Arguing with HIV/AIDS believers
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2013/11/03
To help others realize that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS is the same sort of task that teachers face.
Little experience of teaching is needed to learn that what works with one student may not work with another. Every individual has a unique background, upbringing, level of general knowledge, ability to think critically, willingness or otherwise to accept authority, capacity to re-examine beliefs, degree of proneness to cognitive dissonance . . . .
Therefore there is no single approach that best helps everyone to learn, and similarly there is no single approach that best serves to re-educate HIV/AIDS believers and help them realize the error of their belief.
Some people, especially those with a scientific background, tend to imagine that drawing attention to the facts is all that’s needed. Numerous books and other material produced over several decades testify to the actual fact that the evidence alone doesn’t do the job.
One major barrier to surmount is the widespread belief that “Science” is absolutely trustworthy and that official representatives of Science and Medicine know the truth and want only to disseminate it. Breaching that barrier calls for a fairly comprehensive education about the history and sociology of science and medicine, demonstrating that they are human activities with all the fallibility that comes with that: much error along the way of apparent progress, periodic “revolutions” in which pre-existing beliefs are turned upside down, consistent official, apparently authoritative resistance to new ideas, some of which later turn out to become generally accepted.
Because different approaches best serve the needs of different misguided believers, I thought it would be useful to have a concise summary of the innumerable reasons why HIV/AIDS theory is wrong, and that led me to put together The Case Against HIV, which illustrates how much ground has to be covered:
1. HIV does not cause AIDS.
2. The plain evidence about AIDS.
3. The plain evidence about HIV.
4. Failings of HIV/AIDS theory.
5. What antiretroviral drugs do.
6. Damage done by HIV/AIDS theory and practice.
7. Hindrances to making the case against HIV.
8. How could such a massive blunder come about and persist?
9. FAQs: Questions — sometimes rhetorical only — posed by adherents to HIV/AIDS theory.
I’ve been involved, at first hand and at second- and even third-hand, in dialogues where defenders of HIV/AIDS theory keep coming up with isolated references or statements as purportedly argument-ending coups. For example, concerning my blog posts mentioning that pure “HIV” virions have never been isolated from an AIDS patient or an “HIV+” individual, I’ve been cited the availability of “isolates of HIV” from a government repository, or an article with electron micrographs of material from a culture, and more.
My experience is that nothing can be gained by entering into to-and-fro on such terms. The HIV/AIDS literature is so vast that one can find in it just about anything — albeit not so much that is competent, reliable, reproducible, and above all relevant to the only important question: Does “HIV”, an exogenous infectious immune-system-killing retrovirus, cause fatal illness?
I suggest that one insist to proponents of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy who attempt to debunk HIV skepticism and AIDS Rethinking that the discussion be clearly relevant to the main issue.
The first point might well concern onus of proof: What is the evidence for the HIV/AIDS hypothesis?
That should bring the discussion to a rather rapid close. Or rather, it will divert it to the question, can authorities or a mainstream consensus be believed without further ado? The answer to that is an obvious “No”, but most HIV/AIDS groupies need quite a bit of educating to become aware of that.
Plan B might be to ask, “How did you come to believe that HIV causes AIDS?”
That too is likely to divert to argument over reliance on authority and consensus.
I don’t really expect that this strategy would be effective in a large proportion of cases, but I think it is potentially superior to attempting to argue technical intricacies which the two sides both typically don’t understand as they argue by citing opposing authorities and cherry-picking the literature.
Just how difficult it is to bring the average person to even question HIV/AIDS dogma may be illustrated by how difficult it was for me — see “Confession of an “AIDS Denialist”: How I became a crank because we’re being lied to about HIV/AIDS”. I had read enough — many of the books listed at the old Virusmyth website — to become open to the possibility, but it took my own digging into “HIV” epidemiology to convince me (see in particular p. 7 and chapter 1 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory).
That was about 10 years after I first became aware that there exist dissidents from orthodox HIV/AIDS belief. And it has taken me further years to understand that “HIV” may not even exist, and that “HIV” tests are perhaps the central issue in the whole business.
My long-standing interest in Loch Ness Monsters and all sorts of other offbeat matters testifies that I am significantly more open to unorthodox views than most people are, so my own difficulty in recognizing the errors of HIV/AIDS theory might serve as a warning that the task of bringing others to that understanding is an extraordinarily difficult one.
I should add that arguing with HIV/AIDS proponents, even as it is unlikely to bring them to change their belief, can be valuable in forcing us to learn more. When I first started this blog, comments and queries from HIV/AIDS groupies led me to much useful further study and analysis, so that I was able to discover that the so-called “latent period” does not exist, and that mortality rates demonstrate that the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is wrong, and that “HIV” tests aren’t, and more.