AIDS Denial is Pseudoscience

"AIDS denial is a curious perversion of skepticism."
--Robert L. Park, Professor of Physics and author of Voodoo Science

First, let's get our facts straight.

HIV causes AIDS

The scientific evidence is overwhelming and has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals, the way science is supposed to be done.

Time to put your evidence where your mouth is

If you have evidence that HIV does not cause AIDS, please publish it immediately in a tier-1 peer-reviewed medical journal such as JAMA, NEJM, or the Lancet and I shall be happy to read it. Or maybe you can cite an article that has already been published in the last five years? If you can't do either of these things, then you really need to stop bothering me.

The HIV-AIDS Deniers

A small (very small) but vocal (very vocal) minority.

In case you still have any doubts

Let me steal a line from the Great Dane, Victor Borge:
I'd like to thank scientists everywhere for making this webpage possible... and David Crowe, Harvey Bialy, and Michael Geiger for making it necessary.
  • This is David Crowe's original email offering a debate and my reply, filled with the same disdain I feel for telemarketers who disturb me during dinner. David Crowe carbon-copied Peter Duesberg and Christine Maggiore in his note; in my reply I carbon-copied them too but also Dr. Anthony Fauci from NIAID, Dr. Stephen Barrett from, physicist Robert Park (, and arch-skeptic James The Amazing Randi ( Do you think David Crowe may have a point? Then read David Crowe's posting from MSN Groups supporting the Perth Group and Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos (see above) who said, "There is no massive epidemic of HIV infections because no one has proven it."

  • Next, a baiting email from Harvey Bialy offering me a copy of his book (see above) for free (and worth every penny!). Here is my reply and Harvey Bialy's answer. Of course, my sarcastically amusing reply was exactly what Harvey Bialy hoped for. He then posted on Hank Barnes' blog calling me a "Moore-ish" Physicist. I am absolutely certain that Harvey Bialy, in his alternate Universe, meant this comparison to AIDS researcher Dr. John P. Moore as an insult, but he could not have paid me a better compliment.

  • Then we have an email from Peter Duesberg. Let's see... favorable comparison of oneself to Galileo and Einstein... that's worth 50 points. Here is my reply asking for a recent peer-reviewed reference. And here is Peter Duesberg's answer. Can you understand it? Is he saying two wrongs make a right?

    Well, it's been a while since Peter Duesberg wrote, "More later," in his note of 22 December 2006. I have received no recent peer-reviewed references from him. I did, however, receive this email from David Crowe. The peer-reviewed papers on cancer are irrelevant to this topic (AIDS, remember?). There is only one paper published this millennium! And even that one is from way back in 2003 and it does not appear in a tier-one medical journal.

  • Last (and certainly least) Michael Geiger, always in charge of his facts, sent this email to my friends and colleagues at Penn State Physics -- wrong audience, Mike! He calls me a "PSU Professor" even though I never was a PSU professor and have been an SMU professor since 1995. He misspells "Berkeley" as "Berkely" while he's singing the praises of Duesberg. He includes two links to photographs of physics demonstrations, I suppose to discredit me in some way, but it's difficult to see the logic since he sent them to other physicists who had only praise for the pictures. His third link is to an image that Harvey Bialy made to ridicule Dr. John P. Moore. So who looks ridiculous: Moore or the team of Bialy and Geiger?

    Michael Geiger implies that I have no knowledge of retrovirology. This is true; my expertise is in theoretical particle physics. It is also irrelevant. As you can read in my reply to Duesberg above, it is precisely because I am not an expert in retrovirology that I rely on the editors and referees in the peer-review process to separate valid science from pseudoscience. And you don't have to be a cow to recognize bullshit when you see it.
Now ask yourself: Is the behavior of Crowe, Bialy, and Geiger typical of science? Or does it more closely resemble pseudoscience?

What is their motivation?

This is a difficult question. I have no idea what drives irrational beliefs. Here are some conjectures:
  • Perhaps the AIDS deniers are racist. Most of the lives lost to this nonsense were in Africa. The president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, was for years influenced by the AIDS deniers before adopting the scientific view. Maybe the AIDS deniers want to maximize the death toll in Africa.
  • Perhaps the AIDS deniers are homophobic. Their policies may be crafted to kill as many homosexuals as possible.
  • Perhaps the AIDS deniers are religious fundamentalists. They may believe that AIDS is God's just punishment for recreational drug use, homosexual intercourse, illicit sex, etc., and scientists should not intervene in God's plan.
  • Perhaps the AIDS deniers are hoaxers. They don't really believe what they preach; they just want to see how many people they can fool, how many scientists they can irritate, and how many times they can get their names on the web.
  • Perhaps the AIDS deniers are eugenicists. They may be trying to improve humanity by ridding the planet of the most gullible people, the very folks who take their advice.

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