THE DRUG-AIDS HYPOTHESIS
Peter Duesberg and David Rasnick
4. The epidemic of AZT and other anti-HIV/AIDS medications
4.1. DNA terminators licensed as a cure.
In 1987 the American and European illicit drug epidemic had been joined
by a new epidemic of toxic legal drugs, the DNA chain-terminators, such
as AZT, that are prescribed to hundreds of thousands of HIV-positives together
with a litany of other orthodox and unorthodox anti-HIV/AIDS drugs (see
4.2. and Table 7). In America AZT was licensed
in record time as an antiviral drug in 1987 by the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) based on studies conducted by its sister institutions from the Department
of HHS, the National Cancer Institute (147) and the NIAID (148) together
with the drug’s manufacturer Burroughs Wellcome.
The fast approval of AZT - despite its inherent toxicity - was a major
coup of AIDS researchers (149). By going public more aggressively than
any other scientists before, American AIDS researchers from the NIAID,
NCI and CDC had mobilized patients, homosexual AIDS risk groups and journalists
to demand protection from the predicted AIDS explosion at any cost. As
a result of this pressure the FDA and AIDS researchers fast-tracked first
the approval of AZT and then that of ever-more untested anti-HIV/AIDS drugs
(150). Surprisingly, all of these drugs were eagerly welcomed by the medical
and public press and above all by unsuspecting AIDS patients. The politics
behind the approval of AZT first by the FDA and the American medical orthodoxy,
and then by the rest of the world has been described in two recent books,
Good intentions (151) and Inventing the AIDS Virus (11).
AZT and other DNA chain-terminators are now used both as AIDS prophylaxis
and therapy in the hope that they will terminate HIV DNA synthesis without
terminating cell DNA synthesis (152). However, there are several problems
with this optimistic plan:
1) The licensing study conducted in 1986 by the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) and Burroughs Wellcome had erroneously underestimated the toxicity
of AZT for human cells a 1000-fold (147)! Although at least 7 independent
studies have since pointed out this 1000-fold error (153-159), the recommended
prescription dose has only been reduced 3-fold, from 1.5 g of AZT per day
in 1987 to 0.5 g now (160, 161).
2) The initial success of the American clinical licensing study conducted
by the NIAID and Burroughs Wellcome, that claimed a 19-fold reduced AIDS-mortality
(148), could not be reproduced by numerous independent studies from other
countries, including the UK (162), France (163), The Netherlands (164),
Australia (165), and also not by an independent American study that was
not supported by the NIAID and Burroughs Wellcome (166).
3) Contrary to the manufacturer’s information, DNA chain-terminators,
such as AZT, ddI, ddC, 3TC and d4T, were not designed to kill viruses but
to kill human cells. Most of them were originally synthesized over 30 years
ago, long before AIDS was known, to kill human cells as cancer chemotherapy
by terminating cellular DNA synthesis (167). Thus DNA chain-terminators
are inevitably cytotoxic (149).
4) Even in the light of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, AZT treatment as anti-HIV
therapy is irrational. Since only about 1 in 1000 T-cells of AIDS patients
is infected with HIV (25, 26, 30-32, 168-170), AZT will kill 999 uninfected
T cells for every one that is infected (149, 151, 171, 172). Such a therapeutic
index predicts that AZT cannot be beneficial as an anti-HIV drug. Moreover,
since HIV is postulated to cause AIDS by killing T-cells, it is irrational
to kill the same HIV-infected cells twice once with HIV and again with
5) Although AZT and other DNA chain terminators are prescribed since
1987 to healthy and ill HIV-positives for the rest of their lives, there
are as yet no animal experiments that have ever tested to what degree these
inevitably toxic substances accelerate death. Moreover, animal experiments
would be necessary to determine how AZT and other anti-viral prescription
drugs interact with the many recreational drugs that are, or have been,
consumed by most AZT recipients a question that none of the licensing studies
has even addressed. It is therefore not possible to know how HIV-positives
could possibly benefit from AZT’s hypothetical anti-HIV effects in view
of its certain cell toxicity.
As of 1996 the DNA chain-terminators are prescribed in combination with
another group of experimental anti-HIVdrugs, the protease inhibitors, under
new labels, that give the impression that these "cocktails" are
entirely new treatments (29, 173-176). But the morbidity and mortality
of the long-term consumption of protease inhibitors alone or in combination
with DNA chain terminators have neither been determined in animals nor
in humans. Surprisingly, the fate of the first two groups of AIDS patients
that are claimed to have benefited by protease inhibitors published in
two articles and two editorials in Nature in January 1995 has not
been mentioned since (33, 34, 177, 178). The absence of any follow-up of
these promising claims is particularly odd since Nature has published
numerous articles on AIDS and protease inhibitors.
4.2. Epidemiology of AZT and supplemental anti-HIV/AIDS medications
1) AZT and other DNA chain-terminators. Every year since 1987
about 200,000 HIV-positive people are prescribed AZT and other DNA chain-terminators
as anti-HIV drugs for the rest of their lives (26, 173). Because of the
high cost (about $10,000 per year) most AZT recipients are Americans or
Europeans (26, 29).
As of 1996 about 1.8 million (200,000 HIV-positives per year over 9
years) Americans and Europeans have been on AZT for an average of 1 year.
The one-year-average on AZT is derived from the fact that within one to
two years the average AZT recipient succumbs to the toxicities of AZT and
of recreational drugs, and that many drop out after only a few months due
to unbearable drug intoxication (26, 160, 179). In the words of the HIV/AIDS
establishment, "AZT loses its effect after a year or two because the
virus becomes resistant" (180). The above estimate is compatible with
the total of $2.5 billion in AZT sales by Glaxo/Burroughs Wellcome (181).
Since the wholesale price for a daily dose of 500 mg AZT per person for
one year is $2,000 (26), $2.5 billion corresponds to 1.25 million patient-years
of AZT prescriptions since (1987).
Since recreational drugs are acknowledged AIDS risks (14, 28), and since
AZT is prescribed as AIDS prophylaxis and therapy, the epidemiology of
AZT use is in fact similar to that of recreational drug use (104, 130,
182). Although national statistics are not available, numerous studies
indicate that the vast majority of AZT recipients are adult male homosexuals,
and that a minority includes HIV-positive hemophiliacs, intravenous drug
users (87, 91), transfusion recipients and babies (23, 24, 38, 183) (see
7.8.). Only a few cases are from the general population (11).
Even unborn American and French children and their HIV-positive mothers
are now treated with AZT to prevent perinatal transmission of HIV (45).
Although the risk to such children of picking up HIV from their mothers
is only about 25%, all HIV-positive mothers are injected with AZT during
the second and third trimesters, as well as their babies for six weeks
after birth to prevent HIV transmission. In other words 75% of developing
fetuses of HIV-positive mothers are treated for 6 months with DNA chain-terminators,
although they will never even pick up HIV; and their mothers are treated
although they will not transmit HIV. The procedure has been promoted as
a milestone in the prevention of AIDS (184, 185). But the teratogenic risks
of AZT do not justify this optimistic pronouncement (see 4.3., 7.8.).
The point that AZT functions like all other chemotherapies by killing
all growing cells unselectively has not been lost to its manufacturer Glaxo
Wellcome. Using the license earned for AIDS therapy, Glaxo Wellcome has
recently also cornered the lucrative chemotherapy market for AZT. The British
magazine Continuum describes the situation with some sarcasm in
CLEVER DRUG OR IS IT THE MARKETING?
AZT, commonly described in the annals of the AIDS literature as an "antiretroviral"
that "targets HIV-infected cells" looks set to carve out a new
role for itself attacking leukemia and psoriasis. Both conditions involve
abnormal proliferation of cells.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers
from the University of Southern California reports the use of AZT with
interferon-alpha in 19 patients with adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (186).
The condition is said to be caused by HTLV-I, one of Robert Gallo’s discoveries/inventions,
a claim to be treated with caution therefore. They reported five remissions
and 11 ‘major responses’. There was no control group. The logic goes that
since AZT kills cells, particularly rapidly growing ones such as cancerous
cells, then it will be effective. AZT was also used in a study of psoriasis
sufferers by Madeleine Duvic of the University of Texas, Houston. In four
out of 12 sufferers most of the psoriasis was cleared up. The theory to
support the finding is that since AZT stops cell replication it slows skin
proliferation, which is normally rapid. Other researchers have said there
are better treatments already available for psoriasis (so don’t rush out
and buy shares in Glaxo Wellcome just yet).
Glaxo Wellcome must be commended for creative marketing (we don’t think)
producing a drug that can kill any rapidly replicating cells in one lot
of patients, and selectively, so we are told, kill HIV-infected cells in
another lot of patients. Is it a clever drug or clever marketing? These
results will have the additional benefit of rapidly replicating AZT sales
In other words AZT is now prescribed to cancer and psoriasis patients
to kill growing cells by inhibiting cellular DNA synthesis. But according
to Glaxo Wellcome, it is prescribed to HIV-positives and AIDS patients
as a specific inhibitor of HIV DNA synthesis because it "interferes
with the HIV viral RNA dependant DNA polymerase (reverse transcriptase)
and thus inhibits viral replication. ... Chain termination has not been
demonstrated with cellular alpha-DNA polymerase to this date" (152).
Thus Wellcome and the HIV/AIDS orthodoxy offer the same drug as inhibitor
of cell DNA synthesis to cancer and psoriasis patients, and as a specific
inhibitor of HIV DNA synthesis to AIDS patients. Clever marketing that
In view of this, one wonders how soon AZT will also be offered as an
abortion pill, like methotrexate another chemotherapeutic drug (188). According
to an FDA official the prescription of AZT as an abortion pill would not
require a new license, because once approved by the FDA "it can be
prescibed for dandruff" (189).
2) Other anti-HIV/AIDS drugs. The consumption of AZT and other
DNA chain terminators by healthy HIV-positives at risk for AIDS and AIDS
patients is typically supplemented by a bewildering list of further prescription
and over-the-counter drugs. A list of 23 anti-HIV/AIDS drugs taken by 2801
American HIV-positives, including 524 AIDS patients, is recorded in Table
7 (41). Nearly all of these HIV-positives were male homosexuals (83%)
or intravenous drug users (12%) who took those drugs because they wanted
to prevent or cure AIDS.
A study entitled "Polypharmacy Among Patients Attending an AIDS
Clinic: Utilization of Prescribed, Unorthodox, and Investigational Treatments"
describes even higher drug use by 189 HIV-positives from San Francisco
of which 94% were male homosexuals and 2% were intravenous drug users (190).
In telephone interviews 96% of these people reported prescription drugs,
67% over-the-counter drugs, 31% investigational drugs, 29% recreational
drugs, and 29% "alternative" drugs. An average of 2.3 medications
were taken simultaneously by healthy HIV-positives and 5.6 medications
were taken simultaneously by those with AIDS symptoms. The authors of the
study "conclude that use of polypharmacy among some AIDS clinic patients
is common, could create an increased risk for adverse drug reactions, and
may affect clinical drug trials".
Larry Kramer, the HIV-positive playwright and founder of the gay activist
organization Act-Up, has described his own anti-HIV/AIDS polypharmacy under
the title "Checking in, my chart" (191). Following the advice
of several AIDS luminaries such as Anthony Fauci, David Ho, Joseph Sonnabend,
Alvin Friedman-Kien and others, Kramer composed his own polypharmacy of
19 drugs for an annual price tag of $19,000 (150). This chart includes:
"AZT (AIDS), acyclovir [genital herpes], Zantac, colchicine [mitosis
blocker], propranolol, spironolactone, myphyston [liver cirrhosis and hepatitis],
Eucerin, Moisturel, Retin-A, mycolog, flucinonide, sulfacet-r, Nizoral
[fungal dermatitis], Hisminal and Humbid [bronchitis], and Shaklee vitamins,
zinc, NAC" and a "turquoise stone which a fortune teller, many
years ago, advised" (191). Before developing AIDS and medical drug
addiction, Kramer offered a client’s eye-view of homosexual life-style,
including a long list of the 56 most popular recreational drugs in his
novel Faggots (6, 11).
The polypharmacy of the AIDS patient and activist Peter Di Giulio from
San Francisco, who suffers from weight loss, chronic diarrhea, skin ailments,
and neuropathy, even exceeds that of Larry Kramer. At an annual cost of
just over $41,000 "Di Giulio has no choice but to organize his life
around his medications": the DNA chain terminators d4T, 3TC (for HIV),
Cytovene (for cytomegalovirus) and Zovirax (for herpes), the protease inhibitor
Crixivan, the antifungals Diflucan and Septra (for PCP), anti-mycobacterials
Biaxin and Myambutol, the anti-diarrheal Lomotil, Valium for anxiety, and
an assortment of ten vitamins and supplements (192).
The polypharmacy of adult HIV-positives even extends to children. The
treatments prescribed to an American group of 20 boys and 22 girls serve
as an example. These children were originally diagnosed as HIV-positive
only at 7 years of age, but were HIV-positive from birth due to perinatally
acquired HIV (193). At the time of HIV diagnosis, 5 of 42 (12%) were also
diagnosed with some AIDS-defining diseases. Yet all but 2 of the children
were treated with anti-HIV/AIDS drugs. At an average of 11 years of age
the following medications were administered to the children:
Most of the children are receiving multiple chronic medications, with
90.5% (38 of 42) receiving antiretroviral therapy, 78.6% (33 of 42) receiving
PCP prophylaxis, 33.3% (14 of 42) receiving fungal prophylaxis, and 23.8%
(10 of 42) receiving herpesvirus prophylaxis. Among the children receiving
antiretroviral therapy, 78.9% (30 of 38) are receiving zidovudine [AZT].
Other medications frequently prescribed include meter dose inhalers for
reactive airway disease in 33.3% (14 of 42) of patients and nutritional
supplements for failure to thrive and wasting syndrome in 52.4% (22 of
42) of patients. Only 2 of the 42 children in the cohort are not receiving
any medications, with 4 receiving one medication, 14 receiving two, 10
receiving between 3 and 5, and 12 receiving between 6 and 12 different
medications daily. Sixty-two percent (26 of 42) of the children receive
monthly intravenous infusions of immunoglobulin (193).
4.3. Diseases caused by AZT and other anti-HIV medicines.
AZT functions as an analog of natural thymidine (T). If AZT is incorporated
instead of T into a growing DNA chain, DNA synthesis terminates for lack
of a 3’OH end, and the cell dies (see Fig. 3).
A standard daily prescription of 0.5 g AZT corresponds to about 1021
molecules per body, or 107 per human cell, enough to kill most
growing cells, especially the fastest growing ones the immune cells, red
cells and epithelial cells by terminating DNA synthesis (159, 194). Stopping
the regeneration of these cells over several days causes anemia, nausea,
lymphocytopenia, hepatitis, and wasting disease (26, 152, 195, 196). AZT
also prevents mitochondrial DNA synthesis in non-proliferating cells. Specifically,
non-renewal of mitochondrial DNA causes muscle atrophy, hepatitis, and
dementia (26, 117, 159, 197). In addition, AZT is carcinogenic (26, 198).
The long catalog of AZT diseases overlaps extensively with the CDC’s even
longer catalog of AIDS-defining diseases (17).
Considering the toxicity and mode of action of the DNA chain terminators,
it is not surprising that to date the professional literature has yet to
offer the first AIDS cure with AZT or the other anti-HIV drugs (11, 25).
In 1993, the British-French Concorde trial, the largest controlled study
of its kind, even buried the hope that AZT might prevent AIDS (199). Instead,
the final report of the trial confirmed in 1994 that AZT is not only unable
to prevent AIDS, but even increases the mortality of recipients by 25%
compared to the untreated controls (160).
Once the ice of absolute control on AZT by the NIAID, NCI, and Glaxo/Burroughs
Wellcome was broken by the non-American Concorde trial, a series of American
and European studies confirmed and extended the predictable toxicity of
AZT. Although in coded language and with disclaimers that a specific detrimental
outcome does not discredit the presumed merits of AZT, these results show
that AZT not only fails to prevent AIDS, but actually causes AIDS diseases
and accelerates death (see 7.8):
1) An American study of intravenous drug users observed in 1993 that,
"The rate of CD4 lymphocyte depletion did not appear to slow after
the initiation of zidovudine therapy…" results suggested that zidovudine
users in this sample may have experienced more rapid CD4+ cell depletion
2) An Indian-English collaboration reported in 1994 that among 104 babies
of AZT-treated pregnant women 8 aborted spontaneously, 8 were aborted "therapeutically"
and another 8 were born with serious birth defects, including holes in
the chest, abnormal indentations at the base of the spine, misplaced ears,
triangular faces, heart defects, extra digits and albinism (200). Zidovudine
users in this study may have experienced more rapid CD4+ cell depletion.
3) The American MAC study of 5000 male homosexual men observed that,
"HIV dementia among those reporting any antiretroviral use (AZT, ddI,
ddC, or d4T) was 97% higher than among those not using this antiretroviral
4) Another analysis of the of homosexual men from the MAC study revealed
that AZT treatment increased the risk of pneumonia 2 to 4-fold (201).
5) And four years after introducing AZT prophylaxis against AIDS (161),
Paul Volberding et al. published in 1994 "the average time
with neither a progression of disease nor adverse event was 15.7, 15.6,
and 14.8 months for patients receiving placebo, 500 mg zidovudine, and
1500 mg zidovudine, respectively." (202). Thus even Volberding now
confirms the Concorde study’s conclusion that AZT does not prolong life
or prevent AIDS, but instead accelerates AIDS.
6) An independent British study even found that AZT prophylaxis reduced
survival from 3 to 2 years and also observed AZT-specific AIDS diseases,
"wasting syndrome, cryptosporidiosis, and cytomegalovirus infection
... almost exclusively" in AZT-treated AIDS patients (203). This result
confirmed Concorde’s observation, in particular the 25% higher mortality
of those on AZT.
7) The results of AIDS prophylaxis by AZT proved even more devastating
for American hemophiliacs: The AIDS risk of hemophiliacs on AZT was 4.5
times higher and their mortality was 2.7 times higher than that of untreated
8) The mortality of British HIV-positive hemophiliacs has increased
even 10-fold since 1987, since most are subjected to AZT and other anti-HIV/AIDS
treatments (22-24, 38, 183).
9) In 1996 an American study from the National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development concluded that AIDS prophylaxis with AZT also harms
children: "In contrast with anecdotal clinical observations and other
studies indicating that zidovudine favorably influences weight-growth rates,
our analysis suggests the opposite." (205).
10) Even before the Concorde study a rare publication critical of AZT
by the NCI reported in 1990 that AZT increased the annual lymphoma risk
50-fold compared to untreated controls (198).
But despite the devastating evidence that AZT enhances morbidity and
accelerates death by causing AIDS defining diseases on its own, the faith
of the medical orthodoxy in FDA approved AZT seems unshakable. No news
is bad enough to discourage AZT prescriptions (29, 173) (see 7.8.).
Nevertheless, recently a few mainstream AIDS doctors have openly registered
dissent, although not in the form of dedicated articles. Says Jay Levy,
professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco,
"With all the hoopla about antiviral drugs, and you get any virologist
aside and they’ll say this is not how we are going to win, it’s high time
we look at the immune system" (206). Lecturing his medical students,
another professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco,
Donald Abrams, is even more direct according to a university magazine:
In contrast with many of my colleagues at SFGH [San Francisco General
Hospital] in the AIDS program, I am not necessarily a cheerleader for anti-retroviral
therapy. I have been one of the people who's questioned, from the beginning,
whether or not we're really making an impact with HIV drugs and, if we
are making an impact, if it's going in the right direction.
Despite the promising evidence, definitive proof of protease inhibitors'
efficacy can be provided only by randomized clinical trials with placebo.
Because new antiviral drugs are continuously being developed, conducting
such trials is virtually impossible due to the reluctance of patients to
continue treatment with and "old" drug. Abrams spent the first
half of his lecture describing analogous problems during the testing and
approval of AZT, the first drug used in AIDS therapy.
AZT, a nucleoside analog, belongs to a class of drugs that inhibit DNA
polymerization by terminating growing DNA chains. The study which demonstrated
that AZT might be of benefit was a placebo control trial begun in 1986
involving 288 patients. Although the study was originally intended to last
24 weeks, it was cut short and unblinded half way through because of statistically
significant differences in deaths between the two groups.
Abrams lamented that although "18 more people made it to this arbitrary
milestone of four to eight months after pneumocystis... I didn't feel that
this was showing that we were prolonging survival." Abrams blamed
the "very powerful rhetoric" of the emerging community of AIDS
activists, who demanded an end to clinical trials. "Somebody should
write a book about the impact of that decision on HIV clinical trials history,"
added Abrams "because everything changed because of that demand."
Abrams recounted his early misgivings about AZT, which loses its effect
after a year or two because the virus becomes resistant. He was also disturbed
by findings demonstrating that a high dose of AZT resulted in a smaller
rise of CD4 cells than a lower dose. "Maybe if we just stop it altogether
people will be better off," he said.
Members of the audience were surprised to learn of the paucity of solid,
clinical research behind AZT and other nucleic acid chain terminators,
which prevent infected T-cells from transcribing the RNA viral genome into
DNA, thereby inhibiting viral pathogenesis. Abrams exposed the tragic farce
of past AIDS research and therapy--people who thought they were doing something
useful were actually wasting time and valuable resources.
How should the clinician apply the new therapies? Abrams described his
approach with patients. "I have a large population of people who have
chosen not to take any antiretrovirals since I've been following them since
the very beginning... They've watched all of their friends go on the antiviral
bandwagon and die, so they've chose to remain naive [to therapy]. More
and more, however, are now succumbing to pressure that protease inhibitors
are 'it'... We are in the middle of the honeymoon period, and whether or
not this is going to be an enduring marriage is unclear to me at this time,
so, I'm advising my patients if they still have time, to wait." (180).
Some of the most damning admissions to the existence of AZT-specific
AIDS diseases come from the suppliers of the drug themselves. The warnings
on the product label of an AZT bottle supplied by Sigma, a non-medical
provider of the drug, points out, with skull and cross bones, AZTs toxicity
to the bone marrow, the very source of T-cells (Fig.
4). Even the primary provider of AZT, the Glaxo/Burroughs Wellcome
company states in the Physicians’ Desk Reference that, "It
was often difficult to distinguish adverse events possibly associated with
zidovudine [AZT] administration from underlying signs of HIV disease..."
(152). Finally, the National Institutes of Child Health and Development
recently confirmed that, "Zidovudine use is confounded by progression
of HIV disease" (205).
The inevitable damage caused by AZT prescriptions is compounded by many
of the concomitant medicines taken by most, if not all HIV-positive Americans
with AIDS and at risk for AIDS (Table 7). For
example, some of the antiviral drugs like ganciclovir and acyclovir are
also DNA chain terminators that are nearly as toxic as AZT (207). As expected
they were observed to produce "pancytopenia" (208) by killing
hemopoietic cells, and to have "direct [toxic] effects on myeloid
and erythroid progenitor cells" (152, 209). Moreover, even American
AIDS researchers are concerned that many of the anti-infectives used as
anti-HIV/AIDS drugs have "nephrotoxic, cytotoxic, and myelosuppresive
[effects], such as amphotericin B, co-trimoxazole, dapsone, interferon,
pentamidine, vincristine, flucytosine, adriamycin, vinblastine, and others
[which] could potentially increase the risk of hematologic toxicities in
patients being treated with ZDV [AZT]" (209). In other words these
drugs are immunosuppressive because they intoxicate and kill immune cells.
As yet there are no placebo-controlled human or even animal studies
in the literature on the toxic effects of protease inhibitors, although
over 60,000 Americans are daily users of the most popular brand (210).
However, the popular press acknowledges effects such as "suicidal
thoughts, twitching, central nervous disorders…extreme nausea, hallucinations,
intense trembling" after several months on the drug (192). And the
HIV/AIDS researcher Jerome Groopman of the Beth Israel Medical Center in
Boston informed Newsweek in December 1996 that, "some patients
have been ‘showing signs of the benefits wearing off’" - an effect
that is termed "crashing" by the magazine. Even the surrogate
markers of presumed benefits of protease inhibitors, like decreased "viral
load" (33, 34, 177), are lost over several months as "viral load
has shot back up again and no one knows why" (210).
Although AZT cannot prevent or cure AIDS, and although AZT and the
other DNA chain terminators are among the most toxic drugs legally available,
and although AZT is already known to cause AIDS diseases and accelerates
death on its own, about 200,000 HIV-positive Americans are daily recipients
of AZT. Most of these are healthy because there are no more than 50,000
to 75,000 American AIDS patients per year (3). In addition most, perhaps
all American HIV-positives at risk for AIDS also take other "concomitant
medications" (209) that have known immunosuppressive and other detrimental
effects, such as cortisones, dapsone, pentamidine and others (152, 194).
Furthermore, most HIV-positive and HIV-negative people at risk for AIDS
also consume bewildering combinations and doses of recreational drugs (see
3.). In other words, most Americans at risk for AIDS and with AIDS are
walking pharmacies, consuming excessive doses of toxic recreational and
toxic medical drugs.