Peter Duesberg and David Rasnick

Why HIV-AIDS science cannot succeed

2.1. The American/European AIDS epidemic.
The AIDS epidemic in America and Europe is defined as a significant increase, since 1981, of 30 previously known diseases (Table 1) affecting mostly 25 to 44 year old men and some (10%) women (3-7). In America these cases have shot up from negligible numbers in this age group in the 1970s to annually about 50,000 to 75,000 patients now (3) (Fig. 1). Because Kaposiís sarcoma rose from an almost non-existent background of about 50 cases per year in 1981 (8, 9) to thousands of almost exclusively male homosexual cases annually now, it has become the signal disease of AIDS (3). It is for this reason that the new epidemic has been accepted as a new disease, "HIV disease", in numerous publications (5). In fact, AIDS in America and Europe is a new epidemic of old diseases that primarily affects 25 to 44 year old males.

2.2. The war on AIDS.
By any measure the war on AIDS has been a complete failure. Since 1981, over 500,000 Americans and over 150,000 Europeans (10) have developed AIDS, and the US taxpayer alone has paid over $45 billion for AIDS research and treatment, but no vaccine, no cure, and no effective prevention has been developed, and not a single AIDS patient has been saved (7, 11, 12). This war has been fought in the name of the hypothesis that the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is infectious, and that the infectious agent is a sexually transmitted virus, that has been named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (5, 13, 14).

The HIV-AIDS hypothesis was announced in April 1984 at an international press conference in Washington by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institues of Health (NIH) researcher Robert Gallo even before it had appeared in any American scientific publication (11, 15). For the last twelve years the HIV hypothesis has been international dogma and the basis of all AIDS research and therapy (4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16).

According to the HIV-AIDS hypothesis HIV causes a bewildering list of 30 previously known diseases, but oddly, on average only 10 years after it is neutralized by antiviral immunity (4, 5, 14). The 30 AIDS defining diseases include microbial or immunodeficiency diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, candidiasis (yeast infection), diarrhea, but also classical non-immunodeficiency diseases such as Kaposiís sarcoma, dementia, weight loss and lymphoma, which are nevertheless all thought to be consequences of viral immunodeficiency and called AIDS when antibody against HIV is present (5, 17) (Table 1). For example, tuberculosis is now diagnosed as AIDS in the presence of antibody against HIV; in the absence of the antibody, it is still diagnosed as tuberculosis.

2.3. AIDS facts incompatible with the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.
Even a brief survey of the facts of AIDS shows that the proponents of the HIV hypothesis have not followed Feynmanís advice, to "put down all the facts that disagree with it":

1) Although AIDS is postulated to be a new infectious epidemic, it fails all epidemiological standards of infectious disease (18): (a) Infectious diseases spread equally between the sexes but AIDS does not. Nine out of 10 American AIDS patients are males (3).

(b) The recipient has the same disease as the donor but not in AIDS. After a contact with a Kaposiís sarcoma patient a person may develop dementia or diarrhea or pneumonia or no disease at all (19).

(c) According to Farrís law of epidemiology, a new infectious disease spreads exponentially in an uninfected population (20), like a seasonal flu but American and European AIDS lingers in fringe groups, spreading slowly, but non-exponentially, over years (21) (see Fig 1).

Numerous facts confirm that AIDS is not infectious. Although there is no anti-HIV vaccine nor any effective anti-viral drug, the professional literature has yet to describe the first doctor (except for a few undocumented, anecdotal claims (16)) who has contracted AIDS from the over 500,000 American (3) and over 150,000 European (10) AIDS patients. The wives of 15,000 HIV-positive American hemophiliacs have also not developed AIDS, although HIV is said to be sexually transmitted (22-24). Except for a few undocumented, anecdotal claims, not even one of tens of thousands of HIV scientists has contracted AIDS from exposure to HIV since 1984 (11, 16, 25).

Chimpanzees are as susceptible to HIV as humans, but none of over 150 animals inoculated with HIV since 1983 has developed AIDS (26). Even the American Centers of Disease Control (CDC) now admits that it "may be difficult to identify [AIDS from contact infection] because most persons with AIDS have had contact with many different people. In particular, drug users and homosexual and bisexual men may have had contact with hundreds of partners that they did not know very well." (27).

2) Although viruses are not selective, AIDS in America and Europe is restricted, over 95%, to fringe groups with life-threatening health risks other than the hypothetical risk, HIV (3, 26). These risks include the intravenous drugs taken by a third of American AIDS patients, and the many illicit sexual and mental stimulants, and the highly toxic anti-HIV drugs taken by male homosexuals who make up over 60% of the American AIDS patients (see 3. and 4.). The remainder are typical diseases of hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients, that fall into the AIDS definition but represent the normal incidence of these diseases in these groups under the new name, AIDS (3, 7, 12, 14, 26-28).

3) Although HIV is a long-established virus in the US because the number of carriers has remained completely stable since its discovery (25, 26, 29) (Farrís law) AIDS is a new epidemic in America (see Fig 1).

4) Although only 1 in 1,000 T-cells is ever infected by HIV, and HIV like all other retroviruses (26) does not kill infected cells, most AIDS patients lose T-cells (11, 26, 30-32). If HIV were responsible for immunodeficiency it would act like a single bullet that kills 1000 soldiers.

5) Although dementia, weight loss and Kaposiís sarcoma are not consequences of, and frequently not even associated with immunodeficiency, they are blaimed on the immunodeficiency virus, HIV (14, 25, 26) (Table 1).

6) AIDS appears, if at all, typically only 10 years after HIV infection (14, 33, 34). But HIV, multiplying over 100-fold every 1-2 days, has the capacity to produce 1014 viruses in 2 weeks enough to infect every cell in the human body. If HIV could cause AIDS, AIDS should appear within 2 weeks after infection (11, 18, 25, 31, 32, 35).

7) Although pathogenic viruses cause the same disease in all people, Kaposiís sarcoma occurs almost exclusively in male homosexuals (11, 25, 36). If HIV could cause Kaposiís sarcoma, transfusion recipients, like the 15,000 HIV-positive American hemophiliacs or the 3 million Americans who annually receive blood transfusions (26), should have this cancer. But paradoxically, no Kaposiís sarcoma has ever been transmitted by transfusion (7, 23, 24, 37).

8) Although HIV is widespread in American/European hemophiliacs the mortality of hemophiliacs has decreased (until 1987, when most started receiving AZT) (23, 24, 38), that of male homosexuals has increased (3), and that of intravenous drug users (39-41) and sub-Saharan Africans (42) has stayed about the same since HIV has been diagnosed in these groups. If HIV were the cause of AIDS the mortality of all infected groups should have increased.

9) HIV is claimed to be sexually transmitted in spite of the fact it takes, on average, 1000 unprotected sexual contacts to contract the virus (43, 44). Therefore, HIV depends for its survival on perinatal transmission, which is 25 to 50% efficient (26, 45) just like all other animal and human retroviruses of its kind (26, 46). It follows that HIV is biologically not a sexually transmitted virus.

10) Although HIV is claimed to be fatal, it is not possible that either a perinatally or even a sexually transmitted microbe could be fatally pathogenic. Such a microbe would exterminate itself together with its host within a few generations.

11) Although HIV is postulated to cause 30 AIDS diseases, it meets all four classical standards of a harmless passenger virus (18): (a) The time of infection by the passenger is irrelevant to the onset of a disease, if one occurs. This applies exactly to HIV and AIDS; hence the arbitrary assertion that HIV takes on average 10 years to cause AIDS (see 6.).

(b) The passenger virus can be either active or passive, either rare or abundant during any disease. This also applies exactly to HIV and AIDS, although abundant HIV in AIDS is extremely rare (31, 47).

(c) The passenger virus can be entirely absent during any disease. This also applies exactly to HIV and AIDS; hence HIV-free AIDS (48) (see 6.8.).

(d) If the passenger virus is activated by a failing immune system, but does not cause opportunistic disease symptoms of its own, it is a harmless passenger. Indeed, there is no report in the literature that AIDS patients are clinically distinguishable from each other based on the presence of HIV or on its activity (31, 47). Likewise, all other conventional retroviruses (without non-essential genes) do not contribute a disease symptom when they are activated in immunosuppressed or congenitally infected animals (46). By contrast, herpes virus HHV-6 (49) or cytomegalovirus are passengers that may impart specific pathogenic properties to an immunodeficient patient (50). Since HIV meets all these criteria with regard to AIDS to the letter, it is a harmless passenger virus.

2.4. Conclusions.
Instead of explaining the "facts" about AIDS, the HIV hypothesis generates numerous paradoxes and contradictions. Since there are no paradoxes in science, only bad hypotheses, the HIV hypothesis must be flawed. A flawed hypothesis also explains the failure of the war on AIDS. Even the best and most expensive science cannot produce results in the name of a flawed hypothesis. Therefore, independent hypotheses must be found to solve AIDS (35). The search for a plausible cause of AIDS quickly leads to the only new health risk that has affected America and Europe since World War II, the drug epidemic.