Some observers are critical of HIV theory and they have a right to be heard

by Neville Hodgkinson. Published 9th July 2000 by the Sunday Independent in Johannesburg, South Africa—RW

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Some observers are critical of HIV theory and they have a right to be heard

The huge flaws in the HIV theory go deeper than questions over the extent to which HIV is the cause of Aids, or the toxicity or effectiveness of drugs directed against the virus.
      Astonishingly, they challenge the very existence of the virus itself—and thus, the validity of the HIV test—as well as the multibillion-dollar industry producing pharmaceutical interventions for Aids.

Some of the scientists contributing to President Thabo Mbeki's Aids Advisory Panel have been trying for more than a decade to demonstrate these flaws to the scientific community. No one would listen. None of the mainstream journals would publish their work. There was no discussion.

From the beginning, powerful political, social and commercial forces shaped Aids science, and the possibility that the HIV theory might be fundamentally wrong soon became scientifically unthinkable.

This is one reason why Mbeki has incurred such incomprehension and criticism. Few of the doctors and scientists who signed last week's pro-HIV Durban Declaration know of the criticism to which the HIV theory has been subjected. There has been an information blackout by leading scientific journals such as Nature, which helped organise the declaration.

While scientists are pressing for a reappraisal of the HIV theory, the most comprehensive critique has been developed by a group of scientists based in Perth, Australia. Two members of the group, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, a medical physicist, and Dr Val Turner, an emergency physician, were in Johannesburg last week to give evidence to the advisory panel. They received support from scientists in other fields of expertise, including epidemiology, virus isolation and HIV diagnosis. It was on the basis of this evidence that the panel agreed to research the validity of the HIV test.

This is what the Perth group says:

In the rush to come first with a viral cause of Aids, scientists mistakenly inferred the presence of a unique, new, sexually transmitted microbe, and have wrongly scared the living daylights out of us ever since.

In the earlier years of Aids, when American, French and British scientists introduced the HIV concept and the test and treatment, the perception that there was a public health emergency made it hard for dissenting views to be expressed. Today, the silence owes as much to embarrassment, and the power of commercial interests, as to any altruistic motives.

Millions are said to have died of Aids in Africa, while in Britain, a nation of 60 million people, cases amount to about 16,000 since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, and are falling: the total this year is 300. Anti-viral drugs have nothing to do with this difference, contrary to the claims in the Durban Declaration. There is not a single long-term study showing the drugs save lives. On the contrary, there is evidence that the anti-viral approach kills. Recognition of this fact, along with increasing awareness of the flaws in the HIV theory, is a factor contributing to the falling death rate in Europe.

South Africa has been told that a 10th of its people are infected with HIV, and that about half of all its 15-year-olds will die of Aids. The government is surely entitled to listen to previously ignored scientists who believe these predictions stem from use of an invalid diagnostic test, for a virus that has never been proved to exist.

Neville Hodgkinson, formerly medical and science correspondent of the London Sunday Times, is the author of AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science (Fourth Estate, London, 1996). He was an observer at last week's hearing of the Aids Advisory Panel.
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