Building bridges with HIV-1 Deniers

From building bridges with anti-vaxers to building bridges with animal liberation maniacs, Chris Mooneys ‘building bridges‘ plan is revolutionizing the way scientists interact with insane people!

Its even changing the playing field with HIV-1 Deniers.

Long-time readers know I have relatively little patience with HIV-1 Deniers. Everyone involved with HIV Denial, from the ‘professional scientists’ to the ‘Average Joe snake-oil salesman’ are complete and utter morons. So, frankly, they are only good for one thing: lulz.

So while I like writing about the latest HIV-1 findings on ERV, I rarely actively engage HIV Deniers. I just laugh at them.

Now, that is a Very Bad Move, according to Mooney. HIV-1 researchers should be building bridges with HIV Deniers:

Instead, I believe we need some real attempts at bridge-building between medical institutions–which, let’s admit it, can often seem remote and haughty–and the leaders of the anti-vaccination HIV Denial movement. We need to get people in a room and try to get them to agree about something–anything. We need to encourage moderation, and break down a polarized situation in which the anti-vaccine HIV Denial crowd essentially rejects modern medical research based on the equivalent of conspiracy theory thinking, even as mainstream doctors just shake their heads at these advocates’ scientific cluelessness. VaccineHIV skepticism is turning into one of the largest and most threatening anti-science movements of modern times. Watching it grow, we should be very, very worried–and should not assume for a moment that the voice of scientific reason, in the form of new studies or the debunking of old, misleading ones, will make it go away.

This is what happens when you try to build bridges with HIV Deniers:

A grad student at Harvard, Silvia Piccinotti, wrote a very nice letter to the makers of ‘House of Numbers‘. Its a very nice letter, honestly asking them some questions, and honestly offering her expertise to help them ‘get’ scientists perspective on this issue . I dont believe I have ever been this nice to an HIV Denier, in my life, ever.

If we were dealing with sane, normal people, here, I would have expected a few things to happen:

1– They ignore her.
2– They send a generic ‘thank you for your comments’ response
3– They put forth an honest attempt at constructive dialog

But of course, we arent dealing with sane, normal people. We are dealing with HIV DENIERS who havent been interested in a serious dialog in 25 YEARS.

So the makers of ‘House of Numbers’ instead chose to post her letter on their facebook page, along with a pic of her they found on the internet and some personal info (schools she went to, graduation dates, who shes worked with, etc. no, yeah, thats not at all creepy) with no actual response to Silvia.

The ‘House of Numbers’ troupe then forwarded her letter to the Perth Group. You know, that group of people who defended a guy in Australia who was fucking any woman that would touch him without telling them he was HIV-1 positive? They defended him buy saying he didnt do anything wrong, cause “HIV doesnt exist”?

Yeah, they posted their ‘response’ to Silvia, also on the ‘House of Numbers’ facebook page. Shorter Perth Group: “We have no education in basic virology and we dont know how to use PubMed. So Google this stuff for us, Silvia.”

So Silvias reward for being nice and honest, trying to ‘build bridges’ with HIV Deniers has led to her defending herself in ~200 comments against some fucking morons. No one. No one in those comment threads knows their ass from p24, but boy howdy, theyre gonna tell that stupid little girl student The Truth behind HIV!

She just a student remember that… and there are also co discovers of the so called hiv Dr Montagnier and Dr Gallo who fails to convince people that hiv cause aids….Many people are hiv poz not on medication and are still alive…..

Stupid.

Does this girl live under a rock? So Pfizer getting reamed in court and order to pay 2.3 billion dollars for felony crimes including paying out kickbacks to doctors, and Merck’s Vioxx scandal are what? Huge misundestandings? And the scandal with Roche, the makers of Tamiflu- who hired a PR firm to ghost-write their studies and told their research … See Moreteam that no matter what they found, Tamiflu was to be “the anwer”? The fact that the American Cancer Society is the world’s wealthiest non-profit organization? Yeah, it’s totally ridiculous to think that Big Pharma has their hand in the billion-dollar AIDS cookie jar too because clearly so many people are just looking to help the public. I guess I’m too ignorant to see that.

Also, the least financially driven people I’VE ever encountered are volunteers. Just to put that out there…

Stupid.

there’re one way for silvia to put the seed of doubt in your head, ask yourself, “was my information sponsored by pharma industries?”, “Did Dr. Montagnier, studied HIV less than me?”, “Did Dr. Duesberg, Dr. Mullis and many others earned something to become dissidents?”… Try to give honest answer….

Stupid.

Silvia, “progression to AIDS” “Life saving” meds ? since you rely on the rhetorical creed of the Industry wouldn’t that make you at least part of the Industry? also, Silvia you use “AIDS” as if it’s a self proclaimed entity, in order for you to call me a denialist you must first prove to me that “AIDS” is anything other than a man made construct preferably by The CDC. bet you don’t know even know where the “word” denialist came from…majority rules in the church?

Stupid.

And hell, I could quote the whole ‘Perth Group’ letter, but my response would just be ‘Stupid.’ Plus I want you all to click over there and read all the sexist insane comments.

Yeah.

But I guess we can still blame this ‘bridge’ collapsing on Silvia for not being “a good communicator”. Her nice letter should have been nicer. Maybe in pink font with unicorns and lollipops in the background. And a a dancing teddy bear.

Couldnt be that HIV Deniers/Creationists/anti-vaxers are arrogant, ignorant, deadly fools.

Comments

  1. #1 Optimus Primate
    February 25, 2010

    From one of her many gracious replies:

    PS In future, it would behoove you to spell my name correctly: it only contains 6 letters.

    HAHAHAHAHA! Jeez, what is it with nutjobs and their refusal (inability?) to spell their opponents’ names correctly?

  2. #2 Zombie
    February 25, 2010

    Sounds a like what happened with Janet Stemwedel and the “animal rights” nutjobs… I see a pattern.

  3. #3 SLC
    February 25, 2010

    As I and others have remarked here and elsewhere, Mooneytits are not quite so eager to engage climate change deniers who infest their blog whenever the subject comes up. I suspect that Mr. Mooney will not be attempting to “accommodate” Marc Morano anytime soon.

  4. #4 The Chimp's Raging Id
    February 25, 2010

    From building bridges with anti-vaxers to building bridges with animal liberation maniacs, Chris Mooneys ‘building bridges’ plan is revolutionizing the way scientists interact with insane people!

    It’s a little known fact that Mooney’s has a civil engineering degree.

  5. #5 Kevin
    February 25, 2010

    Wow… I feel like I know a celebrity. Silvia’s awesome – and sings a mean karaoke too!

  6. #6 freelunch
    February 25, 2010

    Jeez, what is it with nutjobs and their refusal (inability?) to spell their opponents’ names correctly?

    Part of their arrogant condescension. Science deniers have the truth and those who point out their errors are evil and should not be treated with any respect. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing will persuade any of those folks, but that a mix of information and mockery is helpful in keeping the science deniers from expanding their base.

  7. #7 gf1
    February 25, 2010

    I’ve got a naive and continuing faith in the benefits of discussion.

    I actually did relatively well at changing the terms of debate on a fairly extreme Muslim site. (Maybe my expectations are just suitably low).

    I don’t like Mooney’s talk of ‘respectful’ debate as I think it’s disingenuous, but I do think that it needs to be recognised that convincing someone you’re right requires very different tactics to just showing someone that you’re right. When people start with very different assumptions it can often take quite a long period of discussion before constructive debate can take place. Irritating misunderstanding and the parroting of bad arguments unfit for critical analysis are inevitable. One of the worst things about the internet is that it allows people to segregate themselves from opposing arguments and live in an echo box with those who share their prejudices. It seems that people often want excuses for their prior beliefs rather than to honestly pursue the truth, and specialist forums for those who believe particular things make plenty of room for that. (I’ve found that a number of atheist and rationalist sites to also include this sort of mentality – it’s just unhealthy to spend too much time reading from sources that share your own instincts.)

    Before expecting to be able to change the minds of people sucked into a community like this it’s normally useful to spend some times reading about what they think without too much interjection. You need to understand that you will not be respected as an equal, and they will be as dismissive of your beliefs as you are of the HIV deniers. You don’t need to respect their prejudices, but you should be aware of them.

    Such an approach would be unbearably tiresome unless you started with some genuine desire to learn about and understand the views of the people you are entering into a discussion with.

    That letter was never likely to change anyone’s mind, but I don’t think that means that useful discussions cannot be achieved here. They’ll just take a lot more work. Lots of people are arrogant, ignorant, deadly fools; some will never change, but by engaging with these groups I think that we can pick off some of the stragglers, and shift the perimeters of the debate. (No fucking way I’m going to spend my time doing it with this one though! Sounds boring as hell.)

    I think that a commitment to on-going debate and discussion is the closest thing I have to an article of faith and I’d be sad to see it go. It can lead me to unusual positions – a friend who works in mental health is bemused by the fact that I think she has a responsibility to explain to her patients how it is we know that their beliefs are delusional, just in case no-one’s explained it to them before. Some of them might be convinced!

  8. #8 Matthew Cline
    February 25, 2010

    This is rather off-topic, but it seems that you’d be the person on ScienceBlogs most like to know: one of Duesberg’s ideas is that retroviruses are necessarily benign (at least according to the Wikiepdia article on the Duesberg Hypothesis). However, I haven’t been able to find anything on the web about his reasoning behind this idea. Do you know of any online resource about his reasoning, or even any keywords to use for a search? (Using “duesberg retrovirus benign” as a search term isn’t very fruitful)

  9. #9 Mandrellian
    February 25, 2010

    Unfreakingbelievable. I would really love it if Mooney actually took notice of what happens when people follow his advice and play nice with vipers.

    With Creationists, HIV-deniers, anti-vaxers and people who like John Mayer, you’re not dealing with average, rational people who may not be fully informed on an issue or have a simple difference of opinion but could change their minds if only they were spoon-fed the correct information by a kindly old scientist. You’re dealiing with people who are RIGHT and who know the TRUTH. People who are RIGHT and know the TRUTH will not listen to anyone tell them they might be wrong, not even nice, quiet scientists.

    They have a fundamentalist mindset: extremely rigid yet extremely brittle – unstable, even. It not only tells them they have the Truth, it also wraps up their entire concept of self so tightly within that Truth that even the mildest criticism or question is viewed as a vicious, personal assault which must be crushed before it even has a chance to make any impact. There is no “accommodation” to be had with such people; no middle ground; no compromise. They’re so far into what amounts to extremist dogma that any amount of middle ground conceded by science would render science, its methods and its explanatory power for all intents and purposes useless. I think Mr Mooney may need to re-tool his theory somewhat if he believes such people can be reached by pleasant, media-savvy scientists.

  10. #10 cooler
    February 26, 2010

    in 1984 the government had a press conference that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS. In 1986 the IOM and the NAS published a book called “Confronting Aids” that said 1 billion per annum should be spent per year on spreading awareness about this new deadly virus and in march of 1987 a Drug that can frequently induces severe anemia that requires blood transfusions, AZT, was approved. Can anybody describe the experiments that proved HIV was lethal that justified these massive public health measures?

    If all you can do is spam an aids truth website, can you please describe the experiments you read from AIDS truth that justified the above measures? There is no point in spamming a website if you haven’t even read it. Duesberg and many others have said its AZT, severe drug abuse, mycoplasmas etc that are really killing AIDS patients. Of course you guys beleive its HIV only, then please describe the experiments that justified the massive public health measures mentioned above.

  11. #11 Ivan
    February 26, 2010

    Building bridges with HIV-1 Deniers

    How do you tell whether an HIV-1 denier is made of wood? </Jeopardy> </Python>

  12. #12 Azkyroth
    February 26, 2010

    Wow, cooler, you’re even lazier and more dishonest than I remembered from Orac’s.

  13. #13 tim collins
    February 26, 2010

    @10

    Some of use were actually taking care of patients then, and watching grandmothers die from HIV infection & AIDS. You can’t build bridges to these people. You can’t just show them evidence, they have to actually look at the evidence and think about it, which they won’t do.

    Just like creationists and ID, the “science” of the HIV deniers is utterly devoid of “science” and has not produced any useful treatment for patients.

    t

  14. #14 Stephen Wells
    February 26, 2010

    I think AIDS denialism is a psychological defence mechanism. If a disease is due to a virus which your body can’t fight off, then OMG it might happen to you. But if it’s due to “lifestyle” or amyl nitrate or gay sex or whatever, then obviously it’ll never happen to you. That’s a comforting message to a lot of hearers.

  15. #15 kharisym
    February 26, 2010

    OMG Cooler, you’re right!

    Since AIDS isn’t caused by HIV, let’s abolish marriage and have a world-wide orgy.

    aids-denialism leads to the destruction of marriage, people marrying toasters (toasters don’t cause aids), and power-levels over 9000

  16. #16 ART
    February 26, 2010

    How do you feel about ME/CFS/PVFS deniers? (This is not a dig about the XMRV stuff) How do you feel about ME/CFS/PVFS. Is it acceptable for a small group of psychiatrists to deny the existence of this neurological disorder. (G93.3 WHO) Is it acceptable to use the term biopsychosocial when there is so much biological evidence of abnormalities, and only to use this term in relation to this disease and not everything else (i.e.. MS, Aids, etc) When was it ever proven that your mind can make you sick, not worse, sick.

  17. #17 Bryan
    February 26, 2010

    HIV-1 researchers should be building bridges with HIV Deniers

    Just out of curiosity, what kinds of mortar is best for sticking HIV denialists together? And does it work on all anti-science types (that would be a big bridge)…

    Bad joke, I know, but ya’ll were thinking it too.

  18. #18 MikeMa
    February 26, 2010

    Wow, cooler hasn’t climbed out from under his rock in ages. Too bad.

  19. #19 Seth Kalichman
    February 26, 2010

    Building bridges between AIDS science and AIDS denialism? Speaking of a bridge to no where. AIDS denialists will have nothing to do with reason or rationality – as evidenced by comments here. Denialism is a mentalhealth problem. For many people denialism, like conspiracy theories,is entertaining. I understand that. But the laughing ends when you see the harm they are causing.
    Seth Kalichman
    Author of the book Denying AIDS
    denyingaids.blogspot.com

  20. #20 qetzal
    February 26, 2010

    Ivan (#11) wins the thread!

  21. #21 Party Cactus
    February 26, 2010

    If these people really truly don’t believe that HIV exists, why don’t some of them just prove it by taking some blood transfusions from HIV positive people? If none of them end up dying after being diagnosed with AIDS, point proven. Seems simple enough. Put your money where your mouth is.

  22. #22 Darrell E
    February 26, 2010

    I am not at all a pedant regarding spelling and grammar, but when a person’s writing is so poor that you can’t understand what the fuck they are trying to say, why bother trying to engage with them? You can never be sure that you are even addressing their point of view, since it is impossible to determine with any accuracy or detail.

    All of the examples the OP provided of comments by HIV deniers are so fucked up you can’t make sense of any of them. You can’t even read them smoothly. It is like trying to read a bunch of misspelled non sequiturs mixed up randomly with gobbledy gook.

  23. #23 SLC
    February 26, 2010

    Speaking of Mooneytits, Mr. Mooney has been named a Templeton fellow in journalism. I’m sure that Ms. Smith will want to comment on this startling development.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/congratulations_to_chris_moone.php

  24. #24 Sadun Kal
    February 26, 2010

    ERV, I still think Silvia’s approach to deal with “HIV deniers” is more beneficial than yours. She gained my respect for her good intentions and openness, while I learned your ego prevents you from becoming the perfect scientist. I know from experience that your method convinced me further that there is a lack of scientific thinking and an excess of immature behavior among “HIV believers” like you, and pushed me further into the “denialist zone” or whatever you may call it. (Which is not to say that the “denialists” are better in that regard, but as long as the HIV issue remains unclear I can’t aid you in your war against “denialism”.) So Silvia is the superior scientist here, in my opinion, and a wiser human.

    However, the problem with Silvia’s bridge is firstly that she was primarily trying to change others’ minds (implying that she knows the truth and others don’t) instead of being sincerely interested in a two-way communication. That’s not the best way to build a stable bridge. A more skilled bridge builder would’ve instead calmly and patiently debated the science inside out until he/she is proven to be right or wrong, after that the ideal bridge would reveal itself effortlessly. And actually Silvia tried switching to that strategy during the discussions, as far as I can see. But then her emotions got in her way and it became difficult for her to pursue the tiresome construction work. It’s a shame really. If she could’ve ignored/tolerated the parts of the responses she received which were irrelevant to the real goal, she could’ve gone further. Either way she’s the best bridge builder I’ve seen among the defenders of HIV/AIDS so far. She deserves an applause. I encourage more people to try to be like her.

    And:

    “…why bother trying to engage with them?..”

    Because they’re also voters..? Because they influence the way things work out on this planet we all share? Because your future depends on their actions, even if to a limited degree?

    But it’s important to point out that the examples ERV chose above are by some posters on facebook who’re influenced by HoN, and not really the dissident scientists or anything close to that. The people ERV and Silvia talk to should be those who are followed by such posters, and by filmmakers like those of HoN. If you refuse to respond to the scientists leading the “denialism movement” it shouldn’t be a surprise if more “insane people” lose their trust in the establishment.

  25. #25 ERV
    February 26, 2010

    Sadun Kal– LOL!

    That was a funny exchange, thanks for reminding me of it (others– CLICK THAT LINK!!).

    How can you call yourself an ‘HIV rethinker’ if you dont know your ass from p24?

    Its like a Creationist not knowing what ‘DNA’ is.

    Pointless to interact with someone like that.

  26. #26 Ben
    February 26, 2010

    I have an idea ERV. Let the denialists post specific concise (50 words or less) objections to the scientific consensus, and everyone else gets to rebut these objections in haiku.

    I would suggest rebuttals by interpretive dance, but I’m not sure how many people have decent webcams.

  27. #27 oh bother!
    February 26, 2010

    After all these years, it’s finally clear that all of those HIV+ hemophiliacs who died of AIDs were in fact hard core drug users with fungusblood and vitamin deficiencies. I guess it’s just cosmic irony that someone got the word out to that randy lot to quit the smack and started chewing their Flintstones just as screening the blood supply for HIV came into vogue and morbidity from AIDs related causes among that group dropped to zero. For shame Ryan White! For shame. Thanks, HIV Truthers!

  28. #28 Kim
    February 26, 2010

    What is it about “alternative” and outright crazy science guys that makes them so misogynistic? I swear they’ll generally believe a guy with a high school diploma is a more competent authority than a woman with a PhD.

  29. #29 Kausik Datta
    February 26, 2010

    Sadun Kal is infesting you too, Abbie! Because I work with HIV-associated infections, he tried to engage me way back on Nature Network, and when I asked him some pointed questions about pesky little things called evidence, he stopped bothering me. I guess a blog is more open and free-for-all… :)

  30. #30 J Todd DeShong
    February 26, 2010

    If one looks closesly at HoN fb page or ANY denialist website, you will find they do not post any opinions that differ from there own. Even the fact that they posted Silvia’s letter just demonstrates their twisted PR attmepts as opposed to open dialogue which is what they “claim” to want!
    On the other hand, if one goes to any of the orthodox sites there are always differing opinions posted. Most of those opinions are just like SaduKal and lack any supporting facts. When they do post any facts, they generally misquote or misrepresent those facts. When their skewed facts are corrected, the denialists resort to childish name calling.
    JTD

  31. #31 Captain Skellett
    February 26, 2010

    I think you’re being way harsh to Sadun Kal. It’s all well and good to lulz and pay out antivaxers and HIV-denialists etc, but doing that won’t make a difference. These people are getting a scary number of people to believe in their anti-science and very dangerous nonsense.

    Their ideas are killing people, and it’s not funny. If we agree that they are a dangerous minority, then we should be trying to fix the problem, not laughing about it. I’m sick of hearing about the problem, I want to hear a solution.

  32. #32 Sadun Kal
    February 26, 2010

    @Captain Skelett, your goal-orientedness is praiseworthy. Unfortunately it seems that ERV’s priority is not to solve problems, but to feel good about herself, which is understandable, but not ideal when she’s supposed to be an objective scientist.

    My idea of solution is very simple and should sound familiar to those interested in proper science: For over a year now I’ve constantly been asking for a serious rebuttal to the arguments of the Perth Group. Not just to ERV, but also to many others who are considered experts, more or less. I find what the PG says interesting, and nobody so far gave a complete scientific argument for why it should be ignored. There is no satisfying response to the PG’s work anywhere to be found. So I either simply put all my trust in the majority/authorities and ignore the Perth Group as they do, or I question. I chose to question the authorities in this case. It’s the scientific thing to do.

    So if you want to end “denialism” here’s an insider’s tip: Respond to the PG’s arguments with your own scientific arguments. Someone nicknamed “Kevin Sullivan” is trying something like that on Facebook now. It’s quite cool. He achieved within a very small amount of time what AIDSTruth.org + ERV couldn’t achieve in 15+ years. It’s progress. It’s how science (and society with it) moves forward: Exchanging opinions. That’s what I would do if I were in your position.

    If you can beat the Perth Group there won’t be much left to keep the “denialism” alive, and it will collapse with help from newly recruited “anti-denialists” like me. Because Duesberg is already retired in a way, he has no power or motivation left for all this. His flimsy attempts at pretending that he’s still doing something about the “AIDS cause” are pretty insignificant and easy to deal with. The PG on the other hand are the most respected within the movement. If you can get people like me to lose their respect and trust in the PG, or get the PG to bow down, you’ll cause quite a change. So you should probably make dealing with their arguments a priority.

    Of course, it’s also not impossible that the PG may truly be right about the “HIV” thing. Then the outcome of such an exchange would be even more exciting, especially scientifically.

    @Kausik Datta; I think you’re giving false information about what happened on Nature Network. I just checked our correspondence again and as far as I can see I’ve stopped bothering you simply because you showed no interest in discussing anything. Can it be that you’re confusing me with someone else?

    @ERV; You’re welcome. I don’t recall calling myself an “HIV rethinker” though, or not knowing my ass from p24. Either way I don’t think these have any scientific relevance to the topic at hand. We’re talking about the Perth Group. Please focus… and please try to base your decisions more than just on whether or not it will gain you more respect/love etc. by those who surround you. That’s an understandable need but why not strive to let scientific pursuits satisfy you instead..? I think it’s a better path in the long run, especially for scientists.

  33. #33 MikeMa
    February 27, 2010

    I agree with you Captain Skellett but so far only Darwin seems to have a solution. It just isn’t a very quick one.

  34. #34 DrDuke
    February 27, 2010

    @CaptainSkellert post 31

    A major part of the solution would be to have some penalties for people telling lies about medical matters, or matters of public health. Although we say all speech is free, we have many laws against telling lies about financial matters. We also have laws against financial scams. There are strict laws and lots of rules and regulations about how real science is done. That is why Scott J. Brodie lost his job and more because he doctored a photo and maybe some other data. http://dailyuw.com/2007/12/5/case-closed-uw-researcher-found-guilty-of/ But a tenured professor with no funding can tell any lies they want and get away with it. For example, Peter Duesberg often claims that no retrovirus has ever harmed any animal outside a laboratory setting when in fact there are dozens of highly pathogenic retroviruses that kill mice, sheep, goats, chickens, chimpanzees, humans, and other animals. Not just HIV and SIV, but things like Avian Leukosis Virus, including the subgroup J ALV that is such a problem for the poultry industry. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a713613726

    I suspect that if a professor of finance at the University of California told lies that caused 30,000 people to loose their life savings he or she would be fired and/or jailed. But one who tells lies that result in the premature deaths of thousands of people keeps his tenured position, and is allowed to continue to tell lies.

  35. #35 DrDuke
    February 27, 2010

    @CaptainSkellett post 31

    The other layer where this type of layer can be stopped, is to not let liars influence public policy. In most of the developed world, public health policies are based on evidence and it would be illegal to create policies based on lies. In the USA only dozens of people die each year when they believe the AIDS denialist lies (such as that antiretrovirals cause AIDS, or that they cause more harm than good). The reason that hundreds of thousands of people were killed in South Africa, was that the government actually set up a Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel and allowed the members to tell lies, with no rules about evidence or truth, or anything.

  36. #36 Optimus Primate
    February 27, 2010

    Sadun Kal said:

    If you can beat the Perth Group there won’t be much left to keep the “denialism” alive, and it will collapse with help from newly recruited “anti-denialists” like me.

    Riiiigghht. ‘Cause, you know, when the Andrew Wakefield’s so-called study — you know, the one that launched the anti-vax movement? — when it was
    overturned, Jenny McCarthy and the like immediately gave up their cause and the vaccination denialism movement died a quick death.

    And before you try to hide behind the “I’m not Jenny McCarthy, nor a vaccination denier” argument, please prove you’re not of the same ilk by providing links or some other form of documentation that shows you’re capable of conceding an argument after being presented with sufficient evidence contrary to your firmly held denialist belief.

    Until then, well, I believe Abbie already said it best.

  37. #37 KevinS
    February 27, 2010

    Thank you for your compliments Sadun.

    -Kevin Sullivan

  38. #38 Sadun Kal
    February 27, 2010

    @Optimus Primate: How do I know that you’re capable of conceding when presented with sufficient evidence that I’m an objective critical thinker who’s capable of changing his mind when presented with sufficient evidence?

    I’m not going to bother showing you any proof until you can prove by providing links or some other form of documentation that you’re capable of conceding that someone you suspected to be bad at critical thinking was actually ok in that regard after being presented with sufficient evidence contrary to your firmly held prejudiced belief bla bla… You get the point. But if you’re still going to insist on this point then you may want to take a look at these comments, specifically this one. It may be difficult for you to get it though, you may have to do some research to understand why it is relevant to what you asked of me.

    Anyway, I don’t know enough about the discussion surrounding Wakefield to reliably judge who’s right/wrong about what, but if we look at things from your perspective, then the question is whether or not the overturning of the “so-called study” strengthened the “vaccine denialism movement” or if it improved the credibility of the “vaccine supporters”. Do you think it would be better if the scientific establishment had totally ignored Wakefield? Do you think trying to deal with Wakefield scientifically was a regrettable mistake?

    If yes, what alternative do you propose? Calling people names? Did you become an atheist because you were ridiculed by other atheists?

  39. #39 Captain Skellett
    February 27, 2010

    @ DrDuke

    I agree. People seem to pay attention when gold is involved, and if their actions kill people there should be some kind of penalty. Right? At least, they should be providing clear advice like a warning label or something. “Warning. Listening to my crap may kill you.”

    Certainly these kind of ideas should be kept out (way out) of policy. That’s one BIG reason why science communicators are needed in policy advising. I think we need more of ‘em actually. There’s already some dodgy stuff in policy.

  40. #40 Optimus Primate
    February 28, 2010

    Sadun Kal, I really have no interest in your little game of “I’m rubber, you’re glue.” You seem to be (intentionally) missing my point. You’re the one demonstrating typical denialist behavior here, then hiding behind a facade of honest inquiry. The typical denialist route is to move the goalposts every time their points are addressed, or stick their heads in the sand when the very foundation of their denialism crumbles. I see absolutely no reason to believe you’re any different.

    Overturning Wakefield’s work did nothing to harm the anti-vaccination movement. If anything, it entrenched them. But of course I’m not saying it should have been ignored. Reasonable people can now look at the Wakefield brouhaha and say, “Ah, there’s now no reason to think vaccines cause autism.” Quite frankly, I see no need to put further effort into trying to coddle unreasonable people, when nothing will ever satisfy them.

    That’s the entire point here, in case you missed it: the scientific community can reach out to (build bridges to, whatever metaphor you like) rational people capable of a modicum of critical thinking. People like you and Jenny McCarthy are beyond reach (no matter the intensity of your protestations to the contrary), so why bother?

    You’re the one who came in here waving the Denialist flag, wearing the Denialist lapel pin, singing “God Bless the U. S. of Denialism,” then claimed to be something other than a typical denialist. I tried to give you the opportunity to prove you weren’t. You didn’t take it. So now I’m bored with you.

  41. #41 Sadun Kal
    February 28, 2010

    “I see absolutely no reason to believe you’re any different.”

    I think that’s because you don’t want to look, or don’t know how to. Not everything’s easy.

    But anyway, this isn’t about me. You wrote:

    “Overturning Wakefield’s work did nothing to harm the anti-vaccination movement. If anything, it entrenched them. But of course I’m not saying it should have been ignored. Reasonable people can now look at the Wakefield brouhaha and say, “Ah, there’s now no reason to think vaccines cause autism.” Quite frankly, I see no need to put further effort into trying to coddle unreasonable people, when nothing will ever satisfy them.”

    If what you say is true then the “anti-vaccination movement” is bound to become weaker as reasonable people avoid becoming a part of it, and maybe even join you to take a stand against it. So even if it’s not immediately apparent I’d say that according to you the “movement” was indeed harmed in a way. Overturning Wakefield’s work seems to have significant long-term benefits. Do you disagree?

    If not, please notice that all I suggested to you was to attempt to do something similar with the Perth Group’s work. Don’t do it for me or Jenny McCarthy, do it for the reasonable people out there. At the moment I don’t think it’s possible for truly reasonable people say “Oh THAT is why the Perth Group’s work doesn’t deserve attention.” because at present there is no scientific “THAT”. There’s mostly just stuff like “They’re arrogant, ignorant, deadly fools!”, as you can see above. How reasonable is it to put faith in such statements without seeing any scientific evidence? Not much, as I hope you’ll agree… So why not provide the reasonable people the scientific evidence against what the PG argues? Surely it can’t be that difficult to share it, if it really exists. And that’s why I find what Mooney, Silvia and Kevin Sullivan are trying to do quite reasonable.

  42. #42 Optimus Primate
    February 28, 2010

    Dealing with the Perth Group isn’t quite so tidy as dealing with Wakefield, because in the case of the latter we’re talking about one paper — a paper that was the entire basis of a movement — being handily discredited. With the Perth Group, we’re talking about a more amorphous approach to contrarianism that makes for a much slipperier target.

    You want scientific evidence, though? Look at the last quarter century of HIV and AIDS research. Reasonable people can see that. Again, I see no reason to coddle a group of people who choose to act as if nearly three decades’ worth of peer reviewed work doesn’t exist.

    The Perth Group’s claims — the ones that can or deserve to be dealt — have been dealt with by an entire field of research. Anyone who can’t — or refuses to — see that isn’t worth a the breath I’ve wasted on you already.

  43. #43 PPGG
    February 28, 2010

    But OP,

    You’ve wasted SOOOO much breath already,

    surely you can waste a little more, considering there’a ate least 20 people following your exploits.

    C’mon, go for it, show those Perthies what a real scientist is made of – say something scientific. Go on say it, don’t be shy!

  44. #44 ERV
    February 28, 2010

    PPGG– ‘OP’ is slang for ‘opening poster’ or ‘opening post’. Making up abbreviations doesnt aid in *communication*.

    Optimus Primate has been reading ERV for a while, thus has been following not only my HIV-1 posts, but the ‘Intro to ERVs’ series.

    He is not a scientist, but can speak competently about some basic retrovirology.

    You cant. Ive never met a Denier that could.

    So, catch up, then you can come play.

  45. #45 PPGG
    March 1, 2010

    Sorry ERV (short for something that doesn’t exist in humans, according to Robert Gallo)It can’t be helped if a poster’s initials is OP, and you’ve never met a “denier”, although that debate really was impressive. I learned that if you’re infected with HIV you can die from the common cold.

    But I’ve been reading blogs for a long time too, doesn’t that make me scientific like OP? Here:

    While the atomic weight of 24,000 kilodaltons is not unique to any one protein, the HIV p24 IS unique to HIV as shown by DNA sequencing.

    That’s your litmus test, right, can I play now, tough chick?

    It’s OP’s turn to say something scientific now, like which of the Perth group’s claims have been dealt with?

    Or would an-easier-to-crib critique of Wakefield’s paper be more “tidy” for you?

  46. #46 PPGG
    March 1, 2010

    Oops, I’ve discovered I made an unscientific typo. I meant P24

  47. #47 Sadun Kal
    March 1, 2010

    You want scientific evidence, though? Look at the last quarter century of HIV and AIDS research. Reasonable people can see that. Again, I see no reason to coddle a group of people who choose to act as if nearly three decades’ worth of peer reviewed work doesn’t exist.

    The Perth Group’s claims — the ones that can or deserve to be dealt — have been dealt with by an entire field of research.

    You could’ve as well said that the claims have been dealt with by the universe: Unfunctional information. You’re not the first one to make such unspecific, unworkable claims. Yet when asked to match the allegedly dealt claims to the corresponding paper or papers the answer is usually something along the lines of “LOL! Moron doesn’t know how to use PubMed!” which is another unfunctional claim, from a scientific perspective. As far as I know currently there is nothing in that “nearly three decades’ worth of peer reviewed work” that adequately deals with any of PG’s critical claims on isolation/purification/existence of HIV.

    Actually OptimusPrimate, I’m guessing that when you claim that the PG’s claims have been dealt with you’re appealing solely to the majority/authorities and never have verified this claim yourself. I’d be surprised if you did. And I’m guessing that what you consider “reasonable” is this unquestioning submission to what the majority/authorities claim. I also think that this kind of “reasonable” behavior is totally unscientific. (To be honest I doubt that ERV is doing much better than you in that regard, meaning I doubt she seriously spent time verifying any of the claims she makes about how wrong and stupid the PG is. So it’s considered cool and hip nowadays -in your community at least- and you don’t have to feel bad if that’s what you care about.)

    But anyway, you implied that because the PG have more than a single paper this makes it difficult for the scientific community to prove how wrong they surely must be about it all. However I’m pretty certain that deconstructing and responding to even a single paper of theirs will have a major impact. You see, most of the PG’s papers are tightly related to each other. And some of it shouldn’t be of any concern to people like ERV anyway. They can simply deal with the parts concerning “HIV-1″ denial. If the PG loses that pillar the rest of their claims will become baseless as well, in addition to the PG losing a lot of credibility of course. It’ll get harder to take them seriously if they say things like “Well OK maybe we were totally wrong about that one, but come on take a look at what other contrarian positions we have to offer..”.

    And if you’re going to insist on a single paper I’d suggest the one titled “Is a Positive Western Blot Proof of HIV Infection?”.

    They may have a different suggestion though. When it gets serious we can ask them what they suggest.

    But now to think I think it would be better if you’d for now wait for the PG to respond to “Kevin Sullivan”. Who knows.. Sullivan may have already changed the balance and spared you a lot of work. Even if after PG’s response his critique turns out to be of little significance you can join Sullivan in deconstructing the PG further. It would help truly reasonable people make scientifically justified decisions.

  48. #48 Stephen Wells
    March 1, 2010

    PGPP, why not state an actual claim rather than wave vaguely at the Perth group? Then we would know what evidence might help you.

    For example, the perth group appear to argue (http://www.theperthgroup.com/whatargued.html) that the following points are unproven:

    1. The existence of a unique, exogenously acquired retrovirus, HIV.
    2. The “HIV” antibody tests are specific for “HIV” infection.
    3. The HIV theory of AIDS, that is, that HIV causes acquired immune deficiency (destruction of T4 lymphocytes=AID) or that AID leads to the development of the clinical syndrome AIDS.
    4. The “HIV genome”, (RNA or DNA) originates in a unique, exogenously acquired infectious retroviral particle.
    5. HIV/AIDS is infectious, either by blood, blood products or sexual intercourse.
    6. Mother to child transmission of a retrovirus HIV or its inhibition with AZT or nevirapine.

    Which of those points would you like to raise first? Are you going to tell actual virus researchers that when they infect cells with viruses (that the Perth group think may not exist) and observe viral replication and release and the death of the cells, that this is all a hallucination? Or will you take the Kary Mullis route and start going round saying that there’s no paper to cite for the claim that the earth is round and orbits the sun?

    They also seem to argue this:

    1. The impossibility of haemophiliacs acquiring HIV following factor VIII infusions.
    2. That AIDS and all the phenomena inferred as “HIV” are induced by changes in cellular redox brought about by the oxidative nature of substances and exposures common to all the AIDS risk groups and to the cells used in the “culture” and “isolation” of “HIV”.
    3. That AIDS will not spread outside the original risk groups.
    4. That the cessation of exposure to oxidants and/or use of anti-oxidants will improve the outcome of AIDS patients.
    5. That the pharmacological data prove AZT cannot kill “HIV” and AZT is toxic to all cells and may cause some cases of AIDS.

    This is just moronic. “oxidative nature of substances and exposures common to all the AIDS risk groups”? WTF?

    Also it’s just fucking insulting to tell victims of infected transfusions that they didn’t get infected by transfusions. Overview here (http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=kb-07-02-09) for example.

  49. #49 Optimus Primate
    March 1, 2010

    PPGG, if I feed you, you’ll let me cross the bridge, won’t you? That’s how it works, right?

  50. #50 Stephen Wells
    March 1, 2010

    Oh, hilarious. In their Q and Q they have this gem (http://www.theperthgroup.com/FAQ/question2.html)
    :

    “The Perth Group does not broker beliefs and has never claimed HIV does not exist. (Neither have we claimed AIDS does not exist although we and our colleagues are often referred to as “AIDS Denialists”). What we have argued on numerous occasions in our publications and presentations is there is no proof that a retrovirus HIV does exist. Not in test-tubes, not in AIDS patients and not in anyone who is “HIV” positive. We freely concede that our assertion may be wrong but to date no HIV expert has responded with any argument that has convinced us otherwise. There is a tradition in science that those who propose theories provide the proof. According to this tradition it is up to the HIV protagonists to come up with proof that HIV does exist. A scientist cannot employ the “Martian” argument. That Martians exist because there is no proof they do not exist. It is our long held view that the laboratory phenomena documented by Montagnier and Gallo in Science in 1983/84 (which are still the best papers on this particular topic) are not specific for retroviruses and do not constitute proof of isolation of a retrovirus.”

    You have to admire the chutzpah of claiming that a paper from 1984 is the last word on the existence of the HIV virus. I guess it saves them a lot of time on literature reviews!

    I also found this gem, where they argue about the existence of pictures of HIV particles:

    http://www.theperthgroup.com/FAQ/question3.html

    “There are dozens of picture of HIV. If these are not a retrovirus what have we been looking at all these years?

    “At its inimical website “Focus on the HIV/AIDS Connection” the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases present their evidence “Why is there overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS?”. The answer to this question of “consensus” includes an invitation to visit http://www.virology.net/Big_Virology/BVretro.html in order to see “Electron micrographs and other images of HIV”. Of these 25 images the majority are diagrams, artists’ renditions or computer graphics. Only eight images are electron microscopic pictures and none identify the source or nature of the material photographed. Significantly, none have a size bar, that is, in no EM is it possible to measure the size of the particles or determine the dimensions of any other morphological feature. From the scientific point of view this is both highly unprofessional and unsatisfactory because the dimension of particles is critical to taxonomy. The best conclusion one can draw from the EMs (the other images are irrelevant) is the existence in unidentified cell cultures of minute quantities of matter, that is, particles of indeterminate size which also possess certain other morphological features. Since these are the pictures “we have been looking at all these years”, let us examine the proposition “These EMs are a retrovirus HIV”.”

    Did you get that? The only pictures of HIV that exist are the twenty-five images on one web page. The Perth group have apparently been looking at only these images for years. Again, big timesaver on the lit reviews.

    Are you happy now, o ye who cried out for the Perth group’s claims to be examined?

  51. #51 PPGG
    March 1, 2010

    Hi Stephen,

    OP had an extremely intelligent comment up there at the top:

    “HAHAHAHAHA! Jeez, what is it with nutjobs and their refusal (inability?) to spell their opponents’ names correctly?”

    You couldn’t even get two Ps and two Gs in the right order, but I don’t think you’re a nutjob for that reason.

    If you have a HIV paper where “viral replication and release and the death of cells” has been “observed” with proper controls and all the rest, that’s the one for you and Kevin (an actual virus researcher) to hit he Perth Group over the head with.

    Actually, you can just post it here, and I’m sure Sadunkal will do the rest. He is, as you’ve noticed, so easily impressed that he considers Kevin Sullivan’s “challenge” to the Perth Group the most significant in 15+ years. If you produced couple of papers with, you know, a little syncytia and RT action, and an EM of a “HIV budding from cell membrane” the bridge would almost be crossed already.

  52. #52 Stephen Wells
    March 1, 2010

    A quick poke on Web of Knowledge gives me 1,598 hits for the search terms: HIV and cell and electron and microscop*. Looking for highly cited papers I immediately find, for example, that in 1987 we have a nice paper from Gelderblom et al, Virology (156) pp 171-176, on “Fine structure of human immunodeficiency virus (hiv) and immunolocalisation of structural proteins”, which has beautiful micrographs of the virus particles including images of them budding from cells. Cited 460 times, incidentally. From the same year, Stein et al, Cell (49) pp 659-668 write on “PH-INDEPENDENT HIV ENTRY INTO CD4-POSITIVE T-CELLS VIA VIRUS ENVELOPE FUSION TO THE PLASMA-MEMBRANE”, with fine images of the viral particles fusing with the cell membrane. Cited 492 times since then. Flipping over to the most recent paper in the database I find Nobile et al, Journal of virology (84) pp 2282 – 2293, just out, “HIV-1 Nef Inhibits Ruffles, Induces Filopodia, and Modulates Migration of Infected Lymphocytes”, where they actually image individual living cells to show how the expression of the HIV protein Nef alters the shape and activity of cells.

    Now do you see why the Perth group is a pathetic embarrassment? An hour in a university library flipping through Nature, Science, Cell would show you that HIV is a routine object of study, and these jokers still say on their webpage that they’re unconvinced the virus even exists!

  53. #53 PPGG
    March 1, 2010

    Stephen,

    I just googled “UFO sighting” and got 1,220,000 hits, thousands of high-class pics and dozens of detailed studies of their shape and how and why they navigate. But there’s an even quicker search for you: your new heroine Silvia’s textbook description of virus isolation:

    “Silvia: To isolate a virus, usually what you do is that you get a sample from an infected individual/animal, you then find cells that will grow virus in culture and infect these. These cells then make a huge amount of virus which is released into their liquid growth media. You can collect this media and by a series of centrifugations and filtering remove all cell debris until all you are left with is virus. The presence of high concentrations of virus can be verified by electron microscopy.” (Yes, that means I was joking about the “HIV budding from a cell membrane pic. I was referring to Montagnier’s 1983 EM of his “not purified” but still “isolated” HIV)

    Now, please try again.

    I’ve got a question for ERV. What’s the practical difference between basing an antibody test on purified HIV and partially purified HIV?

  54. #54 Sadun Kal
    March 1, 2010

    PGGĞ wrote:

    “..he considers Kevin Sullivan’s “challenge” to the Perth Group the most significant in 15+ years…”

    That’s not exactly what I said. I was only referring to the challenges coming from the orthodoxy and I’m not familiar with any significant “challenge” from anyone except Duesberg. Well there’s the BMJ debate… but the significance of what Sullivan did is that he wasn’t just defending himself. He actually willingly spent time inspecting the PG’s arguments in order to verify their claims. I think that’s new. As far as I can see he did it primarily for scientific reasons, rather than feeling pressure to respond to the PG or anything like that. I consider this significant indeed.

  55. #55 Silvia
    March 1, 2010

    Okay, I need to butt in now. First of all, thank you Abbie for having written this piece on my unfortunate attempts to “build bridges.”
    Now about what I wrote, i.e. this “protocol” the denialists like so much. I wrote that from the perspective of a non-HIV virologist, and I excluded some key factors about HIV biology that affect isolation. As you know, Luc Montagnier’s group showed way back in 1983 that a retrovirus could be detected (since you are allergic to the term “isolation” when cells are involved) in tissue samples from infected individuals. The presence of a fraction with reverse transcriptase activity showed that the pathogen in question was a retrovirus. Now, I hope you know that when a retrovirus infects cells it INCORPORATES its DNA (converted from the RNA by reverse transcriptase) into the cellular DNA of its host. This aspect of retrovirus biology enabled researchers to isolate a molecular clone of the viral genome from CELLS rather than from high purity virus samples. < - This I forgot, because I work with non-retroviruses which cannot integrate their DNA into the cell and require amplification of the genome directly from the particles (although nowadays with PCR you don't need pure stocks in any case). Once again, they isolated the genome from the DNA of cells infected with the virus because the virus incorporates its genome into the cellular DNA. Now, when you transfect molecular clones into cells YOU GET HIV PARTICLES OUT. So the molecular clone generates virus. THAT virus has been isolated and purified. For example:

    Structure. 2006 Jan;14(1):15-20.
    The mechanism of HIV-1 core assembly: insights from three-dimensional reconstructions of authentic virions.
    Briggs JA, Grünewald K, Glass B, Förster F, Kräusslich HG, Fuller SD.
    They clearly state: "Concentrated, high-titer (w109 infectious units per ml)preparations of HIV-1 particles with minimal contamination of cellular vesicles were obtained as described previously." (The method can be found here: http://jvi.asm.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/cgi/content/full/74/3/1168?view=long&pmid=10627527#MaterialsMethods and clearly states the use of a molecular clone and transfection.) In this paper they then imaged particles by cryo-electron tomography and generated 3D reconstructions of the particles. So pure stocks of HIV have been generated and imaged by EM. They have been generated from molecular clones, but full length genomes from patients have been amplified by PCR that have similar (within boundaries of normal variation) sequences as the molecular clones. Have we come full circle yet? Can we give up with this “protocol” of mine?
    Also, I would like to put this out there: You don’t have to remove all the cell debris. In fact, no pure stock of virus is EVER completely pure. I’m sorry I ever said “removing all cell debris.” It was inaccurate and misleading and gave an impression that absolute purity is critical to this process, which it is not.

  56. #56 Silvia
    March 1, 2010

    Posting again because I accidentally HTML-ed out part of what I had written.

    Okay, I need to butt in now. First of all, thank you Abbie for having written this piece on my unfortunate attempts to “build bridges.”
    Now about what I wrote, i.e. this “protocol” the denialists like so much. I wrote that from the perspective of a non-HIV virologist, and I excluded some key factors about HIV biology that affect isolation. As you know, Luc Montagnier’s group showed way back in 1983 that a retrovirus could be detected (since you are allergic to the term “isolation” when cells are involved) in tissue samples from infected individuals. The presence of a fraction with reverse transcriptase activity showed that the pathogen in question was a retrovirus. Now, I hope you know that when a retrovirus infects cells it INCORPORATES its DNA (converted from the RNA by reverse transcriptase) into the cellular DNA of its host. This aspect of retrovirus biology enabled researchers to isolate a molecular clone of the viral genome from CELLS rather than from high purity virus samples. This I forgot, because I work with non-retroviruses which cannot integrate their DNA into the cell and require amplification of the genome directly from the particles (although nowadays with PCR you don’t need pure stocks in any case). Once again, they isolated the genome from the DNA of cells infected with the virus because the virus incorporates its genome into the cellular DNA. Now, when you transfect molecular clones into cells YOU GET HIV PARTICLES OUT. So the molecular clone generates virus. THAT virus has been isolated and purified. For example:

    Structure. 2006 Jan;14(1):15-20.
    The mechanism of HIV-1 core assembly: insights from three-dimensional reconstructions of authentic virions.
    Briggs JA, Grünewald K, Glass B, Förster F, Kräusslich HG, Fuller SD.
    They clearly state: “Concentrated, high-titer (w109 infectious units per ml)preparations of HIV-1 particles with minimal contamination of cellular vesicles were obtained as described previously.” (The method can be found here: http://jvi.asm.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/cgi/content/full/74/3/1168?view=long&pmid=10627527#MaterialsMethods and clearly states the use of a molecular clone and transfection.) In this paper they then imaged particles by cryo-electron tomography and generated 3D reconstructions of the particles. So pure stocks of HIV have been generated and imaged by EM. They have been generated from molecular clones, but full length genomes from patients have been amplified by PCR that have similar (within boundaries of normal variation) sequences as the molecular clones. Have we come full circle yet? Can we give up with this “protocol” of mine?
    Also, I would like to put this out there: You don’t have to remove all the cell debris. In fact, no pure stock of virus is EVER completely pure. I’m sorry I ever said “removing all cell debris.” It was inaccurate and misleading and gave an impression that absolute purity is critical to this process, which it is not.

  57. #57 KevinS
    March 1, 2010

    PPGG

    I know you are waiting for someone to post a link to the paper titled “Detection, isolation, and continuous production of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and pre-AIDS” when you suggested “If you produced couple of papers with, you know, a little syncytia and RT action, and an EM of a ‘HIV budding from cell membrane’ the bridge would almost be crossed already” since you basically rattle off the figure legends in order of that paper. I am also aware that the PG especially good at challenging the initial HIV papers and a pre-existing argument against this exact paper is on the PG web site. As Sadun pointed out I am doing this for scientific reasons and have not had the time to look at the Gallo investigation report or the PGs full argument and references on the matter. I also would rather spend my time right now on my research since I am awaiting the reply from the Perth Group any day now and I have a few important deadlines that are rapidly approaching. If others would like to hunt down more acceptable publications that would be greatly appreciated.

    -KS

  58. #58 cooler
    March 1, 2010

    Silvia,
    Can you just answer this question everyone evades?

    In 1984 the government had a press conference that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS. In 1986 the IOM and the NAS published a book called “Confronting Aids” that said 1 billion per annum should be spent per year on spreading awareness about this new deadly virus and in march of 1987 a Drug that can frequently induces severe anemia that requires blood transfusions, AZT, was approved. Can anybody describe the experiments that proved HIV was lethal that justified these massive public health measures?

    If all you can do is spam an aids truth website, can you please describe the experiments you read from AIDS truth that justified the above measures? There is no point in spamming a website if you haven’t even read it. Duesberg and many others have said its AZT, severe drug abuse, mycoplasmas etc that are really killing AIDS patients. Of course you guys beleive its HIV only, then please describe the experiments that justified the massive public health measures mentioned above.

  59. #59 Stephen Wells
    March 2, 2010

    And PPGG can’t tell the difference between a Google search, which gets you every mouthbreather’s web page, and Web of Knowledge, which indexes the peer-reviewed literature. So, massive fail for you there, sweetcheeks.

  60. #60 GoalPostMover
    March 2, 2010

    @Silvia posts 55 and 56

    Sure, they got photos of pure HIV-1 particles. But we need pure HIV particles directly from patient blood, not form some lab experiment thing.

    And then if you have particles from blood, we’ll need particles directly from blood of someone who is not under oxidative stress… Because we know oxidative stress is the real cause of AIDS, and oxidative stress makes these particles in blood that look like HIV but are really just activated endogenous virus…

  61. #61 Optimus Primate
    March 2, 2010

    Cooler, you ignorant slut, are you incapable of seeing the irony in spamming the same message over and over and accusing others of spamming while not even understanding what the hell “spamming” means?

    And srsly, if you’re going to play the roll of parrot, at least take not of the fact that “per annum” and “per year” mean the same thing.

    Moron.

  62. #62 Silvia
    March 2, 2010

    Dear cooler,
    Can you describe the experiments being conducted by the PG and/or Peter Duesberg that conclusively prove that AZT, mycoplasmas, severe drug abuse, “etc.” on their own cause an immunosuppressive disease that specifically targets CD4+ T cells? Please also describe the epidemiological data that shows that these can account for all AIDS cases and the blood-bourne/sexual transmission of each of these. It would also be nice if you could specify which groups are acquiring AIDS by which mode and model the epidemic based on these groups. Also, describe how screening for HIV in blood banks has essentially eliminated AIDS transmission by transfusion if the above factors, and not HIV, cause AIDS.

    You may also be more prepared for this discussion if you personally read even a fraction of the 30+ years of peer reviewed literature on AIDS, HIV and SIV. Perhaps take a virology course in the meantime as well.

    While you are at it, could you describe what the PG believes HIV to be? I know they say it doesn’t exist, but then what is the HIV genome? What are those particles that bud out of cells?

    Cooler, it’s very easy to challenge scientists, but you have to be able to respond to similar questioning yourself.

  63. #63 Stephen Wells
    March 2, 2010

    And please come to this thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2010/03/discussing_science_with_hiv-1.php

    to give your expert opinions!

  64. #64 SLC
    March 2, 2010

    Re cooler

    I see that Mr. asshole cooler has given up on the other Smiths’ blog (that is Prof. Tara Smith) and has come over here to pollute this blog with his asinine comments copy pasted out of a denier web site. Mr. cooler is pimple on the hindquarters of humanity. By the way, has Prof. Duesberg received the injection of HIV+ blood yet? Inquiring minds want to know.

  65. #65 NM
    March 2, 2010

    J Virol Methods. 2010 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]

    A novel, rapid method to detect infectious HIV-1 from plasma of persons infected with HIV-1.

    Cornall A, Sharma L, Solomon A, Gorry PR, Crowe SM, Cameron PU, Lewin SR.

    Infectious Diseases Unit, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

    Efficient isolation of replication-competent virus from plasma of patients infected with HIV-1 is needed to characterize important clinical parameters of virus. However, addition of plasma to in vitro cultures results in clot formation. Blood from HIV-1 infected patients was collected in the presence of three commonly used anticoagulants (ACD, heparin and EDTA) and plasma was isolated. Plasma was then used to infect HIV-1 indicator cell lines (TZM-bl and GHOST) with spinoculation in the presence or absence of additional heparin and positively charged polymers. The presence of additional heparin during inoculation significantly reduced clot formation without affecting the sensitivity of HIV-1 infection in the GHOST cell line. However, heparin reduced the frequency of HIV-1 infection of the TZM-bl cell line. Using plasma from patients with HIV RNA>1000copies/ml (n=58), the frequency of HIV-1 isolation was 92% in GHOST (n=51) and 54% in TZM-bl (n=26) cell lines. A sensitive method was developed for rapid isolation of infectious HIV-1 from plasma of patients with HIV RNA>1000copies/ml that includes spinoculation and the addition of heparin during infection of GHOST cells. This technique could be used for rapid evaluation of viral fitness, co-receptor usage or drug resistance without the need for viral amplification.

  66. #66 Dawn
    March 2, 2010

    @Silvia (#62): I think I love you! And I will be very surprised if cooler actually can ANSWER any of your questions.

  67. #67 cooler
    March 2, 2010

    @silvia
    Nice evasion, you’re the one that sure its HIV and nothing else, than you are obligated to describe the evidence that justified the massive public health measures above. If you believe in a theory its your obligation to back it up. For example if in court you think something or someone is guilty you need to describe the overwhelming evidence, you can’t say no one else can find any evidence for anything (even though people were prevented from doing so) so we’ll just convict some random guy without describing any evidence.

    Besides you are misrepresenting the evidence. AZT has been known to be toxic in animals and humans (unlike hiv which is pretty much harmless in chimpanzees) Poppers are known to be immnuno supressive and mycoplasma incognitus was found in the damaged tissues with the EM in 22/34 AIDS patients and no controls by army patholgists, monkeys and mice injected with low doses died with systemic infections and its was ruled to be the cause of death in 6 non aids patients after an extensive pathology report. Nevertheless Dissidents don’t even need to provide an alternative theory, you need to prove yours first.

    Anyways Silvia you believe its HIV only, so you’re an expert, describe the experiments that proved HIV is lethal justified the DHHS saying in 1984 the probable cause of AIDS has been found, the NAS and IOM in 1986 recommending 1 billion per year in a their book “Confronting AIDS” terrorizing the public with a media campaign against the epidemic HIV and AZT, a drug that many need multiple blood transfusions to survive on being approved in 1987.

  68. #68 Scientizzle
    March 2, 2010

    I love that cooler will accuse others of “evasion” and “misrepresenting the evidence”.

    Lulz!

  69. #69 Silvia
    March 2, 2010

    Dear cooler,
    It is not my job to explain or justify government policy in the 1980s. Today is March 2nd, 2010, and even though policy in 1986 may have been based on correlative evidence (HIV being found in most AIDS patients) more than hard proof that HIV is lethal, the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS has been borne out by subsequent epidemiological studies and experimentation ever since.
    If you want a summary of the evidence, I have found this paper to be quite nice: http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VS1-4547C4M-32&_user=209690&_coverDate=10%2F31%2F1996&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000014438&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=209690&md5=eb722d3870216b31764746de317cf7a0
    Please note in the text: HIV-1 is lethal to laboratory workers, dentists and their patients (beyond the common risk groups), and HIV-2 causes AIDS in baboons. (If you can’t access it here is the reference: Current Opinion in Immunology, Volume 8, Issue 5, October 1996, Pages 613-618)

    This does not mean that the HIV epidemic has been handled perfectly or that some theories haven’t turned out to be wrong. The government was famously sluggish at acknowledging AIDS as a relevant disease. Robert Gallo believed the virus was a variant of HTLV. There are numerous such stories, but one thing has been consistently shown to be correct: HIV exists, and causes AIDS.

    Another article you may like to read is written by Luc Montagnier:
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/2010/02/killing-aids-denialists-montagnier-rant.html (I am linking Seth Kalichman’s blog for the handy highlighting)
    I’d also like to point out that the scientific community is honest about the successes and failures: Montagnier clearly states that AZT alone was not beneficial for disease outcome.

    Finally you may want to read this article as well:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/108174nr1788q73w/fulltext.html

  70. #70 cooler
    March 2, 2010

    I meant to say “that justified” also, as far as isolation I agree that HIV has been isolated, as Duesberg has said so, It’s strange how Silvia et al are so focused on the weakest of “deniers” arguments. I’m just waiting for Silvia et al to describe the experiments that proved HIV is lethal that justified the massive public health measures mentioned above.

  71. #71 SLC
    March 2, 2010

    Re cooler

    Prof. Duesberg will have some credibility when he follows through on his pledge to take an injection of HIV+ blood, which he has been evading for over a decade. Actions speak louder then words.

  72. #72 W. Kevin Vicklund
    March 2, 2010

    cooler, since you aren’t doing a drive-by for once, would you care to actually answer the following question?

    Do you dispute that AIDS is lethal, or just that HIV causes AIDS (which is lethal)? (BTW, HIV is sometimes lethal without causing AIDS, but I don’t think cooler is referring to this)

    It’s hard to tell with cooler – after all, he seemed to dispute that polio was lethal.

  73. #73 PPGG
    March 2, 2010

    KS (nice initials!),

    Yes, there were more budding “retroviruses” in some of Gallo’s EMs but I did not expect you to post anything. I’ve already seen your bid, as well as Silvia’s. What I was “rattling off” was in response to Stephen’s list and what people like Montagnier and Gallo are still rattling off. That indicates to me that that is still the best they’ve got.

    As everybody can read over and over from Silvia’s and other people’s responses, the “protocol” one usually follows in virus isolation has not been successfully carried out with “HIV”. It has been attempted, but with very poor results. The Perth Group are right in this, although Silvia, Kevin and the rest would rather slit their wrists than just admit it.

    That’s why we get these lectures about RT activity and molecular clones. The question is, are those other methods really as reliable as claimed? We can see from Silvia’s answer that she still lives in a world where RT activity is a unique property of retroviruses. She tells us:

    “The presence of a fraction with reverse transcriptase activity showed that the pathogen in question was a retrovirus”

    No ifs and buts about it. RT activity = retrovirus = pathogen = look no further.

    It is this kind of logic based on outdated dogma Rethinkers challenge to everybody’s horror.

    Silvia is mighty impressed with the fact that when you transfect cells with “HIV” DNA, the cells produce (gasp) “viral particles”. When they go looking for DNA, they don’t look at random, they obviously look for something resembling a consensus viral genome. What is it supposed to prove that one can synthesize DNA which when inserted into cells produces viral-like particles? What else do you expect to happen? A case in point: Gallo discovered another novel human retrovirus. It’s called HLV23, and it’s a lab artifact, a hybrid. Would it be impossible to transfect cells with such a construct?

    When you’ve got purified (original) virus particles, you can be sure of where your “retroviral DNA” is coming from, that’s why there are some people, apart from the Perth Group, who are not ready to give up Silvia’s protocol. From the Perth Group paper linked umpteen times on Facebook:

    “when a new virus emerges, like SARS, you can’t necessarily use, reliably, nucleic acid testing until you get the sequence of that new virus for the first time. So then in fact you are in a first identifier, you are required to use these more traditional methods of virus culture and microscopy and so on”, that is, purification.”
    (Dominic Dwyer, Senior Medical Virologist, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research Westmead Hospital, Sydney)

    “with only amplified sequence available, the biological role or even existence of these inferred micro-organisms remains unclear” (Fredericks DN, Relman DA. Sequence-based identification of microbial pathogens: a reconsideration of Koch’s postulates. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 1996;9:18-33. – submitted by the PROSECUTION in the Parenzee case)

  74. #74 Lee
    March 2, 2010

    Here it is in a nutshell. PPGG says:

    “No ifs and buts about it. RT activity = retrovirus = pathogen = look no further.”

    Which, of course, is complete and utter bullshit. “look no further’ is a vile lie, and these guys know it. They like to look at 25 year old results and point out they weren’t perfect, and claim that therefore we know nothing – they do it by ignoring the massive body of work since, by claiming implicitly that no one looked further. And when you confront them with the science that ‘looked further’, they find reasons to ignore it.

    And nothing will change their mind – they are immune to reason or evidence.

    To the extent that they influence the decisions of others, they need to be countered – because their influence on others is evil and deadly. But nobody should think for a moment that these guys, the coolers and PPGGs, can be convinced or reasoned with. They have excluded reason from their mode of thought, they are looking for excuses to continue believing what they believe, and nothing more.

    That crap makes my blood boil. I have two very close friends who are survivors of the plague years, the years of dying. They both started caring for lovers and friends who were dying in 1981, 1982 – for one of them, his dying friends among the first couple dozen cases – before anyone had a clue what was killing them, before it was even called AIDS, before identification of the virus and before AZT. One of those men buried every friend and every lover he had – every one of them. He stopped counting at 50 funerals, because the number became too painful to carry with him. The other never counted – he simply speaks of walking through life accompanied by all his dead.

    The dying slowed with AZT – one of those friends was saved by it, was on his deathbed when the hospital got AZT in, and was one of the few lucky ones who was saved at that late stage. AZT didn’t kill him, cooler you vile fuck, it saved his life. It gave years of life to many of his friends, who were progressing rapidly until they got AZT, and then were given a reprieve that gave them back years of life. It wasn’t enough – HAART came too late for all of them but my friend, and nearly not soon enough for him.

    AZT, a therapy that targets retroviruses and reduces viral loads and increases CD4 cells, slowed the dying. HAART, which can reduce HIV viral load to undetectable levels, slowed the dying a lot. Blood screening for HIV stopped the dying of people getting transfusions and blood products.

    Keeping HIV out of people’s blood keeps them from getting AIDS, and stops the dying. Using HAART to treat people infected with HIV slows or stops progression of the disease in most people, and slows and reduces the dying. Adn yo fucks, the cooles and PPGGs, wolud convince peopelto expose themselves to that risk, to refuse treatment if they getinfected – you would send us back to the years of dying – the years that my friends endured, when for years on end they cleaned bloody sheets of incontinent friends dying of suffocation, of skin destruction, of dementia – and then buried them when they died.

    That is as pure and simple an act of evil purpose as I can think of. THAT is what cooler and PPGG embody. Oppose the, yes, with the facts and the reasoning and the science that they so blithely dismiss. It is a necessary thing to do, to reduce the risk of them killing people. But do not respect these fucks, do not think that you can reason with them or change their minds. Ain’t gonna happen.

  75. #75 NM
    March 2, 2010

    Electron microscopy analysis of HIV conducted by Matthew Gonda and reported in a letter to Mika Papovic December 14th, 1983:

    6) HUT 78/LAV Positive: Lentivirus Comments: Productive lentivirus infection with all forms of virus maturation.

    7) T 17.4/LAV Positive Lentivirus Comments: Lentivirus, same comments as #6 above.

    http://www.sciencefictions.net/pdfdocs/Letter_from_M_Gonda_to_M_Popovic_12.14.83.pdf

  76. #76 NM
    March 2, 2010

    “But do not respect these fucks, do not think that you can reason with them or change their minds. Ain’t gonna happen.”

    Worth repeating.

  77. #77 ERV
    March 2, 2010

    NM–”Lee– But do not respect these fucks, do not think that you can reason with them or change their minds. Ain’t gonna happen.”

    Worth repeating.

    Oh whatever. You must be a New Atheist jealous of Mooneys Templeton Fellow-ism.

    You are so mean. And you just dont get it.

    BUILD BRIDGES!!!

    Also, is the HIV Deniers silence on the ‘Challenge’ thread like, the funniest shit ever??? ROFL!!!!!

    PUSSIES!

  78. #78 Optimus Primate
    March 2, 2010

    Also, is the HIV Deniers silence on the ‘Challenge’ thread like, the funniest shit ever??? ROFL!!!!!

    PUSSIES!

    Posted by: ERV | March 2, 2010 8:13 PM

    /swoon

  79. #79 cooler
    March 3, 2010

    @Silvia
    Anyways thanks for responding. But I can’t help but feel skeptical of the HIV hypothesis. I believed in the HIV hypothesis all my life and got tested a few times. I had heard of Peter duesberg when I was 20 and thought he was nuts, I was so disgusted that he said AIDS is not cause by HIV I didn’t even look into his arguments. It wasn’t until a few years ago I stumbled across some dissident information and took the time to examine it.

    The points they made just seemed to make sense. The things that made me make a 180 on the HIV issue was how they kept stretching the latent period, Duesberg claims it was 10 months in 1984, and now it is 10 years. Also why do antibodies usually protect against viruses like mumps, measles etc and not HIV? Why AZT also, duesberg said it Kills cells and can cause severe Anemeia. Why should anyone take chemotherapy that is in pill? Duesberg claims the studies where AZT was approved were totally fraudulent, ie there were so many blood transfusions in the AZT arm, if you count transfusions as deaths (they would have died without them) more people died in the AZT arm than the placebo arm.

    Duesberg et al claim Kimberly Bergalis and Arthur Ashe etc really died of AZT poisoning. Also the fact that most every chimpanzee out of the 100 or so infected does not die of AIDS even after 20 years. I’ve read the animal model studies you cited, but those studies do not compel me as much as the Chimpanzee studies, also the animal models you cite did not contain any control animals, and I believe only about half the animals died. Duesberg claims wild animals are infected with SIV are totally healthy.

    Other points the dissidents make that make me a skeptic is why does it take ten years for HIV to cause AIDS? If direct cell killing ie the body was teeming with virus why wouldn’t the infected person be dead in a few weeks, why ten years? Was the 10 year latent period invented just to explain away all the healthy HIV positives? Nevertheless many scientists have said HIV only infects a small fraction of T cells.

    Why did Gallo announce to the world that he found the cause of AIDS before his paper was even published? Why is
    HIV evenly spread throughout the sexes, yet AIDS is mostly male? Why did the CDC keep adding dieases like Cervical cancer to the list of AIDS diseases? Was this a political move? I mean this are the questions that nag me, I could be wrong but I can’t help that these arguments dissidents have been making make more sense to me.

    Niether of us are probably going to change our minds, but I just posted this if you’ll see what arguments propelled me, a firm beleiver in the HIV hypothesis to become a skeptic.

  80. #80 PPGG
    March 3, 2010

    Abby,

    What’s the “Challenge Thread”? Is it the one about the molecular clone? It seems to me the joke here is that you think anybody actually follows your blog. This is simply a discussion that’s spilled over from the PG Facebook page via Kevin and Silvia. Now you want to tell us that the reason you have zero substance to convey is because we’re on the wrong thread? Is that it, tough chick?

  81. #81 Dawn
    March 3, 2010

    Well, PPGG, YOU may not follow this blog, but a lot of us do. I’ve learned more about HIV, ervs, etc from Abbie than I ever knew. Try looking at her posts. The Challenge thread isn’t hard to find. If you can answer the challenge, go there and do so.

    OT: BTW, Abbie…I DO love my Nook…and Gutenburg.org!

  82. #82 NM
    March 3, 2010

    What’s “the PG Facebook page”?

  83. #83 ERV
    March 3, 2010

    Im assuming it means ‘Perth Group’ facebook page. Though I havent seen any hits from the Perth Group facebook page on my sitemeter.

    *shrug*

  84. #84 Silvia
    March 3, 2010

    Dear cooler,
    I am glad that you posted your rationale for doing this 180, so to speak, from believing that HIV causes AIDS to not believing it any longer. I don’t know if you read the facebook thread (it is pretty long), but there are several arguments made by Duesberg that are just wrong and point out his lack of expertise in virology.

    1. “Stretching the latency period” HIV is not the only virus with a variable and extended latency period. To give you an idea, the latency period for rabies virus varies from a couple of weeks to up to 3years depending on the mode of transmission. Scientists may not entirely understand what mechanisms underlie this variation, but the variable latency period does not constitute proof that a pathogen can’t cause disease. Or take herpes simplex virus 1. In the age group 60-95, 95% are latently infected with HSV-1, but not all old people get cold sores. Does that mean HSV-1 does not exist or doesn’t cause cold sores?

    2. Antibodies are generally protective; however, HIV is not the only infection where antibodies are a hindrance rather than an aid. Take dengue: when you are infected with one strain of dengue, you generally clear the infection just fine and develop neutralizing antibodies against that strain. However, when you are infected with a different strain of dengue those antibodies cause an enhancement of the infection instead of protecting you. The first infection may have been asymptomatic or a mild flu, but the second one will present with hemorrhages and other severe symptoms uncommon in the first infection. So antibodies aren’t always helpful.
    Peter Duesberg likes to present viruses as a homogeneous population that all behave exactly the same, but it’s simply not true. Look at pp6-7 of this presentation by Duesberg: http://www.duesberg.com/presentations/$bnAIDSQuiz.pdf. Almost every statement he lists under “conventional virus disease” is inaccurate i.e. not true for all viruses.

    3. As for chimps not getting AIDS, please refer to this article: Nature. 2009 Jul 23;460(7254):515-9.
    Increased mortality and AIDS-like immunopathology in wild chimpanzees infected with SIVcpz.

    Keele BF, Jones JH, Terio KA, Estes JD, Rudicell RS, Wilson ML, Li Y, Learn GH, Beasley TM, Schumacher-Stankey J, Wroblewski E, Mosser A, Raphael J, Kamenya S, Lonsdorf EV, Travis DA, Mlengeya T, Kinsel MJ, Else JG, Silvestri G, Goodall J, Sharp PM, Shaw GM, Pusey AE, Hahn BH.

    Finally, I cannot and will not vouch for the behaviors of officials and scientists in the 1980s. Robert Gallo should not have announced his results prior to a peer-reviewed publication. Absolutely. But if HIV causes AIDS had been wrong or fraudulent it would have been shown in the subsequent decades of research. Similarly, I don’t know the rationale underlying why each AIDS-defining disease was categorized as such. I know that for diseases such as CMV, they are considered AIDS-defining because NO ONE presents with CMV symptoms unless their immune system has been absolutely ravaged. If they haven’t had a transplant or other reason for being immunosuppressed it would suggest that an HIV test is in order. But I don’t know the story for cervical cancer, except to assume that it’s something similar. In any case, questions of policy do not alter the causative relationship of HIV to AIDS. If you have a problem with the policy you should be fighting that, and not “HIV causes AIDS”.

    Also, AZT is toxic and wasn’t effective on its own against HIV because the virus evolves to be resistant, but look up the studies on HAART and how they prolong and render livable the existences of people who were once on a painful death row. Nobody is using AZT alone anymore to treat AIDS so it seems silly to argue as though it’s the sole drug in use (it’s like arguing the ineffectiveness of the medical profession today on the basis that they bled people in the 1800s and that didn’t help in the slightest). Besides, scientists and doctors are well aware of the toxicity and are constantly trying to adapt regimens to reduce its negative effect on health.

    Maybe you won’t change your mind, but perhaps you could look into the other side more closely.

  85. #85 KevinS
    March 3, 2010

    @PPGG 73
    Have you heard of the Lujo virus?
    http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1000455

    This virus was never cloned isolated or even grown in culture. It was obtained using pyrosequencing techniques on RNA. It also sits at a genetic cross roads according to the phylogenetic tree so specific primers may not have gotten it. How did they find it? A person became ill with a virus that presented some scary symptoms, other health care professionals become ill and 3 others died. So we have 1. It looks like an illness. 2. It appears to be contagious. Based on the symptoms and locations involved it could have only been one of a few types of virus. In a rush to figure out what the hell it was they just sequenced everything and were able to pull out some fragments of an Arena Virus from RNA. Since it was novel they could not get the whole thing. So they fixed up the sequence by PCR based on what they had. You can only fill in the blanks with PCR if the two known ends are connected. Sequence comparison rules out garbage or unrelated sequence in between the primers. Do you doubt this virus exists?

    Lets go back to the early 1980s. You have people getting ill in an apparent contagious way. You notice abnormal T cell counts and some signatures of possible immune dysfunction. There is a real panic and people want to know what the hell is going on. Based on viruses that infect lymph cells and some symptoms they suspect there is a retrovirus involved. They get RT activity. They sequence and they find something that looks like a retrovirus, except it has a unique sequence. Do you see any parallels?

    @Cooler at 67

    “If you believe in a theory its your obligation to back it up. For example if in court you think something or someone is guilty you need to describe the overwhelming evidence, you can’t say no one else can find any evidence for anything (even though people were prevented from doing so) so we’ll just convict some random guy without describing any evidence.”

    Cooler, Science is not a court room, therefore legal arguments do not always apply. Your analogy also misses the point. It was the apparent the goal of the Perth Group in the famous Parenzee case was to plant the seed of reasonable doubt to get an acquittal . In science you can chose to believe or not believe the results of a paper, or papers. Often quietly and respectfully. Papers will be accepted and dismissed by the scientific community. However, if you are going to break with convention and vocally make very bold claims (ex. HIV does not exist) it is not enough to say the other side is wrong. Reasonable doubt is insufficient to turn an entire filed on its head. You must present an alternative testable theory to explain how all these scientists got this whole story wrong. You must then experimentally refute point by point the other side’s argument. This is one of the main reasons why most scientists ignore HIV dissidents. Arguments without proof is insufficient. It does not help that there is no cohesive argument among the dissidents, just the nit picking of old papers.

    I offer a challenge to all dissidents in numerous parts, since some argued that HIV may be cellular in origin.

    Part A.
    Find me a naturally occurring human endogenous retrovirus that is capable of all the following: 1. Formation of VLPs. 2. Capable of packaging its entire genome within a 11kb transcript. 3. Capable of fusing with another cell human cell. 4. Capable of integrating its full-length genome into the target cell. 5. Capable of infecting that target cell. 6. Capable of carrying out many of the cellular functions attributed to retroviruses both enzymatically and functionally. 7. Capable of robust spreading infection in human cells. All cells used for infection and culture of the virus must also have this exact retrovirus in their DNA at the same locus.

    Part B.
    Repeat above with an endogenous human lentivirus.

    Part C.
    Prove that people medically diagnosed with HIV have viral loads of the endogenous letivirus.

    If you can do these 3 things I will personally help you publish the paper. It will really help my career.

  86. #86 KevinS
    March 3, 2010

    PS. If you guys can accomplish all that maybe you can get back on erv’s good side. She does love the ERVs.

  87. #87 W. Kevin Vicklund
    March 3, 2010

    Not addressing everything cooler said:

    The things that made me make a 180 on the HIV issue was how they kept stretching the latent period, Duesberg claims it was 10 months in 1984, and now it is 10 years.

    How many people born since 2005 have died at the age of 10 or older? The life expectancy of a US child born in 2005 is about 80 years, yet in 2010 the average age at death of a person born since 2005 is probably around 8 months. If you can understand this, you will understand why Duesberg’s numbers are meaningless. It was impossible in 1984 to measure a latency period of 10 years, because the first exposures had occurred only 5 years earlier, with the bulk of exposures only within the previous 3 years. The blood transfusion argument is pure sophistry.

    Also why do antibodies usually protect against viruses like mumps, measles etc and not HIV?

    Geometry. Antibodies don’t bind well to HIV because the spikes that antibodies bind to are too far apart.

    Other points the dissidents make that make me a skeptic is why does it take ten years for HIV to cause AIDS?

    Well, for one thing it’s a lentivirus, which are so notorious for long latencies that their name means “slow virus”.

    If direct cell killing ie the body was teeming with virus why wouldn’t the infected person be dead in a few weeks, why ten years?

    Because direct killing is only part of the equation. HIV titers are actually fairly low for an infectious disease – low enough that in most cases, Hardy-Weinberg equilibria emerge. When T4 levels drop, the amount of virus produced also drops, and thus fewer T4 cells are infected. But T4 cells are not the only type of cell that can be infected. Also, evolution of HIV as a quasi-species within the individual plays a major role. It ends up being a protracted battle of attrition.

    Was the 10 year latent period invented just to explain away all the healthy HIV positives?

    No, it was predicted before HIV was discovered. Remember, Duesberg didn’t report what the predicted latency period was in 1984, just what had been measured to date.

    Nevertheless many scientists have said HIV only infects a small fraction of T cells.

    Yes. It is not terribly efficient. Then again, it doesn’t have to be.

    Why did Gallo announce to the world that he found the cause of AIDS before his paper was even published?

    Because he has an ego the size of Asia and is a glory hound. Nevertheless, follow-up studies showed that he was correct, except in his various claims about LAV.

    Why is HIV evenly spread throughout the sexes, yet AIDS is mostly male?

    In the US at least, it isn’t evenly spread. In 2007, the male:female ratio of new HIV cases was over 3:1, new AIDS case under 4:1, and total AIDS cases about 5:1. This is consistent with a long-term increase in women getting infected with HIV and then developing AIDS. HIV and AIDS still remain predominantly male conditions, at least in the US. That said, it is possible that gender affects progression.

    Why did the CDC keep adding dieases like Cervical cancer to the list of AIDS diseases?

    Maybe because there weren’t enough women with AIDS to reach statistical significance earlier. After all, HIV and AIDS aren’t evenly spread throughout the sexes. Note that the last and only addition took place in 1993, seventeen years ago, and only involved three conditions plus what was previously called pre-AIDS.

    Were some of the decisions made regarding AIDS political? Of course. Gallo’s early announcement was motivated in part by political pressure, for example. But subsequent studies have backed up that announcement. A major difference between the HIV->AIDS and the XMRV->CFS announcement is that something like HIV had been the consensus prediction before it was discovered, whereas there is no particular a priori reason to believe that something like XMRV would be the cause for CFS.

    BTW, cooler, are you going to continue to dodge my question about what it is you are disputing wrt HIV lethality?

  88. #88 PPGG
    March 3, 2010

    KevinS

    You’re a grad. student, aren’t you? What specific position are you in to help others publish?

    Although some of your information is interesting you keep committing the logical fallacy pointed out to you and Silvia more than once on the PG Facebook thread. You cannot argue for the existence/proper isolation of HIV by continuously pulling other viruses, real or imagined out of your backside. It goes for Lujo as well as SIV and Rabies or any other virus you consider the “gold standard” of virus existence virus.
    My or your belief in their existence is not relevant in the slightest, neither are seeming epidemiological correlations between “novel” nucleic acids.

    You don’t solve a particular biological problem by appealing to circular-logic analogies, subjective belief or apparent epidemiological correlation.

    I have already defined the question for you, are all those alternative methods of “isolating” viruses that you and Silvia swear by representative of the highest scientific standards or not?

  89. #89 PPGG
    March 3, 2010

    KevinS, I hit the sent button too quickly. I repost with some missing words added,and some superfluous ones deleted.

    KevinS

    You’re a grad. student, aren’t you? What specific position are you in to help others publish?

    Although some of your information is interesting, you keep committing the logical fallacy pointed out to you and Silvia more than once on the PG Facebook thread. You cannot argue for the existence/proper isolation of HIV by continuously pulling other viruses, real or imagined, out of your backside. It goes for Lujo as well as SIV and Rabies or any other virus you consider the “gold standard” of virus existence.

    My or your belief in their existence is not relevant in the slightest, neither are seeming epidemiological correlations between “novel” nucleic acids and disease clusters.

    You don’t solve a particular biological problem by appealing to circular-logic analogies, subjective belief or apparent epidemiological correlation.

    I have already defined the question for you, are all those alternative methods of “isolating” viruses that you and Silvia swear by representative of the highest scientific standards or not?

  90. #90 PPGG
    March 3, 2010

    “novel nucleic acid (sequence)s” darn it!

  91. #91 NM
    March 3, 2010

    “the highest scientific standards”

    as defined by an emergency room physician and someone who tests people for sensitivity to UV radiation. I think maybe they must have meant the thread on the AIDS denial jockumentary Facebook page. That thread made me curious as to how the Perth Group would know what a PhD supervisor is.

  92. #92 Lee
    March 4, 2010

    Silvia, Kevin Vicklund, the others doing the heavy lifting of countering cooler with the actual science and the actual facts – thank you.

    But I want to repeat again – it ain’t gonna make a difference to cooler, and likely not to PPGG. All those papers you’re citing, the figures your showing? The facts and the science that show that cooler is simply ignorant and wrong?

    He’s seen them.

    He’s been confronted with them, over and over.

    I’ve watched and taken part in confrontations with this denialist f*ck several times before, over on Aetiology among others – and they simply don’t matter. cooler isn’t here for the science, he’s here to convince the world that he is right and the scientific community has got it all wrong, and science and facts be damned.

    To the extent that he is successful, he’s going to kill people. Keep countering him – it is an important thing to do. But I repeat: do not respect these fucks, do not think that you can reason with them or change their minds. Ain’t gonna happen.

  93. #93 RARRRHHH!
    March 4, 2010

    . Now you want to tell us that the reason you have zero substance to convey is because we’re on the wrong thread? Is that it, tough chick?

    Reverse tough guy troll is reverse tough guy troll.

  94. #94 cooler
    March 5, 2010

    Lee, you’re the one killing people, all the AZT chemotherapy victims, all the Hannah polings, you non thinking shills make me sick.

  95. #95 KevinS
    March 5, 2010

    Lee,

    It is not about fighting PPGG, or Cooler, or the PG itself. It is about countering the spread of their misinformation. This is the reason why I am opposing them.

    http://www.facebook.com/HouseOfNumbers#!/notes/house-of-numbers/letter-from-jw-tested-hiv-positive-what-do-you-suggest-i-do-from-here-regarding-/10150105477690367

  96. #96 Stephen Wells
    March 5, 2010

    All the HAART patients, who are now living with HIV instead of dying from it, mean nothing to cooler, who chooses instead to continue his “my opinions mean nothing, I’m just asking / you’re murderers” bipolar cycle.

  97. #97 Azkyroth
    March 5, 2010

    I know from experience that your method convinced me further that there is a lack of scientific thinking and an excess of immature behavior among “HIV believers” like you, and pushed me further into the “denialist zone” or whatever you may call it.

    So you’re seriously admitting publicly that you’re so fucking stupid that being talked to meanly influences your viewpoints more than the actual evidence?

    However, the problem with Silvia’s bridge is firstly that she was primarily trying to change others’ minds (implying that she knows the truth and others don’t) instead of being sincerely interested in a two-way communication. That’s not the best way to build a stable bridge. A more skilled bridge builder would’ve instead calmly and patiently debated the science inside out until he/she is proven to be right or wrong, after that the ideal bridge would reveal itself effortlessly. And actually Silvia tried switching to that strategy during the discussions, as far as I can see. But then her emotions got in her way and it became difficult for her to pursue the tiresome construction work. It’s a shame really. If she could’ve ignored/tolerated the parts of the responses she received which were irrelevant to the real goal, she could’ve gone further. Either way she’s the best bridge builder I’ve seen among the defenders of HIV/AIDS so far. She deserves an applause. I encourage more people to try to be like her.

    Your…concern…is noted.

    But, of course, the HIV/AIDS connection cannot be proven beyond an UNreasonable doubt. Nothing can.

  98. #98 Azkyroth
    March 5, 2010

    Their ideas are killing people, and it’s not funny. If we agree that they are a dangerous minority, then we should be trying to fix the problem, not laughing about it. I’m sick of hearing about the problem, I want to hear a solution.

    And you figure treating their insanity as a legitimate viewpoint worthy of being soberly engaged and debated is going to help this how?

  99. #99 PPGG
    March 6, 2010

    “It is not about fighting PPGG, or Cooler, or the PG itself. It is about countering the spread of their misinformation. This is the reason why I am opposing them.”

    Kevin, can we take that to mean that, like Silvia, ERV and the rest here, you’re now reduced to ignoring the points and questions put forth, avoiding serious debate, engaging only with targets you consider suitably soft, and spreading your own misinformation backed up by nothing but the pseudo-arguments of moral crusaders?

    Because you have yet to demonstrate how I or the Perth Group (who have now given you a detailed answer on Facebook) have “spread misinformation”. in fact, you have yet to deliver a single logically coherent argument.

  100. #100 Sadun Kal
    March 6, 2010

    Azkyroth said:

    So you’re seriously admitting publicly that you’re so fucking stupid that being talked to meanly influences your viewpoints more than the actual evidence?

    No. I guess I couldn’t communicate clearly enough. What I said was that the behavior demonstrated by ERV et al. suggest that there is no “actual evidence” you can rely on (otherwise you would probably attempt to do it for the purposes of science) and there is also a refusal to acknowledge this situation (aka. denial). If this doesn’t change then nobody will make an attempt to solve the problem of “no actual evidence”. All of this raises doubts about the quality of science and the scientific rigor in the HIV/AIDS field and more.

    ..the HIV/AIDS connection cannot be proven beyond an UNreasonable doubt. Nothing can.

    Agreed. But also considered irrelevant. See #47, my second paragraph.