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Death by denial: Symposium explores HIV denial, conspiracy theories

27 October 2009

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AIDSTruth contributor Nicoli Nattrass and Seth Kalichmann, author of Denying AIDS were among the scientists and activists who participated in Harvard University's symposium on AIDS Denial. The Harvard Gazette reports:

People who deny that the HIV virus causes AIDS continue to persist in their beliefs despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, nurtured by the broad reach of the Internet and cherry-picked scientific claims, AIDS authorities said Monday (Oct. 19).

Researchers from Harvard, elsewhere in the United States, and South Africa convened at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts to decry HIV “denialism,” saying that the continued questioning of HIV’s role in AIDS harms those infected with the virus by discouraging both testing and treatment.

According to the speakers, denialism takes two major forms. Some skeptics deny that HIV plays a role in AIDS, or that it even exists, while others believe in AIDS conspiracies, acknowledging that HIV causes AIDS but questioning HIV’s origins, saying it results from a government conspiracy, is intended as a genocide campaign against blacks, that it was created in CIA labs, or is of other sinister origin or purpose.

The event, sponsored by the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research, was presented in conjunction with the Carpenter Center’s exhibit “ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987-1993.” The exhibit contains posters, T-shirts, fliers, and pamphlets from ACT UP’s AIDS activism campaigns which, through sometimes graphic and jarring messages, pushed government action against AIDS. The campaign argued that the government dragged its feet because of homophobia and racism aimed at two groups prone to the ailment: gay men and intravenous drug users, who are often minorities.

Read the full article.


House of Numbers

An AIDS denialist film "House of Numbers" is doing the rounds at film festivals and is being promoted to college campuses and similar venues. AT has published several items about the misinformation contained in the film. For comprehensive information on the lies and distortions in the film, visit Inside House of Numbers.


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