THE DRUG-AIDS HYPOTHESIS
Peter Duesberg and David Rasnick
6. Predictions are proving the drug-hypothesis
A good hypothesis must predict and explain the outcome of man’s or nature’s
experiments. According to Feynman, "nature’s phenomena will agree
or disagree with your theory". The following examples document that
the drug hypothesis predicts and explains the American and European AIDS
6.1. American and European AIDS restricted to recreational drugs
The drug hypothesis predicts that all AIDS-defining diseases that exceed
their long-established normal background (i.e. >95%) are restricted
to recreational and anti-HIV drug users. The rare AIDS cases from the general
population, including hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients (224), represent
the spontaneous and AZT-induced incidence of AIDS defining diseases in
these groups under the new name AIDS (23, 24, 26) (see 5.).
Indeed, the following positive and negative evidence confirms this prediction.
Even the CDC acknowledges that a third of the over 500,000 American AIDS
patients are intravenous drug users (3). Prior to 1984 the CDC had also
confirmed that the remaining two thirds of American AIDS patients were
male homosexuals who had all used a multiplicity of recreational drugs,
above all nitrite inhalants, amphetamines and cocaine (111) (Table
5). After 1984, by which time the CDC had adopted the HIV hypothesis,
independent publications continued to document illicit recreational drug
use by American and European homosexual AIDS patients (see 3. and Table
5). Since 1987 a large percentage of HIV-positive male homosexuals
also took anti-HIV drugs, above all AZT, as AIDS prophylaxis or therapy
(see 4. and 7. and Table 7).
Furthermore, negative evidence supports this assessment. Despite the
over 100,000 papers published on HIV and AIDS, the AIDS establishment has
never been able to demonstrate that even a small group of healthy HIV-positive
Americans or Europeans, who had neither used recreational drugs nor antiviral
drugs such as AZT ever developed AIDS (225). No controlled study in the
medical literature has found any HIV-positives any sicker or dying sooner
than matched HIV-negative controls (11, 26). Yet, such groups could be
easily recruited from the US Army that annually rejects 1 out of 1000 healthy
applicants just for having antibodies against HIV (225). All studies linking
HIV to AIDS investigate people with life-threatening health risks such
as drug addiction, hemophilia or exotic lifestyles.
Although the CDC offers rare, anecdotal AIDS cases outside the drug
risk groups as examples for drug-free AIDS, that institution has never
been able to provide the control statistics to prove that these cases exceed
the normal low background in the drug-free population (3, 11). If matched
groups that only differ in HIV are ever compared, the mortality of the
HIV-positives is exactly the same as that of the HIV-negatives, as for
example American transfusion recipients (226), sub-Saharan Africans (42),
and intravenous drug users (39, 41, 86).
Thus drugs explain the restriction of AIDS to risk groups, precisely.
6.2. Nine out of ten American/European AIDS patients are males.
The drug hypothesis predicts that American and European AIDS is predominantly
male, because males consume over 78% of the hard injected drugs (Table
4) (53, 61), over 98% of nitrite inhalants (79, 80) and most of the
AZT (see 3., 4. and 7.).
Indeed, the CDC reports that 87% of all American AIDS patients are males
(227). And the sex ratio of the European AIDS epidemic is a mirror image
of the American drug epidemic (26). This sex distribution is the sum of
the following constituents:
1) The CDC reports that a third of all American AIDS patients are intravenous
drug users (3). According to the NIDA, the US Department of HHS and the
Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the White House 75-78% of drug users
are males (26, 52, 53, 61, 85) (see 3. and Table
2) The CDC also reports that nearly two thirds, over 60%, of all American
AIDS patients are male homosexuals (228). Based on self-answered questionnaires
(229) (of the CDC and independent investigators) all of these were frequent
users of nitrite inhalants, ethylchloride inhalants, amphetamines, cocaine,
and other drugs that facilitate sexual contacts, particularly anal intercourse.
Indeed, not a single drug-free homosexual AIDS case has ever been documented
in the literature (see 3. and Table 5).
Since intravenous drug users, who are 75% male, make up one-third of
all AIDS patients, and male homosexuals make up almost two-thirds of all
American AIDS patients, the drug hypothesis explains why 87% of all American
AIDS patients are males. The same applies to the European AIDS epidemic.
6.3. AIDS and deaths from recreational drugs have the same age distribution.
The drug hypothesis predicts that the age distributions of deaths from
AIDS and from recreational drugs coincide.
Indeed, this prediction is already proved. In 1994, 89% of all American
AIDS cases (3), and 82% of all American drug deaths fell into the age group
between 25 and 54 years (61). In 1990, 82% of the cocaine-related and 75%
of the morphine-related hospital emergencies were 20-39 years old, again
overlapping very closely with the age distribution of AIDS patients (230).
Moreover, according to the same sources, 77% of the drug deaths and 82%
of the AIDS cases in 1994 were males a remarkable coincidence (Table
6.4. Pediatric AIDS caused by maternal drug addiction.
The drug hypothesis predicts AIDS in babies who shared intravenous
drugs and AZT with their mothers regardless of HIV.
In fact, over 80% of pediatric AIDS cases in America and Europe are
babies born to mothers who were intravenous drug users (26, 205, 231-233).
Since 1989, many were also prescribed AZT and other anti-HIV drugs after
birth (see 4. and 6.9.). The remainder reflects the normal low incidence
of AIDS-defining diseases among newborns, particularly among newborns of
poor and homeless mothers.
6.5. Why AIDS now?
The drug hypothesis predicts that American and European AIDS is new
because it is a direct consequence of the drug use epidemics that spiraled
after the Vietnam war, from negligible numbers in the 1970s to currently
about 20 million illict drug users in America (see 3.). Allow a grace period
of about 10 years for recreational drugs to achieve the dosage needed to
cause irreversible disease (26) and you can date the origin of AIDS in
1981 (see 3. and 6.7.). In addition, the drug hypothesis predicts that
additional AIDS cases were generated since 1987 by the epidemic of AZT
prescriptions for 220,000 HIV-positives (26) (see 4.).
According to the CDC’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports, AIDS in
America increased from a few dozen cases annually in 1981 to about 50,000-75,000
since 1990 (224) (Fig. 1). The peak in 1992
and 1993 reflects in part yet another increase in the list of AIDS-defining
diseases; this time to about 30 (17) (Fig. 1).
After 1993 the annual incidence of AIDS cases has leveled off and even
appears to decline (Fig 1). A comparison of
Figures 1 and 2 graphically underscores the parallels between the AIDS
and drug epidemics since 1981. Thus American and European AIDS is new because
the drug epidemic is new. In fact, both the newness and the growth of the
AIDS epidemic are predicted by the newness and the growth of the drug epidemic,
as postulated by the drug-AIDS hypothesis.
6.6. Risk group-specific AIDS diseases.
The drug hypothesis predicts drug-specific AIDS diseases and explains
the following risk-group-specific AIDS diseases as drug-specific AIDS diseases:
1) Kaposi’s sarcoma specific for male homosexual nitrite users. Kaposi’s
sarcoma as an AIDS diagnosis is 20 times more common among homosexuals
who use nitrite inhalants than among AIDS patients who are intravenous
drug users, or hemophiliacs (36, 130).
According to the drug hypothesis Kaposi’s sarcoma is a nitrite-specific
AIDS disease. Indeed, male homosexuals are 58-times more likely to use
nirite inhalants as sexual and mental stimulants than heterosexuals (79)
(see 3.). Due to their carcinogenic potential, nitrites were originally
proposed as causes of Kaposi's sarcoma (215, 217). The fact that up to
32% of Kaposi's sarcomas of homosexual men can be diagnosed as pulmonary
Kaposi's sarcoma (234, 235), lends additional support to the nitrite-Kaposi's
sarcoma hypothesis, because the lungs are the primary site of exposure
to nitrite inhalants. Meduri et al. point out that the "pulmonary
involvement by the neoplasma has been an unusual clinical finding"
in the Kaposi's sarcomas of male homosexuals compared to all "classic"
Kaposi's sarcomas (236). This agrees with the fact that "aggressive
and life-threatening" Kaposi's sarcoma, particularly pulmonary Kaposi’s
sarcoma, is exclusively observed in male homosexuals (235-238). Pulmonary
Kaposi’s sarcoma had never been observed by Moritz Kaposi, nor by anyone
else prior to the AIDS epidemic (239).
Moreover, it appears that the nitrite-induced AIDS-Kaposi's sarcoma
and the classic, spontaneous Kaposi's sarcomas are entirely different cancers
under the same name. The "HIV-associated" Kaposi's sarcomas observed
in male homosexuals are "aggressive and life-threatening" (237),
often located in the lung and fatal within 8-10 months after diagnosis
(234-236, 238). The classic "indolent and chronic" Kaposi's sarcomas
are only diagnosed on the skin of the lower extremities and hardly progress
over many years (16, 236, 240). Nevertheless, the distinction between classic
and AIDS-Kaposi's sarcoma is rarely ever emphasized and may have escaped
many observers due to the "difficulty in pre-mortem diagnosis",
and because "pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma was indistinguishable from
opportunistic pneumonia..." (238).
The immunotoxicity and cytotoxicity of nitrites also explains the proclivity
of male homosexual nitrite users for pneumonia, which is the most common
AIDS disease in the US and Europe (26, 130) (Table
1). The cytotoxic effects of nitrites are compounded by the immunotoxins
and cytotoxins of cigarette smoke. For example, in two groups of otherwise
matched HIV-positive male homosexuals, cigarette smokers developed pneumonia
twice as often as non-smokers over a period of 9 months (133).
2) High mortality and specific diseases of intravenous drug users.
High mortality and tuberculosis, pneumonia, mouth infections, immunodeficiency,
lymphadenopathy, candidiasis, fever, weight loss and dementia are each
characteristic of intravenous drug users (26, 86, 120, 122, 124, 125) (see
3.) and AIDS patients.
A recent review article has tried to resolve the "confusion [that]
may arise as to the aetiology of specific symptoms" from intravenous
drug use and from HIV, "since they may mimic each other" (40).
But, after confirming that drug use causes lymphadenopathy, diarrhea, dementia,
epileptic seizures, impotence, tuberculosis and other clinical features
by itself, the article fails to resolve the confusion (see 3.). Since it
lacks drug-free HIV-infected patients with the specific diseases of intravenous
drug users, the confusion remained. In other words, the article confirmed,
despite its intent, once more that AIDS diseases of intravenous drug users
are drug diseases.
Because of drug-induced diseases intravenous drug users only reach a
very low average age. A German study found the average age at death of
intravenous drug users was 29.6 years for HIV-free and 31.5 years for HIV-positive
addicts in 1995 (39). American studies show that both HIV-positive and
negative intravenous drug users die between the ages of 25 and 48 years
(41), and from the same AIDS-defining and other diseases in 1988 (86).
The average age at death of amphetamine addicts was also determined to
be about 30 years (118). Thus drugs, not HIV, determine the specific diseases
and high mortality of intravenous drug users.
3) Low birth weight and mental retardation of AIDS babies. Low
birth weight, mental retardation and immunodeficiency for lack of B-cells
are specific AIDS diseases of AIDS babies (224).
According to the drug hypothesis these are drug diseases because 80%
of American/European babies with AIDS are born to mothers who were intravenous
drug users during pregnancy (26, 51, 205, 233). Moreover, HIV-free "crack
babies" of drug-addicted mothers have exactly the same diseases as
HIV-positive infants (241) (see 6.8.). The remaining 20% are due to congenital
diseases such as hemophilia, and infant morbidity and mortality due to
4) Anemia, wasting, lymphoma and high mortality of AZT recipients.
Anemia, leukopenia, lymphoma, pancytopenia, diarrhea, weight loss, hair
loss, impotence (26), muscle atrophy, dementia, hepatitis (195), and pneumocystis
pneumonia (201) are specific AIDS diseases typical of those prescribed
AZT and other DNA chain terminators. They are all predictable consequences
of the termination of DNA synthesis (see 4.).
Indeed, compared to untreated controls AZT recipients have 50-times
more often lymphoma (198), die either 2.4-times more often (204) or 25%
more often (160), or live only 2 years instead of 3 with AIDS with the
above diseases (203) (see 4.1., 7.8.). And babies treated with AZT before
birth develop birth defects or are aborted, and those treated after birth
experience "a negative effect on growth" (205) (see 4., 7.8.).
6.7. Not all drug users develop AIDS.
The drug hypothesis predicts that drug diseases only occur after a
pathogenic threshold of drug toxicity has been accumulated over a lifetime.
Short term users of drugs at recreational doses will experience either
no diseases or reversible diseases.
In adults it takes about 10 years of injecting or oral use of heroin,
cocaine and amphetamines to develop tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia,
irreversible or hardly reversible weight loss, and other drug-induced diseases
(118, 120, 122, 242-246). The time lag from initiating a habit of inhaling
nitrites to acquire Kaposi's sarcoma has also been determined to
be 7 to 10 years (26, 36, 113, 138). Clearly, irreversible damage is achieved
much faster in a developing fetus than in a fully developed adult.
Since most recreational drug users give up drugs for personal, economic,
and health reasons before they experience serious medical consequences,
only a fraction will develop drug diseases (126). Thus the 500,000 individuals
annually delivered to hospitals for reversible drug diseases, and the 50,000
to 75,000 for irreversible AIDS diseases (51) are only a small fraction
of the over 20 million American illict drug users. Likewise, the 600-800
annual American AIDS babies (3) are only a small fraction of the 221,000
that are born to American mothers who use drugs during pregnancy (51) (see
In addition, only a fraction of the 220,000 HIV-positive persons on
daily prescriptions of AZT and other anti-HIV drugs, that, like AZT, are
designed to kill human cells, are annually converted to AIDS patients (160).
The annual percentage of healthy AZT-recipients developing AIDS is not
published, but can be estimated at 25 to 35% considering that out of 220,000
on AZT between 50,000 and 75,000 Americans each year develop AIDS (Fig.
Thus the American AIDS patients are those 50,000 to 75,000 of the 20
million recreational drug users and the 220,000 AZT recipients who have
achieved the highest lifetime doses of toxicity just like the lung cancer
and emphysema patients reflect the highest lifetime tobacco dose among
the 50 million smokers in the US (247).
6.8. Non-correlations between HIV and AIDS.
The drug hypothesis predicts (a) HIV without AIDS, (b) AIDS before
HIV, and (c) AIDS without HIV. Each of these predictions is confirmed.
1) Long-term survivors or "non-progressors". In view
of the appearance of growing numbers of HIV carriers who are healthy even
15 years after infection, the HIV orthodoxy has created a new category
of HIV carriers, termed long-term survivors or "long-term non-progressors"
(248). The first mainstream paper on long-term survivors described a healthy
male homosexual blood donor and five blood recipients who by 1992 had survived
HIV for 10 to 12 years (249). The HIV orthodoxy has therefore proposed
that the existence of the non-progressors is due to non-virulent, mutant
strains of HIV and that such viruses would be ideal vaccine strains. However,
these optimistic proposals were not backed up by functional evidence for
non-virulent HIV (248, 250).
According to the drug hypothesis the non-progressors should be HIV-positive
people who have stopped using or never used recreational drugs or AZT.
Indeed, the HIV-researchers David Ho et al. inadvertantly provided the
key to long-term survival: "none had received antiretroviral therapy"
(251). Likewise, Alvaro Munoz reported that not one of the long-term survivors
of the largest federally funded study of male homosexuals at risk for AIDS,
the MAC study, had used AZT (252). Another orthodox HIV study acknowledged
"only 38% of the HLP [healthy long-term HIV-positives] had ever used
zidovudine or other nucleoside analogues compared with 94% progressors".
Clearly the wording "had ever used" implies that AZT had been
discontinued after a short traumatic, but reversible experience.
Independent scientists document that in addition to abstaining from
antiviral drugs long-term survivors are those who have given up or never
taken recreational drugs (253-255). Timothy Hand, from the Ogelthorpe University
in Atlanta GA, adds much weight to this view:
While healthy, ‘non-progressing’ HIV carriers are considered rare (and
doomed), they may in fact vastly outnumber the sick and dying. This is
certainly implied by the ubiquitous estimate of HIV prevalence in America
of one million. Long-term AIDS survival is now a hot topic in the literature,
and anecdotal reports (256, 257) as well as numerous scientific studies
(101, 251, 258-264) suggest that most long-term survivors have shunned
antiviral drugs. This point is often understated in these studies, and
is not made in the titles or abstracts. In David Baltimore’s editorial
on 2 of these studies, avoidance of antivirals was not mentioned at all
(265). Needless to say, none of these studies was funded by a pharmaceutical
Interestingly, nearly all of these studies suggest a protective role
of cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells and/or natural killer cells in healthy survivors.
Many focus on the importance of maintaining cell-mediated immunity, rather
than on "killing HIV". Thus HIV infection per se seems
to entail little danger, unless it is followed by antiviral therapy (266).
Similar observations have been made by the late homosexual AIDS activist
In researching his 1990 book Surviving AIDS, Callen interviewed
nearly fifty people who had lived for many years not just after being pronounced
HIV-positive, but after an AIDS diagnosis. He found that only four had
ever used AZT; three of those had since died, and one was dying of AZT-induced
lymphoma. But the overwhelming majority of long-term survivors had somehow
managed to resist the enormous pressure to take AZT.
The pressure did not just come from doctors, Callen told the Amsterdam
meeting (7, 267), but from a certain segment of AIDS activism that seemed
driven by a ‘drugs-into-bodies’ mentality. ‘I feel many AIDS activist friends
who are in the forefront of this frenzy are very misleading to people with
AIDS, who are frightened and desperate. They only seem to talk about two
possible outcomes of taking experimental drugs: one is that it works and
one that it does not work. There is a third, apparently much more common
possibility, which is that you will be worse off than if you did nothing
at all. And nobody likes to talk about that because it is so unpleasant’.
He had seen the devastation wreaked by AZT, watching with horror as friends
with AIDS ‘turn the colour of boiled ham from AZT poisoning, endure the
melting away of their muscles, become transfusion dependent, and experience
drug-induced psychosis’. Yet his perception of a person diagnosed with
AIDS in 1992 was that ‘they would sell their grandmother into slavery to
get a slot in the latest drug-of-the-month clinical trial’.
Another feature of the long-term survivors was that they rejected the
predominant scientific view that HIV-positivity meant inevitable decline
of the immune system towards an early death (7).
In December 1995 The Advocate, the largest national gay magazine,
published the story of Dennis Leoutsakas, a man who is HIV-positive "for
at least 17 years [but] doesn’t have AIDS and no one knows why" (268).
According to the article, "most HIV researchers have insisted that
HIV infection will, in almost every case, eventually lead to AIDS"
a belief underscored by their preferred term for nonprogressors: slow
Wearing his HIV blinkers the author of the article fails to see the
formula for Leoutsakas’ "slow progression": "Leoutsakas,
47: A former IV-drug user who last shared a needle in 1978 ... first tested
positive in 1987. He has a T-cell count ... between 650 and 950. In addition,
Leoutsakas has had none of the opportunistic infections that define AIDS
no pneumonia, no Kaposi’s sarcoma, no fungal infections, nada. Leoutsakas
says doctors have attempted to explain his case by theorizing that, like
the Australians (249), he is infected with a weakened form of HIV but it’s
really just speculation." ... "Leoutsakas has no theory of his
own and no special formula for his well-being. He’s never taken AZT or
any other antiretroviral drugs." No more IV-drugs, no antiretroviral
drugs but "no formula for his well-being"!
And in October 1996 even an orthodox professor of medicine at the University
of California at San Francisco taught his medical students the secret of
long-term survival with HIV (see 4.): "I have a large population of
people who have chosen not to take any antivirals since I’ve been following
them since the very beginning... They’ve watched all of their friends go
on the antiretroviral 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,
Unknowingly the vast majority of HIV-positives are long-term survivors!
Worldwide, they number 17 million, including 1 million HIV-positive, healthy
Americans and 0.5 million HIV-positive, healthy Europeans (269, 270). Most
of these must have been HIV-positive for at least 10 years now because
the numbers of the HIV-positive Americans and Europeans have not changed
during the period 1984 to 1988 when the epidemic of HIV-testing began in
the respective countries (26, 29) (Fig.1).
Since no more than 6% of the 17 million people worldwide with antibodies
to HIV have developed AIDS over the last 7 to 10 years, the risk of AIDS
to an HIV-carrier is less than 1% per year (270). However, even this low
figure is not corrected for the normal occurence of the 30 AIDS-defining
diseases in HIV-free controls. There is not a single controlled study in
the vast AIDS literature proving that HIV-positive people who are not drug
users have a higher morbidity or mortality than HIV-free controls (11,
225). (See 7., Table 4 and 5)
To save the reputation of the "deadly virus" in the face of
long-term survivors, orthodox HIV researchers have already posted warnings
that "regrettably ... the proportion of individuals who might demonstrate
such a benign course is very small" (271). Others have postulated
rare HIV attenuating mutations without providing functional evidence (248,
250). Gallo et al. went even further by postulating human mutants,
who fall victim of HIV because they lack "major HIV-suppressive factors"
(272). According to Gallo’s hypothesis most American homosexuals, hemophiliacs
and intravenous drug users are mutants!
2) Drug users developing AIDS prior to HIV infection. Prospective
studies have demonstrated that the T-cells of male homosexuals using psychoactive
drugs and sexual stimulants may decline prior to infection with HIV. For
example, the T-cells of 37 homosexual men from San Francisco declined steadily
prior to HIV infection for 1.5 years from over 1200 to below 800 per µl
(273). Some even had fewer than 500 T-cells 1.5 years before seroconversion
(274). Although recreational drug use was not mentioned in these articles,
other studies of the same cohort of homosexual men from San Francisco described
extensive use of recreational drugs including nitrites (80, 112, 114, 145,
275). Likewise, 33 HIV-free male homosexuals from Vancouver, Canada, had
"acquired" immunodeficiency prior to HIV infection (276). Again
this study did not mention drug use, but in other articles the authors
reported that all men of this cohort had used nitrites, cocaine and amphetamines
(48, 105, 277).
The MAC study reported that about 450 (16% of 2795) HIV-free, homosexual
American men from Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles had acquired
immunodeficiency, having less than 600 T-cells per µl, prior to HIV
infection (103). Many HIV-positive and -negative men of this cohort had
essentially the same degree of lymphadenopathy: "Although seropositive
men had a significantly higher mean number of involved lymphnode groups
than seronegative men (5.7 compared to 4.5 nodes, p<0.005), the numerical
difference in the means is not striking" (278). According to previous
studies on this cohort, 71% of these men had used - based on self reporting
- nitrite inhalants, in addition to other drugs (278); 83% had used one
drug, and 60% had used two or more drugs during sex in the previous six
Indeed, not a single prospective study of male homosexual cohorts at
risk for AIDS ever measured drug use directly. Instead, each relied only
on self reporting, using questionnaires that focused on recent use of a
few selective drugs (32, 48, 229, 275) (see 7.). By contrast, all HIV tests
were based on experimental methods that maximize positivity such as antibodies
against the virus instead of the virus itself, or amplification of fragments
of viral nucleic acid instead of standard infectivity tests (see 7.).
Another study of the same cohort observed that the risk of developing
AIDS correlated with the frequency of receptive anal intercourse prior
to and after HIV infection (280), which correlates directly with the
use of nitrite vasodilaters (26, 100, 104, 130, 281) (see 3.).
Thus, in male homosexuals at risk for AIDS, AIDS often precedes infection
by HIV, not vice versa. Since the cause must precede the consequence, drug
use remains the only plausible, group-specific choice to explain "acquired"
immunodeficiencies prior to HIV. If male homosexuality were to cause immunodeficiency,
about 10% of the adult American male population should have AIDS (26, 282),
and the disease should have been well established long before 1981.
Prospective studies of intravenous drug users also document T-cell losses
prior to infection by HIV. For example, among intravenous drug users in
New York "the relative risk for seroconversion among subjects with
one or more CD4 [T-cell] count <500 cells/µl compared with HIV-negative
subjects with all counts >500 cells/µl was 4.53" (283). A
similar study from Italy showed that a low number of T-cells was the highest
risk factor for HIV infection (284). Again, a decrease in T-cells is a
risk factor for HIV infection, and not vice versa.
This confirms the hypothesis that HIV is a marker of drug consumption,
rather than the cause of AIDS: the more drugs are consumed intravenously
or as an aid to sex, the higher is the risk of HIV infection (26).
3) HIV-free AIDS. Intravenous drug users, their babies, male
homosexuals consuming aphrodisiac and psychoactive drugs, hemophiliacs,
and poor Africans develop the same AIDS-defining diseases with or without
HIV. One summary of the AIDS literature describes over 4,621 clinically
diagnosed AIDS cases who were not infected by HIV (48). Additional cases
are described that are not in this summary (232, 274, 275, 278, 285, 286).
They include intravenous drug users, male homosexuals using aphrodisiac
drugs like nitrite inhalants, hemophiliacs developing immune suppression
from long-term transfusion of foreign proteins contaminating factor VIII,
and Africans subject to malnutrition, parasitic infection and poor sanitation
The following examples of clinical AIDS in HIV-free male homosexuals
(1-9), and in intravenous drug users and their babies (10-26) illustrate
1) The first five AIDS cases, diagnosed in 1981 before HIV was known
(i.e. presence of HIV is speculative), were male homosexuals who had all
consumed nitrite inhalants and presented with Pneumocystis pneumonia and
cytomegalovirus infection (287).
2) In 1985, and again in 1988, Haverkos analyzed the AIDS risks of 87
male homosexual AIDS patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma , Kaposi’s sarcoma
plus pneumonia  and pneumonia only  (217, 288). All men had used
several sexual stimulants, 98% had used nitrites. Those with Kaposi’s sarcomas
reported 2 times more sexual partners and 4.4 times more receptive anal
intercourse than those with only pneumonia. The median number of sexual
partners in the year prior to the illness was 120 for those with Kaposi’s
and 22 for those with pneumonia only. The Kaposi’s cases reported 6-times
more amylnitrite and ethylchloride use, 4-times more barbiturate use, and
2-times more methaqualone, lysergic acid and cocaine use than those with
pneumonia only. Since no statistically significant differences were found
for sexually transmitted diseases among the patients, the authors concluded
that the drugs had caused Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Although the data for Haverkos’ analysis had been collected before HIV
was known, Haverkos’ conclusion is valid. This is because the development
of AIDS was drug dose dependent, and thus was either sufficient or at least
necessary for AIDS. Indeed, HIV was found in only 31% (289), 43% (290,
291), 48% (292), 49% (293), 56% (276), and 67% (112) of cohorts of homosexuals
at risk for AIDS in Amsterdam, Chicago-Washington DC-Los Angeles-Pittsburgh,
Boston, San Francisco and Canada respectively, that developed the same
AIDS diseases as described by Haverkos.
3) A 4.5 year tracking study of 42 homosexual men with lymphadenopathy
but not AIDS reported that 8 had developed AIDS within 2.5 years (214)
and 12 within 4.5 years of observation (294). All of these men had used
nitrite inhalants and other recreational drugs including amphetamines and
cocaine, but they were not tested for HIV. The authors concluded that "a
history of heavy or moderate use of nitrite inhalant before study entry
was predictive of ultimate progression to AIDS" (214). Thus drug doses
of 2.5 to 4.5 years were necessary for AIDS.
4) Before HIV was known, three controlled studies compared 20 homosexual
AIDS patients to 40 AIDS-free controls (215), 50 patients to 120 controls
(111) and 31 patients to 29 controls (216) to determine AIDS risk factors.
Each study reported that multiple "street drugs" were used as
sexual stimulants. And each study concluded that the "lifetime use
of nitrites" (111) were 94% to 100% (!) consistent risk factors for
5) A 27-58-fold higher consumption of nitrites by male homosexuals compared
to heterosexuals and lesbians (79, 295) correlates with a 20-fold higher
incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma (36, 296) and a higher incidence of all other
AIDS diseases in male homosexuals compared to most other risk groups (Tables
3 and 4). Again, drug use proved to be necessary
6) After the discovery of HIV, 5 out of 6 HIV-free male homosexuals
from New York with Kaposi’s sarcoma reported the use of nitrite inhalants
(297). Soon after, another 6 cases of HIV-free Kaposi’s sarcoma were reported
in an HIV-free "high risk population" from New York (298). This
indicates directly that HIV is not necessary and suggests that drugs are
sufficient for AIDS.
7) In 1992, two HIV-free, male homosexuals, erroneously treated with
AZT because of a false positive HIV-antibody test, developed fatal AIDS
including pneumonia and muscle atrophy. Their case was described in the
Oakland Tribune and in the New York Native because of a malpractice
suit against Kaiser Hospital and the manufacturer of AZT, but was not followed
up by the media, suggestive of a settlement (299). One of us has testified
in three legal cases against AZT therapy, and in each case settlements
were reached that barred further publicity. In view of the inherent false-positive
rate of HIV-antibody tests (48, 300, 301), many more such cases are likely
to exist that have never been identified (see 7.4.)
8) A rare, recent publication describes 4 HIV-free, male homosexual
AIDS patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma in the New England Journal of Medicine
(285). This publication was published in the orthodox literature at the
same time as a "new Kaposi’s sarcoma virus" was considered by
the AIDS establishment. This shows that the HIV orthodoxy can accept HIV-free
AIDS cases, but only at the expense of substituting another AIDS virus
in the place of HIV (302).
9) An independent re-analysis of the database of male homosexual AIDS
patients from San Francisco who had used nirtrite inhalants, amphetamines,
cocaine, and other recreational drugs in addition to AZT originally described
in 1993 (80, 303), identified 45 HIV-free patients with AIDS defining diseases
that had been omitted from the original study (115).
10) Among intravenous drug users in New York representing a "spectrum
of HIV-related diseases," HIV was only observed in 22 out of 50 pneumonia
deaths, 7 out of 22 endocarditis deaths, and 11 out of 16 tuberculosis
11) Pneumonia was diagnosed in 6 out of 289 HIV-free and in 14 out of
144 HIV-positive intravenous drug users in New York (304).
12) Among 54 prisoners with tuberculosis in New York state, 47 were
street-drug users, but only 24 were infected with HIV (305).
13) In a group of 21 long-term heroin addicts, the ratio of helper to
suppresser T-cells declined during 13 years from a normal of 2 to less
than 1, which is typical of AIDS (5, 306), but only 2 of the 21 were infected
by HIV (244).
14) Thrombocytopenia and immunodeficiency were diagnosed in 15 intravenous
drug users on average 10 years after they became addicted, but 2 were not
infected with HIV (243).
15) The annual mortality of 108 HIV-free Swedish heroin addicts was
similar to that of 39 HIV-positive addicts, i.e. 3–5%, over several years
16) A survey of over a thousand intravenous drug addicts from Germany
reported that the percentage of HIV-positives among drug deaths (10%) was
exactly the same as that of HIV-positives among living intravenous drug
users (308). Another study from Berlin also reported that the percentage
of HIV-positives among intravenous drug deaths was essentially the same
as that among living intravenous drug users, i.e. 20–30% (309). This indicates
that drugs are sufficient for and that HIV does not contribute to AIDS-defining
diseases and deaths of drug addicts.
17) Lymphocyte reactivity and abundance was depressed by the absolute
number of injections of drugs not only in 111 HIV-positive, but also in
210 HIV-free drug users from Holland (310).
18) The same lymphadenopathy, weight loss, fever, night sweats, diarrhea
and mouth infections were observed in 49 out of 82 HIV-free, and in 89
out of 136 HIV-positive, long-term intravenous drug users in New York (311).
19) Among intravenous drug users in France, lymphadenopathy was observed
in 41 and an over 10% weight loss in 15 out of 69 HIV-positives. The numbers
were 12 and 8, respectively, out of 44 HIV-negatives (245). The French
group had used drugs for an average of 5 years, but the HIV-positives had
injected drugs about 50% longer than the negatives.
20) Among 97 intravenous drug users in New York with active tuberculosis,
88 were HIV-positive and 9 were HIV-negative; and among 6 "crack"
(cocaine) smokers with tuberculosis, 3 were HIV-negative (312).
21) Among heroin addicts from New York, having injected an average of
5.7 years, natural killer cell activity was reduced 2-fold and T4/T8-cell
ratios from 2 to 1.5 (90).
22) A survey of the causes of death of 412 intravenous drug users from
New Jersey, revealed many HIV-free cases, including at least 48 pneumonias,
35 tuberculoses, and 6 encephalopathies (41).
23) Similar neurological deficiencies were observed among 12 HIV-infected
and 16 uninfected infants of drug-addicted mothers (Thomas Koch, UC San
Francisco, personal communication) (313). However, babies with and without
HIV, but from HIV-positive mothers, had lower psychomotor indices than
babies from HIV-free mothers. The probable reason is that HIV is again
a marker for the cumulative dose of intravenous drugs consumed by the mother
24) The psychomotor indices of infants "exposed to substance abuse
in utero" were "significantly" lower than those of controls,
"independent of HIV status." Their mothers were all drug users
but differed with regard to drug use during pregnancy. The mean indices
of 70 children exposed to drugs during pregnancy were 99 and those of 25
controls were 109. Thus maternal drug use during pregnancy impairs children
independent of HIV (314).
The same study also reports a "significant difference" based
on the HIV status of these children. The mean score of 12 HIV-positives
was 88 and that of 75 negatives was 102. As is typical for the AIDS establishment,
HIV-positive babies of non-drug using mothers were grouped with those from
drug-using mothers (see 7.). But although the study did not break down
the scores of the HIV-positive infants based on "exposure to substance
abuse in utero", it documented that 4 of the 12 HIV-infected infants
were "above average," i.e. 100-114 and that 4 of the 12 mothers
did not inject drugs during pregnancy!
25) Ten HIV-free infants born to intravenous drug-addicted mothers had
the following AIDS-defining diseases "failure to thrive, persistent
generalized lymphadenopathy, persistent oral candidiasis, and developmental
26) One HIV-positive and 18 HIV-free infants born to intravenous drug-addicted
mothers had only half as many leukocytes at birth than normal controls.
At 12 months after birth, the capacity of their lymphocytes to proliferate
was 50- 70% lower than that of lymphocytes from normal controls (316).
Each of these non-correlations between HIV and AIDS is predicted by
the hypothesis that recreational drugs and other non-contagious risk factors
6.9. Discontinuation of drug use either stabilizes or cures AIDS.
The drug hypothesis predicts that termination of drug use stabilizes
or cures AIDS diseases, except for those that have reached a critical threshold
of no return. Indeed, this has been documented in several examples:
1) AZT-recipients. Ten out of 11 HIV-positive, AZT-treated AIDS
patients recovered cellular immunity after discontinuing AZT in favour
of an experimental vaccine (317). Two weeks after discontinuing AZT, 4
out of 5 AIDS patients recovered from myopathy (318). Three of four AIDS
patients recovered from severe pancytopenia and bone marrow aplasia 4-5
weeks after AZT was discontinued (319).
2) Heroin/cocaine-addicts. The incidence of AIDS diseases among
HIV-positive intravenous drug users over 16 months was 19% (23/124) and
only 5% (5/93) among those who stopped injecting drugs (246). The T-cell
counts of HIV-positive intravenous drug users from New York dropped 35%
over 9 months, compared to HIV-positive controls who had stopped injecting
3) Recreational and anti-HIV/AIDS drugs. The health of male homosexuals
is stabilized or even improved by avoiding recreational drugs. For example,
in August 1993 there was no mortality during 1.25 years in a group of 918
British HIV-positive homosexuals who had "avoided the experimental
medications on offer" and chose to "abstain from or significantly
reduce their use of recreational drugs, including alcohol" (254).
Assuming an average 10-year latent period from HIV to AIDS, and a random
distribution of infection times prior to AIDS, the virus-AIDS hypothesis
would have predicted about 116 (918/10 x 1.25) AIDS cases among 918 HIV-positives
over 1.25 years. Indeed, the absence of mortality in this group over 1.25
years corresponds to a minimal latent period from HIV to AIDS of over 1,148
(918 x 1.25) years. On July 1, 1994, there was still not a single AIDS
case in this group of 918 HIV-positive homosexuals (J. Wells, London, personal
Another "good example that medicines hurt more than they help is
the story of Roger Cobb, co-chairman of the consumer caucus for the Commission
on AIDS Care, Service and Treatment for Philadelphia and nine surrounding
counties. ‘Sixty days after I started substance abuse treatment, I learned
that I was HIV-positive,’ recalls Cobb, who had used crack and cocaine,
among a smorgasbord of other drugs, for more than 21 years. ‘A little while
later I started treatment with AZT for about 14 months.’ It was during
this time that he developed what he calls ‘the look.’ ‘I had the sunken
face, the ashy skin; I lost weight everything. Against my doctor’s advice,
I decided AZT was not for me, so I decided to try something else.’ And
‘the look’? ‘The look is fabulous now,’ says the 40-year-old, who is working
on his master’s degree in social work. ‘I’m back to me’" (320).
4) Recreational drug users. The T-cells of 29% of 1,020
HIV-positive male homosexuals and intravenous drug users in a clinical
trial even increased over 2 years (321). These HIV-positives belonged to
the placebo arm of an AZT trial for AIDS prevention and thus were not treated
by AZT. It is probable that under clinical surveillance the 29% whose T-cells
increased, despite HIV, have given up or reduced immunosuppressive recreational
drug use in the hope that AZT would prevent AIDS (see 4.2).
5) AIDS babies, born to drug-addicted mothers, recover. HIV-positive
babies, born to mothers who were intravenous drug users during pregnancy,
provide the best controlled examples for the prediction that termination
of recreational drug use prevents, or cures AIDS despite the presence of
HIV. For example, Blanche et al. have observed for three years 71
HIV-positive newborns who had shared intravenous drugs with their mothers
prior to birth. After three years, 61 of these HIV-positive children were
healthy, although some had developed "intermittent" diseases
from which they had recovered during their first 18 months. Contrary to
the HIV hypothesis, the T-cells of these children increased after birth
from low to normal levels despite the presence of HIV.
Only 10 of these children developed encephalopathy and other AIDS-defining
diseases of which 9 died during their first 18 months of life. The study
points out that the baby’s risk of developing AIDS was related "directly
with the severity of the disease in the mother at the time of delivery".
The potential recovery of babies from congenital AIDS diseases acquired
as a result of maternal drug use was apparently impaired by iatrogenic
intoxication with AZT and other anti-AIDS drugs, "prophylactic treatment
[with] ... sulfamethoxazale and zidovudine [AZT] was started earlier and
was more frequent among the children born to mothers with class IV disease
(AIDS)" (322). Based on the severity of their symptoms about 60% of
the children were treated prophylactically with AZT for at least one month,
and 50% were treated with sulfa-drugs (322).
A very similar picture emerges from a collaborative European study of
HIV-positive newborns (323). The study reports that over 60% of congenitally-infected
children were healthy at 6 years after birth although many had experienced
transient AIDS diseases, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, candidiasis
and cryptosporidial infection during the first year after birth. About
20% of the HIV-positive children had died or developed long-term AIDS during
the first year after birth, and another 20% during the second and third
years and that is exactly the percentage that was "treated with zidovudine
[AZT]", 10% before 6 months of age and 40% by 4 years (323).
Although this study does not even mention the health and health risks
of the mothers, previous reports from the European Collaborative Study
group have documented that "nearly all children were born to mothers
who are intravenous drug users" (26, 231). In 1991, the European Collaborative
Study group reported that 80% of the children with pediatric AIDS were
born to mothers who were intravenous drug users (232). The 1991-study further
points out that "children with drug withdrawal symptoms" were
most likely to develop diseases, and that children with no withdrawal symptoms
but "whose mothers had used recreational drugs in the final 6 months
of pregnancy were intermediate" in their risk to develop diseases
An American study reports that during the first 18 months after birth
a group of HIV-positive babies lagged on average behind a control group
of HIV-free infants in all developmental parameters (205). But the study
also reports intravenous and other drug use by the mothers, and that "up
to 60% at 18 months" of HIV-posities were on AZT. By 18 months 40%
of the HIV-positive babies had apparently completely recovered from maternal
drugs, despite HIV, because they were nor treated with AZT nor were any
deaths reported. However, up to 60% apparently had suffered intermittent
diseases from AZT and residual damage of maternal drug use. Thus the normal
performance of 40% of the HIV-positive group, 18 months after withdrawl
from maternal drugs, was hidden by the subnormal performance of the HIV-group
that was an average of AZT recipients and untreated babies (see 7.7.).
It follows that discontinuation of recreational and antiretroviral drugs
before a critical threshold is reached prevents or even cures AIDS in HIV-positives.
In sum, this chapter documents that the drug-AIDS hypothesis correctly
predicts all facts of American/European AIDS, while the HIV-hypothesis