All Commentary
Friday, November 1, 1996

Inventing the AIDS Virus

Duesberg Provides Ample Evidence to Support His Contentions

Mr. DeRosa is a freelance writer from Poughkeepsie, New York.

When I first heard about Peter Duesberg a few years ago, I was only half skeptical. This professor of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley was claiming that AIDS is not caused by HIV, is not even contagious, that long-term use of recreational drugs is the real cause of AIDS, and moreover that AZT, the antiviral medication most often prescribed to treat AIDS is instead hastening the death of AIDS patients. Duesberg has been making these claims since 1987. Now his long-awaited book is out.

AIDS was first reported in the news in the early 1980s as a kind of Andromeda strain, a deadly new virus that could wipe out mankind. The reporting hasn’t changed much since then. In spite of dire predictions, the disease still has not broken out of its risk groups and spread to the general population. But for those afflicted there is no cure, no vaccine, no ability to predict its course. And in spite of billions of tax dollars spent, the best treatment for it kills instead of saving lives. Nobody is saying why. Nobody but Duesberg, and a very few others. The present book is dynamite.

The facts are all here, beginning with a history of the microbe hunters who, by following the lead of Koch and Pasteur, conquered most of the infectious diseases known to man. But they also spent years, at a cost of thousands of lives, trying to blame microbes for the diseases of malnutrition. More recently in Japan, there was the SMON epidemic in which evidence that an anti-diarrhea drug was causing a polio-like disease, was silenced for over ten years by government-sponsored virus hunters. Then, in America, there was the medical empire-building and dismal failure dubbed the War on Cancer, in which many of the current AIDS players made their bones, and during which the virus hunters developed some of their most dubious theories—such as the slow virus hypothesis.

Duesberg next provides ample evidence to support his contentions. Chapters crammed with facts answer the questions some of us had. What’s behind Magic Johnson’s miraculous comeback? What killed Arthur Ashe, Kimberly Bergalis, and Allison Gertz—was it AIDS or AZT? But more importantly, he scientifically challenges the assumptions of the HIV hypothesis and finds its predictive ability to be inferior to that of his drug hypothesis. Also interesting are the thousands of recorded cases of HIV-negative AIDS at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) renamed ICL.

Anyone who has followed this controversy—and anyone who reads this book—will see what’s going on. Namely, a power grab and the politicization of medicine. The goal? Command science.

On the one side: the vast multi-billion dollar tax-supported, peer (read insider) reviewed, medical establishment, including the NIH and the CDC; drug companies, activists, and scientists with conflicts of interest, lobbyists in Congress, and royalties on patents for failed medications; insider control of grant monies for research, and of which drugs get approved; and even censorship and control over publication in professional journals.

On the other side? One man stands alone. Duesberg. For that, he deserves credit—and our gratitude.