THE BIG LIE ABOUT AIDS
By Gary Null
Penthouse April 1994
Ten years ago Dr. Duesberg was a lone voice in the world of AIDS research. At
that time, the molecular biologist, world renowned virologist, and U.C.L.A.
professor began asking a question that seems like heresy to this day: Is it possible
that we were wrong when we equated HIV with AIDS? While any scientific
discussion should allow such a challenge, others have tried to silence Dr. Duesberg.
AIDS research continues to be driven by the hypothesis that HIV is its cause, with
virtually all our medical and scientific resources invested in this hypothesis. But
several outstanding scientific voices are joining Dr. Duesberg in denouncing this
approach. Witness the report published in mid-1993 by a group of Australian
researchers led by Dr. Eleni Papadopoulos-Eleopulos. In this break-through report,
the scientists raise serious questions about the accuracy of HIV-antibody tests and,
more important, the very relationship between HIV and AIDS. They show that the
HIV tests produce inconsistent results, both within one laboratory that tested a
sample twice and between two labs that tested the same sample. What's more, it's
nearly impossible to determine the rate of "false positives" because there is no "gold
standard" to independently verify test results, as reported in the New York Native.
And that's not all. Among other things, the researchers also found that HIV cannot
be isolated in all AIDS patients, but HIV can be found in people who are
HIV-antibody negative. They found that people with non-AIDS diseases have
antibodies that can register a positive result on the HIV-antibody test. They found
that the p24 antigen is not, as is widely believed, an indicator of HIV infection or
AIDS. Indeed, people with multiple sclerosis, T-cell lymphoma, generalised warts,
and other diseases have the p24 antigen.
In short, it's time to face the disturbing notion that much of what we've been told
about AIDS is incorrect. Here are some of the factors that have led scientists to
challenge the well-entrenched hypothesis that HIV equals AIDS:
AIDS remains in high-risk groups. The claim that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS
has a lot of holes, says Dr. Robert S. Root-Bernstein, a professor of physiology at
Michigan State University and the MacArthur Prize-winning author of Rethinking
AIDS; The tragic Cost of Premature Consensus. The most striking flaw in the logic
is that AIDS has not spread to the general population; it continues to be
concentrated in high risk groups such as subsets of the homosexual population,
IV-drug users; and their sexual partners.
In the heterosexual population, the percentage of people with HIV or AIDS who
are not drug users is "extremely low" according to figures from the Centres for
Disease Control, points out Dr. Charles Thomas, president of the Helicon
Foundation in San Diego, a former Harvard professor, and a member of the Group
for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis.
"Two-thirds of the people who come down with AIDS admit to being homosexuals.
One-third do not," says Dr. Thomas. "To date, the C.D.C. lists almost 300,000
people with AIDS. That leaves 100,000 people over an 11-year period, not a very
great number. And within this group, a very large proportion are drug users and, in
particular, intravenous-drug users."
The scientific proof is lacking. According to Dr. Thomas, proponents of the
HIV-AIDS connection have yet to offer any "genuine scientific proof " that the
virus causes AIDS. "Any time scientists propose that a micro-organism causes a
disease, it's incumbent upon them to come up with the proof that it does. So far
they have failed to supply that proof," he says.
Remember, it's been nearly a decade since HIV was first deemed the cause of
AIDS, so scientists have had plenty of time to offer compelling, foolproof evidence.
"It was on April 23, 1984, that Margaret Heckler announced too the world that the
cause of AIDS had been found, namely, HIV. Robert Gallo's colleagues said that
his research made possible a blood test for AIDS and a vaccine could be ready for
testing in two or three years. That was in 1984, and nothing has happened in
almost 10 year."
In addition, certain rules of science must be followed for any agent to be
considered a causative factor in the disease, adds Dr. Roger Cunningham, an
immunologist, microbiologist, and the director of the Ernst Witsky Centre for
Immunology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
"The first rule is that an agent that's going to be blamed for a disease should be able
to be isolated from each and every case of disease," says Dr. Cunningham. "That is
not true with HIV and AIDS. It's very, very difficult, in many cases of AIDS, to
isolate the virus at all from these individuals. The second step is that you should be
able to transmit the agent that is [causing] the infectious disease to another animal
and have the disease develop in that animal. To the best of my knowledge, that has
never been done with the agent we call HIV. The final step, of course, is to remove
the agent from the animal which has been infected, put it into another animal, and
transmit the disease this fashion. This, too, has not occurred with HIV."
Dr. Arthur Gottlieb, chairperson of the Department of Microbiology and
Immunology at the Tulane university School of Medicine, agrees that too little is
known about HIV to conclude that it causes AIDS on its own. "This is a very
complex disease that is poorly understood, at best," states Dr. Gottlieb. "We know
a lot about the HIV virus; it's probably been the most extensively studied virus
ever. But in spite of that, we know relatively little about how the virus acts to cause
Continues Dr. Gottlieb, "When HIV was isolated from people who had the disease
we call AIDS, the immediate presumption was that this was the causative agent. It
became a very popular idea that this 'new virus' must be causing the disease by
itself because it was isolated from the patients with the disease and caused damage
to cells in the test tube. This ignores the likelihood that there are many other factors
involved in determining how this virus causes disease."
Says Dr. Gottlieb: "The viewpoint has been so firm that HIV is the only cause and
will result in disease in every patient, that anyone who challenges that is regarded as
'politically incorrect.' I don't think - as a matter of public policy - we gain by that,
because it limits debate and discussion and focuses drug development on attacking
the virus rather than attempting to correct the disorder of the immune system,
which is central to the disease."
Professor Richard Strohman, a biologist for 35 years and professor emeritus of cell
biology at the University of California at Berkeley, believes that HIV may be
completely unrelated to AIDS, but that we have no way of knowing this because
scientists will not even entertain the possibility that their HIV theory is incorrect.
"In the old days it was required that a scientist address the possibilities of proving
his hypothesis wrong as well as right. Now there's none of that in standard
HIV-AIDS program with all its billions of dollars," says Strohman.
Dr. Gottlieb concludes that it's best to keep an open mind when so little is yet
known. "If you firmly believe that HIV is the sole causative agent, you're going to
try your best to show that it's true. I think, at the moment, we're all best off if we
keep our minds open. Nothing has been ruled out at this point."
Being antibody-positive protects against disease. No infectious agent causes disease
in every person who's infected, assuming natural immune responses are at work,
says Professor Steven Jonas, professor of preventive medicine at the State
University of New York at Stony Brook. "Native American Indians in the
seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries were decimated by smallpox
because their immune system couldn't produce antibodies to the virus. But that's a
different situation. With HIV, the only way we know that people have been
infected is because they develop the antibody - a chemical that the body makes to
fight off an infectious agent, such as a virus, bacteria, or fungus - to HIV.
"When the body produces an antibody to a disease, there is no historical
precedence for it spreading uniformly throughout the population and killing
everybody that gets infected," Jonas continues. "For example, look at the Black
Death that hit Western Europe around 1365. Most people focus on the fact that it
killed a third of the population of Western Europe. What they don't consider is that
two-thirds of the population didn't die. They survived despite the fact that no
measures were taken to prevent infection or treat disease."
Jonas concludes that when the average healthy person is infected with HIV, he or
she is highly unlikely to develop AIDS in the absence of cofactors. The basis for
this reasoning comes from his personal experience with tuberculosis bacillus.
"As a medical student in the late fifties and early sixties," he says, "I was exposed
to tuberculosis. Although I became infected with the tuberculosis bacillus, I never
got tuberculosis and I never will get it. The only thing that changed was that I
developed the antibody to the tuberculosis bacillus. Otherwise, my body functions
in a healthy way. Similarly, when people become HIV-positive, all that means is
that they've got the antibody on board. If their immune system functions in a
healthy way, it kills of the virus.
"When Magic Johnson announced that he was infected by HIV," Jonas continues,
"I wrote him a letter saying that assuming he didn't have any other disease or
condition that compromised his immune system, and assuming he didn't tale AZT,
I would wager $ 10,000 that he would not die of AIDS. I advised Magic Johnson to
unretire and go back to playing in the N.B.A. He took that advice, although I'm
sure it was not because I sent him a letter. I think it was highly unfortunate that he
was forced to retire. I'm sure that there are any number of players in the N.B.A.
who are HIV-positive, and none of them will get AIDS either, unless they have
some other disease or condition which compromises their immune system."
AIDS is politically, not medical, defined. Why haven't we examined the role of HIV
cofactors? Jonas believes it is because we applied a political, rather than a medical,
definition to the syndrome's pathophysiology. AIDS was first defined during "the
radical-right Reagan administration, which was filled with homophobes," he says.
"They saw a disease which appeared to be developing only in the gay-male
population - a population which, for whatever internal psychological reasons, they
greatly feared. It wasn't until 1987 that Reagan could even bring himself to say the
word AIDS. First they tried to ignore the existence of this calamity. They tried to
find something very specific to confirm their view that this particular disease was
the property of gay men as a group.
"At the same time," Jonas adds, "there were people who felt that a single-virus
theory would be very useful in helping to raise public awareness about the 'disease'.
It would help them get the research they thought was necessary and public funding
for its treatment by scaring people into believing that while the disease was
affecting gay men now, it was eventually going to spread throughout the
heterosexual population. This political definition of the disease has proven to be
inaccurate and inconsistent with its real medical nature."
Adds Dr. Charles Thomas, "The reason that the whole shabby story of HIV is
being held in place is there's so much money riding on it. The federal government is
spending about $4 billion on just the single subject, and all that $4 billion is
predicated on the idea that HIV cause these diseases, then that money is being
wasted. But the people who are the recipients of that money don't want it to stop."
Indeed, Dr. Thomas believes that the definition of AIDS has been expanded to
generate more funding for AIDS-related diseases. "When you watch where the
money flows," he says, "you can see why the definition was expanded. If you are
diagnosed with AIDS, your medical bills are picked up by the Ryan White bill,
which supplies $150 million to AIDS treatment and education. Most of the people
getting AIDS were males, and females felt left out, so they applied very great
pressure in order to open up the definition of AIDS to include women. As a result,
they added cervical dysplasia to the definition, and HIV-positive women with
cervical dysplasia are now allowed to have their bills picked up. The whole thing
Dr. Thomas concludes, "I often wonder what would happen if all federal money
for AIDS - education, research, treatment, and so forth - was suddenly turned off,
instantaneously dropped to zero. It's my belief that AIDS would go away. In other
words, the AIDS diseases that we see today would be reassigned to their former
categories - pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Kaposi's sarcoma, and the other 25 or
so different diseases, now including cervical dysplasia and so forth. Any individual
who died of these various causes would add to the statistics in each of these
individual categories and would disappear in the profile of mortality of normal
disease. AIDS has been a disease of definition. If we said that it didn't exist and
didn't pay for it with taxpayers' money, it would disappear in the background of
AIDS exists without HIV, and HIV exists without AIDS. At an AIDS conference in
Amsterdam, scientists reported cases of AIDS in people who did not have HIV. Dr.
Root-Bernstein notes that such cases have been reported since the onset of the
condition. "A small percentage of the population has been manifesting all the
symptoms of AIDS without HIV," he states. "The C.D.C. has always recognised
this. They call the condition idiopathic CD-4 Tcell lymphopenia, a fancy term
meaning HIV-free AIDS. The number of cases is fairly small, less than one
percent, but they do exist. These people get all the symptoms of AIDS and never
show any signs of an HIV infection.
"What, then, is the role of HIV?" he asks. "The only way to explain these cases is
that the people have other high-risk factors associated with AIDS, such as
malnutrition, multiple infections, exposure to symptoms, and drug use. In sufficient
quantity or combination, [these factors can] cause the same immune suppression -
and therefore the same consequences - that everyone says HIV causes."
Dr. Thomas agrees that thousands of people with no evidence of HIV in their
system are dying of the syndrome we call AIDS. "Forty-three thousand to 44,000
people listed by the C.D.C. as having AIDS in the past 11 years have never been
tested for antibodies to HIV. You can be sure that there will be a large number of
antibody-negatives among them," Dr Thomas says. "Secondly, there are about a
million people who have been exposed to the virus, as evidenced by the fact that
they have antibodies to the virus in their bloodstream, yet only a trivial portion,
approximately three percent, come down with AIDS in any one year. I think these
two things are damning evidence against the HIV theory."
HIV spreads like an infectious disease. Contrary to popular belief, says Dr.
Root-Bernstein, HIV does not appear to be spreading sexually throughout the
heterosexual population. The data to support that connection simply isn't there.
"There is a famous case of [a woman] who said she got AIDS from having vaginal
sex just one time," Dr Root-Bernstein adds. "As a researcher I cannot validate that
because I have no access to her medical records to see that she was, in fact,
healthy prior to having sex. And I have no way of knowing that she only had
vaginal intercourse. Many studies show that unprotected anal intercourse is the
highest risk factor [in the spread of HIV and AIDS]. Penile or vaginal bleeding, or
both together, is also highly dangerous.
"Most doctors never ask about these things, and most patients will not respond," he
adds. "There are all sorts of possible mitigating factors. Even if HIV could be
[sexually] transmitted, in every case where there is good medical evidence, there
are always a whole series of other risk factors involved as well."
Of course, no one should take this as an endorsement of unprotected sex. Until all
the medical evidence is finally in, all physicians and experts agree that "better safe
than sorry" is the best practical sexual advice available.
But people often assume that if HIV equals AIDS, then they can catch AIDS, says
Dr. Hans Kugler. And the medical profession does nothing to correct that faulty
logic. "If I tell you that two plus two equals five, you will be able to disagree
because you know some math. If I tell you that HIV is sexually transmitted and
causes AIDS, you should know this to be untrue if you are in the medical
profession . In medical school, one of the first things everybody is taught is that if
you have an infectious disease, you have to show the infectious agent in 100
percent of the time in people with the disease. With AIDS this is definitely not the
case. Yet the medical profession doesn't see anything wrong with [believing] that
[HIV causes AIDS]."
AIDS also discriminates against age and sex, supporting the logic that it is not
infectious. "Normally, when we get older, the immune function decreases. That's
why diseases like cancer tend to increase," explains Dr. Kugler. "This disease
focuses on people between the age of 20 and 44. And while no infectious disease
ever discriminates against sex, this one is found mainly in males."
Dr. Casper Schmidt, a psychiatrist who published his first AIDS-dissenting paper in
1984, offers further evidence that AIDS is not an infectious disease. "Figures put
out by the C.D.C. in February 1993 show that of the nearly 13,000 needle-stick
injuries that were examined and followed over the last 12 years, the percentage of
people who got a significant amount of blood in their bodies through needle-stick
injuries who then become HIV-positive amounts to a total of 0.013 percent. "That
is statistically insignificant. It's just a little bit greater than chance. Consequently, on
the basis of this evidence, there is no way that AIDS can be an infectious disease.
Something else must be going on. The more likely interpretation is that HIV and
immune dysfunction - rather than HIV being a cause and immune dysfunction
being a consequence - are both consequences of something else."
WHAT CAUSES AIDS?
Professor Steven Jonas says, "I think that when a person who already has a disease
or weakened condition becomes infected with the HIV virus, the virus further
compromises the immune system and makes it difficult or impossible for the
immune system to produce antibodies in significant quantities over a period of time.
[It may be] unable to produce antibodies to diseases such as Kaposi's sarcoma and
other recurrent infections, not a disease, and that these infections are what kill
Professor Jonas became interested in the role of cofactors being necessary for the
development of AIDS when, in 1987, he was examining weekly morbidity and
mortality statistics from the public-health service. "The reports were based on the
original HIV developmental AIDS studies in San Francisco, which said that despite
a long latency period, everybody who has HIV is eventually going to get AIDS and
die. [But] nine or ten years into the study, 25 percent of people in study groups
hadn't developed any sign of AIDS at all. That's a very, very long latency period."
Dr. Root-Bernstein and other AIDS researchers say that the immune-suppressive
factors most closely linked to AIDS in studies of high-risk groups include the
- Drugs, Any abuse of illicit drugs - particularly such intravenous drugs as
heroin - will suppress the immune system. Malnutrition is also associated with
drug abuse, since most drug addicts would rather have their drugs than eat
well. Drugs can also interfere with metabolism.
- Antibiotics and therapeutic drugs, such as AZT and ddI, which are meant to
treat AIDS prophylactically (to prevent worsening of HIV and AIDS), actually
cause a deterioration of the immune system when taken for long periods of
- A promiscuous, fast-track gay lifestyle. Gay men at high risk for AIDS not
only abuse drugs, but also have a tremendously high incidence of sexually
transmitted and other infectious diseases. They are known to be frequent
intravenous-drug users and are also known to trade sexual favours for drugs.
In addition, they may use antibiotics prophylactically to prevent sexually
transmitted diseases. These antibiotics remove key nutrients from the immune
system and prevent it from functioning properly. Semen that gets into the
bloodstream or the immune system - fairly common in unprotected anal
intercourse - can also result in immune suppression.
- Multiple concurrent infections. Multiple infections are quite common among
high-risk groups and they are much more difficult for the immune system to
handle than any single disease.
- Blood transfusions and blood-factor products. Unfortunately, both blood
transfusions and such products as Factor 8, taken by haemophiliacs, can
cause immune suppression and make one more susceptible to any infection,
Dr. Root-Bernstein says that once the immune system is weakened, HIV may
trigger a continued loss of the immune function. "The whole system is extremely
complicated," he says. "It's certainly not as simple as, If you get HIV, you get
AIDS TREATMENT: CURE OR CAUSE?
Conventional AIDS treatments, which incorporate such drugs as AZT and ddI, are
supposed to slow down or stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. But researcher
suggests that such drugs may have the opposite effects, hastening the degenerative
process. Two studies - one performed by the Veterans Administration in the United
Sates and another conducted in Europe - confirm this belief. These studies found
that AIDS patients who were using AZT fared no better than those who were not.
In fact, after a few years of treatment the immune system of AZT users
deteriorated much more quickly than that of people not using the medication. As a
result, the European medical establishment recently suggested at an AIDS
conference in Berlin that AZT no longer be given to people who are diagnosed with
HIV but who exhibit no AIDS-like symptoms.
Perhaps the most striking evidence against AZT, says Dr. Root-Bernstein, is a
comparison of AIDS survivors to people who succumb to the disease: The
long-term survivors of AIDS or HIV infection are clearly not AZT users. "Those
people who have had the HIV infection for five or ten years have not used AZT for
more than a week or two because they found the side effects to be so bad. Most of
them have never used any of these drugs at all," he says. " This suggests that
survivors don't use anything that can cause immune suppression. They eliminate
drugs, including antibiotics and AZT, and simply try to lead a healthy lifestyle. So
they may have the HIV infection, but it doesn't do anything to them."
Dr. David Berner, a physician and a haemophiliac, was infected with HIV ten years
ago. He has refused to take AZT, and remains healthy today. His account: "My last
surgical experience was in 1983, making it my last possible exposure to the HIV
virus. Being very healthy, my wife and I ignored the potential problem. It wasn't
until AZT was heralded as a great treatment for AIDS in 1988 that I decided it
would be prudent to be tested for HIV.
"I was found to be positive, and immediately wondered what the hell to do about it.
My decision [not to take AZT] was aided by several factors, one of which was my
age. Being in my late sixties, I viewed my eventual demise as less pressing. I had a
very close, happy family. And I was educated to be sceptical during my 25 years of
general practice about newly heralded grand cures. Reflecting back on the numbers
of diseases I treated in the fifties and sixties which now would be grounds for
malpractice, I became sceptical about AZT, knowing it to be a cytotoxic agent. The
other thing that helped me not to panic about my decision was my excellent health
and healthy lifestyle.
"At that time, I had been introduced to an article by Peter Duesberg. I had the
temerity to give him a call. I'll never forget his initial remark. I told him my plight,
and he said, 'If you take AZT, you'll be dead.' I read his work and got introduced
to other people who were sceptical about AZT.
"I decided early on to add some vitamin therapies to my already healthy lifestyle,
particularly the anti-oxidants beta carotene, ascorbic acid, and vitamins E. Despite
my continuing excellent health for a 69 years old - I do a lot of hiking and
mountaineering in the wilderness - I have still been pressured by well-meaning
clinicians to start AZT 'before it's to late.' I think it's very difficult for these people
to admit that they're either partially or completely wrong."
AIDS IN AFRICA
Over the years, AIDS researchers have pointed to sub-Saharan Africa - Uganda, in
particular - as the epicentre of the so-called AIDS epidemic. It has been estimated
that one in 40 Africans will die of AIDS, and that AIDS will account for 500,000
deaths a year by the year 2000. But in recent years, some AIDS researchers have
come forward to question not only the validity of those projections, but the very
notion that AIDS is pandemic in Africa.
The makers of "AIDS in Africa," one of the "Dispatches" series of documentaries,
investigated AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and reached some startling conclusions.
Dr. Harvey Bialy states that there is "absolutely no believable evidence of
immunodeficiency disease in Africa." Likewise, Professor Gordon Stewart, the
only researcher to accurately predict AIDS statistics in the United Kingdom, found
no evidence of an AIDS epidemic in Africa and believes that statements of doom
should be avoided.
Their reasoning? No one in Africa receives a blood test for AIDS, so diagnoses of
the disease - and thus statistics on the rate of AIDS - are based purely on patients'
symptoms. Those who have the three main symptoms of AIDS stated in
international guidelines - a persistent fever, diarrhoea, and a dry cough for a month
or more - are classified as AIDS cases. The problem is, these symptoms are
indistinguishable from those of malaria and tuberculosis, says dr. Martin
Okot-Wang. Therefore, many cases of malaria and TB are being incorrectly
classified as AIDS, reports Sam Mulondo, a journalist who has covered the AIDS
crisis in Africa.
The irony is that much of the money from international relief efforts is being
channelled into AIDS education and treatment rather than being used to treat such
rampant diseases as malaria, which is curable with drugs. Doctors and community
leaders - anxious to get any money they can into the public health pipeline - have
no choice but to take money targeted for AIDS and do the best they can in
combating the illnesses they encounter.
Michelle Cochran, who has studied AIDS in Uganda and Kenya on a research
scholarship, also reports that the data on AIDS in Africa is riddled with
contradictions. "I think there are a lot of problems with the way we define AIDS
cases in Africa," she states. "The majority of Africans diagnosed as having HIV or
AIDS have never had an ELISA or Western blot test to confirm their diagnosis.
They're diagnosed according to a clinical criteria, which says that if you've lost ten
percent of your body weight or have a fever or a cough for over a month, you have
AIDS. Malaria can cause you to have an HIV-positive test. Flu can cause you to
have an HIV-positive test. It's also possible that someone will test positive for HIV
but have HIV-2 instead of HIV-1, which is not considered to be the cause of AIDS.
We're going to need to see more confirmed tests in order to get any real data.
"There are no mortality figures for the cases in Uganda," Cochran continues, "The
official caseload of 38,000 cases of AIDS related diseases is anything but a massive
pandemic. Five million people die of malaria every year in sub-Saharan Africa,
making 38,000 cases of AIDS-related diseases far below the number one would
expect, given all the attention to the epidemic. Africa presumably has the same
number of HIV-positive cases as the U.S.- one million. They have at least the same
number of AIDS cases that we do in the U.S.
Meanwhile, these figures are used to promote monetary aid for educational and
counselling programs. Yet of the money raised under the guise of the AIDS
epidemic, says Cochran, very little finds its way into treatments for tuberculosis or
malaria. Little goes to AIDS patients, prenatal care more food supplies, or the drugs
needed to treat opportunistic infections. "Most of it goes to bureaucratic or other
political purposes that really don't benefit the health of the population," she says.
"The most interesting thing I learned [on my visit to Kenya] was that they do have
HIV and AIDS, but it's all within the same high-risk groups we have here in the
West," Cochran adds. "This is something we simply never hear about. We
continually hear there are no such things as African homosexuals and no such thing
as drug trafficking, but it's simply not true. The cases along the coast are all
concentrated within indigenous homosexuals who have no contact with Western
homosexuals - in prostitutes and in drug addicts."
SOME SENSIBLE APPROACHES
Professor Strohman says we are wasting energy by looking only at biological
causes and cures for AIDS rather than environmental ones. "Ninety-eight percent
of diseases in the U.S. are non-infectious and totally preventable. They can be
traced to factors that are post-fertilisation. Only two percent of diseases are
genetically induced, yet our biomedical enterprise is spending 98 percent of its
money to support a paradigm which is molecular and genetic. We've got the whole
thing standing on its head.
"The possibilities for a robust, diversified research program which would put us in
touch with information having to do with drugs and other causes of
immunodeficiency are enormous. Yet our biomedical establishment, by and large,
is not funding them. You can't get money to do AIDS research unless you're doing
some viral, molecular, magic-bullet approach. It's typical of everything that's gone
on in the last 20 years. It's all genetic and molecular; the environment is never
"The environment has always been enormously important in fostering health and
increasing life expectancy," Strohman continues. "If you look at public health in the
U.S. and other Western countries in the last 100 years, you'll see that the life
expectancy has increased and that the death rate has dropped, mostly due to the
elimination of infectious diseases. But this elimination hasn't come about from a
molecular approach; it's come about from feeding people and from providing them
with proper shelter and proper sanitation.
"[In fact,] refrigeration was probably one of the most enormously important
public-health measures contributing to increased life expectancy. Only in very rare
[instances] have molecular cases produced anything that comes even close to the
impact that environmental manipulation has had on our population."
As Strohman points out, the same is probably true of AIDS. The problem is, we
haven't been able to find out because research money isn't being channelled to Dr.
Duesberg and others who want to explore the link between environmental factors
and immune suppression. Meanwhile, immune-system weakening may be causing
specific diseases - such as wasting disease, Kaposi's sarcoma, and pneumonia - that
have nothing to do with immune dysfunction.
Another vital part of any prevention or treatment program is the strengthening of
the immune system. A strong immune system maintains homeostasis and prevents
the outbreak of an adverse condition. Even if the potential for an outbreak is there,
it will not be manifest. Dr. Gottlieb offers this example: "The herpes virus resides in
the nerve roots on a long term basis. If it doesn't come out and cause genital or oral
lesions, no one is really concerned that the virus is there. Those breakouts usually
occur in relation to decreases in immune function, whether as a result of steroids,
recurrent infections, or whatever. Similarly, if one could put the HIV virus back in
the box by maintaining a normal level of immune function, that might conceivably
be a very good therapeutic approach based on the herpes model."
Dr. Thomas believes we must learn to recognise the different things that can impair
the immune response. "The consumption of all kinds of drugs, including antibiotics
and AZT, is immunosuppressive," he says "They prevent a normal immune
response to a challenging viral or bacterial infection. Malnutrition causes
overinfections, which I call hyperinfections, that wear out the immune system. And
just being the recipient of a pint of blood of any kind is not a good idea unless there
are overwhelming reasons to do so. But a haemophiliac, of course, is obliged to do
so, and he suffers immune-system suppression as a consequence."
Dr. Raphael Stricker, a haematologist and the associate director of the division of
immunotherapy at California Pacific medical Centre, tells of his success with
dinitrochlorobenzene (D.N.C.B.), a new type of immune-enhancing agent made of
natural compounds. "D.N.C.B. stimulates the immune system to fight viruses and
other infections," he says. "We have been following [HIV-positive people] who
have been using D.N.C.B. for three years on a continuous basis, and the results
have been quite encouraging. We have been looking at patients with early HIV
disease or AIDS. We've found these patients to have a stable course when they use
D.N.C.B. on a regular basis. They do not progress to AIDS and their immunologic
studies are either stabilised or improved. The toxicity is really minimal. There may
be some local irritation from the application site on the skin, but this usually clears
up in a couple of days.
"D.N.C.B. is available through the Healing Alternative Foundation in San
Francisco, Dr. Stricker adds. "Since it is a simple compound, it is not subject to
patent rules or F.D.A. control. It can be obtained for a very low price, also due to
the fact that it is not patentable. It costs about $20 for a six-month supply."
Dr. Hans Kugler offers this general outline of immune-building steps HIV-infected
people can take if they feel they are at risk of getting AIDS. "At first I would
definitely not take the AIDS drug because it is immune-suppressive. This was
shown in a recent publication of Pharmacological Therapeutics. I would stimulate
the immune function. I would certainly emphasize a good and healthy lifestyle.
"The next step would be to move toward super nutrition," Kugler says. "The
important thing to remember is to practice quality nutrition. Eats foods as Mother
Nature makes them, not foods treated with chemicals. Then you would probably
need a good supplementation program. Once you have started these basics, you put
your mind to work. Love, Medicine and Miracles is a magnificent book to help
teach you how to get your mind aligned."
"Then you can focus on stimulating the immune system into greater action." Kugler
continues. "Since I served in the air force, I compare the immune system's function
to the way military acts during war. You activate all parts of it - the navy, marines,
air force, and so on."
Once you've built up a strong defence, you can begin the move toward recapturing
your health and your life.*