by Henry Bauer

extracted from The Anomalist-11

Summer 2003

from Scribd Website


Kary Mullis won a Nobel Prize for inventing the technique of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) that is used by everyone in molecular biology, genetic engineering, forensic science - by anyone who analyzes DNA.


In his autobiography, Mullis (2000) reports that for 15 years he asked in vain for references to peer-reviewed publications demonstrating that AIDS is infectious and that HIV is its cause.


Finally he was able to ask someone who would certainly know, the man who first discovered the virus later called HIV, Luc Montagnier:

Montagnier suggested, “Why don’t you reference the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] report?”

“I read it,” I said, “That doesn’t really address the issue of whether or not HIV is the probable cause of AIDS, does it?”

He agreed with me.


It was damned irritating. If Montagnier didn’t know the answer, who the hell did?

Besides Mullis there are other competent and informed scientists who do not believe that HIV has been shown to be the cause of AIDS; but one would not know that from the coverage of AIDS in the media.


Yet the possibility is of an importance that can hardly be exaggerated: people found to be HIV-positive are “treated” with drugs that have very unpleasant side-effects, indeed are toxic (as well as exceedingly expensive); and the United Nations has proposed a multi-billion-dollar program that would provide such drugs to even more people.

Here are some of the salient points that cast doubt on a causal connection between HIV and AIDS. (I can do no more than just raise these points here; at the end, I will suggest further reading that gives chapter and verse to these and additional points.)

Predictions have persistently been wrong, when based on the belief that AIDS is infectious and caused by HIV.

Fifteen years ago, our society came close to panic under the belief that this sexually transmitted disease, invariably fatal within a short time, would soon spread into the general population. That has not happened (Fumento 1990). The same groups are at risk as before: chiefly promiscuous gay men and heavy users of “recreational” drugs.

In the mid-1980s, the media were full of dire predictions that Thailand’s population would be decimated by AIDS (Duesberg, 1996: 289). Instead, the incidence of HIV infection there is now estimated at only 2.15% (Anon., 2000: 19).

Announcing the discovery of HIV, Robert Gallo promised that within a year there would be a vaccine to protect against AIDS. Fifteen years later, there is no vaccine. The estimated time from infection by HIV to development of full-scale AIDS, and from then to death, has grown steadily longer.


In the early 1980s, only months were supposed to intervene between infection and death; now the estimate, for otherwise healthy individuals, is as much as two decades!

Unlike with all other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), being a female prostitute is not a risk factor for contracting AIDS. Attempts to explain away this incongruity have produced a variety of bizarre suggestions over the years; recently, for instance, that continual exposure to HIV might serve to immunize - but apparently only female prostitutes, not male prostitutes or promiscuous gay males!

Teenage girls in Britain have the highest rate of pregnancy and STDs in Western Europe; but the STDs they experience are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital warts and not HIV (Lockwood, 2000); indeed Britain has a very low incidence of HIV at 0.11% (Anon. 2000: 19).

A number of suggestions have been made - including by Luc Montagnier - that AIDS results only if “co-factors” are present in addition to HIV infection. But more than a decade of investigation has failed to discover these postulated factors.

The tests “for HIV” are actually tests for antibodies to HIV. But in the case of other diseases, the detection of antibodies in apparently healthy people is taken as an indication that infection has been successfully vanquished by the immune system.


Why not with HIV-AIDS? Moreover the tests are not even specific for HIV antibodies: dozens of other conditions yield positive “HIV” tests.


False positives are given by - among other things:

  • blood transfusions

  • Epstein-Barr virus

  • flu

  • flu vaccination

  • hemophilia

  • hepatitis

  • herpes

  • leprosy

  • malaria

  • multiple myeloma

  • organ transplantation

  • other retroviruses

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • tuberculosis…

The statistics about HIV and AIDS from various sources differ wildly.


To give just one example:

in 1999, WHO (World Health Organization) recorded a cumulative total of 800,000 AIDS cases in Africa (as against 700,000 in the U.S.) whereas the Joint United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS) claimed 14 million deaths from AIDS and 23 million people now infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa (Jones 2000).

The media fail to include in their sensationalist coverage of African AIDS the fact that in Africa, “AIDS” is diagnosed on the basis of the Bangui definition:

diarrhea, fever, and weight loss - conditions anything but unique to AIDS.

The Bangui definition (WHO 1986; Quinn et al. 1986: 961 & Table 5) was evolved because facilities for clinical testing are lacking in so much of Africa.


Any statistics about “HIV infection” in Africa are based at most on very small samples extrapolated a long way, at worst on the presumption that everyone with diarrhea, fever, and weight loss is an HIV-AIDS victim.

HIV and AIDS are nowadays linked by definition: the CDC classifies people as AIDS victims only if they harbor HIV. However, when the AIDS epidemic was first identified, diagnosis was based on immune-system deficiencies and the occurrence of otherwise rare, opportunistic infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma being one of the most prominent.


After the discovery of HIV, however, the CDC diagnostic criteria were altered so that people with damaged immune systems are no longer diagnosed as having AIDS if they are not also HIV-positive; they are now said to suffer from “idiopathic CD4-T-cell lymphopenia” (Root-Bernstein 1995), which means “immune system lacking CD4 cells for some unknown reason” - which meant “AIDS”, before the announced discovery of HIV.

The CDC has, in point of fact, altered its diagnostic criteria several times. Had it not done so, the incidence of AIDS in the United States would have started to decrease even before the early 1990s.

Regarding Kaposi’s sarcoma, it is also worth noting that this supposed opportunistic infection, virtually the trademark of AIDS when the epidemic first surfaced, is now rare among AIDS cases and is no longer listed by the CDC as an HIV disease (Duesberg 1996: 463).

No one has explained how HIV damages the immune system.

When a virus, composed of DNA plus protein, invades a cell, it captures the cell’s reproductive mechanisms which are normally controlled by the cell’s own DNA (in the chromosomes of the cell’s nucleus). The viral DNA then copies itself, producing more virus particles. Eventually the cell breaks up and the new virus particles are freed to invade more cells. The virus multiplies and cells die thereby.

A retrovirus like HIV is composed of RNA (Ribonucleic acid), not DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid).


When it invades a cell, it uses the enzyme “reverse transcriptase” to produce DNA that is incorporated into the cell’s chromosomes. To produce more retrovirus, that DNA must then produce RNA. But that is the normal manner of operation when cells divide or when they make proteins.


How would that kill the cell?


That question has been incessantly asked by Peter Duesberg, one of the earliest and foremost experts in retrovirology; he believes, in fact, that retroviruses never can kill cells.

Even further: HIV has never been found in more than a very small percentage of the immune-system cells of HIV-infected people. What then causes most of the immune-system cells to disappear?

An increasing number of HIV-positive people, knowledgeable about the toxicity of the drug treatments, are declining treatment and living healthy lives (Maggiore 2000). Thus HIV does not inevitably produce AIDS even when not treated; and (point 6 above) immune-system deficiencies just like in AIDS also occur in absence of HIV. Thus HIV and AIDS are not even inevitably correlated, let alone causally connected.

But if HIV is not the cause of AIDS, then what is?

While the so-called “dissidents” from the orthodox view are unanimous that HIV has not been shown to cause AIDS, they differ among themselves over what the cause is. Some like Root-Bernstein (1993) believe that destruction of the immune system follows a succession or variety of insults to it, with HIV being only one among several culprits, possibly the last straw in some cases.


Others like Duesberg (1996) believe that HIV is a harmless “passenger” virus that happens to thrive after immune systems have already been damaged; he believes that the chief destruction of the immune system comes from heavy use of drugs. A small group of physicians and scientists in Perth, Australia, claims that the very existence of HIV has yet to be demonstrated.

There is strong evidence that Kaposi’s sarcoma is caused by drug use, specifically the inhalation of “poppers”, organic nitrites that dilate blood vessels and relax muscles. In 1984, the majority of gay men reported using poppers, but by 1991 only a quarter did so; the proportion of AIDS cases with Kaposi’s sarcoma fell almost in unison, from 50% in 1981 to only 10% in 1991 (Duesberg 1996: 270ff.)

But if AIDS is not infectious, why did it first appear in close-knit communities? And how can it then be transmitted through blood transfusions?

Recall that infectiousness was not the first discovered characteristic of AIDS. It was at first called GRID - Gay Related Immune Deficiency; that was changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome essentially for reasons of political correctness, to avoid stigmatizing gay people. But neither term implies an infectious cause. Human communities share not only physical contact but also lifestyle.


There are several striking precedents for apparently infectious - physically contagious - epidemics that were not owing to bacterial or viral transmission. Well known examples include vitamin deficiencies resulting from inadequate diets, for instance scurvy on board ships. Less well known cases include the SMON epidemic, largely played out in Japan, which resulted from heavy prescription of a certain drug by certain physicians.


As to AIDS, the media have never emphasized that this epidemic which supposedly swept the communities of gay men has actually affected only a small percentage of gay men: some hundreds of thousands at most (out of at least several million) and chiefly in the large cities. In these communities “fast-lane” gay life was lived: staggering numbers of promiscuous encounters in conjunction with heavy and varied drug use.


These are not allegations made by homophobes, it should be emphasized; quite the contrary. Larry Kramer, a leading gay activist, had described the fast-lane scene most graphically in a novel (Kramer 1978) just before the epidemic exploded.


Another leading gay activist, John Lauritsen (1993), claims never to have met a gay sufferer from AIDS who denied heavy use of drugs.

Concerning blood transfusions, very detailed technical arguments have been published by Duesberg and others. For example, until very recently hemophiliacs suffered damage to their immune systems from the very blood products they received to provide clotting ability.


Further, that a virus could be transmitted through these products is unlikely in the extreme since the method of preparation includes heating that should kill any virus. Non-hemophiliacs who receive transfusions are, by that very fact, suffering from some serious illness and therefore likely to have already weakened immune systems.

But has not the development of new drugs, which prolong life in HIV-positive people, proved that HIV is the cause of AIDS?

No. In the first place, these treatments could not have decreased infection rates because the incidence of AIDS (in the United States) had begun to drop already in the early 1990s, before the hyped “cocktails” and HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) had come into widespread use.

In the second place, the drugs that supposedly kill HIV and protect against AIDS actually produce AIDS-like effects (Brink 1998; Lauritsen 1990).


A diagnosis of HIV infection followed by the conventional treatment will produce AIDS if the “therapy” is continued long enough. That is one reason why conventional treatment now increasingly incorporates “holidays” from drugs - whereas initially it had been claimed that any failure to take the drugs faithfully every day would cause the virus to rebound catastrophically.

To repeat what I quoted from Mullis: there are no scientific publications proving that HIV causes AIDS.


As I’ve now illustrated, many facts seem inexplicable if HIV is thought to cause AIDS. But as I also said at the outset, in a single article one cannot make a convincing case on so complicated an issue; all I hope to have done is arouse interest in the possibility that the conventional wisdom about HIV-AIDS is wrong. Full arguments including technicalities are given by Duesberg (1996) and Root-Bernstein (1993).


For the general reader, I recommend two short, very readable books, by:

  • Christine Maggiore, a young woman who was diagnosed HIV-positive. She was thereby stimulated to learn what that meant. She has since avoided anti-HIV therapy, married, and had a healthy child.

  • Joan Shenton, a British journalist whose investigation of the AIDS epidemic forced her to the conclusion that HIV is not its cause.

The best source of information is probably the Web-site of the Group for Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis,


There are at least 50 other Web-sites taking the dissident viewpoint, and a couple of dozen defending the orthodox viewpoint. Continuing coverage of media reports about AIDS, with occasional brief annotations from a dissident viewpoint, is provided by the news-group (to subscribe to it, send “subscribe rethinkaids” to



  • Anon. (reporting data from UNAIDS). (2000). Africa: a dying continent. Scotland on Sunday, 9 July.

  • Brink, Anthony R. (1998). Debating AZT (AZT - A Medicine from Hell), October;

  • Duesberg, P. (1996). Inventing the AIDS Virus. Washington (DC): Regnery.

  • Fumento, M. (1990). The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. New York: Basic Books.

  • Jones, C. (2000). Fudged facts on AIDS science does a number on Africa. NOW Magazine (Toronto), 9-15 March.

  • Kramer, L. (1978). Faggots. New York: Random House (reprinted 1984 by Warner Books, 1987 by Dutton, 2000 by Grove/Atlantic).

  • Lauritsen, J. (1990). Poison by Prescription: The AZT Story. New York: Asklepios.

  • Lauritsen, J. (1993). The AIDS War: Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex. New York: Asklepios.

  • Lockwood, C. (2000). Tell us more about sex. Times (UK), 29 June, p. 28.

  • Maggiore, C. (2000). What if Everything You Thought You Knew about Aids Was Wrong? Studio City (CA): American Foundation for AIDS Alternatives (revised 4th ed.).

  • Mullis, K. (2000). Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. New York: Vintage Books (first published 1998).

  • Quinn, T. C., Mann, J. M., Curran, J. W. and Piot, P. (1986). AIDS in Africa: an epidemiologic paradigm. Science, 234: 955-63.

  • Root-Bernstein, R. S. (1993). Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus. New York: Free Press.

  • Root-Bernstein, R. (1995a). The Duesberg phenomenon: what does it mean? Science, 267: 159.

  • Shenton, J. (1998). Positively False: Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS. London & New York: I. B. Tauris.

  • WHO (World Health Organization). (1986). Weekly Epidemiological Records, 61: 69-76.