More substantial features and articles written by AIDSTruth contributors

Discovery of HIV recognised with Nobel prize

The Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi for their work on the isolation of HIV (as well as Harald zur Hausen for the discovery of Human Papillomavirus as a cause of cervical cancer).

A brief history of discovery of HIV may be helpful in putting the recent awarding of the Nobel prize in perspective. There has been a great deal of controversy over the award recognizing the contribution of the French team while ignoring the contribution of the US/Gallo team. The real story of the history is not well understood by either the media or the public. Unfortunately, it seems that the Nobel Committee also lacks some of the facts, or has chosen are narrow interpretation of what was important in the early discoveries.

Zackie Achmat: Crimes of the great denialist

by Zackie Achmat

On September 20 2008, as South Africa’s newly acquired Gripen fighter jets took off from a local air show to parade across Cape Town skies, residents would awaken to one of the most remarkable days in the political history of the republic. The Mbeki-Pahad monolith had collapsed.

The decision by the ANC to recall President Thabo Mbeki represents the downfall of the most hubristic executive in contemporary South Africa, and one that has been characterised by the unrelenting denialism of the greatest threats facing our country -- the mounting failure of the criminal justice system to prosecute and convict criminals, the increasingly disturbing nature of violent crime, burgeoning inequality and unemployment, the HIV/Aids catastrophe and the culture of impunity for corrupt and incompetent public officials.

AIDS Denialists Lie About More than HIV: Deception and Duplicity among the “Dissidents”

HIV denialists boast that they oppose the science-driven “AIDS orthodoxy,” and many people who distrust medicine find this self-ascribed rebel stance appealing. But the denialists paradoxically idealize the very “establishment” they claim to reject. This is manifested in a striking pattern of exaggerations and outright lies from denialists about their institutional positions, scientific qualifications, and publications, and their false and often fraudulent claims of support from legitimate scientists and doctors. Some of these lies are symptoms of denialists’ delusions that they are knowledgeable and important, while others are part of a systematic effort to deceive a vulnerable public. In both cases, the denialists’ lies about themselves are a dimension of their lies about HIV and AIDS.

Read the full article.

Mr Duesberg goes to Washington

News reaches us of yet another farcical event in the life of the 'Rethinking AIDS' group. RA's media expert (sic), David Crowe has been trumpeting the news that Peter Duesberg and Celia Farber were supposed to collect "Clean Hands" awards from the Semmelweiss Society, as part of "Whistleblower Week in Washington". These awards come from a fringe group, and have no scientific or political significance. And yet even this non-event turned into farce, as it so often does when RA gets involved. We would like to thank Liz Ely for bringing us into the loop with another misrouted email (Hey Liz, are you being taught by Andy Maniotis?). In any case, you're doing a fine job as RA's new publicist, so well done on your first major project! It won't be long before you're as successful in this role as David himself was. We think back fondly to when he gave AIDSTruth such valuable help in winning the "Battle of the BBC" with his brilliantly judged, superbly timed press release!

Mbeki's AIDS denial - Grace or folly?

by William Gumede

This is a chapter from William Gumede's book Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC.

Part I

For too long we have closed our eyes as a nation, hoping the truth was not so real. For many years, we have allowed the HI virus to spread, and at a rate in our country which is one of the fastest in the world. – Thabo Mbeki, 9 October 1998

Now ... the poor on our continent will again carry a disproportionate burden of this scourge – would if anyone cared to ask their opinions, wish that the dispute about the primacy of politics or science be put on the backburner and that we proceed to address the needs and concerns of those suffering and dying. – Nelson Mandela, 13 July 2000

It is important that we recognise that we are facing a major crisis and that we want to invest as many resources as we did when we fought against apartheid. This is not a state of emergency but it is a national emergency. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 30 November 2001

As his international AIDS Advisory Council met for the first time, Thabo Mbeki mulled over the words of Irish poet Patrick Henry Pearse: ‘Is it folly or grace?’

A response to Rian Malan's "last ever AIDS piece"

Rian Malan continues to befuddle AIDS statistics
by Eduard Grebe

I should be very happy if Rian Malan's so-called “last ever Aids piece” (noseweek, nose88) is truly his last, since he shows no sign of changing his habit of serious errors of logic and deliberate distortions when writing on Aids.

His disingenuous suggestion that the shocking rise in in the number of registered deaths is merely the result of improved death registration and therefore nothing to worry about, is based on misinterpretations and what can be none other than deliberate distortion of the data.

A Massive Illusion: Review of Celia Farber's 'Serious Adverse Events'

by Robert K. Funkhouser
Posted to Amazon.com, Nov. 7, 2006

Serious Adverse Events. By Celia Farber. Melville House: 2006, Pp. 345

In Serious Adverse Events, activist-author Celia Farber combines the unproven claims of Professor Peter Duesberg with her own ignorance and manipulates the facts to produce a massive illusion that people not familiar with the issues may naively accept as true.

Even though the scientific understanding of HIV and AIDS is built upon solid, peer-reviewed research (thousands of peer-reviewed papers and over 40,000 HIV or SIV genetic sequences in Genbank), the author skillfully plants doubts about the validity of the science and the honesty of the scientists involved, employing phrases like: "wished or dreamed into existence", "retroviral faith", "entrapped millions of minds", "the core catechism", and so on.

Letter to South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki

Mr Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
Republic of South Africa
Union Buildings
West wing
2nd Floor
Government Avenue
4 September 2006
By fax: +27 12 323 8246 and +27 21 461 6456

Dear President Mbeki


We are members of the global scientific community working on HIV/AIDS who wish to express our deep concern at the response of the South African government to the HIV epidemic.

Syndicate content