's true rock-bottom; the folks who'll approve him despite no reason to, at all.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:29:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Old, tired, news, and misplaced here (4.00)
    Seriously, this is old tired stuff. Completely debunked through years of excellent science. I am also surprised to see this in Harpers in 2006.
  •  The simplest rebuttal (4.00)
    Health workers get AIDS by being stuck with HIV infected syringes.

    Sometimes, they dodge the bullet if they take antiretrovirals soon enough.

    Other than Hep C, HIV is one of the biggest daily concerns that physicians in a hospital try to avoid by BEING CAREFUL with needles.

    We're not dupes, and some of us even know people whose lives have been ruined by HIV infection on the job.

    The alternatives out there, which fail to back themselves with empirical evidence, are wishful thinking.

  •  More bullshit as I read further on... (4.00)
    "Since being positive for HIV is taken to be a death sentence, the usual concerns about drug toxicity are waved away by researchers and pharmaceutical companies."

    This is utter crap, I personally know of dozens of drugs that are effective against HIV in a test tube but haven't made it further because they are too toxic in humans, and tens of thousands more are out there.

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:46:48 PM PST

    •  Read the Harper's article (1.00)
      As I noted in the diary, a pregnant woman with a false-positive HIV test was killed by an anti-HIV clinical trial. So it does happen.

      Why are you so defensive?

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 08:11:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Old and tired theory (4.00)
    There was a time when Duesberg's theories were credible, but that time is long past.

    Promoting this misinformation can be dangerous, since some patients may decide to forego taking medications that are truly effective against an otherwise fatal disease.

  •  exploding the dogma? (none)
    don't put your dogma in the microwave. Also, don't believe that AIDS isn't caused by HIV.  

    An election does not make a democracy.

    by seesdifferent on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:50:03 PM PST

  •  Awesome! (4.00)
    So this means that as long as I remain middle class and don't abuse drugs, I can have as much unprotected sex as I want!  Thanks Alexander!

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:51:19 PM PST

    •  don't use poppers (none)
      and don't be gay or a poor african.
    •  Don't thank me (1.00)
      To quote from another piece:
      Actuary Robert W. Maver has examined the latest CDC data base and finds that the number of teen-age (13-19) cases of AIDS not involving homosexual or I.V. drug behavior is only 5. Five kids in the entire United States. The comparable number for 20- to 24-year-olds is 55. These minuscule numbers could be even smaller because teen-agers (and young adults) have been known to lie about their behavior. Even so, the chance of ending up as an AIDS case if you avoid homosexual and drug behavior is less than the chance of being struck by lightning. Nonetheless, on the basis of these vanishingly small numbers, school children throughout the United States are subjected to safe-sex education. (Dissenting on AIDS)
      The credentials given of the authors:
      Mullis of San Diego is the 1993 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction technique which is often used to search for fragments of HIV sequences. Johnson is the Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Thomas, a molecular biologist, is the president of the Helicon Foundation in San Diego and secretary of The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:16:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The article you link to is from 1994 (none)
        That's the best you can do?

        Oh, yeah, that's likely the best you CAN do!

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:12:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you do better? (1.00)
          Not a single poster on this thread has been able to link to any hard empirical data refuting Duesberg's position, as opposed to vague, third-hand types of assertions.

          The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

          by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:31:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which has NOTHING to do with MY point (none)
            And YOUR assertion that no one has debunked YOUR points by saying that they did not link to hard, emprirical data is ludicrous.

            Of course they did not link to empirical data. That's NOT the kind of thing a discussion like THIS calls for.

            However, YOU set up the strawman argument that SINCE no one HAS, it means something.

            And NOT only do you set up a strawman argument, you ALSO failed address the point I raised at ALL. Not one mention of it.

            I was not the one that authored this diary; you did. As such, it is NOT my job to provide you with information. YOU are the one that posted a link to an article from 1994. That's a ludicrous, 12 year old article to try to use as a source of information on this disease.

            If the discussion was about how many bones are in a human body, then an article from 1994 might be totally acceptable. But speaking about a disease that was not hardly known 20 years ago, and a disease about which SO MUCH more IS known since 1994, and then trying to use an article from 1994 as a resource is worse than idiotic - it's also disingenuous. If you WERE trying to make a reasonable point, you would know better than to use an article that old, but you cannot find ANYTHING that is current that supports your position. It's like anti-evolutionists attacking evolution because some of Darwin's ideas don't hold water. Disingenuous. And exactly what one would expect from you, considering your other contributions on this diary.

            Aren't you embarrassed enough yet? Why would you continue to make such a fool of yourself in public like this?

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 11:48:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  When Harper's (4.00)
    becomes a peer-reviewed scientific journal, then (and only then) might its opinion on matters scientific be worth reading. Until then, I'll stick to the science, thanks.
    •  Anyone else seen the Harper's article? (4.00)
      (It's not yet on line).

      If the thrust of the article truly says HIV does not cause AIDS, something at Harper's has broken down.

      Alexander, could you please let us know who the author is, and maybe transcribe a paragraph or two which backs up your contention?

  •  That's just such utter nonsense (4.00)
    it is hardly worth responding to.

    First of all, the claim that AIDS patients have no HIV, and only antibodies is demostrably false.  Indeed, there is such a thing as "viral load," i.e., number of HIV viruses in a ml of blood.  It can be and is measured.

    Second, the notion that because HIV virus needs T-cells to replicate means that it wouldn't destroy them is just utter nonsense.  Most if not all viruses replicate by entering a cell, getting their genetic material transcribed, assembling themselves inside the cell, and then literally bursting that cell to get out and repeat the process again and again.  HIV is no different.

    Third, the claim that AIDS has continued to remain in homosexual and IV-drug abusers population to the exclusion of others is false.  The fastest growing group of HIV infected people are heterosexual women.  They develop full blown AIDS with the same frequency and predictability as gay men.  That is to say, if they get a cocktail they are much more likely to lead a semi-normal life.

    Demanding publication of Duesberg's articles is like demanding publication of creationist theories of earth flattism in scientific journals.  They are nonsense.

  •  The bullshit just keeps coming... (4.00)
    "In the US and Europe, as far as one can discern from published data, there appear to be virtually no cases of AIDS in which the patient took no drugs."

    You start off talking about South Africa, why not admit that the vast mahjority of people in Africa who have and eventually die of AIDS have never, ever seen a Western drug?

    Full disclosure: I've spent over 6 months throughout Africa taking care of AIDS patients.

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:52:27 PM PST

  •  HIV/AIDS (none)
    What is next: an article describing how the government created HIV to kill blacks and gay men?
  •  I didn't even read this... (none)
    ...and flipped right to the bottom here, skipping the comments. But I bet this is that Dunesberg (sp?) guy at Berkeley (?). He's been on this kick for years. I think once he said he'd like inject the HIV virus for a million dollars or something to prove it didn't cause AIDS. He's basically an outcast.

    This isn't to say he's insane or should be ignored. Once in a great while the 'crazy guy' is right! But what he says should be taken with a grain of salt until he can convince most experts.

  •  HIV AIDS link (none)
    This all could be settled if someone could link us to a study in a reputable journal that shows a definite and causal link between HIV and AIDS.

    pro-life + no legislation = pro-choice

    by kennyc on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:02:39 PM PST

  •  Harper's eh? (none)
    Prove it.  They are still promoting the February Impeachment issue.
  •  I take exception with (4.00)
    so many statements you have made. However this one is just plain wrong!  

      The standard regimen today for someone who has tested HIV-positive--even if he or she is exhibiting no symptoms--is to be put on a "coctail" of anti-retroviral drugs.

    This is NOT true. I work as a Coordinator at an HIV/AIDS community organization and this is not how new positive persons are treated. As a matter of fact, meds are usually not started right away. I have people who have been positive for many years and do not take meds until their Viral Load rises dramatically or their CD4's drop drastically. And the antibodies test is the preliminary test, followed by a VL/genotyping. I find this information misleading and unfortunate

    aka aurora borealis. The belief we do not have choices is a fantasy, an unfortunate indulgence in abdication.- John Ralston Saul

    by jazzizbest on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:05:01 PM PST

    •  I'm a case in point (4.00)
      I tested HIV+ in 1985, almost 21 years ago, and not only have I never taken any meds, I've never had a doctor recommend that I do either. That's because my CD4s have never gotten low enough -- or my viral load high enough -- to warrant taking them.

      Now I know that I'm one of those rare people who are considered "long-term slow progressors," but I think my medical record proves that very few people, if any, are "forced" onto meds if they don't need them.

      •  exactly! (none)
        if CD4's are high enough and VL low there is no need to even start meds...I have many people I work with who are in that position. The area immunology specialist is against starting meds until absolutely needed....and I am happy to hear you are doing so well..

        aka aurora borealis. The belief we do not have choices is a fantasy, an unfortunate indulgence in abdication.- John Ralston Saul

        by jazzizbest on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:48:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have you volunteered (none)
        to have your immune system analyzed so that researchers can figure out why you, in particular, are a slow progressor?

        Sounds like you got some good genes, my friend.

        More power to you, and maybe you could be a key link in understanding the disease, the immune system, and how to combat the damned virus!

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:18:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, (none)
    there goes Harper's credibility to push for impeachment...I find it hard to believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, since as far as I know, the actual viral levels can be measured and viral level improvement corresponds to improved symptoms, etc...Harper's editorial board has noone to blame but themselves for not reviewing this with other scientists.  
    •  Harper's lost its credibility... (1.00)
      when it published an article saying the 2004 election was stolen. Or so most of the posters on this thread would think, I suspect.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:09:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Old, AND False News.... (4.00)
    HIV viral load is measurable in most infected people, and correlates directly with likelihood of developing AIDS.

    Antiretroviral drugs cause a measurable drop in viral load, followed by a rise in CD4+ count, and reduction in AIDS symptoms.

    The development of resistance to antiretroviral drugs in a patient leads to increasing viral load, decreasing CD4+ count, and worsening f AIDS symptoms.

    Changing to a new antiretroviral cocktail leads to decreasing viral load, followed by a rise in CD4+ count, and reduction in AIDS symptoms.

    Resistance to antiretroviral drugs is linked to specific mutations in the HIV genome.

    Go here:

    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/...

    and read.  Every one of the arguments you list is rebutted.

    Peter Duesberg may have had a point 20 years ago that the pathogenesis of HIV was incompletely understood, but to cling to HIV dissent at this point is just foolishness.

  •  I gotta say.. (4.00)
    ....being a chemist, and being sensitive to how much Americans demonize the pharmaceutical industry** I'm happy that this isn't simply siezed upon by everyone as being true - another plot by America's pharmaceutical industry. :-)

    **and sadly liberals are far more guilty of this than are Republicans...one of the few areas I tend to differ with liberals: pharmaceutical companies aren't evil, even if they can sometimes be corruptable as can be any business or person.

  •  Thanks. (4.00)
    I was dismayed to see this article, but heartened to read the responses.  I'm a doctor and know that there is no scientific controversy about whether HIV causes AIDS, any more than there's a scientific controversy about evolution.

    Thanks to everyone for not falling for pseudoscientific myth!

  •  What a crock of shit. (4.00)
    I'm telling you, we can't catch a friggin' break.  I can hear it now:  The magazine that is calling for the impeachment of the President is the same magazine that claims HIV doesn't cause AIDS.  

    Perfect.  Fucking perfect.  

    Democracy is wasted on Americans.

    by lightiris on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:14:02 PM PST

  •  I am trying really hard not to be angry (4.00)
    I have about 10 friends who died of AIDS.  Most of them never used drugs particularly NOT heroin cocain or Amyl nitrate.  All of them were gay men and all of them had unprotected sex at some time before they were diagnosed with HIV.  All of them had HIV.  The ones who took the most modern series of drugs lived the longest.  Those who got HIV in the early days, before the drugs we now have, died sooner.  
    They had unprotected sex with people with HIV, they got HIV and eventually they died of one oportunistic desease or another.  
  •  Pure bunkum (4.00)
    Virtually all the "facts" in your story are absolute rubbish. HIV/AIDS infection has followed different patterns in different countries depending on a number of factors, the main one being government response in providing information and prophylaxis.

     Quite frankly the assertion that infection has spread in Africa "because of poverty" is offensively racist. The typical cycle has been that the infection established itself in a highly mobile population because of the use of heterosexual prostitutes. Many Africans have to leave their family for comparatively well paid work as contract labourers (the South African mining industry being the prime example) or for long periods driving trucks.  These men used prostitutes while away from home and brought back the infection. While you can argue that this initial spread was indeed caused by poverty, there is no evidence that the infection is anything other than a bodiliy fluid spread disease. This is clearly demonstrable by the known deaths among the wealthy back elite - including the families of Mugabe.

    Mbeki's ignorance and moralising denial gave credence to the "not HIV" mantra but has been roundly condemned by the AIDS activists in his country. His inaction led to perhaps one of the most tragic misconceptions not being wiped out. Babies and young children continue to be raped and infected because of a myth that sex with a young virgin will provide a cure.

    Yes, there is some evidence that HIV/AIDS existed before it was "discovered" in thje USA. Among the earliest evidence are tissue samples from a sailor who died in the UK in I believe the 1950s.

    Most of all, your assertion that HIV infection is a " death sentence" is again offensive and factually wrong today.

  •  farber, duesburg, etc. (none)
    Basically are not credible these days.  Farber gets 12,400 google hits mostly on the same topic.  See also her wikipedia article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  In other news, (none)
    Michael Crichton says global warning is a scientific myth.

    He wrote Jurassic Park, folks. He's gotta be right.

  •  please take this down (4.00)
    This is discredited bullshit. And by the way, perpetuating bullshit like this is bullshit in and of itself. To the author: you need to pull your head out of your ass and read a little science before posting something like this.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:25:31 PM PST

  •  Well good thing... (none)
    that George Bush is doing the bare minimum to fight AIDs anyway, eh? He's not wasting too much money on this insidious plot is he??

    Man, I gotta say this is a pretty stupid diary. I'm surprised they don't say that flouridating water causes AIDs.

  •  I just replied to a friend (4.00)
    about a different article about the same subject, this one published on LewRockwell.com. Here's what I wrote:

    I remember hearing about this guy in this seminar course I took in college. He's very often cited by HIV conspiracy people because of his unorthodox views. He questions the theory of AIDS being caused by HIV, which is not really defensible. PhD's aren't really trustworthy when it comes to issues of clinical medicine. Think about how easy it is to fool doctors- tonsillectomies and bloodletting and all the other truisms that were later abandoned. Now imagine that innate misleadability without the grounding of a medical education or actual clinical experience and it makes this guy's theory a bit easier to understand.

    HIV spread in a classic infectious disease pattern- along the truck routes of Africa where drivers would stop for a quickie with prostitutes. A singe person (a flight attendant who was so promiscuous as to defy belief) was identified as the source of much of the spread in North America.

    I'll tell you what I've seen of AIDS. The clinical picture, the CD4 count, and the detectable amount of HIV vary very closely. Sure, you could claim that the HIV gets higher or lower as a consequence of the strength of the immune system, which is determined by other factors, but when you treat people with the appropriate drugs (that were designed to affect the reproduction of the HIV virus), they get better. Clinically better, more CD4 cells, and fewer detectable viruses.

    Experiments done on sooty mangabey monkeys showed that inoculating them with HIV would give them AIDS. A more direct proof is not even possible.

    Here are my problems with the article-
    "With regard to sexual transmission, only 1 in 1,000 unprotected sexual contacts transmit HIV. One in 275 U.S. citizens has antibodies to this virus. Therefore, an uninfected person would need to have 275,000 random unprotected sexual contacts in order to acquire sexually transmitted HIV."

    1. no citations. This cannot be considered fact.
    2. even if these numbers are true, nobody has "random sexual contacts"- people cluster based on their race/social status/sexual orientation/drug use habits and lower this theoretical probability drastically.
    "Prostitutes do not get AIDS, unless they are drug addicts; and wives of HIV-positive hemophiliacs do not contract AIDS from their husbands."
    Again, no citations. He's suggesting that only people who engage in receptive anal sex and intravenous drug abuse get HIV. This is flat out ridiculous, I've met plenty of people who were infected in other ways, including by their spouses. Clinical experience counts for something.

    "T cells infected with HIV placed in a test tube (in vitro) grow and thrive"

    I don't give a shit what happens inside that test tube. Those T cells could grow horns and battle for tube supremacy for all I care. When a test tube is an adequate substitute for human biology, please let the NIH know, because all clinical trials would become unnecessary and we could save enormous amounts of time and expense.
    "They hypothesize that AIDS is caused by three things, singly or in combination: 1) long-term, heavy-duty recreational drug use - cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, and nitrite inhalants; 2) antiretroviral drugs doctors prescribe to people who are HIV positive - DNA chain terminators, like AZT, and protease inhibitors; and 3) malnutrition and bad water, which is the cause of "AIDS" in Africa."

    This is one of the more offensive things in the article. AIDS preceded its own treatment. AZT wasn't used for a goddamn thing until about 7 years after AIDS came on the scene. And people treated with these drugs do much better, as I mentioned earlier. I did my internship at NYU Downtown Hospital, and they had 2 medical teams, red and blue. The main distinction was that HIV patients go to the Red team. We'd get like one or 2 HIV patients a month, invariably hospitalized because they got sick after not taking their meds. Why did they structure the entire medical service around 1 or 2 patients? They didn't, it was structured that way in the mid 80's, when the hospital was stuffed to the brim with HIV patients. They just never changed the structure. Where did all those patients go? There's still a ton of HIV out there. They just don't get as sick anymore, because all the new drugs came on the scene.

    To blame malnutrition and bad water on the epidemic in Africa is nauseating. Africa's population growth is slowing and may go into reverse in the next few years. What has changed in Africa? Why would its population increase for millennia in the face of rare food, rampant diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis, and bad water, then suddenly reverse in the early 21st century?

    "HIV-positive people treated with antiretroviral drugs have a four to five times higher annual mortality rate compared to HIV-positive people who refuse treatment with these drugs - 6.6-8.7 percent vs. 1.4 percent."

    No citation. Utter nonsense. Every person I've ever seen die of an AIDS related complication was not taking their meds.

    "Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize in 1993 for inventing the polymerase chain reaction, now used to measure HIV "viral load," states in his book Dancing Naked in the Mind Field (1998), "Years from now, people will find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those who excommunicated Galileo."

    Kary Mullis is a very intelligent man, but saturated with mind-altering substances. He conceived of PCR while on an acid trip, and freely admits that. I take everything he says with a grain of salt. Anyway, the fact that Mullis doesn't have HIV after all that drug use weakens Duesberg's own hypothesis.

    "Once the HIV-AIDS hypothesis is acknowledged to be false, a domino effect will impact other branches of science that government now controls. Academic leaders in the inner circle of the medical-industrial-government complex will be called to account. Industry will likely face lawsuits. And government agencies, particularly the NIH, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) will have a lot to answer for. Duesberg's work will do to biology and science in this century what Copernicus did to astronomy and science five centuries ago."

    This is some pretty wishful thinking right here. It's naïve bordering on fanatical. To think that one silly theory about the cause of a disease that most Americans have completely forgotten about will overturn the structure of medical research is just loony. Anyway, the government's research is pretty clean, it's the industry research that is twisted and altered. They don't even try to hide it, they just try to confuse people.

    The guy who wrote this article is unhinged. Yes, the NIH and the medical community were unduly harsh, but this isn't evidence of wrongdoing. Their treatment of Duesberg did more harm than good- it gave conspiracy theorists something to use as evidence and gave Duesberg an outsider's credibility. The fact that his cancer ideas have been investigated simply underscore that medical science is willing to accept different ideas and doesn't really care where they come from, as long as they have some grounding in reality.

    Thanks for the article, it's an interesting subject. Society's reaction to plagues is always just as intriguing as the biology of it. Bird flu's next.

    Democrats are here to remind us that life is unfair. Republicans are here to make sure it is.

    by spitonmars on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:31:05 PM PST

  •  Please delete this diary. (4.00)
    It's a bunch of retreaded crapola and let me tell you from very fucked-up personal experience: anti-retroviral drugs work, and they work very well.  This diary and National Enquirer level story could persuade someone who has potentially been exposed (as was my situation), to refrain from seeking prophylaxis treatment--which saved my life as I know it.  

    It might also persuade someone who has been infected to refrain from seeking treatment and thereby not only have more potential to spread the virus to others, but also face a terrible, terrible death as so many of my friends did before these drugs were available.

    Please delete this diary.  

    If you want to educate yourself about HIV and the many available treatments, try the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center: http://www.adarc.org/...

  •  Very disappointed in Harpers (none)
    I swear I first read about this crap at least 10 years ago.  Why are they putting this out now.  
  •  classy mcclassclass (none)
    I like how Alexander posts this nonsense, and doesn't stick around for anyone's responses.  

    And, yes, the sky is blue, the world is round, HIV causes AIDS.

  •  Peter Duesberg (4.00)
    Duesberg stopped reading the scientific literature around 1985.  I am amazed that every couple of years this comes up...and I wonder who is responsible for letting it resurface?  The concept of "lifestyle" leading to AIDS is ridiculous.  Koch's postulates are indeed fulfilled with HIV/AIDS.  Maybe this makes people feel better thinking that lifestyle and not some unseen, non-living particle can cause such havoc to a population.  I think the idea of "lifestyle" also feeds into the biases of many people concerning homosexual men.

    I have been fortunate enough in my short career as a virologist to interact with some of the best retrovirologists in the world.  One of them, Joe Sodroski, who is quite soft spoken and extremely calm, once told me about standing toe-to-toe with Duesberg at an early retrovirus meeting yelling and screaming at each other.  

    The National Academy of Sciences actually changed their paper submission process for their flagship journal, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences because of Duesberg.  As a member, he could basically submit whatever he wanted with little peer review, but that has now changed.

    On a side note, Duesberg is also a very controversial figure in the cancer biology field these days.  He was actually one of the first people to describe "oncogenes": genes that can lead to increased growth of cells and ultimately to cancer.  Oncogenes were initially described in viral systems.  Duesberg now says that oncogenes do not exist, and that large-scale chromosomal abnormalities (aneuploidy) proceed mutations in oncogenes, not the other way around (sort of a chicken-or-the-egg argument).

    Jesus H Christ: The H is for haploid.

    by Mote Dai on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:55:46 PM PST

    •  The Harper's article mentions Duesberg's... (1.00)
      critique of the oncogene theory, but I haven't looked at that.

      I don't see what your problem with Duesberg is. An orthodoxy exists, in which any alternative theory for the etiology of AIDS is rejected as out of bounds (in the same way that discussion of whether the 2004 election was stolen or Bush should be impeached is not permitted in the corporate media). Duesberg is one of the few people who has gotten published (despite the NAS's efforts) critiquing the accepted theory. Science always need to have the orthodoxy criticized, to keep it on its toes.

      And no, this is not like creationists challenging evolution, as someone in this thread has suggested. It is more like the steady state theory challenging the big bang theory. Although the steady state theory was ultimately rejected, challenges that it raised prompted defenders of the big bang theory to amass theoretical and empirical evidence that further confirmed that theory.

      As opposed to responding to the substantive points raised by their critics as cosmologists did to advocates of the steady state theory however, adherents of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis choose to respond by cutting off funds to their critics, and barring them from journals, as you note.

      This utterly thuggish, non-scientific behavior on the part of HIV=AIDS partisans is the main thing that makes me suspicious of this particular orthodoxy. Scientists do not solve their problems by figuring out ways to keep their oponents from getting published.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 10:26:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, we don't (none)
        If Duesberg isn't getting published or grants funded, then it's because his science is crap.


        Scientists do not solve their problems by figuring out ways to keep their oponents from getting published.

        Pro-life=Anti-sex

        by coigue on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:19:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But this diary gave all of you the chance (none)
    to refute and produce your own evidence.  

    Which is cool, because I'm totally ignorant and might in some other forum let this thought lay dormant in my brain waiting for the opportunity to make me a fool.

    You gotta love this forum ... tin-hattery is disposed of with facts in seconds.  

    I really believe much of this type of horse-hockery is just baiting to see how many will bite.

    So, I for one am glad the stupid hypothesis was presented ... and refuted.

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:05:30 PM PST

    •  Can you read the reply I posted earlier? (none)
      I can't. It has been censored with troll raitings.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:58:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's a difference (4.00)
    between accepting Duesberg's theories on what DOES cause AIDS, and not accepting the current theory that it's HIV. As long as the virus itself is not detectable--only by the presence of antibodies--there is a leap of faith being made that something else is not at play. Is it not possible that HIV is a trigger that acts in harmony with a genetic defect or other precipitating factor? In which case HIV wouldn't be the cause of AIDS; unknown condition X would be--triggered by HIV. It's a point echoed by the disease itself; as someone said you don't actually die of AIDS; you die of opportunistic infection. It's what confused doctors in the very beginning--how are these people getting the sarcoma or pneumocystis?

    What is manifested is not necessarily the cause. And while I certainly won't stick up for Duseberg's answers, I'm not at all ready to dismiss his questions.

    •  HIV is detectable (none)
      That's just not how they test for it, because that test is too expensive.  The HIV antibody test, however, is a good substitute: if you have antibodies, you have been exposed to HIV; if you don't have antibodies - well, you may or may not have been.  Once you test positive for the antibodies, doctors will run other tests to determine how much virus is in the bloodstream.

      "...with liberty and justice for al[most everybody]."

      by PeteyP on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:56:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is how they test for TB (none)
        Anyone ever had the little bubble test?

        It confirms ONLY that you have been exposed to TB at some point in your life.

        It does NOT tell them that you have TB - it ONLY tells them that they should do some further research to see if you have an active case of TB.

        ...but not your own facts.

        by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:04:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  better blog for posting this crap (4.00)
    try here:

     http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/

    lets keep the crazy crap all in one spot where we can go for a few laughs.

  •  Last time I checked, (4.00)
    AIDS in the US and Europe is not even close to being restricted to gay men and IV drug users.

    What a great message to send, which is to stigmatize a certain amount of the population.

  •  Eggplant Parmesan! (4.00)
    1 large or three small eggplants
    3-4 eggs (as needed), beaten
    2-2 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs (as needed)
    2 cans (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes
    1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
    mushrooms to taste, if desired
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsps dried basil
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp white pepper
    Dash of olive oil
    6 oz. sliced mozzarella
    6 oz. sliced or grated parmesan

    Peel and slice eggplant into 1/2- to 1/4-inch thick slices (about 12 slices).  Salt slices, let stand in bowl at room temperature for 30 min.  

    In another bowl, mix tomatoes, sauce, mushrooms if desired, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, white pepper and olive oil.

    Pat slices dry with paper towels.  Dip slices into eggs, then crumbs.  Arrange on cookie sheet and broil 4 inches from flame for 7-10 min.  Arrange half of eggplant in the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish.  Cover with half of sauce mixture, then half of cheese.  Repeat another layer.  Cover, bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.  Serve with spaghetti, if desired.

    Alex
    Choose Our President 2008

  •  You have no case. (4.00)
    By your own admission, you are not an expert in molecular biology or virology. But here is your case, totally debunked:

    People with AIDS have only one common denominator: The HIV virus.

    Before HIV infection became widespread in the human population, AIDS-like syndromes occurred extremely rarely, and almost exclusively in individuals with known causes of immune suppression, such as chemotherapy and underlying cancers of certain types. A marked increase in unusual infections and cancers characteristic of severe immune suppression was first recognized in the early 1980s in homosexual men who had been otherwise healthy and had no recognized cause for immune suppression. An infectious cause of AIDS was suggested by geographic clustering of cases, links among cases by sexual contact, mother-to-infant transmission, and transmission by blood transfusion. Isolation of the HIV from patients with AIDS strongly suggested that this virus was the cause of AIDS. Since the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS have been repeatedly linked in time, place and population group; the appearance of HIV in the blood supply has preceded or coincided with the occurrence of AIDS cases in every country and region where AIDS has been noted. Individuals of all ages from many risk groups - including men who have sex with men, infants born to HIV-infected mothers, heterosexual women and men, hemophiliacs, recipients of blood and blood products, healthcare workers and others occupationally exposed to HIV-tainted blood, and male and female injection drug users - have all developed AIDS with only one common denominator: infection with HIV.

    Koch's Postulates:

    Among many criteria used over the years to prove the link between putative pathogenic (disease-causing) agents and disease, perhaps the most-cited are Koch's postulates, developed in the late 19th century. Koch's postulates have been variously interpreted by many scientists, and modifications have been suggested to accommodate new technologies, particularly with regard to viruses (Harden. Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli [II] 1992;14:249; O'Brien, Goedert. Curr Opin Immunol 1996;8:613). However, the basic tenets remain the same, and for more than a century Koch's postulates, as listed below, have served as the litmus test for determining the cause of any epidemic disease:

       1. Epidemiological association: the suspected cause must be strongly associated with the disease.
       2. Isolation: the suspected pathogen can be isolated - and propagated - outside the host.
       3. Transmission pathogenesis: transfer of the suspected pathogen to an uninfected host, man or animal, produces the disease in that host.

    With regard to postulate #1, numerous studies from around the world show that virtually all AIDS patients are HIV-seropositive; that is they carry antibodies that indicate HIV infection. With regard to postulate #2, modern culture techniques have allowed the isolation of HIV in virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all HIV-seropositive individuals with both early- and late-stage disease. In addition, the polymerase chain (PCR) and other sophisticated molecular techniques have enabled researchers to document the presence of HIV genes in virtually all patients with AIDS, as well as in individuals in earlier stages of HIV disease.

    Postulate #3 has been fulfilled in tragic incidents involving three laboratory workers with no other risk factors who have developed AIDS or severe immunosuppression after accidental exposure to concentrated, cloned HIV in the laboratory. In all three cases, HIV was isolated from the infected individual, sequenced and shown to be the infecting strain of virus. In another tragic incident, transmission of HIV from a Florida dentist to six patients has been documented by genetic analyses of virus isolated from both the dentist and the patients. The dentist and three of the patients developed AIDS and died, and at least one of the other patients has developed AIDS. Five of the patients had no HIV risk factors other than multiple visits to the dentist for invasive procedures (O'Brien, Goedert. Curr Opin Immunol 1996;8:613; O'Brien, 1997; Ciesielski et al. Ann Intern Med 1994;121:886).

    So, all of this stuff that Duisberg spouts is nonsense because it does not answer the central premise of the arguments.

    You do not understand the first thing about science. Science is based on observation, not philosophy. Yet you are making your case based on philosophy, rather than observation. That is the sort of belief system that led to the Dark Ages -- people believed in philosophy and appeals to authority rather than evidence based on observation.

    Furthermore, in science, you must present a falsifiable hypothesis that people can prove wrong through experiments. Neither you or Duisberg have been able to do so.

    •  Thanks Eternal Hope... (4.00)
      Lemme guess... Alexander will still maintain that there were no substantive rebuttals of his original post. Would he know a scientific  argument if he saw one, or how to weigh evidence?

      Alexander, your post would have been ignored if people weren't concerned that you were doing harm with it, by rehashing old arguments that some people used to make their own treatment decisions before these ideas were disproven years ago.

      •  You're right on your first point (2.00)
        This isn't about treatment decisions. This was supposed to be an examination of a scientific debate. Bringing treatment decisions into the picture makes things personal and emotional, something which does not create a good environment for considering scientific problems.

        The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

        by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:11:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're completely wrong about the philosphy (none)
      Science is based not only on observation, but also on reasoning. A classical example of this is Newton's theory of gravitation. Even after Newton showed that it made all kinds of astoundingly precise predictions, it was treated with resistance, because it involved something that was ruled impossible by the metaphysics of the day: action at a distance. It was only after the requirement that all forces involve interactions of physically contiguous particles was dropped that Newton's theory was accepted by the scientists of that time.
      And this change in the concept of a force was not based on observation, but on philosophical argument.

      My main point is that proponents of HIV = AIDS have not been able to produce an explanation of how the latency phase of HIV infection is able to destroy the immune system, i.e. say what the mechanism of this process is. You don't have to be a philosopher to raise this objection. Working scientists all the time ask about what the mechanism is, as opposed to just worrying about getting the right predictions. You are arguing from an understanding of science—logical positivism—that was rejected in the 1970s.

      As for your quotes of the official US government position on AIDS, arguing that HIV = AIDS satisfies Koch's postulates: I believe I responded to that last night. I can only conclude that the reason I can't see my response is that I was troll-rated, and this diary has made me lose my trusted user status. Science in America.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:09:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not just reasoning. (none)
        Other scientists did their own experiments and concluded that Newton's theory of gravity was totally sound.

        But you use a non sequitur when you say that because scientists do not know how the process works that HIV does not cause AIDS. Just because science does not have a complete understanding of the process does not mean that science has not proven the existance of the AIDS virus. In fact, studies show that the only common denominator for AIDS is the HIV virus, as I pointed out above.

        But HIV meets all of the conditions of Koch's postulates, and just about every scientist has accepted that -- not just US government scientists. I fail to see how it doesn't.

        •  It's not quite a non sequitur (none)
          But you're right, I didn't make clear my reasoning, so you make good points all around. (I'm not sure that HIV meets Koch's postulates, since Duesberg doesn't think it does, but that's open to debate, so we're not going to settle it here.)

          My response to your middle paragraph is that I have embraced a particular understanding of the scientific process, the interpretation of Kant's philosophy of science by a leading late-twentieth century philosopher of science, Gerd Buchdahl. According to empiricism, the only thing that matters when considering a proposed scientific theory is empirical verification. You bring up a second criterion, when you note that HIV is the only "common denominator" for AIDS. Buchdahl, and other contemporary philosophers of science such as Philip Kitcher, call this unification. But according to Buchdahl (and Kant), there is a third component to science: explication. That is why I believe that, to use your words, "because science does not have a complete understanding of the process" means that "science has not proven the existance of the AIDS virus". Or rather, I think that science has proven the existance of the AIDS virus: it simply hasn't proven that HIV (the alleged AIDS virus) causes AIDS.

          Thus, I have been arguing from a view of science according to which the process of confirmation is considerably more complex than how it is usually presented, in high school or college science classes for example. I cannot prove that my view of science is correct, but I believe that this account of science better fits the historical record of how scientific revolutions such as Newton's or Darwin's transpired than simpler, empiricist views.

          So that is where my investment lies: in a particular philosophy of science, not in a particular theory of what causes AIDS. It's just that the conventional account of AIDS does not come across as very convincing according to my view (philosophy) of science, which—I should also note—goes against mainstream philosophy of science. So I guess there's nothing left for us (or me, at any rate) to do but keep quiet about this, and see how HIV=AIDS plays out in the next 5, or 10, or 20 years.

          The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

          by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:21:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Alexander, (4.00)
    There were plenty of citations to either original research or reviews of other research articles in the link I gave you.  Do your own homework. ;-)

    The simple fact is that the debate is over.  

    If you have, as you say, done any studying of the philosophy of science, you know that the basis of science is the Scientific method.

    You formulate an hypothesis.  That hypothesis makes certain predictions.  If those predictions turn out tot be true, your hypothesis is most likely true.

    The "HIV causes AIDS" Hypothesis, formulated in 1984, makes certain predictions, like that viral load will be predictive of disease, and that inhibiting viral replication will lessen disease.

    Those predictions turned out to be true.

    The "HIV does not cause AIDS" hypothesis also makes certain predictions, like AIDS will be restricted to its original risk groups, and that antiretroviral therapy will have no effect on the disease.

    Those predictions turn out to be false.

    You can believe or not as you wish, but when you choose not to, you leave the realm of science and enter the realm of faith.  And of all the things to abandon reason for, this might be the stupidest.

    •  What you call the "scientific method"... (none)
      is the view of logical positivism. Logical positivism was debunked in the period from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Perhaps the name T. S. Kuhn, and the phrase "scientific revolutions", mean something to you?

      Kuhn's view is that the process of paradigm change in science—and clearly the proposition that HIV produces AIDS is a paradigm, since it guides and determines all AIDS research—is irrational. The alternative to this view requires supposing that there are other rational criteria for deciding between rival theories besides direct empirical evidence. (One of the reasons logical positivism was rejected is that it was shown that empirical criteria alone can rarely provide sufficient evidence for rejecting one theory in favor of another, if the two theories are sufficiently different, as is clearly the case in the HIV = AIDS debate.) One such criterion is whether a theory can offer explanations for the phenomena it posits. My main criticism of the HIV = AIDS hypothesis is that holders of that view cannot explain how the HIV virus destroys the immune system during the latency period.

      Because the conventional view in AIDS research has this gaping hole, the scientific method requires that the conventional view must continue to be subjected to criticism.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:03:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is an ignorant pile of crap (none)
        The scientific method is not the same as logical positivism, Kuhn is not the last word in philosophy of science, the proposition that HIV produces AIDS is not a paradigm, and logical positivism was rejected because it was self-contradictory.  That HIV produces AIDS is no more a "paradigm" than the fact that H. Pylori causes ulcers is a "paradigm".  And Karl Popper, who gave us the notion of falsification that is central to the modern scientific method, was a harsh critic of logical positivism.

        As for your "main criticism", it is argumentum ad ignorantiam that has no place in science, much like Michael Behe's claims that evolutionary biologists can't explain how the flagellum and blood clotting systems evolved.  There are always unanswered questions, but that does not undo answered questions and established findings -- to treat them as if they did is a logical fallacy.

        •  Fuck Karl Popper (none)
          Contemporary, mainstream philosphers of science consider him to be nothing more than the founder of a personality cult. Today, only dilletants and not very talented autodidacts pay any attention to his "ideas".

          The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

          by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:33:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I had many, many friends die of AIDS (4.00)
    in the 1980s and early 1990s.  I have cleaned their toilets.  I have fed them.  I have washed their bodies.  I have visited them in the hospital.  I have held their hands as they gasped for breath.  I have seen beautiful bodies become wreckage.  I have stood by their beds as they gasped their last breaths and died.

    Since the advent of these "killer" medications, I have not gone through experience.  Not once.

    I find your diary profoundly offensive, and I have earned the right to say so.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:04:31 AM PST

    •  You don't need to earn the right to express... (2.00)
      your feelings. I always thought you were born with it.

      I'm very sorry that you had to go through the experience of seeing your friends die.

      But part of the reason I wrote the diary is that the article I wrote about showed that HIV-negative people have been killed by clinical trials to find the newer, better HIV med. I think the deaths of those people means something, too.

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10:44:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course, the preventable death of (4.00)
        anyone means something, but the reasoning in your diary is chock-o-block full of illogical conclusions.  People were certainly dying from AIDS well before a single medication had been invited to fight HIV.  The very fact that many people with HIV who take medications don't progress to AIDS-related conditions while people who fail to take those drugs largely develop diseases is itself evidence for something.

        Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

        by DCDemocrat on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:52:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  He is arguing his point respectfully. (3.00)
    All the troll ratings seem like ratings abuse due to disagreement to me.

    It seems like the arguments should win the point, and that they should not be hidden.

    Rick
    -7.75 -6.05
    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:53:49 AM PST

    •  I disagree (4.00)
      This diary is, if not already over the line clearly established by Markos about conspiracy theory crap clogging up the site, perilously close to it. Nor would I call the repeated posting of strawmen and other unsubstantiated claims on a par with the original diary "argument" in any applicable sense. I stand by my troll ratings.
    •  Ratings ABUSE (4.00)
      I did NOT give ANY of his remarks troll ratings UNTIL he had clearly shown no regard for other posters. Not UNTIL he had distorted what other posters had ACTUALLY done, made strawman arguments, dissed other posters for no good reason, and finally claimed that no one had provided him relevant evidence when I KNOW FOR A FACT that I had done so hours earlier.

      It fits the definition well.

      Then YOU go and downrate GREAT posts - not only do you artificially uprate HIS posts, but for NO good reason you downrate other posts.

      And when I looked at YOUR history, you uprated other troll posts in the last couple of days - raheil soleil and daXX, to name two of them.

      It is NOT your job to counter the opinions of others. If you HAVE disparate opinions, feel free to express them, but this bullshit behavior you have shown here, downrating valid criticisms and over-crediting troll posts simply to even things out is ratings abuse. It should stop, and I did report it to the site.

      I have not seen a SINGLE troll rating that was due to disagreement on this thread. Except from YOU, that is. The posters that troll rated Alexander's posts did NOT do so because of their disagreement, and there is NO evidence that it's the case that they did.

      ...but not your own facts.

      by slouise217 on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 12:13:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I rated one post a 2 in this thread, (none)
        Yours, becuase the subject was a personal insult:
        Dunce.

        I don't have time to explain all the 2s I give out.

        Sorry your feelings were hurt.

        I see a lot of troll rating honestly made comments with a sort of mob mentality.

        Part of the trusted user job is UPRATING unfairly downrated posts, I have been told in other threads....

        I also have read that you are supposed to rate the POST, not the user.

        People deserve a chance to change their ways, if if a post is not offensive, it should not be troll rated because the user has been troll rated in the past.

        Good Night,

        Rick
        -7.75 -6.05
        Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

        by rick on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:14:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did NOT downrate a SINGLE post personally (none)
          There is not ONE post of Alexander's that I downrated because of the signature at the bottom of the post.

          NOT ONE.

          EVERY post I downrate or troll-rate is expressly because of the post itself.

          I am one of the people that will argue that it IS the post, and NOT the poster, that is the troll.

          And I do NOT call people names.

          If they demonstrate that they are lying, I will call them a liar. Is it name calling to call John Wayne Gacy a murderer? Of course not. And so it was not name calling to call Alexander a dunce in the post that I did. He self-identified himself as a dunce by saying that the ONLY differences between those people with AIDS in Africa and those in Europe and the US were the differences that the scientist he quoted was positing as causes. And that's ludicrous. And made him a dunce, because at least 3 people had debunked that assertion by that time.

          You HAVE uprated NUMEROUS troll posts. And you HAVE unfairly downrated numerous non-troll posts in retaliation.

          It's both things that YOU do that are wrong.

          ...but not your own facts.

          by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:46:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just disagreement. (4.00)
      You're falling into the trap -- you're giving his views a false equivalence that they do not deserve to have. These theories that he is spouting have been debunked years ago, as I have posted elsewhere on this site. He does not give any testable hypothesis that we can disprove, and he does not even, by his own admission, know anything about virology. Yet he claims to pontificate that we should throw out everything we know about AIDS.

      Let me ask you this -- if a White Supremacist were to post here (assuming he was civil and used psuedo-scientific language), would you be the knight in shining armor, running to his rescue, and crying ratings abuse?

      People are dying because of this man's views. Just look at South Africa where 1/4 of the people there are infected with AIDS because their leader holds the same view this poster does -- that HIV does not cause AIDS.

      We are supposed to be the party which promotes and celebrates human life. Therefore, views that promote the destruction of human life -- like this poster's views -- are not worthy of our consideration and should be troll-rated.

      •  It is a common trap (4.00)
        It is a common device used by Creationists as well.  After the REAL debate is over, they continue to keep coming back with points that may appear valid to the layman.  They attempt to place their nonsense on equal footing - "Intelligent Design" being the most recent attempt.

        It follows the same basic pattern.  Present a bunch of arguments that make sense to the ignorant, and then demand YET ANOTHER debate on settled matters.

  •  Duesberg is complicit in the deaths (4.00)
    of many many South Africans because oof his irresponsible and unsubstantiated claims. Even Mbeki admits AIDS is caused by HIV now. But he is responsible for delaying a response.

    As a result South Africa has one of the highest HIV-AIDS rates in the world.

    So, your opinions kill, Alexander. They deserve to be zeroed.

    •  You are the flip-side of a pro-lifer (2.00)
      "Pro-lifers" say that abortions are murder. You're saying that opinions kill. The fanaticism is the same.

      Or would you like to be compared to Lenin? The ends justifies the means. Give zero ratings—thus denying the right to free speech, which I thought Americans believed in—to save lives. But how can you know what saves lives, if you suppress debate about how to save them???

      The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

      by Alexander on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:42:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strongly disagree with you (none)
      Whatever the merits or lack thereof in this discussion about AIDS treatments/causes, I think your "opinion" that Alexanders "opinions" deserve to be "zeroed" are way outta line.  His reasoning is thoughtfully and cogently presented, whatever the merits.  

      Zeroes are for troll rating.  There is nothing here that I can see that warrants a troll designation for Alexander's contribution here at dKos.  If you don't like it, don't read it.

      http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2006/2/24/13189/2998/57#57

      by sockpuppet on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:29:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree all you want. (none)
        this is a troll diary.

        Pro-life=Anti-sex

        by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 03:40:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In your opinion only (none)
          And you know what they say about opinions and how everybody has one?

          I have no opinion on the contents of this diary either way.  I am not a scientist nor a doctor, so I'm not in any position to evaluate the validity of the claims or discussion pursued herein.

          BUT...I do know a thoughtfully presented opinion when I see one, and last I checked, such input is welcome at dKos, as long as it is civil and with intent to contribute, not merely to disrupt and inflame.  This diary and all the opinions you troll-rated definitely fit the criteria of valid contributions here that I described above.

          Get over it.  Opinions don't kill people.  Repression of opinions kills people.

          •  Yep....and my opinion counts (none)
            just like your's does.

            I AM a scientist, I know people who have died of AIDS, I have been to S. Africa and studied the history of this controversy somewhat. I have seen fresh graves of Aids victims, and visited an orphanage for kids with AIDS in Cape Town. S. African President Mbeki used the opinions of Duesberg to avoid dealing with AIDS and you bet it killed people. If people revert to risky behavior because they listen to people like Alexander here, you bet it kills people.

            Your thinking is naiive.

            Pro-life=Anti-sex

            by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:25:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then argue (none)
              exactly this with as much vehemence as you've got evidence/direct experience ammo to argue with.  Such debate is much needed, as others have pointed out since...

              I still disagree with the troll rating.

              And yes, I've long been following the controversy of Mbeki and the "AIDS is not a real disease" meme.  I didn't see that argued here, not in those terms.

              But then, I wasn't following the discussion that closely for details, coming in on this so late.  I was mostly monitoring the posts for tone and intent, which as far as I can tell, seems passionate and genuinely interested on all sides.  No trolling here.

              And bravo to you for your work in Africa on the AIDS crisis there.

              •  I did. (none)
                and I have in previous diaries.

                Misconceptions of AIDS do result in risky behavior and in prejudice.

                Just like misrepresentations of birth control...I would also troll-rate anyone who came on this site claiming that condoms do not prevent STDs.

                Pro-life=Anti-sex

                by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:45:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But if they came on (none)
                  "claiming that condoms do not prevent STDs" as a result of some article they saw posted in a major journalistic magazine, like Harpers or Vanity Fair, then why troll-rate someone for presenting such for discussion?  That is a valid discussion for dKos, imo.  

                  (Someone just cruising by with a potshot that "condoms do not prevent STDs", with no content (or "foundation", as we say in the legal biz) would be a troll shot worthy of being zeroed out, I agree.  But not when an opinion is thoughtfully presented, regardless of how much I may disagree with its premise.  And I've been known to give 4's, even while expressing complete disagreement, just because of the thoughtfully considered opinion offered)

                  I still strongly disagree with you about zeroes for censorship.  These are repressive tactics.  And unfortunately, I will counter them whenever I ENcounter zeros just for disagreements.  I believe that's ratings abuse.

              •  P.S. I don't work on the AIDS (none)
                crisis, I simply went to see while I was there, and I was educated.

                I was there for a scientific conference, but not on AIDS. I went to the orphanage to volunteer, but they wouldn't let me so I donated items and money. Mostly, I just learned and saw.

                Pro-life=Anti-sex

                by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 04:48:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  His opinions were NOT thoughtfully thought out (none)
                Many of his comments are NOT visible now to the average Joe.

                His comments were NOT valuable, added NOTHING to the discussion, were not intended to further the discussion, and appeared to be simply attempts to incite and inflame.

                Troll post definition above.

                ...but not your own facts.

                by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:56:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Disagree with you. n/t (none)
                  •  I don't think YOU were there (none)
                    I was.

                    I TRIED to have a reasonable conversation with the guy.

                    When he would get a response to which he could NOT reply without admitting his errors, in ALL cases but ONE, he failed to respond.

                    When he DID address issues others raised, he was disingenuous.

                    He LIED about the contrary information that he received, and he created numerous strawman arguments.

                    His arguments were NOT well thought out. HE ignored the evidence that others presented to him.

                    ...but not your own facts.

                    by slouise217 on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 01:22:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  If you know a thoughfully considered comment (none)
            And YOU think that ALL of Alexander's posts WERE that, then you DON'T know a thoughtfully considered comment.

            Because many of his were not.

            And it was NOT until he demonstrated that he was NOT making thoughtfully considered comments on a repeated basis, including saying that NO ONE had debunked anything he had said, and NO ONE had made any substantive posts refuting his positions when people HAVE that I went back and troll-rated several of his comments.

            He was making troll posts. Of that there is no doubt.

            And there is NO evidence that ANY of his posts were troll rated because of the opinion they expressed. It was the way he was expressing the opinion that was the issue.

            Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

            One's opinion should be based UPON all the knowbable facts.

            It's pretty simple here - there is NO way that the scientist's ideas that Alexander pushed in this diary are reasonable opinions based upon the known facts.

            ...but not your own facts.

            by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:05:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nuh-uh! (none)
        This is either a conspiracy theory diary or close enough to one not to matter. Such diaries are, by definition of the site's owner, devoid of content--as are comments that do nothing more than mindlessly regurgitate the same old crap, over and over and over again. This diary, and Alexander's comments on it, are chock full of logical fallacies, shoddy reasoning, dubious assumptions asserted as obvious facts, and a studied unwillingness to respond to counterarguments except by more vehemently repeating his original premises. That doesn't count as either "thoughtful" or "cogent" in my book. And the merits of this material are entirely absent.
  •  yes, i also believe the earth is flat (none)
    evolution is bunk

    the sun revolves around the earth

    harry potter was not fiction

    the Loch Ness monster is real

    and i just bought some land in the lush tropical forests of Arizona (hey, the seller showed me photos!)

    The "evidence" (and i use that word extremely lightly in this case) you show here is about as good as that which proves the above things.

  •  Refutation (none)
    The following link will take you to a myriad resources, scientific papers and refutations of AIDS/HIV 'dissenters' that you'll ever need:

    http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/...

    spend a few days reading them, then stop spreading some very dangerous falsehoods.

  •  It has nothing to do with mass hysteria. (none)
    What it has to do with you and Ms. Farber spreading the worst sort of ignorant crackpotism, the sort that really does kill people.  Notably, your Epilogue does not address or acknowledge any of the factual rebuttals of the numerous false claims in your diary.

    it does not make sense that HIV would destroy T-cells (which is what it infects), since it needs the T-cells to replicate itself

    How did you ever pass any philosophy course, let alone a philosophy of science course, if you think that is a "paradox"?  Gee, it makes no sense that diseases kill people, when the disease organisms need people to reproduce?  Are you really unaware that all viruses destroy the cells that they infect?  Did you have to think long and hard to come up with the notion that this is a "paradox"?   Or did you start with a hostility to science, perhaps picked from the sort of ideologues who infest philosophy departments these days, and "fix the facts" around it?

    There is scientific controversy about whether HIV actually causes AIDS

    I suppose you think there's a scientific controversy about whether evolution can explain biodiversity and the complexity of life, too.

    •  I shouldn't have said 'all' (none)
      A little googling produces mention of non-lytic viral exocytosis.  Of course, google is of no interest to someone who writes about philosophy of science but is uninterested in actual science, as opposed to crackpot conspiracy theories in popular magazines.
      •  This argument is Duesenberg's (none)
        Duesenberg is a virologist. I took the risk of supposing that a virologist wouldn't make a whopper of a mistake about viruses.

        In any case, David Ho published a paper in Nature in 1995 (19 January) which, in John Maddox's words,  produced "the new view of HIV". According to this view, HIV does not kill CD4+ cells. Instead, the immune system itself kills off CD4+ cells, by reacting "hyperactively to HIV infection". This article was extremely influential, producing the new regimen of attacking HIV with a cocktail of protease inhibitors to "eradicate" HIV from the body. (In case you don't read Nature, Ho was on the cover of Time for his discovery.)

        Thus, whether HIV kills T-cells is up in the air, even among mainstream AIDS researchers.

        The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, whereas a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

        by Alexander on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:05:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yet you suppose (none)
          all other virologists are making a whopper of a mistake.

          odd.

          Pro-life=Anti-sex

          by coigue on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 01:17:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yet again (none)
          A paper from 1995?

          You did this same thing with a paper from 1994.

          A paper about the number of bones in a human's body from 1994 would NOT be controversial - but the scientific knowledge about a disease that has only been identified for about 20 years has changed so drastically in the past 10-12 years that for YOU to use a paper that is 11 years old as a resource is ludicrous.

          The fact that a paper was written in 1995 means that something is up in the air TODAY? And somehow the fact that HIV researchers may not know all the ins and outs of the disease means that the scientific theory you have been whoring here DOES stand up?

          The fact that scientists don't know all the facts about how evolution works and the fact that the historical fossil record is not complete says NOTHING about the true of evolution in general.

          Geesh.

          It is THIS type of comment that makes YOU a troll making troll posts.

          "Something happened in 1994 or 95, therefore blah, blah, blah."

          Really poor debate skills.

          ...but not your own facts.

          by slouise217 on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 11:12:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  More recent scientific quotes (none)
            I think it says something about the HIV theory of AIDS that after 20 years of intense research, the foundational assumption (that HIV kills T-cells) remains unproven.

            An article titled HIV-1 Pathogenesis by Mario Stevenson, a professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Nature Medicine, July 2003, "20 Years of HIV Science") makes the following admissions:

            "There is a general misconception that more is known about HIV-1 than about any other virus and that all of the important issues regarding HIV-1 biology and pathogenesis have been resolved".

            "..it is debatable whether lymphocyte damage is due to the direct killing of infected cells..."

            "Despite considerable advances in HIV science in the past 20 years, the reason why HIV-1 infection is pathogenic is still debated."

            "Since the recognition of this syndrome in 1981, considerable efforts have gone into identifying the mechanism by which HIV-1 causes disease and two major hypotheses have been forwarded."

            A 2002 Mainstream Paper is even more blunt:

            "The mechanism(s) by which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes depletion of CD4 lymphocytes remains unknown."

            How long will this central disease-causing mechanism have to remain elusive until it will become permissible and legitimate to question whether the underlying assumption is correct in the first place? Another 10 years? 20 year?

            •  Do I know you? (none)

              Pro-life=Anti-sex

              by coigue on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:14:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Scientific American is what I (none)
              consider a mainstream paper, not Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

              Anyway, if the mechanism by which HIV attacks lymphocytes is unknown, that doesn't mean that it is unknown that HIV causes AIDS.

              Pro-life=Anti-sex

              by coigue on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 05:31:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Scientific American is a popular magazine, not a (none)
                paper or journal, so your response is rather weak.  More relevant is that most of his comments are irrelevant strawmen, such as

                "There is a general misconception that more is known about HIV-1 than about any other virus and that all of the important issues regarding HIV-1 biology and pathogenesis have been resolved".

                This misconception, regardless of how "general", is not at issue here.  And  rboerner quotes

                "Despite considerable advances in HIV science in the past 20 years, the reason why HIV-1 infection is pathogenic is still debated."

                a statement which implicitly states that HIV-1 is pathogenic, yet which rboerner offers in support for questioning whether it is.   This quote mining is very much like the way the creationists (including Intelligent Design proponents) quote mine Stephen Jay Gould, a man who was a staunch defender of the theory of evolution and one of the major critics of creationism.

                •  True. (none)
                  But you are picking nits on the paper v magazine issue. (I was making the point that the journal was NOT mainstream at all)

                  As to my weak response, yes, I know....it's because I know an rboerner and I am trying to see if it's the same one before continuing.

                  But what you say is exactly true, there was never a question that HIV was pathogenic in that journal article.

                  Pro-life=Anti-sex

                  by coigue on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 12:39:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I found a third theory (none)
              From this comment, I got the impression that according to the current state of knowledge, there are two competing hypotheses: that CD4+ cells are destroyed through lysis, and that the immune system destroys these cells through "hyperactivity". Both of these hypotheses as far as I can tell suppose that it is CD4+ cells that are infected.

              Now I've run across this theory (from  1998)

              Scientists have discovered that when H.I.V. infects a person, the virus goes straight to the white blood cells and in particular the macrophages, and latches onto CCR5 and another protein, CD4, to hoist itself inside.

              It lives there for about a decade, replicating constantly, mutating at random and throwing off billions of genetic variants, most of which are duds. Eventually, however, it makes a genetic variant that can get into another type of white blood cell, the T cells. Then the infected person's immune system starts to decline, and the terrible symptoms of AIDS appear.

              This is an account of the 10-year (on average?) latency period that I had never heard before: it is because the kind of HIV that usually infects people needs to spend 10 years mutating inside the body until it attains the form in which it actually destroys the immune system.

              Oddly enough, I saw no sign of this theory in the Wikipedia article on HIV. So I must assume that this is another hypothesis that didn't pan out. (Like the hypereactive immune system hypothesis too, since one doesn't hear much about that nowadays, either.)

              So it seems like various explanations for the latency period get proposed, but none so far has withstood scrutiny. This is not mature science.

              The Democratic Party should change its name to the Nondemocratic Party: its leaders repeatedly tell us that the will of the majority is "unworkable".

              by Alexander on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 09:30:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Someone who argues much better than you do (none)
        (and has good manners to boot) and who is evidently an expert in the field made the same point about lysis, and a host of other points. He said that the HIV=AIDS hypothesis is well-confirmed. That made me decide to add a "correction" to this diary, but what convinced me to do that was that Duesberg's argument that HIV cannot possibly kill T-cells because it uses them to replicate is a howler, because of the widespread phenomenon of lysis.

        I just wanted to let you know that your objection on this score was not lost on me, even though it did not immediately sink in.

        The Democratic Party should change its name to the Nondemocratic Party: its leaders repeatedly tell us that the will of the majority is "unworkable".

        by Alexander on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 10:05:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mass hysteria? (none)
    is 10 people who are giving you zeros?

    How many of them rated you after your whiny meta diary complaining about ratings abuse?

    You are hysterical, and I don't mean that in the 'funny' sense.

    5000 scientists from 50 countries signed the Durban Declaration in 2000 saying HIV causes AIDS. If you think that is mass hysteria, you are a complete fool.

    http://www.nature.com/...

    •  Durban Declaration (none)
      The Durban declaration is not a scientific document; it's a declaration of Faith of the AIDS religion. The overwhelming majority of its signers are not qualified to decide whether or not dissident views of HIV and AIDS are correct.

      HEAL Toronto has authored an extensive rebuttal to the declaration. Anyone who hasn't studied this rebuttal is a blind believer and cannot be said to have an informed opinion.

      The Perth group has an interesting argument on their website that refutes the underlying assumption of the declaration that scientific truth is determined by majority vote, and that the HIV-AIDS hypothesis must be true because tens of thousands of scientists accept it as axiomatic. Full Quote:

      How can 99.99% of the world's scientists be wrong?

      This apparently disarming question has an apparently disarming answer. Which is "Why not?" The history of science is replete with examples where the majority of scientists have been proven wrong. Especially in medicine. One need look no further than the opposition experienced by William Harvey [1] (circulation of the blood), Ignaz Semmelweiss (antisepsis before the discovery of bacteria), Louis Pasteur (fermentation versus spontaneous generation), James Lind and Gilbert Blane (scurvy is a deficiency disease [2]), Joseph Goldberger (pellagra not an infectious disease) [3].

      However on closer examination the question is sophistry. Only a minority of the world's scientists work on HIV or AIDS. Of these most are cloistered in specialist fields where of necessity particular matters of significance are accepted in good faith as fact. For example, scientists working on the "HIV" genome do not question the origin of the DNA molecules they research. Just as laboratory technicians performing antibody tests never question the origin of the proteins in their test kits. And it goes without saying that no protagonist questions the existence of HIV. (The same acceptance in good faith applies to the vast majority of medical practitioners as well as health planners, politicians, patients and relatives. This is not a criticism since no one has time to check up on every facet of every disease that afflicts mankind). When it comes to the question "What is the proof that HIV cause AIDS?" in reality there are only a relatively small number of scientists who would be regarded by all the other scientists in the field as competent to explain and defend the HIV theory. In fact the numbers of such scientists may not be that greatly different from the number who argue there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. In this regard the Durban Declaration makes interesting reading. As does our response although unfortunately Nature, which helped promote this consensus document, chose not to publish our rejoinder. For a superb essay on this topic see Anthony Brink's "Debating AZT".

      ENDNOTES

    •  Do you know what a rule is? (none)
      The rule at dKos is quite clear: do not troll-rate comments just because you disagree with them. You and other troll-raters on this diary evidently don't think that this rule applies to you, because you have a higher purpose.

      In this respect, you are no different than Bush, Cheney, and the rest of that band of thugs. They also think rules don't apply to them, or find ways of "interpreting" rules they want to ignore so they can do what they like. Several posters on my follow-up diary came up with convoluted arguments for why I should be super-troll-rated, just as BushCo has no difficulty in coming up with convoluted arguments for why it can ignore the Constitution.

      The Democratic Party should change its name to the Nondemocratic Party: its leaders repeatedly tell us that the will of the majority is "unworkable".

      by Alexander on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 09:44:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel for you on censorship (none)
    I don't agree with your sentiments, but I feel you have every right to speak them.

    I too, have had a few of my comments troll rated into oblivion for dissenting with mainstream DKos views.  Censorship for differing opinion sucks.

    Interestingly, my few posts that ARE offensive (I'm sometimes in a bad mood and reply in anger) don't get censored, they get 4's.  Sigh.

    DKos should take a lesson from Slashdot's rating system.  Not that it's perfect, but it's better.

    •  Thanks for that (none)
      It may have been somewhat narcissistic of me to throw my thoughts of the moment around like that (I've issued an "official correction" saying the skeptics are probably wrong, as a result of a couple of posts by a guy who seemed to know what he was talking about), but it was a worthwhile experience, since it taught me something about the psychology of posters at dKos.

      I have been very bothered by the groupthink at dKos (particularly in relation to the 2004 election), so it was illuminating for me to experience it in a completely different context.

      The Democratic Party should change its name to the Nondemocratic Party: its leaders repeatedly tell us that the will of the majority is "unworkable".

      by Alexander on Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 09:36:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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