“There is no proof that HIV causes AIDS”: AIDS denialism beliefs among people living with HIV/AIDS
- 930 Downloads
AIDS denialists offer false hope to people living with HIV/AIDS by claiming that HIV is harmless and that AIDS can be cured with natural remedies. The current study examined the prevalence of AIDS denialism beliefs and their association to health-related outcomes among people living with HIV/AIDS. Confidential surveys and unannounced pill counts were collected from a convenience sample of 266 men and 77 women living with HIV/AIDS that was predominantly middle-aged and African American. One in five participants stated that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS and that HIV treatments do more harm than good. AIDS denialism beliefs were more often endorsed by people who more frequently used the internet after controlling for confounds. Believing that there is a debate among scientists about whether HIV causes AIDS was related to refusing HIV treatments and poorer health outcomes. AIDS denialism beliefs may be common among people living with HIV/AIDS and such beliefs are associated with poor health outcomes.
KeywordsAIDS denialism HIV/AIDS treatment Internet health information
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grants R01-MH71164, R01-MH82633 and National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) R01AA017399 supported this research.
- Associated-press. (2007). Gambia’s President claims he has cure for AIDS. 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17244005/.
- Casey, S. (2009, November 24). Everything you know about AIDS is wrong. The Rock Creek Free Press. Google Scholar
- Chigwedere, P., Seage, G. R., 3rd, Gruskin, S., Lee, T.-H., & Essex, M. (2008). Estimating the lost benefits of antiretroviral drug use in South Africa. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 49(4), 410–415.Google Scholar
- Duesberg, P., & Bialy, H. (1995). HIV results in the frame. HIV an illusion. Nature, 375(6528), 197; author reply 198.Google Scholar
- Duesberg, P., Nicholson, J. M., Rasnick, D., Fiala, C., & Bauer, H. H. (2009). HIV-AIDS hypothesis out of touch with South African AIDS – A new perspective. Medical Hypotheses [Retracted].Google Scholar
- Farber, C. (2006, March). Out of control: AIDS and the corruption of medical science. Harper’s magazine.Google Scholar
- Howard, C. A. (2009, June 4). Well, Well, Well: Alternatives to Pharma. Vue weekly.Google Scholar
- Kalichman, S. C. (2009). Denying AIDS: Conspiracy theories, pseudscience, and human tragedy. New York: Copernicus/Springer.Google Scholar
- Lawler, A. (2002). Climate change: battle over IPCC chair renews debate on U.S. climate policy. Science, 296, 232–233.Google Scholar
- Lenzer, J. (2008, June). Peter’s principles. Discover.Google Scholar
- Moore, J., Bergman, J., & Wainberg, M. (2007). The AIDS denialists are still around. International AIDS Society Newsletter (March), 4–5.Google Scholar
- Nattrass, N. (2007). Mortal combat: AIDS denialism and the struggle for antiretrovirals in South Africa. Scottsville: University of KwaZuluNatal Press.Google Scholar
- Shermer, M., & Grobman, A. (2000). Denying history: Who says the holocaust never happened and why they say it. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Wald, R., Synowski, S., & Temosjok, L. (2009). Conspiracy beliefs aare related to antiretroviral therapy use. Paper presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine.Google Scholar