but you reminded me of something i read a few days ago in the paper - that hte AIDS epidemic was heavily contributed to by the excessive sex habits of one man in the 60's. i can't remember the specifics, but he was 'widely received' round africa which helped the disease spread from a local epidemic to nationwide. don't know how much truth can be placed on the story but it certainly raised an eyebrow...
Didn't know Kerry Mullis was in on this scene too, but he seems a bit of an attention seeker. I had the impression he hadn't done anything much since inventing Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR) years ago and surfing (literally) on the profits.
Anyways, Peter Duesberg raised this ugly debate you are referring to.
He's a very intelligent and very emminent scientist, but unfortunately his debate (which is mainly a scientific one) has often been used to deny AIDS sufferers from treatment, and was (is?) used for years by the S African government to support their denial of AIDS as a disease, and deny their duty to support the sufferers by buying antivirals. For that reason alone I think Duesberg ought to have a lot on his conscience.
Basically his argument was there was not direct proof that HIV causes AIDS... Yes, 99.999% of AIDS sufferers are also infected with HIV, but, scientifically speaking, that is not proof, it's a correlation. And he was right, it's not proof, but it's an argument that should have been confined to scientific journals. There are always dissenters in science - that's how science progresses, but when it's such a controversial topic it's unfortunate that papers like the Sun, (I believe it was), picked it up and promoted him as a lone, renegade scientist who was the only one who spoke the truth - with the not-so-subtle writing between the lines that AIDS was really an illness of the gays and the blacks and they deserved what they got. The Sun also heavily promoted the idea that his argument was being stifled by other scientists which was particularly irritating, because the leading British scientific journal, Nature, was regularly publishing his letters, articles, and debates. And they were published because they were valid scientific criticisms of some of the interpretations of data about AIDS.
As an example, if I rememeber correctly, one argument was that a certain percentage ( much less than 0.1%) of HIV-infected people never developed AIDS. The theories at that time had no explanation for that, which providided a loophole for an argument that HIV didn't cause AIDS, and it was the anti-retrovirals which did. However, the exceptions (who, as they say, can "prove a rule") were studied, and it was eventually discovered that some people carry variants of a protein (Nef, I believe) in their T cells which makes tham resistant to developing AIDS.
I don't think there are any reputable scientists who would argue AIDS is not caused by HIV. There is too much positive evidence now. Even in the beginning, Duesberg knew there was little chance of him being right - he was just making the point that the evidence was not watertight. In one sense that helped, because the discovery of Nef etc led to important insights into how AIDS develops.
Whew! Long answer. Hope that's useful information.
Basically I was really pissed off at the time that the Sun (and others) misunderstood and misrepresented his argument and prevented treatment being given where needed.
PS: just had a look around teh web and it seems Duesberg is still promoting his views, which is very sad. Here's one useful website: The HIV-AIDS debate is over. I may have been confusing Nef with CKR5 as mentioned in that article.
Anyway, I'd be glad to talk more if you're still not convinced.
just picked up on this thread. my own research concurs with redzebra's. seems important to be reminded that trying to statistically correlate a 'syndrome' with a specific virus is always going to yield some finite level of uncertainty, by design. there are also the particular laws of Baysian probability to be taken ointo account; frequenlty 'smudged over' when it comes to presenting findings to the press and general public.
following links (slightly more recent) helpful in gaining a sceientific frame:
I think this is f****ing awful!! Its the same crap people came up with when trying to say there was no evidence that smoking causes lung cancer and all the other terrable deseasez it can inflict.
This guy is being totaly irrasponable and is obviuosly not a very good scientist. Theres no point to this argument, it seems to be only usefull for hindering any kind of progress and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
The fact that there is not a single case of AIDS without the HIV virus I think is proof enough! What are these people trying to do for gods sakes??!
A good place for any kind of medical research is...
it has hundreds of thousands of scientific and medical papers on pretty much every subject ever, I dont have time to look myself for HIV/AIDS refrences, but I'm sure you will find somthing, hope that helps
There is some fascinating research into unborn babys, they often have anti-bodies for the HIV virus and can even fight the desease off completly, an unborn child has a 1-7 chance of getting HIV, but will sumtimes be able to fight off the desease, which sounds promising for futre cures/vaccinations etc