Who the denialists are

Harvey Bialy – former journal editor

Harvey Bialy

Henry Bauer – professor emeritus, Virginia Tech

Lawrence Broxmeyer, MD

Rebecca Culshaw – professor at University of Texas-Tyler

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis, a former US Army “Physician’s Assistant” is the author of a novel that also claims to be “the true story of how government lies and incompetence, gross medical malpractice, and unbridled greed by a drug company cost 300,000 American lives in just ten years”. Like most AIDS denialists, he is not a scientist and prefers his own websites to peer-reviewed journals for the dissemination of his crackpot theories. His own website has a bio that exposes his lack of appropriate medical and scientific expertise.

Peter Duesberg – professor at UC-Berkeley

Peter Duesberg

Celia Farber – writer

Roberto Giraldo – laboratory technologist

Christine Maggiore

Christine Maggiore died at the age of 52 on Saturday 27 December 2008. See our page on denialists who have died for more information on her denialist activities.

Andrew Maniotis – University of Illinois

Andrew Maniotis

  • Andrew Maniotis – His background is in cancer research, but his career as an active researcher took a wrong turn several years ago and he no longer holds a tenure track faculty position at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has no direct experience working with HIV experimentally. His lack of experience and professional stature has, however, have not prevented Maniotis from lying on the internet, both specifically (as outlined below) and generally, by presenting himself as a bona fide expert on multiple areas of science and medicine…more

Kary Mullis – chemist

Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, nuclear physicist

A member of the “Perth group”, who despite tens of thousands of HIV genetic sequences in Genbank, claims that HIV does not exist. In the R v. Parenzee case, Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos was called to testify as an “expert witness” for the defense. The judge had this to say about Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos and her supposed expertise in his Reasons for Decision document:

Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos has no formal qualifications in medicine, biology, virology, immunology, epidemiology or any other medical disciplines. She has never treated or been directly involved in clinical trials of any kind relating to any disease. Her duties at the Royal Perth Hospital are to test people for sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation. Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos claims that she conducts research in the area of HIV/AIDS in her private time. It became clear that, when she spoke about research, she meant reading various medical papers about the research of others. Her experience with the HIV virus and with AIDS is limited to reading and critiquing the work of researchers involved in various studies. She purports to have expertise to speak on the subject of virology, epidemiology, electron microscopy, biology and immunology. She has no practical experience in any of these areas. She has no formal qualifications in these disciplines. The evidence given by Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos about the Perth group demonstrates that she is promoting a cause. She is not independent. She is motivated to create a debate about her theory. The Perth Group will use whatever means available to promote that debate, including encouragement of persons such as the applicant, to promote their theories in courts of law.

The judge concluded: “I consider that her opinions lack any credibility.”

David Rasnick

David Rasnick

According to Wikipedia, Dr. David Rasnick is a biochemist who has worked on proteases. He is, however, best known for his AIDS denialism, and is a past president of the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis. The Cape High Court found that David Rasnick, Matthias Rath and others conducted an unauthorised clinical trial on people with HIV. The judgment can be found here. Rath, Rasnick and others were responsible for a trial that recruited people dying of AIDS to their health facilities in Cape Town and Durban. Patients were given multivitamins as a treatment for AIDS instead of ARVs. Investigations by the Treatment Action Campaign and journalists have shown that several deaths occurred on the trial. Rath, Rasnick and the other trial investigators published their results as a series of newspaper advertisements, something that is considered unethical in scientific research. None of these advertisements, which in any case portray data that is nonsensical, refer to the deaths on their trial. For further details see The Wrongs of Matthias Rath. Rasnick is a dishonest person who has put the lives of poor and vulnerable people at risk with deadly consequences. His dishonesty extends to claiming credit for the invention of protease inhibitors. David Rasnick is identified on the denialist Alive and Well website’s advisory board list to be the “Creator of Protease Inhibitors.” Similar claims are repeated on other denialist websites and in denialist literature. To have created protease inhibitors would be something to boast about: they have saved the lives of millions of people with HIV, and their invention was a breakthrough in HIV treatment. But Rasnick shouldn’t get the credit. It is true that Rasnick worked in a laboratory where some protease inhibitors were developed; it is not true that Rasnick himself invented that class of drugs. He is not listed on any patents that have been granted in respect of the use of these drugs, something that would be true of an “inventor.” Furthermore, the chemicals Rasnick helped to develop are not used for the treatment of HIV infection — though it would be ironic if they were. Rasnick has also misrepresented his affiliation, calling himself a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Rasnick is and was no such thing. Dr. Peter Duesberg, who is a faculty member at Berkeley and a close friend of Rasnick, allowed Rasnick to use his laboratory. The University has debunked this false claim:

I understand David Rasnick claimed an affiliation with our department in an article (The Citizen, April 7). David Rasnick has no affiliation with the University of California, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. One should obviously be concerned that someone who misrepresents his own affiliation might also misrepresent data and arguments in other areas. Richard Harland, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley Dept of Molecular and Cell Biology

Professor Harland has is exactly right. Denialists lie about who they are and who supports them: they cannot be trusted with the truth about HIV and AIDS.

Matthias Rath – vitamin salesman

Matthias Rath

Matthias Rath is the definitive charlatan. Armed with huge amounts of money, megalomania, a lack of conscience and most importantly, the support of South Africa’s incompetent former Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Rath has sown confusion in South Africa about the treatment and prevention of HIV. The Rath saga demonstrates how damaging politically-supported AIDS denialism is. See this comprehensive page on Rath on the Treatment Action Campaign’s website:

Also see:

Valendar Turner, physician

A member of the “Perth group”, who despite tens of thousands of HIV genetic sequences in Genbank, claims that HIV does not exist. In the R v. Parenzee case, Dr Turner was called to testify as an “expert witness” for the defense. The judge had this to say about Dr Turner and his supposed expertise regarding HIV and AIDS in his Reasons for Decision document:

Dr Turner’s knowledge of the subject matter is limited to reading. He has no formal qualifications to give expert opinions about the virus. He has no practical experience in the treatment of viral diseases. He has no practical experience in the disciplines of virology, immunology or epidemiology. His opinions are based on reading scientific literature, studying of scientific literature, and spending a considerable amount of time thinking. I conclude that Dr Turner is not qualified to advance expert opinion about virus isolation, antibody tests, viral load tests, or sexual transmission of the virus. His knowledge of these subjects is limited to having read a number of publications. He relies entirely on his interpretation of various studies in the specialised disciplines of virology, epidemiology, microbiology, immunology, pathology or infectious diseases, in none of which he has qualifications beyond his medical degree. He has no practical experience, and has performed no research which has been published. Apparently there is some struggle going on between the Perth Group and other denialists, as we see in this post on a denialist discussion group:

From: MSN Nickname DissidentSaint

Sent: 5/14/2007 7:44 PM

To Whom It May Concern,

This information was communicated to me by defense attorney Kevin Borick and confirmed by David Crowe who were both intimately involved with the case. Mr. Borick stated that The Perth Group were acting as prima donnas and threatened to hold a press conference denouncing other dissenting perspectives if Duesberg or others were brought in as expert witnesses for the defense or if the case was expanded, as it should have been to address anomalies in epidemiology, etc, to include discussion of ‘HIV’ positivity pathogenesis and progression to ‘AIDS.’

AIDS Denialists Who Have Died

There is a separate page listing AIDS Denialists Who Have Died.

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.