Several of my posts on this blog have grappled in one way or another with the central issue for Rethinkers: How might the general public, the media, the policy makers be awakened to the actual facts about “HIV” and about “AIDS”? — Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09; Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers, 2010/12/21; Follow the money: Is HIV/AIDS fading away?, 2010/12/12; Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02; Defeating HIV = AIDS, 2010/10/17; Not with a bang but a whimper, 2009/12/27; The cases against HIV: Strategies for halting the bandwagon, 29 July 2008; Stopping the HIV/AIDS bandwagon — Part II, 1 February 2008; How can the HIV/AIDS bandwagon be stopped?, 27 January 2008.
There is no hint of a consensus on this question among Rethinkers. I among others have come to believe that working within the established forums of medicine and science offers only long-forlorn hope; but other Rethinkers continue to try storming the citadels with manuscripts for publication in Establishment journals, and I take my hat off to those who keep trying, even as I think such direct assaults are unlikely to pay off. I see more hope in indirect attacks like those described recently that seem to offer real possibilities of eventually changing the climate of opinion among disciplines that encircle the HIV/AIDS establishment (Infiltrating the mainstream, 2011/01/09; Skinning the HIV/AIDS cat, 2010/12/02).
In commenting on the latter, Robin made important points, notably that it takes different approaches to persuade different folks: for instance, while some (in my view, very few) are concerned primarily with the best objective evidence, others are likely to think more in terms of human values.
In “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”, I argued that the necessary initial steps include making people understand that “HIV” and “AIDS” are two separate things, entirely separate things. Crucial to that first step is that “HIV” tests are highly non-specific tests, reacting “positive” to a range of physiological conditions that are not necessarily even health-threatening.
If someone can become persuaded that “HIV” tests do not detect a fatal virus, then the essential mission has been accomplished, because obviously then “HIV”, which can only be defined by means for detecting it, could never have become known to be the cause of “AIDS”. Even under the assumption that “HIV” exists, but that the tests detect many other things as well, any apparent correlation between positive “HIV” tests and AIDS would be spurious. As I point out in my book, relying on such highly non-specific tests would entail the absurd assumption that “true”-positive and false-positive tests always occur in the same proportion under all circumstances—with pregnant women, with gay men, with members of different racial groups, etc..
The fact that “HIV” tests do not specifically detect
an immune-system-damaging virus
suffices to disprove the claimed “HIV”-AIDS connection.
Purveying the truth about “HIV” tests is made easy by the fact that authoritative mainstream sources attest to it: for instance the manufacturers’ fine print that comes with test kits and the monograph chapter by Stanley H. Weiss and Elliott P. Cowan, Chapter 8 in AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, ed. Gary P. Wormser, 4th ed., 2004.
Admittedly there remains the obvious question, why the whole apparatus of practicing physicians and researchers rests its activities on invalid tests. This raises far-reaching historical, psychological, sociological issues; but in relation to the central point, that the tests do not detect “HIV”, this obvious question is irrelevant. How something could happen can be an interesting question, but when that thing did actually happen, not understanding how it came about doesn’t make it un-happen.
Another obvious and valid question, “So what is AIDS?”, can be answered as in Point 1 of the post, “Confusion worse confounded: Explaining AIDS Rethinking to non-thinkers”.
What I want to stress now is that the lack of validity of “HIV” tests suffices to make the Rethinking case, irrespective of the “existence” question, namely, whether such a virus as HIV even exists. Therefore I find it most regrettable that some number of Rethinkers insists that the existence question is central to Rethinking — and I find it more than unfortunate that disagreements over this have led to schisms and the squandering of much emotion and time.
Of course it is of great interest to find out whether “HIV” in some shape or form exists, and if so whether it is exogenous — at least on occasion — or endogenous; and if the latter, whether this makes “HIV” an HERV. But from the viewpoint of whether “HIV” tests detect an AIDS-inducing agent, these scientific questions are beside the point. The mistaken view that what the “HIV” tests detect leads to AIDS could have come about in a number of ways. For instance, if “HIV” exists, it might be a passenger virus, as Duesberg suggested. If “HIV” doesn’t exist, researchers might have been confused by HERVs and circulating DNA, as Etienne de Harven has pointed out. Either way, or any other way, it is not necessary to settle the existence issue in order to demonstrate that “HIV” tests do not diagnose “HIV infection” and do not presage AIDS.