HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/05/12

How to entice into “rethinking AIDS”, into questioning the conventional wisdom, people who have been thoroughly brainwashed by the constant repetition of “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS”?

A large part of the problem is that the rethinkers’ case is not readily made in a convincing way via self-evident sound-bites. “The ‘HIV’ tests don’t detect a virus”, or “ ‘HIV’ tests have never been proven to be specific for ‘HIV’”, while perfectly true, are based on evidence that is too technical for most people to feel comfortable with; to appreciate the strength of the case against HIV/AIDS theory, to appreciate that those mainstream-contradicting sound-bites are really true, requires prolonged immersion in much data. Even the most concise as well as documented overview, say, Christine Maggiore’s excellent What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?, or Rebecca Culshaw’s similarly concise yet also comprehensive Science Sold Out: Does HIV Really Cause AIDS?, are hardly bed-time reading. A promising alternative approach is through “fiction”.

There’s a long and respectable history of literary fiction that aims to acquaint readers with important facts. (Most good literature teaches at least indirectly about people and about human life, of course, but I’m now referring to deliberately didactic treatments of specific issues.) Sinclair Lewis in Martin Arrowsmith conveyed important truths about medical practice and medical research and commercial conflicts of interest. Upton Sinclair revealed through novels some ugly truths about the meat-packing industry (The Jungle), the oil industry (Oil), and others, and his Lanny Budd series can serve as a descriptive political history of the era of Nazism, the Second World War, and its aftermath. Most recently, Michael Crichton exposed the lacunae and fault lines in the current obsession with man-caused global warming in State of Fear.

HIV/AIDS seems a natural candidate for this sort of treatment, and Stephen Davis has put his hand, head, and heart into the endeavor. His first novel, Wrongful Death: The AIDS Trial, was published in 2006; the second, Are You Positive?, appeared this year.

Both books feature legal trials, and are thereby consistent with my growing suspicion that HIV/AIDS theory will only be overturned when the mainstream is forced, in a court of law, to reveal the extent to which the theory is like an Emperor wearing no clothes at all.

Wrongful Death tells the story of a class-action suit brought by relatives of those who died needlessly because “HIV-positive” people were treated with AZT. The novel was exceptionally timely, given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was just then recommending that “HIV”-testing should become routine. If that were to happen, then a few perfectly healthy people in every thousand would be misguidedly told that they harbor a deadly virus and should begin taking drugs whose “side” effects make the rate of “adherence to treatment” quite low and which ultimately reward compliant adherence with serious illness and often death.

Davis follows, for legal reasons, the convention of claiming fictional character for the protagonists (except for a few well-known public figures), but readers at all familiar with HIV/AIDS matters will recognize many of the characters, most of whose names are faithful to the initials of their real-life models. The story is told in quite a straightforward manner, an appropriate vehicle for acquainting readers with the facts in a steady succession of digestible pieces. Though the story is straightforwardly told, there are also a couple of ingenious twists in the plot.

Are You Positive? features a trial that has, unfortunately, some real-life precedents: an HIV-positive man on trial for transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. As in the earlier book, the real-life models of some protagonists are recognizable, including by their initials. The evidence is unfolded at digestible pace: the lack of validity of “HIV” tests, the racial bias of the tests, the particular likelihood that TB patients and pregnant women will test “HIV-positive”. The recommendation that everyone be tested is mentioned, and the gruesome story of the orphans used as guinea pigs in clinical trials. The Padian study revealing lack of sexual transmission is dissected expertly. Gallo’s scientific failings are described accurately, as well as his self-incriminating testimony in the Parenzee trial in Adelaide (Australia). The role of conflicts of interest in the HIV/AIDS industry is brought out. An Appendix has a recommended “Informed Consent” form that people should require their doctors to sign if they are being asked to take an HIV test.

The story is told very accurately indeed in this novel. Because I already knew that every detail is correct, I found it emotionally difficult reading–I know of a dozen people languishing in jail for the crime of making love while testing “positive” for a supposedly active infection that the tests cannot actually establish, and there are surely many more in jail of whom I am not aware. HIV/AIDS-naïve readers, however, may not experience that emotional burden as they are led slowly to doubt what the conventional wisdom insists on.

My respect for these books and their author was only increased when, toward the end, I found cited one of my favorite epigrams, one I had used myself for years as the motto of a newsletter I once edited:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Both these books are paperbacks published via automated “on demand” printing. Their material quality is comparable with such productions from large publishers, but in their lack of typographical errors they are far superior to most contemporary works, including in hard covers from long-established and respected presses.

Rethinkers ought to consider giving these books to their friends and acquaintances who scoff at the possibility that the mainstream could be wrong about HIV/AIDS. Leading HIV/AIDS-naïve people through salient details of the evidence in measured and linear succession is likely to make it easier for them to begin to shake off unthinking acceptance of the conventional wisdom than trying to argue all the scientific issues in concentrated form. Wrongful Death cites hundreds of supporting published sources; Are You Positive? relegates them to the website. In both cases, you can assure those to whom you give these books that the cited evidence is solidly supported in the mainstream literature and that the cited sources represent fairly the totality of what has been published and what is known.


  1. Frank said

    One of the extraordinary things about the Davis novel, Wrongful Death, is that Robert Gallo appears, under his very own name, as a defendant in the lawsuit. Late in the book, in a strategy conference, Gallo’s angry lawyer tells him to shut up, shouting:

    “Not you, Dr. Gallo. I don’t ever want to hear from you again. We’ve all listened to you for much too long, me in particular. You were able to bullshit me almost as long as you bullshitted the entire country, but now it’s over.”

    Earlier in the novel, during the trial, Gallo’s lab is described as a “den of thieves” and his 1984 press conference is dismissed as a “totally incorrect and medically incompetent pronouncement.”

    If one of humanity’s most renowned scientists was confident that his career, his work, his record, his reputation, were defensible, wouldn’t he have here a slam dunk case of libel?

  2. hhbauer said


    Yes, to me it would seem that Gallo would have a case IF HIS RECORD WERE DEFENSIBLE. He had ample opportunity already years ago, when John Crewdson published the book “Science Fictions”, which goes into enormous detail about the incompetent or worse goings-on in Gallo’s lab, his fudging about his interactions with Montagnier, and more. I suspect Davis had read Crewdson’s book.

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