As a physician, few things frustrate and sadden me as much as preventable deaths. I see it all the time—the guy who kept putting off his colonoscopy and was later diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer, the woman who put off coming to the doctor with her breast lump until it broke through her skin, the heart patient who couldn’t stop smoking. They all haunt me. But what if the ghosts were numbered in the hundreds of thousands rather than dozens?

That’s what it must be like to be Thabo Mbeki, that is if he has a conscience. It may (or may not) be bad “framing” to call someone a “denialist” but a new study seems to say that whatever you call it, denialism kills. When government leaders allow themselves to be duped by denialists murderers non-acceptors of truth sickfuckdenialistbastards….Damn it, I’m sticking with “denialist”. When government leaders allow denialists to guide their public health policies, people die, apparently in large numbers. I’ll have to leave it to my epidemiology colleagues to evaluate the quality of the study (which on my read looks OK), but even if it’s off by one order of magnitude, the results are horrifying.

What can possibly be done when government leaders are enthralled by denialists? The challenge of global warming has be left out of effective public policy for the last eight years. Who knows what effect that will have on lives lost? Science will always be politicized to some extent, but we must—MUST—speak out, and forcefully, when denialists take over an issue critical to the public well-being.

These issues have very real consequences. Take “abstinence-only” programs—please. They don’t work. At all. And the same thinking that brought you these programs affects our overseas health policies vis-a-vis condoms, abortion, birth control, and other important public health measures. What if we had a president who bought the infections disease promotion anti-vaccine lie? Imagine the impact that could have on public health. This is not an area where we can all just get along.

There is room in debates for all kinds of voices. Some people may take a meet-you-half-way conciliatory approach. Others may be more in-your-face. Denialism isn’t some gimmick, some bloggy thing—it is a real world phenomenon with real world effects. I can’t meet an AIDS-denialist half way. They are wrong, and my tone indicates just how wrong I think they are. I know some will be turned off by certain types of discourse and language (Hi, Mom!), but there are times when only an F-bomb will do.

The tragedy of AIDS in South Africa (especially when contrasted with successes in places like Botswana) highlights the need for vigilance in science and medicine. When unscientific and denialist thinking pops up, grab the mallet—there’s enough of these folks to keep us playing whack-a-mole for a long time to come.

Comments

  1. #1 Bennie
    November 26, 2008

    These sick bastards are the ones that make me rethink pacifism.

  2. #2 Michael
    November 26, 2008

    Maybe it’s my post-lunchtime tiredness but I didn’t understand the Malcolm X connection — how does he fit in?

  3. #3 PalMD
    November 26, 2008

    Who said this was supposed to make sense?

  4. #4 PalMD
    November 26, 2008

    In fact, I may take that part out…it doesn’t fit on re-read.

  5. #5 Katharine
    November 26, 2008

    There are way too many sick fucks in the world. Can we please institute an IQ requirement to let people breed?

  6. #6 literarydeadkittens
    November 27, 2008

    So… have you seen the HPV-Vaccine-Kills-Teenage-Girls one yet? Another denialist crusade coming to you soon!

  7. #7 Paul Browne
    November 27, 2008

    It’s not just HIV/AIDS thet Mbeki is in denial over, he seems to suffer from the same blinkered view when it comes to the catastrophe in Zimbabwe

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7751972.stm

    Once again millions face death as Mbeki puts dubious ideology before reason and humanity.

  8. #8 Romeo Vitelli
    November 27, 2008

    I wrote a post on the whole issue that provides some backstory:
    http://drvitelli.typepad.com/providentia/2008/11/aids-in-south-africa.html

    Mbeki seems to be out of the picture for now (although Zuma doesn’t seem to be much of a prize either). The new health minister seems competent although she has quite an uphill battle ahead of her. The damage has already been done and people still believe the old lies.

  9. #9 Paul Browne
    November 27, 2008

    Well if TAC approve of the new health minister I’m certainly willing to give her a chance http://www.tac.org.za/community/node/2414

    The damage may be done but with enough will and funding some of it can be repaired and further damage can be lessened.

  10. #10 khan
    November 27, 2008

    And don’t forget all those Catholic priests telling lies about condoms causing AIDS.

  11. #11 Sadun Kal
    November 30, 2008

    I don’t agree with any of the views expressed here.

    Please try to read and understand this:
    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/poison-in-south-africa/

    Comments to this blog post are also relevant:
    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/doctors-aren't-scientists-and-medicine-isn't-science

    These issues are not so simple, we all should question more of what we think we know.

  12. #12 LanceR, JSG
    November 30, 2008

    BZZT! Wrong! Sorry, Sadun, but you have just failed at basic medicine. Feel free to try again later, after you learn how science works.

    Thanks for playing! Buh-bye!

  13. #13 fuck you lancer
    December 1, 2008

    fuck you lancer

  14. #14 LanceR, JSG
    December 1, 2008

    fuck you lancer

    Oh! What a witty reply! I guess you sure showed me!

    No thanks. I don’t date outside my species.

  15. #15 Anonymous
    December 1, 2008

    Damn it, I’m sticking with “denialist”.

    How very brave of you, especially since you have been posting here at the “denialism bog” for months now.

    Also nice segue into attacking global warming “deniers”. I guess linking people that sincerely question the validity of AGW to the Holocaust was getting old so you’re bravely linking them to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from AIDS in Africa. Nice.

    What can possibly be done when government leaders are enthralled by denialists? The challenge of global warming has be left out of effective public policy for the last eight years. Who knows what effect that will have on lives lost? Science will always be politicized to some extent, but we must—MUST—speak out, and forcefully, when denialists take over an issue critical to the public well-being.

    Uh, last time I checked even George W. Bush was toeing the AGW party line so who exactly is the power your truth is being spoken to here?

    What if you’re wrong? What if the resources of the developed world are diverted to expensive and inefficient energy technologies for largely political reasons?

    Perhaps you’ve heard of Bjorn Lomborg? He makes a very persuasive argument that even accepting the direst predictions of AGW theory we are better off using our resources to prepare for and adapt to whatever changes are coming, just what humans have been doing for centuries.

    Barack Obama has recently mentioned spending tens of billions of dollars per year on alternative energy programs while putting cap and trade restrictions on the relatively cheap and abundant carbon based fuels that currently provide over 90% of our energy.

    Imagine what that money could do to bring clean water and electricity to the developing world. Those two things alone could dramatically reduce mortality rates in Africa right now, but we seem poised to throw that money down a hole in the name of averting some far distant “climate catastrophe” based on what many of us see as the thinnest and shakiest of scientific foundations.

    Comparing those of us that require more persuasive evidence of concrete consequences from CO2 emissions before we make drastic and expensive changes to the world’s energy infrastructure to superstitious mass murderers is dishonest and offensive to say the least.

  16. #16 Lance
    December 1, 2008

    Hmm, some server issues here perhaps? I see that my last post is attributed to Anonymous.

    Lance

  17. #17 LanceR, JSG
    December 1, 2008

    Dude, read the blog before you start commenting. Specifically the HOWTO. Denialism is more than honest disagreement. It is a calculated level of intellectual dishonesty that usually uses the same tactics to avoid reality. Holocaust deniers, AIDS/HIV deniers, AGW deniers, Vaccine deniers, pick your insanity. They all use the same tactics: conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic. In a brief scan of your post, I see at least three. (Conspiracy, fake experts, moving goalposts) I’m sure I could find more if I were willing to spend the time and energy.

    Take the time to learn something about the actual science of AGW. Read a few of the blogs listed under Global Warming on the left side blogroll. The science of AGW is settled. Really very well understood.

  18. #18 Lance
    December 1, 2008

    LanceR,

    Dude, I have read the “How To” several times and the meaning of denialist is basically “some one I disagree with”. If MarkH or PalMD make over-wrought emotional arguments laced with non-sequittors and ad hominem insults they are to be forgiven or ignored because they are fighting the “good fight”

    PalMD makes the leap of illogic from the many victims of Thabo Embeke’s anti-colonialist inspired mistrust of western science to imagined numbers of future climate victims done in by “government leaders” who are “enthralled by denialists”. A more contrived and insipid argument is hard to imagine.

    The average temperature of the planet has gone up by less than one degree in the last one hundred years. No crisis there, especially since much of the increase happened prior to 1945 before any large increase in atmospheric CO2.

    For the last ten years there has been no statistically significant rise in temps even though CO2 levels have continued to increase. The only evidence that there may be a future problem is from climate models that have a very poor correlation with reality.

    It seems to me that the only “denial” going on is by people that have faith in CO2 caused climate catastrophism.

    “The science is settled.” Really?

    A glance at the UAH global temperature satellite record shows that over the last forty years the lower troposheric temeperature has wandered up and down, with a noticable spike up in the El Nino year of 1998, but is now slightly lower than it was this month in 1980.

    Who’s in denial now, Dude?

    I visit and post in almost all the blogs you refer to as reliable sources of scientific information. Almost all of them are run by activists or, in the case of RealClimate, people defending flawed science like Mann’s “Hockey Stick”.

    Relying on these blogs for independent scientific information on climate is like relying on the Daily Show for reliable news coverage. Perhaps you should actually read the scientific literature and decide for yourself instead of reading the pre-filtered, activism intensive drivel on those blogs.

    The subject of this post was how dispicable “denialists” are and how they should be shouted down with profanity if necessary. Sounds like justifying loutish and unethical behaviour to me, but hey what do I know I’m just a “denialist”.

  19. #19 synapse
    December 1, 2008

    Wow, Lance, obsessive much? This post had two sentences about global warming, which I missed the first time it through, one of which states that it is unclear how many people will die because of global warming. Most of the post focuses on AIDS and safe sex denialism, which clearly is despicable because it clearly is killing people.

  20. #20 Sadun Kal
    December 1, 2008

    I hope those who are capable of looking at the world in a more mature and scientific way will actually bother to check out the links I posted, they’re extremely relevant and serious. It’s not a game.

  21. #21 LanceR, JSG
    December 1, 2008

    Sorry, Sadun, but your links are garbage. There is no debate about HIV/AIDS. Anyone who denies this simple connection is delusional. Yes, I read them. You really need to study some real science.

  22. #22 Sadun Kal
    December 1, 2008

    I noticed that the second link wasn’t working, sorry about that: http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/doctors-aren%E2%80%99t-scientists-and-medicine-isn%E2%80%99t-science/

    LanceR, care to ellaborate? Why do you think they’re inaccurate? Maybe you could leave a comment over there to correct the errors…

  23. #23 Snout
    December 2, 2008

    Sadun Kal, Bauer is hopelessly ignorant about AIDS, and his analysis is laughable. You ask for where he’s “inaccurate”.

    1. He claims that HIV positive adults “often” revert to HIV negative. They don’t.
    2. He claims that “few” HIV positive people ever become ill. Tell that to the 600,000 Americans with HIV who have already died, and the 400,000 who are currently living with AIDS. That’s 1 million out of about 1.5 million ever diagnosed with HIV infection.
    3. He is hopelessly confused about what AIDS actually is, and confuses the immune system disease for its indicator illnesses.
    4. He claims that HIV infection has no relationship to disseminated Kaposi’s sarcoma, and that that cancer is rare in Africa (it’s actually one of the commonest cancers in Africa).
    5. He claims that HIV antibodies in neonates are a non-specific response to the trauma of birth.
    6. He claims that HIV antibodies in teenage girls are a non-specific response to the stress of menarche. No, I am not joking.
    7. He claims that HIV antibodies in city-dwellers are a non-specific response to the stress of city living, etc, etc.

    That’s just for starters.

    His grasp of fundamental epidemiology, virology and immunology is woeful, but he insists this is of no consequence. Despite his profound ignorance of the basic science underlying his theorizing he considers himself a genius, and is only ignored by the scientific community because they are too stupid to see beyond their social conditioning and indoctrination. When competent scientists and medical practitioners do take the trouble to wade through his contemptible drivel and criticize it, he complains about how mean they are to him. He insists that “HIV is not a sexually transmitted infection”, “HIV did not cause the AIDS outbreaks of the early 1980s”, and that people with HIV including pregnant women should ignore competent medical advice.

    He is an egoist, and a dangerous one to anyone with HIV who takes him seriously. He is, in short, a denialist crank of the first order.

    For God’s sake, read the “About Denialism” page.

  24. #24 Sadun Kal
    December 2, 2008

    Hi again Snout. Why don’t you point out those in his blog? So that he knows what people say about him and so that he gets a chance to reply maybe?

    Should I pass it on for you? I think it would be more appropriate and scientific if you do it yourself.

  25. #25 LanceR, JSG
    December 2, 2008

    Okay, at the risk of sounding pedantic, let’s take it back to basics.

    In the early years of HIV/AIDS, doctors noticed a cluster of diseases that all had similar symptoms. When doctors find something like this, they call it a “syndrome”. That is shorthand for “we don’t really know what this is, but it all seems to be related, and we think there is a unifying factor here.” They called it Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.

    Whenever there is a new syndrome, researchers get very excited. A lot of time and energy was put into studying these new cases, and they isolated a virus that was common to all of these cases. They called this new bug the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. You should read ERV, written by a grad student who is working in the field. She has some great posts about HIV and its behavior.

    Saying that HIV does not cause AIDS is just silly. It’s like claiming that the rhinovirus does not cause the common cold. It’s denial, pure and simple.

    We do not argue with denialists. (Except for fun) We point out their errors, not to change their thinking, because that is impossible, but to help undecided people to see them for what they are. It would be useless to post on his blog.

  26. #26 minimalist
    December 2, 2008

    Hi again Snout. Why don’t you point out those in his blog?

    Yeah, why not? Eight millionth time’s the charm, after all!

  27. #27 Lance
    December 2, 2008

    synapse,

    Wow, Lance, obsessive much? This post had two sentences about global warming…

    Fair enough, but those two sentences linked AGW skeptics to Thabo Mbeke’s governmental actions that contributed to the deaths of thousands of people.

    It was a cheap shot to link honest, science based skepticism about AGW to the largely political actions that led to the tragic deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of people in Africa.

    I am a bit “obsessive” when it comes to the topic of climate change. I am not paid by the oil industry nor are the great majority of scientists and journalists that question the “consensus”.

    The idea that we can be dismissed as “denialists” and attacked as potential murderers that should be shouted down tends to make one “obsessive”.

  28. #28 Sadun Kal
    December 2, 2008

    @minimalist: I couldn’t find a single comment from Snout on Henry Bauer’s blog. If anyone’s going to claim that’s because of censorship I’d be interested in learning more, but right now I strongly doubt it. I’d argue that Snout doesn’t have enough courage or interest in a real, objective debate.

    @LanceR, JSG: I actually approached ERV a few months ago and asked a few questions, she basically told me to f*ck off. So that wasn’t very reassuring about how scientific she really is when it comes to HIV/AIDS.

    What experience convinced you that there’s no way the HIV/AIDS skeptics might have a point? Did you really objectively examine both sides of the issue or were you already convinced that they’re wrong when you first heard about the alternative views?

    @Lance: I suggest you widen the range of your skepticism. Do you think that HIV/IDS skeptics are paid by…umm…who would pay for that? Eugenics supporters? Racists, homophobes? I’m pretty sure you’ll find no influence from such directions among HIV/AIDS skeptics. So the picture is much more clear with HIV/AIDS than it is with AGW, conflicts of interests basically don’t exist among HIV/AIDS skeptics.

    Now picture the countless HIV/AIDS organizations, pharmaceutical corporations, doctors etc… Does it look different now? It’s actually the GW debate reversed in that sense. Do yourself a favor and listen to this:
    http://www.howpositiveareyou.com/2008/11/27/hpay-010/

  29. #29 Lance
    December 2, 2008

    Sadun Kal,

    To be honest I have never investigated the connection between HIV and AIDS. I just assumed that the main stream evidence for causality was well established.

    Of course I thought AGW was well established science until I started investigating so I have to at least keep an open mind.

    My wife is from Ethiopia. Testing for HIV status is a near compulsion there. I personally have lost in-laws and family friends to AIDS. The people that died tested HIV positive and the people that are well did not.

    I also know people that tested positive and take anti-retroviral drugs and are doing well.

    I know that is anecdotal evidence but it seems pretty clear that HIV and AIDS were at least correlated in the cases that I personally know of.

    Why do you think the mainstreams of biological and medical science are pushing the HIV connection if it is not true?

    Also there are people who are seriously deluding themselves and although I would never call them “denialists” they do seem to be resistant to evidence that disagrees with their pet theory, 9-11 “truthers” come to mind.

    What sparked your interest in the HIV-AIDS topic? Do you hold any other “novel” or contrarian opinions?

    I promise I will not call you names or get overly emotional even if I decide you are full of crap. I have been on the wrong end of that abuse and I have no interest in hurling it at others.

  30. #30 Snout
    December 2, 2008

    Sadun,

    “I’d argue that Snout doesn’t have enough courage or interest in a real, objective debate.”

    You are absolutely correct that I have no interest in debating any aspects of AIDS with you on this thread on this blog. That is not the purpose of this thread, and actually goes against the whole philosophy of the blog which is laid out in its name: Denialism Blog… don’t mistake denialism for debate.

    Nor am I interested in discussing Henry’s theories on his own blog where he decides what gets published in comments and what is rejected. I have had enough experience of writing comments to denialists and then finding these comments twisted and distorted on websites where I have no right of reply.

    Has it not occurred to you why all the comments on his blog are supportive of him when in real life his theory is vigorously rejected by virtually all scientists and medical practitioners?

    Over a month ago by email you posed some concerns to me about the interpretation of HIV antibody tests. I took the trouble to write you a detailed, objective and non-snarky reply. I have not heard back from you since. I think your excuse of lack of time to write a proper email is a bit poor, given that in the intervening weeks you have been very busy spamming sites such as this one with the URLs of your crank mentor.

    Forgive me if I find your accusation of lack of interest in real, objective debate a little hollow.

    Feel free to pass my comments on to Henry if you wish.

  31. #31 Sadun Kal
    December 2, 2008

    @Lance: I’m skeptical of many things, not just HIV/AIDS or AGW. But I wasn’t always like that, it started only after I began asking questions and informing myself. The best answer to your question would probably be this:

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we�ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

    And this whole HIV/AIDS thing started with a a fraud as you’ll see if you check out my blog, and now we can’t get the power back. (I wonder why none of Sciencebloggers wrote anything about Gallo’s fraud, it has so much potential for the progress of science…hmm…Bamboozle?)

    Your experience with AIDS patients is not incompatible with rethinkers’ arguments. If you’re interested, you can get started through my blog. You can also find my email address on my blogger profile if you got any questions.

    @Snout: I do owe you an apology about the email, sorry about that. I read your email and it didn’t do much for me because of various reasons. I wasn’t so motivated to write a long reply because I simply have zero hope that your mind can be changed if your opinion turns out to be false. I don’t know who you are or what you do, I don’t even know why you’re in this debate. So what I currently know about you tells me that you have been “bamboozled for long enough” or you’ve some other motivation. I don’t see the point in a personal exchange with you, unless you decide to really open up about your true identity. I should have told you this earlier.

    About Henry Bauer’s blog, I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t censor any scientific arguments. If you got evidence to the contrary I’ll be very interested. But I can understand why he moderates the comments, he explains it on his blog. He was also unwilling to publish a comment of mine recently and he had good reasons, I agreed with him on his decision. And I know from my own blog that I had to disable Anonymous commenting to stop the abuse. In short, as long as you can write an objective, substantial argument, I’m pretty sure that Henry Bauer will publish it, he has no reason to do otherwise.

    I would prefer that you try to post something there first. That would either provide you with evidence that he uses censorship -in which case I would talk to Henry Bauer myself- or your comment would literally be published. Both would be beneficial, not?

  32. #32 Snout
    December 2, 2008

    You really are both insightless and arrogant, aren’t you, Sadun?

    You have come to a thread whose subject is a new study about the horrific human cost of AIDS denialism in South Africa, and your response is to spam us with links to the web pages of one of the most notorious denialist nutcases on the internet.

    You bewail a supposed lack of scientific debate about subjects that were extensively debated and settled decades ago. And yet, when someone attempts to address the dangerous misinformation you are spreading, you dismiss this by saying because you don’t know exactly who the person is you can simply claim they have been “bamboozled”, and ignore the substance of the argument. Your conceitedness is astounding.

    Henry Bauer claims that a diagnosis of HIV infection is confirmed on the basis of a non-specific antibody response that is often transient. This is not a minor misapprehension: it is a screaming howler, a belief held and propagated by Henry against all the evidence with a rigidity that can only be described as delusional.

    Worse, Henry’s belief that the confirmed presence of HIV antibodies is transient is a foundational premise of his epidemiological “argument”. It is only one of his many gross factual misapprehensions in fields he pretends to critique, but in which he has never bothered to educate himself. He is a buffoon.

    You insult virtually every scientist and doctor on the planet with your condescending claims that we are incapable of examining scientific arguments on their merits, that we are to a man and woman beholden to “conflicts of interest”. For your own part you claim a mantle of scepticism and that you have “informed yourself”. Yet you have been totally unable to present a single coherent argument, or to defend any of the “rethinker” arguments you are promoting when they are critiqued for their gross factual inaccuracies and methodological ineptitude. Your only response has been to whine about “ad hominem” arguments, or to impertinently demand that I and others provide you with personal details.

    You still don’t get it, do you?

  33. #33 PalMD
    December 2, 2008
  34. #34 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    @PalMD: It appears you just ignored some of those interesting comments people left on your blog.

    @Snout: “…extensively debated and settled decades ago…”

    Where? Show me please. Did you read my letter to the Nobel committee?
    http://conself.blogspot.com/2008/10/nobel.html

    >>”…you dismiss this by saying because you don’t know exactly who the person is you can simply claim they have been “bamboozled”, and ignore the substance of the argument.”

    I didn’t dismiss it, I just wasn’t motivated to reply. I just can’t imagine why a honest, confident person who is allegedly a scientist or a doctor has to hide his true identity when talking about this. So this makes me question your motivation and I can’t dare risk waste my time.

    >>”…You insult virtually every scientist and doctor on the planet with your condescending claims that we are incapable of examining scientific arguments on their merits…”

    I don’t think it has much to do with capacity, it’s more a question of motivation. If it’s perceived as an insult there is nothing I can do about it, sorry. I personally don’t think it is anything to be ashamed of, it’s a consequence of multiple factors -mainly human nature. I don’t know about you but I can easily imagine why most people are not motivated to examine the arguments of the HIV/AIDS skeptics and reply to them, which is the whole problem.

    So you’re not going to leave a comment at Henry’s blog? If so, exactly which arguments of yours would you prefer me to pass on to him? And for now I mean only in response to his posts about the alleged deaths caused by the so called “denialism”, i.e.: http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/poison-in-south-africa/

  35. #35 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    About Henry Bauer’s blog, I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t censor any scientific arguments. If you got evidence to the contrary I’ll be very interested.

    I pointed out that one of his so called anomalies was not an anomaly but rather an indication of his poor grasp of the science. I was banned.

    http://hivskeptic.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/hivaids-illustrates-cognitive-dissonance/

    �DNA sequences of viruses in distinct clades can differ by 15%-20%� and yet all of them are supposed to do about the same thing, with only minor differences in efficiency of transmission and �pathogenic potential�.
    But in other contexts we�re told that human and chimp genomes differ by less than 1%, which suffices to produce quite major differences in the products of those genes.

    Before you start with the nonsense about ad hominems I attacked the argument. Also remember that Bauer’s thesis is that the vast majority of scientists who accept the evidence that HIV exists and causes AIDS are stupid, ignorant or corrupt.

    Bauer has simply no idea about the science he pretends to critique.

    http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

  36. #36 PalMD
    December 3, 2008

    I’ll state it a little more succinctly:

    Bauer is an idiot. He is a paranoid conspiracy theorist with no understanding of basic biology. His ideas can lead directly to the death and disability of others.

    We’re anyone in power actually to listen to him, he should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, as Mbeke’s advisers should be.

  37. #37 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    What do you mean by banned? You can’t post anything with your email address or what? An IP ban?

    >”Bauer’s thesis is that the vast majority of scientists who accept the evidence that HIV exists and causes AIDS are stupid, ignorant or corrupt.”

    That’s quite a distortion of his arguments. I think he mostly points out the flaws of the system, not the people involved in it. I suggest you try to perceive his thesis more objectively.

  38. #38 Anonymous
    December 3, 2008

    Did you even look at this link??

    http://whitecoatunderground.com/?p=493

  39. #39 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    Yes, I did as I also responded to PalMD above. Some commentators already pointed out the weakness of the “arguments”.

  40. #40 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    What do you mean by banned? You can’t post anything with your email address or what? An IP ban?

    Banned. I have not tried to post with a different email address or from a different IP as it is abundantly clear that Bauer only wants the views of true believers.

    That’s quite a distortion of his arguments. I think he mostly points out the flaws of the system, not the people involved in it. I suggest you try to perceive his thesis more objectively.

    Bauer is completely ignorant of the basics of epidemiology, virology and molecular biology and yet he thinks he has found “flaws” in the published science. The scientists with the most knowledge and experience miss the “flaws” that an amateur labels “HIV absurdities”.

    You can dress it up with waffle about Kuhn and paradigm shifts but it all boils down to the standard conspiracy theory.

    Scientists are sheep.
    Scientists are ignorant.
    Scientists are just interested in money.
    Scientists just want to keep their over paid jobs.

    You hear exactly the same story from antivaccionation kooks, germ theory denialists and evolution denialists.

  41. #41 Snout
    December 3, 2008

    Sadun, I strongly suspect that you have not even read Bauer’s thesis. I am certain that you lack even the most basic knowledge of the relevant fields of epidemiology, immunology and infectious diseases medicine to make an informed and critical judgement as to its merits.

    Strangely, despite this handicap you seem confident enough in your scientific judgement to inform us that Bauer’s drivel is “extremely relevant and serious”. I am at a loss to understand how you could possibly have arrived at that conclusion, particularly as you have demonstrated yourself incapable of articulating his argument in even parrot fashion, let alone of defending it against my criticism of his basic misapprehensions.

    Spamming us with links is not an argument. Nor is speculating in your condescending way about our motivations. That is the behaviour of a troll.

    Instead of arguing any substantive point about Bauer’s thesis you continue to obsess about my identity. This is a transparent strategy to divert attention away from the substance of any argument, and is particularly ironic given your thin skinned whining about “ad hominem” points.

    Incidentally, I have read Bauer’s thesis, at least in the form he published in three “review articles” in his very own Journal of Scientific Exploration in 2005-6. It is woeful.

    As for the blog page you so kindly spammed us above, perhaps you could ask Henry to clarify:

    When the Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration (Lancet 2006; 368: 451?58) analyzed data from more than 22,000 patients on HAART and found that the therapy decreased viral load “but such improvement has not translated into a decrease in mortality”, were they comparing HAART c1995-6 with HAART c2002-3, or HAART with no HAART?

    Because Henry appears to be claiming the study shows that HAART has “no life-saving benefit at all”.

    This is only the first of literally dozens of misrepresentations in that sorry page. Let us know how you get on.

  42. #42 udo schuklenk
    December 3, 2008

    One of the questions that I am interested in is whether Mbeki and Tshabalala-Msimang ought to be prosecuted for their role in the preventable deaths of some 300,000 plus mostly black South Africans.

  43. #43 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    One of the questions that I am interested in is whether Mbeki and Tshabalala-Msimang ought to be prosecuted for their role in the preventable deaths of some 300,000 plus mostly black South Africans.

    There is at least a legal precedent with the criminal cases involving HIV transmission through blood products.

    http://www.annals.org/cgi/reprint/136/4/312.pdf

    There is no doubt, despite Mbeki’s claims that he didn’t know anybody that died from AIDS, that they had been given sufficient knowledge to prevent these deaths. Negligence on this scale is criminal. They have no excuse.

    PS this is on youtube now
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=dSJ9lZ_wxHI

  44. #44 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    @Snout:”Because Henry appears to be claiming the study shows that HAART has “no life-saving benefit at all”

    That seems to be a good point. Did you ever try to post that question on his blog yourself? You should. How else do you expect to correct the errors of people like him if you never point them out? If you don’t engage the HIV/AIDS skeptics how will they ever go away, or at least be quiet? The numbers are getting more, not less.

    @Chris Noble: Could you give specific details about the ban. For example what was the last comment you were ever allowed to post. The #6 at the link you posted? Why do you think he would have banned you after that? If you can give me real details I might have a chance to ask him about it.

    By the way, I think it’s a shame that you perceive his arguments that way. Of course you’ll have problems with it if you look at it that way.

  45. #45 DuWayne
    December 3, 2008

    Sadun Kal -

    It’s not a shame that Chris looks at denialist comments the way he does, the shame is that you appear to believe there is the least bit of validity to them. It’s also a shame that Chris has to spend the amount of time that he does, dealing with the repetitious arguments with folks like you. He has far more fortitude for dealing with this kind of vile bullshit than I do, I for one salute him. Me, I haven’t the tolerance for denialism that kills and those who perpetuate it.

  46. #46 Snout
    December 3, 2008

    Sadun asks:

    Did you ever try to post that question on his blog yourself? You should. How else do you expect to correct the errors of people like him if you never point them out? If you don’t engage the HIV/AIDS skeptics how will they ever go away, or at least be quiet?

    The short answer is that I don’t expect to change Henry’s mind about anything. Henry is not interested in genuinely testing his ideas, which is why he restricts his blog page comments to those who are appropriately sycophantic, and who are generally even more clueless than he is. Chris Noble’s experience is instructive. Unlike Henry, Chris is a working scientist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the field Henry is pretending to critique. Henry shut him down very quickly because Chris is a threat to his theory, not his person: the constant complaints about ad hominem are transparently an excuse to avoid legitimate criticism of the substance of his argument from those who are competent to do so. You see this strategy employed without exception on every blog page whose moderation is controlled by denialists. There is no point in attempting engagement under such conditions.

    So why bother to point out his fallacies and misrepresentations at all? The answer is that having failed to make any headway with real scientists, AIDS denialists have turned their attention to people such as yourself who lack the scientific background to be able to judge the merits of their argument. What is intensely irritating, Sadun, is that you appear to believe that your lack of discrimination in this area is of no relevance to your efforts to promote the denialist agenda, in particular to evangelise for Henry.

    I expect that when you read Henry’s blog page about South Africa it looked to you like a coherent and convincing argument by a respected scientist, an emeritus professor, no less. When someone with a modicum of the relevant background reads it they see a string of self serving misapprehensions, misrepresentations, and logical fallacies written by someone clearly out of his field of expertise. The one I pointed out was merely the first example in a long line, although foundational to his argument. To go through every single one of them would be a herculean task. It always takes ten times the effort to correct a lie than to tell it in the first place.

    There is a serious ethical dimension to deliberately targeting denialist misinformation to people who lack an understanding of the relevant science to critically evaluate it, particularly when it leads to people making decisions that endanger their own lives and health or, as in the case of Mbeki and Tshabalala-Msimang, the lives of others. This is something Bauer and other prominent denialists simply fail to recognise, but which is second nature to most practising physicians who understand that they carry not only ethical but legal responsibility the information and advice they provide, and the real life consequences that arise as a result. It is serious business.

    Can you understand, then, why real doctors such as PalMD get infuriated when medical amateurs like Bauer and Duesberg manipulatively promote their lies specifically to those who are least able to see through them or to recognise that these denialist luminaries are not the experts they claim to be? Do you understand that the contempt and opprobium such denialists attract has less to do with a defending the interests of an “orthodox in-group” – which incidentally consists of virtually every competent doctor and working biological scientist in the world – than outrage at a serious ethical failure which has caused vast demonstrable and unnecessary suffering?

    Do you get it now?

  47. #47 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    That seems to be a good point. Did you ever try to post that question on his blog yourself? You should. How else do you expect to correct the errors of people like him if you never point them out? If you don’t engage the HIV/AIDS skeptics how will they ever go away, or at least be quiet? The numbers are getting more, not less.

    Denialists have been misrepresenting this Lancet since it was published. I and many other people have repeatedly pointed out to the Denialists that it does not say what they claim it says. In fact it gives references to studies that demonstrate that HAART saves lives. There is absolutely no excuse to continue to make the same misrepresentations over and over again. The so called “rethinkers” do no rethinking they just repeat the same lies over and over again.

    A Moment of Science!

    How many times must it be pointed out before the Denialists finally understand? Can you understand why some of us get angry?

    The boredom of debating deniers

    I keep on seeing exactly the same long refuted arguments cropping up again and again. “Rethinkers” never learn.

    As far as Bauer’s blog goes I submitted a couple of further comments explaining exactly why his argument was both false and indicative of ignorance. These did not get past the moderation/censorship.

    > Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 22:39:28 -0400
    > From: hhbauer@pop.vt.edu
    > Subject: Ad hominem
    >
    >
    > I will not edit or accept any further comments that contain ad hominem
    > remarks or expressions. You should be able to express yourself in
    > civilized tone, surely
    >

    All rethinkers seem to misunderstand what the ad hominem fallacy entails. I was attacking his argument.

    And before you start lecturing Udo about “rethinking” HIV perhaps you should read this.

    http://www.udo-schuklenk.org/files/prbspd.pdf

    Udo actually did some rethinking.

  48. #48 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    If that’s your attitude, how do you intend to “defeat” the “denialists”? Again:

    “How else do you expect to correct the errors of people like him if you never point them out? If you don’t engage the HIV/AIDS skeptics how will they ever go away, or at least be quiet? The numbers are getting more, not less.”

    So what’s your strategy?

    Either way, what I think about Henry Bauer is not that he never makes mistakes, but that he’s capable of admitting and correcting them if pointed out. Much more so than the AIDSTruthers. That’s why I urged you to point out the mistakes you see. Or is that the strategy: Not pointing them out and later using them as weak spots..? :)

    And Chris Noble’s censorship experience is still not clear to me: When I go to the link I see his comments and I see the responses made to his comments. Was he banned afterwards? I didn’t yet understand what is exactly meant.

    In that light, I urge you one more time to give a shot and criticize him like a scientist is supposed to criticize another scientist. If this is about science, and if we want science to win in the end, let’s do it like how science is supposed to be done. Please.

  49. #49 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    How else do you expect to correct the errors of people like him if you never point them out? If you don’t engage the HIV/AIDS skeptics how will they ever go away, or at least be quiet? The numbers are getting more, not less.

    The stupid it burns.

    The false claims about that Lancet study have been pointed out time and time again.

    The Denialists never learn and they never admit to being wrong.

    There is simply no excuse for continuing to claim that the Lancet study shows that HAART does not reduce mortality. None.

    Thankfully nobody is listening to them anymore. Mbeki is gone. Barbara Hogan is now reconnecting South Africa with reality.

    The “rethinkers” are a small bunch of marginalised crackpots. They make a lot of noise but they are irrelevant. They are now resorting to appearing on crank radio shows such as Robert Scott Bell to spread their lies. All pretext of scientific rationality is gone.

    The best strategy is mostly to ignore them. Certainly don’t try debating with them on their own blogs where they delete your posts if you don’t give them the deference that they want.

  50. #50 minimalist
    December 3, 2008

    Yeah yeah yeah but but BUT, what if you try posting on his blog for the eight millionth and first time, and get banned again?

    MAYbe, if you find the right combination of words, Bauer’s heart just might grow three sizes and he’ll see the light!

    Or, oh yeah, maybe we could better spend our precious time on God’s green earth educating the people who are open-minded and willing to learn, but aren’t yet informed enough to realize why Bauer is peddling crap. There’s a hell of a lot more of those, many in positions of actual power.

  51. #51 Snout
    December 3, 2008

    Either way, what I think about Henry Bauer is not that he never makes mistakes, but that he’s capable of admitting and correcting them if pointed out.

    Cool. Let me know when he admits that he misrepresented the Lancet study, and corrects it. Then we can work our way down the list.

    The next question would be about how he can claim with a straight face that a massively reduced annual risk of mortality among HAART-treated AIDS patients doesn’t represent increased average survival time in the group as a whole, irrespective of the fact that the median age of those who did actually die “only” increased by 5.5 years between 1995 and 2005 according to the table he provides. As a bonus question, you could ask him exactly what is the theoretical maximum possible increase in median age of death that can be registered within 10 years of commencement of a new life extending therapy even if the treatment adds an average of say 20 years’ survival? Hint: your death cannot be registered before any additional survival time conferred by the therapy has actually elapsed.

    Then we can move on to his claim that “The immediate drop in death rate when ZDV monotherapy was stopped (in favor of HAART) is yet another direct measure of the drug’s toxicity” when the HAART regimens instituted at the time typically consisted of exactly the same dose of ZDV given as monotherapy from the early to mid 90s only with the addition of two other antiretroviral drugs. Can he provide any plausible pharmacological rationale for how the addition of say, lamivudine and indinavir to zidovudine somehow counteracted the supposedly terrible toxicity of zidovudine alone?

    That’ll do for now. Personally, I wouldn’t bother wasting my time pointing anything out to Henry, but you are welcome to try.

    I’ll be fascinated to see the result.

  52. #52 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    @minimalist: As far as I can tell there was no real ban. It appears all that Chris Noble means is that a part of his comment was removed with the reasoning that it was non-productive/ad hominem. Or at least that’s all I could understand from what he said. If the removed part really was an ad hominem or a real substantial argument is a mistery, but considering the following comments I tend to believe that Henry Bauer was sincere.

    Believe me, compared to the fact that I got banned from POZ forums just because I suggested that “false-positives” do occur and that it might be a good idea to get retested, and compared to the amount of zealous censorship on wikipedia, and compared to the whole media censorhip, and compared to the bias of the scientific journals this is absolutely nothing.

    @Chris & Snout: I’ll mention the HAART stuff to him tomorrow. Would you promise to start commenting on his blog and do the rest of the work if it turns out that he was indeed wrong and succeeds at admitting/correcting it? :)

    I’m already being his ambassador here, it would be too much work to be your ambassador there, too… Let’s all discuss in a friendly manner, it’s not that hard if you try. :)

  53. #53 LanceR, JSG
    December 3, 2008

    compared to the fact that I got banned from POZ forums just because I suggested that “false-positives” do occur

    Wow! An actual, verifiable fact that can be checked! Hm… pop on over to Pharyngula… check the Dungeon… Hmm. That’s odd, no “Sadun Kal” listed there. Perhaps you could point us to the thread in which you were banned? No? Just one more lie? Color me surprised.

    And why do trolls always want to “discuss in a friendly manner” after they’ve been thoroughly spanked?

  54. #54 Chris Noble
    December 3, 2008

    As far as I can tell there was no real ban. It appears all that Chris Noble means is that a part of his comment was removed with the reasoning that it was non-productive/ad hominem.

    I submitted an additional two comments that explained exactly why the specific argument that he made was false.

    Seriously. Arguing that because “DNA sequences of viruses in distinct clades can differ by 15%-20% and yet all of them are supposed to do about the same thing, with only minor differences in efficiency of transmission and ‘pathogenic potential’” that we should doubt that HIV exists and causes AIDS is a remarkably ignorant statement.

    1) HIV is an RNA virus not a DNA virus

    2).All RNA viruses have high mutation rates

    3) The genomes of RNA viruses are highly variable. For example two subtypes of hemagglutinin from influenza A, isolated from humans at approximately the same time, differ from each other by 81% at the amino acid level

    4) There are specific mutations that do effect the virulence and pathogenicity of HIV

    The only thing that Bauer demonstrated is that he is profoundly ignorant of the science that he has the hubris to criticise.

    Bauer would not let me post this information.

    I will admit to being wrong after I went back and reviewed what happened. I wasn’t banned. He just would not let me post anything that criticised his arguments. I could have made slanderous accusations of corruption against real scientists like the rest of his groupies.

  55. #55 Sadun Kal
    December 3, 2008

    @LanceR: Huh? I think you got me wrong. I said “POZ forums”, here’s what I’m talking about:
    http://groups.msn.com/aidsmythexposed/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=35621&LastModified=4675692302951432106

    And since I’m at it already this is the one about Wikipedia:
    http://condeve.blogspot.com/2008/08/wikipedia-lynn-margulis-hivaids.html

    This is the one about scientific journals:
    -…no wait, I’ll upload that one on youtube later, otherwise might cause too much traffic later.

    And I guess I don’t even need to prove the media censorship, considering that even Duesberg’s students don’t know that he is a “denialist”: http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jun/15-aids-dissident-seeks-redemption-and-a-cure-for-cancer

  56. #56 Snout
    December 3, 2008

    Would you promise to start commenting on his blog and do the rest of the work if it turns out that he was indeed wrong and succeeds at admitting/correcting it? :)

    No, Sadun, for two reasons.

    Firstly, there is exactly zero chance of him correcting all three of the points I made above. He may be a buffoon, but he is not so stupid as to fail to realise that if he concedes those points the substance of his argument on his South Africa page is gone, and he is exposed as an ignorant poseur. And let me tell you, the list is much, much longer than just those three points.

    Secondly, despite your apparent fascination with my motivations rather than my argument you have completely missed the point. I don’t give a toss what Bauer personally believes, and certainly not enough to affect the simpering, fawning attitude he demands of anyone he deigns to grant leave to enter into his majestic presence. You apparently do, for reasons I still don’t understand. Good luck to you, but I’m not walking on eggshells for anyone, least of all a twit like him.

    What I care about is not the individual beliefs he holds, but the damage that he and other denialists do when people who don’t have the scientific background to know better get seduced into their fantasy ego trips.

    The damage is very nasty, which is the whole point of this thread.

    Do you get it now?

    And given the state of your actual knowledge about the issues of false positive diagnoses and predictive values, I’m really not surpised that you got banned from POZ forums if you took it on yourself to provide “advice” about those issues.

  57. #57 LanceR, JSG
    December 3, 2008

    Oops! I apologize. I misread that as “PZ’s forum”.

    Your other points are still bullshit, though. Saying that HIV does not cause AIDS is like saying that the rhinovirus does not cause the cold. What, if any, actual evidence do you have that there is no HIV?

  58. #58 minimalist
    December 3, 2008

    And I guess I don’t even need to prove the media censorship, considering

    …considering that you just posted a media article about him, you incredible dingbat.

    Truly, there is a media blackout of epic proportions on his ideas, considering none of us have ever heard of him and the media give him far more attention than he deserves.

  59. #59 minimalist
    December 3, 2008

    Whoops, last sentence ended up a mishmash of several separate sentences, lost in editing. For simplicity, just let that last sentence end at “…considering none of us have ever heard of him.”

    (Which, by the way, is sarcasm. Sorry to belabor the obvious to everyone else, but Sadun is as thick as a whale omelette, after all.)

  60. #60 Snout
    December 4, 2008

    PS: I just checked the POZ forum thread you mentioned. The person who started it was clearly confused about the difference between an undetectable viral load and a negative Western Blot, and needed a someone competent with actual knowledge of what tests were done to resolve the ambiguity. I.e. the guy’s doctor.

    Admittedly, most of the following posts do little to clarify an obvious point of confusion.

    However, on AME you said:

    So, for now I’ll wait for this guy to get more information before I give him the “red pill”, if in the last 28 years he believed in all that stuff, it’s unlikely that it’ll be easy for him to digest that a “HIV” is not proven to exist, let alone cause “HI”… Any suggestions about how I should aproach?

    While I realise that you said this after you got banned, do you have any idea why such an attitude might send a red flag to a responsible blog moderator dealing with an obviously confused and vulnerable poster?

  61. #61 Chris Noble
    December 4, 2008

    compared to the fact that I got banned from POZ forums just because I suggested that “false-positives” do occur

    These forums are there to provide support for people who have just tested positive or who are already living with HIV. They are not there for Denialists to spread misinformation.

    If you want to see pathological hate then visit
    http://groups.msn.com/Dissident-Action/actionboard.msnw

    Read about “Paul King’s” vicious attempts to shut down some of the fora.
    Read him bragging that he shut down the POZ forum.
    Action board : The POZ Forums – CLOSED

    Action board : Heal Toronto shut down HIV FORUM.COM

    Action board : TheBody dies a natural death

    These Denialists would spam these fora with hundreds of posts per day until the moderators couldn’t cope anymore.

    So don’t whine about censorship.

  62. #62 Sadun Kal
    December 4, 2008

    @minimalist: That article about Duesberg is clearly an exception. Surely you wouldn’t claim that the mass media ever represented the arguments of rethinkers objectively.

    The answer to your question about what evidence I have can be found among the Perth Group’s arguments. But the phrase “HIV doesn’t exist” can easily be misunderstood, think about it more like a specificity issue. Some retroviruses are observed and labeled as “HIV”, but do they really deserve to be grouped under one name, claimed to “behave” always in the same way despite all the differences? Kary Mullis himself says that the people are only looking at one part of the DNA when claiming that a certain virus is “HIV”. What about the rest of the DNA? And what about all the genetical differences? What makes us think that 30% genetical difference is meaningless and that it’s still the same virus doing the same thing?

    That’s my understanding at least. You can also read the responses to Chris Noble’s comment as he linked above for more on that.

    @Snout: I didn’t say that part on the POZ forums, only on AME. All I said on POZ is already visible in that POZ thread and the suggestion of questioning was done only via PM, not publicly. Unless the POZ moderators decided to google my name and check if I have any relation with dissidents, they don’t have a reason to ban me apart from telling the guy WHO TESTED NEGATIVE after 28 years to start questioning things. And if you’re banning people who just recommend the very rational act of questioning, then there’s a serious problem.

    And even if HAART is not as deadly as AZT alone, I don’t think it’s very scientific to claim that the dissidents cause any deaths because of a very simple reason: http://www.theperthgroup.com/SCIPAPERS/NatureVFTNVP.pdf

    @CHris Noble: “…These forums are there to provide support for people who have just tested positive or who are already living with HIV….”

    And no support for those who lived with “HIV” for 28 years and then suddenly became negative? I didn’t spread any information, let alone misinformation. I only reminded the guy about the possibility of a “false positive” and suggested that he should question his results. Everybody talks about “false negatives”, but the word “false positive” is almost a taboo in those forums.

    Your links are interesting, but if you consider that the forums are sort of like cults stopping people from questioning and turns them into drug-consuming victims, programs them to slowly die, then you can understand the disgust the dissidents have for such forums. Remember that many are very angry about what happened with AZT in the past, many dissidents blame the negligence of the mainstream scientific community for the deaths of their friends. Such “support forums” are perceived as threats for human health and free thinking from the perspective of a HIV/AIDS skeptic. Every countries president is an ignorant Mbeki for dissidents. Can you imagine what that means for these people? It’s just a different perspective in the end, which is arrived at because of their own experiences which are clearly different from yours.

  63. #63 LanceR, JSG
    December 4, 2008

    Kary Mullis himself says that the people are only looking at one part of the DNA when claiming that a certain virus is “HIV”. What about the rest of the DNA?

    Okay, now this is just flat wrong. IANAV, but even *I* can tell that this doesn’t pass the smell test. You may want to check here for a discussion of HIV and isolating it.

    What is really driving your disbelief? It sure ain’t the “evidence”. Is it your dislike of the “drug-consuming victims”? Is it your deep-seated fear of AIDS? C’mon… what’s really going on? You’re a 20 something communications/media major. What makes you more qualified than someone who is currently working with HIV in the lab?

  64. #64 PalMD
    December 4, 2008

    this entire discussion is idiotic. What is the point?

    Fact:

    AIDS is caused by a virus known as HIV

    HIV disease is preventable and treatable

    Some idiots like to argue about it

    Idiots who bring their unsubstantiated denialist comments here should find a new hobby and go away.

  65. #65 minimalist
    December 4, 2008

    Sadun:

    Surely you wouldn’t claim that the mass media ever represented the arguments of rethinkers objectively.

    No, no, I certainly wouldn’t.

    Given that an objective view of the collected evidence and the fact that he represents a vanishingly small fraction of quacks who do little to no original, hands-on research with HIV — compared with the entirety of the medical and scientific community — then the fairest way to represent the HIV denialists’ views is in the same way as UFO conspiracy theorists.

    i.e., ignore them and their fatally stupid, unevidenced ideas.

    But unfortunately the media is enamored of the idea of “balanced” coverage (see also, evolution/creation), and as many journalists (not all, thankfully) are nearly as ignorant as you, they are more entranced by character-driven dramas, with “crafting a good story” to put in the newspaper or TV. “Hey, an eminent scientist in one field has a controversial, potentially earth-shattering idea about a virus he does no research on! Let’s print his ideas but not critically evaluate them beyond a brief statement that his ideas are ‘controversial’!”

  66. #66 minimalist
    December 4, 2008

    Your links are interesting, but if you consider that the forums are sort of like cults stopping people from questioning and turns them into drug-consuming victims,

    Yeah okay, I’ll consider that, if you will consider that my ass produces chocolate pudding. Sweet, sweet chocolate pudding. Try some!

    Oh, what’s that? You demand evidence first?

    Well fancy that! So do I!

    Just referencing “the Perth Group’s arguments” isn’t nearly good enough, because you clearly don’t even understand that — you can’t even regurgitate Kary Mullis’ viewpoint properly. You completely, utterly, have no idea what you’re talking about, no grasp of biology either basic or advanced, and no clue of how the terminology is used to express those ideas.

    You clearly have some sort of fixed preconception about how every doctor and every scientist in the world is some sneering, eeeeeevil creep who wants to “enslave” the world to drugs, whatever the fuck that means, and you fix your worldview along those lines.

    And yet you demand that people give infinite benefit of the doubt to the cranks! “Oh sure, Bauer’s blocked your posts every time you try to correct his voluminous errors, but try just one more time!” … “Oh sure, the denialists offer no hard research, just misrepresentations of other people’s work, and they’re in a statistically insignificant minority, but if the media doesn’t give them even more coverage than they already get, I’ll screech ‘censorship!’”

    Arrogance plus ignorance to the nth degree: That’s the denialist way!(TM)

  67. #67 Chris Noble
    December 4, 2008

    Your links are interesting, but if you consider that the forums are sort of like cults stopping people from questioning and turns them into drug-consuming victims, programs them to slowly die, then you can understand the disgust the dissidents have for such forums.

    You can’t bring yourself to condemn terrorists like “Paul King”. I’m fully aware of his delusions. He is entitled to his own opinions but not his own reality. “Paul King” also thinks that condoms cause cancer. He is a nutter.

    The support forums for people with HIV are just like those for people with diabetes, cancer etc. They need support and not pseudoscientific nonsense from HIV- scientifically illiterate twits. If you invade a support forum for people with cancer and flood the boards with crap about cancer just being all in the mind or that liver flukes are the cause or that you should be taking laetrile etc then you will get the same response. So don’t go complaining that we are all so mean to you.

    ….the guy WHO TESTED NEGATIVE after 28 years to start questioning things

    Now you are just making shit up. They didn’t have HIV tests in 1980.

    False positives do occur but they are far, far rarer than the Denialists pretend.

    The vast majority of people who are diagnosed HIV+ continue to test positive. This goes for HIV+ denialists too. Ask any of your newly found HIV+ friends. Do they continue to test positive? Send them some money to do an anonymous test. Simple experiment. Why not do it instead of spreading misinformation.

  68. #68 Chris Noble
    December 4, 2008

    ….the guy WHO TESTED NEGATIVE after 28 years to start questioning things

    You mean this case:
    : I SeroREVERTED! My Story

    This hardly supports your case.
    The problem started when he read Denialist bullshit on the internet.
    Instead of getting tested properly he buys a home test and doesn’t follow the instructions properly. Instead of seeing a doctor he spends three years thinking he is HIV+. Note the test packaging would have told him to see a doctor to have the diagnosis confirmed.

    If this person had seen a doctor or if he had posted his story to a true support forum like thebody.com none of this would have happened. Don’t believe me. Post a message to thebody.com giving the same story: former partner tests positive, do a home test, test positive. See what answer you get.

  69. #69 Snout
    December 4, 2008

    Actually, Chris the “I seroreverted story” is worse than that and highlights a major problem.

    The guy bought a “test kit” over the internet for home reading. There are no FDA approved kits for home reading: the kit was bogus and he got ripped off.

    The US FDA and Federal Trade Commission has put out warnings about these bogus tests and warned that the “Home Access” kit is the only one approved and only for home collection, not reading.

    The internet scammers have responded by putting pictures of the “Home Access” kits on their websites, while continuing to supply the fake unapproved tests. It’s a consumer protection nightmare, because most consumers don’t know what they’re getting, with potentially horrendous results. Such internet scams are almost impossible to police effectively.

    I hope the home kits are never approved in Australia.

  70. #70 Chris Noble
    December 4, 2008

    The guy bought a “test kit” over the internet for home reading. There are no FDA approved kits for home reading: the kit was bogus and he got ripped off.

    If the person had asked a question about this on one of the support forums he would have gotten this information. Unfortunately the fora were probably shut down due to Denialist spam at the time.

  71. #71 Chris Noble
    December 4, 2008

    Firstly, there is exactly zero chance of him correcting all three of the points I made above.

    Breaking news.
    Denialist Denies Making Mistake
    FAIL

    Who could have predicted that?

    Will Duesberg ever admit that he misrepresented this paper?

    Declining Morbidity and Mortality among Patients with Advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

    The data clearly shows that HAART reduces mortality and morbidity.

    And yet Duesberg in true Denialist style attempts to argue the exact opposite.

    EPIC FAIL.

  72. #72 minimalist
    December 5, 2008

    Oh, well sure, Duesberg may have been caught in yet another lie, but if you consider the position that doctors are really brain-eating zombies from the Planet Barquon, then Duesberg is actually saving our lives!!1one!

    (by lying)

  73. #73 Chris Noble
    December 5, 2008

    Well at least Bauer has a sense of humour!

    Ive learned that there is no possible way to defende oneself against misinterpretation, be it deliberate or through lack of understanding.

    says he as he gleefully misinterprets the Lancet study.

    The only question that remains is whether it is deliberate or through lack of understanding.

    The study does not report what he claims.

    http://www.art-cohort-collaboration.org/

  74. #74 urblogsucksassdude!
    December 13, 2008

    Wow! It is almost too painful to read. The immaturity. The ignoranimity. The stooopid. It all buurrrnnnssss.

    The semi-literate hiv aids advocates seem to have the emotional maturity of slightly less than 10 year olds, and that may be pushing it. Every other word they use to describe all who disagree with them is either “denialist”, “crank”, “liar”, “scumbag”, “sickfuckdenialistbastards”, and on and on and on. Are you guys former school yard bullies who never grew up, or just wannabe bullies that are only brave from behind a keyboard?

    The aids dissident who posted here is the only one showing any sign of intelligence and emotional maturity!

    Duh! Guess which one us readers will find the most credible???

    And whodafuck is this palmd wack? There is no way that a guy with such a limited vocabulary as displayed in the following could possibly be a doctor!……..

    This child, pretending to be an adult posted:

    Fact:
    AIDS is caused by a virus known as HIV
    (then cite the papers that prove it or shut the fuck up cause if you can’t then you are the denialist)

    HIV disease is preventable and treatable
    (prove it by substantiating that retroviruses are sexually transmitted, cause of the thousands of known retroviruses, there is not a single paper to prove sexual transmission of any retrovirus)

    Some idiots like to argue about it
    (only to knowitall know nothing morons like palmd et al who pretend to be knowledgeable adults)

    Idiots who bring their unsubstantiated denialist comments here should find a new hobby and go away.
    (Why? Cause they clearly show your BS to be unsubstantiated hype spat about by a ten year old moron with an IQ of 90 who pretends to be an all knowing doctor but can’t even substantiate a single word that he hypes?)

  75. #75 Snout
    December 17, 2008

    Just to add to my comment on December 4 2008 at 7:47 pm:

    I was surfing Yahoo Answers this morning and found an ad for this *BOGUS* product:

    http://www.private-hiv-test.com/

    Repeat, this is a *BOGUS* product. Do NOT purchase it.

    Note the testimonial indicating that it has been illegally sold in the United States. It is for home reading, and there are no FDA approved HIV test kits for home reading.

    Note also the picture of the “Home Access” kit at the bottom of the page, designed to confuse a potential customer about exactly what product they are buying.

    Nasty.

  76. #76 LanceR, JSG
    December 17, 2008

    Wow! Some guy who sucks ass (I think that’s what his handle says…) has convinced me that all that we know about science is wrong! Ignore all the evidence! Never mind reality! Never mind facts! It’s all a plot by… um… I’m not quite clear on that part.

    then cite the papers that prove it

    Done.

    substantiating that retroviruses are sexually transmitted

    Check.

    So, your two basic claims have been covered. Anything else? Anymore questions? Anyone wanna bet he’ll ignore this, or move the goalposts?

    I love baiting the unstable!

  77. #77 LanceR, JSG
    December 17, 2008

    Oh, and see here for another paper discussing the evolution of HIV and it’s kin.

  78. #78 porno
    June 9, 2010

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