HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

World AIDS Day: How about a look back?

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/30

The conference, Rethinking AIDS 2009, was a treat in many ways, some of which I described in “The Family of Rethinking AIDS”. A special pleasure for me was to meet in person people I had respected for quite some time, indeed admired for their work and their integrity. I learned something new from the substance of many of the presentations, and perhaps even more from conversations.

I continue often to be abashed at how little I know about the early days of AIDS, and especially that so many incisive insights and explanations were published long ago that have seemed to me like fresh revelations. The difficulty is that AIDS Rethinking doesn’t have the organized indexes and abstracts and review articles and textbooks that established disciplines do. Tony Lance illustrated that in his talk when he mentioned that after he had recognized intestinal dysbiosis as a central explanation for much in the early days of AIDS, he found that Koliadin had made similar suggestions on the old virusmyth website. Who could possibly have read, and even in that case who could possibly remember, all the material on that website, and in Continuum, and in the early newsletters, and in the dozens of Rethinking books, and in the hundreds of articles scattered over obscure periodicals and websites?

The difficulty is compounded by the lack of agreement among Rethinkers over all sorts of details. We are all of the opinion that HIV has never been shown to be the sole, necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS, but beyond that we differ widely; not only over substantive issues but also over how best to proceed in trying to bring regard for the facts into the public arena. In established disciplines, one can read authoritative overviews of manageable size; concerning HIV/AIDS Rethinking, without having read EVERYTHING one cannot be sure that something of importance has not been missed.

Amid these hindrances, it makes sense to look at where Rethinking has been, and we’re fortunate that John Lauritsen accepted the invitation to talk about that at RA2009. He has now posted his initial draft, which was far too long for the 25 minutes he was allotted at the conference, and he invites comments and suggestions for additions or corrections. I enjoyed his talk immensely, and gained even more from reading his longer discussion of  “The History of the Controversy”.



9 Responses to “World AIDS Day: How about a look back?”

  1. mo79uk said

    Scepticism in a variety of fields seems primarily concerned with ‘detonating the building’ before you can lay new bricks, rather than concurrently.

    While the HIV/AIDS church remains intact, very few are going to listen to the ‘mad’ preachers outside about intestinal dysbiosis and so forth, which is why existing and new bricks have been left in different parts of the town while the pickaxes go to work.

    • Henry Bauer said

      mo79uk: If I understand you correctly, you want interaction between skeptics and mainstreamers. So do we skeptics, but the mainstreamers refuse. So we need to blow up the edifice before the proper research can get funded and done, for instance: What exactly does “HIV-positive” mean? What exact entities are identified by the various “HIV” tests? Are some of those characteristic of certain groups, e.g. pregnant women, but not of others, e.g. gay men?

  2. cooler said

    It was interesting to read about the history of AIDS skepticism. One of the best articles that went unmentioned in Lauritsen’s piece is entitled “Is HIV guilty” by Elinor Burkett published in the Miami Herald in 1990. It looks at Duesberg’s point of view but also takes into account the mycoplasma hypothesis proposed by Montagnier and Dr. Shyh Ching Lo from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Dr. Lo found Mycoplasma incognitus by electron microscopy in the damaged tissues of 22/34 autopsied AIDS patients, and injected 4 monkeys with low doses of M. incognitus and they all died while the control monkey did not. Lo et al. also found M. incognitus in the damaged tissues in 6 non-AIDS patients who died of a horrible systemic infection in 1-7 weeks. This same microbe was soon afterwards found in the blood of sick Gulf War veterans by Drs. Garth and Nancy Nicolson, two prominent scientists at the University of Texas. They have written a book, “Project Day Lily”, about the hell they went through trying to help sick veterans.

    Duesberg dismissed Lo’s hypothesis in his book by saying that Lo et al. didn’t find Mycoplasma in all AIDS cases, therefore it had nothing to do with AIDS. I disagree with this; not all “AIDS” deaths are owing to AZT, does that mean AZT is not lethal in its own right? Dr. Lo stated that M. incognitus was lethal in its own right because he injected monkeys and saw them die, and he judged it to be the the cause of death in 6 non-AIDS patients after extensive examination and autopsy. This could be something dissidents like Lauritsen might want to include next time when writing on the history of AIDS skepticism and alternative hypotheses. Anyway, here are the references for Lo’s work.

    And the “Is HIV Guilty” full article is on the virusmyth website (Duesberg’s site has it as well, but it’s cut short), I’d post the link but but I get a malware warning everytime I go to Virusmyth.

    • Henry Bauer said

      cooler: Elinor Burkitt also wrote a good book, “The Gravest Show on Earth: America in the Age of AIDS” (Houghton Mifflin 1995)
      BTW, your comment was caught up in the WordPress spam filter. If you occasionally get malware warnings, maybe your computer has an infection; do you scan it regularly for viruses and malware?

  3. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, Cooler made an incorrect anaolgy between the potential for Mycoplasma to be the cause “AIDS” and whether or not AZT is a poison. Obviously AZT cannot be implicated in all “AIDS” deaths because many died from Kaposi or candidiasis or Pneumocystis without the aid of AZT. Duesberg in his analysis was showing that in order to be considered a cause for what is considered an infectious disease, all cases of the disease must have the infection-causing agent.

  4. cooler said

    I just installed new antiviral software on my computer that is really sensitive, that is probably why I get warnings when I visit Virusmyth. Here is the article “Is HIV Guilty?” Where both Lo and Montagnier go on record to say HIV is pretty benign without other factors such as Mycoplasma. This article is pretty old, so I am unaware of their current views.

    Martin, but that is the entire point that John Lauritsen and Dr. Rebbeca Culshaw made in her book. “AIDS” isn’t a single disease with a single cause, it’s several different diseases that have several different causes. People who have died from “AIDS” could possibly have died from several different things ranging from AZT, severe drug abuse, the terror of receiving a positive test and possibly a Mycoplasma infection. The symptoms that people have from these toxins and microbes could overlap and therefore cause a lot of confusion.

    If you read the pathology report of the 6 previously healthy non-AIDS patients who died in 1-7 weeks from Mycoplasma incognitus you will see that all 6 were young, previously healthy people in the military with normal immune systems. They suddenly became ill with high fevers, organ failures and severe neurological problems ranging from seizures to comas. Mycoplasma incognitus and no other microbe was directly identified in the damaged tissues of all 6 patients.
    (1) The microbe was isolated and grown in pure culture and shown to be a unique mycoplasma, most closely related to Mycoplasma fermentans but Lo et al pointed out several major differences.
    (2) 4 monkeys were injected with low doses and all died in 7-9 months of a fatal wasting disease.
    (3) There are case studies where people were near death with this microbe but made full recoveries with antibiotics.
    (5,6) It could not possibly be a contaminant because it was directly identified in the lesions of the people that died. It was also identified in the damaged tissues of 22/34 AIDS patients.
    (7) I think it’s not a huge leap to say this microbe is lethal in its own right as Lo et al. did. It is no wonder those poor Gulf War veterans were sick, they had this microbe in their blood, and many non-deployed family members swear they were catching it from deployed family members.
    (8) When Drs. Garth and Nancy Nicolson found it in the blood of sick veterans they claim armed defense intelligence agents warned them to stop their research, there were several attempts on their lives, they were warned never to speak about their work publicly and their boss at the University of Texas MD Anderson, Dr. Fred Conrad, was shot 6 times in the head 15 minutes after he told them he was going to help them blow the whistle. I don’t see any reason for them to lie about this, considering Dr. Nicolson was nominated for a Nobel Prize and won an Outstanding Investigator Grant. You can read their barely fictionalized book at Good reviews from several scientists including a Nobel Prize winner in medicine. I know I will come across as a “conspiracy nut” but sometimes the truth might be stranger than fiction.

    “MEC” aka Claus Jensen who posted a lot on Science Blogs wrote this brilliant response that I totally agree with when I told him about this information there.

    1 Lo Sc, Lawson Ms, Newton Pb, et al. Association of the virus-like infectious agent originally reported in patients with AIDS with acute fatal disease in previously healthy non-AIDS patients. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1989; 41: 364-376. PubMed

    2 Lo Sc, Shih Jwk, Newton Pb, et al. Virus-like infectious agent (VLIA) is a novel pathogenic mycoplasma: Mycoplasma incognitus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1989; 41: 586-600. PubMed

    3.Lo S-C, Wear D J, Shih W-K, Wang R Y-H, Newton P B, Rodriguez J F. Fatal systemic infections of nonhuman primates by Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain). Clin. Infect. Diseases 1993; 17(Suppl 1): S283-S288

    4 Lo Sc, Dawson Ms, Wong Dm, et al. Identification of Mycoplasma incognitus infection in patients with AIDS: an immunohistochemical, in-situ hybridization and ultrastructural study. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1989; 41: 601-616. PubMed

    5 Recovery from fulminant infection with Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) in non-immunocompromised host
    HarryJ Beecham , ShyhC Lo , DrewE Lewis , StewartW Comer , KennethJ Riley , EdwardC Oldfield

    6 S-C. Lo, Cl Buchholz, Dj Wear, Rc Hohm, Am Marty, Histopathology and doxycyline treatment in a previously healthy non-AIDS patient systematically infected by Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain), Mod Pathol ((in press)).

    7 Lo SC; Dawson MS; Wong DM; Newton PB 3d; Sonoda MA; Engler WF; Wang RY; Shih JW; Alter JH; Wear DJ. Identification of Mycoplasma incognitus infection in patients with AIDS: an immunohistochemical, in situ hybridization and ultrastructural study. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, November 1989, volume 41, number 5, pages 601- 616.


  5. Martin said

    Hi Cooler, I appreciate your point of view. However, all current research on AIDS is only from the point of view that HIV is a contagious retrovirus and IS the cause of AIDS and is diagnosed either by unvalidated tests (usually ELISA and Western Blot) or the Bangui definition in Africa. Anyone trying to do AIDS research that demonstrates a skepticism of the paradigm simply doesn’t get funding.

  6. artwest said

    In the UK, due to the lack of media coverage, most people wouldn’t even realise that there was an AIDS Day at all.

    There’s a curious silence. AIDS is mentioned occasionally in reference to Africa — from the death rates usually unthinkingly quoted, it’s amazing that anyone is still left alive on the continent — but rarely in relation to the UK or any Western country.

    A long-running TV ad aimed at teenagers warning about unprotected sex concentrates on chlamydia and gonorrhea with no mention of AIDS at all. Ten years ago it would have been all about AIDS.
    On the one hand there seems to be an acceptance that authorities can’t credibly scare people with AIDS, but also it can’t be admitted that, even if one buys the conventional AIDS theory, it’s a negligible threat.

    Either no-one thinks, or dares to ask whatever happened to the prophecies of bodies piled in the streets. It’s as if a decision has been made not to mention local AIDS because the lack of it would raise too many questions which can’t easily be answered.

    • artwest said

      Incidentally, a government “use contraception” ad is also running at the moment in the UK. Condoms are not given particular emphasis compared with other methods such as the pill. Again, ten, or even fewer, years ago there is no way that they wouldn’t have rammed home the “safe sex” message and strongly recommended condoms.

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