Advertisement

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 248–251 | Cite as

Still Crazy After All These Years: The Challenge of AIDS Denialism for Science

  • Nicoli Nattrass
Original Paper

In his new book, Denying AIDS, Seth Kalichman observes that people are surprised by the persistence of AIDS denialists: “Are they still around?”[1, p. 1] he is often asked. And it is a good question. Given the large body of scientific and clinical evidence on HIV disease and treatment (expertly summarized by Chigwedere and Essex in this issue of AIDS and Behavior) it is indeed strange that Peter Duesberg and his followers still claim HIV is harmless and that antiretrovirals cause rather than treat AIDS. While such dissident views were intellectually respectable in the 1980s when HIV science was new, they make little sense today. Thus Joseph Sonnabend, a doctor who treated some of the earliest AIDS cases in New York and was well known for arguing that environmental factors may be more important than a virus in driving AIDS, was quick to change his mind once antiretroviral treatment was shown to act against HIV and transform the health of his patients [2, p. 25]. Peter Duesberg, by...

Keywords

Demographic Model Western Cape Province Boundary Work British Broadcasting Corporation Medical Hypothesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Kalichman S. Denying AIDS: conspiracy theories, pseudoscience and human tragedy. New York: Springer; 2009.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nattrass N. Mortal combat: AIDS denialism and the struggle for antiretrovirals in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Epstein S. Impure science: AIDS, activism and the politics of knowledge. Berkeley: California University Press; 1996.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blattner W, Gallo R, Temin H. HIV causes AIDS. Science. 1988;241:515–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gallo R. Virus hunting: AIDS, cancer and the human retrovirus. A story of scientific discovery. New York: Basic Books; 1991.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohen J. The Duesberg phenomenon. Science. 1994;266:1642–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Galea P, Chermann J. HIV as the cause of aids and associated diseases. Genetica. 1998;104:133–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gallo R, Geffen N, Gonsalves G, Jeffries R, Kuritzkes D, Mirken B, Moore J, Safrit J. Errors in Celia Farber’s March 2006 article in Harpers Magazine. 2006. http://www.tac.org.za/Documents/ErrorsInFarberArticle.pdf.
  9. 9.
    Moore J. A Duesberg Adieu!. Nature. 1996;380:293–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hughes S. Interview with Warren Winkelstein, 26 Oct 1994. Available on: http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt7w10060s&query=&brand=calisphere
  11. 11.
    Goldacre B. Bad Science. London: Fourth Estate; 2008.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Farber C. Out of control: AIDS and the corruption of medical science. Harpers Mag. March, 2006; 37–52.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gieryn T. Boundary-work and the demarcation of science from non-science: strains and interests in professional ideologies of scientists. Am Sociol Rev. 1983;48:781–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chigidere P, Seage G, Gruskin S, Lee T, Essex M. Estimating the lost benefits of antiretroviral drug use in South Africa. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2008;49:410–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nattrass N. AIDS and the scientific governance of medicine in post-apartheid South Africa. Afr Aff. 2008;107(427):157–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AIDS and Society Research UnitUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations