INTERVIEW ALFRED HÄSSIG
Continuum June/July 1997
Immunologist Prof. Alfred Hässig was on the Board of Trustees
of the International Society of Blood Transfusion from 1980 to 1986, as
its President from 1982 to 1984. As head of the Swiss Red Cross Transfusion
Service which he helped create, he was invited to join the National Commission
on AIDS in Switzerland. On retiring from the Red Cross and the Chair of
Immunology at the University of Bern at the age of 65, with colleagues
he formed the Study Group for Nutrition and Immunity. An insider in national
and international AIDS-politics, he spoke to Michael Baumgartner in his
second interview for Continuum.
When did you start doubting the official handling of AIDS?
Around 1986 I witnessed acquaintances of mine, practising homosexual
men, committing suicide after a positive "HIV antibody test".
This was new in medical history – healthy individuals taking their lives
after a medical test.
It is quite common today due to "HIV/AIDS". Even the controversy
on euthanasia has been fuelled again because of AIDS.
It is the duty of every medical doctor to preserve life at any cost
– the Hippocratic Oath – and not death-curse people based on any test so
they are so frightened they kill themselves. I am sad to say that these
voodoo methods were practised despite there never being any proof that
the detected antibodies – suggested as specific to a retrovirus – are an
indication of mortality in all diagnosed people. Every medical practitioner
and scientist should know that the majority of antibody-positive individuals
don’t come down with disease. There has never in medical history been a
disease fatal in 100% of cases.
Have you been a medical practitioner yourself?
I was for a time a clinician at the local hospital in Lachen, Switzerland.
Later I was a deputy in some practices in Switzerland. Also, my wife died
in 1980 of cancer. It was then I encountered the importance of encouraging
somebody rather than just giving up. I was with her to the end empowering
These days it’s becoming more accepted to integrate death into our sense
of life, learning to talk about death and dying.
Even though I think that is important, I do not think it is the
primary obligation of a medical doctor.
To motivate people to be or become healthy and to use medical
knowledge for that.
And if that fails?
Even then I consider it medical malpractice to push patients into dying
by prophesying an early death. We are medical scientists not prophets!
When did you first realise the bad quality of the basic scientific
research on which the "HIV/AIDS" hypothesis is based?
I have to confess I thought at first the basic scientific material was
provided and explanatory. Since I am not a virologist or a molecular biologist
I thought my colleagues had stated their case beyond reasonable doubt.
As an immunologist – and much of what’s called AIDS is dependent on immune
disorder – I have pointed out other disease mechanisms that threaten the
human immune system, complementary to the "HIV/AIDS" hypothesis.
Together with two colleagues Professors Sorkin and Besedovsky from the
Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland I wrote a letter to the editor
of the Lancet. We pointed out the neuro-endocrine mechanisms which cause
immune suppression. The letter did not get published. Even though they
responded that the content was considered important, there was no space
allowed for the letter, though it was quite short.
So the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome was considered solely
a problem of virology despite it being labelled an immune dysfunction?
Very much so, without rational scientific reasons. The human immune
system was conceived of only in its function against foreign (non-self)
structures. The Nobel laureates Burnet, Medawar and Jerne have completely
neglected the main function of the human immune system. The human organism
dismantles about 1 billion body cells every day. One part of our immune
system – the T-cells from the Thymus gland – is in charge of cleaning up
this altered-self material. In a healthy organism the immune functions
of antibodies produced by B-cells, and of the cytotoxic or cell-clearing
T-cells, remain in balance.
When did you first seriously question the "HIV/AIDS" dogma?
I was invited as an expert by the Supreme Court in Melbourne, Australia,
to comment on whether the blood product Factor VIII used by people with
haemophilia, could possibly transmit HIV, in 1990. I had to consult the
scientific literature on AIDS. I found inaccuracies in the ‘HIV/AIDS’ statistics
compared with the reality in different countries. I was especially attentive
to the fact that AIDS diagnoses in Africa seemed common; in Asia however
– despite the high incidence of so-called HIV-positivity – there were relatively
very few AIDS diagnoses. One particular study caught my attention. It was
carried out in Trinidad. From the almost equal numbers of positive Afro-Trinidadians
and Indo-Trinidadians – each about 40%, with both about the same percentage
of homosexual activity – only the Africans died with AIDS diagnoses. Why?
As an immunologist focusing on nutrition I soon realised the specific nutritional
components. Asians have a highly antioxidative diet, for example with curry.
These findings caused serious doubts whether the perceived AID Syndrome
was being sufficiently explained by "HIV".
Which fields of interest was the Study Group concerned with before
I was mainly occupied looking into the treatment possibilities of aging
illnesses such as arthritis and arteriosclerosis using polyanions/heparinoids
and polyphenols. These illnesses are caused by a preponderance of oxidants
How do you explain the antibody production interpreted as an infection
We have to ask ourselves first what the commonalities are in those labelled
risk groups – a certain section of sexually promiscuous homosexual men/recreational
drug users, IV-drug addicts and haemophiliacs. They all share an excessive
amount of psychological and toxic stress. Furthermore these groups are
widely affected by hepatitis B and C. Once those viruses are in the body
they cannot be eliminated. When they leave cells they cover themselves
with cell proteins – actin. Antibodies formed against those cover-proteins
are called autoantibodies because they are formed against human endogenetic
material, not against foreign proteins. It is important to understand that
in the course of a lifetime we all build these kinds of autoantibodies
– but only in small amounts. If the organism is put under stress more autoantibodies
This would mean that if tested at the "wrong" time e.g.
under an acute stress, we could all test ‘HIV+"?
Theoretically yes, however only temporarily. If the stress is chronic,
lasts over a long period, then it leads to hypercortisolism. These people
How do you explain illness causing stress and what are its consequences
on our body?
There are five identified categories of stress: infectious, toxic, traumatic,
nutritional and psychological stress. If there is a chronic accumulation
of several of these stress factors it causes a whole body inflammation.
That means antibody production increases in order to keep pathogens under
control or eliminate them while production of T-cells is suppressed. This
leads to an over-demand on the organism – fight or flight – without the
necessary restoration time – anabolism. Body reserves are used up in an
extensive way, more than they are built up – catabolism. This achievement-oriented
switch in the vegetative nervous system is called stress by the Hungarian
scientist Hans Seyle. The stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol are produced
extensively. This hypercortisolism causes the Thymus gland to shrink and
fewer T-cells are produced while T-cells in circulation migrate to the
bone marrow where they activate B-cells. In the short term these mechanisms
are life-saving; when persistent they damage the immune system and create
illness. We know all so-called risk groups are exposed to a multiplicity
of stresses, including death-sentencing because of an "HIV"-diagnosis,
and toxic treatments with so-called antivirals. Treatment with blood products
is also hard on our immune system.
Were blood products demonstrably infected with HIV?
Not with the so far unproven HIV, but with hepatitis viruses. This is
the reason I came up with the principle of only treating the recipients
with blood products from a small number of donors. This led to the introduction
of small-pool products and rejecting large-pool products in the treatment
In your opinion where were the gravest mistakes made in the handling
Dr Gallo himself described his mistakes best in great detail in his
book The Virus Hunters. He falsely interpreted the cell envelope structure
actin, containing glycoproteins like p40, gp120 and gp160, as exclusively
foreign to the body, or exogenous, and thus due to retroviral infection.
Even though it is, as had been demonstrated earlier, endogenous and existent
in all of us to a certain extent. This false assessment led to the deadly
treatment with virucides like AZT. That AZT actually was an already failed
cancer drug highlights the helplessness and lack of overview with which
this virological cancer researcher approached AIDS from the start.
You deliberately distance yourself from the debate, published so
far primarily in Continuum, about the existence of ‘HIV’?
I am not a molecular biologist but an immunologist and as such I had
to realise that the clinical picture associated as AIDS exists as a chronic
immune deficit. I centred my arguments around immunological rather than
How do you summarise your insights?
Because the falsely interpreted "anti-HIV-antibodies" are
not a defence mechanism against an infectious agent, a virus, but are autoimmune
antibodies, all AIDS research at present and the resulting treatments are
totally wrong. In earlier work I have described why a new retrovirus is
not needed to explain the clinical picture called AIDS.
What are your recommendations for labelled "HIV+" individuals
and those with AIDS diagnoses?
We all should learn again to live with our microbes in symbiosis instead
of trying to kill them off – in short, to shift from antibiosis to symbiosis.
In treating immune dysfunction I recommend natural anti-oxidants like Padma
28, green tea and spices like curry. To inhibit the inflammatory proteases
I recommend natural substances like agar agar from algae. They are effective
and of no danger, unlike the insufficiently tested chemical monoprotease
inhibitors. However all this is useless if the stress factors like drugs,
psychological hopelessness and helplessness etc. persist. We cannot energise
destruction yet expect health.
If the cause of the illness is cytotoxic damage by so-called antiviral
treatments, I consider this a legal matter for litigation, which should
be discussed with a lawyer.
Thankyou for your insights. *