REPLY BY DUESBERG:
To the Editor:
In her review of my "Inventing the AIDS Virus"
(April 7), June E. Osborn writes: "This book is destructive of personal
morale, prevention efforts and public understanding both of H.I.V./AIDS
and of biomedical science in general. It has the potential to wreak serious
harm at a crucial point in the AIDS epidemic." At the same time, Dr.
Osborn faithfully defends the H.I.V.-AIDS orthodoxy with "enormous
bodies of evidence... that firmly implicate H.I.V. in AIDS" but without
being able to provide the one paper that proves that H.I.V. causes AIDS.
Yet 12 years and $35 billion after starting the war on AIDS in the name
of the hypothesis that H.I.V. causes AIDS, America has no vaccine and no
drug, has lost over 300,000 lives to AIDS and has yet to save the first
AIDS patient. This is a sad testimony to the inability of the scientific
and medical community to deal with AIDS properly.
In such a situation the scientific method calls for new, alternative
hypotheses to compete with the unproductive H.I.V.-AIDS hypothesis. The
scientific method functions very much like the free market economy: it
provides the taxpayer and the patient with the most competitive and productive
"Inventing the AIDS Virus" has done exactly this. It provides
a coherent and extensively documented alternative AIDS hypothesis. It is
proposing that American and European AIDS is the medical consequence of
the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and of antiviral drugs
like AZT. This hypothesis is a synthesis and extension of the Centers for
Disease Control's very own pre-1984 "life style" hypothesis of
AIDS, and of many recent studies that document the toxicity of AZT. The
drug-AIDS hypothesis is very testable and could prevent, even cure, AIDS
at a fraction of the annual $7.5 billion Federal AIDS budget currently
invested in the unproductive H.I.V. hypothesis. In the light of the drug
hypothesis, H.I.V. is a harmless passenger virus, and AIDS is an entirely
preventable, and in part curable, consequence of the drug epidemic.
One would expect Dr. Osborn to give an alternative to the failed H.I.V.
hypothesis some serious consideration. Yet there is not a single complimentary
sentence in her review. Wearing her H.I.V.-AIDS blinkers, she not only
misunderstands but also misrepresents the drug-AIDS hypothesis.
For example, contrary to Dr. Osborn's assertion, "Inventing the
AIDS Virus" does not assert that "gay men in whom AIDS was diagnosed
in the early years... were not being truthful if they denied drug use."
The book documents with dozens of references that if asked, gay men with
AIDS all reported abundant recreational drug use.
Also, contrary to Dr. Osborn, I do not "dismiss" AIDS in other
countries. Both Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 and an appended scientific paper
deal extensively with AIDS in other countries and its causes, which are
malnutrition, parasitic infection and poor sanitation.
In the face of our AIDS epidemic and in the name of science, I object
to a partial and political review of my book. Isn't our common enemy AIDS
rather than Peter Duesberg and other H.I.V. dissidents? Should AIDS be
the winner of this debate because dissidents must be losers? Wouldn't it
be prudent to divert a few million dollars from the annual $7.5 billion
AIDS budget into just one alternative hypothesis?