HIV Orthodoxy: A Failed Scientific Theory

HIV research has been the occasion for objections from many scientists, called dissidents. Although these dissidents are in positions of financial power vastly inferior to the positions of the holders of the established theory, they are in no way scientifically inferior. HIV is a retrovirus. Prior to the announcement of HIV as the cause of AIDS by people at NIH, Peter Duesberg would have been acknowledged as the most eminent retrovirologist. But he disagreed with those at NIH holding the monetary resources for people's scientific careers. He lost all of his own government funding. His institution, perhaps not wanting to offend the source of government funding, assigned him duties teaching undergraduate labs, and removed him from contact with graduate students. (He now has independent support for his research, from a philanthropist.)

At one point I called my colleague at what is perennially ranked the nation's number one medical school in research, and asked him if scientists there thought that HIV really was the cause of AIDS. He replied, "Those that don't have a financial or career stake are skeptical, but not openly." Not openly indeed: look at what happened to Peter Duesberg.

So Prof. Duesberg wrote his book Inventing the AIDS Virus (722 pages).

Henry Bauer writes The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.

Rebecca Culshaw writes Science Sold Out: Does HIV Really Cause AIDS?

Robert Root-Bernstein writes Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus.

Prof. Culshaw lists "just a few" (13) failed predictions of the accepted theory, on pages 73 through 76. And in her Introduction, she notes "the prevalence of HIV in the U. S. population [number of HIV-positive people] has remained, for all intents and purposes, perfectly constant since testing began in 1985 (see Figure 1)."
In 1985, this number was one million people.

From the medical establishment we have the following.
In January 2021, a link from Medscape (a site for MDs and other health-care providers) reported the latest CDC estimate to be 1.1 million. Medscape called this an "epidemic", and provided detailed information on the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines (drug protocols) for treating HIV-positive people.
HIV science has a lot of firsts — including an "epidemic" that has had a virtually constant number of infected people for its 36-year history.

I've written reviews of Profs. Culshaw's and Bauer's books for Here's the Culshaw review.

Review of Rebecca Culshaw's Science Sold Out

A few years ago, a woman was taken to court in the city of Bangor, Maine, by public health officials, to establish that she was an unfit mother. The officials were seeking to remove her child from her own care.
Previously, the woman had had a child testing HIV-positive, and given him the medications prescribed. He developed severe symptoms – and died. Now a second child was tested HIV-positive, and started on prescribed medication. When symptoms like those of her first child developed in the second, the woman panicked, and refused to administer the medication. Hence the court action.
In the end, the judge found in favor of the woman. In his statement, he told the public health officials that they were certain that the medication and treatment they were enforcing was the best treatment. But a few years ago, they were just as certain of their prescriptions – which they now held to be inappropriate. Not going along with these inconsistent people did not make the mother unfit.
A similar case in Quebec ended differently. The judge found in favor of the public health officials. The woman involved had anticipated this, however, and had her car all gassed and stocked. When the decision was announced, the woman grabbed her kids and ran – and became a fugitive.
Rebecca Culshaw, in her book “Science Sold Out: Does HIV really cause AIDS?”, describes the scientific situation:
“In mathematics, a journal article takes a significant amount of time to write and at least several months to go through the review process. By the time a paper appears in print, it may well be years from the time the work was first started. On several occasions I submitted papers with fairly recent references regarding various aspects of HIV’s molecular biology, only to be answered with the criticism from a reviewer that some of these references were now ‘out of date’. Sometimes the references were only two or three years old. I later discovered that this is common occurrence in HIV research. … it seems to be endemic in HIV research that, rather than continually building on an accumulating body of secure knowledge with only occasional missteps, the bulk of the structure gets knocked down every three to four years, replaced by yet another hypothesis, standard of care, or definition of what, exactly, AIDS really is. This new structure eventually gets knocked down in the same fashion.
“Even more disturbing is the fact that HIV researchers continually claim that certain papers’ results are out of date, yet they have absolutely no hesitation in citing the entire body of scientific research on HIV as massive overwhelming evidence in favor of HIV. They can’t have it both ways, yet this is exactly what they try to do.” (p. 11,12)
In another place: “HIV researchers … conveniently ‘forget’ every few years when they announce a new and exciting discovery that will ‘explain everything’ that a similarly new and exciting discovery from a few years back is now shown to be wrong … .” (p.8)
Again: “[HIV researchers] know that the history of HIV/AIDS is littered with documented cases of fraud, incompetence, and poor-quality research, yet they find it almost impossible to imagine that this could be happening at the present moment. They know their predictions have never panned out, yet they keep inventing mysterious mechanisms for HIV pathogenesis. They know many therapies of the past are now acknowledged to be mistakes …. , yet they never imagine that their current therapies … might one day be acknowledged as mistakes themselves.
“It’s time for them to wake up.” (p. 21,22)
The situation with HIV/AIDS science is as follows: Government scientists (at NIH) recognized an association (not very good: only 26 out of a cohort of 72 “had any trace of HIV”, p.61) between a Virus (HIV) and some diseases previously associated with AIDS. They jumped to the conclusion that HIV caused AIDS. And immediately curtailed funding any research into other possible causes. They then built a science on the assumption that HIV causes AIDS. Their science has resulted in an enormous amount of information abut the virus HIV, but continually fails both in predictions and in understanding how HIV might cause AIDS. Consequently, the science is continually being scrapped and restated. This is strong indication that the unproven assumption is, in fact, false.
Prof. Culshaw’s book has been characterized by another reviewer as “denialist literature”. According to the dictionary, the state of being in denial is “a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the reality.” HIV scientists can use the word “denialists” of their critics because they assume that their own perception of HIV science really is reality. Note that what they do here linguistically is exactly what they do with their science: they confuse their own unproven ideas with reality.
At one time, Rebecca Culshaw had implicit faith in the official science of HIV/AIDS. Writing both a masters and a Ph.D. thesis on HIV modeling, she was deeply and professionally involved in that science. And she changed her mind because of the scientific evidence. (By the way, I’ve never heard of an instance of the reverse process – where someone that does not think HIV causes AIDS changes their mind because of the scientific evidence[!!])
Prof. Culshaw concludes one chapter with the statement, “It is this decline in scientific standards [that she has been demonstrating, and that I myself have witnessed] that I point to when I am asked how so many scientists and doctors could be so wrong. Given the current research atmosphere, it was almost inevitable that a very significant scientific mistake was going to be made.” (p. 15)
My own interpretation of why the HIV mistake was accepted by the medical community [adds to] Prof. Culshaw’s. What happens to a nurse, if he or she openly disagrees with an MD? What happens if a resident (new MD) criticizes the head of medicine in his or her program? In both cases an entire career is jeopardized. In medicine there is a top-down authority that is adhered to. Physicians are noticed, and possibly in jeopardy, if their care does not line up with the “standard of care”. So medicine has a standing, top-down authority structure. And an accepted, top-down way of getting information. And what happens if at the very top of this structure, where research is done and funding is decided, if we have “Science Sold Out”?

Henry Bauer (p. 152) says: "Doctors are not scientists. M.D.s are over-represented among prominent proponents of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy, and Ph.D. scientists trained for research are over-represented among prominent HIV/AIDS dissenters."
And we have the situation with HIV/AIDS, where a group over-represented by MDs, trained in diagnosing and treating illness, is in charge of deciding on scientific foundations. It has not turned out well.

The Introduction to Prof. Duesberg's book Inventing the AIDS Virus was written by Kary Mullis, who was given a Nobel Prize for inventing "PCR". PCR is used by the medical establishment (in a nonsensical way, according to Mullis) to determine HIV status. Here's Mullis's Introduction to Duesberg's book.

   In 1988 I was working as a consultant at Specialty Labs in Santa Monica, CA, setting up analytic routines for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). I knew a lot about setting up analytic routines for anything with nucleic acids in it because I invented the Polymerase Chain Reaction. That's why they hired me.
   Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), on the other hand, was something I did not know a lot about. Thus, when I found myself writing a report on our progress and goals for the project, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, I recognized that I did not know the scientific reference to support a statement I had just written: "HIV is the probable cause of AIDS."
   So I turned to the virologist at the next desk, a reliable and competent fellow, and asked him for the reference. He said I didn't need one. I disagreed. While it's true that certain scientific discoveries or techniques are so well established that their sources are no longer referenced in the contemporary literature, that didn't seem to be the case with the HIV/AIDS connection. It was totally remarkable to me that the individual who had discovered the cause of a deadly and as-yet-uncured disease would not be continually referenced in the scientific papers until that disease was cured and forgotten. But as I would soon learn, the name of that individual - who would surely be Nobel material - was on the tip of no one's tongue.
   Of course, this simple reference had to be out there somewhere. Otherwise, tens of thousands of public servants and esteemed scientists of many callings, trying to solve the tragic deaths of a large number of homosexual and/or intravenous (IV) drug-using men between the ages of twenty-five and forty, would not have allowed their research to settle into one narrow channel of investigation. Everyone wouldn't fish in the same pond unless it was well established that all the other ponds were empty. There had to be a published paper, or perhaps several of them, which taken together indicated that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS. There just had to be.
   I did computer searches, but came up with nothing. Of course, you can miss something important in computer searches by not putting in just the right key words. To be certain about a scientific issue, it's best to ask other scientists directly. That's one thing that scientific conferences in faraway places with nice beaches are for.
   I was going to a lot of meetings and conferences as part of my job. I got in the habit of approaching anyone who gave a talk about AIDS and asking him or her what reference I should quote for that increasingly problematic statement, "HIV is the probable cause of AIDS."
   After ten or fifteen meetings over a couple years, I was getting pretty upset when no one could cite the reference. I didn't like the ugly conclusion that was forming in my mind: The entire campaign against a disease increasingly regarded as a twentieth century Black Plague was based on a hypothesis whose origins no one could recall. That defied both scientific and common sense.
   Finally, I had an opportunity to question one of the giants in HIV and AIDS research, DL Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, when he gave a talk in San Diego. It would be the last time I would be able to ask my little question without showing anger, and I figured Montagnier would know the answer. So I asked him.
   With a look of condescending puzzlement, Montagnier said, "Why don't you quote the report from the Centers for Disease Control? "
   I replied, "It doesn't really address the issue of whether or not HIV is the probable cause of AIDS, does it?"
   "No," he admitted, no doubt wondering when I would just go away. He looked for support to the little circle of people around him, but they were all awaiting a more definitive response, like I was.
   "Why don't you quote the work on SIV [Simian Immunodeficiency Virus]?" the good doctor offered.
   "I read that too, DL Montagnier," I responded. "What happened to those monkeys didn't remind me of AIDS. Besides, that paper was just published only a couple of months ago. I'm looking for the original paper where somebody showed that HIV caused AIDS.
   This time, DL Montagnier's response was to walk quickly away to greet an acquaintance across the room.
   Cut to the scene inside my car just a few years ago. I was driving from Mendocino to San Diego. Like everyone else by now, I knew a lot more about AIDS than I wanted to. But I still didn't know who had determined that it was caused by HIV. Getting sleepy as I came over the San Bernardino Mountains, I switched on the radio and tuned in a guy who was talking about AIDS. His name was Peter Duesberg, and he was a prominent virologist at Berkeley. I'd heard of him, but had never read his papers or heard him speak. But I listened, now wide awake, while he explained exactly why I was having so much trouble finding the references that linked HIV to AIDS. There weren't any. No one had ever proved that HIV causes AIDS. When I got home, I invited Duesberg down to San Diego to present his ideas to a meeting of the American Association for Chemistry. Mostly skeptical at first, the audience stayed for the lecture, and then an hour of questions, and then stayed talking to each other until requested to clear the room. Everyone left with more questions than they had brought.
   I like and respect Peter Duesberg. I don't think he knows necessarily what causes AIDS; we have disagreements about that. But we're both certain about what doesn't cause AIDS.
   We have not been able to discover any good reasons why most of the people on earth believe that AIDS is a disease caused by a virus called HIV. There is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true.
   We have also not been able to discover why doctors prescribe a toxic drug called AZT (Zidovudine) to people who have no other complaint other than the fact that they have the presence of antibodies to HIV in their blood. In fact, we cannot understand why humans would take this drug for any reason.
   We cannot understand how all this madness came about, and having both lived in Berkeley, we've seen some strange things indeed. We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake.
   I say this rather strongly as a warning. Duesberg has been saying it for a long time.

Underprivileged people around the world are often helped by non-government charitable organizations (NGOs). Etienne de Harven (the scientist that produced the first micrograph of a retrovirus budding on the surface of infected cells) and Jean-Claude Roussez, in their book Ten Lies about AIDS write about "the incredible incompetence of the international organizations that are meant to help underprivileged populations. Instead, these organizations prefer to flood these territories with vaccines and antiviral medicines, rather than giving these destitute people drinking water and elementary sanitary equipment." (p. 93)

I've written to four of these organizations, to which I had previously been contributing, about the fact that science does not support the treatments they support. Here's a copy of one letter.

July 20, 2016
Dear Folks at xxx [an NGO],
I’m a retired research mathematician. One of my projects—finding logically consistent symbolizations of immunogenetic data—was funded from 1976 to 1991 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1991, I did not seek further renewal of this grant because I had become extremely disenchanted with the biomedical research community.
For the last five years of the grant, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (part of Harvard Medical School) subcontracted under the grant. At one time, I asked my colleague at Dana-Farber whether the scientists at the medical school believed that HIV caused AIDS. He replied that those that did not have a financial or career stake were skeptical, but not openly. This agrees 100% with the way I saw things happening in biomedical research .
People are pursuing money and protecting their careers. If they’re in biomedical research, their careers depend on their being able to attract money to their institutions. And NIH is the big source of money. It judges proposals for funding. It also does research itself. ... [details of the NIH announcement that HIV caused AIDS followed here in the letter.]
Normally, in science, research results are published and then verified by other scientists, before they are accepted. In the case of HIV and AIDS there was a rush to get credit (and patent rights for procedures), so the announcement didn’t wait for confirmation by other scientists. Doing such a thing is legitimate, but there must be accompanying scientific papers that can later be checked by other scientists.
But the situation is this: these other scientists depend on approval by NIH to get funding and support their own careers. Prof. Peter Duesberg, a scientist that has from the start said that HIV does not cause AIDS, consequently lost all government support for his research. And scientists generally don’t want to go this route—it would be fatal to their careers. There is a minority of scientists that are nevertheless openly skeptical of the idea that HIV causes AIDS. Some of these belong to a group for reassessing AIDS with about 2000 members (last I heard) that includes scientists, scientific journalists, and physicians.
For the experiences of one scientist (Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis) trying to find the scientific literature that should have accompanied the [NIH] announcement, check out > Viewpoints > Kary Mullis. Please do this. If you are supporting the giving of antiretroviral medication in the belief that it is helping people, you owe it to these people to read what Prof. Mullis has to say.
HIV/AIDS drugs have never been shown to be safe and effective. Instead of the established system of comparing a new drug to a placebo in a trial, the HIV/AIDS drugs of any generation are compared only to the HIV/AIDS drugs of the previous generation. In time, we have a series of comparisons going back to the first HIV/AIDS drug, AZT. All we can say with scientific certainty about the latest HIV/AIDS drug is that it is no less safe and effective than AZT. AZT was designed as a chemotherapy drug for cancer, but was never used because it was too toxic. (Too toxic for chemotherapy!) In order to legitimize its use for HIV, the usual safety protocols were ignored. Any appearance that progress is being made with these drugs is likely just the effect of their becoming less toxic (killing fewer people—or killing them more slowly—such deaths being officially attributed to AIDS). (Some of these drugs do have an antibiotic effect on particular AIDS-defining diseases, and may seem to be doing good for a while. But they do not cure AIDS.)
Dr. Donald Abrams of UC San Francisco tried to run a collaborative (area physicians participating) trial where the then-current HIV/AIDS drug was tested against a placebo. Although he did believe that HIV caused AIDS, his patients that received the drug were dying faster than those that chose not to. So he wanted to run a definitive study. Unfortunately, when area doctors found out that their patients were getting only the placebo, they withdrew the patients from the trial—ultimately invalidating the trial.
[2021 comment on this letter: Prof. Bauer is right. "Doctors are not scientists." Instead of awaiting the results of the trial, area doctors prejudged the outcome as favorable to the drug, and put their patients on the drug.]
So where are we today? After over 30 years and billions of dollars spent, no one knows how HIV causes AIDS. There is always a current hypothesis that people are excited about, and researchers are being funded, and their careers are doing well, but, still, no one knows how HIV causes AIDS.
All the ways of showing that a bug does cause a disease, without knowing exactly how, have not shown that HIV causes AIDS. For example, chimps get all the viral diseases that humans do when inoculated with the human viruses. Chimps inoculated with HIV die of old age—they never get AIDS. (Nor did Dr. Robert Willner (MD, PhD) who purposely infected himself with HIV in 1994 to show that HIV does not cause AIDS.) ...
“Viral load”, the marker determining antiretroviral drug administration, is not a measure of HIV cells in the body, but a measure of DNA from antibodies that have responded to a long-past HIV infection. This DNA is so rare that it has to be amplified over and over again by a process called “polymerase chain reaction” or PCR. Keeping track of just how hard you have to apply PCR before you see anything is called “quantitative PCR”. Kary Mullis was given a Nobel Prize for inventing PCR. He calls quantitative PCR “nonsense”.
The HIV - AIDS connection shows the classical symptoms of a failed scientific theory—like failed predictions (remember the prediction of AIDS exploding into the heterosexual community). Like strange, unpredictable facts. The predictions are wrong. The mathematics is wrong. Statistics are used incorrectly. We’re not getting less HIV because were using safe sex. Teen-age pregnancies are booming—teen-age HIV is not.
The world-wide AIDS establishment is founded on a travesty of science and on money. Once founded, it keeps going—on money, and on the validity of Tolstoy’s observation:
People can seldom admit the falsity of ideas upon which they have based their careers, which they have proudly explained to others, and woven day by day into the fabric of their lives.
This is what is going on in biomedical research.
Albert Einstein has said,
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
You are now operating in a complex area in which you have no expertise. Trusting the establishment for that expertise amounts to unthinking respect for authority. The establishment is not worthy of that trust.
Why not trust, or at least look into, what the whistle-blowers have to say—rather than what those saving face and protecting their careers and financial sources have to say.
Andrew Wohlgemuth, Ph.D.
xxx, xxx

When William Wilberforce publicized the evils of the slave trade, he thought it was so horrendous that once people knew of it they would quickly abolish the trade. An older and wiser John Wesley told him, however, that it would be a long struggle — because of those "worshipping the Goddess [financial] Interest".

The establishment is in charge of defining diseases. And it has defined idiopathic CD-T-cell lymphopenia, (ICL for short). According to Bauer (p.167), "This condition was invented for the sole purpose of masking the fact that AIDS occurs in the absence of HIV." And it accompanies a new definition of AIDS. AIDS is now defined as (1) being HIV positive, and (2) having a low T-cell count. If you have exactly the same T-cell count, but are HIV negative then you have ICL, not AIDS. Therefore HIV is now present in 100% of AIDS cases, by the new definition of AIDS. All of the dissidents' arguments that HIV does not cause AIDS are now "out of date".

It's interesting to compare the reactions of the medical establishment to the challenge from dissidents. In the case of diet and health, the establishment has paid lip service to diet (eat more veggies, and eat less meat) and otherwise ignored those promoting severe dietary changes. In the case of HIV, it would hardly do to try to ignore Peter Duesberg, Kary Mullis, and Etienne de Harven. They would have to be discredited, or at least said to be discredited. It had better suffice just to say so. So that's what we see.

What we don't see is anything in the scientific literature where they have been discredited.

Rebecca Culshaw, in her book Science Sold Out (p. 60) says:

The nails in the coffin of the dead HIV/AIDS paradigm have been hammered long ago, by a long list of scientists and medical researchers. The AIDS orthodoxy's only counter to the points made and the questions raised consist of ad hominem attacks including use of the term 'denialist', as well as stating that dissenting views have long since been 'discredited', without any reference to exactly where these views have been discredited. Unfortunately, words are powerful, and personal attacks are very effective at silencing people. Even a cursory examination of the literature reveals that the 'discrediting' of dissenting views takes place entirely within non-peer-reviewed outlets such as the anonymously authored NIH/NIAID document, 'The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS', and the Durban Declaration – both of which have been thoroughly refuted.

I was at one time asked to add my signature to the Durban Declaration, which is an attempt to pretend scientific consensus. The net to collect signatures had been cast widely enough to get to me. The request stated that I didn't have to be an HIV/AIDS specialist, but that surely I knew enough about HIV and AIDS to add my name to the declaration. Although having absorbed street wisdom on some topic is not a valid reason to attest to its truth, that's what they were asking for – no more than a blind vote of confidence in the system.

I've written each of the four NGOs that I am no longer contributing, because the "medication" they are providing is not only unproven scientifically, but can be deadly. I have no hope of influencing the establishment position on HIV. And it may be too much of a reach for NGOs to go from believing they are helping to believing they are doing harm. But if enough readers of this story will also withhold support and write, the NGOs may begin to listen. And fewer people may be subjected to an inappropriate and potentially deadly drug therapy.

The establishment experts have asked the world to believe them because they are the experts.
And the world, it seems, has done just that.
And little kids are made sick by inappropriate medication.
And some die.