HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Helene D. Gayle’

Kalichman on “Denying AIDS”: an answer to Job’s prayer

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/03/05

behold, my desire is,
that the Almighty would answer me,
and that mine adversary had written a book

JOB 31:35 (King James Bible)

With “Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy”, Seth C. Kalichman has gone a long way to discrediting the AIDStruthers and their hangers-on. With adversaries like Kalichman, AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics have scant need of allies.

But could it be fair to find people guilty by mere reason of association? Well . . . Kalichman does so, which should mean that he believes so — assuming, of course, that he practices as he preaches.

In any case, several prominent mainstream HIV/AIDS researchers, not AIDStruthers or vigilantes, have lauded the book so extravagantly that perhaps the whole HIV/AIDS enterprise can be indicted on the basis of this single volume (reviews taken from amazon.com, 090225, screen shot on file; emphases added):

“Editorial Reviews
‘. . . superbly captured the contradictions inherent in AIDS denialism. . . . deftly captured . . . . AIDS denialism has left confusion in its wake as it undermined public health efforts to curb the greatest health challenge of the 20th century. . . . vividly shares his experiences, understanding, and dilemmas as he unraveled this phenomenon piece by painful piece’ — Salim S. Abdool Karim, Member of the 2000 South African Presidential Panel on AIDS, Professor at University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Director of Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)

‘. . .  . However, myths and misunderstandings about HIV/AIDS still abound and pose a real threat to our progress. In Denying AIDS, Seth Kalichman provides a fascinating look into the thinking of those who propagate AIDS myths and the negative impact it has on our response to a deadly disease. He shows us how AIDS pseudoscience has at times confused the public and threatened sound public health policy. . . . ‘ — Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO CARE USA and former Director of the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Assistant Surgeon General, and Member of the 2000 South African Presidential Panel on AIDS

‘Seth Kalichman is an excellent scientist . . . . This excellent volume examines the detailed history of HIV/AIDS denialism as well as its damaging impact throughout the world. HIV/AIDS denialism and its proponents have created confusion . . . .’ — James Curran, Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Coordinator of the 1981 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections’ and former Director of the CDC HIV/AIDS Division.

‘. . . . brilliantly uses a psychological lens to expose the wacky world that creates and maintains its presence despite the untold numbers of deaths and suffering it has caused. . . . A must read for those who want to know more about the power and influence of pseudoscience’ — Michael Merson, Director, Global Health Institute at Duke University and Former Director of the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS.”

Note, by the way, in the highlighted phrases, how very influential AIDS Rethinkers have been. That’s a real morale booster, even as we’ve barely begun to fight.

I leave it to any readers who manage to wade their way through this book to judge for themselves the accuracy of such terms as “superbly”, “deftly”, “vividly”, “unraveled”, “fascinating”, “excellent volume”, “brilliantly”.
For those who find themselves unable to tolerate Kalichman’s treatment, future blogs will spell out — in unfortunately also nauseating detail — how this book plays fast and loose with matters of fact, to the extent of misquoting material inside quotation marks and attributing to people things they’ve never said or written. There are some absurd inferences, wild leaps from faulty evidence to ridiculous conclusions. What the book says about “science” displays ignorance to an extent truly extraordinary in a volume that claims to apply validly the label “pseudo-science”. And that’s not even the half of it.

This book truly is an answer to Job’s prayer.

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