Book review.


Peter H. Duesberg, 'Inventing the AIDS Virus' Regnery USA 1996, 720 pages, ISBN 0-89526-470-6.


There have been an estimated 100,000 academic papers published on AIDS, yet according to University of California (Berkeley) biologist Peter Duesberg, not a single one proves a virus causes the deaths. Here he makes a compelling and explosively controversial case that $35 billion of government AIDS research money has run into a dead-end. Yet government scientists, pursuing their vested interest, continue to demand more tax dollars for AIDS research. Moreover, Duesberg suggests, government officials are trying to suppress those who question what's going on. I understand many publishers were reluctant to touch this book.

All I can do is scratch the surface of Duesberg's immensely fascinating material. He observes that there hasn't been a really big viral epidemic in the United States since polio vaccines were developed more than three decades ago. Fears since then about imported tropical diseases haven't materialized. Meanwhile, large numbers of researchers are trained to hunt for viruses, many on government payrolls or government grants. If it turns out that AIDS has nothing to do with viruses, a lot of these people will lose their funding.

Duesberg tells what the federal government's Centers for Disease Control has done with AIDS statistics, steadily increasing the number of diseases considered part of the AIDS syndrome--diseases that kill someone whose immune system has collapsed. Now there are some 30 diseases, which means you can't figure a trend by comparing AIDS deaths in one year vs. another. Thus, even when the mission is to save lives, government involvement means monkey business.

Duesberg begins his case by explaining what's required to determine whether deaths are caused by some kind of infectious agent: (1) it must be found in all patients and every diseased tissue, (2) it must be isolated and cultured in a laboratory and (3) the purified infectious agent must cause the disease in another host. AIDS, says Duesberg, doesn't meet any of these tests.

Moreover, Duesberg reports that while the number of HIV-positive Americans has been steady for years around a million the number of AIDS deaths has gone up sharply. About eight times more Africans test positive for HIV, but the continent has fewer AIDS cases.

Duesberg reports more problems with the disease hypothesis. Infections don't discriminate among people. They hit both sexes and all ethnic groups. Yet more than a decade after the first AIDS case was announced, AIDS still hasn't gone beyond the original risk groups: male homosexuals, intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs. Overall, 90% of AIDS cases are men.

Why hemophiliacs like Ryan White who supposedly died of AIDS? Duesberg cites evidence that hemophiliacs suffer a progressive degeneration of their immune systems whether or not they test positive for HIV. White's symptoms, Duesberg notes, "interestingly happen to match the classical description of hemophilia, none being listed as peculiar to the AIDS condition."

There's a similar story with blood transfusion patients who died of AIDS, such as California tax fighter Paul Gann. Duesberg reports that about half of transfusion patients die within a year after transfusion. They were already sick.

Duesberg bets that long-term drug use is behind the AIDS deaths. In addition to the one-third of victims officially recorded as intravenous drug users, Duesberg presents evidence that a high percentage of homosexual victims are drug users. AIDS, he says, tends to strike so-called "fast-track" homosexuals who have a large number of sexual contacts and engage in long-term use of "recreational" drugs including alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, amyl nitrate, butyl nitrate, barbiturates, ecstacy (XTC), librium, Mandrex, MDA, quaalude, special K, seconal, THC, tuinol and valium--often several together. Such long-term drug use, Duesberg notes, will definitely undermine one's immune system to the point where opportunistic diseases take over.

"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," writes Nobel Prize winning chemist Mullis in the foreword. "There is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true."

If they are right, then instead of being an impersonal disease which could strike anyone, AIDS becomes an issue of personal behavior and responsibility. Probably there would be less public sympathy for continued mega-funding of AIDS research. But more important, individuals would know they can do much to protect their own lives provided the right story gets out.

This book is a thriller of scientific discovery and cover-up.

You've got to check it out.

Review by: Jim Powell
Source: Laissez Faire Books, San Francisco, April 1996