Friday, October 23, 2009

House of Numbers: The HIV/AIDS Hypothesis

A documentary on the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. (Film website. HT: reader Stirner.)

I make no judgment on whether the movie's thesis is true or not, but it certainly doesn't seem that it should be censored, which is what some people think should happen.

Peter Duesberg makes an appearance, as well as the co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier, who comes close to saying that HIV does not cause AIDS.

What seems to be driving those who are so upset over the notion that anyone should even discuss the HIV/AIDS link is responsibility. AIDS is widespread in Africa, and while HIV infection can be found in virtually any country, AIDS just doesn't seem to be a huge problem outside of Africa. In this country, for instance, the disease still mainly affects homosexuals and IV drug users, the much ballyhooed heterosexual epidemic never having come to pass. It would appear from these examples that simple HIV infection may not be necessary or sufficient to cause AIDS.

Therefore, the notion of responsibility arises in the case of those whose lifestyles lead them to come down with AIDS. But what about Africa? In my view, little of the AIDS epidemic there can be ascribed to personal responsibility; but cultural practices would seem important, as well as poverty, ignorance, and the fact that tropical diseases flourish in Africa.

Nevertheless, the suggestion that HIV may not cause AIDS arouses the ire of many, and it would seem that ascribing any deficiency whatsoever to Africa, whether in culture or education or personal behavior, is the target of this ire. The anti-denialists say that the denialists are killing people by undermining support for the use of anti-retroviral drugs. But that only gets us back to the question of the cause of AIDS, because if it isn't HIV, then the anti-denialists are the ones killing people.

PS: Those of you coming from other sites to read this post, please also read this one, which will help to explain my motivations for posting this video.

Labels: Infectious Disease, Science

posted by Dennis Mangan @ 1:15 PM