Larry Kramer in Love and Anger is a 2015 HBO documentary. It recounts most of the history of AIDS through Kramer’s personal involvement and it is largely accurate in what it discusses, though omitting and ignoring some crucial points.
Watching it brought home to me once again what an enormous tragedy this has been and still is and will continue to be because the ultimate crux remains unaccepted: namely, that “science” including medical science can go wrong, and that there are no systemic safeguards against that, no checks or balances, because minority voices within the scientific community are not attended to, instead are castigated and persecuted.
This film gives a good account of the fear that spread among gay men as a mysterious syndrome of illnesses was bringing deaths, several hundred thousand in about half-a-dozen years. But the film also misses the opportunity to make the case against HIV, despite some significant clues. Thus Kramer’s 1978 novel, Faggots, is correctly described as his jeremiad against the fast-lane lifestyle that included much health-damaging use of “recreational” drugs. The film might well have been pointed out that this preceded the appearance of AIDS and could indeed explain why so many people became very ill — as some of them recognized, for instance Michael Callen and his physician Sonnabend. Again, Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is mentioned as a characteristic AIDS disease, but the film neglects to point out that KS virtually dropped out of the picture after some years as insightful gay men abandoned the use of the nitrite inhalants (“poppers”) that cause this damage to blood vessels (“AIDS KS” is probably different from the classic KS.)
Completely missing is the tragic story of how HIV came to be the accepted cause of AIDS, essentially by declaration at a press conference before any scientific publication.
Kramer’s initiatives are properly credited for revision of the FDA’s procedures for approving drugs — but missing is a discussion of the damaging consequences, not only because of the toxicity of AZT and later “anti-retroviral” drugs but because the fast-track approval system is now abused routinely by Big Pharma to bring to market avalanches of new drugs that reveal their toxicity within a short time after marketing: note the TV and print announcements by lawyers about class-action suits against such medications as Pradaxa, Xeralto, Invokana, and others at the very same time as the drug companies continue to advertise those drugs with dishonest descriptions of potential benefits (“remission is possible”, for example) and down-playing of “side” effects, for instance in TV ads showing healthy actors instead of actual patients actually on the drugs.
The film applauds the introduction of protease inhibitors, but fails to describe their toxicities, again despite obvious clues. Thus the film opens and closes with Kramer in hospital after a liver transplant; and there is a short clip of Kramer warning earlier about the side effects of his medications. The New York Times review of the film of course says, misleadingly, “liver transplant necessitated by his H.I.V. infection” instead of “made necessary by the anti-retroviral medication including protease inhibitors”: “Drug-induced hepatitis and hepatic decompensation (and rare cases of fatalities) have been reported with all PIs” (Table 14, Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents, 8/8/2014).
And of course nothing is said about dissent from HIV/AIDS theory.
So this documentary can serve only as a reminder of the tragic history of AIDS. I realized also how the nature of the tragedy has changed. Initially it was the mis-identification of the cause as HIV and the subsequent hundreds of thousands of deaths from AZT. But nowadays this has been compounded by the abuse of HIV tests as proof of infection, whereby no sector of society is free from the danger of mis-diagnosis and subsequent mistreatment. Since pregnancy seems to stimulate positive “HIV” tests, especially with women of African ancestry, women and their fetuses and babies are being harmed in significant numbers and will continue to be until the HIV/AIDS blunder is corrected.
For the facts about HIV and AIDS, see The Case against HIV. For why HIV cannot be the cause of AIDS, and the story of how the error was made and entrenched, read The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory [Jefferson (NC): McFarland 2007].